Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Does it pay to know your type?

By Lillian Cunningham,December 14, 2012 
Some grandmothers pass down cameo necklaces. Katharine Cook Briggs passed down the world’s most widely used personality test.
Chances are you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or will. Roughly 2 million people a year do. It has become the gold standard of psychological assessments, used in businesses, government agencies and educational institutions. Along the way, it has spawned a multimillion-dollar business around its simple concept that everyone fits one of 16 personality types.
Now, 50 years after the first time anyone paid money for the test, the Myers-Briggs legacy is reaching the end of the family line. The youngest heirs don’t want it. And it’s not clear whether organizations should, either.

The above was published recently in the  Washington Post. For ther full article http://tiny.cc/tb68pw

On January 2 an active discussion began in FB. I posted the following.

Some points to ponder:
- MBTI is based on Carl Jung's work published in 1921, Psychologische Typen
- Jung was a psychiatrist
- he worked in a psychiatric hospital and his types were worked out by old fashioned observation of those around him, including
patients, staff and others
- Myers and Briggs essential work was the questionnaire
- when they sent a copy to Jung he sent it back with the message that it wasn't quite what he meant
- a major problem with the model is that it is too easy to become accredited to deliver it and many who deliver do so as if it is the one and only path to understanding the self
- it is not a test, it is a questionnaire
- it should only ever be considered part of the puzzle that is us
- there are other questionnaires designed to help you determine your preferences according to Jung
- the MBTI has a strong hold in the corporate setting
- everyone has a preference for doing certain things in certain ways but this does not mean you can't do things in other ways

I have been in therapy with a range of practitioners - Jungian, Freudian, Adleran.
The best two so far have been psychotherapists who embrace a number of schools and who have been very intuitive.

It is always important that I ask two questions before I begin the process.
1 - do you believe that psychology is an exact science?
2 - are you yourself in therapy?
If they answer in the positive for one, and the negative for two I don't engage them.

Jung said a lot, including this: Every individual is an exception to the rule.
he did not mean for people to be shoved in boxes.

The Washington Post is a newspaper. It needs to sell copy, in both hard and on-line forms. While the article could be read as a negative of psychological type, it did not hestitate to place the following add below the copy: