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A Psychometric Instrument Better than Myers Briggs.

 
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:15 am
Psychologist Bertrand Forer set up a psychometric test-- he had a bunch of questions for his subjects to answer. After they had completed, he gave them a detailed explanation of their personality.

He then measured the validity of his assessment by asking subjects how well he had described them. The subjects were quite impressed with the results-- they have him a 4.26 out of 5 on how well his psychological instrument described them.

Quite impressive, you might think. Of course there is a catch... each subject received the same results. He gave the exact same assessment to each of his subjects (which he put together from horoscopes).

See how well this describes you...

Quote:
You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.


Seeing yourself in assessments is called the "Forer Effect" or the "Barnum Effect" (after the man who coined the phrase "there is a sucker born every minute"). Of course this effect has been known and used for centuries by fortune tellers and faith healers.

Further research has shown the Forer effect is especially effective when the person making can appeal to some authority and that the assessment has something good to say about the subject.

Not surprisingly, the current batch of psychometric assessments appeal to authority, and always have something good to say about each participant.

 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:47 pm
@ebrown p,
That's funny. And interesting.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:56 pm
The Amazing Randy (the gread debunker) did this too!

0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:23 pm
@ebrown p,
Hmmm. First of all, P.T. Barnum didn't say "There's a sucker born every minute." To sum up Forer's over generalization, I guess one could say there's a little bit of all of us in everybody. What's your opinion ebrown?
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 05:23 pm
How are you comparing this to Myers-Briggs other than mentioning it in the title?

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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 05:56 pm
@failures art,
Quote:
How are you comparing this to Myers-Briggs other than mentioning it in the title?


I wrote:

Not surprisingly, the current batch of psychometric assessments appeal to authority, and always have something good to say about each participant.


I am suggesting the only difference between Myers-Briggs and Forer's instrument is the number of buckets to put people into.

Forer's experiment has 1 bucket.
A horoscope as 12 buckets.
The Myers-Briggs test has 16 buckets.

They all say nice things about people and use some authority figure get people to accept their validity without thinking about it.

If I swapped around Myers-Briggs results, you would get the same reaction as those kids in Boomerang's video (in fact people often report getting different answers after taking the Myers-Briggs test more than once).

No one has been able to come up with a scientifically significant way to test if Horoscopes or Myers-Briggs squares mean anything.


failures art
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 06:34 pm
@ebrown p,
1) Myers-Briggs doesn't ONLY say nice things. It outlines weaknesses and the types of things that will stress or challenge.
2) Myers-Briggs results are a product of the inputs. The test you link to makes inputs irrelevant by giving the same response every time. If personality is a product of choices/thoughts/opinions, MB is at least basing it's product off of what constitutes personality.

If anything, you may be onto something about how people accept/reject their results, but you've not said anything in regard to the test's accuracy/inaccuracy. You only assert that MB is comparable to horoscopes (also no inputs).

If I created a political personality test asking views on

Abortion
War
Stem Cell Research
Regulation
Gay Marriage
Drugs
Healthcare
Religion
etc

I could probably successfully sort out the population pretty well into Republican and Democrat. It doesn't mean that I would always get it right. However, trending data and common results could be used to draw some conclusions all the same.

You seem to think that 16 buckets is a small matter, and object to the dichotomy. However, it's a continuum in four dimensions. That's hardly small vision. Perhaps in the future, additional dimensions will be added. I don't think the MB says all ESTJs behave the same or think the same.

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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 07:04 pm
I've taken the Myers-Briggs several times during my life. The test tends to reveal tensions. When I was married to my ex, the MB put me close to 75% (or whatever measure it uses) into the introvert column. When my life is relatively stress free, I test at the center between introvert and extravert.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 07:31 pm
@failures art,
Quote:
but you've not said anything in regard to a Horoscope's accuracy/inaccuracy.


The problem is that there is nothing to be said about a horoscope's accuracy or inaccuracy. Accuracy means that there is a "correct" answer that can be independently verified. In other words, for the word "accurate" to have any meaning, there needs to be a scientific measurement that will absolutely determine what bucket we belong in.

