Husseinisdoingfine

Myers-Briggs = pseudoscience?

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Psychological tests are meant to measure constructs which represent an introspective experience. So yes its pseudo science since mood states such as happiness and sadness; and personality characteristics laziness or intelligence cannot be directly measured or observed.

Instead what happens is social science will get a huge sample, establish a bell curve, and then measure you against it to identify you amongst the rest.

Another faultiness of psychological testing is that they are self-reported which means people can lie, exaggerate or falsely assess themselves. 

The thing is, psychologists have never denied anything I'm saying, it's just average people take psychological tests as being Truth when its truly just a component in assessing or diagnosing someone. 

The only natural science regarding humans is Behavioral Analysis

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, SgtPepper said:

Psychological tests are meant to measure constructs which represent an introspective experience. So yes its pseudo science since mood states such as happiness and sadness; and personality characteristics laziness or intelligence cannot be directly measured or observed.

That is one weird ass demarcation criterion. Science at the end of the day is nothing but constructs all the way down. Psychological constructs are just one kind of construct.

For example, you never really get a "direct measurement" of something in say nuclear physics. You instead rely on the output from a measurement instrument that represents the thing you're measuring (it's a type of construct). Also, the thing you're measuring is represented in a model. You're never dealing with the "thing itself" (if there even is such a thing). So you're using constructs to measure constructs etc.

Granted, some models and some measurement devices are more reliable than others, but they can still be useful for explaining and predicting different phenomenas, which in my estimation makes it a step up from what most would consider pseudoscience.

 

7 hours ago, SgtPepper said:

Instead what happens is social science will get a huge sample, establish a bell curve, and then measure you against it to identify you amongst the rest.

Social science is also notorious for relying on constructs that are difficult to define and measure. "While some constructs in social science research, such as a person’s age, weight, or a firm’s size, may be easy to measure, other constructs, such as creativity, prejudice, or alienation, may be considerably harder to measure." https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-herkimer-researchmethodsforsocialscience/chapter/chapter-6-measurement-of-constructs/

Statistical analysis is also not endemic to social science. Likewise, the self-report instrument is not endemic to psychology. Both are used all the time in respective fields.

 

7 hours ago, SgtPepper said:

The only natural science regarding humans is Behavioral Analysis

A field in which the models had such little explanatory power, it spawned an entirely new field called cognitive science :P

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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5 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

A field in which the models had such little explanatory power, it spawned an entirely new field called cognitive science.

And Cognitive Science itself isn't a monolithic field, but rather a cross-disciplinary umbrella in which contains several of its own paradigms for the study of mind, such as:

  • The Representational paradigm (the mind is like a computer, and operates on symbols which represent aspects of an external pre-given world)
  • The Distributed Network paradigm (the mind isn't a monolithic entirely but more like a society of mutually interacting entities which work upon different types of inputs from an external environment)
  • The Enactive or Embodied paradigm (the mind is embedded and embodied in an environment, and the reality that the mind experiences is a codependent origination of mind and an environment operating on one another).

 


"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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9 hours ago, DocWatts said:

The Enactive or Embodied paradigm (the mind is embedded and embodied in an environment, and the reality that the mind experiences is a codependent origination of mind and an environment operating on one another).

Reminds me of John Vervaeke's idea of .... hmmm... I forget what he calls it.  But it's something like how the mind isn't restricted just to the head/brain, but "goes out into the world and body".  He gives the example of driving a car; your mind/you "become the car", like when you "feel" where the boundaries of the car your driving are and sense when others are getting close to it and react emotionally when that happens.  Or when you're holding a cup, you feel it, you sense it in it's entirety. 

Maybe it's something like we don't say "I'm getting a think for driving the car".  We say "I'm getting a feel for driving the car." == internal cognition + external environment + embodiment.  

I dunno.  Might be off.  


"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"   --   Marry Poppins

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Posted (edited)

@Carl-Richard I agree with you! 

