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MBTI Certification!

December 17, 2012

My wife and I got our MBTI Certification, at the Dec. NYC class on the week of the 3rd-6th.
I had taken the week off for vacation, when we planned this last spring. IT was a bit difficult, as it was kind of like working the whole week, and it started at 8, in the Bloomingdales area. (I got use and show my wife the new, long-awaited uptown Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker transfer with it’s escalator from platform to platform. I also brought along my pure stevia extract for my tea. I didn’t get the Truvia packets until the end of the week).

We had to take both Step I and Step II online to enter the class. Neither of us had any official MBTI results before.

So now, my scores are
I 10
N 25
T 9
P 13

Some points from the class that are worth mentioning.

The scores are from 0-30, but these are NOT “strengths” of the functions or dichotomies themselves, but rather of one’s CLARITY of their preference.

It was explained the difference between forced-choice TYPE theory, and scale-based TRAIT theories. Traits are behavioral, and can be influenced by a whole bunch of factors (environment, stress, etc). So they may shape one’s clarity of their preference. But the preference itself is an either-or; there is nothing about “strength; at least not in an adult, where the dominant and auxiliary should be differentiated by now.

This is something we would think should figure, and occasionally, someone in type discussions will point out something like this, but it’s hard to retain, and so easy for all of us to fall back into “strengths”, based on test scores. “Preference clarity” gives a good, memorable way of putting things.
It was also explained that trait theories are “normed”, meaning compared against an average.

This is the basis for the MBTI Step II results.

2-5 on the side of the preference is considered in preference, and on the other side is considered “out of preference” (“OOPS”), and 1 on either side and 0 in the middle is “mid-zone”.

So, we see me having a lot of F, particularly “Accepting” and “Tender”.
Step I showed that my clarity of T preference was lowest, and Step II now gives us an idea of what is making that clarity low!
“Questioning/Accommodating” was dead smack in the middle (0).
My wife insists I’m “Questioning”, “Critical” and “Tough”, but she’s thinking about when I’m arguing something. Some of the questionnaire items are picking between two words, and I knew that on several of the T/F ones, I was leaning towards F. But the questions are asking how the word comes across to you, basically, and though I can be all tough and critical, I still don’t like others being that way toward me, so the words take on a negative connotation.

Basically, this is as I always say, from being Supine (Inclusion and Affection), where the average INTP is likely Phlegmatic, and thus less sensitive. It basically indicates what I “respond” to or “want”, rather than what I “express“, and that’s not taken into consideration in type theory (though I believe it’s implicit in Berens’ “directing/informing” and “structure/motive” poles), and is one of the things I like so much about the FIRO-based system.

In fact, it should be pointed out, that these scores are really, not “strength”, or based on numbers of questions graded either, but by comparing your responses to an average range of scores for other INTP’s in a national sample (there’s a chart for this in the back of the report). So what it’s saying is that I’m more accommodating, accepting and tender than the average INTP, which figures.
Accommodating is within the standard deviation, but still higher than the mean; but the other two are -1 beyond the standard deviation. So it seems a lot of INTP’s do cross over into Accommodating, Tender, and especially Accepting. Again, this is from being an “informing” (people-focused or “responsive”, socially) type, and also the type including Supines.

On the other hand, I’m actually +1 greater than the standard deviation in the Logical/Empathetic facet! (average INTP runs 1 to 4.5)

So this is what’s known as normative data. It’s scored against a statistical norm. The regular, basic “Step I”, on the other hand, is not normed. I remember the time years ago, when I first heard of Step II, and then went discussing it on a Yahoo list, and this resident pair of experts made a big point that this instrument was “NORMED”, as they emphasized. I had no idea what the heck that meant, as the psychometric aspect of the theory lied way beyond my area of interest (way too “extraverted” in Thinking; and they actually insisted my use of the theory was all Te!) They did explain about it being scored “TWICE” and compared to an average; as well as subscales based on only one or two questions.

In developing my understanding of type theory back then, particularly in comparison to the “moderate scale”-based FIRO matrix, I was looking at subscales as explaining ambiguous preferences, and while it technically is not indicating that, it still does give an idea of why one might have uncertainty, and why I might seem more F-like than “typical” INTP’s. (And considering I got three mid-zones on E —including “Enthusiastic/Quiet”, and I was being typed as E for my “enthusiasm” of the theory; then that’s a reason why I might seem to be what else but the very type they were insisting for me: ENFP, “compared” to the “average” INTPs’, which they kept comparing me to! After all, INTP’s ‘just aren’t’ that “enthusiastic” about anything, or that “sensitive” when challenged; according to common stereotypes Smiley).

Besides the protocols of administering the test (order of the session, presenting the results, ethics, etc), I pretty much knew everything else.

I liked the way the class phrased it in terms of “turning inside” to use preferred introverted function, and “turning outside” for the extraverted function. In other words, I’ll be inside for logical organization, then “go outside” to inform this with conceptual meaning, then go back inside to back this up with a storehouse of sensory experience, then maybe go back outside to find value for it. (Not necessarily in a set order like that; the perception a lot of times will be what starts it, since it’s emegent information that comes at you from the outside, then I’ll go inside to organize it according to logical frameworks, etc).

This is something else we would think should figure, but we get so caught up in defining the functions in terms of [outward] behaviors, and it seemed oversimplified, but it is truer to what the attitude of a function represents.

Another interesting point, is that when someone gets 50/50 on any dichotomy, the tie is broken in favor of I, N, F and P. The dichotomy pair poles are actually ordered right to left E/I, S/N, T/F and J/P for a reason. American society (as many of us know) is very ESTJ. So if someone is 50/50, the MBTI assumes they are probably being pressured towards, E, S, T and J, so if in the middle, they likely fall on the opposite poles.

In conjunction with this, there is something called the “group type” and the “modal type“. The group type is determined by putting together the most common dichotomies, while the model type is the most common whole type. The class had more E’s, N’s, F’s and J’s, so the group was ENFJ, but the single most common type was ENFP, so that was the modal type. Obviously, the “J” of the group came from the other types in the class.
So likewise, ESTJ happens to be America’s group type, but the modal type is ISFJ. (There don’t seem to be that many in my environment; so I guess they must all be in the heartland or somewhere). Britain was said to be ISTJ.

A lot of people (including on the online type forums) are skeptical of MBTI, but I was never all that big on the instrument itself (hence why this long to take it, as well as get certified). But the system even acknowledges itself that’s it’s not all about the questionnaire results. We’re supposed to explain type and the dichotomies, and then let the client arrive at their conclusion even before we hand them the results. (With APS, it’s all about the “Response Form”, and the person should not even be taught about temperament beforehand, for fear it could skew the results).
So it’s not all about MBTI for me, but it is good to have the credential (as well as the additional knowledge I did gain), since I’m so into the theory behind it, and it opens up possibilities of where to go with it.

On a side note; the traits vs type distinction, and especially the “CLARITY” concept is making me take a second look at the expanded FIRO ELEMENT B factors, which divide behavior into “Do” and “ Get”.


One Comment
  1. Khaled Al-Sayer permalink

    Congratulations on the Certification, and thank you for your efforts.

    Your INTP brother and Fan ;).

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