Ever thought of creating your own personality type theory? | INFJ Forum

Ever thought of creating your own personality type theory?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TinyBubbles, Apr 3, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    the mbti is over 80 years old, and maybe it was more useful for describing how people were back then than it is now. cultures change, and personalities are normally a function of both genetics and culture, so surely some of those type descriptions are no longer relevant. also, a lot of progress has been made into the study of human behavior since the 1930's, and if the authors of the MBTI were alive today they'd probably revise the theory themselves.

    have you ever actually considered working on your own personality type theory, a new one? after all, YOU have a perspective on life that not a single other person can possibly have; what you know about people could be quite insightful. i was thinking about this today when it occurred to me how many different levels of personality there are, how our age and gender factor into it, how even on this forum, one infj is as distinctive from another infj as two people of opposite types are. you wouldn't confuse (and i'm sorry for calling people out like this!) siamese cat, an infj, with ria, also an infj. and likewise i couldn't see either being confused with enfp_can_be_shy, an enfp.

    and let's not forget the many, many threads here about people wondering if they're really their type. maybe it's not that you haven't found your true type, maybe the theory itself is flawed, and can't accurately categorize every one of 6 billion people into 16 neat little groups. the people who came up with the MBTI did not test everyone, obviously, and therefore their conclusions are definitely going to be biased towards the few people they met/tested. what if there was no one that fit your type in the test group? what if, of the say 100 people they tested when coming up the theory, there weren't any infj's, would the category of infj even exist? no. but infjs obviously still would, only they wouldn't have been recognized as a distinctive type. maybe the same thing is true of people who fall half way between introvert and extrovert, sensor or feeler, etc. possibly there are additional categories which need to be added to the MBTI to make it more accurate, or maybe these labels need to be scrapped altogether and a totally new definition proposed. say "introvert" and "extrovert" are too simple to describe how people actually are, for instance, since there are times in all our lives where we are extroverted, and likewise when we want to be alone. those times when you're not acting true to your type, ARE you not that type?



    what i think is personality is a far more fluid and dynamic process than what is described by the MBTI, that it's going to significantly change depending on your surroundings, your age, your chemical makeup, your past experiences, the types of the people around you, etc.etc. and i definitely think there are better ways of understanding people than merely through the cardboard black and white structure of the MBTI. ALSO personality seems to be very subjective- have you ever noticed how you like people more who are friendly towards you, than you did when they were indifferent? are you projecting your own enjoyment of their actions onto them, defining them as a "nice" person, or are they ACTUALLY nice, separate from you?

    ok so the main point I was trying to make here before I went off into looneytunes land: have you ever thought maybe you could come up with a better theory than the MBTI, one more specific to the personalities of people today?
     
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  2. Gaze

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    Agree. The 16 types is a bit restrictive, and it's clearly not (although many may not agree) adequate enough to represent the large variations within each type.
     
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  3. Raccoon Love

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    Yes indeed, in fact I have been pondering about this for a long time. I myself think that there are a variety of different factors the MBTI does not take into account and I believe no personality theory would ever completely describe and group certain people together. I believe we are to dynamic and there are a variety of factors that make you who you are. Now with that being said even though we might never come up with a system that perfectly describes everyone, we can keep on learning and adding different theories to already existing old ones. This field is like science, it is constantly changing and subject to revision. I have indeed noticed that even among us ho share the same type, we are still quite different from one another. We all use different cognitive processes, we all have been through different environments, we all have mood changes, we are all in need to adapt to new experiences. All this things can easily influence a person and I feel it should not be overlooked. With that being said, I do believe the system will indeed be subject to change in the near future whether it is by my theories, the theories of others here, or anybody else who is interested in this field.
     
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  4. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    While I respect type for what it brings to the table, I recognise that even if we had 100 or even a 1,000 function test we would still not be able to adequatley describe a person due the complex nature that is man.
     
