Astrology For Businesses

A few years ago, my work sent me on a training course. It involved the usual things, trust exercises, team bonding, and personality profiles.

I filled in a few forms, answered some questions, and the very professional looking lady marked up my paper and said, "I see that you're a Scorpio. That means you're focused externally, and you deal with things rationally and logically. You do have a tendency to act via your intuition - sometimes to your detriment."

O...k..., I thought, that's a bit of a weird thing to bring up in a business context. Working for a high tech company, I thought we were supposed to use... I dunno... science rather than make-believe. I expressed these concerns to the woman running the course.

"Ah," she said, looking through my results, "I see that you're also Chinese Year of the Goat. That means you tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. So you often give more weight to social implications than to logic."

I was left rattled and confused. How can my personality be so restricted and codified by something as random as the time of my birth? Was there any research behind this, I ask?

"Oh yes!" She confidently replied, "Astrology has been practised for a long time. And thousands of top companies use it to make important decisions about who to hire and promote. By looking at the stars, your business can gain a competitive edge!"

...

Let that sink in for a moment. Companies are assessing their workforce and promoting their rising stars based on the planetary alignment at the time of their birth.

Does that even sound plausible? What rational company would do that? Surely no responsible person uses astrology to understand themselves or others.

Gentle reader, I am teasing you! The above conversation did happen but it didn't involve the Zodiac; it involved Myers-Briggs.

For those who don't know, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, the mystery writer Isabel Briggs Myers, invented the Myers-Briggs system during World War Two. There was a growing need to place women in the workforce and, therefore, women needed to be assessed to see what sort of work they were suited to.

The pair undertook no scientific study, looked at no test results, and didn't consult with any qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, or social scientists. Which, considering that they held no qualifications in these fields, didn't bode well for the accuracy of their project.

Despite claims that they based their system on the work of Carl Jung, he rejected the idea of simple stratification out of hand.

"There is such a factor as introversion, there is such a factor as extraversion. The classification of individuals means nothing, nothing at all."

Carl Jung - McGuire, William and R. F. C. Hull, eds., C. G. Jung Speaking (Princeton University Press, 1977).

Today, Myers-Briggs tests are taken by millions of people every year. This nets the private company which owns Myers-Briggs around $20 million per year.

Oh, yes, this isn't a scientific test in any sense. It is a programme specifically designed to make money. If you want to take the test, you need to pay. If you want to administer the test, you need to pay.

Whenever scientists have attempted to study it, the results have been overwhelmingly negative. The most common complaint is that "personality traits" are meant to be fixed - yet when people take the test repeatedly, they often find that their types change radically.

Myers-Briggs is, to put it mildly, bullshit.

Magical Thinking

People want a pill which will make them thin. A herb to make their hair glossy and their skin clear. One simple trick to make $$$ working from home. A mantra to chant which will just make everything better.

We have magical-thinking-syndrome. That if we just invoke certain incantations, and do a certain course, all our troubles will just vanish into thin air.

Creating a team is hard work. Self improvement is hard work. Communicating with others is hard work. Becoming part of a Cargo Cult is no substitute for deeply examining yourself and your working environment - and then making changes to both.

You can't simply shortcut it by find your secret, magic code.

But that's what we want, apparently. That's what sells. Perhaps businesses love magical thinking like Myers-Briggs and NLP because they want to show that they care but they don't want to do the hard work that will actually make positive changes to their working environments.

People want to have a simple, foolproof method which will allow them to overcome their difficulties. Myers-Briggs, NLP, Astrology, and sacrificing chickens will give us the illusion that we are doing something.

But then, I would say that; I'm a Scorpio.


Moderation Policy

I welcome all comments and criticisms. I am, however, the evil overlord of this blog. The commenting rules are as follows...

