Talk:Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

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Use of hyphen in article name[edit]

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a publication, spelled with a hyphen, not an en dash. It's trademarked with the hyphen. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:05, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Study of scoring consistency[edit]

I removed this paragraph as it was practically unreadable. It contained contradictions and was not written in a comprehensible language. Bjørn Clasen (talk) 18:48, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I added it back. I'll edit it to be more readable. ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:52, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

NPOV and tone labels[edit]

The introduction and general tone of this article confuses the work of Carl Jung with that of Myers (and Briggs?!). I have made the minor change in the opening sentence to at least adjust what was a highly misleading entry point but one which sets the tone for the entire article. The change I have made is from:

designed to identify certain psychological differences according to the typological  
theories of Carl Gustav Jung 

changed to:

designed to identify psychological differences between individuals based upon the 
typological theories of Carl Gustav Jung. 

But the rest or the article needs a major overhaul. If the article is not read in its entirety and with a general knowledge of the subject it is misleading and inaccurate. The opening FOUR screen PAGES of article are about Jung and not the MBTI. Such substantial explantions as here that are to the work of other author's should be by reference ONLY. The article in its current form claims an academic lineage through an association with Jung that is not merited.

It is stated in the article that MBTI evolved from an attempt to use the work of Jung to help women choose suitable work in the war effort. THIS is the key point of interest in THIS article which is about the MBTI and NOT the work of Carl Jung. The questionnaire and the instrument were devised by Myers (a graduate of political science with an interest in psychology) and her mother a teacher. Instead of informing us about the MBTI, its authors etc, instead it concentrates on establishing a link with Carl Jung (who dies before it was publsihed and to my knowledge was in no way associated with it). The article doesn't mention who "Briggs" was even though it states "Myers AND Briggs".

The existence of personality type is highly disputed and so measuring it is not a trivial task, or one that can be compared with the development of say a voltmeter or a CAT scanner. A far clearer differentiation needs to be made in my opinion between Jung and the MBTI and the article should concentrate on the MBTI rather than on its merits and demerits. Its merits should be dowplayed, as merit is inherent in neutral description, and demerits should be included for balance.

I have tagged the article as follows: NPOV - becaue the article generally reads as if the MBTI was a simple expension of Carl Jung's work when it is actually the work of the authors ONLY (this is stated in one sentence of the article but the style of the remainder reinforces the misunderstanding). Tone - because the article generally, through using "weasel" words and phrases as well as in general literary construction, makes the claim that the MBTI is an accepted and accurate measure of those matters the article refers to when this is not and perhaps cannot be the case. Citation - because the article includes text in a manner which implies a closeness of association with the work of Carl Jung that is not merited.

I have added a couple of instances of "weaseling" but in my view the entire article could be labelled "weasely".

 LookingGlass (talk) 12:26, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. Now that I understand what your concerns are, this should be easy to fix. I don't believe, however, that the mentions of Jung were intended to confer undo status to the MBTI but rather to give Jung proper credit as the originator of the theory on which the MBTI is based. ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:18, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Assessment vs. Questionnaire[edit]

According to the website of the publisher, CPP, the correct term is Myer-Briggs Type Indicator® assessment. The site also uses the term MBTI® instrument. It's important to note that both Myer-Briggs Type Indicator and MBTI are trademarks; therefore, the terms should never be used as nouns, always as adjectives. Ajwenger (talk) 02:08, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Maybe so but the term 'assessment' is not adequate by itself as it does not clarify what kind of assessment 'instrument' it is. As the MBTI is actually a questionnaire - and not some other kind of assessment - it would seem to be more appropriate to use a precise term in this article rather than a vague one. As for 'MBTI' etc being 'adjectives' because they are also trademark terms this seems a very dubious argument since the MBTI is principally a thing (a questionairre) and therefore the terms are not really *describing* something but *referring* to something. In any case many terms can be used correctly both as adjectives and nouns and I can't see any validity in your argument that the terms "should never be used as "nouns". Ontologicos (talk) 06:46, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
As a matter of U.S intellectual property law, trademarks should not be used as nouns. Also, according to the Wikipedia Manual of Style on trademarks, "Avoid use of trademarks as a noun except where any other usage would be awkward." Ajwenger (talk) 04:18, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
If you want to add that the assessment is a psychometric questionnaire, I think that would be good information. But while "questionnaire" may be an accurate description, "assessment" remains the name used by CPP. Ajwenger (talk) 04:18, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Learning by Example [Analysis Sections for the 16 Type Articles][edit]

I noticed an interesting phenomenon among the specific MBTI type articles. In general, the style of writing observed in the article seemed to strongly reflect the temperament of the MBTI type it was discussing. This makes sense, because members belonging to a certain type have the greatest imperative to share their knowledge and experience regarding their respective type.

For instance, the INTP article is a somewhat exhaustive explanation, but the article itself states "exhaustive explanation" as a common tendency among INTPs. Therefore, it might benefit readers belonging to other MBTI types to see that point reinforced in an analysis of the article. To state another example, the ENFP page is rather brief, and lacks a depth of information regarding the type. However, the ENFP article describes ENFPs as people primarily interested in only the initial stages of a project or relationship, and implies that their introverted sensing is largely to blame. Readers belonging to other types might benefit from this analysis, seeing a correlation between the qualities described in the article and the actually quality of the article itself.

I'd like to see some people create article analysis sections for each of the 16 respective types. In doing so, we could further the understanding of those who may not be familiar with a particular type by giving them concrete examples of how that type thinks and operates. Even now, as you're reading this comment, I bet you're attempting to type me. If this is the case, then surely you understand the validity of my argument. Please help contribute to this cause!

That would actually be a great idea, but would be considered original research on Wikipedia. Tezero (talk) 02:48, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Good idea, do it on the Wikiversity. --John Bessa (talk) 19:52, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Defintion of functions[edit]

How can Sensing and Intuition be the "perceiving" functions and Thinking and Feeling be the "judging" functions when you can have any combination of each (STP, STJ, NTP, NTJ, SFP, SFJ, NFP, NFJ)? I guess it's not clear from the description.Dujang Prang 18:04, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

That's the result of bad terminology. Perceiving and Judging refer to the dichotomy, but some people like using the terms to distinguish between decision making functions (T and F, inaccurately termed "Judging" because they make decisions) and information gathering functions (S and N, inaccurately termed "perceiving" because they analyze information from the outside world) As I understand, a type is considered to be of the perceiving dichotomy if their most preferred decision making function is introverted, in which they prefer to make decisions which are focused on their own internal world rather than the outside world.Ziiv 09:30, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it's the result of "bad terminology." The S/I dichotomy and the T/F dichotomy are cognitive functions, while the J/P dichotomy is an attitude. Individuals with a Perceiving attitude use their perceiving function (sensing or intution) when interacting with the outside world. Individuals with a Judging attitude use their judging function (thinking or feeling) when interacting with the outside world. The terminology may be confusing, but Isabel Myers chose it intentionally and for good reason. Myers herself, in Gifts Differing, called T/F the judging function and S/I the perceiving function. So it isn't inaccurate to refer to them that way.Ajwenger 04:00, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Dominant Function[edit]

Some confusion has been introduced into the article regarding dominant vs. preferred function. Each of the sixteen types has one dominant function: Thinking, Feeling, Sensing, or Intuition, which will be either introverted or extraverted. But on each dichotomy, the individual also exhibits a preference, for a total of four preferences (as opposed to one dominant function). So, for instance, as an INFJ, I prefer Feeling to Thinking, but my dominant function is Introverted Intuition.

Also, I don't think the tertiary function should be called an auxiliary function. In "Gifts Differing," Isabel Myers refers to the secondary function as the auxiliary function. The terminology is confusing enough without saying that both the auxiliary function and the tertiary function are auxiliary functions.

I'm going to edit the article accordingly.Ajwenger (talk) 03:08, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

It is factually incorrect to say, "According to Jung and Myers, all people use all four functions." In Gifts Differing, Myers writes: "Good type development thus demands that the auxiliary supplement the dominant process in two respects. It must supply a useful degree of balance not only between perception and judgment but also between extraversion and introversion. When it fails to do so it leaves the individual literally 'unbalanced,' retreating into the preferred world and consciously or unconsciously afraid of the other world. Such cases do occur..." (page 20, ISBN 0-89106-074-X).Ajwenger (talk) 22:52, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

As orignally referred to by Jung - and correctly understood - the so-called 'tertiary' function is also an 'auxiliary' function but I accept that in MBTI-related publications that only the first auxiliary is referred to as such. In Jung's 'Psychological Types' both are referred to as 'auxiliary' functions so it is not out of place in this article to clarify this difference in how the term is used. Ontologicos (talk) 06:31, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

My concern about using "auxiliary" to describe the tertiary function has nothing to do with its correctness with respect to Jung's writing. In the context of this article, I believe it does more to create confusion than to add value. So for the sake of the reader, I believe it's better left out. And at any rate, this article isn't about Jung, except in terms of his influence on Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. Ajwenger (talk) 03:04, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Whilst this article is not directly "about Jung" I am not persuaded that it is not useful or important to clarify differences in terminology. The way in which Myers and Briggs used Jung's original terminology can be very confusing and has lead to various misunderstandings and distortions of Jung's typology by MBTI facilitators. Perhaps a separate section on this is possible? Ontologicos (talk) 08:49, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I think a separate section would be quite useful, since Myers differed from Jung on many points. A "he said / she said" approach throughout would muddle the article; but a separate section would offer clarity. Ajwenger (talk) 17:13, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Problem with the Examples?[edit]

In one section we have:

Although people use all four cognitive functions, one function is generally used in a more conscious and confident way.
This dominant function is supported by the secondary (auxiliary) function, and to a lesser degree the tertiary function.
The fourth and least conscious function is always the opposite of the dominant function. Myers called this inferior
function the shadow.[1]:84

Then in the next section we have:

Because ENTJ types are extraverts, the J indicates that their dominant function is their preferred judging function
(extraverted thinking). ENTJ types introvert their auxiliary perceiving function (introverted intuition). The tertiary
function is sensing and the inferior function is introverted feeling.

Because INTJ types are introverts, the J indicates that their auxiliary function is their preferred judging function
(extraverted thinking). INTJ types introvert their dominant perceiving function (introverted intuition). The tertiary
function is feeling, and the inferior function is extraverted sensing.

