PDA

View Full Version : Is MBTI Type Inherited?



highlander
04-02-2012, 01:35 AM
Do you think MBTI type is inherited? If so, do you think it leans towards particular functions being more likely as dominant and auxiliary (like Ni, Si, or Fe) or do you think it is more aligned with the letters - e.g., Intuitive parents are more likely to have intuitive children but no more likely Ne or Ni.

whatever
04-02-2012, 01:39 AM
my family is kind of mixed as far as what type they are :unsure:

both of my parents are rather introverted... and that didn't catch very well at all :laugh:

UniqueMixture
04-02-2012, 02:06 AM
Hellllll noooo

Hazashin
04-02-2012, 02:11 AM
Do you think MBTI type is inherited? If so, do you think it leans towards particular functions being more likely as dominant and auxiliary (like Ni, Si, or Fe) or do you think it is more aligned with the letters - e.g., Intuitive parents are more likely to have intuitive children but no more likely Ne or Ni.

I'm not sure. I'm not going to say it's one way or the other, as I simply don't know.

But I know with me, my mom was an ENFP and my dad is an ESTJ, while my older sister and recently-turned 16-year-old sister are xNFPs (INFP and ENFP respectively), and they both had he same mom as me (who is an ENFP). My younger, 11-year-old sister, however, is an ESFJ, and she has a different mom than me (who is an ENFJ). I guess that shows evidence of inherence? Since both my dad and my mom possess Fi/Te and Ne/Si, which my sisters who have the same mom and dad as me and I also possess, and my younger sister has Si/Ne from my dad and Fe/Ti from her mom.

Tyrinth
04-02-2012, 02:39 AM
I doubt it. My dad is an ENTJ and my mom is probably ISFJ... I'm INFP. I don't think I inherited a type from them.

Such Irony
04-02-2012, 02:44 AM
Everyone in my immediate family is introverted (with one borderline) but in the extended family, the types are all over the map. I don't think the letters themselves are inherited because I believe type doesn't physically exist but is a psychological construct devised to help understand differences between people.

That said, I do think certain traits that are commonly attributed to certain types are heritable. I think people can inherit predispositions towards shyness (which tends to be associated with I) or sensation seeking (which tends to be associated with dominant Se types).

I also think environment plays a huge role as well.

AphroditeGoneAwry
04-02-2012, 05:02 AM
Inherited. Cognitive functions.

Southern Kross
04-02-2012, 06:08 AM
I think there may be a degree of inheritance for cognitive functions.

There are no Intuitives in my immediate family (my parents are ISTP and ISFJ - so not much in the way of commonalities are shared with me) and there is only 1 other in my entire extended family (and we're talking about 35 people) so if Intuition is inherited, it's recessive. There are a lot of STJs in my extended family, with 3 out of 4 of my grandparents being one, so that could explain my presence (as INFPs share all the same functions as STJs). :shrug:

FDG
04-02-2012, 06:20 AM
I really don't think so. The brain is such a complex machine, its structure resulting from the interaction of an extremely large amount of genetic material.

Baltar
04-02-2012, 07:14 AM
I have at least three male blood relatives(and this is just the living ones) who are also INTPs.
Since that is supposed to be one of the rarer types, and I did not grow up in the same house
with any of those guys, I think it fair to say there is an at least partial genetic component.
While none of the patterns are neat enough for me to surmise how exactly the heredity factor
works(dominant vs. recessive, cog function vs preference, etc.) there are still quite a few patterns.
My ISTJ Stepdad's family has an overwhelming ISxx dominance, with my half-sister coming out ISFP, getting some
ISFx also from the women on my mom's side.

maskara
04-02-2012, 10:34 AM
But I know with me, my mom was an ENFP and my dad is an ESTJ, while my older sister and recently-turned 16-year-old sister are xNFPs (INFP and ENFP respectively), and they both had he same mom as me (who is an ENFP). My younger, 11-year-old sister, however, is an ESFJ, and she has a different mom than me (who is an ENFJ). I guess that shows evidence of inherence? Since both my dad and my mom possess Fi/Te and Ne/Si, which my sisters who have the same mom and dad as me and I also possess, and my younger sister has Si/Ne from my dad and Fe/Ti from her mom.

