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Personality Type Misconception 1:

Personality Type Misconception 1:

By Donna Dunning

Personality Type Predicts your Actions

Many people have taken an inventory to identify their personality type preferences. Unfortunately, sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing as there are several common misconceptions about personality type. These misconceptions can occur when personality type concepts are introduced quickly or in a superficial way.

One of the most common misconceptions is interpreting personality type preferences as traits. The erroneous thinking goes like this:

You ARE a Feeling type, therefore you WILL avoid conflict.

You can substitute the word Feeling and the specific behavior with many different preferences and examples.

More accurately, personality type theory goes like this:

You have a preference for Feeling and likely enjoy harmony and find conflict uncomfortable.

What’s The Difference?

Having a personality type preference simply indicates your natural and most comfortable way of approaching a situation. Your preferences do not dictate your actions. You have the option to use your natural approach or choose an alternative approach in any situation.

In the above example, people with Feeling preferences certainly do engage in conflict. An individual may find it necessary or important to resolve a specific issue. Someone may argue an opposing view to ensure alternate perspectives are heard. Another individual may learn, or enjoy using, conflict resolution skills to solve problems. Or perhaps another person, with Feeling preferences, may engage in conflict as a response to stress in their life. An individual who tends to avoid conflict may see the need to step up and deal with issues to meet his or her needs.

This is a sampling of the many reasons why someone with a Feeling preference may choose to engage in a conflict. We all use each of the personality type preferences some of the time.

Your natural approach does not limit your range of options and behaviors.

For more information on this topic see my Don’t Box Me In post.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 8:44 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Personality Type Misconception 1:”

  1. Robert says:

    You are absolutely right, many people take the preferences as absolute, which they aren’t.
    But i don’t understand why you compare this with traits? Most trait tests give an indication of how much that trait is pronounced, so traits are normally far from absolute.

  2. Donna Dunning says:

    Hi Robert, That’s true, traits are quantifiable. Many theorists also assume traits cause or predict behaviours, such as “Introverts are shy”. This is what I am referring to when I distinguish preferences (Seen as your most comfortable approach) from traits (Seen as relatively enduring personality characteristics that predict behaviour).

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