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Thread: Type and Perspectives on Typology

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    Default Type and Perspectives on Typology

    Once in a while I like to sit around and think about the how a persons personality makes one more accepting or critical of various aspects of cognitive function theory, kind of like having strong extroverted thinking is likely to lead one to be more accepting of empiricism than rationalism, so it would seem if strong Te=strong preference for empiricism, one would expect ExTjs to be the most skeptical of cognitive functions in general as there really is very little empirical proof, which is part of the reason Keirsey moved away from them.

    Which types are more likely to be critical of the existence of cognitive functions, and under what basis(like thinking or ethical objections). INTjs for instance, may be critical because they notice the contradictions or lack of proper definitions or lack of agreement on how the functions manifest in real life. INFjs may be critical because of it's over generalization of placing individuals in rigidly defined categories.

    Personally, my perspective is that I see very little difference between people and can easily see how two different people looking at the same person will see that person differently and may even type that person quite differently, depending on their understanding of typology and their relationships and biases of the person they're typing. To me it seems typology is mostly shades of grey. I've noticed some types have very exacting definitions and speak of socionics, or MBTI, or whatever, as if the functions are not only a scientific certainty, but that people obviously fit into this one type, no questions asked. Maybe it all really is a matter of perspective, as I see the world as lacking clear definition most of the time.

    What's your perspective?

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    escaping anndelise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmers View Post
    Personally, my perspective is that I see very little difference between people and can easily see how two different people looking at the same person will see that person differently and may even type that person quite differently, depending on their understanding of typology and their relationships and biases of the person they're typing.
    This is one reason why I don't immediately jump into typing a person.
    Each typer is coming from their own unique experiences and biases, which leads them to their own understandings. Experiences can include their observations of and interactions with the typee, and what articles they've read, skimmed, thoroughly understood. Then there is the idea that a typee can behave one way with one set of people, another way with someone else, and a whole other way at, say, work. Then you get the typers who type associatively, or based on behavior, or like/dislike, etc. And of course the people who think that because they have typed someone, therefor that person IS that type. Worse, imo, are the people who respond to a type in their own head, rather than the person in front of them.

    Which gets to one of the things I don't like about typing systems. Ideally a good one might be useful for helping clear the air and resolve differences. But instead it's often used as a blaming mechanism for those unwilling/unable to work through conflicts with other people.

    Personally, I prefer to type the conflict/disagreement/misunderstanding rather than the person. That can really help guide my understanding of the situation and give me ideas for how to maybe resolve it. While keeping each of us open to be ourselves in varying contexts.

    To me it seems typology is mostly shades of grey. I've noticed some types have very exacting definitions and speak of socionics, or MBTI, or whatever, as if the functions are not only a scientific certainty, but that people obviously fit into this one type, no questions asked. Maybe it all really is a matter of perspective, as I see the world as lacking clear definition most of the time.
    For me, I'm prone to stepping into a perspective of 'suppose this is true, then what would it mean for blah blah blah'. And then I flip back and forth and all around looking for how it might fit and not fit, to get the meaning. And sometimes I'm nitpicking on how something in the theory is defined, as if viewing it from the theory's pov. I'm sure that during those times some people assume that I think this is all a scientific certainty. And, if I can do all this "inconsistent" viewing, then surely others can as well. Though I admit, I sometimes forget that, heheheh.
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    I don't think it's relevant. I could make an argument for me being Fi-PoLR if I wanted to. There's so much that goes through the mind in a single day, it's hard for me to just see myself as just some coherent moral person, or a coherent anything. I've been callous before, and I still am to a certain extent. I have nihilistic streaks when it comes to that stuff. I've been everything at one point or another. I barely have an idea of what it looks like from the outside.
    Last edited by suedehead; 10-04-2014 at 10:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmers
    INTjs for instance, may be critical because they notice the contradictions or lack of proper definitions or lack of agreement on how the functions manifest in real life.
    To me it seems typology is mostly shades of grey. I've noticed some types have very exacting definitions and speak of socionics, or MBTI, or whatever, as if the functions are not only a scientific certainty, but that people obviously fit into this one type, no questions asked. Maybe it all really is a matter of perspective, as I see the world as lacking clear definition most of the time.
    I'm a blend of these two, when it comes to typing by Jungian dichotomies/functions. I do see some people have clearer tendencies than others, but I think the extent to which I believe in a clear 4 function model getting at what I think is really going on with what people observe, has reduced over time. Note that this is because I believe I've considerably worked into what the definitions should be, were they clear, which like you say in the first quote, they tend not to be.

