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Personality Typing Theories and Classifications Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jan 1st, 2022

There has been a lack of emergent consensus of what exactly personality typing is. However, many scholars have moved towards defining it as the purposive inquiry of qualitative attributes of individuals and further classifying psychologically into different categories according to Bess, T., & Taylor, H. (2001). As such, personality typing becomes a science as implied by Hensley, L. ( 2004). The said science of mind, as has been used over the world as a learning tool both externally and reflexively. There have been various literatures precipitated around personality typing. Each of the literatures seems to draw its conclusion. As such, the divergent conclusions have caused the inherent epistemological confusion within this area. A brief review that will ultimately marry these divergent conclusions is therefore necessary. And this is where this literature review comes in.

Jung, C. (1921) in his scholarly reputed work describes personality traits as a function of consciousness. Jung, C. (1921) further talks of the role of the human psyche that he says fuels our need to engage in some activity and classifies it into three distinctions. First, he acknowledges the conscious mind and relates it to ego. Secondly, he takes note of personal unconscious. Finally Jung, C. (1921) observes the aspect of the collective unconscious which has made his work unique in personality theory. One’s consciousness, says Jung, C. (1921), is indeed inevitable in personality typing. Carl’s work has however been criticized for being a critique to other theories in itself. He attributes a lot of his arguments to his knowledge and long experience in the field which is personal and thus biased. Most recently, in 1987, personality typing has seen yet another face in the development of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter as written by Alexis, H. (2010).

Another thinker in this field is William Marston. In 1926, while in Harvard, he wrote a book titled ‘The Emotions of Normal People’. His theory of typing is based on an individual’s state of dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance as found in www.2h.com. His work marked a mile stone in this field. Marston’s work is alleged for being a great reference in American troops’ recruitment process where candidates were selected inline with his rather plausible arguments as expressed by Neal, M. (October, 2010).There have been other theories in personality typing but these are the above mentioned have been key and remain the cornerstone of this art today.

The theorists above share common ground in their thoughts. For instance, they all acknowledge human diversity on basis of personality Falt, J. (2004). They observe that different individuals behave differently even when exposed to similar conditions. Further, the theorists are seen to share in thought that human behavior is alike in some ways and that when critically analyzed; it forms a pattern. According to Bourne, D. (2005), this pattern can be used as reference in explaining ones persona. There are observable differences in views of theorists above. Jung, C. (2001) for instance bases his argument on consciousness, Myers emphasizes on auxiliary back-up function while Kiersey bases his argument on temper.

Therefore, there is a need for an up-to-date personality typing system according to Bess, T., & Taylor, H. (2001). Despite one’s personality being a product of inherent or inborn factors, it also highly depends on the environment where we live. In today’s world, trends have changed and so has individual personality development. The original developments of personality typing theories took place in less technologically developed and less complicated life styles compared to today. Swartz, D. (2003) tells us that if one is going to successfully test and determine the type of their personality today, there is a need for extensive research and development of a more up to date personality typing system.

References

Alexis, H. (2010). History of personality typing. Web.

Bess, T., & Taylor, H. (2001). Bimodal score distributions and the MBTI. Annual Conference of The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Journal 10(1) 33-37.

Bourne, D. (2005). Personality Types and the Transgender Community. New York Human Resource Journal 22(4) 12-16.

Fart, J. (2004). Bibliography of MBTI/Temperament. London: Oxford UP 57 (9) 62-67.

Hunsley, L. (2004). Controversial and questionable assessment techniques Indicator. International Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Journal 24(2) 44-49.

Jung, C. (2001). Psychological typing. Web.

Neal, M. (2010). Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. Journal of Organizational Behavior , Vol. 5, p 45-56.

Swartz, D. (2003). Hierarchical Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Myers-Briggs Type. The workplace journal. 19 (7) 70-77.

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