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Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.

What is your MBTI Personality Type?

ISTJ
1
5%
ISFJ
2
10%
INFJ
2
10%
INTJ
7
33%
ISTP
0
No votes
ISFP
0
No votes
INFP
2
10%
INTP
1
5%
ESTP
0
No votes
ESFP
0
No votes
ENFP
1
5%
ENTP
2
10%
ESTJ
0
No votes
ESFJ
0
No votes
ENFJ
2
10%
ENTJ
1
5%
 
Total votes: 21

Message
Author
User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24047
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

#81 Post by Alan H » March 19th, 2013, 12:48 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Sel
Posts: 811
Joined: January 3rd, 2011, 3:53 pm

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

#82 Post by Sel » March 19th, 2013, 5:12 pm

I am reminded just how uncomfortable I feel after taking these personality tests. As a teacher, I was often subjected to them on professional days by poorly trained specialists and counsellors. Inevitably, my results were always off the charts, so to speak. It is little wonder that I have felt like an outsider all of my life.

After the Meyers-Briggs, one of those idiots had the nerve to comment on my personality type: "We seldom see your type with an education." Made me feel just so special.

My type? ENTP - me, Bugs Bunny and the whale in Free Willy (I did not know they considered body type)

Of course, as a sceptic, I question the validity of these tests.
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." Bertrand Russell

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

#83 Post by Dave B » March 19th, 2013, 5:35 pm

I'd love to know how some of these tests work (assuming hey do).

Whilst in college we were offered vocational aptitude testing at half price. Since I had do one such test about 30 years before I thought it might be interesting to do another.

Despite going off the top of the scale in the mechanical aptitude section I basically got the same results as the previous ones: research, administration, law, editing, journalism, analysis, teaching . . . So one could say that some of these tests seem to have some kind of basis in reality.

That is probably why I have never really found my place in work, I was good at solving technical problems but always hankered after journalism etc. Should have become a technical author but, though I applied for jobs and courses in that field I never managed to get one. Seems you needed a decent specialist tech. qualification + GCEs - neither of which I had then.

Unlike you, Sel, I love taking these tests - but then, except for one instance (when I was applying for another college course) I have only ever done them for my own interest.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24047
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

#84 Post by Alan H » May 15th, 2013, 6:55 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 17809
Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

#85 Post by Dave B » May 15th, 2013, 7:44 pm

I am not surprised by that, we probably all approach things in a different way at different times. I know that I certainly do!

With other types of "vocational testing" I was interested to find the similarity in results between two tests I took over thrity years apart. There were some similarities between the content of the tests but the latter one (2004) had a lot more practical and "hand-eye skill" tests (drawing a line midway between two other serpentine lines 4mm apart with both left and right hand). Both listed similar fields as suitable: the law, research (not engineering or science though), teaching, editing, proof-reading, social work, medical . . . The first one also suggested the church! But it did qualify that as "in a pastoral role."

The bias against engineering/science did surprise me because I was off the scale in the test for the understanding of mechanical/scientific principles! I have to admit I enjoy doing these tests but treat it as a bit of fun.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Fia
Posts: 5480
Joined: July 6th, 2007, 8:29 pm

Re: Are Myers-Briggs Personality Tests Pseudoscience?

#86 Post by Fia » May 15th, 2013, 9:43 pm

For a bit of fun, I did it again. I was surprised I'm still still INFJ as there is no nuance allowed, merely a yes/no. Some yeses or noes are clear but for many it would depend on the context, and there is none in this test.

From Alan's link:
the MBTI mistakenly assumes that personality falls into mutually exclusive categories. You are either an extrovert or an introvert, but never a mix of the two
Yes, this is clearly problematic. Professionally, when wearing a comfortable hat, I have no problem being extrovert as it's a persona I'm comfortable to wear. I do put on various mental hats to perform to the one required. Yet personally I'm mightily comfortable in my rural isolation. So the test would be do much more useful if it had a scale, rather than being closed ended.

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