    While my descriptions may not clear everything up in a "formal logic" sense, they do tend to define the various ways you can see the approach to the model well for my purposes, and this approach has only led me further to the second quote, that is, your perspective.
    I should note that rigidity being a characteristic of Ti sometimes actually makes us more flexible rather than less, because when things do not fit neatly, perfectly, and so forth, we cannot in our right mind insist on things being a certain way. That is, the function does often rigidly conceptualize, but the person may become more sensitive to when something isn't meeting those perfect standards and thus be casual where casual is the way to go. Someone who is willing to go more by empirical certainty than rational consistency makes identifications which are more empirical, and I've found some of these types are the more rigid about things like typology personally. They have the approach of "I saw what I saw," and they tend to feel/experience it more as if they are describing what they are seeing - that is, they are more divorced from the rationalization than they are from the moment of observation. There's various types who tend to be more empirical - Te is one, even Ne can do this. The latter can see abstract trends, so it's not concretist-empirical, an abstract kind of empirical, but still in a suitable sense empirical.
    I've noticed the tradeoff is the "I saw what I saw" types often pick up on interesting things a more rationalism obsessed type may miss, but on the flip side, the latter seem to be more careful about how they fit their observations into a framework for subjective clarity.

    I think there's a long way to go to really understand cognitive processes, and think there are things considerably more "innate" about one's type than the 4 Jungian dichotomies.

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    As of recent, I'm possibly going the way of Rick DeLong in terms of socionics and typology in general, though I think he might go a little too far. I generally like to type based on intertype relations and as per two examples I'm noticing socionics not really adding up the way it should. I know an SLE and an SLI who have such strange similarities in terms of likes/dislikes, similar speech patterns, provocativeness, VI, and a host of other peculiarities. Yet based on intertype relations one is delta and one is beta. I've started to notice this in more than just these two people also.

    I do believe that information itself is typable, i.e. the Information elements, and that the IEs have properties that necessarily repel or attract each other, but I think maybe that personalities only fall in accord because information applies to essentially everything. My thoughts are very half-baked on this right now so I may be wrong on some things, but this is the trend i'm falling on based on my experiences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra
    I do believe that information itself is typable, i.e. the Information elements, and that the IEs have properties that necessarily repel or attract each other, but I think maybe that personalities only fall in accord because information applies to essentially everything.
    My thoughts exactly. I have increasingly begun de-emphasizing personality and emphasizing information type in how I understand what the cognitive processes are about.

    The reason for this is that personality often is a lot more basic, and it's more like we develop information types than that the information types "are" our personalities. Basically, I like to say there's a less than exact correspondence between what I'm like and how I think, what information I prioritize. There is indeed a reason I think how I think based on how I am, what my personality is overall like, but I think it messes up people a lot when they expect the concrete traits making up what you're really like on a person to person level (like if someone just chilled with you, and talked to you, and got impressions of you) to just determine fully their types. Yeah there's some general things you can say you wouldn't be surprised. Like it's not surprising to find a detached ILI or a dramatic EIE, but at the same time information type is just one level removed from basic personality (so one shouldn't make too many snap judgments on things like dramatic/detached) if you're really careful/pedantic about capturing information processes for their integrity.

    Now it's true that when resolving disputes on a person to person level, it gets really hard if the emphasis in how you understand things is different. Nonetheless, I'd say, things about the person that aren't wholly determined by cognitive style get really important too. Like how stuck in your ways you are, and how willing to not be. Sometimes this gets overly tied to things like Ni vs Ne, and I think again that's where it's dubious tying of concrete traits to information types. You can be dynamic or static and not be stuck in your ways or be stuck, in my experience. Like it gets really tempting to ignore the number of "layers deep" in processing....static representation of information is different from a static disposition, even if they can relate. Some information just doesn't naturally correspond to a static representation, but that doesn't mean the person who obtained it is stubborn (stubborn=stable=static, wha?).
    As a simple example, someone could be a stream of consciousness writer with a highly philosophical bent. Maybe some kind of ILI or IEI, and their writing produces a highly interesting, non-static representation of human thought, with thoughts cascading into each other. As you read it, you might need to join them in envisioning it a certain way. That does not mean that they don't drink their coffee the same exact way and avoid throwing a childish temper tantrum when you bring the coffee with a granule of sugar different from how it usually is.

    My overall view is that the dichotomies go different layers deep into your overall psyche, and how it shows in one level is not always the same as on another level. One of the higher levels is your "high-level understanding" of things. I'd say that is the level of information representation which I tend to most associate with type.
    The lower levels include more behavioral things, like how scatterbrained you tend to be when picking up un-synthesized information, and this is "a" version of p/j, but not quite the same as the high-level version of irrational/rational. It's possible this lower level part relates to what the mbti labels as P/J.
    Last edited by chemical; 10-09-2014 at 01:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chemical View Post
    My overall view is that the dichotomies go different layers deep into your overall psyche, and how it shows in one level is not always the same as on another level. One of the higher levels is your "high-level understanding" of things. I'd say that is the level of information representation which I tend to most associate with type.
    The lower levels include more behavioral things, like how scatterbrained you tend to be when picking up un-synthesized information, and this is "a" version of p/j, but not quite the same as the high-level version of irrational/rational. It's possible this lower level part relates to what the mbti labels as P/J.
    I agree with everything you said, but the part I've quoted is what I've been thinking for a while. My question is, how divergent do you think one's "behavioral type" could be from their IM? Do superficial IEs conflict with the IEs of your IM? Maybe this is unanswerable, but I would still like to get your opinion.

