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  1. #1
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Default How much of you is your psychology?

    I've always been interested in those people who appear to respond like I do. When I got talking to other INTPs I was fascinated by the parallels, then disappointed by the discrepancies. It was even more fascinating to find another INTP 9 but still there are marked differences.

    I have to wonder at the concept of meeting another male, INTP, E9, with the same FIRO-B/Arno results, the same birthsign and the same birth year... (I think that's all the systems I've got results for). How similar would that person be?

    This kind of leads me into thinking, how much of who we are is our psychology, as in the bit we test, mess around with and experiment on in threads all over this forum...

    How much of me is the INTP/E9/ such and such?

    It's probably a simple question but it's been nagging at my tired mind for too long so I figured I'd throw it to the wolves audience.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #2
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I think our genetics, experiences, and socialization play a much greater role in who we are than our psychology. But its hard to say to what degree since those things play a large role in the formation of our psychology. It's kind of a chicken and egg scenario.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  3. #3
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I think our genetics, experiences, and socialization play a much greater role in who we are than our psychology. But its hard to say to what degree since those things play a large role in the formation of our psychology. It's kind of a chicken and egg scenario.
    Conversely though, wouldn't you also object to the concept that you are simply an amalgamation of experiences?

    To me it seems that there is a core being in people and it then get's moderated by their experiences, much like the pebbles on beaches, your edges get knocked off.

    If you did meet your doppleganger then would you expect them to have lived an identical life?

    If life is equivalent to a journey then what is the most influential part of the journey, the path or the walker?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #4
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    I think MBTI type describes only part of who we are. A personality is so multidimentional thing that no personality type description could describe it. Another thing is that if MBTI type really applies (which I doubt at times), there are still variation between types. So, people have different levels of function usage and they balance theirselves differently. Also the environment, society etc. have their effect on people and how they behave.

  5. #5
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcea Rosea View Post
    I think MBTI type describes only part of who we are. A personality is so multidimentional thing that no personality type description could describe it. Another thing is that if MBTI type really applies (which I doubt at times), there are still variation between types. So, people have different levels of function usage and they balance theirselves differently. Also the environment, society etc. have their effect on people and how they behave.
    True. The MBTI only really was attempting to illustrate how people think. The enneagram I personally think shows people's motivations and the FRIO-B/Arno system shows more of the interpersonal side.

    I do agree though. Even with all of the test which I've taken and the collated results, it doesn't seem to be quite me. There is, as always, the quote of "more than the sum of it's parts" but I'm curious as to what someone else would be like with the same psychology results. Would we be like family, mirrors, twins?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I think that personality testing is more about our preferences to process things a certain way, which leads to certain behavioral patterns. Of course, these could be modified by perceptions and experiences, as well as underlying traits/preferences that might not be measured by MBTI. Right now all we have are generalizations about commonly perceived ways of processing information, inferred from careful analysis of behavior.

    My belief is that our present selves are the result of our innate tendencies (themselves the result of our DNA, oddities in it's transcoding, as well as the specific effects of particular prenatal events), all modified by our particular sequences of learning and experience, as well the impact of our environment upon our health (via nutrition, disease resistance, exposure to bacteria, toxic substances, and medicine.)

    The problem of personality testing is trying to define all the effects of these particular things in such a way as to quantify everything that a person is on a mental level. We can't seem to do that, and it may be due to not being able to see the system perfectly, as we are inside of it and thus constrained by its inherent processing limitations in a way that may be difficult (if not impossible) to overcome.

    Your main question will likely end up asking if we have something along the lines of "a soul," and whether or not this impacts our behavior in an immeasurable way. I must say that I don't know, and that if this is the case, we cannot know one way or the other. It is one possibility, but it is also possible that we simply don't understand the complexity of our own minds on a literal/mechanical level well enough to precisely articulate the things that make one person distinct from another on a mental/emotional level. If it's the first, further examination is likely futile. If it's the second, we can likely improve our knowledge. I'm not sure which possibility would be preferable.

  7. #7
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Does psychology and MBTT mean similar things? If so, then this is my answer:

    MBTT measures how a person takes in information - S or N
    what criteria we use to make decisions - T or F
    whether our lives are inward focused or outward focused - I or E
    and whether we prefer closure or leaving options open - J or P
    and each of these is on a continuum of strength or weakness.
    (in a nutshell, no hate-mail please :rolli

    I see these things as a skeleton which provides a basic supporting framework, but does not entirely define a person. Once we take in information, for instance, we have to decide what to do with it. It is here where our soul - our mind, will and emotions - has a say in the process.

