The Forer Effect and MBTI

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Viv pointed me to this lucid post at the Skeptics Dictionary: The Forer Effect.

The Forer effect refers to the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people.

It accounts for why people put so much faith in horoscopes because for various reasons we read them and find ways to see how they fit us. They give us a sense of belonging and understood that I guess we rather thirst for as human beings.

Viv suggested fans of management typologies such as Myers Briggs (MBTI) should take note and I pretty much agree. For one thing there are strong arguments that Myers Briggs doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny, as this chunk of the wikipedia entry suggests.

I understand the comfort we get when we feel our feelings our validated as these things appear to do… but I also see people using them as wooden legs. Ah, the reason I am not go at so-and-so is I’m a XDRZ or a BQSD or whatever. Beliefs, or even just behaviours, get raised to the level of identities (“it’s who I am”) and the possibilities to make fresh choices or try new things are closed off.

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