The first of these examples is consistent with the prior statement (feeling is opposite of thinking), but the second is inconsistent (sensing is not the opposite of thinking). Either the second example is wrong, or the statement about "The fourth and least conscious function" is wrong. (talk) 17:56, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Never mind! I misread the second example; it says thinking is the auxiliary not the dominant function. (talk) 16:26, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


The criticism section is being edited out of existence in crappy little incremental steps - you're on notice that I'm going to overhaul it. --Coroebus 23:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Critism section definitely needs overhauling. There needs to be another point in there entitled "Stubborn rejection" or something. The ability of someone to utterly reject MBTI and all it stands for, with either no knowledge whatsoever, or with a small amont of knowledge and no understanding. Human nature is rife with example of such rejection (indeed, such a stand-point is critical to progression of real knowledge). But it is one of the biggest critisms, and could do with being in there. For another example of such critism read the history of the theory of plate tectonics 03:44, 25 February 2007 (UTC) nousernameyet

If you think that's needed then fine. Just be sure to find (and Cite) a reliable source. --YbborT 04:05, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the paragraph in the Introduction that begins "Most academic psychologists have criticized the indicator…" actually belongs under Criticism. Would anyone object to moving it there? Ajwenger 23:14, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, it seems to me that there is a middle ground here. Moving it to the Criticism section pulls something relatively important (from an overview perspective) out of the initial paragraph, where it probably belongs, but the sentence as written ("Most academic..."_ is probably too strong. How about leaving it up top, but changing it "Most" to "Many"?Yorker 04:26, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I compromised, changing "most" to "many," as suggested. I also moved the info about the Forer effect under Criticism > Reliability, since there was already a mention of the Forer effect there. The tone of the Introduction now seems more neutral to me. Ajwenger 22:55, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Coroebus didn't think that the expanded information on personality descriptions belonged under Reliability, so I moved it to Whole Type. There was already information about personality descriptions there. Ajwenger 05:35, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Meh, the article claims people get different results variating the time of the day or if they take it again a week or month after. In my case for the last 6 months (the time I have been familiar with this test) I've always gotten the same result: INFP. (talk) 03:42, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
The article confounds Criticisms and Psychometric Properties. There should be a statement of fact outlining the Psychometric Properties of MBTI instrument; particularly Validity_(statistics) and Reliability_(statistics). The Criticisms section should then outline how the particular psychometric properties that have been used to criticises the instrument. (talk) 22:41, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I undid the changes by LeContexte, but added references to help address the stated concerns. I removed a lot of the requests for citations, since in most cases the references were there; they just weren't duplicated every half sentence. ThreeOfCups (talk) 01:54, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I would still rather see this section renamed to "Psychometric Properties" and clearly separated from "Criticisms". While low Reliability_(statistics) and low Validity_(statistics) could be charactersied as criticisms it is more appropriate to first establish the measures of reliability and validity then to infer the instruments strengths/weaknesses from them.Alephsmith (talk) 06:39, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
That sounds great! Are you volunteering to do that? ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:49, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

In the "Reliability" subsection, the last sentence in the second paragraph, "For Form M (the most current form of the MBTI instrument), these scores are higher (see MBTI Manual, p. 163, Table 8.6)," at the very least needs an NPOV source citation. Citing the MBTI Manual to counter criticisms of the MBTI instrument is not exactly neutral. Not only that, but I don't see that the source cited actually supports the statement. It shows a slight increase in short-term reliability between test and retest, but nowhere does it appear to address the issue of sensitivity to the retest interval. Furthermore, the cited table hardly represents sound methodology: for example, what was the sample size used in testing the reliability of Form M? Without such information, there is no way to assess whether the "improvement" is statistically significant. This deficiency is compounded by the change from Classical Test Theory to Item Response Theory in scoring the responses, since the change in reliability could be an artifact of the scoring method. At least one study by Bess and Harvey, "Bimodal Score Distributions and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Fact or Artifact?" (Journal of Personality Assessment, 2002), implies the latter. My inclination is to simply remove the offending sentence, rather than play and endless game of "point-counterpoint" in an already lengthy article, but I wanted to air it out here first. Wilford Nusser (talk) 07:26, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

I changed the sentence in question to read, "…the MBTI Manual reports that these scores are higher…" to stress that the source isn't neutral and the claim shouldn't be regarded as proven fact. ThreeOfCups (talk) 21:01, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Separating Academic Psychologists from Skeptics[edit]

I made copy-editing changes to parse and clarify which groups offer which criticisms at the top of this article. Lumping together psychology academics and skeptics blurs the distinction between the two groups. The academic psychologists who critique the MBTI do not critique the idea of psychometrics while skeptics do. The skeptic sources listed in this article are not research papers; lumping the critiques of academics who have researched studies vs. the skeptics dictionary, which is a philosophical document without research conflates all forms of criticism. There must be a skeptic author who has published a research paper, but none of them are mentioned here. Most of the academic psychologists who have critiqued the MBTI do so by comparing it to their instrument of choice, the Big 5. Skeptics are skeptical of both, so this adds to the confusion for new readers.

The current version tries to separate out Pittenger (academic psychologist) into the "skeptics" group, which seems pretty silly if you want to make that distinction. If you want to include some more academic rejections of the MBTI you could also include McRae & Costa and Stricker & Ross (probably the two most significant). Also - I'm not sure where your evidence that the sole "skeptic" you have identified here, Todd Carroll, is skeptical of psychometrics. --Coroebus 21:08, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I reinstated my parsing of these two groups because the anonymous user seems to have reverted my parsing by working with an old copy of the article. Also, this anonymous editor's changes were not what the Edit summary said, so it could possibly be editing vandalism. JazzyGroove 04:06, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I added a new section for Skepticism and put all the information about the Forer Effect there. I left the rest of the information under Criticism. I'm not sure that's the best way to handle it, but I agree with JazzyGroove that there's a significant difference between the two, and lumping them together causes confusion.ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:27, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Main Article vs. sub-articles[edit]

This article is really a mess. The sections seem like major tangents into typology theory and typology criticism. This article has everything but the kitchen sink. In this case, the kitchen sink would be simple and clear information about what the MBTI is, how it is used, who uses it, how it differs from personality instruments administered by psychologists, and why it has become so popular. Everyone's pet theories and criticisms should be separate sub-articles with short summaries within the main article. If I were confident enough with wiki-editing I would do the honors, but might end up deleting everything and making the archives unruly.JazzyGroove 04:16, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I am with JazzyGroove on this. If I was a reader trying to understand what the heck MBTI is about, then the current article would fail this test. For the sake of NPOV, it is right to include criticism as a section; ideally as JazzyGroove says some of the content should be moved out to separate articles.

The only thing I didn't get, though, was your comment "how it differs from personality instruments administered by psychologists": as whilst it's the case that not all practitioners of MBTI are qualified psychologists, some are. Could you clarify this for me? Thanks.

I will plan to have a crack at a clean-up during June 2007, taking into account any further feedback in this discussion page. Hope that's OK with y'all... Wee Paddy 14:30, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Clean Up Now in Progress[edit]

The overall clean up and restructure of this article is now largely complete and could do with peer review Wee Paddy 22:29, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

The intention overall has been: to improve clarity; add references where appropriate; move (or remove) secondary or redundant content; make it easier for someone with no or limited prior knowledge to have a clue :-)

I have used the Wikipedia article on Neuro Linguistic Programming as a bit of a guide to the structure and headings, as this article seems more approachable.

My limited qualifications for this clean-up were: comments on this talk page; I am step I and step II qualified, so quite familiar with the instruments; I have some degree level training in psychology; and can structure and write reasonably clearly (you be the judge - QED). But I am not claiming to be an expert, thought leader or guru! So for those of you who are any or all of those things, please weigh in with your thoughts and contributions, to make this the best it can be.

Now a Separate Article: MBTI Step II

I think the proposed changes look good and would encourage you to proceed with the expansion of the article... -- Johnfos 07:42, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and I apologise for the incorrect spelling of "pejorative". Interesting, as etymologically, it presumably has the same root as "perjury". I stand corrected... I normally pride myself on correct spelling and grammar, this one somehow passed me by! Wee Paddy 09:17, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I hope you all don't mind, but I added some information in the introduction to counter the suggestion that MBTI is nothing more than the Forer effect at work. Unlike the Forer effect, MBTI offers 16 personality descriptions that differ from one another in substantial ways. Perhaps this information belongs elsewhere; but in that case, so does the reference to the Forer effect.Ajwenger 04:12, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Spam Section, Link Farming[edit]

It's a WP guideline that articles should not be advertisements or link farms. The new section about qualified practicioners does not justify the horde of links at the bottom of this article. I'm going to put citation needed remark to the newest claim. JazzyGroove 18:46, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Katharine Cook Briggs[edit]

I've removed the link from this name, as it was just a redirect leading to Isabel Myers Briggs page, and was a bit confusing.--Quywompka 13:59, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Another editor added the link back in. I'm not sure why. I think your reasoning for removing it was good, Quywompka. Ajwenger 23:09, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

"Correlations to Other Instruments"[edit]

This section makes no sense to me. I think something, particularly, needs to explain exactly what the graph represents (does a high number indicate that someone who is very E is also likely to be very extroverted?) What I don't understand, I guess, is why the axes are being correlated, rather than extremes on the axes. The Jade Knight 04:54, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

"Correlation to other instruments" corresponds to a well accepted manner of assessing construct validity. This section should ideally be moved to the validity section of the article with a statement of fact concerning the relationship between this measure and other measures of the same construct. Higher correlation between this instrument and other instruments that purport to measure the same underlying construct provides more support for construct validity. Furthermore, construct validity can be partitioned into convergent and divergent validity, information that should be readily available in any of the many academic papers outlining the psychometric properties of MBTI instruments. (talk) 22:29, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I found this section confusing -- not because of the statistical information, but because of the interpretation:
"There was no support for the view that the MBTI measures truly dichotomous preferences or qualitatively distinct types... Jung's theory is either incorrect or inadequately operationalized by the MBTI and cannot provide a sound basis for interpreting it."
These sentences have a nice critical sound, but contain little substantial information, as far as I can tell. Why is there no support for the view that MBTI measures "truly dichotomous preferences"? What does that even mean? The "Big 5" aren't conceived as dichotomous, but there is no reason why they couldn't be conceived that way, with little or no modification to the underlying concepts -- the absence or presence of a particular quality forms a dichotomous system. Likewise, the MBTI could be cosmetically altered to obscure its dichotomicity without changing the underlying system. There's no there there.
Next: "qualitatively distinct types" -- well, any system that measures values along spectra in multiple dimensions must in some sense imply "qualitatively distinct types." So what if most people land in the middle of the spectra? It remains possible for people to land on the outer edges, and two people who are on opposite ends of a particular spectrum almost certainly have qualitatively distinct personality types. And given that the MBTI correlates with four of the Big 5 pretty well, if the Big 5 implies qualitatively distinct personality types (it does, if it measures anything at all) then so does the MBTI. Perhaps it doesn't measure what it measures as well as the Big 5 does -- but there you go. If that's the real criticism being made, then why isn't it stated explicitly?
Finally, why on earth does Jung even come up? What does Jung have to do with _any of this_? There needs to be a relationship established between the Big 5 and Jung's theories before the Big 5 can be used to confirm or reject the relation between the MBTI and Jung.
Perhaps the article in question addresses these issues, but if it does, they ought to be discussed in this section.
In short, I don't care a whit about the MBTI; but I find it annoying when a bunch of nonsensical jibber-jabber is used to discredit the MBTI when there are simple, pragmatic reasons why it ought to be superseded by the Big 5. The Big 5 gives more consistent results, and you don't have to license it. Why are people bringing Jung into it?? (talk) 13:08, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I removed the references to Jung, since they're not relevant in the context of the Big Five, as you point out. As far as I'm concerned, the article you mention above is completely irrelevant in terms of the accuracy of the MBTI. To my knowledge, Isabel Myers never claimed that Introversion and Extraversion, for example, are two distinct things rather than opposite ends of a continuum.
It would be great if an expert in this field would contribute some sensible criticism of the MBTI as a psychometric instrument. For the most part, what appears for free on the Web is emotional slams of the MBTI, either because it's sometimes used in a way that violates the ethical application of the instrument (for example, employers trying to pigeonhole employees based on MBTI results), or because the author rejects the notion of personality type altogether. If some sensible criticism were offered, the jibber-jabber could be deleted.
From my perspective, another important question (which I don't think this article addresses very well) is under what circumstances the MBTI is a better tool than, say, the Big Five, and vice versa. For me, they don't have the same applications. The beauty of Myers' theory is its simplicity. It helps me, as a lay person, understand myself and the people around me better. As a psychological tool, however, the MBTI may have no value at all. That's where the Big Five comes in, in part because it adds the dimension of neuroticism. Yet the Big Five doesn't give me a better understanding of myself, because it provides too much information; moreover, it doesn't give an overview (to my knowledge) of how the traits interact. The MBTI offers 16 versions of "normal," whereas the Big Five measures the respondent against the average for the general population. Those aren't remotely the same things. In that context, a comparison of the accuracy in terms of repeatability does little to help me decide which is the better tool. ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:15, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Famous people[edit]

