How much stock do you put in psychological ideas like DISC, MBTI,etc.

15 replies
Ones that try to fit individual personalities in categories.



E.g.:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISC_assessment
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%...Type_Indicator



and others



Just curious if anyone ever had a practical use for them. If so, how closely do you think they reflect reality?



Thoughts?
#disc #ideas #mbti #psychological #put #stock
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    Ones that try to fit individual personalities in categories.

    Just curious if anyone ever had a practical use for them. If so, how closely do you think they reflect reality?
    Thoughts?
    I've spent most of my life asking the question... "why do people do what they do?"

    Asking this one question has led me down a rabbit hole that's generated more questions than answers over the last 40+ years.

    I've tried to understand concepts like DISC, MBTI, etc. (and at least a half dozen other concepts that try to categorize people)

    Some of it's been interesting and insightful... Some of it has been confusing and convoluted... And some of it has been flat out bullshit created by self important narcissists calling themselves researchers.

    At least that's what I've gotten out of it


    But as long as you're only asking for opinions, I'll toss my cookies onto the page...


    It seems to me that humans have an insatiable need to make sense of everything.

    And to that end, as it pertains to your question, we come up with ways to explain different personality traits.


    One flaw with trying to categorize people into nice little boxes is that "situations matter".

    A person who is feeling safe and secure in their surroundings can act very differently than that same person when they are under stress.

    As an extreme example, just to emphasize the point...

    If someone is well fed, and lives in pleasant surroundings, they may show certain personality traits in that situation.

    But throw that same person into a war zone, and their Myers-Briggs assessment will probably look very different.



    Most of the research studies I've seen were done under research type conditions, with the volunteers consent.
    Which of course makes sense, because if you clandestinely follow someone around for any length of time you'll be considered a stalker. (And there are laws that frown on stalking behavior).

    But when people know they are being observed, they tend to act differently (less natural and more rehearsed)



    So as far as practical use for categorizing people...? Sure, they can give us a general starting point into understanding why people do what they do.

    But as far as how closely I think it reflects reality...? Well, what is reality? Is it really anything more than collective individual perception?
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    • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
      Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

      I've spent most of my life asking the question... "why do people do what they do?"

      Asking this one question has led me down a rabbit hole that's generated more questions than answers over the last 40+ years.

      I've tried to understand concepts like DISC, MBTI, etc. (and at least a half dozen other concepts that try to categorize people)

      Some of it's been interesting and insightful... Some of it has been confusing and convoluted... And some of it has been flat out bullshit created by self important narcissists calling themselves researchers.

      At least that's what I've gotten out of it


      But as long as you're only asking for opinions, I'll toss my cookies onto the page...


      It seems to me that humans have an insatiable need to make sense of everything.

      And to that end, as it pertains to your question, we come up with ways to explain different personality traits.


      One flaw with trying to categorize people into nice little boxes is that "situations matter".

      A person who is feeling safe and secure in their surroundings can act very differently than that same person when they are under stress.

      As an extreme example, just to emphasize the point...

      If someone is well fed, and lives in pleasant surroundings, they may show certain personality traits in that situation.

      But throw that same person into a war zone, and their Myers-Briggs assessment will probably look very different.



      Most of the research studies I've seen were done under research type conditions, with the volunteers consent.
      Which of course makes sense, because if you clandestinely follow someone around for any length of time you'll be considered a stalker. (And there are laws that frown on stalking behavior).

      But when people know they are being observed, they tend to act differently (less natural and more rehearsed)



      So as far as practical use for categorizing people...? Sure, they can give us a general starting point into understanding why people do what they do.

      But as far as how closely I think it reflects reality...? Well, what is reality? Is it really anything more than collective individual perception?
      socialentry,

      You've got me down a rabbit hole today, with this and with the micro movements in the Offline forum.

      I quoted SARubin because he shares most of my thinking on this. Most, but not all.

      For several years, I had to use or was supposed to use some of these instruments of discovery in various jobs while working as an uneducated social worker. My office was in a State Psychiatric Hospital (Fallsview) where daily I held meetings, discussions, training, and went one to one with many a person wearing a label and a diagnosis.

      The educated case managers, doctors, and PSYCHOLOGISTS liked to use these "instruments" of discovery, some even thinking they revealed the inner secrets of mankind.

      The closer one was to any given "tool", the more belief was attached. If a Case Manager, for example, had a professor which she had rapport with in her early college days was a big believer in Briggs-Myers for example, she had a tendency to also believe that.

