In this blog, I’ll discuss a practical ethical method of using the 8-Process scores in a group or team context. This method can be applied to dyads or large organizations. There is a lot of power in the information provided in the scores, but errors in use can come from errors in beliefs.
There are distortions that hide in instrument results that arise from misconceptions in result applications. This topic must be discussed before I present a method of using the 8-Process Scores (8-P scores) in groups/teams. Like all results from assessments, the user must know the intent of the instrument and the applicability of a result. In medical tests, the results have a clear limit in utility. For example, a blood pressure cuff properly operated can give a reading of your blood pressure. It cannot tell you about your athletes’ foot fungus. Putting the cuff on your head will not tell you how stupid you are… but if you perform that behavior the action alone speaks for itself (don’t worry, it won’t fit). The Majors Type instruments give the professional the 8-P scores. Effectively used, the scores tell the professional about the individuals’ access and utility for each of the 8 mental functions. The scores do not tell you how much of a function you have. Also, the scores by themselves do not allow cross individual comparisons to be attempted. Example: You cannot say that I have twice as much extraverted Intuition as you. Even when looking at the results from one person you cannot say that the individual has twice as much Extraverted Intuition as Introverted Sensing. Given that my results for Si is about 30, and for Ne is about 70, it is ethical and safe to say that I have little conscious access and utility for the Si function but good access and utility for Ne.
The scores are Standardized T-scores. Standardized using a large norm group balanced by type. They have a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10 (different norm groups were used for males and females). To put this in everyday terms we can say that a result of 50 on Ne is the average score for the norm group. Most individuals (stat rule 67%) will have a score between 40 and 60 (one standard deviation above and below the average score). If a result is above the norm (e.g., 63) then you can say that they appear to have more access and utility than average with respect to that mental function. More is available from the publisher on this subject and the information can be found in the manual on 8-P scores (is a must-read for professionals).
Now that I have covered some common application errors, it is time to move to using the scores in groups. I have an ipsative (high and low) approach to the 8-P scores, a person’s High Score is contrasted with their Low Score. Let me provide some examples for clarity. Looking at the scores in the table below we see that Fe and Se are the Highest two scores, and Ti and Fi are the two lowest scores.
Table One: ESFJ Female age 28
A proper interpretation of this information is that Fe and Se are mental functions that the individual has access to and uses often in daily life, while Ti and Fi are not used or are difficult to use in a mature way. Often the person may be confused as to what those functions mean. Talking with them about these findings will confirm the result and provide the professional with the stories from their life regarding these mental functions. The Low scores may bring stories of trials and tribulations from lack of mature use and poor access (Read “In the Grip” by Naomi L. Quenk for more insights). You do not need to stop with two high and two low, but for the sake of this discussion, we will limit it to 2 of the two extremes.
On to groups and using the scores. The same ipsative approach to the analysis of the information but adding a metric to make sense of the collective/group data. For our metric, we will score a 2 for the highest (most often the dominant functions) and 1 for the second-highest score of a mental function. In the same way score a -2 for the lowest (almost always the inferior function) and -1 for the next to the lowest function score. Using this metric, we can plot the group data in many ways. I have chosen one easy straightforward way to make sense of the information. I refer to it as Group Function Intensity (see below)
In this example, each person is a different color, but you could use initials symbols letters numbers… The blocks of color are either 1 or 2 units in size corresponding to the ones and twos of the scoring. We can see from the graph that as a group the mental function that the group has the most access to and utility in daily life is Extraverted Thinking. Introverted Sensing and Extraverted Feeling are also quite accessible and useful. The mental functions less accessible and usable are Extraverted iNtuition and Introverted Feeling. There are several methods for interpretation, but I will stay with what I believe is obvious. This group of “leaders” is caught up in the facts of the past. They do not learn much from here and now nor look to the future. Because this is a real group that I worked with I can tell you that they were in trouble with upper management for being overtly emotionally negative, clinging to the past, and repeating the same old stuff.
This method of plotting and interpreting the data removes individual differences and places all parties on an equal contribution metric (Joe does not have twice as much… as Larry). There is more that can be drawn from this method. Using all 8 functions (4, 3, 2, 1 and -4, -3, -2, -1) gives more information but can make understanding difficult. And using the ipsative approach that limits plotting to the highs and lowest, allows you to state with confidence what is accessible/useable and not commonly found in the group function dynamics.
If you have a group or dyad, try this simple method, and see what elements of their functionality (or lack of) stand out. Using it for individuals can help remove the false perceptions that may come from extreme response styles. Access or not, and usability or not, that is what is helpful in providing information that fosters growth.
There are many ways to use the result data from the Majors Type assessments and I hope you will feel free the experiment and explore with proper ethical application in mind.