I'm not sure if it's good enough to call that evidence, but I've some happy coincidences myself:
My mom is an ESTJ (who did almost all the parenting single-handedly)
My dad was an IxTJ (perhaps INTJ. he gave financial support, hung out with me on some weekends, and now he's dead)
I'm INFP. Me and my mom are extreme ends of the same pole. I'm not sure if I did inherit her preference for Te-Fi and Ne-Si, but it would be mere conjecture to say so. However, according to a friend of mine, his INFP girlfriend's mom is an ESTJ(the same case with me). So...I'm not really sure where I'm going with this but I feel that there might be some truth about function preferences being inherited and all, at least to some degree.

SilkRoad
04-02-2012, 11:05 AM
I'm really not sure.

The one thing I'm pretty much 100% sure of is that my whole immediate family (me, my parents and brother) are all IxxJ. I'm not certain but I think my dad is ISFJ, mom INTJ and brother ISTJ. I also tend to think that both sides of the family incline toward IxxJ, although I haven't really known my extended families well enough (either they died before I was born or generally I haven't had the opportunity to know most of them that well.)

I think of myself as an SJ-style INFJ, and that would sort of make sense given my family and upbringing.

I'm not sure if the IxxJ thing is nature or nurture. I incline to think that MBTI type is mostly nature but somewhat nurture. It makes sense to me that Enneagram would be far more nurture than nature.

Lux
04-02-2012, 11:07 AM
If cognitive functions are how one processes information and makes decisions and there is a case for this, then it would make sense that it is inherited, as in the actual structure of the brain. However, the brain is plastic and able to change / respond due to one's environment. It will physically change due to learning and make more connections all throughout life. Many times traits (in any area) are 'there' but they need a trigger, environment; so someone could be predisposed genetically, but the environment is not there to support what biology intended.

Example: so my mom is an ESTP and my dad is an ISTP. My brother is is an ESTP, and I am an INFJ. All the cognitive functions are there just in different orders... My brother's and my childhood were different due to family drama, and at such a young age having to read between the lines and get what people were meaning instead of what they were saying was a safety issue in my young mind, my parents fought all the time and it terrified me as a child. So it may not have actually been an 'unsafe' environment, but in my young mind, it was. So that (this is only speculation) could have been a thriving environment for my already inherited Ni to develop into my dominate function.

I'm not sure what I believe because it makes sense to point that there is a genetic link that must be supported by environment, however then I think of genetically identical twins that have had virtually the same environment yet end up different.. and some end up the same too.

So a bit of yes and a bit of no.

Jonathan
04-02-2012, 04:06 PM
I think types is influenced by inheritance, but that's not the only factor. I am an INTJ, so we could assume I got Te/Fi from my parents and Ni/Se from my dad. However, my big brother is ESFJ and my little brother is ISTP, so they both use Fe/Ti, which could mean that types and functions aren't completely determined by inheritance. Or it could aso mean that I should type the postman to see if he uses any Fe/Ti.

Randomnity
04-02-2012, 07:33 PM
I think there may be a degree of inheritance for cognitive functions.

There are no Intuitives in my immediate family (my parents are ISTP and ISFJ - so not much in the way of commonalities are shared with me) and there is only 1 other in my entire extended family (and we're talking about 35 people) so if Intuition is inherited, it's recessive.
Both my parents are strong Ns, so if intuition is inherited, it's not recessive. :D

I think the only one that is likely to be inherited in a reasonably direct way is introversion. The other ones seem to go in any random pattern, depending on the family (see: all the family and type threads). My immediate family is ENTJ, INFP, ISFP, INTP/INFJ, ExFP. They are probably influenced by various genetic factors, but I doubt there's an actual gene or genes for any of them, other than perhaps introversion.

Eric B
04-02-2012, 10:49 PM
It seems temperaments loosely follow families, though it would be more like other "traits" which might skip over generations. My family is mostly Melancholy, and that skipped completely over me, but there are Choleric and Supine strains, which is what I got. Meanwhile, there seems to be almost no Sanguine or Phlegmatic (the "stable" or "low neurotic" temperaments, according to Eysenck. I believe this could explain at least some, if not a lot of the dysfunction in the family).

I could see it being tied to the brain, if our preferences are ultimately tied to factors of stimulatability, as I suggest here: http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/other-psychology-topics/36880-types-neurological-binary-codes.html
The temperaments would help indicate the function preference, since they do connect with the type dichotomies: (E/I: introversion/extroversion, F, P: people-focus; T, J: task focus).

