by Paige Whitley
Brain typing is a way to classify and group everyone into 16 categories of different skills, mental and physical, to predict athletic ability. 1. This was created by Jonathan P. Niednagle (JN) and he claims that brain typing is 100% accurate and that neuroscientific research will support it. 2. Within these 16 categories, there is a brain type that fits the individual and can help them to narrow down, even very young, what to do in life and how to get there. Brain typing is targeted at athletes to predict ability and claims to even be able to tell someone who their ability resembles. JN argues that he can do this just by observing the person and assigning their traits. 2. Brain typing is not in itself very popular but since it makes claims to be better than the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the most widely used psychological test, some people are very into it. 3. This idea sounds very intriguing, but although JN says neuroscience can support him, there has been no evidence to back him up.
JN has asserted that neuroscientific evidence could support brain typing, before anyone even did research for brain typing. He said brain typing worked by observing the person’s actions – not looking at their brain in any way which is very contradicting. JN has claimed to have done 30 years’ worth of research at an institute and there is still no scientific evidence to support brain typing. 2. Since brain typing has a lot to do with athletes, they are the ones most prone to believe in it. The LA Times even compiled a list of the best brain types for each sport and the rarest brain types for each sport. Including quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and Brett Favre all share the same brain type and encourage young athletes to get this done to see if they are similar to the greats. 4. In summary, JN is convincing people to be for brain typing because well, he can. But, with a lack of scientific evidence most people are skeptical.
This whole extraordinary belief is wrapped around the idea of conformation bias. If someone believes they are the best point guard on their high school basketball team or the best wide receiver on their football team, they will take the measures to get their brain type and compare themselves to the greats. It could even have a slight placebo effect, cognitively knowing you’re similar to Peyton Manning or similar to LeBron James, it could affect your game. And vice versa, if you are similar to someone who isn’t good, you may play worse.
This pseudoscientific belief is supported through testimonials. 3. These would all come from a community of (hopefully) successful athletes. Due to the observational aspect, professional athletes don’t have to seek out someone to be brain typed therefore someone, like JN, can do it behind the scenes and reach out to younger athletes and advertise this to them. Even though, they are already good players, they will be encouraged to attribute their success to their brain type and then make testimonials about how brain typing is 100% accurate.
In conclusion, brain typing doesn’t have any empirical evidence to support it and only has holds in the athletic community because of the claims to professional athlete’s brain types. It also has support through young, possibly cocky athletes seeking out confirmation bias and may even have a slight placebo effect with performance. JN believes he can assign brain types to people without ever looking at their brain. Brain typing isn’t harmful to anyone, but it is not accurate information.