The pages INTJ, ENTJ, and ENFJ all contain lists of people who are asserted to have those personality types. Unfortunately these lists are almost certainly total crap. In many cases, the entries are unknown and unknowable: there is clearly no way that we can meaningfully assign a personality type to, say, King David, or the emperor Augustus. Even for the living people there is no evidence given. The data seems to come from one person's website which itself contains nothing beyond a simple assertion that these people have or had these personality types.

Is there any reason at all why any of this information should not be deleted? 23:01, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

No reason other than the hordes of MBTI/Kiersey/Socionics obsessives who will revert you in a second. --Coroebus 14:49, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm an obsessive, and I say: Delete! There are no reliable sources. — Starylon 14:54, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
There're two websites I know of that categorize celebrities - and - and while some of it is obviously uncited (ie. Charles Darwin), some of it is (ie. Princess Diana - However, I think that an expert's deduction of what famous people fit in which category is a reasonable enough source, but that's a matter of opinion.
Experts "deducing" the personality type of famous people is a corruption of the MBTI, in my opinion. As Myers wrote in Gifts Differing, "These basic differences concern the way people prefer to use their minds." If people always acted according to their preference, we could deduce how they prefer to use their minds based on their behavior. But balanced individuals adapt as the situation requires, and often exhibit non-preferred traits. Ajwenger 03:39, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Keirsey differs from the MBTI in that analysis is based on behavior rather than cognitive preferences. Expert opinion in that context is somewhat more palatable. Still, the Keirsey opinions don't belong in the MBTI articles, in my opinion. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:36, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Population breakdown chart[edit]

The chart claims that "inferential statistics" were used to generate its numbers. Wouldn't this be OR? Unless it came from a third party source in which case it should be cited. - Keith D. Tyler 16:32, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Thinking vs. Feeling[edit]

I edited this section to remove the word "values" from the description of how Feeling types reach decisions. Everyone makes decisions based on their values; but what Thinking types value is logic, while Feeling types take personal considerations into account. The aptness of each style of reasoning depends on the situation: Feeling is better suited to decisions involving people, and Thinking to decisions involving objects or facts. Ajwenger 23:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

ENFP and ISTJ[edit]

In all materials I've read, the canonical example types are ENFP and ISTJ. I don't think the same can be said for INFP and ESTJ. I'm changing those back, and if there's any issues I guess I'll have to do a review of the literature to support my position. Can anyone confirm that we should stick to ENFP and ISTJ as examples, or is there disagreement here? -FrankTobia (talk) 15:05, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but I changed these back to ESTJ and INFP. This is to be consistent with the order in which the dichotomies are presented in the sections that follow: E-I, S-N, T-F, J-P. This is the order Isabel Myers uses in "Gifts Differing." My main concern is that if we use ISTJ and ENFP in the examples, someone will change "E-I Preference" to "I-E Preference" again. Ajwenger (talk) 21:04, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Tests[edit]

Please do not post Internet links to so-called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tests. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the term "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator" is a registered trademark of THE MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR TRUST. No one else can legally use that term to describe their test. Ajwenger (talk) 04:58, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Spelling of "Extraversion"[edit]

The correct spelling is "Extraversion," not "Extroversion." (Check your dictionary, as well as the writings of Isabel Briggs Myers.) "Extroversion" is a back-formation from "Introversion" and an unnecessary variant. Please, let's try to be consistent. Ajwenger (talk) 05:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

The OED gives both spellings, and extraversion directs you to extroversion, suggesting that the 'o' spelling is predominant. Carl.bunderson (talk) 20:29, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
My copy of "Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary" gives "extraversion" as the preferred spelling. Moreover, that's the spelling that Isabel Briggs Myers used, and that's the spelling that the MBTI uses. The article needs to be consistent; and since the topic is the MBTI, and the MBTI uses "extraversion," I believe that's the spelling that should be used. Ajwenger (talk) 05:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that since MBTI is based on her work we should use her sp in this article, but the dictionary argument is a weak one. The OED is more authoritative than is Webster. Carl.bunderson (talk) 08:45, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
From my reading of the Oxford English Dictionary article, it seems the OED seeks to catalog all spellings and usages of all English words through the ages. So it makes sense that they would have both spellings. In any case, I think we agree to use "extraversion" throughout the article? -FrankTobia (talk) 14:12, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree that "extraversion" should be used here. So the OED point is moot, but interesting. It does catalogue all sp and usages, but when there are variant spellings, it usually gives a preferred sp, and lists the others under that word. In this case, though, they are treated as two separate words, where this particular definition redirects, rather than the entire word redirecting. Carl.bunderson (talk) 20:15, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I changed the spelling back to Extraversion and added a note that this is the spelling used in Myers-Briggs terminology. Thanks!Ajwenger (talk) 04:27, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

The 16 types[edit]

"To find the opposite type of the one you are looking at, jump over one type diagonally". I'm sorry, I really don't understand what "jump over one type diagonally" means. Can someone clarify? --Dweller (talk) 22:17, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I changed this to, "…move diagonally, jumping over one type." Does that clarify it? Ajwenger (talk) 05:23, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

INFPs exuding personal warmth[edit]

I am curious to know the source of the idea that 'the INFP exudes a personal warmth that is unspoken and sympathetic'. My understanding was that within an INFP's inner circle of friends, an INFP may reveal an intensely compassionate side that is usually held back in day-to-day life. However, the rest of the time, INFPs come across on the surface as being so withdrawn and out of touch with reality that people often perceive them as cold and aloof. Their Introverted Feeling is not revealed to most people, unless their values are threatened.

Carl Jung made a point of this (I know this is MBTI, but the basic concepts are the same) in saying:

A superficial judgment might well be betrayed, by a rather cold and reserved demeanour, into denying all feeling to this type. Such a view, however, would be quite false; the truth is, her feelings are intensive rather than extensive...To the outer world, or to the blind eyes of the extravert, this sympathy looks like coldness, for it does nothing visibly, and an extraverted consciousness is unable to believe in invisible forces.

I'd also be interested to know the source of the idea that INFPs often fight for civil rights or the environment. I was under the impression that INFPs were more concerned with a personal inner quest for harmony than external campaigning for action, which sounds more like something an ENFP or ENFJ would do. I am not saying any of this page is wrong. I would just like to know where these ideas came from. Excitation needed (talk) 11:59, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

According to, INFPs "want an external life that is congruent with their values...[They] can be catalysts for implementing ideas." Their quest for harmony isn't merely internal; they seek harmony between their inner and outer worlds. Ajwenger (talk) 03:58, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I changed "exudes a personal warmth that is unspoken and sympathetic" to "radiates a pleasant and sympathetic demeanor." Isabel Myers wrote in Gifts Differing: "Introverted feeling types...wear their warm side inside, like a fur-lined coat." Ajwenger (talk) 01:29, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
An INFP is perhaps the most sympathetic of all types when the object being wronged has not gone against one of the INFP's deeply held values. However, I'm still not sure whether this sympathy would radiate to people around, but I don't know any mature INFPs so I don't think I can comment on this. Thanks for the replies.Excitation needed (talk) 08:57, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
With due respect to Carl Jung (or perhaps his translator), I don't think "cold" is quite the right word to describe the demeanor of the INFP. In my experience, they tend to express themselves dispassionately, much the way you might expect of a Thinking type. But when their values are threatened, INFPs may respond with a sudden emotional intensity that seems to come out of nowhere, in a way that you'd never expect of a Thinking type. Most of the time, though, INFPs tend to appear calm, open, and attentive to the wants of others. It's the receptiveness of their auxiliary extraverted intuition, acting in conjunction with the warmth of their dominant introverted feeling, that makes them seem sympathetic. Ajwenger (talk) 20:08, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Is there any scientific validity to this test?[edit]

From my gander at the article it seems like there isn't. However, from my gander at this talk page, some people seem to take it seriously. Am I missing something? Is there any reliable evidence that this test is at least somewhat scientifically valid? If so, it should be included so as to clarify that the intention for this test is not a gullibility experiment. -- (talk) 03:06, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there is evidence of scientific validity. For instance, studies show that, to a statistically significant degree, individuals of certain personality types are overrepresented in certain professions, while those of other types are underrepresented. For example, thinking types are overrepresented among lawyers, and judging types are overrepresented among school administrators. I agree that this article should feature more scientific evidence of validity. I just don't think there's a huge body of unbiased literature out there. Ajwenger (talk) 04:49, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I am pretty sure (but not 100%) that this test is NOT scientifically valid. The point about personality profiling questionnaires is that some of them have been very thoroughly researched and, very importantly, statistically validated by the British Psychological Society (BPS) or other equivalent body for another nation. If you want to know what I mean by 'thoroughly researched' and 'statistically validated', read 'The Scientific Analysis of Personality' by Professor Raymond Cattell, a book which describes the many years of painstaking research that went into the development of a personality profiling instrument known as the 16PF. A phone call to the BPS will tell you whether MBTI has been BPS approved. I will be surprised if it has.Snookerrobot (talk) 22:34, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm 100% sure that the MBTI has been found to be statistically valid, with a significant body of research supporting it over a period of 50 years. Please see the references provided in the article. ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:56, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
It depends on your definition of scientific, really. I am a practitioner of the MBTI myself and I have been through all the evidence: Trust me; if there was a hard scientific validity to the MBTI it'd be alot more widespread. What there *is* is a correlation between MBTI scores and scores on hard scientific tests such as the NEO-PIR. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:08, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
 Im sorry to say there IS NOT scientific validity.  
 this contains a detailed analysis.  There is a lot more
 LookingGlass (talk) 07:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

