Systems Thinking and Personality Types LO22594

Philip Pogson (
Thu, 09 Sep 1999 14:43:43 +1000

Replying to LO22576 --

Dear Gavin,

In regard to your comments below, and especially the need to define

>I do not know of the profile you speak of and would add that if the
>correlation's are lower than 90% in reality the test is not accurate, OPQ
>also shows plenty of of so-called correlations, however one must further
>look at validity and at present I cannot find even a definition for
>personality as this is the first step. How come so many of these profilers
>can state that their characteristics are so called personality.

-personality is a constuct, a word we coin and use to describe an absract
entity whose existence we cannot prove, only infer.

Construct comes from a Latin word which means to pile up, build, construe
or infer.

For this reason, we will always have multiple rather than single
definitions of love, personality, health, intelligence and all other
constructs: we can't say for certain they exist, only construe their
existence from the data available.

To then say, as some do, that tests are not useful because definitions of
a particular construct are different when inherently they must be so, to
my mind evades the point.

The important issue is for test designers and profilers to make
transparent the philosophical, scientific and cultural assumptions their
instruments are built upon and, as a consequence, what "personality" or
"intelligence" means for them and in what context. Intelligent behaviour
for a tribe living in the rainforests of the Amazon is different to that
of a stockbroking firm in New York as the context, culture, success
factors, assumptions about the world etc are different.

The problem is, few people want to embrace the true complexity of the
contexts in which they envisage their instruments functioning, which is a
real pity as it means debate is doomed to be conducted at an unproductive
level. That is, my definition and test are right, yours wrong. Dialogue,
then, is almost impossible.

Philip Pogson
Leadership Development Strategy Consultant
Staff Development Branch
University of Technology Sydney NSW 2007

ph: +61 2 9514 2934(w)
fax: +61 2 9514 2930(w)
ph/fax: +61 2 9809 5185 (h)
mobile: +61 0412 459156

"Nothing changes without personal transformation."

-Edwards Deming


Philip Pogson <ppogson@uts.EDU.AU>

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