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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Personality Tests: Harmful Bullshit or Bullshit which is Harmful? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Personality Tests: Harmful Bullshit or Bullshit which is Harmful?
mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Humans have a tendency to name things and then set about measuring things. Do intelligence, depression, obsessiveness, religiousity, nostalgia, resilience, boldness, autism, attention deficit among others, actually exist?... but also required is some form of validity (measuring something that is real) and doing so reliably (consistently).

Reading back up the thread I don't know if we have answers to this point which seems to me important if we're going to discern bullshit.

I don't think there is any validation to the MB tests, or many other personality tests for that matter. How do we know if it means anything and if it measures anything real?

If people say it gives them a useful vocabulary and way of talking about things that they find useful then no objection, but wouldn't it be possible to do that using simpler terminology that didn't run the risk of creating an industry and a population who very likely believe this is all real?

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

If people say it gives them a useful vocabulary and way of talking about things that they find useful then no objection, but wouldn't it be possible to do that using simpler terminology that didn't run the risk of creating an industry and a population who very likely believe this is all real?

Excellent point. I think the value of the MB language is that it is non-judgemental about the preferences which flow from personality differences. After about 20 years of being mutually irritated by some of our differences, my wife and I got to a different, more accepting, place about them. We recognised that the differences might actually be seen as a source of strength in our relationship, rather than rubbing edges.

And what helped us has proved a source of riches in lots of pastoral care situations where we've provided support, particularly with folks whose key relationships were under strain.

Could these beneficial effects have been achieved by other means? Oh, I'm sure they could. But they weren't. MB vocabulary proved to be a source for us of fresh and pertinent insight into relationship strains.

Lots of examples spring to mind at this point, but would take too long to explain.

Of course YMMV. And I appreciate the reasons for scepticism. The means by which we obtain insight are often puzzling, because insight itself is puzzling.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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mark_in_manchester

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This reminds me of creating engineering metrics. I'll go with repeatability, and also orthogonality - which means the dimensions of your metric need to describe something entirely separate (wrt each other) about the complex thing you wish to decompose - like rbg colour components, the 5 dimensions of (food) taste, or the three dimensions of space.

If you achieve this it tends to mean that every point in your complex space (here, personality!) in map-able to a unique set of co-ordinates in your x-dimensional decomposition. If you can't say this (some points you can't get to at all, other points have more than one 'address') it tends to imply there's something wrong with your choice of coordinates.

Whether this can be investigated in the case of a 4D M-B personality decomposition - I don't know [Big Grin]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
If people say it gives them a useful vocabulary and way of talking about things that they find useful then no objection, but wouldn't it be possible to do that using simpler terminology that didn't run the risk of creating an industry and a population who very likely believe this is all real?

But the creation of an industry and a believing population leads to money in some pockets. Perhaps a bit cynical, but only a very tiny bit. Much the same as the astrology columns that used be seen in women's magazines of the old sort, the lower newspapers and the like.

[ 11. July 2017, 07:58: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
Whether this can be investigated in the case of a 4D M-B personality decomposition - I don't know [Big Grin]

In fact psychology testing often uses exactly the approach you describe, using principal component analysis. There's no reason why this could be done for MB, but I doubt anyone has looked hard enough at it.

quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
But the creation of an industry and a believing population leads to money in some pockets. Perhaps a bit cynical, but only a very tiny bit.

That is exactly what I was getting at. It matches how I feel about alternative medicine. If someone does a nice massage that makes patients feel better, treats their headaches, and relieves them of a proportionate sum then I don't mind that. When the massage gets a Latin name, a steeping in mysticism, faux qualifications and relieves them of substantial sums then I feel squicky.

[ 11. July 2017, 08:22: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
This reminds me of creating engineering metrics. I'll go with repeatability, and also orthogonality - which means the dimensions of your metric need to describe something entirely separate (wrt each other) about the complex thing you wish to decompose - like rbg colour components, the 5 dimensions of (food) taste, or the three dimensions of space.

If you achieve this it tends to mean that every point in your complex space (here, personality!) in map-able to a unique set of co-ordinates in your x-dimensional decomposition. If you can't say this (some points you can't get to at all, other points have more than one 'address') it tends to imply there's something wrong with your choice of coordinates.

Whether this can be investigated in the case of a 4D M-B personality decomposition - I don't know [Big Grin]

Sure. But I think we're talking about the quality and usefulness of models here.

