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4 December 2008

Why I like MBTI

Over the years I have been put through many different personality assessments in the course of employment. Of all of them the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (a.k.a MBTI) remains my favourite.

This is probably a good time to confess my MBTI type - ENTP - which could go some way to explaining why I like the MBTI.

One thing I do like about MBTI is that it is not about predicting behaviour. Rather it is about preferences considered on four dimensions: how we channel energy; how we like to take in information; how we make decisions; and our orientation to the outside world. The chart pictured here summarises the four dichotomies of the MBTI.

Thus MBTI gives an insight into propensities for ways of seeing, thinking and acting but is not deterministic about how you will actually do them.

Since the MBTI does not attempt to predict behaviour it does not annoy my like so many of the other personality instruments by misinterpreting situational behaviour with my personal preferences.

Another good thing about the MBTI is that it is rooted in Jungian theory. And I have a great fondness for Jung, together with a detestation of the entire Freudian ideology. On the anti-Freud note it is worth checking out the critique of Freud and Freudian psychiatry in Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry by Thomas Szaz.

The broader Jungian ideas include psychological archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity. These ideas are important in thinking about the world, especially in the light of modern physics and our progress towards the singularity.

If you've got a favourite MBTI related blog please add it into comments so I can check it out.

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

1 comment:

Danu said...

I'm also a big fan of the MBTI, for the reasons you've just mentioned and also because of its use in mapping out relationships between different personality types.

A few weeks ago I posted an article called Twitter - an introvert's paradise? in response to a survey that was done online. It's quite interesting as the introverted intuitive types seem incredibly overrepresented among Twitter users, among other things.