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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default manipulation and MBTI knowledge

    Is manipulation of other evil/bad/wrong/unethical?

    Where do you draw the line between using personality type information to build better teams/relationships and actually manipulating others?

    Is it wrong to influence someone's behavior with MBTI knowledge if it does them no harm but accomplishes your objective?

    Is it wrong to try and help them become more well rounded as a person/workplace contibutor using your MBTI knowledge, even if they are unaware of what you are doing-ie you actuually give them some benefit?

    Folks have always used the way they function-lets just say the function like Fi (for me for instance)-to influence others on some level-likely not realizing exactly what they were doing. Once we become aware of what we are doing is it now unethical to continue doing so, as we recognize we have an advantage over the other person?


    I dont know the answers to most of this and I am troubled much by this area... All thoughts are good. Please contribute.

  2. #2
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Can you give an example of someone using MBTI knowledge to manipulate someone?

    I suppose manipulation isn't inherently bad. It's a conscious effort to influence someone. If you're trying to be a positive influence, it could end up being a good thing. Just don't deny what your intentions are once you notice them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    For me this is most encountered in the workplace.
    I am making this up but-say I need to get an ISTJ to complete a task for me as part of a project. I could attempt any number of things to get him to do the task:

    1) appeal to his SJ sense of responsibility
    2) use my Fi to tickle his tertiary Fi to form an emotional connection, thus form a potential emotional obligation on his part
    3) use Ne-Fi to make him laugh, break the Si-Te wall and cause him re-engage on a new set of ideas I am trying to introduce
    4) Use social pressure of other SJs to get him to conform, understanding his innate tendancies
    5) Use a combination of Ne-Fi-Te to engage him in a provocative maner which might indicate a sexual interest

    I find 5 utterly mortifying and disgusting. I routinely engage in 1 and 3 and sometimes use 4. I do sometimes use 2 on long term relationships but it is very real on my part-they REALLY are my friend if I do this. I have no choice. I also become emotionally obligated to him in the future.

    Only in the last month have I spent time understanding and thinking on these topics, so I could have been harming others in the past unaware.

  4. #4
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Begging the question

    Quote Originally Posted by happy puppy View Post
    Is it wrong to try and help them become more well rounded as a person/workplace contibutor using your MBTI knowledge...
    This is called, "Begging the question".

    And the question being begged is, "Does MBTI provide reliable and valid knowledge?".

    And unfortunately the answer is that MBTI does not provide reliable and valid knowledge of the personality.

    And so your question - is it right or wrong to use MBTI knowledge? - is moot. And is simply begging the question.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    This was one of the reasons I had such strong resistance to the famous book such as "How to win friends and influence people" despite most of the material talking about benefitting both party members. Then I came to the conclusion (It was also mentioned in the book) that all actions will influence someone thus manipulating them. So it was time for some redefining...

    Manipulation - Putting someone at a disadvantage for your own benefit. It's clear that what I was actually resisting was the negative idea of selfishness/hedonism.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy puppy View Post
    For me this is most encountered in the workplace.
    I am making this up but-say I need to get an ISTJ to complete a task for me as part of a project. I could attempt any number of things to get him to do the task:

    1) appeal to his SJ sense of responsibility
    2) use my Fi to tickle his tertiary Fi to form an emotional connection, thus form a potential emotional obligation on his part
    3) use Ne-Fi to make him laugh, break the Si-Te wall and cause him re-engage on a new set of ideas I am trying to introduce
    4) Use social pressure of other SJs to get him to conform, understanding his innate tendancies
    5) Use a combination of Ne-Fi-Te to engage him in a provocative maner which might indicate a sexual interest

    I find 5 utterly mortifying and disgusting. I routinely engage in 1 and 3 and sometimes use 4. I do sometimes use 2 on long term relationships but it is very real on my part-they REALLY are my friend if I do this. I have no choice. I also become emotionally obligated to him in the future.

