frequently asked questions (updated 2018/11/14)

What is the Grant-Brownsword function model?
In 1983, William Harold Grant, along with Magdala Thompson and Thomas E. Clarke, authored a book relating Jungian personality types to the Gospel by correlating Biblical themes to Jung’s functions. Titled From Image to Likeness: A Jungian Path in the Gospel Journey, the main purpose of this book was to encourage the reader to understand the importance and the meaning of «God’s image» and how to evoke it within you on a journey from image to likeness. But this work contained a tidbit that would come to shape typology today: a new psychological model.

Grant dubbed it the third major model, highlighting how it «views Jung’s functions and attitudes on the basis of a developmental typology.» This model was based on their observations from several hundred people involved in their retreats and workshops (frequently referenced as «R/W» throughout their preface) along with thousands of students from two universities; it specifically referred to four stages of development from the ages of six to fifty.

Grant understood his model was a deviation from conventional interpretations of Jung’s work and did not expect to «find support within the Jungian tradition». In his own words, «admittedly, it needed further testing.» Grant included his model in the book in order to encourage people to view their personalities not statically but dynamically.

Alan W. Brownsword would end up writing It Takes All Types! in 1987, utilizing Grant’s model «in accordance with» Myers-Briggs types. This is not actually the case; Brownsword seemed to share an incorrect belief with many personality theorists from his time about the nature of «Type,» and this caused him to commit categorical errors when interpreting Jungian theory and Myers’ work with the MBTI. When talking about the E/I orientations of the tertiary and inferior functions, Brownsword only says that «not all of students of Jung seem to agree with [the tertiary function sharing the same direction as the dominant function]» and dismisses the more accepted**** interpretation of Jung’s work claiming that the «tertiary function» would be introverted with a claim that «it just doesn’t seem to work that way.» Consider Brownsword’s model to be an awkward amalgamation of Jungian psychological types, Myers-Briggs theory, W.H. Grant’s third model, and his own interpretation of what’s really going on.

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The function stack today originated with Grant and Brownsword, but has been popularized by figures like Linda Berens and Dario Nardi. There is a lot of history behind how this had come about, which you can read more about here: Full context: the cognitive functions.

**** the idea of having an «alternating stack» where the functions would be ordered IEIE or EIEI is fundamentally against how Jung described the function attitudes. Jung never made a stack template, but if he did, the directions would only ever work with two exclusive directions (i.e. IEEE, EEII, and IIIE would be acceptable, but not IEEI). Brownsword talked about how the «tertiary» function would be introverted according to Jungian analysts but he really meant that a function in that position would be introverted in their (correct) analysis of Jung’s work; «tertiary» functions are not a thing in Jung’s Psychological Types.

I don’t understand—how is all of this calculated?
I used to give the exact formulas for the calculations before, but I like the idea of the numbers themselves being publicly ambiguous. But I really don’t have a reason to be obscure about how the formulas are set up:

The Grant-Brownsword algorithm calculates a score for all sixteen possible types by adding up weighted totals for the dominant, auxiliary, and—very weakly—tertiary functions, then subtracting weighted inferior function totals in the final add-up. It would look something like this: a(dominant)+b(auxiliary)+c(tertiary)-d(inferior) = type_score

The axis-based algorithm will assume that there are no inferior functions in your stack, and that functions on opposite ends create axes that you would either prefer or not prefer, so in other words, your scores for Ne/Si are compared to Ni/Se, and the same thing goes for Se/Ni and Ni/Se. The algorithm then tries to figure out which one of those four «valued» functions you prefer should be dominant, and voila! You get your type.


Why isn’t my Myers-Briggs result the same as my function result?
Because they aren’t the same thing. Your Myers-Briggs result is based on the letter values assigned to each question (for example, agreeing with question #42 most significantly increases your E, N, and P scores even though it would give you 2 points for «Se») and your two other results are based only on the raw function algorithms. They are scored differently and mean different things.

How accurate is the test?
That really depends on what «accurate» means to you. My test is only meant to take your answers, run the formulas, and give you a result based on those formulas; this test would be 100% accurate solely with regards to that. Whether or not your result will be an accurate reflection of your «function type» or your Myers-Briggs type is up for you to decide.

But I should stress an important detail: I’ve received a little bit over 10k responses to date, and I’ve been able to compare purported Myers-Briggs types on this test with the types received on «raw» Form Q. Unfortunately, crossover data is scarce, and only about a tiny percentage of the slightly-less-than-10k responders (you can take tests more than once) have taken both the raw Form Q test and the function test. There is a slight NP/SJ bias in the margins, so I would seriously consider J for you if you scored «strong/clear N» and «undifferentiated» on J/P, or S if you scored «undifferentiated» and «strong/clear P,» etc. But my big problem is that I can’t offset the results with numerical addends or subtrahends because the gaps between these results are often relative, not absolute.

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For now, I would just recommend interpreting your results with this in mind, but I may add a permalink for your results for inquiry purposes soon.

But your test is totally inaccurate! The questions suck, and I know I’m definitely not the type I got.
It’s really anyone’s guess what an «accurate» interpretation of the functions is, because such a thing doesn’t actually exist. I know, crazy. Maybe you think those definitions are absolutely wrong, maybe somebody else thinks those definitions are absolutely correct. There isn’t a consensus on what function theory is, and there frankly never will be.

But if you do think you have all the answers, I added an option for people to choose an accuracy score for the test—not of their results since they haven’t seen them—but for the questions in «assessing» your functions. It’s a little dumb because no one actually knows which question scores for which function before they get their results, but it would be a little wonky adding post-result data to already-submitted results. I’m sure there’s a way, and I’ll have to experiment with what works best.

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