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Thread: Typeism

  1. #21
    Enigma Nadir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    What are the reasons that even intelligent, insightful people embrace assumptions about others and label them as inferior based on their MBTI category when it is in itself a system that is not scientifically founded? As a system that does not have a valid method of measurement, it would seem the critical thinker would have some reservations about its validity.
    I think you have it the other way around. Negative judgment comes first, MBTI labeling comes later. MBTI is not used as the actual tool for prejudice, but more as a "distancer," so to say... "I do not like person X, I can't identify with X, so X has to be/should be as far away from me as possible." This is consistent with our usual habits (if we do not feel reconcillatory).

    And how convenient, MBTI allows for this in its own way! I daresay the reason we see people criticizing/complaining about types opposite to/rather far from themselves (a common practice around here) is much more due to our cognitive bias and self-validating thought than our critical thinking (which as you say would reject MBTI anyway) concluding that the adversaries are in fact of those opposite types.

    And the above process has the displeasing habit of snowballing into the entirely unfounded type prejudice you're describing.
    Not really.

  2. #22
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    People have things that bother them in their interactions with other people's personalities their whole lives but maybe only a vague way to describe it. If they have something like tyoplogy it gives them a language to use to describe tensions and feelings that were already there. At least that's how I see it.

    Long before typology I knew my father looked at the world in a different way. I would have said harder, colder etc, which reveals my own prejudices/preferences as Feeler. I didn't need to know about typology to feel or know the tension existing between his view and mine. My mother accused me of being "head in the clouds" all the time. I didn't need typology to know there was tension between her preferred way of looking at life and mine. Typology merely provided a language to more clearly express things. It didn't create the tension.

    If a person had a uncomfortablness with Feelers before learning typology, then can one really say typology created the prejudice or is it just making a previous prejudice more valid and tangible? I say it's building on something that pre-exists it.
    Yes, this is what I've thought for a long while.

    Discussions on this board often revolve around human interaction. Our gaps between other people would exist with or without codified systems of discussion like MBTI. But I'm sure there's more to what Toonia's saying... (thinking about it)
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  3. #23
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    ... Typology merely provided a language to more clearly express things. It didn't create the tension.

    If a person had a uncomfortablness with Feelers before learning typology, then can one really say typology created the prejudice or is it just making a previous prejudice more valid and tangible? I say it's building on something that pre-exists it.
    Good post. And finding that language validates those experiences and inclinations. The problem with Typology is that it takes those personal, experience based tensions and projects them onto humanity. For the INFP who feels tension with Ts or Ss in a personal context, it isn't a guarantee that the same tension will be created when interacting with others who have been labeled similarly. It might increase the chance of duplication slightly, but in some cases not. The labels are extended based on personal interactions to determine things they are not designed to determine. For my own experience interacting long-term and personally with four people who tested INTP, I can guarantee that although there are some threads that connect them, the interpersonal dynamics are completely different. And I also realize that my personal experience does not determine the larger picture, but it serves as a counterexample to assumed consistency. There is also the issue of confirmation bias where whatever is expected in others based on their label is what is perceived. My primary point is that typeism can inhibit communication by having to sort through a great mass of personal projections between people.

    It can also distort a sense of self, when people impose these categories onto self. That is part of the problem with MBTI as a measurement tool and which is explored in the book mentioned in the OP. You can take any definition if it is broad enough and the majority of people can identify with it. It is the same way that Astrology is self validating. In that system I am a Capricorn which are apparently described as methodical. Well, in a certain way I am, but in another way not so much. Still, if I embrace that system and internalize that concept of self, it could cause me to become more methodical because that's "who I am". If I were a Gemini, then I would remember how as a teenager I defined the complexities of my personality as having two distinct sides, each of which I named. If I were a Taurus, then i would remember times I was driven and passionate. By finding a certain hook in the definition that has personal relevance, I then internalize the whole of it and reshape myself to become it. This doesn't have to be a conscious process.

