Headline:Lies, Damn Lies, and well meaning people on the Internet
Date:Monday, April 15, 2019
Posted By:Plaid Hatter Games

I've been converting the techniques I developed in the Excel sheet from my post on Creating the cast of the Iliad, into a software library. And of course, as one reviews the math, one double checks the assumptions that lead to the answer. One nagging question for me was "Where did we get the numbers that made that neat little table of E's vs. I's, and so on?" And like all good answers, I raised a few questions along the way.

The question that was bugging me was that there is no way on God's green Earth (or a spacecraft developed to mimic that environment) that the distributions of personalities for Ladies identical to the distribution for Gentlemen. Intelligence: Yes. Dominant hand: Yes. But too many of us just know that the two sexes are a bit different. Not more capable or less capable. Just different.

This is an odd feeling for me, because as an ENTJ I'm usually letting my head get the better of me. But in this case, the gut was right. I'm not saying there's some sort of worldwide conspiracy to try to paint the two sexes as identical from the waist up, but the amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth I found online over the subject was ... completely what one would expect on any topic. There were a lot of people who seemed to have a graph, or a chart, or a table, but nobody actually knew where the person they got their graph, or chart, or table got their data from.

I've seen everything from "Oh I just searched on google with these terms" to "Oh, I saw this image on another website" as a bibliography. E.M. Forster... oh if you only knew.

After digging through countless questionable links on even more questionable websites that were offering to convert a charge on my credit card into insights about my personality, I finally pealed back enough of the Internet to get to the Academic portions. There they only wanted my Credit card to open access to scientific papers. (Ugh... and you sign up for access on one paper on the effects of genetic inbreeding on small human populations and you get all sorts of strange recommendations.)

But combing through comments on these blogs, I found one exasperated individual who provided links that answered exactly the questions I was seeking to find.

The paydirt link (with the comment) was here.

The post is a summary of a post from This Guy. But enough people asked about where the data came from that somebody had to be a better expert, and point the world in the proper direction. The data I was looking for, was actually here: Here. It's technically a teaser for the website's sales pitch. But it tells me enough of where the data came from, that I'm comfortable citing it. (And getting live access to that sort of data involves a VERY expensive feed into one of the better Psychology Statistical Journals. I'm just trying to write a computer game, for Pete's sake.)

The short answer is that the numbers on the table of the Official Myer's Briggs website (found here) seems to be a very noisy simplification. It takes the data for both genders and just treats the Thinking/Feeling metric as an extremely volitile one. Is where they data came from. No, really, read the page: Text adapted from Building People, Building Programs by Gordon Lawrence and Charles Martin (CAPT 2001) CAPT is the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, the same capt.org where my paydirt data link is hosted off of.

Ok, not exactly the DA Vinci Code. And to be honest, if I had just read the original citation when I found the graph on the myersbriggs.org site, it would probably have been a better exercise to look for them as a publication than do my own web search for "mbti gender." Ok, I feel kind of stupid actually. We should all feel stupid. Internet Search Engine technology is actually making us all more stupid. Though would it have killed the Myers/Briggs people to provide a hyperlink?

Soo... if you follow this link and read the data, you find that there are different distributions for male and female personality types. For most of the metrics, the differences between one gender and another are slight. But for Thinking/Feeling scale, 75% of women are the Feeling type, 25% are the Thinking type. For men, 56% are the Thinking type, and 43% are the Feeling type.

It is a very messy metric. I can't say there is a great story to be told by knowing it. All things being equal, 75% of women need to feel the truth and 25% of men need to know the facts. With men, 56% need to know the facts, and 44% need to feel the truth. Individuals are going to be whatever individuals are going to be. This is strictly an estimation of how many we can expect to see.

If someone wants to start a fight about women in science, I would point out that there are countless ways in which we can make things friendlier to the F side of the T/F scale. Science is not all rational thought. Hell, look at quantum mechanics. That's not logic, that's chaos retconned into a mathematical framework.

To quote Einstein: (who may or may not have been an INFP)

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”