  • "MB / NLP works for me therefore" style comments will not be accepted. The plural of anecdote is not data.
  • "Studies have shown" comments will be accepted when linked to an actual scientific study.
  • "You are so closed minded" is a fair argument - but it is up to you to show me the proof.
  • "These major companies / important people use X therefore it is good" is argumentum ad verecundiam. It can also be easily refuted by pointing out that Lehman Brothers was heavily into Myers Briggs.


35 Responses to “Astrology For Businesses”

  1. Tom Morris (@tommorris) Image of Tom Morris (@tommorris)

    How did all this wank get into the tech community? I personally blame the life coaches. When GTD started becoming popular, we somehow managed to help cultivate a people who started with a perfectly reasonable project (I want to be an organised person; I want my to-do lists to sync properly between my iPhone and Outlook and whatever). And then they got fully into it and started wanting more.

    And the neurolinguistic programming people were there, and the life coaches, and so on.

    I've seen tech geeks promoting Steve Pavlina, a life coach who wrote a book called "Personal Development for Smart People" and is a fervent believer in the 'Law of Attraction'.

    I frequently have to remind people that we are supposed to be doing computer science rather than computer intuition...

    Reply
  2. David Image of David

    In general HR in my country uses all variety of un-verified methods from undergrad psychology to graphology and Myer-briggs. I personally would prefer they use astrology, at least it's got a long history of satisfied users! They use their "magic" powers to peer into the souls of men to decide who gets hired and who gets fired. They are very powerful sibyls in my company, nobody dare speak openly against them.

    Reply
  3. Wolfgang Keller Image of Wolfgang Keller

    Obviously promoting people based on MBTI type is a very bad idea. No discussion. Also the "scientific" value of MBTI - accepted.

    But I see one place in business where MBTI still can have its value: each of the four traits describes one area where differences in work style or communication style could lead to tensions.

    If a new team is put together knowing the MBTI of the other people in the people to prepare for what kind of tensions one can expect when working together and for each member it becomes easier to adapt oneself.

    In this scenario it is not so important whether the MBTI tends to change over time because what it important for this is how your *current* MBTI is.

    Reply
    • Terence Eden Image of Terence Eden

      This is where I disagree. I honestly can't believe that people can reach working age without realising that some people communicate / react differently.

      Remember, the MBTI is designed to be vague and positive - just because it says something about you, doesn't mean that's how you actually feel.

      "Knowing" the MBTI (which can change during the _day_ let alone years) is a shortcut, but no more so than saying "How much detail do you want me to go in to?" or "Do you mind if the report is late?"

      Reply
  4. timholyoake Image of timholyoake

    I'm currently at work (and your article has now prompted me to finish over Christmas a somewhat similar one that I've had in 'draft' for far too long!) and agree with your core objection that all personality inventories (such as the MBTI) assume that traits are fixed and stable (when there's a good body of evidence to suggest that they aren't). However, that's not to say there aren't good psychological studies that back up at least some of the claims of the MBTI. For example:

    An Assessment of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Carlyn, M., Journal of Personality Assessment. Oct1977, Vol. 41 Issue 5, p461-74 (Conclusion: "The Indicator appears to be a reasonably valid instrument which is potentially useful for a variety of purposes")

    and:

    Recent Assessments of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Carlson, J. G., Journal of Personality Assessment, Aug1985, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p356-66. (A meta-study of 24 peer reviewed papers, Conclusion: "The applications of the MBTI have been broad, although somewhat unsystematic, and with generally favorable validity assessment. Continued attempts to validate the instrument in a variety of settings are needed."

    However, I'm much more in sympathy with the arguments of psychologists like Graham Richards. The extract below is from "Putting Psychology in it's place (2nd edition, 2002)" -

    "... not everything which can be measured necessarily exists. This may sound puzzling, but is actually not so self contradictory as it seems.