      In marketing we see the same thing with first resonating Guru, as any and all threads on gurus will point out. If you come across one which resonates, that will tend to be your guy. So, maybe it was Halbert in copywriting, or Kennedy or Abraham in marketing and their word is gospel.

      It is as SARubin states:

      Sure, they can give us a general starting point into understanding why people do what they do.

      But as far as how closely I think it reflects reality...?


      The usefulness is in the general, in the masses application, in understanding people, but could be very dangerous when trying to understand a single person.

      A so called Great Copywriter, who gets a 3 to 4% response rate to a cold solicitation is considered a genius, while NOT influencing 96 out of 100 people.

      After about 12 years as an "uneducated" social worker, that is, lacking a degree...I think one would do just about as well with a good astrologer as they would with any given expert, including handwriting analysis, in the interpretation of these instruments of discovery and understanding. I might add, some of the wackiest people I knew back then were encountered when I left the hospital and returned to the "outside" world and back to the offices of those with advanced degrees of 'knowledge'.

      I have a lot to say about the other discussion too, but YES, reading people can get scary too, but it is a lot more reliable than what they say, do or write when being observed, the secret is to observe them. HUH??

      GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    I have not really found them usefull . The only thing I have found that got anywhere close was handwriting analysis .

    And I bet there are computer algorythyms that can get a pretty good snap shot of your personality through analyzing the text you put on forums or pretty much anywhere online .

    In the case of most personatity test I strongly agree that at least I tend to thing most of the questions are freaking lame

    Look at them as probably less effective than horascopes or zodiac to tell people personalities. The people in certain zodiac signs who have those traits will tell you their sign the people who don't will tell you it's BS
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    Ones that try to fit individual personalities in categories.



    E.g.:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DISC_assessment
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%...Type_Indicator



    and others



    Just curious if anyone ever had a practical use for them. If so, how closely do you think they reflect reality?



    Thoughts?
    I suppose they tend to reflect reality. An introverted person will show that they are introverted in these tests, I assume.

    Is it useful? Do you mean when dealing with others? I don't think so.

    How would you know the test results? Ask them?

    Selling and social interaction is a form of dance. You almost immediately know the kind of person you are talking to. We give ourselves away very quickly.

    Would our own profile help us in our social lives? I don't see how.
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      How would you know the test results? Ask them?

      Selling and social interaction is a form of dance. You almost immediately know the kind of person you are talking to. We give ourselves away very quickly.

      Would our own profile help us in our social lives? I don't see how.

      I'm not sure how it would be useful either, but I do know it's widely used in HR departments. I'd have to double check though I think there is a way to recognize the MBTI profile of someone solely from social media though it's not 100% accurate.
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        I'm not sure how it would be useful either, but I do know it's widely used in HR departments. I'd have to double check though I think there is a way to recognize the MBTI profile of someone solely from social media though it's not 100% accurate.
        Well I think it is probably usefully to hr departments getting hundred or thousands of online applications and resumes as a sorting method .

        They also cut down on the number of incoming resumes and applications if you add a half hour personality test to it.

        So instead of having to sort through 100,000 online submissions you screen for certain personality traits the degrees and experience .

        But I could be wrong on that . Probably am wrong .
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        I'm not sure how it would be useful either, but I do know it's widely used in HR departments. I'd have to double check though I think there is a way to recognize the MBTI profile of someone solely from social media though it's not 100% accurate.
        Now that you mention it, I can see why an HR department values these tests. It gives a process to evaluate the suitability of the candidate with the stresses and structure of the job.

        I almost posted this earlier, I think I'll do it here. I've taken these tests a few times, always when applying for a job in selling (this is back when I was in my 20s).

        It shows me as heavily introverted, judgmental, thinker. But I'm not introverted at all.

        It shows that result because I'm a borderline psychopath. I know that because of 2 CAT scans and twice taking the HARE psychopath test (once with a psychologist).

        But the MBTI test doesn't test for psychopathy, so the results put you in a different category. A lack of empathy for others is interpreted as shyness or being an introvert.

        And when you think of other people as a string of characteristics, more than as a person...it's interpreted as being judgmental. And a lack of interest in others is interpreted as a lack of feeling.

        I wonder how these tests would interpret someone with autism?

        By the way, Johnny Carson got exactly the same result as I did. Not sure what that means.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

    Just curious if anyone ever had a practical use for them. If so, how closely do you think they reflect reality?
    I found many of these online tests helpful.

