What is Depth? | INFJ Forum

What is Depth?


Captain Obvious
Retired Staff
May 8, 2008
Type me.
The dictionary provides us with basic definitions (usually near the bottom of the list):
  • of penetrating intellect ("wise")
  • characterized by profundity of feeling or quality
And, more helpfully, definitions of the opposites of "deep":
  • penetrating only the easily or quickly perceived
  • lacking in depth of knowledge, thought, or feeling
  • is more generally derogatory (than "superficial") in implying lack of depth in knowledge, reasoning, emotions, or character

  • concerned only with the obvious or apparent
  • presenting only an appearance without substance or significance
  • implies a concern only with surface aspects or obvious features
Of course dictionary definitions are only the beginning, and most words can be subjected to over-analysis. Let's indulge in a bit of that here.

  1. How would you define depth and shallowness, in your own words (based on your own interactions)?
  2. Do you think they are correlated with certain functions (in Jungian and Myers-Briggs theory), or other personality traits like extroversion or introversion?
  3. Do you think depth and shallowness are necessarily good and bad, respectively, or do you think they have both pros and cons?
Depth to me refers to the volume or density of a person's emotional and psychological processes. Someone with depth not only currently possesses but has the potential to expand, their understanding of things.

Shallowness is the opposite. A person who is shallow, lacks the ability to broaden their capacity of understanding in things.

I don't think they correlate to the mbti and processes. The mbti shows us different types susceptibility to certain attitudes and values. It's the environment and exposure to social, political and economic influences that make us deep or shallow in certain areas.

It is interesting to ponder whether depth or shallowness have pros and cons. From what I can see there isn't anything good about being shallow, in any context relating to personality, feeling or emotions. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't think of anything. Shallow water is good if you can't swim, but that's about it!
Last edited:
1. Someone who has depth has the capacity and will to talk about intangiable thoughts, ideas, and feelings. They have a legitimate interest in these areas and usually put a philosphical bend on it. They also ask "why" to most things that others won't ask. Example "why did I just have that thought? what is the reason behind it." They have a need to explain, or at the very least understand things on a very clear and thurough level. They are usually self-aware as well.

Someone who is shallow only talks mostly about surface tangiable real things, and will usually shy away from any kind of philosphical question, and does not have the capcity to talk about it or think about it at length.

2. These functions or function sets; have at least moderate capcitiy for deep thinking (single functions can be pared most any other function):
Ni, Fi, Ti/Ne, and Si/Fe.

I feel these ones shy away or dislike deep thinking:
Se and Te/Si

3. Both have there pros and cons. Being a deep thinker can lead to higher stress levels and lead to very high ego's or feelings of grandosity. Not being a deep thinker can lead to a problamatic life and inabillity to solve problesms within themselves, leading to a viscious cycle.