I’m pleased to announce that Routledge have started production of my book, which will be released on November 12th, 2018. The book is a re-examination of Psychological Types, in view of Jung’s complaints that most readers misunderstood it. There has been a significant divergence between the central message of Psychological Types and its popular interpretation.
The book is going to be controversial, both for users of Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian theory, though for different reasons. It challenges many of the assumptions that have long been held by users of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and similar instruments. To communicate Jung’s ideas clearly, it simplifies them.
The list price of the book is £26.99 but there is a discount code you can use to reduce the price of advance orders by 20% to £21.59. You can find more details of the book, and how to order your advance copy with the discount, below.
One of the biggest disappointments in the UK’s EU referendum is the quality of debate. In normal elections, each party produces detailed manifestos that can be compared. This poll is the most important for a generation, yet there is nothing equating to a manifesto (on either side).
These stats perhaps point to another disappointment. Despite the obvious lack of realism they suggest that many people (52% and 57%) think the arguments are reasonable. Or perhaps, even worse, they have decided to vote without thinking about the issues. Given the importance of the debate, not only to the UK but also to the EU and the rest of the world, it deserves better information and deeper consideration.
In this blog, I’ll outline a process to make sense of the hyperbole and arrive at a decision. At the end, I’ll describe how the process is informing my personal decision.
In Jung’s last work on the theory of psychological types, published posthumously, he introduced the topic by writing:
“A sane and normal society is one in which people habitually disagree” (Jung 1964, p. 46).
Jung didn’t say (here) why individual disagreements are important to society, but the reasons are evident from many of his writings from 1914 onwards, when he started formulating his theories about “the process of becoming” (Jung 1914, p. 183).
Constructive disagreement is a vital part of Jung’s process of individual and cultural development and it reduces conflict in societal or international relations. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is a natural corollary of Jung’s theories of individuation and collective compensation. I’ll start by explaining these aspects of Jung’s theories, and then conclude with some practical guidelines on what it means to disagree constructively.
This video is an academic, masters-level presentation that I was invited to make at a university conference. The full paper has been published in the Journal for Behavioural Sciences. On the page below, I provide a non-academic overview and discuss one of its practical implications.
Jung’s theories are sometimes criticised for being based on his experiences with mentally ill people. Whilst that is true to some extent, only 1/3rd of his Collected Works are concerned with mental illness. He was able to spend much of his life studying ‘normal’ applications of psychology, which interested him, because he was financially independent (having married a very rich woman). And one of the books that Jung published, Psychological Types, became the basis for the most popular personality questionnaire in use today – the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®.
The resolution of interpersonal and international conflict is often hindered by the hero myth.
A traditional hero in myth is a powerful person who “vanquishes evil… and who liberates his people from destruction and death”1. The psychological power of the hero is illustrated by its frequent use in fiction to achieve commercial success. For example, George Lucas used a hero myth to craft the characters in the film Star Wars. This was so successful that the hero myth became an integral part of Hollywood screenwriting and computer game design.
However, less attention is paid to the significant role that the hero myth can play in interpersonal and international relations. It can shape those relationships, exacerbate conflict, and create new problems of its own.