    Just because I am an INTJ doesn't mean I have to behave as an uncaring Vulcan. By my will, I can choose to be compassionate toward others, even though it doesn't come easily. I can learn to be diplomatic by watching others for whom it comes naturally. Why? Because "What goes around comes around", and I like it when people treat me with diplomacy.

    How much of "me" is dictated by MBTT? I don't know... maybe 50%... maybe 75%?

    My point is that a person doesn't have to be a "victim" of their type if they don't want to be. We can overcome our "blind spots" as Barron and Tieger call them.

  8. #8
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Your main question will likely end up asking if we have something along the lines of "a soul," and whether or not this impacts our behavior in an immeasurable way. I must say that I don't know, and that if this is the case, we cannot know one way or the other. It is one possibility, but it is also possible that we simply don't understand the complexity of our own minds on a literal/mechanical level well enough to precisely articulate the things that make one person distinct from another on a mental/emotional level. If it's the first, further examination is likely futile. If it's the second, we can likely improve our knowledge. I'm not sure which possibility would be preferable.
    I'm not sure if I'd distinguish between myself and my soul, if I were to ascribe to such things. It'd be rather unnerving to think that the core of my identity is separate to the current form of that identity. Oooh I could get MPD properly then!
    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Does psychology and MBTT mean similar things? If so, then this is my answer:

    MBTT measures how a person takes in information - S or N
    what criteria we use to make decisions - T or F
    whether our lives are inward focused or outward focused - I or E
    and whether we prefer closure or leaving options open - J or P
    and each of these is on a continuum of strength or weakness.
    (in a nutshell, no hate-mail please :rolli
    Now there's an INTJ who's learned

    (Mind you half of the INTJs I have know of would probably enjoy the hate mail!)
    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I see these things as a skeleton which provides a basic supporting framework, but does not entirely define a person. Once we take in information, for instance, we have to decide what to do with it. It is here where our soul - our mind, will and emotions - has a say in the process.

    Just because I am an INTJ doesn't mean I have to behave as an uncaring Vulcan. By my will, I can choose to be compassionate toward others, even though it doesn't come easily. I can learn to be diplomatic by watching others for whom it comes naturally. Why? Because "What goes around comes around", and I like it when people treat me with diplomacy.

    How much of "me" is dictated by MBTT? I don't know... maybe 50%... maybe 75%?
    That's kind of the idea... I'm wondering if the whole idea about humans working off effectively 1s and 0s (synapses firing) is right. If you think about it there should be some point at which if two structures are tested as the same to a certain level then they should appear to be very similar. However I have the nagging feeling that if you got two people of the same year, birth month, MBTI type, enneagram, FIRO-B/Arno... then they'd still be very much individuals.

    I guess it could be experience but I hate the simple answers. They always smack of applying a lazy brain to me... Hence the query...
    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    My point is that a person doesn't have to be a "victim" of their type if they don't want to be. We can overcome our "blind spots" as Barron and Tieger call them.
    Precisely Correct.

    (What am I saying... you're an INTJ... what an obvious statement .. )

    Type is not a straight-jacket and neither is it a safety blanket. It should be used neither as an excuse nor a prescriptive path.

    If this is a journey then perhaps your type is the kind of shoes you have on your feet?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    ... If you think about it there should be some point at which if two structures are tested as the same to a certain level then they should appear to be very similar. However I have the nagging feeling that if you got two people of the same year, birth month, MBTI type, enneagram, FIRO-B/Arno... then they'd still be very much individuals.
    Precisely!



    If this is a journey then perhaps your type is the kind of shoes you have on your feet?
    Brilliant!

  10. #10
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Fascinating thread. My husband is also an INTP, E9. He's never been tested for either one, but he's the guy who's staying calm, keeping the peace and coming up with solutions while everyone else is worrying and/or yelling. A friend once called him the Human Buffer Zone.

    My boss was the same combination. Their general way of being, speaking, presenting themselves to the world is the same - calm, self-assured, confident. Friendly, but a little too detached to be called warm. Can get along with many kinds of people, but have few close friends.

    But they have their own distinct preferences, not to mention personal histories and experiences. My boss was raised in a wealthy family and attended Yale. My husband had a blue-collar father, went to community college and never got a higher degree. One of them spoke several languages and married a French woman, the other failed French. Those facts are part of their psychology. And it wouldn't be different if they were born in the same year or month.

    Jae Rae
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

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