I would like to get some "balance" into this article. At present it reads like a magazine review and provides worthy citations that do not however corroborate the content. In fact the first citation I followed refuted not only the statement which it was purpoted to support, but also the surrounding material and article in general. Whilst it is true that there have been studies that purport to support the validity of the model these have been consistently criticised and debunked in peer reviewed publications etc and through randomised testing. The MBPTI is in effect a "fringe medicine" tool, which, while it may be very interesting has no scientific foundation. It has gained popularity in the same way as astrology, numerology etc have and in business arenas it has been latcxhed onto through a marriage of academic ignorance and the need to justify human resource management strategies. Consequently IMHO it is the result of pseudo-scientific methodologies and should be treated with great caution in the same way as other human classification instrumensta have been and should continue to be. LookingGlass (talk) 07:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

If you would like to get some balance into the article, then may I suggest that you edit the article to include reliable, verifiable sources for the criticisms you refer to? Or do you prefer to dispute the theory without providing evidence to support your assertions? There are numerous references throughout the article to criticisms of the MBTI, both the instrument itself and the theory behind it (including the discussion you note above, which provides arguments both for and against the instrument's validity). But if some studies support the validity of the instrument and some studies don't, the best the article can do is report both, which it does. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Let me reiterate that criticism of the instrument must be properly supported by reliable, verifiable sources. Weasel-worded statements like "the accuracy is disputed" have no place in an encyclopedic article. Who disputes it? Based on what evidence? Also, to suggest that the statement "Isabel Myers found in her research..." requires a disclaimer (saying that Myers' research isn't an independent source) doesn't make sense to me. The article makes it clear that her original research is the basis of the instrument, and therefore the instrument does not exist independent of her research. Would anyone suggest that in an article on Einstein's theory of relativity, any research that Einstein did himself must be disclaimed, because research supporting his own theory isn't independent? Such research is source material, not supporting material, so I don't see why a disclaimer would be required. ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:54, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I dispute it. And so will the neurologist who proves one day, beyond doubt, that thinking is judging, PERIOD.
The destiny of inconsistent logic is abolition. Tcaudilllg (talk) 06:48, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Neither Myers' theory nor this article dispute the assertion that thinking is judging. But the reason that Nobel prize winners, for instance, tend to be perceiving types is that they keep gathering data long after judging types are ready to reach a conclusion and move on. Myers' use of judging and perceiving (in terms of the type scale) relates to closed-endedness (judgment) vs. open-endedness (perception), NOT whether the type's best and most-used function is a judging or a perceiving function. You can disagree with it if you like, but the article is an accurate representation of Myers' theory. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:08, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I think most people would agree that this personality type stuff is a bunch of baloney. -- (talk) 05:18, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Especially considering that the article has a heading "Applications" that has practically nothing under it. Richard K. Carson (talk) 06:18, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This page describes Jung's foundation as starting with rational vs irrational, though Jung's Psychological Types shows this:

  • Two perceiving functions: Sensation and Intuition
  • Two judging functions: Thinking and Feeling

Either way, he shows different thought: emotion and analysis (or sense and rationality). We all do both, but to varying degrees--I think this would be exceptionally easy to support with your own study where you live! The sub-categories logically follow, IMHO.

I would question how it holds up under evolutionary models, and how it would show up under fMRI. (The past couple of years have seen imaging unite FASD, ADHD, SZ, and dementia therapies.) I have a receptor/preceptor component that leads the other thought-process components such as analysis, and especially emotionally-intelligent response. But the mind co-processes to an apparently infinite degree. (A key memory module is olfactory, and is attached to the lymbic (emotional) systems, so what does that tell us?) Jung and the Briggs don't say one polar trait is better than another, just that people tend to one or the other as in left- and right-handedness. I think an evolutionary model would support a tendency for a person to develop whichever trait is best supported by underlying neurology with influence from the environment and mentors.

People with better sensing neural constructs might tend to the arts, for instance, and people with better analysis neural constructs might tend to lab science. Something like that, but greatly expanded to account for all the strengths of the mind--which are many! If you can accept this, then the Jung/Briggs model is valid, it just does not yet have the benefit of imaging, and other new "instruments," including evolutionary concepts, to help it evolve.--John Bessa (talk) 20:57, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

'Sensing' vs. 'Sensation'[edit]

The MBTI uses the term 'Sensing.' Perhaps some translation of Jung's Psychological Types used 'Sensation,' but I'm not sure that a translator ought to be the ultimate authority on the subject. The word 'Sensing' in this context is a gerund, that is, a participle used as a noun, as is also the case with 'Thinking' and 'Feeling.' ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:35, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


Dcompane (talk) 15:04, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be some problems with the last 2 paragraphs of the section. Can someone validate that? Thanks!

The last two paragraphs are correct. For types who prefer Judging, the decision-making function is the one used with the outside world. So if the Judging types are Extaverts, who use their dominant function with the outside world, the decision-making function is dominant. If the Judging types are Introverts, who use their auxiliary function with the outside world (reserving their dominant function for their internal world), their decision-making function is their auxiliary function. I agree that the concept is very confusing, and this section probably needs to be clearer. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:43, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
As sure as this INTP is applying his Ti to the judgment of this concept's nonsensicality, so it is. Tcaudilllg (talk) 06:43, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
You're confusing a preference for Judging with a preference for a judging function. Judging simply means a preference for structure and closed-endedness, while Perceiving means a preference for spontaneity and open-endedness. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:13, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Please note that linking to sites that primarily promote a product is considered spam. To avoid the appearance that a link is spam, be sure to link to a page that contains information that supplements the article, rather than one that offers a product. If no such information appears on the site, it is spam. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:38, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

For more information, refer to WP:EL and WP:SPAM. If you're unsure whether a link is appropriate, or if you believe it's appropriate but it's been deleted more than once, you can post it here on the talk page and ask for comments. A civil discussion is preferable to an edit war. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I deleted the link to the Jungian typology test at because it's very similar to the other tests listed, plus it contains an obvious error in question 28. Also, questions 38 and 56 didn't make sense to me. Either they contain errors, or they're poorly worded. Please do not add back this link, at least until the errors in the test are corrected. It does not meet the reliability standard for inclusion in Wikipedia. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:14, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing question 28. However, other problems still exist:
  • I'm concerned that this test is a copyright violation. I've seen many of these exact questions elsewhere.
  • The test claims to be the MBTI test, which is definitely a copyright violation. The MBTI acronym is trademarked by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust, and the MBTI test is licensed by CPP.
  • I still find the following questions confusing:
    • Q35 - What's the difference between "infinite" and "open-minded"? They suggest the same thing to me.
    • Q38 - Sounds like a word is missing - see how others see what? Lack of parallelism with the previous option creates confusion. "See how others see things" would be better.
    • Q56 - What's the difference between "renegotiable" and "random and circumstantial"? Again, they suggest the same thing to me.
Links must be useful and high-quality to be included here. Wikipedia is not a link farm. It's not appropriate to use this article to promote your website. See WP:EL. ThreeOfCups (talk) 19:04, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Since the concerns listed above were not addressed, I deleted the link to the Skeletus test. It was clearly written by a non-native English speaker, and some of the questions were nonsensical. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:43, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm deleting the link to the 41q questionnaire (again) because I find it to be poorly written and inaccurate. I always test as an INTJ on that assessment, while I test as INFJ on every other assessment. There are better assessments available, so there's not point in directing people to this one. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:59, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Jung Type Indicator[edit]

I am not a registered user, but WIKI should probably start a stub on the Jung Type Indicator. This is a version of the MBTI abbrevated JTI. It has replaced MBTI in Scandinavia proper. Two court rulings have affirmed that the JTI is not a plagarism of the MBTI. But that is still disputed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Until someone determines that this assessment is notable and then creates an article, I'm removing the red link. It looks like a knockoff to me. ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:42, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Granted that the JTI has completely replaced the MBTI in Denmark+Norway+Sweden, I think the notability speaks for itself. You are, however, correct in assuming that the JTI is a knockoff. That's my verdict as well. But as I said, two courts ruled against it. (talk) 04:54, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I created the JTI article based on the information from, then deleted that information from this article. I added the JTI back to the "See Also" section in this article. ThreeOfCups (talk) 17:26, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

It turns out that there are two different tests called the JTI: the Jung Type Indicator and the Jungian Type Index. The one used in Scandinavia is the Jungian Type Index. I suspect that the one involved in the lawsuits is the Jung Type Indicator, though I can't find any evidence that such lawsuits existed. ThreeOfCups (talk) 01:00, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I am inclined to agree - indeed, since there are differences between Jungian typology and the Myers-Brigg typology, I wonder whether there should be a new page entitled "Jungian typology" createdfor Wikipedia? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:37, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

If it's consistent with Jung's terminology, then it's correspondent to socionics. Tcaudilllg (talk) 08:13, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I have stubbed these articles since neither had third party RS,Martinlc (talk) 15:30, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

"See also" list[edit]

I deleted Socionics from this list, since Socionics is unrelated to the MBTI. It was developed at a different time, in a different place, by a different person. The two typologies were not influenced by each other, even though they both used Jung's work as their starting point. An understanding of Socionics does not contribute to an understanding of the MBTI. Moreover, Socionics is not a psychometric testing instrument, as the other entries in the list are. It is a belief system based on Jung's theories, but not on the work of Myers and Briggs. ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:37, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of what other people may speculate, my only goal is to help this article achieve Good Article status. That means including relevant information and leaving out irrelevant information. Socionics has no bearing on the MBTI and vice versa. But, if people are interested in other Jungian typologies, they can navigate to them using the "Analytical Psychology" template at the end of the article. It isn't necessary to duplicate those links in the "See also" section. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is included in the "See also" list because it was derived, in part, from the theories of Isabel Myers, in greatly expanded form. ThreeOfCups (talk) 20:04, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

i don't know if this is entirely appropriate. for one thing, socionics is a closely related subject matter and it shares a number of similarities with MBTI, including addressing the general dimensions of MBTI in a different way. the two are also often confused by laypeople. while in many ways i would applaud the concept of dealing with socionics and MBTI from separate standpoints, i don't know that addition of socionics in a see also section to MBTI (and vice versa) is a far-fetched concept. i don't have a strong opinion about this, however, and as ThreeOfCups indicated, it is not as though access to the article is especially limited on this basis.
certainly if the enneagram is linked to in "see also," so should be socionics. Niffweed17, Destroyer of Chickens (talk) 23:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't think Enneagram should be in there, either. Again, they're completely unrelated. As for MBTI and Socionics, having a common starting point doesn't make the disparately derived theories themselves relevant to one another. I also don't agree that laypeople confuse the two. I've never seen Socionics mentioned in conjunction with the MBTI except on Wikipedia. ThreeOfCups (talk) 05:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Enneagram actually does show up disproportionately in socionics circles, but I'd agree that it's not appropriate for comparative inclusion because it's very different from both MBTI and socionics and based on deeply different principles. As a participant in socionics circles, it is definitely the case that laypeople confuse the two. This is in large measure due to the fact that the notation is similar, and people who chance upon one or the other (usually people outside of russian or ukranian-speaking environments chance on MBTI because there is so much more material on it) do not necessarily realize that the types are as different as they are given that the notation could be seen to refer to the same thing. It is undoubtedly true that socionics probably doesn't come up so often in MBTI circles, but noting the difference is a relatively important comparison within socionics environments. although i don't really know, in russian speaking environments it seems plausible that the comparison would go the other way and MBTI would be confused for socionics since socionics was developed in a russian setting while MBTI may be more culturally unfamiliar. Niffweed17, Destroyer of Chickens (talk) 20:03, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Not NPOV[edit]

1) Having read most of the article and the discussion here I can appreciate the enormous amount of work that has gone into an article like this. But sometimes the point gets lost in all the discussion.

