|Bob Palin wrote:|
> In 1971, as a college freshman, I was required to take three separate, but back to back, tests to measure my aptitude for different career paths. When I was called in to review the results, I was told they couldn't tell me anything about myself because I was inconsistent [...]
Bob, I was a freshman at the University of Michigan the same year and I also remember taking a three hour test filled with many hundreds of crazy questions like: "Do you prefer cooked or raw carrots?". From this, they believed they could measure not only my IQ, Creativity and Drive, but also predict how well I would do in eight different professional arenas. The guidance counselor called me in to discuss the results and made an effort to steer me away from my chosen profession of architecture into engineering since I had scored low in the Creativity category. Fortunately, I was self-confident enough to shrug all this off and continue on the correct path, but I often wondered what happened to those many other individuals who, at 18, did not have as clear a vision of where they were headed in life? I also wonder about this every time I hear about an engineering failure!
These are examples of how everything from IQ to Myers-Briggs test results can and are used in a totally improper way. Information gleaned from tests of this type can sometimes provide insightful trend data for a large group of people, but will most assuredly fail miserably if you attempt to reduce it down to unique individuals. People with a collectivist mentality see individuals as replaceable cogs and are very susceptible to this type of mistake. As individualists, we have to knowingly guard against these errors, but there is no need to conduct a wholesale dismissal of these tools just because they can be used incorrectly in the wrong hands.
I agree with the arguments that Eric Scott makes in his two previous posts. I believe he is demonstrating how to properly use the insights he has gained from reading this literature.
The question I have for the naysayers is, when you read the descriptions of the NT or SP types, do you actually put them in the same category as the meaningless generalities of astrological predictions, or do you see some useful descriptions of different human behavior which you can map to different people in the real world? Regardless of how you test, as you read about the various types, do you see some or one that you most closely identify with and other ones that seem alien to you? Does the description of the INTJ seem to describe what you know about Ayn Rand or do you see her fitting into one of the other categories? I ask these questions with all sincerity, as I am interested in trying to separate out the issue of testing applicability to individuals (something for which I see no evidence to support) from the issue of what sort of psychologically viable, and therefore useful insights might be present here.
(Edited by C. Jeffery Small on 1/30, 5:54pm)
(Edited by C. Jeffery Small on 1/30, 5:56pm)