    The argument is best made using a hypothetical example: were we living in the Middle Ages we might be very concerned about how devout people were. To measure this we devise a questionnaire containing such items
    as ‘I prefer reading a holy book to attending a tournament’, ‘A strange feeling of Grace sometimes descends upon me’, ‘I enjoy attending High Mass’ or to counterbalance the direction ‘I often find sermons boring’. (‘I have never been tempted by lust’ could serve as a lie item.) It is surely feasible that at the end of the day our ‘sanctity scale’ would appear to provide a handy way of measuring how holy people were.

    But no psychologist proposes that there is a measurable ‘sanctity’ dimension to personality, and not even the most devout psychologists have attempted to devise such a measure. Nor is this as far fetched as you might imagine; among the earliest pioneers of scientific measurement were the fourteenth century French scholars Jean Buridan and Nicolas D’Oresme whose efforts were spurred by the desire to quantify the amount of Grace in communion wafers."

    Reification is the curse of our times!

    Tim.

    Reply
  5. Bill Gates Image of Bill Gates

    Sometimes in the real world canidates A,B and C all seem to be equal in almost all regards, at that point meyers-briggs could be used to disambiguate the selection perhaps with slightly better results then a die roll on a d20. Personally, I have noticed making long-term selections repeatedly is extremely mentally, emotionally, and also feels very physically draining, saying I have 100 to 300 selections to fill positions that need to be filled. Perhaps 20 to 50 percent of the applicants for each pool are all about equally valid by normal "scientific" criteria. How can I rest easier and sleep sounder at night and get criticized less for somewhat arbitrary choices that someone from upper management might want to bring down upon my head? This is most likely where meyers-briggs is used. Thoughts?

    Reply
  6. Greg Hluska Image of Greg Hluska

    @Tim:

    I always cheer for contrarians so I enjoyed your comment, though it would have been much stronger without links to the Journal of Personality Assessment. The JPA is published by the Society of Personality Assessment. The SPA still offers training in such scientifically dubious methods as rorshach tests.

    A big part of the problem with type indicators is that they tend to become cult-like, to the point they feed themselves. If I administered Myers-Briggs (and got paid well to do so), I'd have a strong reason to find data which says I'm not a fraud!!!

    Reply
    • timholyoake Image of timholyoake

      Hi Greg,

      It's kind of where you'd expect to find the published research on MB though - in the same way you'd generally find physics research published in journals devoted to physics - but I do take your point. I was at work when I wrote the comment so it was just a very quick flick through the papers I had to hand.

      I can thoroughly recommend the Graham Richards book if you're interested in a critical view on much of "traditional" experimental social psychology - I tend to produce it when anyone tries to convince me that social psychological measurements of any kind (e.g. personality, intelligence, attitudes and so on) are truly scientific. They're not - because it's very difficult, if not impossible, to remove the researcher from psychological experiments.

      As I say, I really must dust my own post off on this subject - and maybe I will after I've eaten too much turkey during the next couple of days.

      Tim.

      Reply
  7. Elias Tandel Image of Elias Tandel

    You really got me thinking for a minute "what's unscientific about natural language processing?". But then I realized "oh... it's anther kind of NLP...". XD

    Reply
  8. Robert Image of Robert

    The problem with MBTI vs Astrology is that the anecdotal evidence for MBTI can be so damn good.

    I'm a Libra and the description fits. But so do a bunch of other signs, some better. Clearly useless and easily demonstrated as such.

    In my case, MBTI was amazingly accurate, INTJ fits me to a tee, the other types don't even come close. It was actually useful and helped me to personally grow. I became a believer.

    It's only later, and if you are curious or observant, that you realize that the results are not that accurate or useful for other people. So, as a general tool, it's pretty terrible exactly because it may be seemingly accurate for the person giving the test or using the results.

    Reply
    • Vicki Image of Vicki

      People. Please. Read about the MBTI and understand what it is.
      Of course the MBTI was "amazingly accurate" in your case. You Told It What You Are Like.

      Libra claims to guess based on your birthdate. The MBTI asks you what you prefer. You choose your own label. The more you understand yourself, the better fit you get with the results.

