December 14, 2012

Personality testing: Myers-Briggs v. Big 5

The Washington Post has a fascinating article by Lillian Cunningham on the popular and lucrative Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test that is widely used by employers but is ignored by academics:
It is a classic chicken-and-egg problem: No major journal has published on it, therefore no elite academic will support it, therefore no major journal will publish on it. 
But there are concrete reasons it was not welcomed in the first place. 
“Carl Jung was a pioneer in terms of really creative and novel theory and ideas, but a lot of his work was done before psychology was an empirical science,” says Grant, the Wharton psychology professor. And the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, remember, are even a step removed from that — they are an interpretation and recasting of Jung’s theory. Even more compromising, according to Grant, is the fact that Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Myers created the framework in their living room before doing any robust scientific research, rather than the other way around. 
The research that most psychologists today hold up as the best attempt to derive personality types from empirical data is called the Five Factor theory, which emerged from several large-scale independent projects that, conducted over decades, pointed to the same broad set of conclusions. The studies found five core axes that underpin personality, versus the MBTI’s four. They are represented by the acronym OCEAN: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Of the five, only extroversion closely maps with Myers-Briggs. 
Yet the Five Factor theory has a small commercial problem. 
“There’s no individual or group who owns it,” Grant says. “It’s something that’s collectively owned by the academic community.” That means it’s harder to copyright and package. 
There’s another problem: Not all the personality traits delineated by the Five Factor theory are positive. One of the traits in this framework is neuroticism, for example, which has undeniably negative associations.
One of the major selling points of Myers-Briggs is that it is unequivocally positive. No personality type in its framework is better or worse than any other; each is billed as having unique and constructive strengths. 
This rubric has massive marketing appeal for organizations, especially given that much of the literature and language around talent development in the past few decades has taken a decidedly soft approach. Words like passion, motivation and collaboration have rooted themselves in the corporate lexicon, and they have been part of a larger wave of management theory that has turned its focus to motivating and eliciting best behavior. 
“There’s been a huge wave in positive psychology. It’s been remarkably refreshing,” Thoresen says. “But it’s controversial, and it makes many psychologists nervous because it’s not in their bailiwick.” 
Use of psychological assessments in organizations really picked up in the late 20th century, alongside a growing trend in seeing talent management as a core component of a company’s competitive advantage. Myers-Briggs became one of its first and shiniest symbols. An organization that used the test showed that it recognized people, and their diversity of background and thought, as one of its biggest assets. 
“To raise questions about [Myers-Briggs’s] reliability and validity is like commenting on the tastiness of communion wine. Or how good a yarmulke is at protecting your head,” says Brian Little, a former psychology professor at Harvard University who is now at the University of Cambridge. “It’s simply the wrong question, from their perspective." 
... And yet the psychological community has been reticent to speak up too vocally against it. The fact is, many psychology professors do lucrative side work as organizational consultants. And as taboo as it is to praise Myers-Briggs in U.S. academia, it’s equally taboo to disparage it in corporate America.

The Myers-Briggs typology doesn't sound too bad: the extravert-introvert contrast is extremely useful, and the others don't seem terribly destructive.

I've never been all that excited by personality testing. It would seem like there is some potential to correlate personality traits with the usual identity politics categories, but I haven't heard of too much work along those lines. For example,
The Big Five factors are:
  • Openness (inventive/curious vs.consistent/cautious)
  • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs.secure/confident)

Off the top of my head, I would guess that, relative to white Americans, the the three main minorities would look like this (all else being equal):

Openness: East Asians lower than whites, blacks pretty high, Mexicans lower

Conscientiousness: Asians higher, blacks notably lower, Mexicans somewhat lower

Extraversion: Asians lower, blacks much higher, Mexicans somewhat lower

Agreeableness: Asians variable (Chinese lower, Japanese higher at least in terms of politeness, Indians very high), blacks higher (except when they are lower), Mexicans middling

Neuroticism: Asians higher, blacks lower, Mexicans middling

But my impression is that personality testing tends to become less reliable as it crosses cultural borders. I vaguely recall finding years ago a global report on Big 5 scores for dozens of countries. This seemed like it would be wonderfully enlightening, until I noticed that Swedes and Danes scored as having extremely different personalities. I suspect what was going on was something like people in those two countries like to think: "We are Swedes/Danes and we are different from those horrible Danes/Swedes."

