MBTI is nonsense, personality is real | INFJ Forum

MBTI is nonsense, personality is real

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Martinville, Oct 11, 2016.

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  1. Martinville

    Martinville Regular Poster

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    When I tested myself with an MBTI test (multiple times), I was intrigued to find out I was an INFJ. I recognized a lot of the things mentioned mentioned about INFJ's. Feeling different and struggling with things like many on this forum. However my intuition was complaining about the test itself, like a little sceptical voice in me questioning this test as I have written in a blog. This was not without reason I found out later on. Did you know that psychologists reject this test as unscientific and inaccurate? The test was created by a mother and daughter without any scientific training! This is a big red flag! The biggest pitfall is that the dichotomies are binary. Like with most people things are not so black and white with me. For instance, if you score 51%, does that mean something is so much more dominant and absolute? Ofcourse not, you would neglect the simple fact that people come in many forms and sizes with a unique set of characteristcs. Second, it is disproven that things are always opposites, like introverted and extraverted. This is thru for the whole test. So basically no 16 types exist, it is a hypothecial constuct in the mind of its creators. Do you really believe the world is diveded into 16 types? I was once 'mistyped' as an INTJ, because my T and F are pretty well balanced most of the time, having a slightly greater preference for F. However, that is not the only case of mistyping...and the outcome was different and even more exotic.
    The experiences I have read on this and other fora are genuine, like I have been genuine. What I can't agree with is that we should feel special because we are INFJ's or xxxx. INFJ's are supposed to be rare, but so are a bunch of other types. The difference is a few percentage points. So, making it part of our identity is just wrong. What is thru is that as human beings we grow and for instance learn to harness our intuition and rational thinking to make proper choices in life.
    Only truth can set us free and the truth is that we don't need a bad test to figure out who we are. Labelling ourselves as INFJ's or anything else is not going to help us discovering who we are. A bad test might help us to discover more about ourselves and eachother, but on the long run it might cause confusion. This test certainly was an interesting start of a small journey to learn more about myself and others. The things I have learned made me wiser, not the silly test.
    What is a better way to figure things out? Maybe by talking with experts, people who know us well, and by taking tests with a better reputation than a biased MBTI test?
    Now I hope that you, my dear reader, had no knowledge about the things mentioned above. If you have, ask yourself: why do I believe in something proven false? Is it a feeling of being misunderstood by society and relatives and feeling accepted here? Your feelings are genuine and I hope you feel accepted Just don't sell it as INFJ or any other MBTI type. Avoid making it a cult like thing and accept that you are trully unique! This gives me hope: to know that man has more in common with his/her fellow man than he or she knows!
     
    #1 Martinville, Oct 11, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  2. invisible

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    Congratulations on your personal growth and all the best with the next steps of your journey.
     
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  3. OP
    Martinville

    Martinville Regular Poster

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    Thank you, and thanks for all the interesting things you wrote.
     
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  4. invisible

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    I would have no idea where to start. Your OP is a categorical rejection of any relevance of MBTI. In the context of an MBTI based community, it reads very much like a goodbye post. I have no idea what you expect people to say to you. That they personally find MBTI quite useful? Obviously you must already know that they do, or else they probably wouldn't have found their way here in the first place. What kind of responses are you expecting?
     
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  5. OP
    Martinville

    Martinville Regular Poster

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    Categorial rejection? Like I said, the experiences people share here and on other fora are genuine and very relevant. In other words: people are relevant! The labels used here are short sighted to say the least. MBTI is proven to be very inaccurate. I simply can't refute that truth.
    The relevance of the inaccurate MBTI for me was to discover more about personality. That discovery is also very relevant. I view MBTI as something imperfect, but also a step in the right direction. Yes, it was ignorance that made me take the test seriously. However, I don't regret it. I never regret learning relevant things, whether my initial viewpoint was accurate or not. For you or anyone else it might be a different matter altogether; it all depends on your point of view and the journey you take. I don't expect people to answer in a certain way. Everyone is welcome to do as they please. I have expressed myself and everyone may do so too. What I hope is that people who are ignorant about MBTI like I was, learn that it is not a very good test and still enjoy and value their journey and others, not regretting what they have experienced. What I can't and will not do anymore is calling myself an INFJ. I am Martin, you are invisible (a modest nickname for a person with such a wonderfully rich personality :-D). The possible problem I perceive is that this website is named INFJs.com :p. I can stand behind all the wonderful people here, just not the way people are boxed in a certain type that is biased or the explanations given that are inspired by MBTI theory. I simply refute most MBTI doctrine, because the test was proven inaccurate. This position I hold and will freely and respectfully express might create more conflict than I desire. That is not why I am here, to create conflict. I am afraid I will create conflict though. If people are fine with me refuting MBTI and INFJ on INFJs.com, I have a very good reason to stay.
     
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  6. Ryso89

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    The test is really an assessment of internal psychological functions. Everyone in the world is unique in the sense that everything in their lives has shaped them in very intricate ways. One person may share very similar psychological processes in response to the very same stimuli under a similar situation.

