Season 1, Episode 1 Transcript
Will your MBTI personality have different results throughout your lifetime?
The short answer is ‘yes’, the long answer is ‘no’. But neither may be not for the reasons one might expect. There are really two main components to consider here. The first of these centers on MBTI accuracy and reliability, and the other centers on human growth and maturity.
As for the MBTI itself, recall it is simply a test. One originally devised to bring practical application of Jungian psychology to a broader audience. It was quite remarkable in its day, indeed it still holds a significant position in the evolution of our understanding of personality. Look no further than the continued use of its iconic 4-letter dichotomies or type identifiers that remain entrenched even after the underlying science superseded it.
The MBTI is static rather than dynamic. Results are affected by one’s mood and personal bias at the time of the test. Better results usually require it be professionally administered and interpreted, but even then, accuracy is no guarantee. In addition, for those with a some understanding of the test, the questions can be answered in a way to achieve a desired result (You see this when people’s results are their cognitive focus type instead of their ego).
Bottom line, for these reasons and others, the MBTI can and often does yield different results over the course of one’s lifetime. The different results reflect problems with the structure and methodology of the test rather than one’s personality actually changing from one type to another.
Beyond the scope strictly of test results, personality does develop as we mature and gain life experience so in this sense it changes. Anyone who has children can verify that characteristics of personality are visible early in infancy. Personality is a fact of nature. Nurture can affect its manifestation, yet the underlying foundation of personality and cognitive preferences remain nature.
One theory gaining ground is C.S. Joseph’s “4 Sides Theory”. It postulates that our minds are structured into four areas of awareness: Ego, Unconscious, Subconscious, and Superego. All four areas or sides have cognitive functions and are related and interconnected through cognitive gateways. They are with us from birth, but they do not develop concurrently. Essentially, the Ego develops first, specifically with cognitive awareness in the ‘Hero’ and ‘Child’ attitudes. From there, awareness via the ‘Inferior’ and ‘Parent’ attitudes arises bringing a sense of responsibility and self-control.
In time, we develop and incorporate awareness and utilization of the other three sides. The Unconscious is where our sense of responsibility resides, and the Subconscious is where we find fulfillment. The Superego, generally the last to develop, is the source of what some would call our ‘sin nature’, our anger or our internal demons, as it were. We can be involuntarily thrust from our Ego into another side through some external stimuli, and at these times, the manifested personality is more reflective of that specific side rather than that of our Ego. We can also learn to move voluntarily into and out of the other sides, and that’s what’s known as maturity.
Personality is dynamic and evolutionary. As such, life then is a journey to develop the mind, to grow in maturity, to live joyfully, and to overcome the worst within us. Ultimately, it is the harmonization of all 4 sides into an integrated self that is the goal. It’s the same personality you were born with, but one that has achieved enlightenment.
by: Jay Ackley
Sept 3 2020