    I imagine that parts of MBTI could apply to the behavioral type (like as you said, P/J), but I still think socionics does a better job with associating behavior with IM than MBTI does with basic functions, which is more of a quasi-information-metabolism than a typology of behavior anyway. So, in a sense, someone has layers of socionic types. Perhaps DCNH could apply as a "persona type"? Of course, I think getting into subtypes is a bit like applying instinctual stackings or enneagram. You can really start to undermine the fluidity of persona or character, but it's still interesting to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra
    My question is, how divergent do you think one's "behavioral type" could be from their IM?
    Ultimately I think where behavior appears to "diverge" from IM, it's really that the attempt to predict behavior from IM may even be improper.

    Perhaps DCNH could apply as a "persona type"? Of course, I think getting into subtypes is a bit like applying instinctual stackings or enneagram. You can really start to undermine the fluidity of persona or character, but it's still interesting to think about.
    It's all just ultimately additional description I think.

    One way to view things is just that a model as blocked-out as model A can't possibly be covering all the variation in how intuitive or how sensory or logical someone is, it's more like a fundamental blueprint to start from.

    MBTI I see as a little closer to concrete traits, which resemble intuitively cognitive processes but aren't really cognitive processes. As an example, MBTI-N is associated more with an imaginative/creative character, and you could start to see how DCNH-C is not so far from that. Does intuition as a process have nothing to do with this? No, of course it can have something to do with it - there's a reason for the correlations. It's just that ultimately it is better to leave traits as traits and processes as processes and then pair them as and when they really appear to warrant it.

    I do think instinctual subtypes are a good example of where you get variation too; on the other hand, enneagram types themselves, the way I have come to see them, might have to be related to some version of type by intelligence centers/processes, since that's how they're organized.

    I've grown to divorce enneagram main types from the instincts more and more, and realized that's what is making the enneagram a bad system - as a simple example, the image triad reeks of "social instinct" stuff. I think of instincts as just basic impulses. While it's true plenty of people don't care about recognition, it's way too common a thing for even the most heady of heady people to want recognition, and I think calling them 3s and 4s misses the point. Wanting recognition in society just is a sense of security and power, and I think it belongs in basic instincts rather than the higher intelligences like emotional, thinking, and so forth.
    Similarly, all this "seeking security" business of head types seems like a really bad description - that all fits very well under self-preservation, that is, the drive to preserve one's own well-ness.

    I think of the enneagram types as much higher level general markers of our nature, and if anything, perhaps I'd relegate where we experience most of our direct problems as closer to the instincts - the manner in which our psychologies experience these might be closer related to the main types though. For instance, the way a sexual subtype 7 is going to eat himself in agony over frustration in the sexual (not bodily sexual, but overall the instinct of attraction/intensity) realm is going to differ from how a type 9 will.
    Independent of more basic instinctual drives I tend to view the enneagram types as much too high level to show in more concrete issues. When you hear of "image issues," most of the time I think that's just feeling social shaming, fearing humiliation in society, and this is something I really don't think is appropriate to demark by whether you function through feeling, instinct, or thinking, but rather that these centers will experience that same issue differently.

    As always I take liberty to interpret things as I think ideal, so this is my synthesis based on all the stuff I've read, rather than appealing to any given source.

    Anyway, this high level/low level theme keeps coming up, and I think at some point they really just aren't related directly/naively. They could be - who knows, but I think the point is they needn't be and thus by default we might as well assume they aren't much related. I think if you really think about it, high level information output gets produced after a lot of filtering. Who knows - is that stubborn IEI who must consume the same amount of sugar in his coffee every day decreasing the fluidity of his poetry imagery he's exploring? Maybe...but I just think high level information output happens on a very mental level, and you kind of need to go straight into the brain of whoever it is to get an idea of what they think about/like, rather than relying on things like "they look relaxed, they must be irrational." I mean yes they are "irrational" in one sense, but I don't think it determines if they produce more high level intuitive information or ethical information, or rather, which is their main program.
    Last edited by chemical; 10-10-2014 at 05:09 AM.

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    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
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    Shrug. From an Ni perspective I don't really have a problem with it: it provides a set of tools with which to gain understanding about behavior. I think my problems with it come from 1) how often personal bias inevitably clouds typing (so maybe Ni/Fe awareness of one's own mind as a part of the thinking process there) and 2) how often the 'sea chart' as one user's signature put it, doesn't fit reality. This I think of as more of an Se-style complaint. Also notable is that the internal inconsistencies and rigidity and lack of evidence don't really bother me. The internal inconsistencies are a result of badly-done socionics usually, it's not really all that rigid if you use it intelligently, and it's a random supposition about personality, it's a series of metaphors you use to approach something undefinable; empiricism doesn't come into it.

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