      Also: " the other types don't even come close. It was actually useful and helped me to personally grow.

      This is what it's meant for. It's meant for personal growth and understanding. It's meant to help you understand why and how other people are different. If the results don;t seem "that accurate or useful for other people", that's usually because those other people don't really have a good solid understanding of their true preferences. They can't answer the questions truthfully for their real selves.

      Bully for you.

      And fellow from a fellow INTJ. (We love this stuff, as a general rule. :-)

      Reply
  9. Ian Image of Ian

    If what you meant to say is: "it's a bad idea to promote people based on their MBTI", then I wholeheartedly agree with you. There's no such thing as "getting a good grade on the MBTI". A particular type does not predestine someone to be good at a particular job.

    If what you meant to say is: "MBTI is a bad thing and should go away", then I completely disagree.

    MBTI is popular among many companies because it's an effective shorthand for: "here's how I think and how I like to work". In environments where people need to work in many teams and many people, it speeds up getting over basic communication hurdles.

    Most people in the work environment do not have good communication skills, and are not naturally adept at understanding what other people are saying, or mean. I've seen a conversation about MBTI be part of the training on how to communicate and collaborate.

    Reply
  10. Zeljko Dakic (@desireco) Image of Zeljko Dakic (@desireco)

    Huh, NLP has a dark side and it is rather big dark side :), all this life coaches adopt whatever they like and call it NLP. Oh and let's not forget those seduction people, ha ha, but at least they make people approach girls and talk to them.

    My view of NLP is that It is actually exceptionally smart about how we think and what kind of systems we use and how to examine problems. So, as a geek, maybe google nlp a little more before passing judgement.
    About life coaches and others, completely agree. Also first commenter who said how it all started with GTD, I believe it is how it all started, I did know about NLP before and it did wonders for me :) I am changed man now.

    Obviously feel free to reject this comment as it comes to defense of NLP.

    Reply
  11. doctecazoid Image of doctecazoid

    Studies have shown MB / NLP works for me therefore you are so closed minded, these major companies / important people use [fill in the blank] therefore it is good.

    And by the way: I have no f*****g idea what I'm talking about.

    I'm guessing that as such I may have a promising career as a [fill in the blank] consultant in the [Tarot] cards. Funny how that works - funny like a fist in the gut.

    I agree: there are no easy answers - only easy people.

    Reply
  12. Jason Baker Image of Jason Baker

    Did you know that the MBTI is basically a primitive Big Five test? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator#Big_Five

    It's essentially correlated with all the Big Five traits except for emotional stability.

    I won't claim that the MBTI is the best tool for the job when it comes to hiring decisions, but how many companies do you believe really are capable of applying the Big Five model correctly? Far easier for them to give the candidate an MBTI and say "INFP? We need INFPs!" or "ISTJ? They won't be successful here."

    As bad as that is, who's to say that it's worse than the reality that would exist without it? Businesspeople aren't psychologists, nor should they be. Plus, it *has* been shown to be correlated with valid personality traits. That's likely better than the alternative: businesses choosing candidates without any rational method.

    Reply
    • Vicki Image of Vicki

      Close, but not quite. The MBTI explicitly only looks at positive traits. The Big Five has negatives as well.

      And I wouldn't call it "primitive", either.

      But yes, they're correlated.

      > it *has* been shown to be correlated with valid personality traits.

      That's by definition.
      Let me repeat. The MBTI is correlated with valid personality traits _By Definition_.

      Reply
  13. Tom Hubbard Image of Tom Hubbard

    How many times have you taken the MBTI? I've done it three or four times, and have gotten three or four different results. There are several questions that could go either way, depending on my mood at the time. Some days I'm in the mood for coffee, others I'd prefer tea.

    Besides, some of the questions are awfully hard to understand, like "Are you more ideational or more concuspective?" or "Do you get annoyed by mombocious behavior?". Even when I can actually understand the words, my answer is "Could go both ways", or maybe "It depends on the context".

