May 30, 2008

Political Communication - new insight

What affects the way people hear political information? Could it be connected to one of the dimensions (S - sensing/N - intuitive) of the Myers-Briggs model of personality? This piece posits that progressives could improve their ability to communicate with more people by using Myers-Briggs to understand how most people see the world.

Here's a quick primer on this dimension:

If I'm more of a sensing individual, here's how I see the world: "Paying attention to physical reality, what I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Iím concerned with what is actual, present, current, and real. I notice facts and I remember details that are important to me. I like to see the practical use of things and learn best when I see how to use what Iím learning. Experience speaks to me louder than words.Ē

If I'm more of a intuitive individual, here's how I see the world: "Paying the most attention to impressions or the meaning and patterns of the information I get. I would rather learn by thinking a problem through than by hands-on experience. Iím interested in new things and what might be possible, so that I think more about the future than the past. I like to work with symbols or abstract theories, even if I donít know how I will use them. I remember events more as an impression of what it was like than as actual facts or details of what happened."

Read the piece and let me know what you think.

Posted by Mary at May 30, 2008 05:40 PM | Communications | Technorati links |

I have a dabbled with Myers&Briggs quite a bit over the years, but never thought of it quite in this context: intuitive types are those more susceptible to subscription to adolescent fairy tales to explain away the dark, while the sensing type would rather would hold the world, and understand it, in their own hands.

I'm down with that.

Posted by: Ten Bears at June 1, 2008 09:11 PM

The question that always comes to mind about Meyers-Briggs criteria is "how valid are they?" For instance, on the N-S scale, I'd probably be considered S, but by the descriptions in that article, I could be one or the other depending on circumstances.

So how lost is an N-type personality when dealing with an S-type explanation? And how far into N-land can one go before you're just talking mush?

Psychology seems to be full of these sorts of definitions and concepts - seemingly accurate, but maybe hard to validate.

When it comes to communicating, I usually try to pitch an explanation at the level of my audience, and then try to gauge whether it's working by their reactions. Blank expressions usually mean it's not working, unless they're completely uninterested.

Posted by: Cujo359 at June 1, 2008 11:14 PM