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RE: [agile-usability] Is your right brain active?

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  • Larry Constantine
    ... being thinking/feeling, I d prefer to rely on the Thinking/Feeling spectrum of the Myers Briggs survey - it s actually based on some half-decent research
    Message 1 of 16 , May 13, 2009

      Tim wrote:

       

      >However, rather than rely on the pop-culture meaning of right/left brain being thinking/feeling, I'd prefer to rely on the Thinking/Feeling spectrum of the Myers Briggs survey - it's actually based on some half-decent research (allbeit 50 odd years old now).<

      I don’t mean to be the perpetual rain maker, but, this is just another flavor of pop-culture psychobabble. The Myers-Briggs and its related Kiersey Temperament Sorter are based on Jungian psychoanalytic theory, which, along with Freudian psychoanalytic theory, is taken less and less seriously these days. Most of the early personality theories, even the ones for which reasonably reliable instruments were developed, have largely been supplanted by evidenced-based personality models, particularly the now generally accepted five-factor model.

       

      Frankly, the MB and KTS are fun at a cocktail-party level (“I’ll tell you my type if you’ll tell me yours” “Well, what can you expect from an ISTJ”) and remain immensely popular in management circles (in part because there are free versions of the KTS and no training, licensing, or fees are required to use them, unlike the more industrial strength instruments like the MMPI) and no doubt also owing in part to their somewhat simplistic categorization of people into “types”. In any case, they are not to be taken too seriously, certainly not compared to the more recent findings in neuroscience and cognitive science—even in their popularized packages.

       

      Only Introversion-extraversion from the MB remains as a generally accepted valid dimension of personality trait. As I’ve said before in this and other forums, a psychometrically weak test with little or no independent validity and based on unscientific theory is hardly a good grounding for significant insight into ourselves and each other. Among colleagues who work in this field, MB and KTS “types” are regarded as little better than astrology, garnering comments resembling the oft-quoted Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—“Mostly harmless.” (Although there is debate about that.)

       

      Amidst all that rhetorical rain, I confess I have learned things from using the KTS, but I suspect this has more to do with the process and context within which it was used than from the validity of the typology or the measurement instrument. I have seen completely discredited “tests,” such as the Luscher Color Test, yield interesting and useful results in the hands of skilled therapists.

       

      But, we are getting pretty far afield from agility or usability…

       

      --Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

        Director, Lab:USE Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering (www.labuse.org)

        Professor, Department of Mathematics & Engineering

        University of Madeira | Funchal , Portugal

       

    • Ron Jeffries
      Hello, Larry. On Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at 7:19:03 AM, you ... It s interesting, though, how much MB /does/ manage to say about people s preferencee. Ron
      Message 2 of 16 , May 13, 2009
        Hello, Larry. On Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at 7:19:03 AM, you
        wrote:

        > I don't mean to be the perpetual rain maker, but, this is just another
        > flavor of pop-culture psychobabble. The Myers-Briggs and its related Kiersey
        > Temperament Sorter are based on Jungian psychoanalytic theory, which, along
        > with Freudian psychoanalytic theory, is taken less and less seriously these
        > days. Most of the early personality theories, even the ones for which
        > reasonably reliable instruments were developed, have largely been supplanted
        > by evidenced-based personality models, particularly the now generally
        > accepted five-factor model.

        It's interesting, though, how much MB /does/ manage to say about
        people's preferencee.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        www.xprogramming.com/blog
        The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. -- Geoffrey Chaucer
      • Ron Jeffries
        Hello, Larry. On Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at 10:24:03 AM, you ... I m not sure what objective validity would be. Not sure there is one. However, I have seen
        Message 3 of 16 , May 13, 2009
          Hello, Larry. On Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at 10:24:03 AM, you
          wrote:

          > It SEEMS to manage to say-meaning, people tend to feel/think it describes
          > them and others. It's the apparent attribution phenomenon. Research shows
          > that even completely phony tests with randomly assigned descriptions are
          > seen as subjectively valid. Unfortunately, the real objective validity of MB
          > is just not there.

          I'm not sure what "objective validity" would be. Not sure there is
          one. However, I have seen people well versed in M-B perform
          substantially better than chance at tasks like separating the NTs
          from the NFs. I think it is pretty obvious, observing me, that I'll
          score T and not F, for example.