    Basically, you are you. The test shouldn't be relied upon to justify your place in the world. I'm sort of at a loss for words, but I hope you see my point.
     
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  7. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    I disagree to some extent but I do get the point you are making. MBTI and typology in general has been extremely useful for me in understanding how I and other more difficult people work. With most people I don't even need to think about typology. I don't need to use it. I understand why you think experiences taught you more than MBTI and I agree with that but I have found the already analyzed and categorized functions and types useful in figuring out how a situation played out a certain way that I already don't understand. It helps me figure out how to get through to a person I might not be communicating with in a way they can understand. It's efficient enough and it's faster than me ruminating over it. It saves time. I can easily imagine myself trying to sloppily analyze and categorize people on my own in my head without it and I'm grateful it's already been done so I don't waste time on it and I can think about other things.

    It's not so much about T and F being balanced. INTJs and INFJs are very different. It's a completely different use of Ni. If you think the similarities lie in the letters, that is where you might go down a weird path with all of this and become overwhelmed and confused. The letters are similar and we share Ni but we are more different than we are alike.

    I look at MBTI as describing how I function. It says nothing about my personality, or who I am.

    I never made it part of my identity. It's not supposed to be an identity. It never once made me feel special lol. I know myself better than that. I don't "believe" in it. You don't need to believe in it either. :) Most people here don't.
     
  8. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    Yes. That is a great way of saying what I was trying to say with less words. Lol

    It is true? No. Does it work? Yes, it works for it's purpose.
     
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  9. OP
    Martinville

    Martinville Regular Poster

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    I understand what it was meant to be, but it is proven that the test is bad. Therefore the results are bad too. Can't expect accurate results from a bad test. That is why psychologists reject it.

    This is a proven fact, but...the MBTI test can't be used to determine that, because its premises are wrong. There are far better tests out there that can do a good job.

    How you function has no influence on your personality??? I think it says alot about you.

    I would not claim that mother and daughter were sloppy when creating the MBTI theory, but the certainly weren't qualified psychologists. I would not trust my own judgement if I knew I was basing it on inaccurate biased theory. Maybe you are better of with a quality psychology book written by a real expert.

    MBTI tests have questions based on wrong premises, so we get the wrong answers based on wrong pemises. Its creators interpreted Jung in their way, their unscientific unacademic way. Jung himself did not like statistics and wasn't the most objective person ever so to speak. So that is bias upon bias. He was, to use my previous remark, a relevant step in a journey. The journey of developing psychology. Psychology has grown so much since then.

    Please read this: http://skepdic.com/myersb.html and this: https://www.wired.com/2015/05/the-myers-brigg-personality-test-is-bunk-but-i-dont-care/ and https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/give-and-take/201309/goodbye-mbti-the-fad-won-t-die if you want to see things from another perspectve.
     
  10. invisible

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    Thank you for the compliment Martinville

    I'm sorry I don't have time to write properly right now, I'm doing some difficult work for school and I shouldn't be posting at all, the things I'm writing are really not good contributions. (I have actually just requested a temporary ban.)

    I think you have a lot of good points.

    In short, I don't think a lot of people who identify with the INFJ type necessarily do take it all that seriously. I think a lot of people, like you, find initially that it describes them very well, and then move on from it to a greater or lesser extent. Have you ever come across any of the posts of one of the members who used to frequently contribute to the forum but has not participated for a long time, called Billy? Billy greatly rejected the MBTI, and moved on from the forum. He's just one example. I think a lot of us have given these things a good deal of thought, and no longer take the MBTI as seriously as we once may have. I think quite a few of us continue to identify with it to an extent, but simultaneously know and realise that it does not describe our whole self very adequately.

    For myself, I look at some of the tests that have good retest validity, such as the Big 5 (perhaps), and I think those tests just aren't meaningful to me. For example, I have no interest in my own conscientiousness. That facet of my personality simply does not interest me at all, it's not a meaningful means of personality description for me, and I'm not interested in exploring it as a way of understanding myself. And basically, as you describe of the MBTI, I think the idea that those features describe all aspects of personality is nonsense. While having good validity in some sense, the test is at least as fundamentally ridiculous to me as the MBTI framework.

    I will give one criticism to your points here, which is your red flag criticism about the creators of the framework, that they are not professional or qualified psychologists. Basically I see that as being an ad hominem criticism, relating not at all to the framework itself, having no meaning or value as a criticism of the framework.

    In many ways I think MBTI is pretty silly, and limited. In a lot of other ways, it describes me very accurately, both in terms of being at extremes on certain of those measures, and also in other ways. It interests me to think about those ideas.

    Similarly, I have absolutely no problem with using this as a validation of my specialness, and apologise for that not at all. I have received a lot of harsh and even cruel devalidating criticism in my life and have struggled to be myself. I've learned to be comfortable working with those forms of validation that are available to me.

    Best
     
  11. dang

    dang LONE WOLF BAD ASS
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    I have simply come to the conclusion that while MBTI can initially be helpful with regard to self-understanding, it is both very limited and also is a form of stereotyping which threatens an individual's existential authenticity.
     
