I was recently sent a link to a paper titled "Personality type differences between Ph.D. climate researchers and the general public: implications for effective communication".
This is a great example of a pseudoscience trying desperately to make itself socially and academically relevant. Behind all the academic language and references is a trivial observation: climate change researchers are, on average, more intelligent and academically-minded than the general public.
Let us scrap the MBTT for a moment and propose a new typology. In this new system people will record the number of hours a week they spend communicating with scientists and academics either through reading scientific papers and texts, writing such texts themselves, or verbally communicating with scientists.
Next, we divide the results into 16 intervals roughly as follows:
- 20-100 hrs
Now, we identify traits common to people of the same or similar type. It turns out, those who spend a lot of time doing, reading, or talking about science have many traits in common. They think differently than those who spend just a few minutes a week encountering science.
Next, we give climate researchers and the general public a single-question questionnaire and discover — lo and behold! — that their types are quite different from those of the general public. As we think about this discovery, it occurs to us that these two groups might experience difficulty communicating with each other. Given that "climate change messaging" and "failure to communicate the science to the public" are hot topics in the climate change policy community, we now feel we have found the answer to this problem: it's because the types of climate researchers tend to be different from those of the public at large.
Our recommendation at the end of our triumphant research paper is that climate researchers need to study our typology to better understand how they are different from the public. They need to learn how people think who do not spend more than a few minutes a week reading, writing, or talking science.