A theory of type matching | INFJ Forum

A theory of type matching

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by la boheme, Dec 7, 2014.

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  1. la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    There are several "theories" about what types are best matched in romantic relationships. I derived the following "theory" using the research findings described in the following video. I don't necessarily agree with these ideas, but I put it out for your consideration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYfoGTIG7pY&list=RDQMR0wuVs1StmU&index=2

    Helen Fisher studied the brain chemistry of love and attraction and found that there are four "brain systems" based on four chemicals, each linked to a "constellation" of personality traits. The chemicals are dopamine, serotonin, estrogen, and testosterone. Dopamine is associated with sensation seeking, and people whose brain activity is dominated by this neurotransmitter are energetic and restless, like novelty and enjoy taking risks. Serotonin is associated with mood, and people whose brain chemistry is dominated by this neurotransmitter are calm and controlled, like structure and are risk adverse. Estrogen and testosterone are, of course, the sex hormones responsible for male and female traits. People whose systems are dominated by testosterone are analytical and emotionally contained, competitive and bold. Finally, people whose systems are dominated by estrogen are empathic and emotionally expressive, flexible and agreeable. Fisher claims that her studies show that matches between people with certain brain systems yield the best results, in particular, serotonin people are best matched with other serotonin people, dopamine is best matched with dopamine, and testosterone is best matched with estrogen. Serotonin and dopamine are best matched within their own systems because they share the same values, serotonin for stability and dopamine for adventure. Dopamine people appear to be happiest when they can move from relationship to relationship--ie, serial monogamy--while serotonin people are happiest in stable, long-term relationships.

    That's Fisher's work. To extend it to MBTI, I matched each chemical to a form of cognition. Dopamine I assigned to extroverted perception, serotonin to introverted perception, estrogen to feeling, and testosterone to thinking. It follows that the types are matched EXXP to EXXP, IXXJ to IXXJ, and F-dom to T-dom. Each type, then, is matched to four other types. For example, INTP would be matched to INFP, ESFJ, ENFJ, and ISFP. Notice that this includes both Keirsey's match, ENFJ, and socionics' dual, ESFJ. This will be the case for each type in the T-F pairing. It will not be the case for the dopamine and serotonin pairings since in both Keirsey and socionics these two groups are matched to each other on the basis that opposites attract. In Fisher's system, however, dopamine and serotonin are too different to be good long-term matches.

    Finally, we can reduce the possible matches to a single best pairing by matching auxiliary functions using the same methodology. So, Ti-Ne, for example, would be matched to Fi-Ne (or INFP) since both share aux Ne, or dopamine. Doing this now for each type we get the following results:

    INTP-INFP
    INFP-INTP
    ISTP-ISFP
    ISFP-ISTP
    ENTJ-ENFJ
    ENFJ-ENTJ
    ESTJ-ESFJ
    ESFJ-ESTJ
    ENTP-ENFP
    ENFP-ENTP
    ESTP-ESFP
    ESFP-ESTP
    INTJ-INFJ
    INFJ-INTJ
    ISTJ-ISFJ
    ISFJ-ISTJ

    I can't speak for all of these matches, but I can say that, judging by the "INTP appreciation' threads I've seen elsewhere, INFPs appear to like and have good relations with INTPs, and vice versa, not least because the two types are similar in many ways. Since each type also shares many similarities with its partner, I imagine every type has much the same appreciation for its partner as INTPs and INFPs have for each other. So, on its face, these pairings appear to be workable. Furthermore, the basis for these matches is founded on actual research. The research may prove to be wrong, but at least there is some empirical evidence supporting these results, unlike Kiersey and socionics that are based solely on theory and speculation.

    Comments? What do you think of the pairing for your type?




