Steps Towards a "Grand Jungification" Theory: The Relationship of the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator to Psychological Type

Robert W. McPeek, Ph.D.
Center for Applications of Psychological Type

(This research is currently under review for publication, at which time the complete text will be available. In the meantime, here is a summary.)

Two Jungian Communities

Carl Jung's wide influence embraces two primary communities: analytical psychologists, typically therapists and counselors, and psychological type professionals, primarily working with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers using Jung's theory of personality.

Despite sharing a common source for their work, these two communities work in large part independently of one another, using very different methodologies and focusing on very different aspects of Jung's voluminous legacy. Two of the primary differences are:

  • Use of psychometric assessments. Arguably the ascendancy of the study of psychological type is primarily attributable to the widespread use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument.
  • A focus on archetype (analytical community) versus a focus on type (typology community) as the primary means to understand human personality. John Giannini, a relatively rare Jungian who is both an analyst and a typologist, has suggested that "this failure to holistically harmonize the types with the archetypes. is the central intellectual cause of the split in the Jungian family" (Giannini, 2004).

A Bridge Between

The Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator® (PMAI®) instrument was developed to provide an objective measurement of archetypal patterns and their active influence in an individual's life. The instrument is thus an effort to bring the same kind of psychometric rigor represented by the MBTI® assessment to the study of archetypes—illuminating their otherwise unconscious activity (Jung defined archetypes as "the contents of the collective unconscious"). Because the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) has collected both type preference information and archetype profiles from administration of the PMAI to several hundred individuals, the available data were analyzed to discover any relationships between type and archetype.

Method

The PMAI measures twelve different archetypes: Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, Caregiver, Seeker, Lover, Destroyer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Sage, and Jester. Pearson and Marr (2002) provide descriptions of the behaviors and attitudes of the different archetypes in sufficient detail to make predictions about type preference-archetype relationships. Data collected from CAPT's PMAI takers included a self-report of four-letter type as well as life-stage stress levels. Archetype scores from opposing preference dichotomies were analyzed for differences using MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance).

Results

Predicted relationships of type to archetype, and of archetype to stress level, were largely confirmed. In particular, all twelve main predictions (one for each archetype concerning its relationship to a preference or to stress) were strongly confirmed (indicated in bold in the table below).


Summary of Significant Results for Type and Archetype Preferences

Archetype E-I S-N T-F J-P Stress
Innocent E*   F~ P^ Less*
Orphan I*   F*   More**
Warrior E*   T* n/s n/s
Caregiver n/s   F*   More**
Seeker   N*   P** More*
Lover E* N^ F* P~ n/s
Destroyer I* N** F^   More*
Creator E* N* n/s P* More**
Ruler E*   T* J* More^
Magician E** N* F*    
Sage   N* T* J~  
Jester E*     P* Less*

bold = main hypothesis confirmed;
n/s = failed prediction;
italics = opposite to predicted result;
*p>.001; **p<.01; ^p<.05; ~p<.081.

Using the MBTI and PMAI Instruments Together

While correlations between many preferences and archetypes were statistically significant (largely consistent with predictions), shared variance (square of the Pearson correlation) never exceeded 16%, indicating archetype and type assessment are tapping different constructs. Use of the PMAI and MBTI instruments in conjunction offers some promising opportunities for a deeper understanding of personality. As one example of many, an individual with a strong Seeker archetypal pattern and a Thinking preference will likely seek accuracy while a Seeker with a preference for Feeling will likely seek harmony or bliss. That might point individuals to different career paths or suggest fruitful life strategies. We are in the early stages of exploring such combined usage, but in the meantime, this research presents a step in the direction of healing the split between the Jungian analyst and the type communities—leading to the irresistible pun of a movement towards "grand Jungification."

References

Giannini, J.L. (2004). Compass of the Soul: Archetypal Guides to a Fuller Life. Gainesville, FL: Center for Applications of Psychological Type.
Pearson, C.S. & Marr, H.K. (2002). Introduction to Archetypes. Gainesville, FL: Center for Applications of Psychological Type.