Leadership & Personality LO1965

Gary and Lilly Evans (100451.3477@compuserve.com)
05 Jul 95 19:53:28 EDT

Replying to LO1915 --

> Regarding LO1666 and its mention of the Myers-Briggs as a tool.

I have been looking at various Compuserve forums. In one of them (don't
ask me where or how I stumbled upon it) there was an exchange of over 230
messages (in a week!) on MBTI or Myers-Briggs. I have extracted the
following from the intro to that conversation, which is entitled "MBTI
Research--The Untold Story". Unfortunately, no author appears at the end,
so I have no way of giving credit where it is due. Hope the information
is helful.

>Each year, hundreds of people every year invest about a thousand dollars and a
>week's time to learn how to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in
training >programs. In addition, over a million of other people attend these
programs or are >subjected to this popular personality test. While most
psychologists consider the
>MBTI to be unreliable and inconsistent with current scientific theory, the
>public has no knowledge of its weaknesses. They do not appreciate the dangers
>typing, and they do not have access to the scientific literature that has
discredited it.
>You may be interested in finding out about the research that MBTI trainers do
not >mention--indeed, may not even know about.

<snipped here>

>Druckman, Daniel and Robert A. Bjork, eds. The Mind's Eye: Enhancing Human
>Performance. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1991.

> The authors summarized studies that evaluated the MBTI and drew several

> "The evidence summarized in this section raises questions about the validity
of the >MBTI. . . . Unfortunately, neither the gains in sensitivity nor the
impact of those
>gains on performance have been documented by research. Nor has the instrument

>been validated in a long-term study of successful and unsuccessful careers.
Lacking >such evidence, it is a curiosity why the instrument is used so widely,
particularly in
>large organizations." (p. 99)

> "The lack of a supportive research foundation for the MBTI leads the committee
to >recommend that the instrument not be used in career counseling programs
until its >validity is supported by research." (p. 100)"

> "The popularity of this instrument in the absence of proven scientific worth
is >troublesome." (p. 101)

<snipped here>

The paper ends up with the references to Carl Jung's writings. I include
here the last part of it.

>He disagreed with the practice of typing people. "The opinion has got about
that my >method of treatment consists in fitting patients into this system and
giving them >corresponding 'advice.' This regrettable misunderstanding
completely ignores the fact that >this kind of classification is nothing but a
childish parlour game, every bit as
>futile as the division of mankind into brachycephalics and dolichocephalics.
My typology is >far rather a critical apparatus serving to sort out and organize
the welter of empirical >material, but not in any sense to stick labels on
people." p. xiv (1934).

Should anyone be interested in the whole piece, please send me an e-mail
request and I will post it on - it is only 3 pages. What do the
psychologists among us think about this?


lilly evans

Dr. Lilly Evans, Dipl.Ing.
Expert Communication Systems  			"Tomorrow' leadership for
Alheri House, Woodlands Road West			today's companies"
tel. / fax:	  	+44-(0)1344-842-418
e-mail 		100451.3477@compuserve.com

"There has been a waste of opportunity every time a meeting has taken place and nothing has happened,... In most meetings, pride or caution still forbids one to say what one feels most deeply." Theodore Zeldin AN INTIMATE HISTORY OF HUMANITY