All models are a small and imperfect representation of the Real Thing. That applies to all the psychoanalytic models I know. Human thought and human beings are hard to figure. We speculate a lot about ourselves.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
If people say it gives them a useful vocabulary and way of talking about things that they find useful then no objection, but wouldn't it be possible to do that using simpler terminology that didn't run the risk of creating an industry and a population who very likely believe this is all real?

But the creation of an industry and a believing population leads to money in some pockets. Perhaps a bit cynical, but only a very tiny bit. Much the same as the astrology columns that used be seen in women's magazines of the old sort, the lower newspapers and the like.
Used to be? I don't know where you've been, but astrology has never been more fashionable.

I casually read my horoscope and do tarot (I don't take it seriously but find it fun) - it's very much a current trend, with a focus on knowing yourself rather than predicting the future. MBTI is similar but more business speak and less pretty. See also the witchy fashion trend.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I get why corporate culture would like such tests, but why churches?

As a ministry team, we found it a helpful way to understand each other and to hgarbass our strengths while forgiving what frustrated us about others.

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Caissa
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Personality tests are excellent tools for self-reflection and metacognition.
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I get why corporate culture would like such tests, but why churches?

As a ministry team, we found it a helpful way to understand each other and to hgarbass our strengths while forgiving what frustrated us about others.
These tests can also highlight if and how certain personality types are over or underrepresented in the churches, whether among the clergy or the laity. The results can be compared with those of other denominations, or of the population at large.

Researches and church leaders might find the results helpful in understanding clergy-laity dynamics, or analysing the differences that exist between religious groups, or the implications for evangelism or pastoral care if churchgoers and non-churchgoers turn out to have significantly different personality profiles.

[ 11. July 2017, 19:15: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I get why corporate culture would like such tests, but why churches?

As a ministry team, we found it a helpful way to understand each other and to hgarbass our strengths while forgiving what frustrated us about others.
Should have been doing that anyway, surely? I don't need a four letter pseudo-scientific personality star sign to see how my thinking differs from other people's.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I get why corporate culture would like such tests, but why churches?

As a ministry team, we found it a helpful way to understand each other and to hgarbass our strengths while forgiving what frustrated us about others.
These tests can also highlight if and how certain personality types are over or underrepresented in the churches, whether among the clergy or the laity. The results can be compared with those of other denominations, or of the population at large.

Researches and church leaders might find the results helpful in understanding clergy-laity dynamics, or analysing the differences that exist between religious groups, or the implications for evangelism or pastoral care if churchgoers and non-churchgoers turn out to have significantly different personality profiles.

Only if these personality types actually map to anything in the real world. That's what MBTI practitioners and salesmen have failed to do.

It's just Barnum Effect. That and barking back at you what you put into the questions. It's like that Viz quiz parody: "Do you like or dislike reading books? - Like: You're a bookish sort of person, you love to curl up with a good book! Dislike: You're not a great fan of books. Perhaps you'd rather watch the telly or play sports?"

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

Only if these personality types actually map to anything in the real world. That's what MBTI practitioners and salesmen have failed to do.

It's just Barnum Effect.

Do you think Freudian and Jungian psychological understandings are, or were, "just Barnam"? Do the id, ego and superego map onto the real world? Is there such a thing as the unconscious, or subconcious and does it create internal, unresolved, conflicts with conscious awareness, leading to neuroses? Are neuroses real?

Or maybe, just maybe, do we apply slightly different standards, maybe more pragmatic ones, to psychological models? While the sciences are catching up with, and proving or invalidating, the imaginative speculations.

[ 12. July 2017, 12:48: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I simply do not see the value of a tool that when told "I link to think things through", tells me I'm the sort of person who likes to think things through.

I knew that. If I didn't know that, I couldn't have answered the question.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Ohher
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I simply do not see the value of a tool that when told "I link to think things through", tells me I'm the sort of person who likes to think things through.

I knew that. If I didn't know that, I couldn't have answered the question.

The problem, though, is that many people do not seem to know themselves in his way. (Disclaimers: (A) I'm in the US, where introspection and self-reflection does not seem to be part of the cultural DNA, and (B) Most of my daily interaction is with folks under 25 whose brain functions are still maturing.)

