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A Mixed Bag for MBTI-philes
on March 8, 2001
As a layman fascinated with all things MBTI, I picked up this book with eagerness, hoping it might give deeper insights into what other books and Websites discussed, or tread new ground. I was somewhat disappointed.
The authors DO start with some fairly clear, insightful examples and definitions of the MBTI categories, including a wonderful story about an E father and an I son. However, they soon veer from clarity and insight into what I can only call high-level "mush" -- paragraph upon paragraph of needless exposition and feel-good truisms. As noted in another review, Pearman and Albritton's prose is an inconsistent mix of clear, focused text and fluffy, platitude-filled philosophy on having appreciation and understanding for those different from you. While I do appreciate their emphasis -- not stereotyping others and working hard not to just understand them in an academic way, the writing is simply too "lite" and jarring with the text that is specifically MBTI-centered. When they remain on-topic about MBTI and how types interact, the book is good (though not anything drastically different/deeper than other books in the marketplace).
They do offer some very good insights into what the different types value, especially in regards to communications. This is where the book is most valuable -- as a beginning point for understanding HOW and WHY you communicate the way do, and ways to bridge differences with others. However, their many charts tend to get a bit numbing after a while, and some don't do a very good job of show clearer delineation between the 16 types. And for whatever reason, the authors completely ignore Keirsey's distinction between character and temperament; using it could have helped them carry their thesis farther and with more punch.
Worth reading -- or at least skimming -- if you really enjoy MBTI-related material, but for those new to MBTI or looking for more practical, user-friendly texts, I recommend looking into Keirsey's or Kroeger's works.