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Psychological type

Psychological type provides a further way of understanding personality. It is sometimes contrasted with the factor analysis approach e.g. type versus trait measures. It is based on the ideas of Carl Jung and has influenced the design of several assessments (e.g. MBTI, Singer-Loomis, Grey-Wheelright and Keirsey). Some of the key points are:

  • In contrast to factor analysis, Jung bases his ideas on wide reading and analysis of selected poetry, drama, philosophy, religion and his immediate experiences of working with hundreds of psychotherapy patients
  • He identifies six key dimensions of personality: extraversion, introversion, sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling (the judging/perceiving dimension was added by Isabel Briggs Myers)
  • States that these dimensions feature in everybody's psychic make-up
  • Distinguishes between the conscious (preferred way of being) and the unconscious
  • Conscious dimensions of personality relate to their corresponding unconscious opposite e.g an individual with an extraverted conscious attitude will have an unconscious introverted attitude
  • Personality type can be assessed via a variety of means not necessarily including questionnaires

You are now requested to read at least some of Jung's (1971) long chapter entitled General descriptions of the types from the core reading. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.