Nobel laureate economist James Heckman's big project these days is to get the government and society to focus on bashing some conscientiousness into blacks. Historically, this doesn't sound impossible to pull off. From the historical record, you can see the Prussian state bashing conscientiousness into Prussians, and then all Germans, to help them stop losing wars. But it's practically impossible to state clearly in public what the goal of Heckman's project is, so it tends to wander off into more popular sidelines like denouncing Charles Murray.

66 comments:

Señor Choloquito said...

Carl Jung was an anti-semite, this everything you need to know about him.

gwern said...

> I suspect what was going on was something like people in those two countries like to think: "We are Swedes/Danes and we are different from those horrible Danes/Swedes."

Why would that happen? It's not like the Danish subjects are being told 'the average Swedish score is X percentile'.

Orlando Gibbons said...

I always thought Myers-Briggs was a PC reformulation of old stereotypes, viz.

Intuitive/sensing = smart/stupid

Thinking/feeling = masculine/feminine

Judging/perceiving = alpha/beta

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Danes and Swedes really are different. Consider their immigration policies.

Anonymous said...

MBTI is just Jung plus J/P.

Anonymous said...

Those categories are too old-fashioned.

The things that really matter today:

Jiveassness

Badassness

Hipsterishness

skankasshoness

punkassness

dorkiness

shmorkiness

glibness

hystericalness

Anonymous said...

And

odiousness

noxiousness

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem.

Qualities such as openness differ in quality from race to race.

So, openness by a white guy may mean acting like a California Teenager.

Openness by a black guy may mean acting like a crazyass rapper thug.

Anonymous said...


"But my impression is that personality testing tends to become less reliable as it crosses cultural borders."


Even worse, Kohlberg's moral development test was reliable cross culturally with men from other cultures scoring a similar distribution, but women scoring lower in this culture and others.

Anonymous said...

I can see where you're coming from, but I wonder how it would play out if we experience diversity in a society other than a White one.

For example, would you rate the Indians as more agreeable and friendly, if we experienced diversity in India?

Are the Koreans more neurotic even in their own country?

How confident are Africans in Russia?

There must also majority-minority, threat/non-threat dynamics that play along with what we see experience day-to-day.

Simon in London said...

"until I noticed that Swedes and Danes scored as having extremely different personalities"

Hm - I have to say, my Swedish students do seem different from my Danish students! And the two countries seem to be diverging politically. Considering how they look so alike, it is a bit odd.

Thursday said...

Asians score equal to whites on openness. Geoffrey Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa got into this in a debate about Asian creativity, with Miller arguing that Asians would soon be as creative as whites because of their equal openness scores. I would say that openness is necessary, but not sufficient for creativity.

Anonymous said...

The traits of openness and neuroticism have manifestly poor labels.

Openness sounds so positive yet it really seems to measure credulity. The more gullible one is, the higher his openness score.

Neuroticism almost sounds like an insult as though the person is afflicted with some kind of psychosis, when really he is judicious and prudent.

Someone or some group who scored high on openness and low on neuroticism must have chosen these labels.

Christina said...

I liked the Myers-Briggs. I came from a big family where our mother homeschooled most of us. She relied heavily on it - mainly because she was an introvert with 5 kids...

Understanding her personality and how it differed to her children helped make her more effective at teaching us everything from coursework to how to get along with eachother...and still maintain her sanity.

Even if academics don't like it, it seems to be effective. And how your personality is classified shouldn't be negative or positive. Its how you behave that should have positive/negative correlations.

Anonymous said...

"Neuroticism"

Again, the way this manifests itself differs by race and people.