KDude
04-03-2012, 12:11 AM
I doubt it. It's already bullshit on some psychological levels (I mean, it sticks it hands in areas it doesn't belong), let alone genetics.

lightsun
04-03-2012, 12:30 AM
"Even wanting to change and become a better person, does not necessitate an actual occurrence of the desired change will occur. For we seem to fight ourselves. It is a phenomenon. It is as if we as children have been molded into a shape.

To change we have to figuratively metamorphosis into a new person. We as a species resist change for it is both painful as well very difficult. So the reformer has the vision of a brand spanking wonderful future, but will be resisted. We as individuals seek to maintain order, clarity, and consistency within our lives.

To go against status quo is profoundly resisted. We also largely live in a moment by the minute sort of basis. This is to mean we react vs. plan for contingencies. Of course reading psychological profiles, there are some types who consistently perform rather well with a solution focused and a more future oriented base.

Nonetheless we happen to be guided very much by emotion, in a sort of pain-pleasure paradigm. We seek avoiding any pain (change), while seeking gratification with worldly pleasures. Are our present day "triggered" emotions created now or are they a recycling and rehashing of emotions which were experienced in childhood and not properly processed and therefore healed?

I believe that if we were raised as children and our emotional conflicts as children were "processed" properly, then we would be almost super human compared to the norm today. We don't give credit or credence to a child's remarkable ability to process and properly digest negative emotions IF, if it is explained to them at the moment and properly processed. We have not learned this as a society. Moreover, not enough time is even to the developing child. Therefore, we have a society as we have it today.

I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional household. I did not want to repeat the pattern. I've learned this truth, even with best in intentionality: we are subject to behaviorisms we have absorbed during childhood. We can go against what we learned: but then there is overcompensation in another direction which is not balanced.

It is our emotion which rules our day. To escape this night and come out of our primordial past evolution, we must learn, adapt with cognition as well needed emotional training and regulation.

Education, I've stated it many times in innumerable threads. Education and child rearing, along with parental education is the bottom line and is the proverbial and the heart of the matter. It makes so much sense. Again, it's like the pink elephant in the room or the emperor with no clothes in the room.

We all know the answers but not enough resources are put into it. When will there be a rise in consciousness and demand for social action and for these areas to be first acknowledged and them acted on? I know we can conceivably have a renaissance, a rebirth of the human spirit with a will and a focus and a drive.

It takes a paradigm shift. It takes changes in consciousness as well as awareness. Come on we put a man on the moon and built the atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project. Later we resolved our will and resources for the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. Why is it we can make and build engines of destruction but not marshal our forces for the good of society? Is it fear based?

Must our primitive emotions be triggered to impel us to take action? We also marshaled a country for war against two giants of military might, both Germany as well as Japan. Prior to WWII we were not a superpower. The powers were Germany, France, Great Britain, and the U.S.S.R. We were not prepared for war when it hit us at Pearl Harbor on that infamous day. Yet we marshaled our forces and overcame great odds of herculean proportions.

We can again. We need a leader or many leaders, leaders with a vision toward a great America. Moreover we have to want a better society to make the changes needed in how, when and if we are truly committed to making the changes that are essential and absolutely, imperatively needed and essential to make and keep this great nation of ours, in which we live in, great.

We all live here. We all have a stake and a voice. We must make the pivotal changes needed in how we do things and how we think of ourselves, our children and our future.” LightSun


So Highlander i fervently do have the belief we are programed and shifted in becoming our MBTI soul.

Porcelain Hearts
04-03-2012, 12:50 AM
In my theory,

I/E and P/J is likely conditioned.
N/S and T/F is inherited.

In my family's case - my dad, brothers and I are all xNxP's.
I never believed there was even an argument between nurture and nature. Both have their dependencies on each other; nature just creates competition, which is necessary in the gene pool.

KDude
04-03-2012, 01:01 AM
My immediate family are all SJ, I think. I'm not that much alike. My dad used to joke that they found me in a trashcan in the K-Mart parking lot.

EJCC
04-03-2012, 01:24 AM
Hellllll noooo
This. :laugh:

I know of too many exceptions to the rule, to think that it's inherited. "Nature" is involved too much for it to be a direct result of parenting, and "nurture" is involved too much for it to be entirely hereditary.

cascadeco
04-03-2012, 01:55 AM
I really don't think so. The brain is such a complex machine, its structure resulting from the interaction of an extremely large amount of genetic material.



