The rantings of a curious man in a very strange world

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Myer Briggs

Early on in the school year I met a very eccentric young woman, whom with I have become good friends with. The primary reason we hit it off so well, despite coming from incredibly different worlds and her career choices (military then business) are things that I openly disdain, is that she could tell me exactly who I was almost better than I could within an hour of talking to me. She quickly introduced me to the Myer Briggs personality type indicator, a system that you can use to evaluate how a person acts and receive a moderately accurate description of how they make decisions.
Now since the systems creation it has been considered wrong by many, either because it isn’t narrow enough in its description or because it is too narrow, ironically the system also can tell you which personalities are more likely to think which of those two ideas. Whether or not it actually is universally correct doesn’t matter, as it acts as an extremely useful tool for social interaction. Once I have identified an individual’s personality type I know how I should approach interaction with them, avoid stepping on their toes and how to get on their good side.
There are those who would say utilizing the Myer Briggs system is unethical in any situation besides self-evaluation, but we I would have to argue that it is simply a way to categorize traits we see in people even without the system. Perhaps giving the knowledge of how everyone reacts is dangerous in the more manipulative personalities, but it also provides the less intuitive a way of identifying those who would manipulate them, how to work well with people and how to see who people are behind their outward persona. 

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