    PS Here is another video by Fisher giving a fuller explanation of her ideas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv-Jja40ND0&index=10&list=RDQMR0wuVs1StmU
     
    #1 la boheme, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  2. Gaze

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    That's a very interesting combo, and not an easy one. I am not sure if it's the ideal. They're Fi/Fe differences make it harder to communicate as easily. Yes, they're Ne and Si match, but the Ti + Fe combo can be a bit overly harsh for the Fi+Te valuing INFP. I think INTPs are likely become irritated with the emotion/feeling valuing INFP while the INFP is likely to become frustrated with the extreme directness and pure logic approach to emotion or feeling.
     
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  3. OP
    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    Is matching judging functions more important, then, than matching perceiving functions, not just in this example but in general? Do you think the same problem would arise for, say, the INTJ-INFJ pair? What do you think is the best match for INTPs and INFPs? And for INFJs?
     
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    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    One of the most striking things about Fisher's study is the idea that dopamine and serotonin people should cavort with their own types. This contradicts most theories, including Kiersey and socionics, that claim these people belong together. This has direct implications for INFJs who are serotonin people, many of whom are attracted to ENTPs and ENFPs who are dopamine folks. What do you think of this conclusion? Do you see the differences between Ni and Ne as being an impediment to long-term relationships? Do you see potential Ne inconstance as a problem?
     
  5. the

    the Si master race.
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    Can you please list Which types are related to which hormone?
     
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    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    dopamine: ENTP, ENFP, ESTP, ESFP
    serotonin: INTJ, INFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ
    estrogen: ENFJ, ESFJ, INFP, ISFP
    testosterone: INTP, ISTP, ENTJ, ESTJ
     
  7. Erlian

    Erlian Community Member

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    I like this theory.
    When I first read an INTJ is best paired with INFJ, I wanted to reply: But I'd rather have an ISFJ! (Or even better an IxFJ.)
    But ISFJ is still in the same hormone group, so that makes sense.
    Also my serotonin levels (just read about serotonin) seems pretty good and easily increased when I need to. Dopamine however seems often lacking..
    I'm not an extreme testosterone guy, nor specifically feminine.

    This video seems better.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEHHKV-xkFw
    It calls the four subtypes:

    Explorer (dopamine)
    Builder (serotonin)
    Director (testosterone)
    Negotiator (estrogene)
     
    #7 Erlian, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  8. cvp12gh5

    cvp12gh5 What a lovely way to burn...

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    [MENTION=12182]la boheme[/MENTION]

    (INTP/INFP) I enjoy my interactions with INFP's. We are alike in many ways which makes me feel at ease when in their presence. I am attracted to how emotional they can be; they offer new perspective on issues rather than my more logical approach. And I can tell that my rational and toughminded nature is something that appeals to them; they can see the value in a decision/view that is not driven purely by emotion.

    I like the feeling aspect (of infp) because I am aware that it is something I lack; they like the rational, straightforwardness that I offer because it's something they could improve in themselves. But feelers often get their feelings hurt by thinkers. Not intentional, but it happens. And thinkers can't understand when feelers don't come out and say what's on their minds or what hurt them. They let it fester. They sulk. They give silent attitude.They are the nicest people you will ever meet but when you do something that upsets them, you know. Something in the air changes. You can feel a storm brewing, you just don't know when it's going to hit. And then BAM! Out of nowhere. You are hit with a shit storm that leaves you feeling confused and, well, shitty. I'm straightforward and I expect that from others as well so this is where things get tangled for me.

    But the storm does eventually pass and we both seem to learn from it. Good friendships that can last.
     
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    #8 cvp12gh5, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  9. Gaze

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    I think it depends on the nature of the relationship. If it's a working relationship vs. romantic relationship, the same or opposing functions could offer different dynamics that works for or against that coupling. It also depends on the mindset of the individual. Type alone is not enough to determine success of the pairing.

    If you have two types who are completely different and whose functions are balanced, meaning they've come to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their functions, and have well developed use of dominant and auxiliary functions then maybe their pairing is more likely to be successful. However, two people who do not have an understanding of each other, and can't appreciate each other's function effects on the person's personality, and how that affects their dynamic, could find themselves in a not so successful pairing. So, it depends.

