Monday, March 01, 2004

Myers-Briggs Personality Types and Identity

Myers-Briggs personality types have been around for a long time, and they've often been used in career planning. I got thinking about them again this week when I saw that MBTI codes were an interesting addition to the FOAF specification. As part of a learning/planning portfolio that you were going to share with others and use as a basis for finding people with similar plans, MBTI could be really cool.

Why do we seem to enjoy taking these assessments that supposedly tell us about ourselves, even though we know the answers beforehand? We seem to like the simplicity of the generalizations these tools spit out. I found the "blindspots" for my type somewhat valuable:
  • Moving your plans from the "thinking" stage to the "doing" stage.
  • Establishing realistic and achievable goals.
  • Appearing overly confident or arrogant to people.
  • Not following through on important details.
  • Avoiding making decisions while you collects even more information.

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