The result of cultural discouragement of introspection plus a lack of maturity (also seen, alas, in many folks over 25) is an across-the-board failure to pose questions to oneself about one's own perceptions, and the extent to which these do or do not square with those of others, or with reality, or . . .

I've worked with any number of students who struggle to come up with topics to write about.
When asked what they're interested in (as a way of finding something to write about), they immediately discount such items as topic possibilities with what amounts to "If I'm interested in it, it can't be important enough to write about," or they respond with, "Well, my mother-friend-partner-coach says I'm interested in . . . "

I've come to the conclusion that a great deal that's wrong with the US right now could be ameliorated over time by educating our young to do a little more introspection.

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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quote:
"Do you like or dislike reading books? - Like: You're a bookish sort of person, you love to curl up with a good book! Dislike: You're not a great fan of books. Perhaps you'd rather watch the telly or play sports?"

[Big Grin] Made my afternoon.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Only if these personality types actually map to anything in the real world. That's what MBTI practitioners and salesmen have failed to do.

It's just Barnum Effect. That and barking back at you what you put into the questions. It's like that Viz quiz parody: "Do you like or dislike reading books? - Like: You're a bookish sort of person, you love to curl up with a good book! Dislike: You're not a great fan of books. Perhaps you'd rather watch the telly or play sports?"

I must say, I'm not familiar with the agendas of those who practice or 'sell' the tests, though I'm sure it would be interesting to look into that.

Of more practical use is the way in which the information gathered might be helpful to an individual or an institution.

Probably some individuals already know themselves very well and don't need to do a test to prove anything. That's fair enough, but the information might be of use to those who work with them.

I imagine that many religious institutions are also somewhat aware of the kinds of people that they attract or repel. But I suppose that institutions benefit from proof in addition to hunches - especially if they're contemplating making changes that will require considerable investment, effort and disruption.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Do you think Freudian and Jungian psychological understandings are, or were, "just Barnam"?

I think some of them were, I think some of them were interesting but not necessarily scientific claims, some of them were proven, some of them disproven - and possibly harmful, and a tiny minority are still in the category of yet to be tested.

Most personality tests have not been subjected to the same amount of thought, testing and discussion as those kinds of psychological models.

A large number of them are - as Karl and I said above - based on packaging Barnam/Forer statements together, often in the selling as well as the testing - Landmark's repackaging of est is the most obvious example of the latter, but there are plenty of others.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I must say, I'm not familiar with the agendas of those who practice or 'sell' the tests, though I'm sure it would be interesting to look into that.

£ $ ¥ ₽ etc. Not that there are no True Believers in there as well.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I'm not against introspection; I'm against the idea that there is some kind of scientific validity to labelling the results of introspection INTJ or whatever and pretending it has any predictive or explanatory value.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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When I was in graduate school many years ago, we were taught that personality traits were tendencies or trends within a person's inner and outer life, on a “more likely than not” basis. One helpful definition of mental illness or problems was “inflexibility”, meaning that the person had difficulty or couldn't behave, think or feel in ways different than his or her accustomed pattern (traits). This was captured within “interpersonal theory”. Rigid adherence to ways of interacting with self and others - “rigidity” - is illness or maladjustment. Such a way of understanding personality makes the MBTI a problem, because its classification means rigidity, which is unhealthy according to this theory, though I see that some of you are doing a more continuum version of MBTI.

We read things by Timothy Leary** and previous stuff by Harry Stack Sullivan. Basically the theory holds that everything people do in interaction with one another and with their own thoughts and feelings is an effort to achieve and maintain self-esteem and to avoid anxiety. Here's Leary's interpersonal circle or “circumplex”. The checklist can be found Here.

When I was in grad school, there was extensive effort to classify individual statements between medical psychotherapy and counsellors to see if the model held for psychiatric patients, within the Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Project (Hans Strupp among others), i.e. did people demonstrate interpersonal and internal thought/emotion rigidity as part of their problems in living and mental health.


** (yes, that guy, who before the drug things wrote the very excellent “The Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality” 1957, though I also think he was on to something with hallucinogen treatment for some mental illness issues; something that was pioneered in psychedelic Saskatchewan starting in 1952)

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I'm not against introspection; I'm against the idea that there is some kind of scientific validity to labelling the results of introspection INTJ or whatever and pretending it has any predictive or explanatory value.