A neurotic Jew is someone like Woody Allen who just won't shut up.

A neurotic Swede is some morbid guy who hardly says nuttin'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eR6ZPZwEpU

Anonymous said...

A neurotic Russian drinks a lot of vodka and starts a fight in a bar.

A neurotic Japanese guy takes a bath, puts on clean clothes, and then slits his belly.

Anonymous said...

I would say that openness is necessary, but not sufficient for creativity.

I'm still on the fence about the creativity argument. In someways, I think it's like a light bulb that needs to get turned on, just like the economic ambition. But once it gets turned on, I think Asians will be capable of some amazing stuff. It's one of the reasons why artists live in communes; creativity rubs off. Think of all of the new, creative ways Asians are making money. It's not Henry Ford, but you can see that the mouse wheel turning.

Only time will tell...

Anonymous said...

The Myers Briggs is popular with businesses because ENTJ's "the executives" in particular stand out as the rightful rulers of their organizations. I personally think the test outcomes is shaped by whatever your present life/working situation is. So it self-reinforces and perpetuates roles. A handy HR tool indeed. I get different results all the time. Right now, I'm an "inspector" and my current job is doing software QA. I've scored all over: ESTJ, ISTP over the years.

Anonymous said...

I wish corporations would forget about passion and motivation and concentrate on making reliable products and on manning their phones with human beings.

Anonymous said...

Neurotic Dane Kierkegaard wouldn't shut up. Was Kierkegaard Jewish ?

Anonymous said...

I've scored all over: ESTJ, ISTP over the years.

When I was in high school, I read Do What You Are, a career guide book based on Myers-Briggs. In it, they conveniently explained that, although each person has a true type, one can easily test wrong, depending on what stage of life they were in.

According to the book, whatever your type, you go through times when you subconsciously try to hone your non-dominant characteristics; An extrovert might find himself being more introverted as part of his maturation process, but eventually become extroverted again. It applies to the other traits, as well.

INTP said...

It may be that the MBTI as a supposedly exhaustive system of clearly defined types is non scientific and even arbitrary. But at least some of the type descriptions strike me as very observant and profound - the kind of thing a novelist's intuition could come up with. For instance, I am a Myers-Briggs INTP and because of our shared intellectual inclinations I have often been in the company of INTJs. Despite many similiarities, these two types are governed by very different mental dynamics. I had long been conscious of the difference without being able to express it. As amateurs of the MBTI system know, it's the general dynamic of the type that is revealing, not the various I/E, N/S, T/F, J/P markers taken in isolation. It may be that some of the sixteen types arising from the different mathematically possible combinations are pure fictions posited by the system. But portraits of typical INTPs, INTJs and INFJs for instance have a powerful ring of truth to them - they bring to light tendencies hidden just below the surface that we were already dimly aware of, like any good piece of literature. In contrast, has anyone ever been enlightened by their score on a Big Five test?

It would be interesting to see which MBTI types are most represented among the readership of this blog.

Anonymous said...

"Carl Jung was an anti-semite, this everything you need to know about him."

This.

Ed said...

Myer-Briggs may have been a bit, well, intuitive in how it originated, but three of the dichotomies make sense. Extroverted-Introvered, Thinking-Feeling, and Judgemental-Perceiving (or nonjudgmental) have entered into the popular discourse. Intuitive-Sensing is harder to understand, but is similar to the Inductive-Deductive dichotomy that permeates most intellectual endeavors.

Ironically given its use by HR departments, the main problem with Myers-Briggs is that it is useless for evaluating individuals, since the traits it measures are neither good or bad. There is obvious stuff like using extroverts and not introverts as your salespeople but you don't really need a test for that.

There might be some limited use in looking at how compatible people are (sharing two traits seems to work best; sharing three and not one, or one and not three is asking for trouble). Also, someone who scores really extremely on one dimension may be at risk for a personality or a social disorder.

But the alternative "big five" model looks to me like vague mush, and I don't see it being supported by empirical data any more than Myers-Briggs.

