An agenda is a fundamental inclination of a cognitive process that operates in a specific pattern due to its structure, and the resulting peculiarities of processing are perceived as agendas. Cognition operates within the framework of an input/output control system that is steered by either input (p) or output (j), which uses either internalized (I) or externalized (E) references. As well, input will have preference for either relative (N) or absolute (S) information, and output will have preference for either relative (F) or absolute (T) rationalization. Each preference from its particular reference perspective uniquely flavours perception or rationalization processes, thus, yielding an agenda mixture.
Cognitive processing has an input and output agenda with one being dominant. Cognition also temporarily employs back-up control configurations and these can bring their own agendas into the fray. The following eight agendas result from different combinations of reference perspectives (I or E) and processing preferences (F or T and N or S).
The following four output agendas are phenomena of rationalization processes, not of information; however, one should note that process is a category of information.
The moralist agenda (Fi) is to follow and entice others to follow its associative rationalization; they feel that their behaviour and ways are best. Moralists hold onto internalized notions of idyllic life, which can sometimes be impossible to describe in concrete terms. They're often concerned with the conduct of others, especially those who are not behaving as expected. Moralists do onto others as they want others to do onto them because many of their needs are intangible and difficult to explain; thus, demonstration is preferred over confrontation. They show respect in order to be respected, voice sorrow in order to get sympathy, or love in order to be loved; and passionate moralists have been known to martyr themselves in order to get others to follow their agendas. They make decisions based on values; overriding behaviour is tied to personal valuation processes, which can be quite inflexible. Moralists do not trust information until it's been contextualized, so input is suspended during rationalization; this agenda needs disconnection from the world until rationalization is complete.
The strategist agenda (Ti) is to follow and sometimes convince others to follow its explicit directions toward specific goals. Strategists trust their own absolute rationalization over that of others. They create internalized constructs of the way that things should be approached, defined, applied and or done. Strategists differ from moralists in that they quantify information to obtain definitive results, and concrete processes and goals are much easier to describe. Strategists work independently under their own rules but worry about failure because they're not spontaneous, so they put a lot of effort into studying and understanding every eventuality that may be associated with their planning. However, context and relativity isn't part of the process so issues such as personal feelings are often ignored. Strategists prefer to rationalize in isolation ignoring input, but they especially like to detach from people. When things are not going according to plan, strategists prefer to disconnect and try to figure out what to do next; when everything's understood and on track, they can be extremely resolute.
The empath agenda (Fe) is to rationalize mutually acceptable closure on relational issues. Empaths walk in the other person's shoes having no preconceived notions of the way people should feel or valuate. They often place the rationale of others above their own so they may occasionally need personal support from someone else. However, this does not mean that empaths are needy or push-overs because they can defend their own positions and rights, but they normally do so with an open ear. Empaths qualify information by assessing its relationship and value; however, unlike moralists, rationalization is normally done via engagement with others – like a group therapy session. Hence, empaths usually make their contextualization, rationale and or feelings obvious, and input is never put offline so they're never disconnected from the world. Empaths are adaptable by nature but also can be tenacious, myopic and reactive because of a burning desire to get closure; they seek resolution and acceptance of the resolution, and they're very capable of influencing the outcome. However, they generally consider their methods as no more important than those of others so their perspectives are usually objective: “How does everyone feel about it?” And, results can be largely abstract or notional.
The inquisitor agenda (Te) is to obtain mutually acceptable determinations of the absolute truth. Inquisitors prefer to rationalize in absolutes, and in a sort of brain-storming fashion. They have no bias about the way that things should be decided, but they're driven to know what makes sense. They take a third-person perspective where decision making has a community element: “Let's find out which approach is the best?” When inquisitors are uncertain, they'll seek interaction with others and bounce ideas off them until sufficient closure has been rationalized. This thinking-out-loud can often appear as if inquisitors are arguing with themselves; however, they usually see the other person's perspective even though they may choose to ignore it. Inquisitors are adaptable by nature but also can be very tenacious and reactive because of their burning desire to get at the truth, and they're very capable of manipulation when seeking the truth. They like quantifying information with someone or in group, and narrowing-down on specifics for the purpose of obtaining knowledge, know-how, control and or status. Even when in a commanding position, input is never shut down, but when focus becomes too narrow, blindness to other issues can occur, and they can rub people the wrong way.
The following four input agendas are phenomena of information acquisition processes and not rationalization, although rationalization is necessary for refining information and references.
The vigilant agenda (Si) is to observe and be alert to physical changes with respect to quantified internal references. The vigilant are always on guard, giving preference to observations of a tangible (actual, corporeal, definable and material) nature, especially those that can pose a real physical threat. It trusts information that is familiar and that which one can quantify or measure; it holds the unfamiliar and intangible in abeyance, or eliminates them. Input is compared to internalized, physical standards which have been previously verified; this guarded approach is essentially a filtering process that allows the vigilant to navigate through some very chaotic situations. Actual input from the senses is key; thus, personal health can be a major concern, especially when the senses are not functioning properly. The vigilant are very tuned in and reactive to their environment. They tend to shoot first and ask questions later; dangers are dealt with in a knee-jerk fashion. The vigilant focus on characteristic and detail, and everything is seen in comparative terms, especially from a physical impact perspective.
