Validity and reliability explained – yay!

I am attending a workshop to become certified as a MBTI professional, using this instrument with teams and individuals to help them discover things about themselves, discover things about others and learn how better work with with those who are different.

The instructor is phenomenal.  He is a former CEO of CAPT – the Center for Applied Psychological Type, which is the organization founded by Isabel Briggs Myers, and continues today to provide training for ethical use of the instrument.  I wish he would have been my professor during all of those time when I tried to understand math, algebra, geometry and statistics.  I think I may have gotten it.

He explained the reliability and validity of the instrument to us by collecting four buckets of markers, putting them on the front table, and throwing them at the MBTI team chart.  He explained that the validity of the instrument is measured by whether the instrument measures what it is supposed to measure….that is, did the marker hit the target.

He then threw several other markers at the same target, and consistently hit the target.  Aha!  Reliability is the consistency with which one hits the target.  By george, I’ve got it!.

He then threw several other markers at another part of the wall.  He did it quite consistently!  But it didn’t hit the target so we had a reliable instrument that wasn’t valid.  Twelve of us sat there nodding – we got it!  The instrument has to be valid and reliable.

I LOVE outstanding adult education, and this course is a great example.  I wonder if it is my “N” that is thoroughly enjoying his metaphors….hmmmm….

3 thoughts on “Validity and reliability explained – yay!”

  1. I enjoyed that course when I took it several years ago. It reminded me of my love for statistics while I attended college and graduate school. It seems that most places use the DiSC now because the MBTI is “too hard” to understand. Did they mention schools or companies that are using it?

  2. Karen, they didn’t mention others that used it, but I know that Long Island Jewish in NY uses it exclusively for professional development. I will say that I came away from the program with an appreciation for the richness of the data, and for the myriad uses. What always worries me with DiSC or MBTI (or birds) is that because of the time commitment, it gets reduced to a “parlor game” instead of a real opportunity to take various aspects of the business and look at them through the lens of type.

    Um, you love statistics?

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