History and Philosophy of Science

History and Philosophy of Science

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Per

Myers Briggs test ?

Developer C# .NET 4.0

My company has invited to teambuilding with Myers Briggs type indicator as part of the event. I am highly sceptic about this which to my mind is close to Astrology. Any comments?

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  • May 2, 2012
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  • SUMIT A.

    SUMIT

    SUMIT A.

    CHEMICAL PROCESS SIMULATION ENGINEER HYSYS/UNISIM

    i am INTP
    I had joined this group of INTP on linkedin but left !!
    anyways,what about you ?

  • Per B.

    Per

    Per B.

    Developer C# .NET 4.0

    I do not think I am any of the four letter combinations. These simplistic approaches to human issues I find foolish. I am looking for arguments against these "astrology-type truths" about how we are as individuals.

  • SUMIT A.

    SUMIT

    SUMIT A.

    CHEMICAL PROCESS SIMULATION ENGINEER HYSYS/UNISIM

    And why do you think it as "astrology-type truths",whereas,it is just a way to Know yourself better .

  • Per B.

    Per

    Per B.

    Developer C# .NET 4.0

    As I see it the types are similar to the very general descriptions you can find in magazine horoscopes, i.e. there is something for everyone. Horoscopes "work" because no matter what sign you are reading you can "recognize" yourself. Albeit you answer some questions in the indicator and a type is derived from it I am very sceptic about the value of the result.

    I worry that you not not only put yourself in a labelled box but that co-workers will see the "type" instead of the person and this is to my mind not to know oneself better. As a means to start an open discussion about how we react and that different aspects of behaviour should be respected even if they seem "cold" or "distant" it sounds ok but clinging on to some short phrased characteristic seems to me narrowminded.

    For the teambuilding I am going to attend I do not think it is going to be "used" as much as "amused" but in cases where managers use these methods to make decisions I find they are incompetent of their real job: managing employees from a personal and professional perspective.

  • SUMIT A.

    SUMIT

    SUMIT A.

    CHEMICAL PROCESS SIMULATION ENGINEER HYSYS/UNISIM

    ok

  • Dan O.

    Dan

    Dan O.

    Mainframe lifer seeking work

    Myers-Briggs is a rational attempt to approach the question of how people interact. While it is far from astrology, it is not intended to predict what people do, rather how people will interact with one another.

    Like most (all?) attempts at understanding psychological interactions, the MBTI works well if a person falls into the "appropriate categories", but breaks down when the person doesn't.

    If you read the description of MBTI (not the descriptions of the personalities, the description of what the MBTI is trying to do), it is geared toward helping people understand other people. It is wrong to compare it to astrology, which has no grounding at all in any rational sense. The MBTI at least attempts to approach the problem of interpersonal relations objectively. I think it works, to some extent, because the four times I've taken it (separated by many years each time) I always end up with essentially the same score. That is, the test results are repeatable within acceptable levels of probability.

    As I see it, the MBTI is successful only if everyone buys into it. If a few don't, the understanding MBTI provides becomes meaningless.

    MBTI's success and failure are two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, it is successful because it doesn't try to pigeonhole people into two or four categories, as many similar methods do; there are actually 16 different categories. On the other hand, 16 categories aren't really enough; humans are far more variable than that.

    On the whole, the MBTI has its uses. Remember, people want to categorize things, it's in our nature... by the same token, we don't like too many categories either. Myers-Briggs tries to compromise with a relatively few categories... perhaps that's where it often fails: not enough categories to be truly functional, and too many for people to embrace it.

    In the many situations I've seen the MBTI methodology attempted, it works for a while but then people forget the lessons and go right back to being their old selves, so your point is well taken.

  • Per B.

    Per

    Per B.

    Developer C# .NET 4.0

    I will admit that my comparison with astrology can seem out of context. Astrology is based on a fundamental unwarrented idea that the "stars and heaven" above us has real impact on our lives. My point is that the descriptions of the "types" share the characteristics of being very general and stating the obvious that you can always recognize some part of.

    Maybe I am one of those who will spoil the whole exercise (not buying into it!). I sounds to me too much like pseudoscience. Generally I think that to figure out what a person is like requires time and more importantly attention and interest in that persons life and sentiments. Personality "tests" diverts that attention and makes us believe we know someone better by reading their four letter signature.

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