Incidentally, my Myers-Briggs type is usually ISTP, though I often score as INTP.

Anonymous said...

There's a whole lot of fluff in that article.

The test is mostly unsound, except for the introversion/extroversion scale. But it gets that wrong too because the premise of the test is that there are two types of people, introverts and extroverts, but really it's a normal curve with most people in the middle. That's a problem for the whole test, which makes it essentially worthless, even for a personality test.

It's famous because it's big money and very well marketed and because people like that it's almost completely positive and it gives you that paragraph at the end that is supposed to reveal new things about you.

The big five is actually valid which means it can be used for doing other kinds of research, but there is not much personal interest in your own result.

You're much better off doing things the old fashioned way and using characters from fiction and people who are well known in order to talk about types.

The appeal of learning secrets about yourself from a scientific test is the same as the appeal of astrology.

Anonymous said...

East Asians are lower in neuroticism compared to European people. Suicide rates in East Asia are contaminated by the fact that many of those "suicides" are actually murders. East Asians like to reclassify murders as suicides to keep the murder rate low. In the United States where statistics are better maintained East Asian males have by far the lowest suicide rate of any racial group and East Asian females are well behind European-American and Amerindian females.

Below is the CDC's statistics on suicide rates by race:
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/rates02.html

Studies have shown a relationship between neuroticism and suicide. BTW, Jews have lower suicide rates compared to Europeans as well.

East Asians are across the board much higher in agreeableness than European people.

Anonymous said...

But it's practically impossible to state clearly in public what the goal of Heckman's project is, so it tends to wander off into more popular sidelines like denouncing Charles Murray.

Im sure thats the fate of many a project. We cant talk about problems in the black population so we had better just attack anyone who notices those problems.

Anonyia said...

"There might be some limited use in looking at how compatible people are (sharing two traits seems to work best; sharing three and not one, or one and not three is asking for trouble). Also, someone who scores really extremely on one dimension may be at risk for a personality or a social disorder."

I am extremely high on both N and P....I wonder if that has anything to do with my anxiety disorder.

Gondor said...

"Openness: East Asians lower than whites, blacks pretty high, Mexicans lower"

Blacks curious and inventive, open to new ideas?

Nah- blacks are extraverts, but low openness

Anonyia said...

Maybe I'm going on a limb here, but I think the biggest division between people is closest to the Sensing vs. Intuitive dimension. Sensing people tend to discuss details or the mundane events of their day, whereas intuitive people-even the less swift ones- discuss ideas and broader concepts. Each type self segregates.

Anonymous said...

"Carl Jung was an anti-semite, this everything you need to know about him."

I wonder if Jewish supremacists even notice they're Jewish supremacists.

.
"Maybe the Danes and Swedes really are different"

Swedes = mountainous
Danes = flatlanders

.
"I've never been all that excited by personality testing."

If there was an accepted executive / leader type briggs-meyer test result then the test would be a great way to disguise ethnic nepotism - just get the testers to give the right result to the right person.

I expect that's what is actually behind it in corporate circles.

I do wonder about a soldier-ant personality test though i.e. test everyone at sixteen and then conscript into the military. Not only would it lead to a more effective military they don't get PTSD.

Then into the police after they come out of the military.

I think that would work well.

Greg said...

Given that openness in positively correlated with intelligence, I find it interesting that Steve says the following, "Openness: East Asians lower than whites, blacks pretty high, Mexicans lower"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openness_to_experience#Intelligence_and_knowledge

Has Steve drastically changed his mind about the least and most intelligent races?

Anonymous said...

paper about how gender differences are diminished, along the line of lewontin's fallacy, especially in the work of psychologists whose math study was thrashed by la griffe.
They also make the point that the big five are misleading since they might subsume differences in the sub-traits that are used to compile them.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0029265

Steve Sailer said...

"Given that openness in positively correlated with intelligence, I find it interesting that Steve says the following, "Openness: East Asians lower than whites, blacks pretty high, Mexicans lower""

Let me add to my surmises the caveat: "all else being equal."

