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General Discussions => Skepticism / Science Talk => Topic started by: SnarlPatrick on April 30, 2018, 02:15:27 AM

Title: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SnarlPatrick on April 30, 2018, 02:15:27 AM
For the last several weeks, I've been evaluating myself and the people in my life on the Myers Brigg test. For those unfamiliar, see https://www.16personalities.com/ for a quick test and a summary of the personality types. This website adds a 5th metric for stress. These metrics are:

Introvert - Extrovert (I/E)
Intuitive - Observant (N/S) (Intuitive is more like abstraction and Observant is more Pragmatism)
Thinking - Feeling (T/F)
Judging - Prospecting (J/P) (Judging is more Improvisational and Prospecting is more Planning)
and
Assertive - Turbulent (A/T) (A measure of neuroticism mainly)

So after taking this test, you get a 4, or in this case, 5 letter code which indicates your one of 16/32 personality types. I am
INTJ-T - or a neurotic 'Architect  (https://www.16personalities.com/intj-personality). The results were staggeringly accurate.

I was also able to pin my dad down as the Logistician  (https://www.16personalities.com/istj-personality)and understand him for the first time. PetrolPetal is the Adventuer (https://www.16personalities.com/isfp-personality) which has helped me understand her a great deal more.

But there is a problem with the test... it has no way of showing the strength of the effect. A 99/1 score shows up the same as a 49/51 score and answering a single question can flip your score from 49/51 to 51/49... so it is very weak with small effects. By example, my scores were

(https://i.imgur.com/vouYiNJ.png)

and because my scores were all at least separated by a margin of 20, my profile was accurate and matched me very well. But Petrol, due to her work persona getting in the way, and 51/49 scores, got the wrong profile initially... the entertainer.... so here is my proposition to improve the Meyers Brigg scores. I've already sent the foundation an email but as expected, no response so far. This can pack more information into the same number of characters. So for scores under 60, use a lower case letter... for scores, 60-79 use an upper case, and for scores 80 and above, use a bold letter. So my score would be INTJ-T. Perhaps better thresholds can be found with research. But to start with, this makes sense.

But someone who scored say, 90 Extrovert, 52 Intuitive, 75 Thinking, 56 Judging, 62 Turbulent would be displayed EiTj-T. It seems to me that this would subtract nothing, but add much to the test results, as you would know whether a particular personality metric was strong or weakly dominant. What do you think?

And I invite anyone to take the test to find out more about ourselves, and if you care to share you results, perhaps share them using my modified method? Does anyone have any further improvements on the idea or any idea on how I might go about getting it implemented? Regards, Snarl

https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: God Bomb on April 30, 2018, 02:26:48 AM
whats the attraction of knowing where you fit into all this?  Is it that some categories are flattering, or is it that you can blame all your flaws on some personality disorder?
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SnarlPatrick on April 30, 2018, 02:28:05 AM
You could be even more accurate like this....

51-55 italic lower.
56- 60 lower.
61-70 ITALIC UPPER
71-80 UPPER
81-90 BOLD

whats the attraction of knowing where you fit into all this?  Is it that some categories are flattering, or is it that you can blame all your flaws on some personality disorder?

For me, it was more about understanding my own defence mechanisms and the way I am inclined to treat others, so I can compensate for both of those when they are not productive.

They are all written in a flattering way, although some have more insight than others, and of course, neuroticism isn't a good thing. It is also very useful, for those who have trouble getting along with others, to understand the root of personality clashes.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: God Bomb on April 30, 2018, 02:44:31 AM
mine came out INTP-T, but I'm unconvinced by a lot of the questions.  They seemed to be focused on 3 things and endless variations of the same question.  Are you a planner or improviser?  Are you socially awkward or outgoing?  Are you down to earth or a day-dreamer?  They could just ask those questions up front, we could try to fudge the result if they asked it that way but I think we are all smart enough to see through the questions anyway.

I'm somewhere in the middle on most.  For example I like to have a good plan, but value improvisation too.  I clicked right in the middle for a lot of the questions.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Alex Simmons on April 30, 2018, 03:18:19 AM
It could be improved by being based on actual science instead of bunkum.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 30, 2018, 05:26:23 AM
Well it doesn't screen for self-deception. Nothing stops someone from "gaming" the test and choosing the answers that sound most like what that person aspires or thinks of themselves. It's an okay test of self-image, but no better than a horoscope at adding any new information.

