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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the reliability of personality typology systems.

In this podcast on personality typology systems you’ll find:

  • Are personal typology systems reliable? At Personality Hacker, we are primarily interested in personality development.
  • People have varying degrees of interest in personal typology systems. Oftentimes, many people will arrive to a point where they question its usefulness and credibility.
  • Personality psychology is particularly new; there is not much hard data behind it and there are more questions than answers.
  • Stephen Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) talked about how we form relationships with people. We initially create a dependent relationship. Overtime, we start developing our own ways of seeing things and we become independent. Eventually, we realize that working together in some ways (but not all the time) serves a greater purpose and we become interdependent.
  • A lot of people stay on the dependent and independent phases. They over rely on personal psychology systems or they only see its limitations and no longer cogitate it as valid.
  • The healthiest phase to be with is the interdependent phase. It doesn’t have to be something you should rely on constantly.
  • At Personality Hacker, we use 3 models – Myers-Briggs, Enneagram and the Graves Model. All three of these models have limited application and are very useful when used in context. When it ceases being useful, it ends up becoming a destructive weapon on hand.
  • Don’t think that this is something you have to apply in all situations. If you can’t apply it or if it’s preventing you from being happy, stop using it. Each context are different. Use what works to bring happiness to your life.
  • The aim to help people grow. We want to see these models being used for personal growth. Any tool that enables growth is something that we look at.
  • People can do personal development without the help of personal psychology models, but personal psychology can help you attain personal growth faster.
  • We all can’t help but use typology systems because we all naturally categorize things.
  • No matter how we good we are at personal psychology models, they’re simply representations and are not the actual thing itself.
  • The only way to be in reality is to directly experience something without bias. Just be receptive. Once you bring thought and feeling, you are becoming biased to it.
  • Any argument about whether or not something is accurate is meaningless unless you put action to it.
  • Don’t hold on to something too tightly, it really is a matter of what works for you. Ask yourself, which model is working for you? What gets you to a place that makes you a better version of yourself and does not burden you?
  • Personality Hacker’s goal is to make people become better versions of themselves. Go out and make the world better.
  • Subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or download the Podcast Republic app on Google Play for your android device.

Things we reference in this podcast:

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about the reliability of personality typology systems. #MBTI #Enneagram #Gravesmodel #typology

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  • Joel Mark Witt
    • Joel Mark Witt
    • October 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks Leon for the feedback and for listening.

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • October 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    No, the gist of the podcast wasn’t that accuracy isn’t important in understanding one’s type. The overarching theme was the system, itself, is only as useful as the result it has on people. Don’t hold on to anything too tightly, especially if that thing isn’t giving you the results you want.

    The more accurate your type, the more useful it will be. If you’re in a context or situation where having full knowledge of your type isn’t possible at that time (you’re learning it on your own and you’ve gotten a few things incorrect, etc.), just starting down the journey of recognizing that there are different types and each one is wired a little differently can itself be helpful. There was no argument that accuracy isn’t important. It’s just not always possible. And that’s okay.

    I guess it makes me sound like a Feeler to you, but I personally believe happiness is the point of the whole enchilada. Why live an unhappy life? If you can choose a happy one, why not pursue it? The happier we are, the more qualified we are to give back to the world and help solve problems. That’s a system with an emergent that makes sense to me.

    It’s okay if you think I’m a Feeler. I’m Fe tertiary (aka “Extraverted Feeling,” aka my 10 Year Old is Harmony, a feeling process), so I’m not that far removed from the Feeler part of me. It’s just not my auxiliary process. Ti (aka “Introverted Thinking,” aka Accuracy) is, making me an ENTP. Anyone whose Thinking/Feeling processes are their secondary and tertiary always experience some confusion around whether or not they’re T/F, just like anyone whose Sensing/iNtuitive processes are their secondary and tertiary end up questioning whether they’re N/S. That’s why knowing cognitive functions is so helpful. They help parse out some of those “I’m close on the line” perceptions.

    Your question about the predominant type of Personality Hacker is a GOOD one. I asked Joel what he thought, and he said considering that the majority of the content comes from me, and since I’ve been with the company from the beginning, he could see it taking on an ENTP type. I’d say it’s clear the company has an Enneagram 3 orientation. I could see the MB type of the company just being Ne primary (or, a generic ENxP quality), since Joel is an ENFP.


  • John Danzer
    • John Danzer
    • October 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm


    You say that you are an ENTP which has accuracy as your co-piolot. Yet, the whole thrust of your “apologetic” (formal defence) was that accuracy isn’t REALLY that important in understanding one’s personality type. You often repeat your aim is to help people be happy.

    This seems like a “feeling” orientation more appropriate to an ENFP.

    This leads me to ask this question: Which personality type would best describe the culture of Personality Hacker. In your apologetic were you expressing your own type or the culture of “Hacker”?

  • Leon
    • Leon
    • October 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Great podcast. I see it is beneficial for different people to use different models to “map reality”, since we are all cognitively limited human beings who can hold on to or develop in our minds a limited amount of models, it is necessary for other people to exist in our lives to use different models to help inform us, thus interdependence and receptivity is vital. I also see that this applies to the types, since literally each type carries a model, mine being authenticity/exploration. Unfortunately I have to be receptive to sensation/accuracy people, lol. Models are tools, not absolute reality in itself.

    It is great to find a model that is useful (much in the point of view of “Effectivness”) but balance that out with Accuracy. Sorry if I am not using those terms correctly. If taken too far, the focus on the usefulness of the model may lead to not taking time to process the model, leading to ignorance. If taken too far, finding a model’s accuracy may not be applicable.

    Academic psychology is great, but at times it can be quite silly. In today’s age there is a focus on “hard sciences” (positivist) type of thinking. This point of view lead academic psychologists away from Myers-Briggs, because the origins of the Jungian Type system is not positivist. Jung was empirical but he used subjective (analytic psychological) methods to pinpoint reality, which is not favored today. I find it unfortunate that everyone must wait for a brain scan or some definitive test to “prove” a system as real. It is a bias of our age. Actually, brain scan research can get murky. Tests rests on assumptions. People don’t realize that science is based on assumptions. Why not trust our own subjective instincts rather than objective proof—because I DO observe the types, and though I know that finding a test to corroborate my observations is useful, it is highly limited. I trust my Intuition, but today Thinking (mainly extroverted) is the dominant viewpoint in science, and today’s science subjects all Intuition to Thinking, even though there should be balance.

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