The point of an enclopedia article is to inform, not to debate and decide. The criticism described at the end is a far-too-long academic dissertation aimed apparently at convincing the reader that the discussion is over. This isn't appropriate here and is not NPOV. IMO the pro/con should be reduced to something not much more than "Users of this tool continue to claim its anecdotal consistency and to see other merits. However, the MBTI is criticized in academic/scientific circles for its lack of both a scientific theoretical basis or convincing studies that it has scientific validity [reference list for those interested]. ". Yes, yes, this may be a little too short but to have 30% of the article devoted to criticism/skepticism with no reference to why people still use it (no matter how repugnant that might be to the author of this article) is not neutral. (talk) 19:47, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

These comments are quite enlightening, especially since there are convincing studies that the MBTI instrument is scientifically valid. It appears that the criticism section is skewing the article to the opposite POV. The theory itself is unproven (apart from the fact that the MBTI is certainly measuring something, given that the results are statistically valid). Nevertheless, the fact that the theory is unproven doesn't make it false. The instrument is popular in part because it resonates with many of the people who take it. Unlike, for example, astrological signs, which are empty caricatures, the 16 MBTI types are psychologically complex and richly layered. (This is my opinion, of course, not scientific fact.) I honestly believe that in the estimation of Isabel Myers, the truth of Jung's theory was self-evident, so she focused on developing a statistically valid testing instrument rather than proving the theory itself. If CAPT has subsequently made any inroads in this direction, I'm not aware of them.
I'm loath to remove information from the Criticism section, since it's well supported by references (although I question the reliability of some of them). It may be possible to condense the section without actually removing anything. And in some cases, it may not even be accurate to call it criticism. It's a simple fact that the theory behind the instrument is unproven scientifically. So maybe the information could be reorganized.
Beyond this, however, I believe that the very popularity of the instrument is good reason to include a substantial Criticism section. People should absolutely question the accuracy and usefulness of their results on the MBTI - and in fact, the ethical usage of the tool demands this. There are editors who try to turn the Criticism section into an argument against the tool, however, and I'm not sure how best to achieve balance. Input from a neutral expert on the subject would be most welcome. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:25, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

2) The Skepticism sections seems particularly non-neutral to me. I have added a tag to this effect, and hope I'm not violating procedure... Remove if I am mistaken. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, November 3, 2008 (UTC)

Edited the section and removed the tag. Still not perfect, I know, but I'm not sure exactly how to handle a situation that's as completely unjustified as the comparison of the MBTI descriptions to the vague and ambiguous one used to demonstrate the Forer effect. On another point, the Criticism/Skepticism sections account for perhaps 10-12% of the article, not 30%. ThreeOfCups (talk) 03:57, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

The J/P passage with regard to Jung[edit]

One of two things is true regarding it: either it is a misinterpretation of Myers' statements, or Myers' theory itself is inconsistent by her own description. She's saying that people with dominant introverted thinking like to keep approaches open, when we know that T is a judging function. It's not consistent with reality.

The second passage is definitely a misconflation: dominant in Jung's sense DOES NOT mean extrovert. Either MBTI has no relation to Jung's theory, or is inconsistent with the reality that Jung described. Tcaudilllg (talk) 23:48, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure which specific passages you're referring to. The "Differences from Jung" section makes it clear that Myers and Jung differ on Judging/Perceiving. According to Myers (not Jung), introverts with a dominant judging function like to keep options open, while introverts with a dominant perceiving function like matters settled. The article doesn't state that dominant means extraverted in Jung's sense or in Myers' sense. Rather, the article states that according to Myers, Judging/Perceiving is based on the preferred extraverted function - in introverts, that's the auxiliary function rather than the dominant one. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:12, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Intuition vs. iNtuition[edit]

Anyone have a strong preference for one spelling or another? I like iNtuition because it shows visually what the N stands for. From a usability perspective, "Intuition (N)" just seems confusing to me. When people change it without comment, I assume that they believe it's a spelling error, but I'm curious as to whether someone objects on principle. ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:43, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

it is written: "The two Perceiving functions, Sensing and iNtuition (thus capitalized to distinguish it from Introversion)." To my mind, it is obvious that it is capitalized in order to do so (even if I had no previous knowledge in the field). I think it's obvious that iNtuition is referred to as "N" (because the word already features a capital N), and thus that what's in parenthesis isn't needed. Twipley (talk) 13:04, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it isn't obvious to everyone. Lately, editors have been changing "iNtuition" to "Intuition" almost on a daily basis, thinking it's a misspelling.ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:36, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Maybe it would be best just to standardize on Myers' capitalization. The Manual doesn't capitalize the cognitive functions, nor does Gifts Differing, though many other publications do. That means, generally speaking, the article would use "intuition" rather than "iNtuition" or "Intuition," and likewise for the other functions and preferences. Any objections? ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:02, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I changed the spelling of the preferences to use lowercase in most instances. ThreeOfCups (talk) 05:21, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I second the use of lowercase. The average person can reconcile why N is for intuition on their own, no need to over-explain things. Habanero-tan (talk) 10:54, 31 May 2009 (UTC)


Does the MBTI Manual actually state, "the MBTI lacks validity scales to assess response styles such as exaggeration or impression management"? If so, please provide a page reference. If not, then this citation does not support the claim. ThreeOfCups (talk) 20:08, 28 December 2008 (UTC) If the point is that the MBTI does not claim to offer such validity scales, then the statement needs to be rewritten. The lack of such a claim in the Manual can't be construed as proof that the scales don't exist. ThreeOfCups (talk) 21:08, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that is a highly tendentious approach and perfectly represents the sort of confrontational over-literalism that scars wikipedia. The MBTI, as anyone with even a cursory familiarity with the product will know, does not have, nor pretend to have lie-scales. I doubt I could find a page number to prove that even if I could be bothered to scour the Manual looking for it. Of course I also can't prove that the MBTI doesn't contain scales measuring preference for cereal over fried breakfast because sometimes you need to take a rather more grown-up approach than the current bizarre fetish in wikipedia for a nice simple declarative statement to use as an inline citation at the end of every single sentence. --Coroebus 23:49, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Since you made me go dig out some references, below are some interesting studies on this question, I'll let you insert the refs into the text --Coroebus 00:55, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Positive correlation between MBTI judging scale and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire lie scale (Leslie J. Francis and Susan H. Jones "The Relationship Between the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Among Adult Churchgoers" Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2000)
  • The vulnerability of the MBTI to faking (A Furnham "Faking personality questionnaires: Fabricating different profiles for different purposes" Current Psychology 9(1):46-55)
  • "there are no scales built into the MBTI to detect the effects of random responding, response sets such as social desirability, or either conscious or unconscious response distortion" (GJ Boyle - "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Some psychometric limitations" - Australian Psychologist. Vol 30(1), 1995, 71-74)
Sorry, but I'm not going to take responsibility for adding references to works that I haven't personally read. Also, please don't assume that the average Wikipedia reader knows anything about validity scales. What apparently seems intuitively obvious to you is likely to baffle the average high school student. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:57, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
If I worried about the average wikipedian understanding stuff I wouldn't add anything. --Coroebus 12:07, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
For those interested in the Wikipedia policy on this subject, please see WP:MTAA. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:08, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
(Please see WP:CITE#SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT:"It is improper to obtain a citation from an intermediate source without making clear that you saw only that intermediate source." You might also want to take a look at WP:NPA while you're at it.) ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:14, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:CITE#SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT seems irrelevant here, I've read these articles, and I told you what they said, I don't count as an intermediate source in this situation because I'm another editor on wikipedia, taking that position further anything added into an article is an intermediate source - I have no way of knowing these people have read the sources they add so should revert the lot of them. I've added the refs myself, hopefully that will make you happy. As for WP:NPA, I suggest you read passive aggressive. --Coroebus 12:07, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't realize I was being passive. :) ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:08, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Book source[edit]

I'm putting in a pre-emptive warning that Effective Multicultural Teams By Claire B. Halverson, S. Aqeel Tirmizi, which has a section on the MBTI, seems to have been sourced from this article, including some unique references. --Coroebus 23:59, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

I looked over the MBTI section and don't see Wikipedia as a source, so I assume you mean they use the same referenced information as Wikipedia so you are suspicious. Since there isn't real proof of them blindly copying Wikipedia, I think we can just treat it as the average intermediate source, and cite it as such per WP:CITE#SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT:"It is improper to obtain a citation from an intermediate source without making clear that you saw only that intermediate source." Habanero-tan (talk) 11:07, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Remove or keep the fancy logos from the articles?[edit]

The titles of the 16 types are repeated as a colorful picture (ex: ENTP). This doesn't serve any purpose, and seems inappropriate to me. Habanero-tan (talk) 10:48, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the colorful pictures are better than nothing (and far better than photos of real people who never took the test, yet are speculated to be of a particular type). Maybe someday when I'm feeling creative I'll create some artwork that more accurately reflects the personality of the different types than the current pictures do. ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I think they coould do with being
  • A little smaller
  • A defined border.
Can I suggest a change of coding? - example for ENTP...
{| align="right" border=0
| [[Image:ENTP.jpg|center|150px]]
How about that? (from a mad INTP scientist) - I'll leave the working code in User:Ronhjones/Sandbox for a few days.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 00:52, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll experiment with this a little—maybe add a colored border that reflects the personalities of each type. I'm thinking warm, vibrant colors for the SPs; warm, conservative colors for the SJs; cool, vibrant colors for the NFs; and cool, conservative colors for the NTs. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:12, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Glad to help. My wife would agree with cool for NT... :-)  Ronhjones  (Talk) 16:11, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, here's what I did. Using the color wheel as a guide, and following my NF instincts, I selected the following colors for each type. (Note that the colors listed are descriptive and not the color names.)