Luke Lea said...

James Heckman's approach:

https://heckman.uchicago.edu/sites/heckman.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/Heckman_2011_The%20American%20Family%20in%20B-W.pdf

My four word summary: teach good habits early

DaveinHackensack said...

Re Heckman and changing black culture: I think you've written in the past that that was part of the motivation of New Yorkers who voted for Dinkins (and perhaps of some Americans who voted for Obama). In Dinkins's case, of course, it didn't work. In hindsight though, Dinkins was atypically uncharismatic, constantly sweating and wiping his brow in public appearances, more into genteel tennis than basketball, etc.

But in Obama's case, he has demonstrated an ability to change black attitudes: when he flipped in support of gay marriage, he changed the minds of many blacks on the issue. If he wanted to, Obama could influence black culture in positive directions with a judicious use of Sista Souljah smack downs.

Had ESPN not suspended him already, Obama could have started with Rob Parker for calling RGIII a "cornball brother" for essentially having middle class values and background. But Obama could take the lead in smacking down a prominent rapper, maybe one of the ones whose followers call Michelle Malkin an "Asian whore" on Twitter.

Of course, Obama got as far as he has by, in part, playing to the attitudes of black Americans rather than challenging them. His move on gay marriage was a calculated exception. But with his last election behind him, maybe he can try to put his bully pulpit to some good use.

Anonymous said...


My four word summary: teach good habits early


Oppression of blacks by Whitey?

Aaron Gross said...

One of those Jungian tests I took (from Human Resources) was explicitly a measure of cross-cultural difference. The idea was to help us interact long-distance with other employees in foreign offices.

It seemed like just a regular multiple-choice personality test. Questions were about stuff like whether you like small talk or want to get right to the point. The written report I got was mostly about how I was closer to this culture than that in terms of personality. Only civilized countries on the list, no Amazonian savages or anything. If I remember correctly, I think my personality came out closest to Ireland. (I must have said I liked small talk.) America wasn't even near the top of the list. I don't remember the one I was farthest from.

Potete said...

"Anonymous said...

Maybe the Danes and Swedes really are different. Consider their immigration policies."

Not really, but if they keep it up for another generation or two, they will be....

Anonymous said...

Blame the NRA for every thug who murders with a gun. And blame the IRS for every bomb the US military-industrial complex drops in the middle east to kill women and children.
Blame the NAACP for all black crime and blame LA RAZA for all crimes of illegal aliens. And blame NOW for all the problems of single mothers and rotten kids who grow up to be idiots.

Silver said...

The test is mostly unsound, except for the introversion/extroversion scale. But it gets that wrong too because the premise of the test is that there are two types of people, introverts and extroverts, but really it's a normal curve with most people in the middle. That's a problem for the whole test, which makes it essentially worthless, even for a personality test.

This is what I tend to think. I've scored all over the place on personality tests since usually most of the possible answers seem to apply to me. Nevertheless, my most common Myers-Briggs results are ENTJ and INTJ. That sounds highly contradictory but it could be that I'm right in the middle of E-I. It's interesting the way it plays out in real life though. For example, I have no problems with public speaking and I'll usually strike up a conversation with anyone that happens to be around. On the other hand, I've always been very hesitant to call up employers or ask out girls, really having to psyche myself up to do it sometimes.

All that said, the tests are probably useful for giving you some things to think about.

Anonymous said...

"Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs.secure/confident).....

Neuroticism: Asians higher, blacks lower, Mexicans middling"

In my experience, which may not be representative, Mexucans tend to lack confidence about their educational and economic potential, but can be very confident in other contexts, ie making passes at women or fighting other men.

I remember this very homely guy stepping out of a seedy cantina, letting out a huge, lengthy fart that could be heard a block away...and then immediately turned and started hitting on some supermodel-grade Swedish tourists.

He was drunk, but still. Me and my friends estimated that a typical Minnesotan had to drink at least 10 beers to attain the confidence around women of a sober Mexican.