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  5. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    I don't think we need to create our own theory, even though I've done such stuff too... but rather, at some point, soon, all personality theories will have much more precise explanations and definitions. The unclear, ambiguous, and even esoteric, elements would be clarified or thrown away, and we will have much better scientific understanding of what's going on. That goes way beyond genetics and hormones, into the realms of human interaction, which shapes our characters, whether we realize it or not. Moreover, the type difference, which has seemed so important in the past, may become almost irrelevant for us. Just like races. Once we get used to our slight differences, they will become to look gradually less important.
     
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  6. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    A great idea May!

    I prefer the idea of grading cognitive functions (not necessarily those cognitive functions) between 1 and 10, rather than categorising personality strictly into types.

    I'd like that because there are no boundaries, and no stereotypes, only shades of grey between one person's profile and anothers, which is more natural.

    There are two ways of measuring a function:

    (1) How much a particular cognitive skill is employed. ie, your preference /priority for that.

    (2) How well developed a particular cognitive skill is, ie, in the same way that IQ tests measure our competence in the four areas : visual-spatial / pattern / logical / linguistic.

    (1&2) Or maybe successful use of a skill is a combination of both natural preference and competence?
     
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  7. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    A little brainstorming to expanding this idea...

    I think there are three stages to how we interact with the world:

    For the receiving information stage, we each have a unique tendency to gather some kinds of information over others. One example would be being aware of other's feelings. Some kinds of information we may be more inclined to disregard.

    The middle stage is perhaps the most complex, but ultimately sets an output for the final stage based on whether we like or dislike that output. Processing can take the form of deductive reasoning, comparison with ideals and values, casting judgement based on our past experiences or fears, abstracting information into irreducible forms, and so on.

    Moving from the middle to the final stage, some processed information we're attracted to and we act to preserve or maintain it or its cause. But some we're repelled by, and we act to try to avoid it, or change it.

    To simplify the whole process, it's a question of:

    Some people (like me) may be more inclined to notice things they are repelled by, which possibly is what the proactive idealism of NF is emphasizing. We notice what is wrong with the world and want to change it.

    But some people may be more inclined to notice things they are attracted to, which is perhaps a more S-type way of interpreting the world? They construct routines around those attractors, to maintain the status quo of them. Maybe, maybe not...

    Any thoughts??
     
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    #7 Jasmine85, Apr 3, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  8. Gaze

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    I think one of the main problems with current personality theories is that they do not consider motivation. They describe traits as if they exist without cause or as a function of personality not the individual intention. This often leads to quick judgement and stereotyping.
     
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    #8 Gaze, Apr 3, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  9. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    interesting ideas! yeah i think the general pattern of human behavior follows the input-process-output sequence that you described here, which is a lot like how computers work. also agree with you about personality traits existing on a gradient. seems a lot of things in nature are like that, like the divisions between races, or the distinctions between species. we human beings set arbitrary points to demarcate one category from the next, but in reality it seems there is no clear line separating one group from another. it's more of a continuous fluid integration; the difference between this:

    [​IMG]

    and this:
    [​IMG]

    and maybe it's a not a linear gradient either but a 3 dimensional expansion, or maybe something like those fractal images, where the deeper you get, the more complex the pattern it gets - a continuous infinitely increasing array of complexity.

    i think it's really fascinating you mentioned that NF's might be more inclined to notice and therefore react to things that repel them, btw! i've noticed that in my nf friends in real life, they become very passionate about things they consider unfair. i'm like that too sometimes, so maybe it's not limited to the nf's (and works into the whole limitations of the MBTI theory that i was proposing in the original post). i think there is a definite connection between what we're interested in and what we tend to notice; and if the input-process-output sequence above is true, it would undoubtedly effect how we define our actions in the real world.

    maybe though it's not as simple as not noticing or disregarding things that don't interest you, maybe on some psychological level you are defending your already anchored beliefs - beliefs which you've used and still use to navigate your way through life - by subconsciously suppressing how you really feel about new information? like that saying "you can't handle the truth". what if it's true? what if our minds shield us from certain information in order to protect us? and it's not a matter of interest but of survival?
    scary thought - what if the path towards self understanding is potentially more dangerous than it is enlightening - because you're breaking down the constructs which enabled you to face the onslaughts of conflicting information all your life? what would you do without those structures - how those early doctors cut apart their patients' (or their OWN) bodies to study what was in them, leading them to become infected or injured to the point where they'd die - what if a similar thing is possible with the human mind? make one wrong "cut" and you introduce a new virus which takes over your entire sense of reality? could this be what addiction is - what obsession is?
     