SPs ISTP (dark red) ESTP (reddish orange) ESFP (orange) ISFP (yellowish orange)
SJs ISFJ (yellow) ESFJ (yellowish green) ISTJ (green) ESTJ (dark green)
NTs ENTP (greenish blue) INTP (blue) ENTJ (dark blue) INTJ (violet blue)
NFs INFJ (purple) INFP (mauve) ENFJ (reddish purple) ENFP (red)

If anyone wanted to make a change, for instance, using a different shade of yellowish-orange for ISFP, I wouldn't object to that. But if you want to change the color to something like green or purple, I think it would be better to discuss it here first, because it will throw the entire thing off.

I made the logos 270px wide, which is smaller than they were but probably still too wide. At 250px, the pattern started to run together. That may not be a bad thing, though. ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:11, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with Habanero that these logos are useless and inappropriate. Even if they contain some color-coded significance, that will be lost on a typical reader, especially since she will be able to get the same information by reading the title of the article. These pictures don't add anything, and, frankly, look childish. I disagree with ThreeOfCups that they are better than nothing. (talk) 23:01, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I'll replace them with a photo of Carl Jung, unless someone has a better idea. I can't find any public domain photos of Isabel Myers. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:08, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I also added the Jung photo to this article. Other suggestions would be appreciated. ThreeOfCups (talk) 01:57, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Commercial popularity[edit]

I added a bit to the intro about the commercial popularity of the assessment—not because I think it's persuasive, but because I think it's important information for readers who are unacquainted with the tool. The theory behind the MBTI may be unproven scientifically, but the MBTI is notable because it's successful. ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:17, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

You really ought to give up the MBTI and go to socionics. Tcaudilllg (talk) 09:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Please see WP:TALK#How to use article talk pages:"Keep on topic: Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions on the topic of how to improve the associated article. Irrelevant discussions are subject to removal." ThreeOfCups (talk) 20:38, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I expected you'd do that. I was giving you advice as the guy who will be responsible for dethroning the MBTI (assuming it doesn't break and absorb socionics), but it's evident you won't listen to reason, or you already WOULD have switched to socionics. If not for your stubborn reluctance this article would almost not be notable because socionics would have already replaced it. In any case, I mourn for all the wasted effort so many psychologists have put into this tool, only to see it superseded without cause by Augusta's superior work.
Although your real nail in the coffin is Boukalov.
As for the relevance of this discussion to the article, it pertains to the attitude of MBTI practicioners towards socionics, which that I know of has not been examined. Tcaudilllg (talk) 10:36, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
You are incapable of helping this article get to GA status because you are incapable of comprehending the relation of the subject matter to other such theories. And because of that, you don't understand the subject matter. Tcaudilllg (talk) 10:43, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a guideline and how dare you exploit it. Tcaudilllg (talk) 01:03, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
To repeat, WP:TALK#How to use article talk pages:"Keep on topic: Talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions on the topic of how to improve the associated article. Irrelevant discussions are subject to removal." Discussions of Socionics have no place on this page. ThreeOfCups (talk) 02:23, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Inserting critique by socionists[edit]

Socionists have had numerous things to say about the MBTI, and I think they should be represented in this article. Sources will be provided. Tcaudilllg (talk) 01:11, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposed move[edit]

I propose replacing the hyphen with an endash, per WP:ENDASH. The article would be moved to Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, currently a redirect. Binksternet (talk) 16:14, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a publication. The publication is spelled with a hyphen, not an en dash. I think perhaps you're misunderstanding the proper use of they en dash. Normally, a hyphen is used to join terms. The en dash is used in a small percentage of exceptions. You might want to consider consulting The Chicago Manual of Style for a more thorough explanation.
Thank you, ThreeOfCups, for clarifying that the name is a publication. I expected that it might be trademarked with the hyphen. There is, however, no need for me to "consider" consulting the Chicago or even the Oxford manual of style. We have at Wikipedia a global mission, and our manual of style, available at WP:MOS, is a compromise or amalgamated position—I need go no further. To your point, though, Myers–Briggs is exactly one of those "small percentage" of cases where the endash is indicated, absent such circumstances as trademark name or purposeful choice of hyphen by originator. Binksternet (talk) 07:17, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I pointed you to CMOS because I assumed you had already checked the WP:MOS. The WP:MOS indicates that the en dash should be used for disjunction, and the hyphen for conjunction. "Myers-Briggs" is a conjunction. The WP:MOS is incomplete on this subject, and needs more examples to clarify the difference. The CMOS, by contrast, does a very good job. ThreeOfCups (talk) 03:46, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for the pointers. I'm checking out of this article as it is good hands. Binksternet (talk) 08:55, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) For the record, Myers-Briggs is a disjunction really (confer James–Lange theory). The real reason why it should be written with a hyphen is that it is trademarked this way; confer Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator. --Omnipaedista (talk) 04:48, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Reverted edits[edit]

This article has a long history and some of the phrasing has been crafted to respond to specific concerns raised months or years earlier. The phrase "In her original research" is accurate and serves a purpose, even if some people may find it unnecessary. I don't see how it hurts anything for the phrase to be there. The statement about Myers and Briggs having no formal training in psychometic testing is factual and appears in the preface to Gifts Differing. They were self-taught, and no one officially associated with the MBTI makes any pretense to the contrary. The section heading "Criticism" is a standard heading title and appropriate for this article. ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:24, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

The phrase, "In her original research" does not appear to have been discussed anywhere on talk, including in the archives. What purpose is it supposed to serve? As for the line about formal training, I did not say it was false; I rather said it was original research (which Myers and Briggs can do until the cows come home, just as long as they're not doing it on here). This line, "Neither Katharine Cook Briggs nor Isabel Briggs Myers were formally educated in psychology, and thus lacked scientific qualifications in the field of psychometric testing" (in the "Validity" subsection of "Criticism"), implies that Myers and Briggs should be doubted, if not entirely dismissed; it furthermore serves to frame the position that the test has limited validity, and that it may rightfully be ciriticized on this account. However, there is no sourced indication that their lack of formal training constitutes a problem. Instead, the implication emerges from the article itself, and is therefore in violation of WP:SYN (actually, it appears, in gross violation, because the source comes from Briggs herself, and therefore convolutes Briggs into an implicit critic of herself). (As an aside, the quoted line also happens to be ungrammatical. What it essentially says is, "Neither Briggs nor Myers [compound subject] was formally trained, and thus neither Briggs nor Myers [same compound subject, via parallelism] lacked scientific qualifications." So get rid of the double negative and we have, "Neither Briggs nor Myers was formally trained, and thus both Briggs and Myers had scientific qualifications." I don't quite think that that was the intended meaning...) Finally, "criticism" headings may be "standard" to a degree, but they also are contentious--and, I would think, for good reason. Let's say that I develop theory X. Then along comes a critic who says, in essense, "X is false." I retort, "No, X is true." Does "criticism" really seem the ideal word to characterize this exchange? I'd think "debate" or "argument" would better capture the mutuality and dialogue that emerge as soon as I respond to my critic. But let's suppose that, instead of saying, "X is false", the critic says, "X is great, but at the same time, X really should consider Y." Even if I don't respond, is this critic even much of a "critic" at all? "Criticism" might not be the best word, and even "debate" or "argument" could be too narrow. But "perception" or "reception" could be adequate. The word "criticize" (in a colloquial sense) implies minimal dialogue and discussion; it is more or less synonymous with "scold". But the passage in the article does not function to say, "Tsk-tsk, Myers-Briggs!" It rather serves to demonstrate how the theory has been received, rejected, and revised; it summarizes, in other words, people's perceptions of the test. Cosmic Latte (talk) 20:16, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
The colloquial meaning of "criticize" may be to scold, but that's not the academic meaning. This is an encyclopedia, and "Criticism" is the correct term. The section isn't concerned with perceptions but with facts, based on formal academic research.
I moved the sentence about Briggs' and Myers' lack of formal training to the History section. It's critically important that this information remain in the article to maintain NPOV. (Not that lack of formal training is a valid criticism; Jane Goodall had no formal training when she first began her chimp studies, and therefore was unburdened by preconceived ideas. Lack of formal training can lead to better results. But factually, it's important.) In the early years, the validity of the assessment was disputed on the basis of Briggs' and Myers' lack of education alone, and Gifts Differing talks about that. It took twenty years for Myers to find someone who would take her seriously. And there are many in the academic community who continue to disregard the MBTI for the same reasons. It's not an intelligent argument, but it's an argument that's made all the time. So the statement in the original context was not a violation of WP:SYN.
The discussion about the phrase "in her original research" is documented above:
To suggest that the statement "Isabel Myers found in her research..." requires a disclaimer (saying that Myers' research isn't an independent source) doesn't make sense to me. The article makes it clear that her original research is the basis of the instrument, and therefore the instrument does not exist independent of her research. Would anyone suggest that in an article on Einstein's theory of relativity, any research that Einstein did himself must be disclaimed, because research supporting his own theory isn't independent? Such research is source material, not supporting material, so I don't see why a disclaimer would be required.
The phrase "in her original research" is there to make it clear that the statement refers to source material, not supporting material. ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:01, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Role variant articles[edit]

I think that the articles for the individual role variants should be merged into those of the MBTI types they represent. I'm aware that the role variant analyses weren't part of the original MBTI, but the articles really have a lot of overlap. Tezero (talk) 02:50, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I think they should be merged too, there is too much overlap. --Aronoel (talk) 17:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Main Photo[edit]

does anyone agree with me that considering this is a page on 'myers-briggs type indicator' that the picture should be of myers or briggs as opposed to Jung?

here's one:,r:1,s:0 (talk) 13:49, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

To my knowledge, there are no public domain photos of Isabel Myers. The image you refer to is sourced from a site operated by the Myers family, so without information suggesting that the photo is public domain, I wouldn't assume that it is. ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:27, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree it's a problem that Carl Jung is depicted on this page, instead of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Has anyone contacted the Myers & Briggs Foundation to ask permission to use the image? If not, I'd be willing to contact them. (Let me know before 8/8/11 if someone's already gotten in touch with them. If not, I'll try to do it that week). Designmary (talk) 21:51, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I've contacted the Myers & Briggs Foundation to see if they know of a photo in the public domain we could use, or would be able to provide us permission. I'll let you know when I hear back. (I also changed the title of this section of the Discussion page to "Main Photo" to ease confusion.Designmary (talk) 00:25, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Criticism section seems to be a POV fork[edit]