    I learned that I have a (slightly) above average IQ and that my thinking style is: "Insightful Linguist." I learned that I'm "balanced brained" (rather than being too logical or too emotional). I didn't like my Myers-Briggs assessment ... However I learned that if I worked on being more "extrovert" it would be ideal.

    So maybe it's not all bad? Maybe some People find these test helpful?

    Although it's only a tiny fragment of it ... "Self-knowledge" is an important thing (IMO).

    All that said -- it's important for a Person not to be "stereotyped" (etc.) and to definitely believe in all their good qualities ... (Most of which are not revealed by an online test.)

    2C
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      I'll disagree with Johnathan. Just to disagree with someone in this thread .

      And it is a perception based disagreement verse a hard issue disagreement .

      The same way I refuse to look at the different than some standard as mental illness .and I have found those difference are more a function of the biology of my entire body than just the chemicals in my brain.

      It is in my perception a rather bad thing to judge qualities of yourself as good or bad .there are times is more benifical to be extroverted and times you are better of just shutting up


      Situational awareness and reading people around you . Great qualities in one situation may get you killed in another .

      I am a smart ass and at times just an a hole it is rather a key part of my personality .and has never shown up on a list from any personality test .

      Call me arrogent or egotisicle but I refuse at this point to let the world give me any type of lable without me telling the world what that lable means . At least in my case .HA!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      You left out what you did with what you learned.

      What did you do, besides asigning a label?

      And, please, tell: did anything you learned surprised you?

      I mean, the Briggs-Meyer test told me I was like Einstein but did not telll me why I have mot something akin to discovering the theory of relativity. (I have a theory about that, though: There are more gealous people around now than in Einstein's youth, and they are all working hard to keep me down even though they know what I'd come up with would benefit them enormously.)

      Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

      I found many of these online tests helpful.

      I learned that I have a (slightly) above average IQ and that my thinking style is: "Insightful Linguist." I learned that I'm "balanced brained" (rather than being too logical or too emotional). I didn't like my Myers-Briggs assessment ... However I learned that if I worked on being more "extrovert" it would be ideal.

      So maybe it's not all bad? Maybe some People find these test helpful?

      Although it's only a tiny fragment of it ... "Self-knowledge" is an important thing (IMO).

      All that said -- it's important for a Person not to be "stereotyped" (etc.) and to definitely believe in all their good qualities ... (Most of which are not revealed by an online test.)

      2C
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        You left out what you did with what you learned.

        What did you do, besides asigning a label?
        Sometimes simply being aware and/or having confirmation of a Person's qualities and attributes can be helpful. Why? Firstly because it gives them more confidence in those attributes. And secondly, they will be more likely to pursue Ventures and Opportunities that are consistent with them ... (And that increases their chance(s) of success.)

        A person who is good with words for example ― and has received confirmation of that ― would probably make a good Copywriter.

        Personally I'm working on a Personal Development site that is essentially empowering and inspiring quotations ... Because that's what interests me and what I'm good at. : )
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    I can't say much if mods move my thread here



    but I genuinely hope it wont devolve into yet another so-called "self help" or "LOA" discussion. Poor thing deserves a better fate.
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  • Profile picture of the author 1Louis
    I think they work on a general level, but people sometimes obsess over the details, maybe a bit too much.

    But these tests do have important uses in digital marketing.

    Especially knowing if your audience is Extroverted or Introverted.

    If you have a more extrovert audience, they will probably be more likely to share your content on their social media platforms, while introverted audiences tend to share more through private messaging.

    This can and should influence your promotional strategy, so keep that in mind when analysing your audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    Ok where does that info on content sharing come from .

    Really seems like bs there are many real world introverts who just can't shut up in posts on social media .

    In any case or in my case the stuff I share in messages would get me banned on social media .

    So it is more the wide spread appeal and how it matches the guidelines for appropriateness.

    You could have a full audience of so called extroverts but if your content get pulled down and gets those who share banned.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    It shows that result because I'm a borderline psychopath. I know that because of 2 CAT scans and twice taking the HARE psychopath test (once with a psychologist).
    I recently watched a show about people with "serial killer" CAT scans who were not serial killers.

    I often get accused of having no empathy or compassion, which couldn't be farther from the truth. I just have no tolerance for idiots.

    I once took an MMPI which said I should be having hallucinations and hearing "voices."

    I've been called Bi-polar told I have Borderline Personality Disorder and numerous other things. The only one I agree with is mild Asperger's.

    The point is: the human mind is far too intricate and varied to be categorized by standardized tests.

    The thing I've found most helpful in marketing is NLP. It can give you a scary advantage over most people.
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