I still think there's value in self-assessments and psychological testing, but it depends on the context and rigorous nature of it. 

 

Edited by SgtPepper

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Posted (edited)

There are two ways to use MBTI, each have their place. One way is being a stickler who tries to definitively type someone, the other way is incorporating MBTI language as part of a dynamic vocabulary. I'll quickly make the case for the second way. 

 

For a model to be accurate it has to account for the most variation. No that's not it. More precisely put, the lifespan of a model can only be extended by accounting for variation, so as to produce a display that it's attempting to be accurate.

For variation, there must be plenty of abstraction, ambiguity, interpretation. Therefore you need flexibility to maintain the structure so that it doesn't fall apart. Since the model to begin with was nothing more than humans connecting the stars/dots into constellations, the model itself has no inherent black and white truths.

Due to necessary ambiguity and room for interpretation, what you're left with are a bunch of words which are untethered and free to use. New vocabulary to describe your impressions, aesthetics and feelings about things. These words become like more words in a dictionary, rather than words which are attached to some fixed statement or model.

Edited by lmfao

Hark ye yet again — the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough

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Posted (edited)

 

8 hours ago, Matt23 said:

He gives the example of driving a car; your mind/you "become the car", like when you "feel" where the boundaries of the car your driving are and sense when others are getting close to it and react emotionally when that happens.  Or when you're holding a cup, you feel it, you sense it in it's entirety. 

Maybe it's something like we don't say "I'm getting a think for driving the car".  We say "I'm getting a feel for driving the car." == internal cognition + external environment + embodiment.  

Sadhguru talks about something similar when he tries to explain the mechanics of non-dual/mystical awareness. He defines self-identification as the "boundary of sensation", and this can stretch and squeeze depending on your level of "exuberance" (energy level).

Normal people at rest will have a boundary of sensation that is centered around the boundary of the skin (they're very indentified with their physical body).

Then a step up from that, to take your car example, your boundary of sensation sort of extends to become aware of the boundary of the car.

Then maybe a step up from that can be when you're deeply in love, you feel like you're becoming one with that person in many respects. You feel very deeply for them.

Now, the mystical level of awareness happens when your energy levels become such that the boundary of sensation extends to include the entire universe. There is no longer a separation between you and the world. Everything feels like it's inside of yourself, like it "is" you.

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, Matt23 said:

Reminds me of John Vervaeke's idea of .... hmmm... I forget what he calls it.  But it's something like how the mind isn't restricted just to the head/brain, but "goes out into the world and body".  He gives the example of driving a car; your mind/you "become the car", like when you "feel" where the boundaries of the car your driving are and sense when others are getting close to it and react emotionally when that happens.  Or when you're holding a cup, you feel it, you sense it in it's entirety. 

Maybe it's something like we don't say "I'm getting a think for driving the car".  We say "I'm getting a feel for driving the car." == internal cognition + external environment + embodiment.  

I dunno.  Might be off.  

That's actually not too far off.

In The Embodied Mind, which is an excellent introduction to the Enactive paradigm of Mind, the authors refer frequently to the perception of Color as a demonstration of Embodied Cognition.

Something like the color Blue isn't something that exists "out there" in an external pre-given world, but is rather a codependent origination of a mind that's embedded and embodied in an environment.

If we were somehow able to rip your brain out of your body and stuff it in to a Robot, much of the embedded interaction with your Body that makes up important aspects of your Mind would be irrevocably lost.

For.a practical example of this, consider how things created in your body such as Hormones and Testosterone effect your mood.

Likewise, the authors emphasize throughout the work that organisms are not parachuted in to a pre-given environment, but that organisms shape thier environment in a similar way to how an environment shapes individual organisms. 

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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@Carl-Richard  Random thoughts I have. What's your defence of MBTI in the end? For example I'd say MBTI is useless as far as consciousness work goes. In fact it might impart falsehood when you take the stereotypes and apply them, e.g. you might try and label consciousness or attention to the present moment as "Se". 