    I am not sure how an INFJ/INTJ would work but I think their J similarity would make them highly compatible while their F and T differences are great complements. I think INFJs and INTJs have similar ways of viewing the world. Their Ni's allow them to pick up on things and connect with each other in ways others would not easily understand. In this aspect, there would be less effort needed to relate to each other's view of the world. However, the INFJs Ti+Fe could be difficult to appreciate by the INTJ's Te+Fi, since the INTJ expects clear, step by step expression of ideas, while the INFJ Ti has them work out their ideas internally via an invisible process which can frustrate the INTJ who wants things overtly expressed and laid out in a logical manner. An INTJ will figure out the answer and lay out their thought process to explain how they got to their conclusion, while an INFJ may figure it out internally and then give verbalize answer without explaining the reasoning that produced it.

    Regarding INTPs and INFPs, their perceiving functions are great for discussions, and can help each spur to more creative heights. However, I think INTPs prefer partners who are more extroverted than they are. They seem drawn to extroverted energy. I think they like people who they can analyze, who are overt in their thinking style. I think they're likely more attracted to types with Fe+Te functions. I do think they prefer other Ps. vs. Js. I think Js. are too controlled for the INTP. INTPs like to play, and not be constrained. So, I would say ENTPs or ENFPs are attractive to the INTP. INTPs like partners they can spar with.

    I think INFJs can be matched with any type they choose, but maybe find Ts intriguing, especially one's with Ni. I think INFJs have a tough time connecting with Ne. They think Ne sees too many possibilities or options as valid when only few are feasible, while they (Ni's) see the "true" answer. As a result, they may become a bit irritated with Ne-dominants. So, Ni doms who understand and appreciate their Fes are the best fits. I think INFJs feel better able to communicate with those who have similar functions rather than those with opposing functions.
     
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  10. DonTaushMe

    DonTaushMe Well-known member

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    Wait what??
     
  11. DonTaushMe

    DonTaushMe Well-known member

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    I relate a heck of a lot more to the explanation of serotonin however I do have a lot of testosterone and an imbalance in that and do seem to attract more testosterone driven people. One of the most blunt explanations being a person liked me because I am an asshole lol >.>

    I agree, being an INFP, I do like INTPs however at the same time I like them because I understand them and accept the differences we have. To me understanding and acceptance means love however not romantic love. I do understand, having an INTP friend, that the feelings of an INTP could get muddled and mistake my feelings of love for something more than a brother sister relationship however that is usually never the case. INTPs are amazing in that we are so similar but at the same time different and that's pretty great to see. However I really would never have the patience to be in a relationship with an INTP and more than that Ts sexual style is extremely different from Fs sexual style and me being such a hardcore feeler I feel that I could never be in a sexual relationship, again, with a T.
     
  12. DonTaushMe

    DonTaushMe Well-known member

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    Lol I totally feel like you have Fi but... maybe? What do you think??
    And if you go by the whole socionics 'look at my eyes tell me my soul' thing you're a catch between a ENFJ and an ENFP, more leaning towards an ENFJ.
    ....
    What do you think?? You've read this crap, yeah? What do you agree with more?
     
  13. Switchgirl

    Switchgirl ON and OFF mode

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    I'm probably an ESFJ, but don't want to come to terms with it, haha.
     
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    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    What are the T and F sexual styles?
     
  15. OP
    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    Your responses are very interesting. I enjoyed reading them.

    I think this would be a good time to make a few comments about Fisher's ideas to put it and this theory in proper perspective. First, the idea that a single chemical can be responsible for a "constellation of personality traits" is a bold one, and Fisher herself admits that further work is needed to place the biological basis of personality on firm footing. So these results are really provisional and incomplete. I suspect she put them out there in these nominally definitive terms because she was engaged by and works with Match.com. So she is pitching the company maybe as much as she's pitching her own ideas.