ATBOTL said...

"Agreeableness: Asians variable (Chinese lower, Japanese higher at least in terms of politeness, Indians very high), blacks higher (except when they are lower), Mexicans middling"

I would expect Indians to be low on agreeableness, if I'm understanding it correctly.

SFG said...

I always thought N mapped to Openness (S to low Openness), F to Agreeability (T to low Agreeability), and J to Conscientiousness (P to low Conscientiousness), so four of the big five actually did have Myers-Briggs equivalents.

Lawful Neutral said...

>Are the Koreans more neurotic even in their own country?

Oh yes, most definitely. Go there and see for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Señor Choloquito said...

Carl Jung was an anti-semite, this everything you need to know about him.


I'm assuming you mean "anti-Semite" in a negative sense?

No,seriously though, "anti-Semite" now means "a person not liked by the Jewish community" and I don't feel the need to dismiss Jung on just that alone. In fact I find his ideas to be very interesting and resonate with me. I can also sympathize with him in his "clash of civilisations" with Freud. Sorry but there it is.

agnostic said...

Here's a recent article on global personality differences using the Big Five tests (free PDF):

http://www.toddkshackelford.com/downloads/Schmitt-JCCP-2007.pdf

Skip to article page 198 to see the differences visually with box-and-whisker plots by region.

East Asians are off in a class of their own -- while there is overlap among other global regions, the East Asian group is always far away from everyone else.

In what ways are they so different? No surprise that they're a lot less extraverted and less open to experience.

It may be somewhat surprising that they're much higher in neuroticism, but if you think about their very high suicide rates, and they seemingly constant anxiety about how others negatively view them, it makes sense.

The biggest shockers, though, are just *low* in agreeableness and conscientiousness they are, no matter whether they're Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. I took a stab at explaining and making better sense of it here:

East Asian agreeableness and conscientiousness

Leaving aside the evolutionary origins, how about trying to fit these facts into a larger pattern? After all, we don't think of Asians as prototypical serial killers.

We have to remember that these personality traits measure some kind of internal guidance program, not necessarily overt behavior. Two people can show the same behavior, but be guided there by different pathways.

For instance, two girls could show low promiscuity, one because she's good at restraining her urges, and the other because she doesn't feel much of an urge in the first place.

Asians don't seem to rely on internal guidance systems to become socialized, to fit with what the rules of their society require. They rely more on following external orders, e.g. from their Tiger Mothers or other authority figure.

They also seem to require other people giving them a dirty, shaming look for them to figure out they've done something wrong and should do the opposite.

Westerners become socialized in a more internal way -- we don't need constant external pressures to push us in a pro-social direction. We internalize those societal norms. We get a gut feeling about what's right or wrong in any situation, and go with what that tells us.

The Asian mode would appear to be more unstable, especially to growth in population density. If you need constant external pressure to behave properly, and if you have tons of people jammed in together in anonymity, who's going to police who?

The Tiger Mother will always be close by, even in a faceless crowd society. But that's about it. They set up a bureaucratic-managerial hierarchy to try to shame people toward and away from certain behaviors. Face-to-face pressures from neighbors or peers on your own level are not really possible in such a large-scale society.

So you're seeing a huge breakdown in East Asian productiveness in an era when they have both 1) a gigantic sized society, and 2) easy access to things that are more addicting than hard work, such as video games, cartoons, and pornography.

It's astounding how addicted to childish things the Asians are becoming, and how much that's sapping their ability to live a good and enjoyable life. But that's what happens when you take a group whose guidance systems are only feasible in a small-scale setting, where constant external pressures can steer them toward pro-social behaviors, and drop them in an anonymous hive-like environment.

RD said...

"Neuroticism: Asians higher."

I've always considered neuroticism a white trait.

Mark said...