          I can imagine that people would "see" whatever in a person with a
          randomly assigned description. But are you suggesting that for
          people who have actually answered the questions to the best of their
          ability, that their real life responses are essentially random with
          respect to their description? I'd have guessed otherwise.

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          www.xprogramming.com/blog
          The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.
          -- John Maxwell
        • Larry Constantine
          ... people s preferencee.
          Message 4 of 16 , May 13, 2009

            Ron said:

             

            > It's interesting, though, how much MB /does/ manage to say about
            people's preferencee.<

            It SEEMS to manage to say—meaning,  people tend to feel/think it describes them and others. It’s the apparent attribution phenomenon. Research shows that even completely phony tests with randomly assigned descriptions are seen as subjectively valid. Unfortunately, the real objective validity of MB is just not there.

             

            Sorry, more rain in the forecast. :-)

             

            --Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow

             

          • Jon Kern
            Interesting Larry... I have been subjected to numerous of these... MB (ENTP) MB-offshoot that I took with a therapist friend KT and a few others... Oft-times,
            Message 5 of 16 , May 14, 2009
              Interesting Larry...

              I have been subjected to numerous of these...
              MB (ENTP)
              MB-offshoot that I took with a therapist friend
              KT
              and a few others...

              Oft-times, my own results are a teeter-tottering between two poles. In
              one test, the instructor said most people align either in a vertical
              column or along the horizontal row -- I was on the diagonal <g>. In
              another, I was a strong Quick-Start, yet would take deep dives in being
              Data Driven.

              I just figured it was because I was weird... but maybe it was more due
              to the inability of the systems to fully describe my "type?"

              jon
              blog: http://technicaldebt.wetpaint.com
              twitter: http://twitter.com/JonKernPA



              Larry Constantine said the following on 5/13/09 7:19 AM:
              >
              >
              > Tim wrote:
              >
              > >However, rather than rely on the pop-culture meaning of right/left
              > brain being thinking/feeling, I'd prefer to rely on the
              > Thinking/Feeling spectrum of the Myers Briggs survey - it's actually
              > based on some half-decent research (allbeit 50 odd years old now).<
              >
              > I don’t mean to be the perpetual rain maker, but, this is just another
              > flavor of pop-culture psychobabble. The Myers-Briggs and its related
              > Kiersey Temperament Sorter are based on Jungian psychoanalytic theory,
              > which, along with Freudian psychoanalytic theory, is taken less and
              > less seriously these days. Most of the early personality theories,
              > even the ones for which reasonably reliable instruments were
              > developed, have largely been supplanted by evidenced-based personality
              > models, particularly the now generally accepted five-factor model.
              >
              > Frankly, the MB and KTS are fun at a cocktail-party level (“I’ll tell
              > you my type if you’ll tell me yours” “Well, what can you expect from
              > an ISTJ”) and remain immensely popular in management circles (in part
              > because there are free versions of the KTS and no training, licensing,
              > or fees are required to use them, unlike the more industrial strength
              > instruments like the MMPI) and no doubt also owing in part to their
              > somewhat simplistic categorization of people into “types”. In any
              > case, they are not to be taken too seriously, certainly not compared
              > to the more recent findings in neuroscience and cognitive science—even
              > in their popularized packages.
              >
              > Only Introversion-extraversion from the MB remains as a generally
              > accepted valid dimension of personality trait. As I’ve said before in
              > this and other forums, a psychometrically weak test with little or no
              > independent validity and based on unscientific theory is hardly a good
              > grounding for significant insight into ourselves and each other. Among
              > colleagues who work in this field, MB and KTS “types” are regarded as
              > little better than astrology, garnering comments resembling the
              > oft-quoted /Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy/—“Mostly harmless.”
              > (Although there is debate about that.)
              >
              > Amidst all that rhetorical rain, I confess I have learned things from
              > using the KTS, but I suspect this has more to do with the process and
              > context within which it was used than from the validity of the
              > typology or the measurement instrument. I have seen completely
              > discredited “tests,” such as the Luscher Color Test, yield interesting
              > and useful results in the hands of skilled therapists.
              >
              > But, we are getting pretty far afield from agility or usability…
              >
              > --Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
              >
              > Director, Lab:USE Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
              > (www.labuse.org)
              >
              > Professor, Department of Mathematics & Engineering
              >
              > University of Madeira | Funchal, Portugal
              >
              >
            • Tim Wright
              Alternatively, MB only measures 4 aspects of personality - and there are lots of others (boiling humans sown to four opposing poles does seem strange). From a
              Message 6 of 16 , May 15, 2009
                Alternatively, MB only measures 4 aspects of personality - and there are lots of others (boiling humans sown to four opposing poles does seem strange).