I've thought long about this and, it turns out I am against introspection.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I'm not against introspection; I'm against the idea that there is some kind of scientific validity to labelling the results of introspection INTJ or whatever and pretending it has any predictive or explanatory value.

Are you saying that we're all utterly individual and special, and the only certainty is that we exist in categories of one?

I'm sure there's a lot of truth in that. Some of us are very odd in our own unique ways!

[Biased]

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
The problem, though, is that many people do not seem to know themselves in his way. (Disclaimers: (A) I'm in the US, where introspection and self-reflection does not seem to be part of the cultural DNA, and (B) Most of my daily interaction is with folks under 25 whose brain functions are still maturing.)

There is a tendency within the US education system to label things. If I compare American graduate students with European ones, I tend to find that both sets of kids can do similar things, but that the Americans will have a list of names and jargon to describe each procedure, whereas the European is more likely to tell you that it works like this.

I see the same thing in elementary schools - comparing local US elementary schools with those in the UK that I'm familiar with, the US schools place more emphasis on learning names and jargon.

Personally, I found going through an MBTI-type exercise useful in ordering my thoughts and helping me to identify which things about me were different from normal people.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The tests based on the test that I've taken are far too binary. This is, BTW, a criticism of the official one as well.

I've taken MBTI quizzes that have produced a score along each of the four axes, and I've taken them where I've gone back and changed the answers to questions that I was on the fence about, and come up with a pretty consistent picture (which at least says that all the tests are the same).

(For reference, I'm off the charts on I and N, fairly significantly T, and pretty close to the middle on P vs J.) I don't think this has any use at all as a recruitment tool. When I hire people, I'm looking for people with the right set of abilities who aren't arseholes.

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Ohher
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So any possible harm in the use of such tests may lie in screening out job / school / program candidates who may well have become assets to whatever they were applying for.

Somehow I think we might dig a little deeper into the question of what all this "screening" is really about, and why as a society we appear to deem it essential, despite boatloads of evidence that many screening mechanisms give us information which is irrelevant, wrong, or misleading.

The place where I teach administers a writing test to incoming freshers to determine whether they need the standard composition course, the developmental version, or should be given a shot at the Honors version. Given the make-up of my comp sections, I'm now so convinced that you cannot test for writing skills except by having students actually write something, I have banished tests and quizzes from my course.

The writing test has placed illiterates in my classes, alongside of students teetering on the brink of publishability. We'd get the exact same results if we simply let students pick sections on the basis of their schedules.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Are you saying that we're all utterly individual and special, and the only certainty is that we exist in categories of one?

I'm sure there's a lot of truth in that. Some of us are very odd in our own unique ways!

[Biased]

Everyone is unique, just not as unique as most think. Especially in groups. People are very predictable in groups. Individually, people are less predictable. Not because they are amazingly unique, but there are too many variables of which the observer might not be aware.
Self-reporting tests have an inherent weakness: People lie. Even when the test results are blind, people lie to make themselves appear better.
Another weakness is that they require self-knowledge to a degree that many do not have.
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
When I hire people, I'm looking for people with the right set of abilities who aren't arseholes.

This is the way it should be. However, this requires good judgement and a level of skill rare in management.
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:

Somehow I think we might dig a little deeper into the question of what all this "screening" is really about, and why as a society we appear to deem it essential, despite boatloads of evidence that many screening mechanisms give us information which is irrelevant, wrong, or misleading.

In organisations, it gives the semblance of order and reason; a system, something by which to gauge or judge.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I'm not against introspection; I'm against the idea that there is some kind of scientific validity to labelling the results of introspection INTJ or whatever and pretending it has any predictive or explanatory value.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I've thought long about this and, it turns out I am against introspection.

That's pretty good.

I agree with Karl, it's the pseudo-science that I react to. I don't like being conned, even if it is in a good cause. The other problem with the pseudo-science is that it's often used to draw in custom and inflate the price.

"Let's talk about your personality type in a common-sense counseling session." is probably worth half as much cash as "Let's use this tool to scientifically classify your personality according to 4 parameters and determine interactions with your partner on a matrix using 4 parameters."

That's pretty much fraud in my book.

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Barnabas62
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Maybe I'm just being Agreeable here but I found this interesting.

I don't think personality tests fence us in, particularly one based on preferences rather than traits. The Human Resource "adaptations" of MBTI for selection purposes run counter to the strong ethical guidelines about use and misuse from the MB Foundation. I agree with all criticisms voiced here about such misuse.