When groups of libertarians are tested, they are overwhelmingly intuitive-thinking types. They are also usually introverted. INTP and INTJ are the most common types for libertarians. There's a book by David Keirsey related to Myers-Briggs where he divides people into four main temperaments: nt, nf, sj, and sp. There's also a common political quiz that categorizes people into four groups: libertarians, conservatives, liberals and populists. I think you would probably find in addition to nt's being libertarians, that nf's tend to be liberals, sj's tend to be conservatives and sp's tend to be populists.

beowulf said...

"Yet the Five Factor theory has a small commercial problem. “There’s no individual or group who owns it,” Grant says. “It’s something that’s collectively owned by the academic community.” That means it’s harder to copyright and package."

Well the folks who spit on copyrights, because they get their money direct from the factory, are big fans of Five Factor testing.

"The U.S. Army requires efficient and effective methods for entry-level Army selection and classification decisions. Accordingly, the Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System (TAPAS) was developed to assess personality factors related to performance in the Army. TAPAS assesses up to 21 subdimensions of the Big Five personality factors and several additional personality characteristics relevant to military settings. Of particular importance is that TAPAS is designed to be resistant to faking good, so that it can be used for high stakes assessment such as enlistment testing. Each TAPAS item consists of two statements, balanced in social desirability, and a respondent picks the statement that is "more like me." Two item pools were developed and item response theory was used for to administer items as a computerized adaptive test (CAT)..."
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA564422

It'd probably require using the 13th Amendment to authorize straight-up quota hiring of African-Americans; but the employment market would be lot more efficient (even w/ quotas) if employers were allowed to screen employees with the Army's ASVAB and TAPAS exams. It'd certainly be a hell of lot more cost-effective than current "signaling" use of education credentials.

E. Rekshun said...

Wasn't school desegregation and forced busing supposed to solve the lack of conscientiousness in blacks?

You know, by simply sitting next to White kids, blacks were supposed to become better persons.

Anonymous said...

There are cultural differences between Swedes and Danes. Lars von Trier had some fun with a Swedish character in "The Kingdom".

http://www.newser.com/story/20901/ikeas-names-enrage-danes.html

Jefferson said...

I notice that a Black person can be extremely ugly, as in Gabourey Sidibe from Precious and Lil Wayne level ugly, and yet still have high self esteem when it comes to their physical appearance. Meaning they overrate how attractive they think they are to the general public.

Truth said...

" Meaning they overrate how attractive they think they are to the general public."

They are attractive to the general public, that's why they get paid large sums of money to be in public-facing positions.

Eric Rasmusen said...

Could someone explain why the Big 5 is supposed to be better than Myers Briggs? The article in the Post was silly: the reporter said that there was no academic research on Myers-Briggs, which is false. Wikipedia is better. There, the criticism is that MB does not correlate well with teh Big 5. One might as easily say that condemns the Big 5. Wikipedia did say that MB does well on test/retest.

That MB is Jungian and Jung is crazy is irrelevant. It's obvious there is not much theory behind MB, but that doesn't mean it doesn't measure soemthing. The same goes for the criticism that people tend to score in the middle rather than at the extremes (e.g. there are more mild extroverts and introverts than extreme ones)--- that may wreck the vague theoretical premise of MB, but not its value.

The strongest criticism is perhaps that if you do factor analysis on MB, you don't get those 4 factors (or so I interpret Eysenck). But from what I know of factor analysis I am skeptical that that is a problem. Once you resort to something theoryless such as factor analysis you're left with categories that don't match everyday-language descriptors.

Svigor said...

I notice that a Black person can be extremely ugly, as in Gabourey Sidibe from Precious and Lil Wayne level ugly, and yet still have high self esteem when it comes to their physical appearance. Meaning they overrate how attractive they think they are to the general public.

It's self-esteem in general, not just vis-a-vis appearance. They rate themselves as smart, too.

Anonymous said...

What evidence is there that either consider themselves good looking and smart. The argument seems to be they are ugly shouldn't they know better than to be famous. If that argument looks familiar its likely because you used it against uppity blacks in the 20s.

Anonymous said...

@Agnostic

What you've observed is the difference between a guilt culture (Most of Europe and the West) and a shame culture (East Asia).