    Also, because Typology does not have a cultural context, a person can express prejudicial thinking and form elitist views without the negative labels associated with sexism and racism. It is easy to forget that people who embrace sexism and racism consider themselves to be thinking accurately and see proof for their position. In the last century there were even example of "scientific" evidence to support racist and sexist views, plus a long history of others, some brilliant minds, who made the same assumptions. It can feel intellectually safe to be able to dismiss racism and sexism, but to see typeism in a different light, although it has even less of a "foundation". A person can have the satisfaction of dismissing others who are labeled differently and consider themselves to have special insight rather than non-critical thought processes.
    Last edited by labyrinthine; 03-05-2009 at 11:11 PM. Reason: removed an idea i presented that would need a great deal more development, which i'd rather not get into here.
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  4. #24
    Revelation Lauren Ashley's Avatar
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    My response was going to be similar to heart's.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    What are the reasons that even intelligent, insightful people embrace assumptions about others and label them as inferior based on their MBTI category when it is in itself a system that is not scientifically founded?
    I don't personally need science to validate everything for me. Science, in the most common sense, doesn't have a way of defining all that takes place in the universe.

  5. #25
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Long before typology I knew my father looked at the world in a different way. I would have said harder, colder etc, which reveals my own prejudices/preferences as Feeler. I didn't need to know about typology to feel or know the tension existing between his view and mine. My mother accused me of being "head in the clouds" all the time. I didn't need typology to know there was tension between her preferred way of looking at life and mine. Typology merely provided a language to more clearly express things. It didn't create the tension.

    If a person had a uncomfortablness with Feelers before learning typology, then can one really say typology created the prejudice or is it just making a previous prejudice more valid and tangible? I say it's building on something that pre-exists it.
    I agree fully with what you said heart. To look at it from a cynical point of view, categorical typing (typeism) can be seen as just an excuse for not trying to more fully understand another person. A you're a XXXX therefore you must be so-and-so approach.... or worse to use type as a way of establishing their own superiority. We've seen it too often here with the Ns are more intelligent and creative than Ss threads.

    Are any of these so-call "related" traits for types and temperaments based on reality? People see that "on average" XXXX type is so and so and they immediately try to apply it to everybody of that type without any regards for variation within the type. What they should have done is to get to know the individual better... but instead they rely on (the often incorrect) type description instead because they're lazy.

    Essentially type is no more than a justification for their preconceived prejudice. The problem is within the individual... and is not caused by the personality model. Just like you can't say having people of different ethic backgrounds cause racism.
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  6. #26
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    right now typology and psychology in general is a software in alpha phase that is being pushed out early for beta testing. beta testes are needed. prejudices and abuse is needed, it's valuable feedback. testers ain't developers. only natural.

  7. #27
    heart on fire
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    Before I knew about typology I used to call certain people: "effort people" because it seemed to me that effort was more important to them than results, especially ritualized effort. It was a glaring difference between myself and others that caused me stress and this was just a way of thinking about the concept. (Not saying that I don't have my own quirks)

    And the leap here is that SJ are effort people, but I know some ISxJ who are not effort people, but I also certainly know some who are very much so and it just so happens that effort people that I know if asked to take the test (and are willing to!) come out SJ. So my conclusion is that when dealing with unbalanced, unhealthy people they likely will fit into one of these negative stereotypes of the MBTI but it's not always a given that everyone of that type will be unhealthy and or unbalanced.

    But seeing it, for me at least, pre-existed typology.

  8. #28
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    What are the reasons that even intelligent, insightful people embrace assumptions about others and label them as inferior based on their MBTI category when it is in itself a system that is not scientifically founded?
    I don't think -isms or assumptions have much to do with intelligence (despite correlations with "openness"). If anything, "being intelligent" is an -ism when it turns into a superiority thing and very often a part of MBTI -isms...

    The reasons for categorizations are very primal. We all identify with people similar to us and the reaction seems to be a binary trigger. Even if you are similar to someone else, if they suddenly indicate they are not, a whole different mental process to take place. (Although I think this concept is still under investigation/research, it seems to fit extremely well.)

    Plus, categorization is inherently abstract, and with an automatic tendency to do it, MBTI just becomes a rationalization for this process.

    All this said, differences are real. It's the reaction to them that causes the gulf. Once someone is different, they are locked into a "not like me" way of viewing them (which relates to lower empathy). Without a middle ground, you end up with the us vs them attitude. The range of reactions depends on what you have been exposed to (ie: what triggers the "different" and "same" states). Others tend to control their reactions, not their categorizations.

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