You may also get something out of this. It addresses many of the criticisms in this thread. I have reservations about how well it does that, but some of the debunking of debunkers matches my understanding.

I've also read the arguments that OCEAN is missing a sixth trait dimension, Humility. Personally, I have no problems in accepting that some audit of traits based on Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism, may well be of more comprehensive value than a simple audit of preferences. Provided that all such audits are carried out with Humility, having proper regard to the complexity and variation of human personality.

My guess is that HR units in business have latched onto MBTI as a means of facilitating some aspects of their work and are probably not overly concerned about whether what they do is fair. So far as defensible goes, well that will depend on whether they lose out in any subsequent litigation. But that's just normal HR pragmatism.

Invariably, my preferences for E and N always come out that way in tests and very much match the person others see. On T/F and J/P, I normally come out with marginal F and marginal J preferences, but have tested the opposite on a couple of occasions. Those results also cohere with my self-assessment and those of folks who know me. But I don't feel boxed in by any of that. Why should I?

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Maybe I'm just being Agreeable here but I found this interesting.

I don't know, this read about as fanboy as one could get. This does not automatically disqualify the content, of course. It also bolsters the MBTI by comparison to the Big Five. And, beyond the considerable ick factor of its derivation from Francis Galton, his characterisation of it's substance is more than a little skewed than I think he might realise.

quote:

I don't think personality tests fence us in, particularly one based on preferences rather than traits.

We naturally fence, so posts and planks and wire will be assembled into them.
quote:

You may also get something out of this. It addresses many of the criticisms in this thread. I have reservations about how well it does that, but some of the debunking of debunkers matches my understanding.

groan homework
Yeah, I'll read it, but seeing it needing CHAPTERS! automatically makes me reluctant.


quote:

My guess is that HR units in business have latched onto MBTI as a means of facilitating some aspects of their work and are probably not overly concerned about whether what they do is fair. So far as defensible goes, well that will depend on whether they lose out in any subsequent litigation.

The appearance of fair is likely why many use it. And, I will guess, a high percentage of HR management have taken the test.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:

The place where I teach administers a writing test to incoming freshers to determine whether they need the standard composition course, the developmental version, or should be given a shot at the Honors version. Given the make-up of my comp sections, I'm now so convinced that you cannot test for writing skills except by having students actually write something, I have banished tests and quizzes from my course.

I'm confused - what does the writing test do if it doesn't ask the students to write something?
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Ohher
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:

The place where I teach administers a writing test to incoming freshers to determine whether they need the standard composition course, the developmental version, or should be given a shot at the Honors version. Given the make-up of my comp sections, I'm now so convinced that you cannot test for writing skills except by having students actually write something, I have banished tests and quizzes from my course.

I'm confused - what does the writing test do if it doesn't ask the students to write something?
It's a multiple-guess instrument with items like, "The predicate of a sentence is . . . (A) its direct object (B) its main verb (C) its tense (D) its purpose" It also asks students to identify which of several sentences contains some specific error. Useless. Long ago and far away, I learned that students who could not write a coherent sentence can generally score passing grades on tests like these. The English Department has complained loud and long to no avail; it's a money issue. Administering the @#$#! test costs less than paying a few experienced adjunct instructors to read and score writing samples. We used to do this, and the results were generally spot-on.

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
It's a multiple-guess instrument with items like, "The predicate of a sentence is . . . (A) its direct object (B) its main verb (C) its tense (D) its purpose"

Oh dear. That's not a writing test. It's an "I've studied formal grammar" test. I'm not surprised that you find it useless.
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Barnabas62
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@ Ohher

A bit of a fanboy, I guess, but I was more intrigued by the convergence point than the comparative origins of OCEAN and MBTI.

On fencing, maybe I'm just temperamentally different? I resist being labelled or squeezed into somebody else's mold, which doesn't stop me seeking to extract some value wherever it may be found. It's surprising what redeeming value you can find in the imperfect.

HR and the appearance of things? ISTM that HR units have done rather more to legitimise MBTI than lean on any pre-established legitimacy.

Sorry about the 'homework'!

[ 14. July 2017, 07:10: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
@ Ohher

Erm, that was me. (See?! this is why I hate avatar and name changes, Nothing but chaos and confusion.)
quote:

On fencing, maybe I'm just temperamentally different? I resist being labelled or squeezed into somebody else's mold, which doesn't stop me seeking to extract some value wherever it may be found.