Milan Proston said...

"'Ive never been all that excited by personality testing. It would seem like there is some potential to correlate personality traits with the usual identity politics categories, but I haven't heard of too much work along those lines. For example"
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Politically correct SWPL liberals are big on such trendy things, until they run into a black mugger.

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"Nobel laureate economist James Heckman's big project these days is to get the government and society to focus on bashing some conscientiousness into blacks"

True. Blacks need some conscientiousness beaten into them definitely.
One things missing from the Myers-Brigs tally is capacity for violence. Whites are the most criminally violent race, as shown by numerous indicators such the Holocaust (genocide is a crime under a conservtive definition developed by Europeans) and recent "spree" shootings. Over 95% of all mass murder sprees are carried out by whites, even though they make up about 70% of the population as detailed in some reports. This murderous violence, and lack of conscience in killing others- even children- seems to be something embedded in white evolution. The cold climate of ice age EUrope selected for murderous, conscienceless lineages that have come down to the present time.

Politically correct liberals are hiding these facts about racial evolution, which sensible realists have long since shown.

Cho Zhu said...

" Truth said...

" Meaning they overrate how attractive they think they are to the general public."

They are attractive to the general public, that's why they get paid large sums of money to be in public-facing positions."

- There's a bit of a semantics game there. 2 different meanings for attractive to the public.

Udolpho.com said...

They are attractive to the general public, that's why they get paid large sums of money to be in public-facing positions.

lol next you're going to tell me Michelle Obama has a pleasant face (let's not even talk about her shoulders or hulking posture)

Anonymous said...

There are 4 major minority groups in the US:

Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and Indians

Chris said...

Steve,

I think some of your guesses here are really off base. Having just spent 30 days in China and about 6 months in Asia, I would say that Asians--and Chinese in particular--should score very low on conscientiousness. For example, I've been trying to swim in Kowloon Park swimming pool in Hong Kong, and you can't lap swim there, because the Chinese don't pay any attention to where they're swimming in relationship to the lanes. You talk to them or you can swim over them (the equivalent of trampling on someone in a foot race), and they just don't seem to get the message. In other words, the Chinese aren't really organized, they just appear that way when their government tells them what to do.

And I suspect that blacks are not really very open, either. Yes, they are very ready to engage in behaviors that others are cautious about, but that doesn't mean they're curious, just after certain categories of experience. This actually sheds an interesting light on the Big 5 Openness as a theory. If someone is really ready to try drugs of abuse or new sexual partners but not so much to skiing, swimming, eating the food of other cultures, and other things outside their experience, can you really say they're open? Someone should invetigate whether Openness takes into account impulsiveness.

Likewise with Extraversion. The Chinese are actually very energetic and non-solitary, but you won't get them to open their private lives to you. Me, on the other hand, will sit in a corner by myself forever, but if a stranger tries to engage me on my fears, hopes, and life history, I'm pretty much an open book.

And as far as Neuroticism goes, try telling some black ladies that they're fat and needs to go to the gym to get men. What type of reaction would you expect if they're really secure? I think blacks, or at least black Americans, tend to be highly sensitive and insecure.

If you consider the personality type that you would expect to be successful in building a civilization or at least in building an economy, what would it be?

High in Openness and Extraversion, and low in Agreeableness and Neuroticism. This is pretty much the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

I thought the categories were ranked from -50 to +50, or was a different test? If this is the case, does not the placement of the score on the scale matter more than the actual result?

For example, I'm an INTJ but my I/E score is close to the center mark, and the rest of the scores are extreme.

Truth said...

"lol next you're going to tell me Michelle Obama has a pleasant face..."

What I'm going to tell you is that back in South Dakota, people used to mistake you for Brad Pitt all of the time...but you still never got any magazine covers.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Danes and Swedes really are different.

Thought Swedish genetics were much more from the I haplogoup and Danes from R1b, with Germans and Norwegians landing in the middle somewhere. Danes don't have that Lapplander background either, right?