Breanne Potter of “Assessment Buzz” sounds the alarm over the proposed changes the APA – American Psychiatric Association has tabled that will revise the DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to include Introversion as a symptom of personality disorder.

Carl Jung identified Introversion as a preference for turning inward toward reflection as a way of re-energizing. This definition is benign and describes a way of being as valid as any other. Unfortunately in most business and social contexts in North American society we have come to extol Extraverted behaviour as “the way to get things done around here”. As Breanne points out this contributes to an unwarranted challenge for Introverts who have to contend with some misguided assumptions about their nature.

The difficulty lies with language especially when we attempt to use one word to accurately reflect a constellation of meaning. One of the things that I was taught was that as an MBTI professional language matters. People are not a label no matter what that label is. They might have a preference for something such as Introversion, but who they are is so much more than the word Introvert can capture.

The APA would do well to reconsider this proposed change. If you agree that this change is problematic, register on the APA’s site and let your voice be heard.

Category: Personal
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