Varient Forms (A New Way To Think About Type) | INFJ Forum

Varient Forms (A New Way To Think About Type)

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by IndigoSensor, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. IndigoSensor

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    I sort of came up with this idea when I brought my type into question again a few months back. Another factor that can be used to explain someone's type is something I like to call variant forms. Let me explain.

    Back in September, I focused more again on my type, specifically the cognitive functions. I came to realize that my Te was just as strong as my Fe, and that Si somehow is directly behind my Ni. All four of these functions should not be able to mix with each other, but somehow they manage to do so. This brought me into questioning if I was possibly an INTJ, or an ISFJ. After looking into more detail, I found that these types do actually fit me pretty well. Much more so then I had thought. I found that I had to resign myself to IxxJ for the time being. I even discovered that I had some ISTJ tendencies too. I retook regular mbti tests and still tested as INFJ, but found that my N/S and F/T scores were rather low. This isn't to say that either of these are weak in me, it is that I use certain aspects of each letter, making them appear weak.

    After a while, some talking, and thinking I realized that I am still an INFJ, but with some differences. I am of an IJ variant form. Because I have a strong Te and Si for an INFJ, I have several modes I can go into. When the situation calls for it, I can very easily go into an INTJ mode, and take advantage of Te (again because it is right up against my Fe). I typically do this in the lab or doing any kind of technical work. I am still an INFJ in these cases, and go back to it the second I want to, but I allow my Te to run things more. Another mode I will go into is ISFJ mode; I do this when I am socializing with a large group of people. I let Si take reigns and govern how I interact with people. This lets me appear more normal and regular and I can get along easier. Again, I am still an INFJ in this mode and I will switch back to it when I want. I just find it easier to go into an ISFJ mode, I will function better. I can also go into ISTJ mode when I need to be firm with people, and get them to do things that need to be done, kind of like a leadership mode.

    This is what a variant form is. It is an order preference between several different types, governed by two strong letters (for me, I am IJ because my I is pretty solid, and I have an extremely strong J score). It also comes down to a top three or four functional preference, for me it is Ni>Si>Fe>Te, and this correlates to INFJ>INTJ>ISFJ>ISTJ.

    For INFJ's this is actually a pretty common phenomenon. From what I have witnessed, NF seems to be a very common variant form. This makes sense, as this is a temperament. Out of all the NF's, INFJ's tend to have the weakest I and J letters, so they will have a high level of confusion between the four idealist types. It is sort of tricky to sort out the exact order preference, but this can be drawn out by a function order. For example, someone with this kind of functional preference: Ni>Fi>Ne>Fe would likely boil down to this: INFJ, INFP, ENFP, ENFJ. Another common variant form would be IN. Not as common as NF, but still prevalent. At first glance this doesn't seem to mix well at all, because Ni and Ti are involved together. Yet, people of this variant form do exist. Here is an example set that is decently common: Ni>Ti>Fi>Ne. From this a type order emerges like this INFJ>INTP>INFP. Te does not appear in the set so INTJ technically does not appear in the order. However, the Ni>Ti>Fi>Ne preference can have gaps in between filled with other function. This could make deducing a preference a little more tricky, but can also make it easier. All variant forms in could potentially exist, even something as confusing as an IF variant. Some are just easier to put together, and some are just more common. It is also important to note that single letter variants do not exist (at least for the theory I have here). That opens the door to too many types, and it begins to break down the whole purpose of mbti. It then goes without saying that a no letter variant does not exist either.

    This is an important point. Just because someone can be a variant form doesn't mean that they can be more then one type. The first type that appears out of this is the person's type. After that, they have the ability to transfer over and act as another type by activating another cognitive function that the person has a good handle over. Variant forms become useful in describing a persons overall personality. It can be done using cognitive functions, or type order. Type order is easier for most people to explain. By saying that you are a certain type, but have the ability to transfer over to another, fills in holes and gaps that otherwise can not be reasoned by one type alone. Someone could be an INFJ, but not fit all the details of it. Other parts of their personality are left unexplained and reasoned. However, if someone that is an INFJ happens to have a very strong Te, they could in theory go into an INTJ mode at will when it is needed. This could easily fill holes to their personality that are situational dependent. Things could go deeper and a third or fourth type that are even less commonly turned on, would explain other details to ones personality.

    In essence, variant forms fill in the blanks that don't fit classic molds. Further explaining complex personalities that MBTI (and nearly all personality assessments) can't explain. We are human after all; we are all very different from one another. This is exactly what makes everyone an individual, and unique person.
     
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  2. Raccoon Love

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    Very nicely explained Indigo, I am of the IN variant and can score mainly any INXX type, but I feel deep inside like an INFJ. I had the most confusion between INFJ/INTP but I realized it's because I been able to develop my Ti pretty well and been neglecting my Fe, not to mention my above regular Ne, but since I been able to develop my Fe more lately, I been falling more and more into an INFJ. Thanks Indigo :)
     
  3. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    I'm pretty sure my order is Fi, Se, Ni and then after that I'm pretty weak all round.
     