If we were going to start trying to group by personality traits, then I have to agree it might be better to ensure there's good science behind it first.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SnarlPatrick on April 30, 2018, 10:57:12 AM
I don’t see the benefit nor does PP from answering in anyway that strengthens your own delusions or ambitions. The results are private, nor is any particular personality type preferable, or at least presented that way. So why not try answering brutally honestly with yourself. I found it very much unlike a horoscope in that reading other personalities did not register like the one I tested as, although of course, I had more in common with those that shared more axis, as expected.

The benefit comes from self-knowledge, and needn’t be seen as a chastisement or a pat on the back, but merely a tool with which to steer your personality through the world of people.

What are your preferred personality models? Do you prefer the big 5 traits? Why so hard on Myers Brigg as unsupported by evidence? It seems to have been studied quite widely. Do you have a resource that would convince me that it is bunk?
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Ah.hell on April 30, 2018, 11:08:13 AM
Do a google search. Its easier to find stuff explaining why its basically horoscope rather than evidence supporting its use. 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-myers-briggs-personality-test-is-pretty-much-meaningless-9359770/
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: random poet on April 30, 2018, 11:18:16 AM
As far as I can tell, these tests are basically like horoscopes. All the results are a bunch of nice things that you can apply to yourself and feel good about, and they are broadly interchangeable; only a few details might stick out.

Like omg that's such an INTP thing to say!
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SnarlPatrick on April 30, 2018, 11:18:46 AM
Do you believe personality can be measured? If so, what is the best metric or tool?
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: random poet on April 30, 2018, 11:24:25 AM
Do you believe personality can be measured? If so, what is the best metric or tool?
Because they are self-reported, it seems impossible to get over the inherent biases we have about ourselves. And otherwise, if you "blind" it by filling it out for somebody else, you are probably not getting the full picture. Myers-Briggs is bascially asking you if you are an introvert, and then telling you "hey, you're an introvert!" Yeah, thanks for that spectacular insight.

But learning things about your personality that you're not already aware of? I don't know how you'd go about that. Short of serious, guided therapy over a long period.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Ah.hell on April 30, 2018, 11:28:17 AM
Do you believe personality can be measured? If so, what is the best metric or tool?
Maybe, but I don't think we are quite there yet.  Filling out a questionaire by yourself, that will probably never get you honest answers or insight to you're personality that you don't already believe or want to be true on some level. 

I believe most psychologists think some personality types have meaning, introvert and extrovert and a couple of others.  I still think the value of know that is overstated by most.   
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SnarlPatrick on April 30, 2018, 11:31:12 AM
All I can say is that I found the strengths and weaknesses, physiology and relationship sections all informative and revealing and added new value information to my understanding.

Pp found that a lot of the the things she’d been criticized for in the past, were revealed in her personality analyses, and again, she is sitting here telling me she is now more reflective and willing to adjust her behavior as a consequence of reading her results... which took us two tries to get.

The main criticism, the binary nature of the four letters, is exactly what my suggestion corrects for and the business criticisms are irrelevant.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Nosmas on April 30, 2018, 12:00:56 PM
Well it doesn't screen for self-deception. Nothing stops someone from "gaming" the test and choosing the answers that sound most like what that person aspires or thinks of themselves. It's an okay test of self-image, but no better than a horoscope at adding any new information.

If we were going to start trying to group by personality traits, then I have to agree it might be better to ensure there's good science behind it first.

This is the problem I always have with these tests. Most people can just provide the answers in such a way that they get an outcome which represents something they wish they were more like. Or, some people are so lacking self awareness that they're unable to accurately answer questions about themselves.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Nosmas on April 30, 2018, 12:33:15 PM
Apparently I'm “THE ARCHITECT” (INTJ-T)
The description it gives sounds wildly more flattering than I would describe my abilities and personality. It also gives me a horoscope kind of feeling although that may not be justified. I wonder if I took this test every year how often I would get different results. Some questions are so odd I think I would get a different result if I took it next week.

Questions I have an issue with:
"Logic is usually more important than heart when it comes to making important decisions."

I suspect most people pick the "agree" side of this question even if it's not true for them. It just sounds more reasonable to say you value reason over the feels when making decisions even if in reality you're not someone who does it.

"You would not call yourself a dreamer."

I have no idea what this is asking me. I choose the middle response for this reason.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Ah.hell on April 30, 2018, 12:55:17 PM
(click to show/hide)
Or, some people are so lacking self awareness that they're unable to accurately answer questions about themselves.
I'd argue, most people fall into that category.  For the most part, we are the worst judges of ourselves.  Which, in my opinion is one of the most important lessons of skepticism. 
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SkeptiQueer on April 30, 2018, 01:50:16 PM
(click to show/hide)
Or, some people are so lacking self awareness that they're unable to accurately answer questions about themselves.
I'd argue, most people fall into that category.  For the most part, we are the worst judges of ourselves.  Which, in my opinion is one of the most important lessons of skepticism.
Dunning-Krueger factors in; we all know someone who isn't as much a people person as they think. The idea of the self is always different than the reality and different from how others percieve us. Perhaps we could be subjected to a blind areay of tests to determine how we really act.

