Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO24565

Date: 05/07/00

Replying to LO22598 --

I've been reading last year's thread on this topic, and found myself
getting quite curious about the subject of personality (or thinking)
classification instruments such as the MBTI, Kiersey, etc. I was glad to
see the recurring point made that these instruments are most validly
applied by an individual to aid his/her own personal mastery, rather than
as a way to judge others.

Even in self-applying such an instrument, there is some danger of having
the result color one's thinking, as in the old saying "to a man with only
a hammer, everything looks like a nail". This has led me to speculate
that one should apply at least two of these instruments, to get a more
balanced picture and avoid falling into the trap of confusing the map with
the territory, as the General Semantics folks put it.

In turn, this has led me to ask: is there someone in this group with
enough knowledge about several of the instruments to suggest how they
might be related to each other, so as to find a good set to be applied
simultaneously (or to find the right one(s) to be applied in a given

I'm thinking of possible relations such as:
- A and B are contradictory; for example, A classifies someone as
  predominantly analytical while B classifies the same person as primarily
- A and B are complementary; generally, B enriches the picture that A
  paints, and vice versa.
- A subsumes B, in that it refines or extends the results of B.
- A and B "cut the space differently"; it's difficult (or not worth the
  effort) to try to relate the results of A to those of B.


Don Dwiggins "All models are false, Competitive Knowledge, Inc. but some are useful" -- George Box, "Statistics for Experiments"

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