Academia and personality type


I'm sorry to disagree, Timmy, but claims that "descriptors" are "100% accurate" are by definition hyperbole.

I'm no expert in linguistic theory, but I know that language is polysemic, and thus open to manifold interpretations and appropriations.

Moreover, taxonomies (which I know a little more about) are always problematic, especially when we're seeking to classify something as subjective or imprecise as "personality types."

I have no concerns about people identifying with one of the Myers-Briggs personality types, but we shouldn't conclude that it's an infallible system because the results feel right, or were consistent when repeated in certain examples.


Problem is Nick you don't know who I am and I do. I am INTJ. Nothing you can do or say can change that.


To paraphrase, "INTJ descriptors feel right to me, therefore the Myers-Briggs system works perfectly."

I'm honestly not trying to be controversial or confrontational, but perhaps you could address some of my observations above, by explaining how we might construct a perfect taxonomic system (in any context), or account for any system of language in ways that resolve issues of polysemy and appropriation.


I'm INFJ too! Can't be that rare!


Ha ha ha I am ENFP. Apparently a great creative thinker but with a 'silly switch to become captain wildchild'. I've always said I'm a better ideas person than academic writer so I suppose it's sort of true :D


Nick the feedback I GOT is 100% accurate FOR ME. Therefore MBTI does not equal "horoscopes".


I'm sorry if this comes across as antagonistic, Timmy, but you've said precisely the same thing again, without making an effort to address my points about language and taxonomy.

You've also referenced just one example (based on your own subjective evaluations) to argue for MTBI descriptors' absolute accuracy or infallibility.

Since this forum is for academics (in practice or in training), our methods and conclusions should be informed by considerably greater rigour than you've applied here.

I'll admit that my horoscope analogy was hyperbolic and used for effect; but this doesn't mean the Myers-Briggs test is a reliable indicator of personality types and their demarcations, which are inevitably problematic, for the reasons I've stated above.

Furthermore, the test derives from Jungian "theory," and thus exists to at least some degree at the level of abstraction; or put another way, is beyond absolute empiricism. (For the record, I'm from a humanities background, so my comments aren't "anti-theory." However, I recognise theory's limitations in particular contexts, including this one.)


I know I can give different answers on different days, depends how I feel. Or maybe that is the ENFP in me! Whilst fun I treat these 'tests' with a pinch of salt. I agree that just because the results seem/feel true to some people because they aren't true for all they can't then be generalized.


I am INTJ. I think all those types are applicable to academics in different disciplines.


I don't care what you think Nick and the fact you dispute I know myself better than you displays your arrogance and disrespect.


I didn't claim to know you better than you know yourself. (Clearly I don't know you at all.)

I was merely highlighting problems with the Myers-Briggs indicators; and you still haven't addressed any of my points about those problems. Rather you've reasserted that the test and personality descriptors are "100% accurate," because they feel right to you.

I'm sorry, but this doesn't make for a persuasive argument; and as academics or would-be-academics, we need to respond to questions and criticisms by working through any points raised, disproving alternative hypotheses, or acknowledging valid criticism and changing our position accordingly.

I'll leave it there. For the record, my objective wasn't to "disrespect" you, but to outline and support an alternative view.


You are an idiot.


That's hardly a mature or considered response.

I find it telling that you accuse me of being disrespectful, yet you're happy to trade in cheap insults rather than engage with any of the points I've raised.

Avatar for Eska

I'm an ENFJ. Thanks for this, it helps me make sense of why the PhD solitude has finally driven me mental. It's been the hardest part of the process by far, for me.


I am an INTP. Maths isn't my strong point, but I have always loved strategy games - the more complex the better.