My question then is, has MBTI become pathological for you? Whether that's yes or no, is there anything you do gate-keep yourself going too far with your mind?


Hark ye yet again — the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, lmfao said:

In fact it might impart falsehood when you take the stereotypes and apply them, e.g. you might try and label consciousness or attention to the present moment as "Se". 

I actually used to think exactly that: that meditating made me much more Se-oriented than I used to be, but then I adjusted my understanding of cognitive functions. It's more about how the mind deals with information - how it "perceives" and "judges" the world. Everybody has access to the present moment or consciousness. It's quite literally "beyond" the mind. A highly spiritual person might be surfing around in a thought-free state most of the time, but the way their thoughts are structured and the way they interact with their environment will still vary, and I believe that is what the cognitive functions are supposed to capture. This is of course a bit of a tangent, but I just felt like mentioning it :) 

 

2 hours ago, lmfao said:

My question then is, has MBTI become pathological for you? Whether that's yes or no, is there anything you do gate-keep yourself going too far with your mind?

I used to think about this a lot ever since I discovered the model: am I relying too much on this particular lens? Is it even valid? Am I fooling myself?

My current position is that I think it resonates with me more in some ways and less in others. I find that it's explanatory of very general aspects of myself and other people, but it's not a very predictive model, hence why people question its scientific status. For example, once I understood how the cognitive functions worked and how I'm primarily a Fi>Ne user, I think it made a lot of sense, but there are also other sides of myself that go towards Ti, Ni etc., in which case the typology aspect starts to break down (and subsequentially, predicting behavior according to "type" becomes less feasible). I also had the thought that what if the cognitive functions I resonate most with is just about what I value rather than what I actually express behaviorally? Maybe I just wish to be an introverted, intuitive, rational, moral person.

So what can we say for sure about the model? Well, the thing is that even if the personality types or cognitive functions didn't completely map onto reality like the model says it does, I find the concepts it introduces to be at least beneficial for describing (if not explaining) personality and cognition, just like everyday words and personal adjectives are. After all, the most empirically successful personality model (Big 5) was constructed by collecting personal adjectives from the dictionary and performing statistical analysis. Even though Jung didn't perform this exact methodology to come up with his cognitive functions, both approaches nevertheless converge at the level of personal experience: Jung felt according to his experience that his concepts could explain certain aspects of personality, and likewise the collective cultural backdrop produced its own collection of concepts based on its experience of personality. That is where we're all situated at the end of the day - inside our personal(lity) experience: does it resonate? Is it useful or not?

 

2 hours ago, lmfao said:

For example I'd say MBTI is useless as far as consciousness work goes.

With respect to consciousness work, I find it more useful as a distraction than anything else. The things that actually worked for me (back when I actively pursued enlightenment) was to do consistent, daily meditation practice, take care of my physical body, take responsibility and try to grow as a person. Lately, I've been focusing more on the latter. Even though learning about things like MBTI can be seen as a distraction in the grand scheme of things, it's a part of my path of development and self-expression (which I value as a Fi dominant ;)); to explore more perspectives and learn more about myself and the world. Who knows - maybe it will all be useful in the end?

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Posted (edited)

@Carl-Richard I never resonated with people who bring up Big Five to shit on MBTI, it obviously isn't Big Five, apples and oranges. 

3 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

I actually used to think exactly that: that meditating made me much more Se-oriented than I used to be, but then I adjusted my understanding of cognitive functions.

Memes like these flicker across my mind. I think I should maybe just not engage that type of thinking and focus on other things. I had a stretch of time over several months, until a few months ago, where MBTI was just forgotten from my mind. Felt good to have that break. In very recent weeks and months I see reminders of it here and there now, and talk about it occasionally. It's often in the back of my mind now and then, in parallel processing.