For example.. take this entry

Quote:
[They] Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.


How would you propose to test if this horoscope really describes you? The theory is that it should only apply to a small proportion of the population-- I suspect that most people would say this applies to them-- are we saying a horoscope is accurate if it applies to most people?

No... these things are designed to be untestable.

ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 07:33 pm
@failures art,
Incidently FailuresArt, a couple of years ago someone posted a political test here that many of us took that told us what political persuasion we were. Surprisingly it turns out that the great majority of us are Libertarians.

Or maybe it wasn't that surprising... the test was designed by the Libertarian party.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 08:58 pm
@ebrown p,
Maybe their polls also indicate that most of us are really Libertarians
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:12 pm
@roger,
Quote:
Libertarian: You put yourself and your desires first. However you do it with a childlike innocence that is very disarming. You stand for brave new beginnings and are frequently the one to get something off the ground.

You are fearless and courageous and will fight passionately for what you want. Your energy and enthusiasm are contagious and you are a keen competitor. You are ardent in love and won't hesitate to make the first move.

You can also be impatient and outspoken. Your eagerness can seem pushy and your assertiveness can easily become aggression.


Do you think that describes most of us?
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:31 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

failures art wrote:
but you've not said anything in regard to a Horoscope's accuracy/inaccuracy.


The problem is that there is nothing to be said about a horoscope's accuracy or inaccuracy. Accuracy means that there is a "correct" answer that can be independently verified. In other words, for the word "accurate" to have any meaning, there needs to be a scientific measurement that will absolutely determine what bucket we belong in.


Nice, but you're misquoting me. You literally changed the words from my post.
failures art wrote:
If anything, you may be onto something about how people accept/reject their results, but you've not said anything in regard to the test's accuracy/inaccuracy. You only assert that MB is comparable to horoscopes (also no inputs).

A horoscope is not a test. It takes no input at all. Taking my statement and applying it to horoscopes is dishonest EBP. For same.

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failures art
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:32 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Incidently FailuresArt, a couple of years ago someone posted a political test here that many of us took that told us what political persuasion we were. Surprisingly it turns out that the great majority of us are Libertarians.

Or maybe it wasn't that surprising... the test was designed by the Libertarian party.

So the Myers-Briggs test is trying to convince people they are which of the 16 boxes?

A
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:38 pm
@failures art,
Quote:
A horoscope is not a test. It takes no input at all.


Of course a horoscope takes inputs. Your birthday is an input. The position of the stars and planets is an input.

The problem with astrology (and with the Myers Briggs type assessments) is that it takes these inputs to make vague statements based on scientific sounding words. The results are vague "truisms" that pretend to be useful, but are untestable scientifically.

No one has answered my core challenge (which applies equally to astrology or Myers Briggs assessments).

What scientifically testable way do you have to measure if the damn thing is "accurate"?

Making claims of "accuracy" that aren't testable is dishonest.

failures art
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:51 pm
@ebrown p,
You're reaching to hard to force a comparison.

Sure, a birth date is an input, but it is not a choice/opinion which would be relevant to making any statement on personality. You're trying too hard here.

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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:54 pm
@ebrown p,
Let me write a better one...

Quote:
Libertarian: You believe in freedom. You love your country. You have values and a sense of purpose. At times your passion can be a bit overboard , but your are tempered by your sense of reason and fairness. You stand for equality and support the work of great men or women.


How did I do? Does this describe us all ?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:57 pm
@ebrown p,
I suggest you look up the logical fallacy "begging the question".
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 10:01 pm
@failures art,
Quote:
What scientifically testable way do you have to measure if the damn thing is "accurate"?


You keep ducking the question, FailuresArt. What scientific way is there to test the validity of this assessment?

I am amazed by the unquestioning faith in these things. Why do you accept the Myers-Briggs assessment when you are unable to even explain how you would test it?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 10:19 pm
@ebrown p,
Also, you should be embarrassed about either your ignorance or your intellectual dishonesty. An experiment is not a psychometric instrument.
 

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