The believer agenda (Ni) is to sense and be responsive to changes in significance with respect to an internal belief system. Believers trust only that which fits into this belief system, and they believe that context and relation are the best indicators of reality. Unlike the vigilant, their references are not easily verified even though they're equally valid, and their defence mechanisms are usually not physical. They observe from a qualitative perspective: aura, big-picture, context, image, mood, and relationship, especially their significance to self. Their belief systems are comprised of intangible sets of references, which aren't necessarily spiritual. Internalized qualitative references are used as the basis to subjectively measure all input. They treat the unfamiliar and elemental with suspicion, or filter them out completely. Believers are critics that focus on philosophy, composition or the system; they compare notional information to their beliefs. They are very focused on and reactive to image, position, relation and trend. They are very wary of threats to and defensive of their belief system; and everything worthy of rationalization must have significance to their beliefs. Believers can be impulsive and, for example, discredit those that they believe are unworthy.
The reductionist agenda (Se) is to seek out the component perspective where complexities can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic, physical mechanisms. Reductionists amass information and things of a tangible nature; however, they treat most everything as if it were transient, which may be why abundance seems to be their security blanket. They focus on quantifiable characteristics with which everything can be associated or identified; information is broken down into its constituent parts for easier reference. Like the vigilant, they focus on physical characteristics and can be very detail oriented. However, information is generally acquired for future reference; it's not compared with anything nor is it normally intended for immediate use. Reductionists view the world in a straight-forward, unbiased and practical fashion. They like to experiment with,explore and collect physical stuff, and then move on to the next interest; they're realists and collectors who live in the moment. They like the new and exciting, and view the world in its elemental form so a rich uncomplicated environment would make compliance with this agenda very easy.
The holist agenda (Ne) is to seek out the global perspective where the system is greater than its parts. Holists seek or delve into the essence; they see everything and everybody interacting with their surroundings to form a complete system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for existence. Like believers, they focus on qualitative information but do not compare anything to a reference so the perspective is objective. Personal association is no more important than overall connection, context, harmony or synchronicity; in some way, the celestial whole is important to all holists. It's all about context, formula, pattern and or theory, and they absorb qualities more than characteristics. They are like reductionists in that they consider information to be transient and disposable, but their perspectives are polar opposite. Holists can sometimes be too idealistic or unrealistic so they would be so much more successful in a world where everyone and everything behaved with theoretical perfection.
In a control system, output processes rationalize that which is provided by input processes so both sets of processes are dependent on each other; however, one set must be in control for stability purposes. Various types may pursue similar ultimate goals but some agenda pairs are better suited to particular goals. Because agendas influence one another and one is dominant, the following paragraphs demonstrate some of the resulting effects of this interdependency and dominance.
NF: The ENFjs are proactively empathetic with somewhat flexible belief systems; they tend to be more empathetic about societies or global issues than individuals unless a particular individual is important to them. The INFp observers have such strongly-held beliefs that their empathy is mostly limited to that which fits within their belief system. The ENFps are holistic explorers that are flexible about morals and seem to be more moralistic when it comes to issues of individual freedom that permit them to explore further. The INFjs are visionaries who can be so morally inflexible that they often ignore their own holistic views in order to evoke a desired response, so their behaviour can sometimes confound other types.
SF: The ESFjs usually limit their vigilance to that which supports their proactive empathy such as the physical well-being of everyone and everything. When the ISFps have to track too many elements, their empathy is often restricted to those facing real and immediate dangers. The morality of ESFp reductionists has a practical flavour; they seem less moralistic when it interferes with what they're doing. The ISFjs can be so moralistically driven that their normally realistic and practical view of the world is ignored: “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”.
NT: The ENTjs inquisitively pursue the truth about personal beliefs and will, in some way, quantify beliefs so that an absolute assessment can be made. The INTps believe in seeking the truth but will often ignore the results of their own assessments when they do not fit into their belief system. The ENTps are holistic explorers who will often deviate from their own strategies to pursue new theories or concepts – butterflies that experiment. The INTjs are strategists who try to turn their holistic views into something useful, so they place definite limits on theories and qualities.
ST: The ESTjs are inquisitors who try to remain vigilant, but the process of ferreting out the truth will often make them susceptible to being blindsided. The ISTps are so vigilant and quick to react that they sometimes fail to fully assess the situation. The ESTps can over simplify a strategy to the point that it's no longer workable but won't worry because they often think that something better will eventually come along. The ISTjs make straightforward, realistic plans but they'll sometimes ignore important details when they're too sure of their plans.
The above descriptions, and influence and interference patterns are far from exhaustive. Note that because individuals are not pure types and will sometimes operate in alternate modes, overall behaviour will be affected by super ego agendas and agendas of a transient nature - the water can get quite muddy. Also, from an observer perspective, the externalized agendas seem more obvious; however, the two primary agendas should be fairly discernible.