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This very interesting question: Do the Jungian Cognitive Functions/ Processes really exist? is dealing with neuroscientific attempts to show Jungian functions and preferences exists. In addition to that question can someone explain the following "Escher infinite staircase" situation.

  1. MBTI is not exactly Jungian theory because they added judging perceiveing dimension. Also there is not neuroticism measured. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungian_cognitive_functions

  2. MBTI and Big Five is possible to link as same psychological test in research by Costa and McCrea: http://www.leadu-library.com/mj/2007/club/MBTI/MBTI-5factor.pdf


How is the MBTI possible without neuroticism?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

General observations: As a general observation, I find that the MBTI is very popular in professional development contexts such as team building. In contrast, the Big 5 is very popular in research contexts. Several obvious reasons exist for this.

  1. MBTI is typically interpreted in terms of types rather than position on a continuum, whereas Big 5 is interpreted as a position on a continuum. Continuous models of personality are a more accurate representation of reality. Types are easier for people to understand and talk about.
  2. MBTI aims to have no "bad poles" and is based on a Jungian theory. The Big 5 aims to describe personality in a parsimonious way and has been empirically developed through large-scale factor analytic work. Thus, MBTI types are more acceptable to people, whereas the Big 5 has a degree of social loading on several factors, in particular this can be seen in neuroticism.

Neuroticism in the MBTI: The McCrae and Costa (1989) study that you cite suggests that neuroticism is poorly captured by the MBTI. Neuroticism is a very robust personality dimension capturing various tendencies to experience stress, anxiety, depression, and various other negative emotions. It is generally the best correlate of many well-being and life satisfaction measures. It correlates highly with many outcomes. Thus, I would find the absence of something like a neuroticism factor to be a major shortcoming of a personality test, particularly were it to be used for research purposes.


  • McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1989). Reinterpreting the Myers‐Briggs Type Indicator From the Perspective of the Five‐Factor Model of Personality. Journal of personality, 57(1), 17-40.
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