    Try taking the test a few times over a span of several years, and I strongly suspect you'll find that your personality type changes as you mature. I know I'm not the same person I was the first time I took that test, back in the early 90s.

    If the MBTI is useful at all (and I think it's highly overrated and poorly written), it should be thought of as a snapshot of a particular hour in a person's life, not an eternal portrait or sculpture.

    Reply
  14. Vicki Image of Vicki

    This essay is amusing, but 180 degrees wrong. The MBTI is nothing like Astrology. In fact, it is about as opposite to astrology as anything can be.

    As you point out (correctly) Astrology uses an external aspect of your life - the time and place of your birth - to make decisions about your personality. The MBTI DOES NOT DO THIS.

    The MBTI uses your personality - your actual preferences and choices and behaviours - to help you understand (duh) your personality. Your preferences and choices and behaviours.

    Astrology is like saying "because you have red hair, therefore you have a volitile temper". The MBTI says "Because you prefer X, you prefer X. Because you think like this, that means you think like this".

    Yes, your answers can change over time. Some people's do. Most people's _do not_. It's also VERY important to look at the final profile because, for some people (for some personality types :-) the questions are more ambiguous. Yes, some of us would prefer "neither" or "both" as a response.

    As is often the case with learning abut yourself, you have to understand your personality to truly understand your personality. The MBTI is a learning tool.

    It's true that Katherine and Isabel didn't have psychological degrees. However, they did collect a LOT of data and the MBTI has been refined over the years using DATA. (A lot of programmers don't have CmpSci degrees; shall we tell them they can't program?)

    > Creating a team is hard work. Self improvement is hard work. Communicating with others is hard work. Becoming part of a Cargo Cult is no substitute for deeply examining yourself and your working environment - and then making changes to both.

    > You can't simply shortcut it by find your secret, magic code.

    Absolutely true. Managers and HR teams should never use just one thing to build teams. Especially if they don;t truly understand how that thing works. Personalities are as important as skill sets -- and just as unique. While there are only 16 general MBTI type codes, there are (of course!) an infinite number of people. I don't exactly match every other INTJ (and the MBTI states this if you read further).

    So, you are correct that the MBTI is not a magic bullet. It isn't meant to be. It's meant to be a means of understanding yourself and perhaps understanding how to interact with other people -- to understand why some family members or co-workers, managers, peers, or subordinates seem so vary different. Using it in forming a team, without being TRAINED in how MBTI is just one small aspect of how people work, is as bad as interviewing and choosing employees based on what tree they would be or whether they can guess how M&Ms are made.

    So, your general summary is correct. I just wish you'd done enough research before writing this to understand that your starting analogy is so offbase that the rest of the article is undermined by that analogy.

    Reply
    • Terence Eden Image of Terence Eden

      Hi Vicki,

      Thanks for all you comments. I can see that you're heavily invested in MBTI, so I won't try to change your mind with my comments. I'd just like to point out a few things.

      The first problem with MBTI is that the questions are extremely vague and can often be answered with "it depends". Jung's theories are meant to be used as part of a dialogue between patient and doctor, so that these can be fully explored. MBTI relegates these ambiguities to simple yes/no responses.

      A question like "You like to be engaged in an active and fast-paced job" really has a host of answers. "It depends on the money." "What is the rest of the team like?" "Do I have a lot going on in my personal life?"

      You say that most people's MBTI don't change over time. Repeated studies have shown that they do. For example, the paper “Test-Retest Reliabilities of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as a Function of Mood Changes.” Research in Psychological Type, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1979), pp. 67-72, by Howes, R. J. and T. G. Carskadon.

      There's no evidence to suggest that the inventors had lots of data when they were creating the system. You're right that there has been lots more data added - unfortunately, when assessed it always seems to come up short. See Druckman, D. and R. A. Bjork, Eds. In the Mind’s Eye: Enhancing Human Performance. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1991 (a study undertaken by the US Army).