  12. tentacledGnostalgic

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    I think that a big problem here is that this discussion has been conflating the Myers-Briggs letter-based approach with the Jungian cognitive function-based approach. The letter-based approach, which focuses on 4 spectra (Introversion-Extroversion, Intuition-Sensing, Thinking-Feeling, and Perceiving-Judging) is fundamentally absurd because two of the spectra (Introversion-Extroversion and Perceiving-Judging) define how the functions interact rather than defining which functions actually are present, while the other two spectra are extremely oversimplified, making these spectra relatively worthless when it comes to figuring out how people think. Cognitive function theory, on the other hand, was created by Carl Jung, one of the greatest psychologists ever to have lived. I personally tested as an INTP on various letter-based tests, which I took to heart, something that damaged my personal growth for several years. However, upon further contemplation of cognitive functions I came to the realization that I was actually an INFJ. Since then I have gained a lot of insight into how I think through a deeper understanding of my cognitive functions.
     
  13. The_Mysterious_Stranger

    The_Mysterious_Stranger Community Member

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    An important thing to consider is that MBTI / Jungian Typology is distinct from trait theory and behavior. Big Five recognizes that there are individual differences in personality. Also, all types use intuition, sensing, thinking, and feeling functions. However, I believe Jung had a point that there are abstract patterns in how people perceive and make decisions, which can be grouped in these "psychological types." I think MBTI can get a bad rap due to the misrepresentation in regards to stereotypes and behavior. Also, intuitive types generally seem to be portrayed as more intelligent / glorified in the typology community. This is simply not the case. Sensing types have their strengths as well and can often be more pragmatic than intuitives. Furthermore, types do not correlate with intelligence. Sensing types can use intuition and intuitive types can use sensing functions, they just have different order of preferences.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #13 The_Mysterious_Stranger, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  14. charlatan

    charlatan Permanent Fixture

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    Your OP is correct about the dichotomies/binary view being fiction. However, there's a few facts to note:

    -Isabel Myers, to my knowledge, allowed omissions on tests, and this was later done away with -- that is, she opposed "forced choice" on the MBTI, and for some period of time, you even could get an "X" in your type code when there isn't a clear preference seen in the test

    - Once you take away this dogmatic assumption of binary, the MBTI is interpretable in the same exact way as respected modern psychometric instruments (such as the many implementations of the Big 5 model). This means that the MBTI makes good sense as long as you view each scale as being a spectrum of possible values

    - Interestingly, CG Jung didn't think of his types in binary either. He was fine referring to X person as more of a feeling type than a thinking type, he was fine even saying Kant vs Darwin denotes a lesser contrast between degree of being an introverted vs an extraverted thinking type than the case of Nietzsche vs Cuvier.

    The binary thing was a bad assumption introduced some time in the game. Get rid of it, and the MBTI test is just an ordinary psychometric instrument whose insights line up well with those of other respected ones. The reason MBTI has a bad reputation is probably twofold:

    (A) The psychometric instrument does NOT actually, to significant degrees, measure CG Jung's theory of functions. It diverges to a large extent, but is certainly addressing similar themes and reorganizes some of his ideas. One point is it is more of a linear model than a circumplex model.

    (B) The unfounded assumption on binary-ness.

    Strip away these two (and believe me I've read many critiques of the MBTI), and you get a reasonable theory even according to many of the critics. McCrae and Costa, leading Big 5 psychologists (which is significant, given your OP discusses the respectability of the MBTI in academic psychology), propose the psychometric instrument (the statistically validated, non-cognitive-functions version of the MBTI) can be interpreted fruitfully in light of the Big 5 model, but they of course require that (A) and (B) should be corrected.
     
  15. charlatan

    charlatan Permanent Fixture

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    As for the cognitive functions theory, the biggest criticism of this is it is to a significant extent philosophy masquerading as science, which is why you have umpteen professionals with heavy opinions on what functions who uses (Beebe likes the dom/aux in opposite attitudes view, Jung seemed to think differentiated types with 2 developed function-attitudes had both in the same one, with only the unconscious/compensatory ones in the opposite). Philosophy is great if we acknowledge that is what we're doing. The idea that most people fit into these types that Jung was obviously using to probe philosophical differences of significance doesn't really work, because it seems other models like the Big 5 offer more realistic accounts of how most of the population's personality psychology distributes out.

    I actually really like the idea of analyzing the psychological-philosophical interface, just like analyzing the psychological-scientific interface. The former sheds a lot of light on why people keep disagreeing on philosophical issues. Part of it is psychological, and I honestly think that's part of Jung's point, a big part at that.
    The problem is treating these conceptually interesting observations that apply at least to a certain few situations as being the best mainstream way of sorting personality out...which only arises if the functions theory gets mass-manufactured the way it has.

    I came up with my own way of analyzing it, but I acknowledge there are other ways and that my primary motivation isn't empirical, and that the best empirical models now might be the Big 5 and its competitor the Big 6/hexaco.
     
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