    Only in the last month have I spent time understanding and thinking on these topics, so I could have been harming others in the past unaware.
    1,3 and 4 are done with the ISTJs awareness. You can't really manipulate someone who is aware of what's occuring, while the pressure may exist, it's totally up to them whether they reject it or not.

    2 and 5 are where deception can come in. Pretending to be something in order to get an upper hand.

  7. #7
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    while i sort of disagree with victors disregard for the typological patterns, he is right about "unreliable and invalid" in many specific cases, for example

    2) use my Fi to tickle his tertiary Fi to form an emotional connection, thus form a potential emotional obligation on his part
    3) use Ne-Fi to make him laugh, break the Si-Te wall and cause him re-engage on a new set of ideas I am trying to introduce
    i am confident that this is a contradiction (boldified) because i am down with the socioncs function order.
    and if your experience tells you, that any of this actually works out, than this proves that you are actually just referring to experience while using arbitrary (nonsensical/wrong) function labels to access your memory of experience approved understanding and you are not referring to clear understanding of patterns (from the book, not experience) which would be typology.

    in case i was wrong about the socionics function order, it would mean, that i am the one who is using labels arbitrary, but still they work for me, in my experience, so this would not change anything about my argument but again prove it.


    of course we use our experience to address people in a predictable way.
    we can't stop doing that.

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The purpose of MBTI jargon is to put the critical mind to sleep, so that we will uncritically accept whatever suggestions are made to us.

    MBTI merely gives the illusion of control, when its purpose is to take control out of your hands.

    MBTI works. And it works entirely as a cult.

  9. #9
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy puppy View Post
    For me this is most encountered in the workplace.
    I am making this up but-say I need to get an ISTJ to complete a task for me as part of a project. I could attempt any number of things to get him to do the task:

    1) appeal to his SJ sense of responsibility
    2) use my Fi to tickle his tertiary Fi to form an emotional connection, thus form a potential emotional obligation on his part
    3) use Ne-Fi to make him laugh, break the Si-Te wall and cause him re-engage on a new set of ideas I am trying to introduce
    4) Use social pressure of other SJs to get him to conform, understanding his innate tendancies
    5) Use a combination of Ne-Fi-Te to engage him in a provocative maner which might indicate a sexual interest

    I find 5 utterly mortifying and disgusting. I routinely engage in 1 and 3 and sometimes use 4. I do sometimes use 2 on long term relationships but it is very real on my part-they REALLY are my friend if I do this. I have no choice. I also become emotionally obligated to him in the future.

    Only in the last month have I spent time understanding and thinking on these topics, so I could have been harming others in the past unaware.
    1 and 4 seem fine. With 2, 3, and 4 I suppose the real issue might be just the fact than an ulterior motive is being used. If someone tailored some INTP-specific methods to get me to do something, I probably wouldn't mind, my only issue would be with someone trying to fly something over my head, I like to know what's happening to me, but for minor things and in the context you used, I wouldn't care.

  10. #10
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victor
    MBTI merely gives the illusion of control, when its purpose is to take control out of your hands.
    so if taking control through misinformation is evil, than you are implying that control in the intra-personal space, via valid insight, is of good value?

    i think so.

    of course there is always the ethical issue, but it must never be confused with the tool itself, because every tool can be abused by the mind that is intelligent enough to use it, but not enough to understand what he is doing with it.

    interestingly there is a pattern: it's not true in all cases, but often the ones who abuses sophisticated tools are not the ones who would be able to produce them, completely on their own, without help from people who are of more sophisticated spirit.

    so, it's the mixing of infrastructure, information, tools, societies .. that creates this problem of tool-abuse. there is no solution.

    but on a case by case basis, it can be easy to make the distinction for what is likely abuse and what is likely good use (let aside possible mistakes), because of this pattern. the one who is capable of understanding people, and who is therefore the original inventor of the tools that he get's out of this understanding, is most likely also ethically equipped to use this tool in a good way. naturally there is incomplete understanding, purely empirical understanding, monkey style: "whatever happens if i push that button, might happen again ..." - this is not what i meant by understanding, albeit it can accumulate to a somewhat powerful tool.

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