    To that research itself, the idea that testosterone is attracted to estrogen is hardly new or controversial, since these hormones help express sex differentiation and regulate sexual attraction. The idea that dopamine and serotonin should not be mixed contradicts the commonly held notion that opposites attract. But this idea, if you think about it, has its roots in the attraction between the sexes, or between testosterone and estrogen. So there appears to be an internal inconsistency in Fisher's prescriptions. On the one hand, she claims opposites attract, while on the other, she claims they don't. Why the difference? I think it lies in biology. Testosterone and estrogen are sex hormones, and we don't control our sexual preferences. These hormones are programmed, as it were, to attract each other. Dopamine and serotonin, otoh, are neurotransmitters and are not, to my knowledge, connected to our sexual preferences, so we have some freedom to choose one or the other.

    What is the evidence supporting these ideas? As mentioned, Fisher worked with Match.com, presumably helping them devise their methodology for pairing couples. In this work, she had access to their database of personal information supplied by the thousands of members of that site. This is a large sample. However, she didn't actually perform lab tests on all of these people to determine their brain systems. Rather, I suspect she analyzed the personal information of Match.com users and deduced their types. I'm going to assume this is not as reliable as making actual measurements themselves. In fact, if I recall, Fisher said she only performed measurements on about "78 people". So the actual evidence on which her ideas stand is much smaller than might at first appear. (It's quite possible there may be other research that also lends support that she didn't mention because of the informal nature of her presentation. Nevertheless, the body of evidence is surely much smaller than the association with Match.com suggests.)

    What other evidence is there? There are a set of studies conducted by two psychologists, Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, who co-wrote the book Just Your Type (availaible free on-line--google it). They interviewed and surveyed about 2000 people and analyzed their self-reported satisfaction with their relationships and correlated this with their MBTI types. They found that people who described themselves as being similar to their partners reported higher levels of satisfaction (52%) than people who considered themselves different (22%). When broken down by T-F and J-P, the four pairings that reported the highest satisfaction were all T-T or F-F and all but one were J-J or P-P. The exception was TJ-TP couples who reported a 71% satisfaction rate, third highest in the study. The four pairings that reported the lowest satisfaction were all T-F, except one, the TP-TP coupling (46%). These unsatisfied pairings were also all J-J or P-P save for the TP-NJ coupling.

    So what does this mean? It appears the sexes don't get along as well as Fisher believes! Or, to be more accurate, the judging functions don't appear to mix, and by inference, neither do testosterone and estrogen. (This will come as no surprise to anyone who's been in a close relationship with a person of the opposite sex!) Also, there appears to be little decided preference for judgers or perceivers. Since judging and perceiving map to serotonin and dopamine, this result doesn't appear to support Fisher's findings. Mixed dopamine-serotonin pairings appear to have the same chances of success or failure as common neurotransmitter pairings.

    So Fisher's studies appear to be contradicted by Tiegers' studies. Who is right? Well, it should be recognized that the two studies measured different things. Fisher measured attraction in new and potential couples, Tiegers measured satisfaction in actual couples who had been together for some time. This difference accounts for the contradictory conclusions on the effect of the T-F dichotomy and suggests that while T-F opposites may indeed attract, it's the T-T and F-F likes that form more enduring bonds.

    Looking at temperaments, we begin to see support for the idea that people are more satisfied with partners whom they consider similar to themselves. SJ-SJ couples, for example, reported the highest rate of satisfaction among all pairings at 79%. NF-NF reported the second highest rate of satisfaction at 73%. The least satisfied same-temperament pairings were NT-NT and SP-SP, both at 59%. But this still puts them in the middle of the pack, well ahead of the most unhappy twosome, NF-SJ (46%). (NTs reported highest satisfaction with NFs at 64% while SPs were happiest with NTs at 73%). On balance, then, there is a bias in favor of same-temperament pairings.

