The Pseudoscientific Nature of the MBTI

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by serenesam, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. serenesam Registered Senior Member

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    Although I did in fact scored as an INTJ the first time I took the MBTI in college, I took a very close look at my score in the four dimensions attributed to the MBTI. I noticed I scored pretty almost borderline between the dimension of thinking and feeling. My feeling came in at 45% whereas my thinking came in a 55%. I didn’t really make much of it until a couple of years later I took the test again except that this time I scored much higher in terms of thinking over feeling. And within the last few months, I started to question whether I was an INTJ or an INTP. Although this time, I did not take the test. I just assumed that I was in the process of transformation or evolution. Intuitively though, deep down inside I have always known that there was going to be this future possibility of becoming an INTP because I felt the battle between judgment and perception was just plain ignorant. In a logical way, it just seemed as if how can people not foster perceptive skills? That viewpoint was seen when I was an INTJ. Now that I feel I am hovering between INTJ and INTP, I am starting to see more possible combinations pertaining to the dimensions of the MBTI. The first dimension of introversion versus extroversion for the most part appears to be very stable so I do not really see that much of a potential change. The second dimension of sensing versus intuition is where it gets interesting. Although I am obviously more of an intuition because I really enjoy looking at things from a more global viewpoint, I feel that I can potentially learn and develop the sensing capabilities. I do not believe my sensing capabilities will ever override my intuition but I believe there is a possibility in which I can bring sensing to meeting the borderline. Once again, I see the possibility of my feeling resurfacing again to match up with my thinking. I have noticed that sometimes when I start sentences, I may say “I think” or “I feel.”

    With all that said, I guess my point is to question the reliability and validity of the MBTI. One of my friends on another forum for example, I have noticed she has been an INTJ, INFJ, and many other combinations over the past three years. I have seen the same with other people too. Some even have an “x” designated to one their dimensions so I suspect that is almost the equivalent of unknown or uncertainty. It just seems that the last three dimensions of the MBTI is susceptible to change with the exception of the first dimension of introversion versus extroversion. This makes sense because I believe it to be the most stable in the majority of the population. Just like attending public school when we were little children, I have noticed that the quiet children usually maintain their introversion for years. Now we have a new term called ambiversion which is the intermediary between an introvert and an extrovert. How do ambiverts fit into the MBTI?

    I used to regard Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud as two exceptionally brilliant individuals. I always saw Jung as being an expert in “normal psychology” or “psychology of personality” whereas Freud as being an expert in “abnormal psychology.” There was a moment in time in which I really did believe that the MBTI was one of Jung’s greatest achievements. Furthermore, I find it interesting that introverts tend to be paired up with extroverts in terms of potential relationships. Like for example, the INTJ is paired with the ENFP journalist and the ESFP entertainer. Yet at the same time I could definitely do some research and the research findings may even contradict the introversion with extroversion relationship pairing. The notion of opposites attract becomes void and so like-minded people make a better relationship pairing with other like-minded people. I must apologize now because I am taking Carl Jung off the wall of brilliancy from my perspective.

    I have noticed that people usually say “MBTI and Personality Theories.” I am not saying that using the word theory is wrong because it definitely meets the denotative definition found in the dictionary (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory?s=t). However, from a scientific perspective, the usage of the term theory may be a subject of debate. A hypothesis is a hunch or prediction about the world, which must be tested through experimentation or observation, whereas a theory is a body of such predictions which have consistently held true in the past and can therefore be used to explain current data and to make further predictions (http://www.helium.com/items/1743125-difference-between-a-theory-and-a-hypothesis). Can we say that the MBTI have the consistency of being held as truthful? Can we utilize the MBTI to make further valid scientific predictions? According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbti) , here are some quotes:

    “The MBTI is not recognised as being scientifically valid, and is largely ignored within the field of psychology.”

    “Some researchers have interpreted the reliability of the test as being low. Studies have found that between 39% and 76% of those tested fall into different types upon retesting some weeks or years later.”

    “Critics also argue that the MBTI lacks falsifiability, which can cause confirmation bias in the interpretation of results.”

    “However, some academic psychologists have criticized the MBTI instrument, claiming that it "lacks convincing validity data",[33][39][40][59] while some studies have shown the statistical validity and reliability to be low.”

    “The terminology of the MBTI has been criticized as being very "vague and general"[50] as to allow any kind of behavior to fit any personality type, which may result in the Forer effect, where individuals give a high rating to a positive description that supposedly applies specifically to them.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013

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