      I quite agree that you don't need a CompSci degree to do programming - but if you don't understand O(n), regression, and sorting algorithms - you're likely to make some very basic mistakes. The MBTI inventors had no training in psychology or statistics - and that shows in their work.

      We both agree that MBTI is often misused - especially by people with little training in it. Where we differ is that I don't believe that someone who has paid to become MBTI Qualified knows any much about human psychology than an astrologer.

      If, as you say, MBTI types are fixed, then they are presumably fixed at birth. Much like star signs.

      Thanks

      Terence

      Reply
  15. Vicky Jo Varner Image of Vicky Jo Varner

    Your perspective has merit and you make some excellent points. And certainly the way some practitioners deploy the mbti does resemble astrology. The first time my husband took the mbti was during an organizational change. The company hired a consultant to transition employees, and everyone took the "test." Afterwards, my husband received a bad xerox of a personality type description in the mail, and had a brief conversation with the practitioner who basically "rubber-stamped" his result. Surprisingly, this irritated him so much that he went on to learn more about it, and eventually became a practitioner himself. And what he (and I) have learned through the years is that there are (as usual) good practices and bad practices. A bad practice was just described, which feels alienating and even violative. Good practices look very different -- and are extremely difficult to practice!

    Many individuals get sidetracked is by looking intensely at the mbti and questioning its validity. That's a red herring. We already know the instrument is observing "straws in the wind" and taking a wild guess at what someone's preferences are. The questions aren't really "scientific," and frankly it's a little clunky in this era of Mars Rovers and iPhones. The most it can do is open the door to a conversation about healthy differences among people.

    And here's where it gets interesting. If you think the mbti is the whole point, you've missed the point. The mbti is merely a frontrunner for the work of C.G. Jung's "Psychological Types." So the instrument may be flawed, but the theory it's based on is brilliant. As Jungian Joseph Henderson observed, the theory is possibly perfect, and we humans are dreadfully flawed in our understanding and applications of it. Accordingly, I don't care if you find flaws in the mbti; I'm interested in the theory behind it. For that conversation, there are three things you must be aware of before I can discourse intelligently with you:
    1. Understand that the mbti's dichotomies are an arbitrary creation by Isabel Briggs-Myers. However, the true premise of psychological types are the eight functions of consciousness described by C.G. Jung. Those are the true essentials of his model, and if you confuse them, you've altogether missed the boat. (Very few people know this.)
    2. Type was never intended to categorize people -- it was intended to categorize consciousness. Big difference! (How many categories of *consciousness* are you familiar with?) When you try to solve a math problem, you are in a Thinking consciousness. When you propose to your partner, you are in a Feeling consciousness. It is not good to confuse the two (and some people do!).
    3. Type is a moral problem. Someone who prefers Thinking will feel that those who prefer Feeling are *immoral*. These are not learned beliefs; they are innate in the individual. And with this point, I have turned the discussion toward an exploration of "shadow" -- one of Jung's most important concepts. In this way, type opens up the conversation into Jung's entire work: the Collective Unconscious, complexes, archetypes -- the whole enchilada. So if you think type is nothing more than the dichotomies of the mbti and a silly parlor game like astrology, you have frankly missed the point. And I feel a little sorry for you, because this conversation can be SOOO much richer.

    I'm currently enrolled in a Masters/PhD program at Pacifica Graduate Institute to deepen my own learning around type. I started as an ordinary mbti practitioner in 1996; I have achieved Master Practitioner (the highest level). However, I rarely administer the mbti -- instead, I take my clients through a *structured* type discovery process supplemented by coaching that helps them learn Jung's work and truly get to know themselves. I don't employ any assessment for this work, because most of my clients have been MIS-typed by the Indicator or by a free online test. So why bother? Accordingly, I can appreciate your criticism of the mbti…. AND I'm disappointed that you haven't learned more about the theory that informs it. That's a topic my INTJ husband and I will *never* tire of.