I don't think the criticism section is necessary at all in this article, and I believe it serves as a POV fork. Why is it necessary to have the section "Reliability" under "criticism"? It can neutrally present the facts and discussions about the test's reliability without categorizing it all as opposition to Myers-Briggs. And also, why is "skepticism" its own section outside of "criticism"? I will try and re-organize this section to eliminate any POV fork issues. --Aronoel (talk) 18:01, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

The subsections of the criticism section are as they are for a reason. There are multiple problems with the instrument, and each of the major problems is addressed under a subheading. There is a very broad base of scientific and academic support for these critical views of the MBTI. Each subsection started with a general statement of the nature of that particular criticism, then followed up with peer-reviewed references.
I agree that there are some problems with this section, particularly that the "Skepticism" section should be merged with "Criticism." But as the article currently stands, the majority describes the instrument and the ideas behind it. There needs to be a consensus before the whole section is dropped, so I have restored it. Wilford Nusser (talk) 00:39, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Wilford, you've said in your edit summary that the Criticism section is "less than a tenth of the article". How did you arrive at that conclusion? The figures show that the article is 61k long and the Criticism section is 12k long. So that would make it about 20% of the article. Johnfos (talk) 01:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Rather than arguing over percentages, let's take another approach. Search Google Scholar for "Myers Briggs Type Indicator" and, omitting publications by those with an obvious conflict of interest (i.e., the ones who MAKE MONEY from it), take a look at the nature of recent peer-reviewed material related to this instrument. The first (McCrea and Costa. Reinterpreting the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator From the Perspective of the Five-Factor Model of Personality. Journal of Personality, 1989) addresses the lack of dichotomy in preferences and conclude "the data suggest that Jung's theory is either incorrect or inadequately operationalized by the MBTI." The second (Gardner and Martinko. Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to Study Managers: A Literature Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Management, 1996) addresses the "limitations of research on psychological types" and "advocates: (1) the exploration of potential psychometric refinements of the MBTI, (2) more rigorous research designs, and (3) a broadening of the scope of managerial research into type." The third (Pittenger. The Utility of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Review of Educational Research, 1993) concludes that "a review of the available literature suggests that there is insufficient evidence to support the tenets of and claims about the utility of the test."
My point is that there is a clear academic majority who assesses that the MBTI comes up short against the claims made for it. To call this a POV fork is like saying climate change is a "POV fork." The majority of the article covers the type indicator and the theory behind it, but the article would be incomplete without discussing in reasonable detail the scientific assessment of its value. So I retract my "one-tenth" obvious tongue-in-cheek hyperbole in the edit summary (you will note that fraction never appears in my content above), but stand by the rationale for restoration of the section. Wilford Nusser (talk) 03:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I think the criticism and skepticism sections dominate the article and unbalance it. I would suggest that they be cut down to about half of their current length, to about 10% of the article. If this is not possible then a POV tag should be added at the top of the article. Johnfos (talk) 04:17, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for discussing the criticism section with me. Of course I agree that this article needs to have a scientific assessment of the test's value, I just think having that assessment under "criticism" is unnecessary and gives the impression that it is a subjective point of view and not scientific consensus. For example, the article Homeopathy has a section called "evidence", which covers a lot of major criticism of homeopathy, but it doesn't need to be under the category "criticism" because an objective discussion of evidence does not have to be labeled as one side of a debate between two equal points of view. That's what I meant when I said that this section is a POV fork.
So I do think the content in the criticism section should be completely retained, and just should be under neutrally-titled sections like "validity" or "evidence". Also, after reading Wilford Nusser's comments, I wonder if maybe the content in the criticism section needs to be given more weight, (for example, by rewording "The statistical validity of the MBTI as a psychometric instrument has been the subject of criticism" to "The MBTI as a psychometric instrument is not statisically valid.") --Aronoel (talk) 15:45, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Under the "Reverted Edits" heading above, the precedents on Wikipedia for criticism sections have already been discussed. It is pretty standard on Wikipedia to have criticisms conveniently collected under one heading in the article, rather than scattered throughout. This is especially true on subjects which have been exposed to a considerable amount of criticism (e.g. Windows Vista, PNAC). This has a couple of advantages, including easing research by individuals who may be interested in specific criticisms of a topic. It further avoids giving the entire article a debate-like tone, and improves the flow of the article by allowing related ideas to remain connected in consecutive sentences or paragraphs, without a series of intervening "howevers."
I am not completely opposed to removing this section, if the material can be reworked into the article in a way that avoids these problems. This would require a substantial rewrite, though. I'm also not opposed to changing the title of the Criticism section to avoid the possible negative connotations this word carries, but such a solution is merely cosmetic and would not address any underlying POV fork issues (if they exist, which I tend to doubt.) Wilford Nusser (talk) 21:39, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I know that a lot of articles use criticism sections, but my understanding is that there is sometimes disagreement on Wikipedia on how appropriate it is to separate out critical views from the rest of the article. Regardless, I think it's not very useful here, (and maybe even problematic, as I've argued previously) because neutral section titles like "validity" are clear enough to indicate where critical and scientific commentaries are going to be located. Just like in Homeopathy, it's easy to know that "evidence" contains critical views.
It will take a little work, but I think the following changes would help resolve what I still believe is a POV fork and just improve this article in general: 1. removing the heading "criticism" and leaving the other section titles to stand on their own, 2. integrating the section "skepticism" into other appropriate sections with criticism, 3. combining the sections "statistical structure" and "validity", maybe using a subsection (statistical structure is related to the test's validity), 4. possibly adding the content of "origins of the theory", with some rewording, to both "historical development" and "validity", 5. Removing sources with a conflict of interest (do they count as RS?)
Sorry to write so much. I will try and perform these changes myself one at a time, please let me know what you think, especially regarding the sources with conflict of interest. --Aronoel (talk) 16:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Info in lead about "other studies"[edit]

Hey ThreeOfCups, when I wrote in my edit "although other studies have shown the statistical validity, reliability, and utility as a job predictor to be low", it was supposed to refer to the other studies cited in the sections validity, reliability, and utility, not the ones cited earlier in the sentence. --Aronoel (talk) 19:37, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps so, but you also deleted the part about the supporting studies having found variation, which is important. The part you added is already suggested in the lead and found in more detail in the article. If you really feel it's necessary to repeat the information in the lead, please do so without removing the caveat about the supporting studies. ThreeOfCups (talk) 00:40, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. I'll leave the caveat in, but I still think the information about studies not supporting the MBTI should definitely be in the lead, since the only studies mentioned are supportive of the MBTI. --Aronoel (talk) 16:05, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
The lead currently contains the sentence, 'Some academic psychologists have criticized the MBTI instrument, claiming that it "lacks convincing validity data"', then cites four studies supporting that claim. That's why I think the information you added, which summarizes information found elsewhere in the article, is unnecessary. ThreeOfCups (talk) 16:14, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
I see now what you're referring to, but I don't think "some psychologists claim that..." is really the same as "some studies have found that..." --Aronoel (talk) 16:21, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Cognitive functions on some Myers-Briggs types[edit]

Could someone who is an expert, or who knows a good deal about the cognitive functions check out the order (for ex., dominant; auxiliary..) of the cognitive functions on each of the Myers-Briggs types. I'd do it myself, but I don't know enough about it to know that my hunch is 100% right. I suspect that it isn't in the right order (on a lot of them in fact). Could someone please check it out? Thanks. Bravo! Alfa! Papa! 20:41, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Could you be specific about what your concerns are? I don't want to go on a wild goose chase. Are you referring to this article? To the articles for the specific types? I believe the order in the articles for the specific types are all correct. ThreeOfCups (talk) 22:44, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
The articles I'm referring to are the MBTI types proper (ex. ISTJ; I believe this one is in the wrong order). For example, in ISTJ it lists the dominant cognitive function as introverted sensing, if the way they orient themselves to the external world is Judging, shouldn't the dominant cognitive function be introverted thinking? I'm just going by what it says in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator#Judgment vs. perception. So either that section is wrong or that article describing the type itself is wrong. And trust me, you're not gonna go on a wild goose chase; there's plenty MBTI type articles that seem to have this wrong. There's plenty to choose from. Bravo! Alfa! Papa! 02:39, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The articles are correct. Your understanding is wrong. As this article states, "For extraverts, the J or P indicates their dominant function; for introverts, the J or P indicates their auxiliary function." Introverts use their dominant function with their internal world. They use their auxiliary function with the external world. Therefore, since ISTJs use their judging function—thinking—with the external world, extraverted thinking is in the auxiliary position, and introverted sensing is in the dominant position. ThreeOfCups (talk) 04:58, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm just curious does it say in this article (that is the article that this discussion is on..), or does it explain how thinking is extraverted? If so, in which section. I'm not trying to one up you; I'm just curious for my own study. Bravo! Alfa! Papa! 05:02, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I think I'm all confused; what section explains clearly how the dominant function is arrived at? Bravo! Alfa! Papa! 05:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I scanned the articles. And now I get it (sort of). Wow! I get it in one second, and then it goes away. That's a really complicated model. You have to almost be a genius to understand it. Bravo! Alfa! Papa! 05:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually, its not that complicated. Thanks for clarifying. Bravo! Alfa! Papa! 06:05, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I "have" to throw a spanner in the works here, late in the day, as the idea that MBTI provides some sort of definitive crystal ball onto human nature is very far from the truth. MBTI is an extended assumption loosely founded upon a model that Jung came up with. Cognition is a concept not something real. The word and its definition change subtly but significantly between users, as between Jung and the Briggs, so there is no "answer" as there is no clear question. However, there seems little evidence that MBTI, or any other typology of character, has much substance (e.g. see Validity section of the article), but as far as I can see such typologies have historically generally done more harm than good in clinical settings, and I am unconvinced of their ethical benefits in other settings. (talk) 17:04, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Explanation of dominant and auxiliary functions[edit]

As a certified MBTI administrator, allow me to offer a (hopefully!) clearer explanation of each type's dominant and auxiliary functions. The dominant function is a reflection of two factors: the type's preference 1) for closure/decisiveness (Judging) or for spontaneity/leaving one's options open (Perceiving) and 2) for internal reflection (Introversion) or for external interaction (Extraversion) as the primary source of decision-making, whether these processes are objective/abstract principle (i.e., Thinking preference)-based or subjective/interpersonal criteria (Feeling preference)-based. It's the particular combination of both aspects of the type that determines the dominant vs. auxiliary function - a two-step interpretatation process.

Step 1: Does the type have a Judding or Perceiving preference? If has a Judging preference, by default, the "direction" of the type's decision-making preferences (whether Thinking- or Feeling-oriented) is extraverted; thus, an INTJ (a "Judging" type) has an extraverted Thinking function. Conversely, for types with a Perceiving preference, the decision-making (Thinking/Feeling) processes are introverted and the information intake/interpretation function (iNtuitive or Sensing) is extraverted - thus, an ENTP (a "Perceiving" type) has an introverted Thinking and an extraverted iNtuitive function.