Even for those of us who are quite different, there is a tendency to group others. It is inborn. And we might resist being labelled, but belonging is comforting.

quote:

It's surprising what redeeming value you can find in the imperfect.

Here is the problem. I think we have different level of imperfect in our view of this subject.
quote:

HR and the appearance of things? ISTM that HR units have done rather more to legitimise MBTI than lean on any pre-established legitimacy.

This doesn't contradict what I was attempting to say. Using an exterior standard allows for the perception of objectivity.


quote:

Sorry about the 'homework'!

No worries.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
@ Ohher

Erm, that was me.
[Hot and Hormonal] Silly me.

BTW you're probably right about standards of imperfection.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
So any possible harm in the use of such tests may lie in screening out job / school / program candidates who may well have become assets to whatever they were applying for.

But I think that has less to do with the tests themselves and more to do with the assumptions we have about the personality types that certain roles require.

I once did an online Myers-Briggs test and came out as IN-something or other. One of the suggested careers for me was in church ministry. But why should a minister of religion be expected to be an introvert rather than an extrovert? Why should an intuitive person be more suitable than a sensing person?

These are stereotypes, and I'd argue that they have serious implications for the ministry. But there have been stereotypes about clergymen since long before personality tests were invented.


quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Self-reporting tests have an inherent weakness: People lie. Even when the test results are blind, people lie to make themselves appear better.
Another weakness is that they require self-knowledge to a degree that many do not have.

'Better' is a subjective term here. Who's to say that one personality type on the Myers-Briggs spectrum is better than another? It depends on what you're being called to do, surely.

A well-written test shouldn't create an obvious bias, and individuals shouldn't be guided towards one preferred option. For example, a sensing person and an intuitive person will both have very useful human gifts, and the questioning should certainly emphasise that.

The self-knowledge issue is an interesting one. I suppose this is why some employers invite preferred candidates to participate in interactive activities onsite, so they can see how these people do when given challenging tasks to perform.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

Self-reporting tests have an inherent weakness: People lie. Even when the test results are blind, people lie to make themselves appear better.
Another weakness is that they require self-knowledge to a degree that many do not have.

'Better' is a subjective term here. Who's to say that one personality type on the Myers-Briggs spectrum is better than another?
To say it's subjective is kind of a truism, however 'better' will be whatever peoples perceptions - filtered through their cultural prejudices, say it is.

[ 14. July 2017, 20:17: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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SvitlanaV2
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But a well-designed test should make it harder to pick the approved cultural choice in this way. For example, I've read that Americans have a strong cultural approval of extroversion, so a test designed for Americans would perhaps take that impulse into account.

Moreover, I would hope that a test would be used alongside other material in making judgments. So in a job application a test result would be useful alongside interviews, character references, etc. You wouldn't put someone in an important position on the basis of a personality test alone!

A test designed by an researcher to establish the extent of certain personality types
within a given population or social group would similarly be compared with what's already known about those populations. Discrepancies would have to be explored.

As I mentioned above, a lot of work has been done on the personality profiles of various kinds of churchgoers. I find this research quite interesting, actually. The results often seem to confirm what I've experienced, anecdotally, at the kinds of church with which I'm familiar. But that's not to say that these tests can answer every question about differences in personality, and I think serious researchers accept the limitations of these tests.

[ 14. July 2017, 21:23: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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lilBuddha
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Two problems: one is that a well designed test is difficult to formulate. The nature of bias is that we do not see it.
Two would be that, even if a personality test were perfect, it doesn't mean anything in hiring. We are talking about jobs and organisations, not crèches. I don't mean to sound harsh, working together well isn't found by matching scores on a test. And, seeing the results of that kind of matching, it doesn't bloody work anyway.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Two would be that, even if a personality test were perfect, it doesn't mean anything in hiring.

The Myers Briggs Foundation agrees with you.
quote:
I don't mean to sound harsh, working together well isn't found by matching scores on a test. And, seeing the results of that kind of matching, it doesn't bloody work anyway.
I think that misses the point. A greater appreciation of human diversity may help people to appreciate diverse contributions to teamwork. There is no certainty in that, of course.