                From a research perspective (I used to work for a psychometrics firm that has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology), one of the key problems with MB is that it is a forced-choice type result - people have to choose between two results (E or I, etc). There are several problems with this:

                1. people might prefer something else
                2. it measures preference rather than strength

                Despite this, I had the understanding that MB was based on decent (well, decent in those decades ago) research. Larry - do you have references about the problems with it?

                This is also far off topic for this group - who wants to take the discussion off-line? Flick me an email and we can continue (I find personality and behavioral testing fascinating!)

                Tim

                On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 4:34 AM, Jon Kern <jonkern@...> wrote:
                Interesting Larry...

                I have been subjected to numerous of these...
                MB (ENTP)
                MB-offshoot that I took with a therapist friend
                KT
                and a few others...

                Oft-times, my own results are a teeter-tottering between two poles. In
                one test, the instructor said most people align either in a vertical
                column or along the horizontal row -- I was on the diagonal <g>. In
                another, I was a strong Quick-Start, yet would take deep dives in being
                Data Driven.

                I just figured it was because I was weird... but maybe it was more due
                to the inability of the systems to fully describe my "type?"
                Larry Constantine said the following on 5/13/09 7:19 AM:
                >
                >
                > Tim wrote:
                >
                > >However, rather than rely on the pop-culture meaning of right/left
                > brain being thinking/feeling, I'd prefer to rely on the
                > Thinking/Feeling spectrum of the Myers Briggs survey - it's actually
                > based on some half-decent research (allbeit 50 odd years old now).<
                >
                > I don’t mean to be the perpetual rain maker, but, this is just another
                > flavor of pop-culture psychobabble. The Myers-Briggs and its related
                > Kiersey Temperament Sorter are based on Jungian psychoanalytic theory,
                > which, along with Freudian psychoanalytic theory, is taken less and
                > less seriously these days. Most of the early personality theories,
                > even the ones for which reasonably reliable instruments were
                > developed, have largely been supplanted by evidenced-based personality
                > models, particularly the now generally accepted five-factor model.
                >
                > Frankly, the MB and KTS are fun at a cocktail-party level (“I’ll tell
                > you my type if you’ll tell me yours” “Well, what can you expect from
                > an ISTJ”) and remain immensely popular in management circles (in part
                > because there are free versions of the KTS and no training, licensing,
                > or fees are required to use them, unlike the more industrial strength
                > instruments like the MMPI) and no doubt also owing in part to their
                > somewhat simplistic categorization of people into “types”. In any
                > case, they are not to be taken too seriously, certainly not compared
                > to the more recent findings in neuroscience and cognitive science—even
                > in their popularized packages.
                >
                > Only Introversion-extraversion from the MB remains as a generally
                > accepted valid dimension of personality trait. As I’ve said before in
                > this and other forums, a psychometrically weak test with little or no
                > independent validity and based on unscientific theory is hardly a good
                > grounding for significant insight into ourselves and each other. Among
                > colleagues who work in this field, MB and KTS “types” are regarded as
                > little better than astrology, garnering comments resembling the
                > oft-quoted /Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy/—“Mostly harmless.”
                > (Although there is debate about that.)
                >
                > Amidst all that rhetorical rain, I confess I have learned things from
                > using the KTS, but I suspect this has more to do with the process and
                > context within which it was used than from the validity of the
                > typology or the measurement instrument. I have seen completely
                > discredited “tests,” such as the Luscher Color Test, yield interesting
                > and useful results in the hands of skilled therapists.
                >
                > But, we are getting pretty far afield from agility or usability…
                >
                > --Larry Constantine, IDSA, ACM Fellow
                >
                > Director, Lab:USE Laboratory for Usage-centered Software Engineering
                > (www.labuse.org)
                >
                > Professor, Department of Mathematics & Engineering
                >
                > University of Madeira | Funchal, Portugal
                >
                >


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