I have no point that if Big 5 or BM or anything worked, I would have taken it when I enlisted so the giant bureaucracy could tell whether I was suited for particular types of jobs. Instead, I took a skills test and special jobs required that I be judged by other people, like the STA an Recon indocs, HET interview panels, etc.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Nosmas on April 30, 2018, 01:58:41 PM
(click to show/hide)
Or, some people are so lacking self awareness that they're unable to accurately answer questions about themselves.
I'd argue, most people fall into that category.  For the most part, we are the worst judges of ourselves.  Which, in my opinion is one of the most important lessons of skepticism.

It would be interesting to see what kind of results we would get if we asked the 5 or 10 people who know is best to answer the survey for us with the exception of "what's going on in your head" type questions. Not that this would necessarily be accurate either but it could show the contrast between how you view yourself and how others do. Maybe my wife can answer if I'm a "dreamer"....
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Alex Simmons on April 30, 2018, 04:58:03 PM
Myers Briggs and similar tests are just ways for management consultants to fill out another half day and charge hideous fees to companies for management training and development sessions for employees.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Quetzalcoatl on May 01, 2018, 08:06:12 AM
Myers Briggs and similar tests are just ways for management consultants to fill out another half day and charge hideous fees to companies for management training and development sessions for employees.

Agreed. It is pseudoscientific nonsense, and it is sad that it appears to be used so extensively among recruiters and HR people.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: JuniorSpaceman on May 02, 2018, 01:45:14 AM
I agree with those saying that the test is pseudoscience, but what makes it dangerous is not how it is measured, but how it is applied to somehow categorise workers/students. I've been in a lot of workplaces around a lot of people (and I'd say I've had less jobs for someone my age than most), and 'intrinsic personality' is one of the least useful ways of determining how well somebody is going to do their job. Almost every other factor (ranging from external factors like pay, how interesting or relevant the work is, how supportive the team they're on is, through to internal but fluctuating factors like how much sleep they've had, and what they've eaten) is vastly more important than whether they are 'introverts' or 'extroverts'.

I think of the test results as being slightly more useful than astrology, but not by very much.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: John Albert on May 15, 2018, 05:31:24 PM
Myers Briggs is a load of corporate pop-psych garbage.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: xenu on May 16, 2018, 02:02:40 PM
Not sure if I agree with these results.

Personality type: “The Adventurer” (ISFP-A)
Individual traits: Introverted – 81%, Observant – 62%, Feeling – 53%, Prospecting – 63%, Assertive – 69%
Role: Explorer
Strategy: Confident Individualism
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: arthwollipot on May 16, 2018, 05:14:53 PM
Myers Briggs is a load of corporate pop-psych garbage.
I completely agree, but it did serve one useful purpose for me. I had to do one for a job once, and of course my Introvert score was through the roof. Obviously. But after pointing this out to the other people in my office, they no longer bugged me to join in their morning teas and social events. So that was nice.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: John Albert on May 17, 2018, 03:00:25 PM
Myers Briggs is a load of corporate pop-psych garbage.

I completely agree, but it did serve one useful purpose for me. I had to do one for a job once, and of course my Introvert score was through the roof. Obviously. But after pointing this out to the other people in my office, they no longer bugged me to join in their morning teas and social events. So that was nice.

In one of my jobs, I convinced a manager to let me excuse myself from unnecessary meetings and put a "Do Not Disturb" sign above my cubicle whenever I needed to work uninterrupted.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Billzbub on May 22, 2018, 01:06:36 PM
My daughter is about to go in for a round of learning disability diagnostic tests for college, and we met with the school psychologist that will be doing the testing yesterday.  One of the tests he was describing sounded kind of like the Myers Brigg test, so I asked him if it was.  He said no, and that he doesn't really think that test has any merit.  I smiled at that.

He did say there's a different test called the Clifton Strengths Test, and he says that one is pretty good at figuring out what your strengths are.  He added that to her testing, so we'll see how it goes.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: arthwollipot on May 22, 2018, 07:56:38 PM
He did say there's a different test called the Clifton Strengths Test, and he says that one is pretty good at figuring out what your strengths are.  He added that to her testing, so we'll see how it goes.