I think the only one that is likely to be inherited in a reasonably direct way is introversion. The other ones seem to go in any random pattern, depending on the family (see: all the family and type threads).

Yeah, there are a lot of threads that get into this topic or try to correlate things.... there are so many patterns that it seems pretty clear to me there's no simple correlation. What seems cut and dry for one family doesn't hold true for another family.

But in the sense that who we are is very much the product of our genetics (because, um, it is - we each have a unique combo of genes) - yes, our personality is inherited. But even assuming the cog. functions are legitimate entities, I don't think it would be as simple as there being a single gene for each cog. function. Many genes which, interacting together, code for a primary preference of cognition that we label as Ni or Te or Fi? Sure. Another set of genes that instruct on our next-in-line preference? What about hormones or other things that might play a role in these things? And so on. And whatever the genes are, that's a blueprint/starting point...and nurture will play heavily in some things.

So, there are many genes & chromosomes at play. That, and the chromosomes that we inherited from our mother and father already had their genes reshuffled from the original chromosomes that were their starting point, so they don't match that of our parents- So I don't think it's a surprise that personality could/would jump across generations and often may not readily align with our parents, and that in the end you can't really make heads or tails of a pattern - because there probably isn't a clear one. Too many variables.

Rasofy
04-03-2012, 02:54 AM
No. Btw, I think instinctual variants are very connected with parenting, but that's neither mbti nor inheritance.

Seymour
04-03-2012, 03:09 AM
As has been posted before, studies seem to indicate heritability of MBTI preferences is around 40% to 60% (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-6494.00006/abstract), which is roughly consistent (if you squint) with the heritability of Big Five traits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits#Heritability).

Of course, it's almost certainly more complicated than X% comes from environment, Y% comes from genes. Still having a rough approximation is nice.

UniqueMixture
04-03-2012, 04:53 AM
I think that most kids tend to adopt the "positive" traits of each parent and ignore the "negative" ones and then slap on a gender profile. For example my infj buddy has intj and es/nfj parents. I think he took his dad's badassness but softened it w his mom's social skills. By pos/neg I mean in the cultural context from the CHILD's pov. Plus this tends to work best for the firstborn because they don't have sibling social dynamics to contend with

KDude
04-03-2012, 04:57 AM
Plus this tends to work best for the firstborn because they don't have sibling social dynamics to contend with

My mom and brother are the same type (he's the firstborn, I guess.. although he's a half brother). They're both tyrants (still love them though). The only thing I inherited is my mom's irritability.. but it has nothing to do with controlling others. It's about controlling my own space. They OTOH have no sense of space.

They're both very stoic STs (more than me.. I'm a comedian in comparison), but there are completely different functions at work.

Mia.
04-03-2012, 02:04 PM
MBTI - yes, for the most part.

mattswan
04-03-2012, 07:14 PM
No I do not believe so. Results so widely vary.

AffirmitiveAnxiety
04-03-2012, 07:27 PM
I cant think of any correlation for this....but you never know.

Huxley3112
04-03-2012, 07:42 PM
I do. I think DNA inheritance, hormones, neurological fetal development etc. is all highly connected, and I think there are a number of studies that reveal this in other ways, through temperament, psychological disorders, etc. And I think that when you find offspring very different from either parent you are only seeing more recessive traits that have combined to be a dominant DNA in that particular offspring. Just because we can't pinpoint the connection doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Of course it doesn't prove it does, but I believe it does.

Esoteric Wench
04-08-2012, 08:17 PM
I'm surprised at how many people on this thread have said they don't think cognitive functions are inherited. How could they not be inherited? Where do we get them if they aren't dictated by the genes we get from our mothers and fathers.

Just because people can't decipher a pattern in their own immediate families doesn't mean that JCFs aren't a product of genetics. The way we inherit them could be much more complex than a simple A or B gene choice. Look at eye and hair color which is a result of multiple, competing genes. So it could be with the inheritance of cognitive functions.

Halla74
04-08-2012, 08:53 PM
Do you think MBTI type is inherited?

Like many other traits, both physical and psychological, I believe that a pre-disposition for developing them (to some form of severity for spectrum disorders, as well as "all or nothing" characteristics) is transmitted genetically from parents to offspring.