"parallel processing" is false for what's going on for me, where the thoughts/images happen quickly and I just don't realise it.

3 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

My current position is that I think it resonates with me more in some ways and less in others. I find that it's explanatory of very general aspects of myself and other people, but it's not a very predictive model, hence why people question its scientific status. For example, once I understood how the cognitive functions worked and how I'm primarily a Fi>Ne user, I think it made a lot of sense, but there are also other sides of myself that go towards Ti, Ni etc., in which case the typology aspect starts to break down (and subsequentially, predicting behavior according to "type" becomes less feasible). I also had the thought that what if the cognitive functions I resonate most with is just about what I value rather than what I actually express behaviorally? Maybe I just wish to be an introverted, intuitive, rational, moral person.

When it comes to me doing autopilot or unconscious thinking, I explained in an earlier post here how I prefer to view MBTI. Where the terms become more about subjective aesthetic and vibes.

3 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

Lately, I've been focusing more on the latter. Even though learning about things like MBTI can be seen as a distraction in the grand scheme of things, it's a part of my path of development and self-expression (which I value as a Fi dominant ;)); to explore more perspectives and learn more about myself and the world. Who knows - maybe it will all be useful in the end?

My path of development and self-expression is calling people nig*** fa***** retards :D

Edited by lmfao

Hark ye yet again — the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough

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@lmfao Kept thinking about this while falling asleep, so I just quickly wanted to write it down here:

One example of how I find the model explanatory is how when I tried to predict the type of my mom and my little brother before they took the test, it matched perfectly with their results (ESFJ and ISTP). My dad hasn't taken the test yet, but I believe he is INFP like me :P. However, this is not the same as using their type to predict their behavior in a given situation (hence it's more explanatory than predictive). Explanatory and predictive capability are like mirror images of eachother: deriving type from behavior vs. deriving behavior from type.


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Posted (edited)

@Husseinisdoingfine Yes, it's basic psychology. You can measure personality traits (the big 5 is a good example) to some degree, but there are no personality "types" that can be measured to the degree Myers-Briggs attempts to. If you really pay attention to how you act yourself out, you'll notice indiscrepancies in your behavior. You'll act and say things one way at work and then contradict that behavior when at home. Most people are not cohesively structured as an "individual", although, you can be by becoming the conscious observer of the way you present the many facets of yourself and correcting contradictions for the sake of what you really believe. This is how you achieve real authenticity, and trust me, when you get to that point, you won't need a personality test to ground the ego. You'll know who you are. 

Edited by Depersonilized
Grammer

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Posted (edited)

@Carl-Richard Makes sense. I wouldn't easily be able to use the model on my dad for example, because he's from a different culture to me, and is some sort of ESTJ-ESFJ hybrid. But otherwise yeah I understand your point, that's how the model ends up looking like. You can predict the type of people even though you can't predict behaviour from type. 

If something is "not predictive" (something roughly along the lines as you're phrasing it) you have to question it. It starts sounding a bit post hoc fallacy 

That said, I still understand and can see what you're saying 

Edited by lmfao

Hark ye yet again — the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, lmfao said:

If something is "not predictive" (something roughly along the lines as you're phrasing it) you have to question it. It starts sounding a bit post hoc fallacy 

Yeah. The problem with something being explanatory and not predictive is that the information density can be incredibly low and still technically fit the criteria. One antidote to this is the "naming vs. explaining" razor: differentiating the act of merely assigning names to a phenomena and actually providing answers based on a internally consistent framework.

"Naming" in this case is merely descriptive (on the level of personal adjectives): any formalisms provided by the framework either seem to explain absolutely everything (non-discriminatory; a critique of e.g. Freud) or is internally inconsistent (e.g. having fuzzy or overlapping constructs).

Based on my experience, MBTI is somewhat discriminatory and somewhat internally consistent, to such an extent that I'm able to compare my own understanding of the model with the output of the self-report instruments :)

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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