    Reply
  16. jenirae905 Image of jenirae905

    First off, let me say that it SUCKS that you had such a shitty experience with Myer-Briggs. The theory on which this tool was based is actually very rich and multi-layered, but understanding it on this level takes TIME, and time is unfortunately something that these bastards in Corporate America do not have enough of.

    I can tell that whoever did the MBTI assessment that you experienced did not know their ass from their elbow based on some of the incredibly inaccurate information you had taken away from this experience and incorporated into your article. I will reply to some of these inaccuracies here:
    ***

    "…thousands of top companies use it to make important decisions about who to hire and promote."

    First off, THIS IS AN UNETHICAL USE OF THE MBTI INSTRUMENT, and no one who knows their shit would ever use it in such a manner.
    Practitioners who are trained properly are aware that this tool is not designed to be used for hiring prompting decisions. However, it IS a tool that can help direct people toward jobs that best suit their own preferences for judging and perceiving.
    I would put my money on it that Lehman Brothers was using the MBTI unethically. (Unethical business practices seem to come naturally to them.)

    "Oh, yes, this isn't a scientific test in any sense…"

    Actually true… because as any certified MBTI practitioner will tell you, the MBTI is NOT A TEST. (Seriously-- if I only had a dime for every time I have had to point this out to someone…)
    Tests imply right-or-wrong answers, and that one result is in some way better or more desirable than another. The MBTI is an "indicator" - a tool that is designed to be used as a compass, for lack of a better word - to point you in a certain direction -- In the case of the MBTI, the direction of your psychological preferences for taking in information and making decisions.

    "the most common complaint is that 'personality traits' are meant to be fixed - yet when people take the test repeatedly, they often find that their types change radically."

    Trait measure and Type measure are two different things.
    MBTI is not a 'trait' measure - it does not measure the "amount" of, for instance, Introversion and Extraversion a person "contains"… that is not possible. The MBTI attempts to indicate whether one prefers the Extraverted orientation over the Introverted orientation, or vice versa for all four dichotomies. (ie: "dichotomy" = "forced-choice". Trait measures are usually represented by scales, not 'either or' preferences.)
    And before you argue PCI measure on the MBTI, PCI is not intended to measure the amount of any given thing, PCI simply indicated the confidence level of the indicator on a given dichotomy. The closer the PCI is to 100, the more 'confident' the indicator is that the result on that dichotomy is your true cognitive preference.)

    "You can't simply shortcut it by find your secret, magic code."

    Anyone who has studied the MBTI knows that it is not any sort of 'magic code.' However, Corporate America often treats this indicator as the 'be-all and end-all' of solutions to the Great Team-building Question. Actually using the MBTI the way it was intended to be used requires a solid understanding of the underlying Jungian psychological theory (which, believe it or not, has NOTHING to do with 'Letters' or squares on a 'Type-Table.')
    Unfortunately, Corporate America ALSO has very little TIME to execute Psychological Type theory properly, and often resorts to MBTI "dog and pony shows" not quite unlike the one you experienced.
    YES - the sad but true truth is that the most popular psychological inventory in the world is being trivialized daily by those too goddamned lazy to take the time to learn it and use it properly.

    Reply
    • Terence Eden Image of Terence Eden

      It's an interesting comment. I'm largely in agreement with you, up to your last point
      "being trivialized daily by those too goddamned lazy to take the time to learn it and use it properly."

      I'm arguing that it can't be used properly. It is not a valid psychological tool. The scientific community is not divided in this matter - they are convinced that the MBTI is, essentially, useless.

      If you have any links or papers which show the validity of MB - please let us know in the comments.

      Reply
    • Terence Eden Image of Terence Eden

      But, remember, the MBTI is specifically designed to get British women from the 1940s into jobs which are suitable to their temperament. Is that what you are using it for?

      Reply

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