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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default Type Theory vs. Temperament Theory

    Does anyone know the difference between Type Theory and Temperament Theory?

    I noticed that Lenore Thomson subscribes to "type theory" while Linda V. Berens subscribes to "temperament theory" and according to Thomson, these two are diametrically opposed.

    This is how Thomson describes the difference between the two:

    I don't believe that each function determines a particular set of skills, and that the four "top" functions represent our primary access to the behaviors those skills make possible.

    I also don't believe that temperament theory has any compatible relationship to type theory, even though they appear to have become hopelessly conflated in the MBTI community.

    As far as I'm concerned, temperament theory is trafficking in social archetypes. It suggests that some core package of innate needs impels a type to take his rightful place in the cultural class system and uses a specific set of functions to get them met.

    The implication is ultimately rank determinism. You wind up with the sense that there are four different species of human, but each one develops in a pre-determined way in order to feel fulfilled.

    Type theory comes at this from the other way around -- the idea that there are four generic psychic activities, S, N, F, and T, but their combinations are highly variable, dependent on biological givens, environment, education, opportunity, and individual ambition. The sixteen standardized combinations are simply that -- a matter of categorical convenience. Every type is an exception to the general rule.
    What is she saying? I didn't even realize there where two competing theories about this.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  2. #2
    Member Llenyd's Avatar
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    Here is a good article on the differences between the two.

    *Note: Despite how the page is set up, this is NOT part of the official Keirsey site.

  3. #3
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Thompson is arguing that the 'personality effect' that is produced is not directly linked to the functions but rather to the way they interact with each other.

    Hence being an abstract thinker according to temperament theory would come straight from the N (or Ne for the sake of my example.) According to thompson's theory it stems from the way Ne interacts with Ti and the ambience that all of the functions together produce.

    Thompson also implies that there is no direct connection between the functions that we have and behaviors they tend to be associated with. They vary a lot more than the popular myths suggest.

    This I could agree with as functions can manifest themselves in a multitude of fashions and for this reason it is possible to have two people of the same type develop radically different personalities.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  4. #4
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Thank you, Llenyd and BlueWing

    I think what Thomson is referring to is more Jungian. I'm still confused.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

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