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Barnum Effect Vs. Jung Typology Test

643 words - 3 pages

Barnum Effect vs. Jung Typology Test

Barnum Effect vs. Jung Typology Test

By Joyce Dalton

PSY330: Theories of Personality

Instructor:  George Greaves

July 11, 2011

Barnum Effect vs. Jung Typology Test
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The Barnum effect is named after P.T. Barnum, and in psychology refers to the gullibility of people when reading descriptions of themselves. With this effect, it has been shown that it is possible to give everyone the same description and people nevertheless rate the description as very accurate. So does this really seem accurate?
I took this test, and it gave me this description of my personality: You have a great need for other people to like and admire you; You have a great deal of unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage; Disciplined and self-controlled ...view middle of the document...

This test was interesting, it came up with a general description, and not necessary how I perceive myself to be, so I took it again and changed the answers than I had originally used. What a surprise when I saw the exact same personality profile came up after taking the same test, with different answers, again. I can see how some people can be fooled into thinking the same results would be what they perceived themselves to be, the power of suggestion can be very high, especially if one does not know themselves too well. The Barnum effect, to me, seems to be around just to make people think, and to learn to see themselves as they truly are.
On the basis of this test, I decided to take another look at the Jung Personality Test. When I took it the first time, it gave me a personality rating of an INFJ, or Famous Personality. It said that I am 78% introverted, 50% intuitive, 12% feeling, and 44% judging. I decided to be a bit inventive, and I took this test again, only choosing very different answers, answers so far away from what I am, just to see what rating I would get. Unlike the Barnum effect, I received a completely different rating than I did the first time. This time it show me as being 100% extraverted, 25% sensing, 12% thinking, and 44% perceiving. As you can see, completely different than the one where I answered truthfully. This can cause problems for psychologists, what happens when a patient, or client, answers these questions falsely, even though they were instructed on answering them as truthfully as possible? This can bring the validity of personality tests into question.
The validity, or accuracy, of personality tests has been measured in a number of research studies, and assessed in two main ways; content validity, and criterion-related validity. Content validity is the systematic examination of the test to determine whether it covers a representative sample of the behavior domain to be measures; criterion validity compares the test with other measures or outcomes already held to be valid. These tests can be valid, if, and only if, the participants are truthful.

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