If so, do you think it leans towards particular functions being more likely as dominant and auxiliary (like Ni, Si, or Fe) or do you think it is more aligned with the letters - e.g., Intuitive parents are more likely to have intuitive children but no more likely Ne or Ni.

If I had to guess I'd go with parental behaviors (aka "nurture" vs. "nature") as being the trigger for any given inherited pre-disposition to be expressed toward developing behavioral traits that are at one pole of a cognitive function vs. the other.

In short, a child with a pre-disposition toward being iNtuitive that is raised by two Sensor parents might wind up being more balanced on N/S than strong "N."

Just like Mendel's experiments with bean plants, genes that express height are additive, so that the TOTAL number pf height alleles contributed by each parent ultimately determines the potential height of the offspring; I think that components of "nature" and "nurture" can also interact additively, even if figurative in comparison to "pure" genetic inheritance.

BTW, my family's MBTI info is below:

Papa Halla = ESTJ
Mama Halla = INFJ
Halla74 = ESTP
Halla's Big Bro = INTJ

Yeah, yeah - I'm the black sheep because I'm the only perceiver in the family, Ha Ha Ha. :tongue10: :laugh:

Mane
04-08-2012, 09:09 PM
I'm surprised at how many people on this thread have said they don't think cognitive functions are inherited. How could they not be inherited? Where do we get them if they aren't dictated by the genes we get from our mothers and fathers.

Just because people can't decipher a pattern in their own immediate families doesn't mean that JCFs aren't a product of genetics. The way we inherit them could be much more complex than a simple A or B gene choice. Look at eye and hair color which is a result of multiple, competing genes. So it could be with the inheritance of cognitive functions.

i think it's best to assume that the functions are simplification that make it easier for us to recognize, name and understand certain patterns in our internal processes, but are probably derived from many other things, and not something that stands on their own.

as such it is possible and even likely that some of the factors behind them are inherited, but those factors can be shared between multiply functions and even be related to things completely unrelated to the MBTI.

for example - completely pulled out of my behind - its entirely possible that there's a certain gene for a certain neurological structure that depending on it's place on a chromosome relatively to other genes, might become a musical talent, a well developed Ni, cause an increased chance of Alzheimer, or any combination thereof.

that's being said, the fact that i'm an ENTP, my mother is an ENFP and my father was an INTJ, while my adopted sister is the black sheep of the family - ESFP...

Phthalate
04-08-2012, 10:10 PM
I've yet to read a study that backs this up with sufficient evidence. My mom is an ISFJ, and my dad (I think) was an ENFP. They had an ENFJ daughter and me (INTP).

One of my friends is an ENFP. She has an ENFP sister, and an ISFJ one. They have an ESFJ mother and an ISTJ mother... so...

garbage
04-09-2012, 07:37 PM
As has been posted before, studies seem to indicate heritability of MBTI preferences is around 40% to 60% (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-6494.00006/abstract), which is roughly consistent (if you squint) with the heritability of Big Five traits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits#Heritability).

Of course, it's almost certainly more complicated than X% comes from environment, Y% comes from genes. Still having a rough approximation is nice.
I mean, yeah. Thank you for actually posting some evidence. :hifive:

How do you figure out how much of an effect the environment has? You could administer the test at different points in time (assuming that MBTI isn't widely variable already, which, well, it is).


i think it's best to assume that the functions are simplification that make it easier for us to recognize, name and understand certain patterns in our internal processes, but are probably derived from many other things, and not something that stands on their own.

as such it is possible and even likely that some of the factors behind them are inherited, but those factors can be shared between multiply functions and even be related to things completely unrelated to the MBTI.
Oh, yeah, and also all of this. For all we know, what we classify as cognitive functions could very well have at least some 'environmentally-developed coping mechanism' thrown in.

FireShield98
04-09-2012, 07:55 PM
My parents are both SJs (ESTJ dad, ISFJ mom), and none of us (the kids) are SJs (ISTP older brother, INTJ me, ENTP younger brother). So I don't think it's inherited.

chana
04-09-2012, 07:57 PM
i really doubt it. but my mom is an enfp and my dad is an intp, so i ended up a blend.

exact
04-09-2012, 07:58 PM
Some people will react divergently to parental influences and genetics.
Some people will react convergently.
Some won't give a damn.

BlackCat
04-09-2012, 08:01 PM
Doubtful. My dad was an INTP and my mom is ENFJ.