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  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Many thanks for posting this! It makes sense to me. At the core, I am INFP... but perhaps an INxx varient..
     
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  5. gloomy-optimist

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    I'm not sure what variant I would be. Although I do seem to have a strong NF core, I seem to act like a NT type just as much as I do an NF type in real life because of my strong Ti.
    Love the theory, though, Indigo! I think it does help create a more specific description of a different "type" of type :)
     
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  6. Gaze

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    Fi>Ni>Te>Si - this is in terms of which rank highest in terms of pairing e.g. Fi v. Fe, etc.

    Fi>Ni>Ne>Fe - this is in terms of the highest to lowest numbers compared to all the preferences

    So, how would you interpret this based on your theory? What kind of variant would i be?
     
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  7. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    The problem with this is it doesn't fit very well the cognitive function system. Meaning, the set IxxJ includes one type of each of the 4 sets of 4 main functions. If we follow the cognitive function system as a tool for switching types, then the switching isn't exactly by letters.

    To be more illustrative, for INFJs, I would expect them foremost to switch to ESTP; then to ENFJ/ISTP; then to INTJ/ESFP, because the middle functions (2,3) are usually determined last; from there to ENTJ/ISFP (quite improbable), and all else becomes even less probable. /or they have to give up their primary Ni completely outside of the main 4/

    If switching around IxxJ was truly possible, then either the cognitive function system is wrong, or they can just switch to any set of cognitive functions, and reorder it to fit the IxxJ model. In which case, if they wouldn't reorder it, they could get any MBTI type.
     
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    #7 enfp can be shy, Dec 7, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  8. OP
    IndigoSensor

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    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by ranking, I think I understand. The bottom appears to be a NF varient, that's actually quite classic NF.

    I believe it is possibly, simply because I have seen too many people not fit classic molds. I am not following the classic rules of cognitive function paring. I take into concideration, but it isn't iron-clad for this.

    This theory explains details of MBTI to me, and it makes sense in my head. Not everyone is going to agree with it.
     
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  9. sookie

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    I can tell this is a great explanation. I have to say that I am seriously impaired with figuring out the cognitive domains (?) or functions.

    I hate to say this- can you dumb it down more for me. When I say this I am being self deprecating. I am aggravated with myself for not getting it.
     
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  10. sassafras

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    Actually, there may be an explanation for the inconsistency you've pointed out here. I was having a discussion with Von Hase the other day concerning me testing as an INTJ/ENTJ on the cognitive functions test. He mentioned something about how certain circumstances have combinations of certain functions actually mimicking totally unrelated functions... like my Fe and Ti working in tandem to create what looks like Te, hence, a re-ordering of functions that mimic INTJ-esque or ENTJ-esque results: Ni, Te, Fe (masquerading as Fi) or Te, Ni, Se, respectively.

    If that's the case, then Indigo's variant theory might actually make perfect sense :)
     
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    #10 sassafras, Dec 8, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  11. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    This was the answer I had sensed and yet could not put into words..
    Yay keep going with this guys.. so my feeble lit-tle brain can understand more!
     
  12. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Indigo, I agree with you, I see this pattern approach as perfectly valid in itself. Just wanted to point out the way the cognitive function system clashes with it, because I have thought about similar solutions. Certainly, we should try to just use what works, and not care about the theory. We are the theory. ;)

    TDHT, exactly! I haven't seen this discussion between you and VH, but I was just thinking about the same lately, and posted it in the Fe/Fi thread.

    However, I have something more in mind:

    With a-a-a-all these adjustments, is it really true? ^^ I begin to view MBTI as an electron cloud, where your character gets some probabilistic distribution among all types. If most people are like that, then what we do is to measure them towards 16 anchors of behavior. The choice for these 16 anchors, instead of some others, remains unjustified. However, I don't reject that it works; it should work with any finite set of anchors.
     
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  13. sassafras

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    That's not the analogy I would've used but that's the general idea I was gunning for as well. I would be hard-pressed to imagine that the 16 types are exactly to the model. A person's psychology is flux and we're nothing if not completely adaptable.
     
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  14. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Wow, if the explanation is fully genetic, then each of the 16 types may correspond (more or less) to some genetic pattern, allowing the possibility for people to have different percentage of matching with each pattern. Again, the choice of these 16 patterns, instead of some other finite set, isn't completely justified, but it works well enough with any.

    You probably know about the Y-chromosome haplogroups; something like that.
     
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    #14 enfp can be shy, Dec 8, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  15. OP
    IndigoSensor

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    Yes the function recombination would explain things a lot, and I do like the y-chromosome analogy (even though I don't fully understand it, I don't have a strong molec-bio background).

    I think we could further define this by also saying that not only do have a function prefrence, they also is a preference to which functions one will prefer to put together and fuse their main functions to form the shadow functions. Then an order for these emerge.
     
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