    Taken together, these studies suggest Ts and Fs feel a initial mutual attraction, but in the long-run enjoy higher rates of satisfaction with people who share their judging functions. There is also some evidence that Js and Ps--particularly in SJs but also (to a lesser extent) in SPs--experience greater satisfaction in relationships with other Js and Ps, respectively. This last conclusion is the one on which both studies appear to converge.

    Finally, I might compare these results to some personal observations. I have found that both Ts and Fs have been attracted to me in about equal numbers, while Ps have outnumbered Js. So I can't vouch for the T-F results of either of these studies, but I can say that my experience corroborates Fisher's finding that P attracts P.

    What are your experiences?


    PS I realize that this review of the evidence may be confusing, but that is in the nature of science as it is being created--like an unfinished work of art it is unavoidably messy. In any event, finding a partner is something one needs to work out in practice, in the real world. Any theory of this kind can only ever act as a guide to point you in the right direction. In the meantime, it serves the useful purpose of stimulating conversation and thought, both of which might also help lead you to a happier place.
     
    #15 la boheme, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  16. OP
    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    ENTPs certainly enjoy sparring, but aren't ENFPs sensitive like INFPs? And far from being wallflowers, INFPs can be quite outspoken when they feel offended. And they enjoy playful sparring, too. It's an NP thing.

    You can think of this theory as dividing the types into three groups clustered along a spectrum with dopamine at one end and serotonin the other. INTP lies in the between these ends together with the other J-doms. So if an INTP wanted a little more adventure than an INFP might offer, he could step over to the dopamine end and pick from one of those types, like an ENFP or ENTP. Likewise, if an ENFP or ENTP wanted a partner who was a little less adventurous and more staid, but didn't want to jump all the way to the serotonin end of the spectrum, he could step halfway between, where the J-doms lie, and choose from one of them. These are the incremental variations from the mean suggested by this theory.
     
    #16 la boheme, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  17. Gaze

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    Yeah, that's true. Never thought of it that way. I'm supposed to be an INFP, so I know how they are. :D I wouldn't use sensitivity to define INFPs because it depends on the person. Because of Fi, INFPs are just more likely to pay attention to certain things while others may disregard or dismiss those things as relevant or valid. It's a matter of perspective.
     
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  18. sassafras

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    This theory has merit and it closely mirrors a study I read once upon a time pairing certain brain chemicals with types. However, instead of estrogen and testosterone, it theorized that levels of serotonin, dopamine, GABA, norepinphrine and epinphrene had an impact on personality. It discussed it in terms of both the Big Five and MBTI theory. Personally, I am more partial to that idea rather than the one posited here because hormones do fluctuate and their effects are more 'amplifying' rather than able to form any kind of solid foundation on which something like personality can stabilize.

    Still, while I don't entirely agree with your journey, I more or less agree with your destination, particularly with the list of pairings.

    The types that are most compatible are those who process information similarly. I imagine this is what you were getting at here when you went about doing a yin and yang combo. My own dating experience also closely mirrors your findings. I do find myself with ENTPs more often than not.

    Mind you, people who have mirror auxiliary and tertiary functions (such as ENTP and INFJ ) will also be compatible.
     
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    #18 sassafras, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  19. OP
    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    Fisher mentions some of these other chemicals in one of her talks, so it isn't just dopamine, serotonin, etc, but a small number of chemicals maybe centered these nominal ones.

    So you are an ENFP? I thought you were an INFJ. I know types like ENTP-INFJ who share aux-tert functions are considered by some as ideal matches but I've never heard an explanation of that that made sense. What is your reasoning? And what do you think of the idea that dopamine ENTP (or dopey as we NTs call them) is too inconstant to be a good long-term partner to serotonin INFJ?
     
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    la boheme

    la boheme Regular Poster

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    I'm curious: besides the things you mention above, what is a soulmate to you?
     
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