Based on a sample of one, the teamwork in our marriage improved as a result of the insight that our different preferences were not some kinds of character defect to be tolerated. That's the virtue of a value free view of aspects of personality variation and it's a lot better than pointing the finger.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
A greater appreciation of human diversity may help people to appreciate diverse contributions to teamwork. There is no certainty in that, of course.

I simply see no evidence those tests give any indication that they are good at doing this.
quote:

Based on a sample of one, the teamwork in our marriage improved as a result of the insight that our different preferences were not some kinds of character defect to be tolerated. That's the virtue of a value free view of aspects of personality variation and it's a lot better than pointing the finger.

I refuse to believe that you truly needed a test for this.
ISTM, the desire to work with people creates the path that predisposes some to accept the tests as they appear to offer a path to do so.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I refuse to believe that you truly needed a test for this.

We did. It's not an uncommon blind spot. The B62 you read here postdates the illuminating weekend we had together in the mid 1990s. But it wasn't just the test of course. There were a number of illuminating exercises which still make us chuckle.

My personal favourite involved a discussion over some topic. Groups had been formed firstly of those with a preference for J and those with a preference for P. Then there was a remixing of groups, so that the Js and Ps were mixed rather than separate. The idea was to continue discussing the same topic.

In the group next to the one I was in, a clearly well organised J sat down, opened her note book which contained very neat notes and began. "Shall we compare notes?" A P lady looked at her, puzzled. "Notes? What notes?".

I got a fit of the giggles, as did a number of others. Pretty soon the laughter became open as the story got around. The two folks who started this were helpless with laughter as they realised what they had inadvertently illustrated.

There was a lot of laughter that weekend, mixed in with a good number of 'hmm' moments. It opened our eyes to several blind spots.

--------------------
Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Even if a personality test were perfect, it doesn't mean anything in hiring. We are talking about jobs and organisations, not crèches. I don't mean to sound harsh, working together well isn't found by matching scores on a test. And, seeing the results of that kind of matching, it doesn't bloody work anyway.

I said that these tests would presumably be looked at alongside interviews and character references, etc. I also made reference to recruitment assessment days which would involve engaging in challenging activities. Obviously, no one is going to hire a person based purely on results of one of these tests!

I don't mean to be harsh either, o wise one, but it does help if you read what someone has actually written!

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lilBuddha
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Alright. Plain and blunt. I don't think personality tests should be used at all. Full stop. I think they give irrelevant information.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Gee D
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OTOH, they did give both Myers and Briggs a moment of fame, and then there are the jobs administering the tests, keeping people off the streets. So they have had some utility.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
OTOH, they did give both Myers and Briggs a moment of fame, and then there are the jobs administering the tests, keeping people off the streets. So they have had some utility.

[Killing me]
But I think you misunderstand. lilBuddha is quite right to decry any use of MBTI for job selection. But wrong, I think, to deny its usefulness in looking at the way human diversity can impact teamwork.

I've reflected a bit further on recent exchanges. According to the MBTI trainers I know and have met, the questionnaire results are not regarded as definitive, rather they are advisory to the person who completed the questionnaire. That's just one of the reasons why definitive use by HR units is unethical and unfair.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
That's just one of the reasons why definitive use by HR units is unethical and unfair.

Agree. My view is that if the tests don't work then this introduces random noise into hiring - which isn't fair. If they do work then this introduces selection of personality types into hiring - which isn't fair.

For those claiming that they are a helpful way of assessing diversity I'm missing the evidence of their validity. It's fine to assert that they provide helpful language for dealing with particular conflicts and relationships based on personal experience, but to claim that they are a valid reflection of personality would need some evidence or testing. I don't think any such evidence exists?

--------------------
mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Baptist Trainfan
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To what degree might these tests unconsciously include a cultural or racist bias? I know this was an accusation made about the old IQ tests.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
OTOH, they did give both Myers and Briggs a moment of fame, and then there are the jobs administering the tests, keeping people off the streets. So they have had some utility.

[Killing me]
But I think you misunderstand. lilBuddha is quite right to decry any use of MBTI for job selection. But wrong, I think, to deny its usefulness in looking at the way human diversity can impact teamwork.

I don't see how you can reach that second sentence unless you are happy that the results are in fact measuring diversity in such a way as to give some prediction about teamwork. As mdijon's post implies, there is no real evidence or independent test which permits that conclusion.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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