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    #9 TinyBubbles, Apr 4, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  10. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    I think I would find some relief in this concept...
     
  11. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    Yes, I would like to, but I would have to know almost all of the previous work done by other psychologists beforehand before I invested any real time or energy, just to ensure I am not reinventing the wheel.
     
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  12. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    the wheel can always be made smoother :p frictionless. effortless. i think 100 people proposing one idea of how personalities work would be more insightful than 1 person proposing 100. the potential is vast.
     
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  13. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    As I am still struggling with fitting in to a type, this would be very beneficial for peace of mind. I would love to not feel like an outsider for a change!
     
    #13 Ria, Apr 4, 2010
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  14. IndigoSensor

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    I would love to come up with a new personality theory. The problem is I am so used to MBTI that the information that I have with it, that I would be too bais. I would be more confortable making an extention of MBTI or adding something to it. I actually might give a shot at it. I have a few ideas with it.
     
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  15. tovlo

    tovlo Well-known member

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    Nope, not really.

    It's not that I'm attached to MBTI. I don't think MBTI is adequately descriptive to capture a full reflection of any person existing now or in the past, but I don't think any categorization system could. I find personality theories interesting to explore for what they can illuminate about aspects of personality, but each system is almost necessarily limited in scope.

    I'd be curious to see what new aspects of personality could be illuminated by a different categorization approach, but I'd be just as skeptical of any other system's ability to fully describe human personality.
     
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  16. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    do it! i think you have plenty of knowledge about people to be able to create a good theory that could help a lot of people :) and it would mean you can define a category that accurately describes you, instead of trying to fit yourself into existing categories.
     
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    #16 TinyBubbles, Apr 4, 2010
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  17. OP
    TinyBubbles

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    an extension of the MBTI is good too! innovation, instead of invention; it would definitely be easier to absorb since we're all already familiar with the MBTI.
     
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  18. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    Yes, the colour spectrum is an excellent analogy. There would be as many dimensions to the theory as they are independent variables... which could run into the hundreds. But many of those may be minor variables, with only a handful of important ones.

    Well the complexity of fractals comes from their fractional dimension. (eg, 2.34217... dimensions) and that doesn't imply infinitely many independent variables. In fact they are usually described with very simple rules with very few variables. Complexity arises because those rules generate chaotic orbits.

    I wonder if NTs do a similar thing with their tireless quest to improve efficiency?

    The dichotomy of N and S feels to me rather reminiscent of contentment choices I would frequently make as a child. Quite often I'd be faced with little dilemmas like this below. I'm sure I wasn't alone :D

    And more often than not I would try for B, because I would be unwilling to suffer A forever more. Perhaps there were a couple of incidents where struggling for change actually benefited me. I can't remember now.

    But over time this became a guiding principle for me. The search for possibility is a search for more places like B. It's a search for betterness. I believe this is what motivated my N-type functions to dominate my S-type functions, and they got better developed through use.

    I do remember though that when I was young it wasn't always an easy choice. From a child's perspective, these dilemmas were sometimes difficult and anxious things, deliberating the pros of cons of staying or going. What would I be giving up? What would I be taking on? Is it worth the risk? Should I just do what is expected of me? Am I expected to suffer this situation? Are others suffering it too? And if so, then is it selfish of me to want to abandon their ways in search of betterness?


    How this relates to receiving/dismissing information...

    Some kind of information are more valuable than others when I'm determining whether or not I am suffering, and then identifying what factor is responsible for that suffering. I've learned to tune into those kinds of information and dismiss others as being of lesser importance.
     
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    #18 Jasmine85, Apr 4, 2010
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