MBTI criticisms – whose side would Jung be on?

Since the 1990s, academic psychologists have put forward a number of MBTI criticisms. These have persisted and not been resolved. This year is the centenary celebration of Jung’s publication of Psychologische Typen. The British Association of Psychological Type (BAPT) therefore organised a symposium (1-3, 7-9 June 2021) to discuss these criticisms.

Whose side would Jung be on?

My presentation opened the symposium. It considered how Jung’s views related to the academic psychologists’ criticisms of the MBTI. It also compared the three main paradigms of academic psychology, Myers-Briggs typology, and Jungian/Post-Jungian theory (or analytical psychology). BAPT have published the recording (also below) on the their youtube channel. The presentation lasts just under an hour.

The video also looks at the relevance of several of Jung’s ideas in Psychological Types that have been overlooked by contemporary Myers-Briggs typology. These include:

  • The centrality of attitude to Jung’s theory.
  • The category error of splitting people into two groups.
  • Jung’s philosophy that suggests we live in different but related worlds.
  • The development of a superior-inferior structure of attitudes that shapes the world we live in.
  • The impact of participation mystique in making our views conform to the group.
  • How a one-sided structure of attitudes can be overcome.
  • Research to support the application of this theory to politics.

Other information

There is also an article on specific criticisms of typology and the MBTI at the Team Technology website. The content of the video and article are different. The article deals with a number of specific criticisms of Myers-Briggs typology and the MBTI:

  • Types are stereotypes.
  • Types put you in a box.
  • Type descriptions only appear accurate because of the Barnum effect.
  • MBTI results do not have bimodal distribution.
  • The MBTI is unreliable.
  • The MBTI has no predictive validity.

For a more in-depth comparison on Myers-Briggs and Jungian theories, please see my book Myers-Briggs Typology vs Jungian Individuation: Overcoming One-Sidedness in Self and Society. This is available from Amazon.

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