The website does not fill me with confidence (https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/).
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: John Albert on May 22, 2018, 09:33:28 PM
He did say there's a different test called the Clifton Strengths Test, and he says that one is pretty good at figuring out what your strengths are.  He added that to her testing, so we'll see how it goes.

The website does not fill me with confidence (https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/).

Wow, that is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Billzbub on May 23, 2018, 05:46:48 PM
He did say there's a different test called the Clifton Strengths Test, and he says that one is pretty good at figuring out what your strengths are.  He added that to her testing, so we'll see how it goes.

The website does not fill me with confidence (https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/).

Wow, that is ridiculous.

Yeah /sigh
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: John Albert on May 23, 2018, 05:53:58 PM
He did say there's a different test called the Clifton Strengths Test, and he says that one is pretty good at figuring out what your strengths are.  He added that to her testing, so we'll see how it goes.

The website does not fill me with confidence (https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/).

Wow, that is ridiculous.

Yeah /sigh

On the other hand, perhaps I might feel differently if I were Maximizing My Infinite Potential... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SnarlPatrick on May 30, 2018, 07:37:06 PM
It seems like much of the objection to this test has to do with how it is used, rather than the methodology itself. I'm sure I would agree with many of these objections. I don't see quite what place personality testing has in job placement or how it is any business of your employer...

If those of you who have had bad experiences with the misuse of this test can look past that for a moment, you'll see that the ACTUAL weakness of the test... the binary nature of the results on each given metric, is exactly what my suggestion aims to remedy. I'm a bit disappointed that nobody has engaged with the idea. But I suppose I ought not to be surprised.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: gcason on May 30, 2018, 10:33:14 PM
It seems like much of the objection to this test has to do with how it is used, rather than the methodology itself. I'm sure I would agree with many of these objections. I don't see quite what place personality testing has in job placement or how it is any business of your employer...

If those of you who have had bad experiences with the misuse of this test can look past that for a moment, you'll see that the ACTUAL weakness of the test... the binary nature of the results on each given metric, is exactly the what my suggestion aims to remedy. I'm a bit disappointed that nobody has engaged with the idea. But I suppose I ought not to be surprised.

I question the validity of any self-reporting test. You act as if you are a reliable reporter of your own personality traits. The test results will reflect your bias.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: SkeptiQueer on May 31, 2018, 10:32:05 PM
It seems like much of the objection to this test has to do with how it is used, rather than the methodology itself. I'm sure I would agree with many of these objections. I don't see quite what place personality testing has in job placement or how it is any business of your employer...

If those of you who have had bad experiences with the misuse of this test can look past that for a moment, you'll see that the ACTUAL weakness of the test... the binary nature of the results on each given metric, is exactly the what my suggestion aims to remedy. I'm a bit disappointed that nobody has engaged with the idea. But I suppose I ought not to be surprised.

The actual weakness of the test is the self-reporting. The second major flaw with the test is the fundamental lack of scientific backing for the results.
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: random poet on August 21, 2018, 09:50:14 PM
Here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri9Y2rT70FE
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: mountainsophist on August 25, 2018, 10:26:07 PM
I see this tests as a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, too. I've been in the corporate world for years and I've had to take many such tests at which point they tell me what kind of person I am and how everyone should work with me.  These days I do data analytics and visualization, so not surprisingly the tests say I like details and having all the information and I'm uncomfortable when people ask me to step outside my area of expertise.  So, I have the traits you'd expect someone in that role to have because the test said so (I'm a detail oriented person because the test said I'm a detail oriented person).  The danger is if an employee is passed over because some nonsensical arbitrary test said they weren't good at something.  In my case, apparently I'm not a creative thinker or dreamer.  Which is surprising because I have a side job in woodworking creating puzzle boxes and other fanciful trick items.  I'm not creative in data analytics because the job requires detail, accuracy and precision.  And yeah I agree with a few other responders that you could take the test ever week for a while and get different responses every time.

One of my old colleagues had his PhD in Psychology and he laughed at these tests.  There are better ones used in the medical field, but they are often dozens of pages.

Here's a newsflash for HR teams, if you want to learn more about your people, try talking to them.  It's amazing what you'll find out. 
Title: Re: Improving the Myers Brigg Test
Post by: Skeptic1001 on November 24, 2018, 04:14:56 AM
I did this test when I was a teen, twice, and I received different categorizations with each repeat. I decided the test wasn't reliable and quickly my interest dissolved when I found real science. Personality is subjective and a person's course of action and decision patterns change with each episode.