Deconstructing MBTI code | INFJ Forum

Deconstructing MBTI code

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Tamagochi, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. Tamagochi

    Tamagochi Sushi Destroyer
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    Sometimes I like disassembling things to see how they work from the inside. The subject for today is MBTI code. Let's hope I will be able to put it together again at the end of this post :)

    At the heart of MBTI lies a theory of cognitive processes by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. He was one of the founding fathers of the modern psychology and was mostly interested in how a healthy human mind works. After observing his patients and himself (he had some interesting hallucinating experiences at one point in his life) he came to a conclusion that there are several common trends in how people perceive information: either sensory or intuitive. The first is working with facts and direct input from one's five senses. The second (although sounds a bit mystical) can be described as perceiving in patterns. There was also a difference in how people process information (called judging function): using feelings or thinking. Ethics, emotions and morals against rational thought.

    And so we have two central components of MBTI code: perceiving S/N and judging F/T. One can deduce the two middle letters of his or her code from this information. There are 4 possible combinations and most people on this forum have NF preference.

    Next Jung drew a distinction that each function can be in one of the two attitudes: either extroverted or introverted. So a number of variables doubles: Si/Se, Ni/Ne, Fi/Fe, Ti/Te. One of them is dominant in a personality. It is here that we can deduce the first letter of MBTI code for it coincides with attitude of the dominant function. For INFJ it's Ni - that's why we have "I".

    But it's not that easy to discover which of the two favorite functions is dominant: a person can be sure of NF preference and his/her introversion but still would not know if that's Fi or Ni responsible.

    For that we have the final letter of the code which is often misinterpreted. As there are 8 cognitive functions (actually 4 with two different attitudes each) - there can be 16 possible pair combinations of them in a code. But only 8 are used by Jung for he concluded that perceiving and judging functions must be in opposite attitudes in a psyche. That means we cannot have Si and Ti as one's favorites - it can only be Se Ti or Si Te. Additionally extroverted function dominates over introverted during interactions. Thus a person who passively collects the information from the outside (introverted perceiving function) and then announces the decision (extroverted judging function) is called a judging type - marked by J in the code. In contrast a person who actively collects information (extroverted perceiving function) but would rather keep conclusions for themselves (introverted judging function) is called a perceiving type - marked by P in the code. That also means that Ni, Si, Te and Fe are only available exclusively to J types, while the rest belong to P.

    Ironically for INFJs our dominant function is a perceiving one but we are called judging because of Fe. INFPs are dominant judging but are called perceiving because of Ne.

    I hope that clears some misconceptions that J stands for Jedi (sorry Van) or for being organized.

    The rest of the story introduces dichotomies in S<->N and F<->T scale. They must be of different attitudes for not to confront with each other. Having a preference for Ni means that a person can also use some of Se abilities and vice versa. That's why INFJs have access to Ti and Se which are favorites for ISTP. And that's why we love Slant so much even if we don't want to... :)
     
  2. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    All is true.

    Similar analysis led me to the conclusion that Introverted types are the most stable ones. Because they are Perceivers with primary Judging function (IxxP), or Judgers with primary Perceiving function (IxxJ); and thus: more balanced.

    Extroverts are unstable, because they are too extreme - Perceivers with primary Perceiving function (ExxP), or Judgers with primary Judging function (ExxJ).

    If we follow another statement of mine that rarity is a sign for quality - Introverts are about 1/4 of the population for a reason. Maybe the ideal state of each person is to become introverted, by switching to their shadow type, if they are extroverted. For ENFPs that would mean to behave more like ISTJs, and for ENFJs - to behave more like ISTPs etc.

    I'm aware that such reasoning opposes the theories of people like Alfred Adler (who I admire and support on most issues), proposing that Extroversion is the only natural state of people, and Introversion is a sign of weakness. This may have been true in the end of the 19th century, but the Internet age seems to reverse it. We'll see.
     
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  3. drsolace

    drsolace Community Member

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    Curiously, did you mean the Internet age is reversing Adler's theory (extroversion is weak, introversion is the natural state), or is the internet denouncing his theory by allowing introverts to communicate easier?
     
  4. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Both. The latter slowly causes the former. Well, all trends are only temporary.

    Adler was probably right in his own society. The definitions of society are changing too. The natural state of a human in different societies is different.
     
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    Tamagochi

    Tamagochi Sushi Destroyer
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    Regarding that Jung had an opinion that since extroverted function dominates over introversion there can be cases of extreme extroverts - when all other functions are in reverse attitude to the dominant. For example a "normal" ENFJ has Fe Ni Se Ti, but there can be an "extreme" ENFJ with Fe Ni Si Ti. Such a person can appear very one-sided because he/she relies only on one function to communicate with the world.

    Personally I think extroverts are cool. "I" types can take things too seriously and we need some instability and havoc to spice our lives. :m114:
     
  6. Top cat

    Top cat Permanent Fixture

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    I've been wondering this too.. If I look back at my childhood, I think there are qualities that I'd associate with an extrovert, which were a downfall in my case. Not thinking before speaking, acting on impulse, paying too much attention to the outside world, etc... In time I find myself becoming more my true self and also living happier
     
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