Friday, November 13, 2009

Myers Briggs & Pagan Intuition Management

Whoa, two blogs in two days - if it takes me awhile to ditch the flu, I might get caught up!

At a college workshop-thinger I took in the search for financial aid, they do a Myers Briggs Type Indicator "test" -

- put the trank gun down; I have not been infected with the poppsyche virus. It's not one of those ridiculous psyche profile tests employers are handing out now that ask you how much money you've stolen from previous employers (with no "zero" option) and whether you know anyone who routinely handles weapons (and yes, they do include military, law enforcement, and historical re-enactors as "high risk" people). Those are dangerous, and should be shot on sight.
By the previous statement, you can guess how well I test on those.

If you've never messed with it, the MBTI is based on Jungian material, and observations about consistencies in the type of details you're most likely to focus on, problem solving methods, and how you evaluate your surroundings in general, as a means of suggesting careers and work environments that lend themselves to the way you operate. My score hasn't changed in 15 or so years; you usually don't see changes because the test establishes a range of most likely responses, not just absolute "you are so-and-so" statements. Individual categories can come in as very polarized, or close enough to the middle ground that you can go either way depending on the situation. So it doesn't attempt to force people into a cookie cutter shape.

Now, the point of all that blathering is something that came up in the discussion afterwards. We were bouncing around comparisons of the second category, that measures the range between Sensing (concrete, immediate observation of things) and Intuition (abstract relationships and possibilities of things). Just in case it's early and you haven't had any coffee yet, that sort of breaks down into "The ball is red" and "It's a toy".

Department Of Backstory segue: when I do a wights class , with what are mostly PHA* crowds, they choose an anchor to work with. The first hands-on exercise is about intuitive observation (what are your first impressions of the anchor?) ; the second is concrete observation (tell me something factual about the anchor).



Some of the wights' "solid object" anchors: from the left, back: Little Skunk Girl, Festus & Foxie, Julian, Jerome, Ernie's Herd, Kermit, Shortfatwhitedog, Agnes, Mama Goose, The Curmudgeon


The funky part is, most people have no trouble with the intuitive** , but several have trouble with the concrete observation part. Sometimes it takes two or three tries, even if I say "tell me about it's color or size" till they can describe some concrete fact, like "It's heavy" or "It's blue with white stripes" or "It's made of clay". And there's usually at least one person in each class who gets frustrated and simply can not give a factual observation. Have had a few who said that they could not define the anchor by it's appearance because appearances are only surface characteristics, and those are misleading. A wight can choose anything it wants - I figure the anchor says something about it's personality and priorities, but nobody else has to agree with me.

What I'm curious about is, is that an indicator of PHAs being typically more likely to be intuitive than concrete (all you card readers and psychometrics out there, do the wave), or a hefty chunk of people who tout a "spiritual over material" philosophy, or are people just trying to make it way more complicated than it needs to be? Being an really irritating relativist, I'm inclined to put it down to a little bit of all of that, with a couple brainsprained twinks on the side.

If you look at the MBTI from a general PHA direction, some of the indicators do shift a little, but not drastically. I would tend to place most PHAs at a more middle ground on that second range, because many of us wind up as PHAs because of an intuition where the spiritual can be as much a concrete experience as abstract. Jokes about being grounded aside, I'm curious about how much people feel that applying some material solidity and "getting the whole picture" to intuitive input is necessary, and how often people feel that "never the two shall meet" because one detracts from the other.

Ideas? Input? Comments that I won't have to delete because they're not only rude, but anatomically impossible? ;0)

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* Pagan/Heathen/Alternative Spirituality

** Except for the uberfluffy "Mystical Wafters" who give me lame BS answers like "I sense the oneness of the universe and the light and love of the Goddess" when they're holding Festus. Everybody who knows Festus the mule deer wight knows he's usually saying "why aren't you getting me a beer and some chicks?".

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