Thoughts on functions and function order | INFJ Forum

Thoughts on functions and function order

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Xander, Dec 9, 2009.

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  1. Xander

    Xander Community Member

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    Okay I've searched this part of the forum and I don't think this has been brought up before but I could be wrong.

    Basically please forget what you've read from official sources about function order and that there's eight functions and all the rest of it. See if this makes any sense and whether it matches up with your experiences..

    Firstly there's only four functions and they are F,N,T and S. You have an order of preference for these four functions and also a preference to whether you use it introvertedly or extravertedly. Thus an INTP is Ti Ne Si Fe.

    Now the difference this makes is that there is no other four "functions" to write down. Basically it's an assertion that those four are your preferred functions with their preferred attitudes in order. Any suggested pattern to the preference of the same functions with the opposite attitude is not relevant.

    I basically figured this out after having been through many a discussion where someone is trying to figure out if they use Ti or Te and all references to them just using T seemed to go ignored because Ti and Te are different (the book says so, so it must be true). Now what I noticed was a pattern that people were looking at the same facets of their character repeatedly and then randomly assigning Ti or Te based upon whether they were applying it theoretically or really. So sure there is T applied externally like an ENTJ and there is T applied internally like an INTP but then you look at INTJs and ENTPs and it throws the system somewhat. I ended up trying to reduce things down to where the definitions still made sense and the clarity was better.... not that it was necessarily appreciated.

    Anyhow try applying this to yourself. I had a look at a couple of function order test results and it was almost like the opposite attitude of each function followed the other, except the primary (I figure it's basically because that's what we have to do to feel okay). So if it were an INTP taking the test the theory is that you'd get a preference order of Ti Ne Ni Si Se Fe Fi Te but that'd be a very classical example and not completely reflective of individuals (obviously).

    So anyway I figured I'd post this up and throw my first line out there..
     
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  2. IndigoSensor

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    I'm not sure really follow your theory. The one that I have always held is that your type as a core set order for your type based on four of the cognitive functions, and then the other four can be placed any which way in between (except all in front) by "shadowing" i.e. two different functions working together and fusing to create a new function.
     
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  3. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Yeah, that's one way to look at it, based on some prerequisites:
    1. Man has fixed MBTI type (i.e. INTP), so the whole flexibility of character should be possible within this type.
    2. The cognitive function test (i.e. Ti Ne Ni Si Se Fe Fi Te) works well to represent people.

    Another way to look at it would be to give up the idea that man has fixed type, and to look at the mechanics that allow the character to switch between some of the types, thus effectively reordering functionality. Like a transformer robot, if you will.

    I think there is reason for the usual order of cognitive functions "in the book", because each extrovert tension is motivated by introvert and so on, a sequence; and vice-versa. Like push-pull mechanism. It seems logical that these tensions don't just appear out of nowhere, they interact and cause each other. But who knows.
     
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    Xander

    Xander Community Member

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    New function?

    I've not heard of that idea. I always thought your shadow self was like my ESFJ which previously was misbehaving but now seems to be being nicer to me and those near by.
     
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  5. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    Here's how I look at it: everyone uses every function. Type does not dictate that function order is solidly true for everyone of that type; what it does describe is the natural pattern in which people naturally develop their functions, i.e. primary first, then secondary, etc. However, with external influences, at a certain level of development it becomes easy for a person to strengthen other functions out of order, depending on what function needs to be used.

    I don't put much into function order after adolescence. People learn how to develop beyond it; the main thing would be the first two functions to determine main type.
     
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    Xander

    Xander Community Member

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    Oh I agree. I hate the prescriptive interpretation of the MBTI. It's a guide, a form of communication, an assistant to understanding not a circuit board!!

    But you have to have a base line..
    Ooo which book? I'm reading through Lenore's book at present. Most of my MBTI knowledge is gleaned from discussion so I don't have much in the way of book type learning behind it (oddly for an INTP).

    I'm feeling a little out of depth here. I've no idea about tensions and push pull as you are using it. Perhaps this forum is a little more savvy than the others...

    Damn... researching to post!! That's rare.

    Still, thanks to the pair of you. I don't usually get deep thought thrown back at me... this is cool!
     
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    Xander

    Xander Community Member

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    After adolescence? I thought type was murky before adolescence?

    I agree that everyone uses all the functions in both attitudes. One question that occurs to me though is which comes first, the function order or the description of the type? Are things assumed from the type order which makes the descriptions less than true or vice versa?
     
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  8. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    Well, I'm going by the assumption that type is the way a child naturally develops cognitively; so, in other words, they're born with their type. A MBTI professional that is on staff at my school has told me that twin studies have supported this theory. However, I also believe that no one is constricted to their type alone -- anyone can develop and master any function. It's just a question whether or not it's easy to develop those functions -- it's much more natural for an ENTJ to develop Te, for instance, than it would be for an ISFP.
    But I digress. Function order is naturally more on-track before adolescence because they generally develop more in order: primary first, then secondary, etc. They may not have all the traits of the personality profile because they may not have developed their tertiary or inferior functions yet, but their function order is usually more intact, and they don't usually deviate from that order until later.

    So, an INFJ who is younger may have a clearer Ni Fe Ti Se order than someone who is older or has a wider body of experiences to develop different functions. It's more normal for older INFJs than younger ones to have a function order such as Ni Fi Fe Ne Ti etc. even though that is not the cookie-cutter INFJ order. Naturally, there are exceptions, and that's a personal theory, though I am fairly confident in it.

    Well, type order is just another way to describe type in more detail. The description is how the functions work together in a general way. As to which comes first, that depends -- the theory applies generalizations to certain ways of thinking and processing information. As far as the theory goes, the way they gauge certain actions determines what personality traits they find to be uniform for that type, but the theory was based around patterns between individuals...so I'd say, in some ways, it's both. The traits obviously come first, but the theory is what pulled them together in a way that created a personality profile for that function order.
     
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    #8 gloomy-optimist, Dec 9, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  9. Tamagochi

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    The way I look at it is how comfortable one feels with either Ti or Te mode. For example people who think out loudly, had always irritated me. I strongly prefer "think for yourself before you speak" attitude. If I'm forced to come with an answer on the spot, I'm very uncomfortable . But I know that there are people who claim it's better for them to think in a presence of the group because they rely on corrective feedback from them.
     
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