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Could MBTI be coupled with Spiral Dynamics?

We received this question after the publication of articles Simple SDTEST® Gives Great Possibilities and Mathematical Psychology. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Spiral Dynamics are two systems that categorize personality traits and motivational values, respectively. This article is dedicated to answering this question. It will show with a real example how to use the SDTEST®  V.U.C.A. poll designer.



Brief Overviews of the Systems



MBTI categorizes personality into 16 types based on preferences across four dichotomies: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. It has been extensively validated and applied in career development, leadership, and team-building.


Spiral Dynamics maps the evolution of motivational value systems in a spectrum of colors or levels, from basic survivalist Beige to holistic-minded Turquoise. It builds on Clare Graves' theory of levels of human existence and has been used extensively in organizational development and coaching. SDTEST® has 81029 results from 169 countries, results clustered into 7821 unique motivational patterns. 


While both systems group people into "types", MBTI reflects non-hierarchical preferences while Spiral Dynamics depicts hierarchical development.



Possible Connections Between the Systems



Some relationships could potentially be theorized between MBTI types and Spiral levels based on apparent similarities in focus:

  1. Intuitive types (N) may gravitate toward the holistic Yellow and Turquoise levels.
  2. Sensing types (S) match the practical Red and Blue levels. 
  3. Thinking types (T) resonate with the objective, logical Orange level.
  4. Feeling types (F) align with the harmonic Green level.


So Intuitive, Feeling types like INFJ could speculatively be associated with later Green and Yellow Spiral levels, while Sensing, Thinking types such as ISTJ fit earlier Blue and Orange levels.


Studying the correlation between Spiral Dynamics developmental stages and MBTI personality types could potentially yield some useful insights, but it also has limitations:


Potential benefits:

  1. Seeing relationships between motivational values and personality preferences - e.g., Achiever Orange correlated with Thinking preference
  2. Understanding interactions between developmental level and type - e.g., how INFJs may express differently at different Spiral levels
  3. Explaining tensions within types via value differences - e.g., INTJs driven by power versus achievement 
  4. Mapping types/functions to transitional stages - e.g., Intuition in late Orange, Feeling in early Green


Limitations:

  1. Differences in goals and validation of the two systems 
  2. Individuals express both multiple values and multifaceted personalities
  3. Correlations may reinforce stereotypes about both frameworks


Intriguing connections may emerge, directly linking MBTI types to Spiral Dynamics levels.



The SDTEST®  V.U.C.A. poll designer



The SDTEST®  V.U.C.A. poll designer is as simple as Google Forms. Watch this two-minute video to get acquainted and compare. The main difference of the SDTEST®  V.U.C.A. poll designer is the presence of an independent multilingual UI for changing the site language and poll form. If, for example, your primary site language is English, and you do the poll in 6 international UN languages, then you only need to use the language change window for the poll form. If you are doing this work together with colleagues whose primary language is Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, or other languages, then for their convenience, they can change the language of the site.




Create and share your Poll (MBTI)



Now you know the functionality of the Designer, and you can create your own, for example, MBTI.


We invite you to look “under the hood” of the poll Psychological Wellbeing (by Carol D. Ryff) we have already created. Developed by psychologist Carol D. Ryff, the 42-item Psychological Wellbeing (PWB) Scale. Source: Ryff, Carol D., Psychological Well-Being Revisited: Advances in Science and Practice, NIH Public Access, Psychother Psychosom, Vol.83, No.1, Pp.31, (2014). Watch the next two-minute video.



Now you need to share the link to your survey, and survey participants choose the language in which they are comfortable answering the questions. Watch the next one-minute video.




Poll results and their analysis



We do not have the results of the MBTI poll, so for example, we will use the poll Psychological Wellbeing (by Carol D. Ryff) we used above. 

Below you can read an abridged version of the results of our VUCA poll “Psychological Wellbeing (by Carol D. Ryff)“. The full version of the results is available for free in the FAQ section after login or registration.

Psychological Wellbeing (by Carol D. Ryff)

Country
Language
-
Mail
Recalculate
All questions
All questions
1) Autonomy (how much do you agree or disagree?)
2) Environmental mastery (how much do you agree or disagree?)
3) Personal growth (how much do you agree or disagree?)
4) Positive relations with others (how much do you agree or disagree?)
5) Purpose in life (how much do you agree or disagree?)
6) Self-acceptance (how much do you agree or disagree?)
1
1) Autonomy (how much do you agree or disagree?)
Answer 1
33%
Answer 2
34%
Answer 3
15%
Answer 4
4%
Answer 5
6%
Answer 6
4%