Step 2: Does the type have an overall Introverted or Extraverted preference? If Introverted (all "I" types, as in "I"STJ, "I"NFP, etc), the type's introverted function will be his/her dominant one. As explained above, for "J's" this will be the information intakefunction(iNtuition (N) or Sensing (S)) while for "P's" it's the type's decision-making (Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)) function. For "Extraverts" on the other hand the opposite is the case: the extraverted, not the introverted, function is the dominant one, which will again be either "T" or "F" for those with a "J" preference and "N" or "S" for those with a "P" preference.

If this all sounds very complicated, it's because it is. While I appreciate the article's efforts to simplify the explanation, unfortunately, in so doing, too much necessary detail was lost, so that the distinction made between the dominant and auxiliary functions is very nearly meaningless. Perhaps some kind of compromise between the long-windedness of my explanation and the excessive brevity of the article's would resolve the problem? I'd be very happy to work on a slimmed down explanation with someone else's help. Please advise if interesteds. Thanks! Jsdmbtifan (talk) 05:25, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Jung pic[edit]

We now have a great many pictures of Carl Jung here. I particularly dislike the current one with its painted-on color and grand photo of that vine, but I don't find any other one especially appealing, either. I cropped and desaturated the current one File:Jung_1910-cropped.jpg, but there are many other good ones. -- ke4roh (talk) 19:09, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't like the photo, either, but I have no confidence that the others at that link are in the public domain. ThreeOfCups (talk) 23:37, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

"Assignment" of the trademark[edit]

In the last paragraph of the initial overview: " the registered trademark rights to the terms Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and MBTI have been assigned from the publisher to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust". How is the "from" meant? Was it a transfer of the rights from CPP to the trust?Svato (talk) 15:05, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Quotation correction re bimodality findings[edit]

Under the Validity section of the article there is a reference to a paper by Bess, T.L. & Harvey, R.J. (2001) given at the Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, San Diego 2001. After the main reference to this there is an additional quote that read:

Nevertheless, "the absence of bimodal score distributions does not necessarily prove that the 'type'-based approach is incorrect."

I was fascinated by this as the absence of bi-modality is fundamental to the argument that people can be "sorted" through bi-modality. Reading the paper I found that the quotation being cited was not only incorrectly quoted but was entirely misleading. I have therefore replaced it with the slightly longer but correct one:

Although we do not conclude that the absence of bimodality necessarily proves that the MBTI developers’ theory-based assumption of categorical “types” of personality is invalid, the absence of empirical bimodality in IRT-based MBTI scores does indeed remove a potentially powerful line of evidence that was previously available to “type” advocates to cite in defense of their position.

The level of proof being referred to as absent is not described. I imagine the comment is added as a professional courtesy to a highly invested and emotionally charged area. The absence of bi-modality in the statistics is not so much a disproof of a theory as a demonstration that none is required. MBTI is an "assumption" which, from the data appears has yet to be proved. The paper does not introduce any doubt as to the relevance of the absence of bimodality in the statistical results. It states categorically it seems to me that there is no evidence of bimodality. Bimodality is the central tenet of MBTI, not of Jung.
LookingGlass (talk) 15:38, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

As LookingGlass points out, bimodality is a not central to the theory of psychological type put forth by Jung. However, it is also not a "central tenet" of the MBTI either, although it is a goal of the MBTI to minimize error of measurement at the cut score on each of the four preference scales. Some have hypothesized that if the MBTI is a satisfactory indicator of type—and if Jungian type is a useful psychological model—that scores should be bimodal. For example, one scale on the MBTI attempts to identify whether a person prefers Introversion or Extraversion. The MBTI does this by estimating an underlying continuous trait score and classifying people who score below a cut score as Extraverts and above that score as Introverts.
In fact, it would be surprising to find anything more than weak bimodality at best on the four MBTI scales when administering it to a general population of people. This is because even if the underlying type theory is correct, the preferences themselves are not categorical. Indeed, the Bess & Harvey (2001) study design itself was not an optimal way to test the limited issue it focused on: the impact of the number of quadrature points on the results of an earlier study by Harvey that suggested bimodality. A better design would have included a larger sample of different numbers of quadrature points. I suspect the study was not accepted in a peer-reviewed journal because of its flaws, and the authors chose not to pursue the line of research further.
For those who believe failure to demonstrate bimodality is a serious stake in the heart of the case of the validity of the MBTI in identifying psychological type, I want to suggest a more fruitful approach to gathering convincing evidence. Sufficient numbers of people representing each of the 16 types (e.g., 30 or more) whose types have been verified independently of the MBTI (e.g., having participants select their "best-fit" type after reading about the 16 types before taking the MBTI or before receiving the results). The score distributions for each type would be compared across each of the four preference scales. For example, to support the validity of the MBTI, the extraverted types and introverted types would have distinct distributions of extraverted/introverted preference scores, with substantially different mean preference scores for the eight extraverted types vs. the eight introverted types. The MBTI, like any psychometric measure, will have some measurement error. Therefore, some extraverts will fall in the introvert range, and vice versa. However, we would expect—if the MBTI does what it purports to do—the overlap between the two distributions to be relatively small. The study design I suggest is much more difficult and expensive to implement than those previously undertaken to look at overlap, but it would provide stronger evidence on which to draw conclusions about the validity of the inferences that may be drawn from the MBTI.--Drbb01 (talk) 07:10, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Care Needed When Concluding Research on Obsolete MBTI Forms Still Relevant[edit]

One difficulty with citing research on psychometric measures is that some of the findings will generalize easily to revised forms but some will not. For example (and this is just one), the article cites Pittenger (1993): "However, some researchers examining the proportions of each type within varying professions report that the proportion of MBTI types within each occupation is close to that within a random sample of the population.[15]" I will not attempt to support or refute whether Pittenger's conclusion was correct in 1993. Any research studies that supported this conclusion, however, used now-obsolete forms of the MBTI. In 1998, the MBTI underwent a major revision, including adopting a completely new psychometric model (a 3-parameter logistic IRT model replaced a classical test theory model) to both select items and score the instrument. Therefore, Pittenger's conclusion, which may or may not have been true in 1993, cannot be assumed true after 1998. Indeed, in 2008 the MBTI publisher, CPP, released (not cheap @ $99.00 US), "MBTI® Type Tables for Occupations," which includes type tables for more than 200 occupations. The self-selection ratios (the proportions of the 16 types within each occupation divided by the proportions of each estimated type within the general population) are far from random and are consistent with reasonable expectations (e.g., SSRs for INFP in counseling and clinical psychology are very high, but very low for accounting).

Because research results based on old or obsolete forms of tests and measures may no longer apply when they undergo significant revisions--as the MBTI did in 1998--articles like the one for the MBTI require careful monitoring and revision to account for such revisions. I am not proposing wholesale elimination of citations to past research; I believe wording can be changed to emphasize the now-historical nature of that research and the conclusions, with an indication about whether similar conclusions can yet be drawn--or refuted--on the current forms. When revisions are minor or cosmetic (e.g., rewording a few items to conform to changes in language usage), such rewording may not be necessary. But in cases like that of the substantial 1998 revisions to the MBTI (now Form M), the credibility of the article depends on communicating that changes to the measure require additional research to confirm or refute many of the conclusions that were based on obsolete forms.Drbb01 (talk) 05:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Two points - (1) try and avoid original research, you need to be very careful trying to be the arbiter between what previous research is relevant and what is out of date, (2) given that the published correspondence between Form M and Form G is 60% (similar to the test-retest correspondence of the MBTI) it is unlikely that Form M and previous versions differ massively (and theoretically unlikely that they would as the switch from the old scoring system to IRT is only a slight change in emphasis of different items, not a wholesale change in underlying model). --Coroebus 21:31, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Celebrity Types[edit]

Celebrity Types is indeed a notable site; it has been mentioned by name in The Washington Post as well as referenced in BBC News Magazine (not by name, but by description). The site deserves mention in some form, as does the practice of typing others since it was done by both Jung and Myers. If you disagree, please state why.

As for your second point, you are right that Jung did not use the letters. The proper terms should be used instead. Thanks, --Nightbraker 09:23, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I cannot see anything about this website which in any way makes it notable or deserving mentioning. There are numerous popular MBTI sites of this kind on the Internet and such sites are normally avoided in articles and not referred to or used for references. We know nothing about the credentials of the people behind this website. Just being mentioned in non-scholarly media articles isn't sufficient to establish notability. Also, the way in which you called it "notable" is a common trick by spammers to cunningly promote websites in articles. I doubt that this was your intention but the effect is still the same.
Some information on the issues concerning the speculative typing of other people along the lines of what you wrote would be appropriate but there would also need to be more precise references to support the comments. Afterwriting (talk) 11:01, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Consistency between the sub articles[edit]

I've noticed that the sub articles (e.g. ISTJ, ESTP) all list the individual traits of that specific personality differently.

For example, notice that the begging of the page ISTJ is "ISTJ (introversion, sensing, thinking, judgment)"

The page for ISFJ begins with "ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)" (note capital letters, no bold)

Some even have links. I think since these pages are directly related, we should have a standard way for writing the beginning. My only problem is that I can't decide which way to write it out. Thoughts? --Jdc1197 (talk) 02:54, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

I think the subarticles should be merged into one article. They have a lot of duplicate information (most of the second section, for instance, seems to be shared across all the articles) and are about extremely similar topics. Thoughts? Turdas (talk) 19:25, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Ersatz Test[edit]

Almost no casual reader is going to pay actual money to take the MBTI, I think an example of what the test is actually like is extremely relevant and useful even if it is a knockoff. Thoughts? —Manicjedi (talk) (contribs) (templates) 12:31, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Any "knockoff" isn't the MBTI and has no place anywhere in the article. Afterwriting (talk) 12:36, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

And, for your information, the "" website is a self-published website which appears to include copyright violations. On both of these grounds it cannot be included anywhere in the article. Afterwriting (talk) 13:03, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to merge 16 pairs of articles[edit]

I'm referring to the most predictable 16 pairs given that there are 16 of them. For example, I don't see why Architect (role variant) has to be distinct from INTP, my type. The articles contain basically the same content. Tezero (talk) 17:58, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Copy mistake[edit]

Because the ENTJ type is extraverted, the J indicates that the dominant function is the preferred judging function (extraverted thinking). The ENTJ type introverts the auxiliary perceiving function (introverted intuition). The tertiary function is sensing and the inferior function is introverted feeling.

Because the INTJ type is introverted, however, the J instead indicates that the auxiliary function is the preferred judging function (extraverted thinking). The INTJ type introverts the dominant perceiving function (introverted intuition). The tertiary function is feeling and the inferior function is extraverted sensing.

I'm pretty sure the second paragraph has been copy-and-pasted from the first and the "extraverted thinking" and "introverted intuition" need to be changed (possibly also the feeling/extraverted sensing). However, I don't know enough about this topic to do this with certainty. (talk) 16:33, 11 February 2014 (UTC)