It's a really nice article but I can't see where she says her "functions in between" theory is out of date. (When you talk about her shadow function theory, you're referring to her crow's nest and double agent functions, which she put in between the dominant/auxiliary and tertiary/inferior, right?)
Yeah, I thought it was there but maybe I read it somewhere else. Alternatively, I may simply have assumed it was implied, since the four shadow functions in Beebe's model are supposedly more unconscious in most people than the tertiary and inferior.
Sometimes it's hard for me to remember exactly how I came to know specific snippets of information (due to INFJs having demonic Si, perhaps?)
INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so
"A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." - Gandalf The Grey
And if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems. - Kate Bush
LEnore Thompson’s book is a function theory interpretation of the mbti with some notable eye-candy descriptions of the functions sprinkled about, like one where she writes about Si-ISJs having a kind of fetish attachment to the information they collect. Her key point, that your type’s tertiary and inferior functions become unconsciously and thus constrictively applied when you only use your auxiliary function with tunnel vision to defend your 1st function rather than balance it, is worth considering. But keep in mind that she makes the same mistake Keirsey does in being too dogmatic about her interpretation of the mbti, which she apparently can’t imagine everyone not fitting snugly into. Also, if memory serves, Thompson types Fox Mulder of the X-Files as an S – the greatest blunder in the history of character typing that I’m aware of - so she’s by no means infallible.
The best approach to mbti interpretation is to give roughly equal weight to function theory and Keirsey’s 4 temperaments, with awareness that in any case, the mbti is an approximation, not an exact science.
Originally Posted by Jennifer
1. The theory is the theory. And just like real life, almost no one ever fits the ideal. Just look around this site and you'll see people who are not "textbook" types. We all develop things to some degree off the ideal. Many people have an "extra" developed function that doesn't go by the book -- we all do crazy things to survive, and each family situation growing up is different. Functions are "preference," you know -- and necessity [for survival] can override preference, thus breaking the default function tree.
2. We all need a function to interact with the external world. Extroverts' primary interacts directly with the external world. Which function is extroverted for the introvert? That's right, the secondary. So introverts naturally develop their secondary more strongly than extrovert develops their [introverted] secondary. In fact, since the extroverted function is what is visible, sometimes introverts can be misread as their secondary if you just go by appearances. You have to look at how the visible function is being used, + the energy requirements of the person, to help determine type.
Good points. You must be one one of the more prodigious teenagers on this board.
i believe that i am in hell, therefore i am there.
She has him typed initially as INTJ. After the series changed from cult status to popularity she viewed his character as being portrayed as ISP influenced by Tertiary Ni.
Sure, Mulder’s an S: more practical, realistic and down to earth than imaginative, theoretical and speculative. Fits him like a glove.
I watched every season of the X-Files. Mulder’s not an INJ or an ISP in any of them. It’s a travesty for a respected mbti author to say that he is. He’s likely an INFP because his central motivations, personality and perspective are most associated with the Fi-Ne functions, plus he was never a J. INTP is the next possibility. ENP is a long shot, but I can’t see him as an E. Those are the only choices. Thomson labels Mulder an ISP beyond season 1 mainly because (and I’ve got her book in front of me now) “he spends nearly all his time outdoors…” and is a “folk hero.” It’s pretty hard to take that seriously.
But let me indulge her. Granted, early on (when Mulder’s supposedly an INTJ) there were probably more scenes showing off his dumpy X-Files office with its I WANT TO BELIEVE poster taped on the wall, but he was outdoors quite a bit in the first season as well. Duh, it’s a TV series and most of their cases involve field investigation. Scully (whom Thompson types ENTJ) was outside with Mulder on those same cases and had her share of action hero moments, so how come she’s not an S, too?
Thompson ends up using her tertiary theory to shove people who don’t really fit into her somewhat narrow interpretation of the mbti. With a superficial understanding of the character and his motivations, she initially types Mulder an INTJ geek. She revises this as the series progresses, deciding that Mulder can’t be an N because he’s part action hero and operates outside the system (is thus, in her words, an “ISP folk hero”), even if he does have an N personality. I’m not sure why an N preference disqualifies a character from being a “folk hero”. But be that as it may, Thomson gets around it by, presto, turning Mulder into a her idea of an obsessive ISP not using his auxilary Se properly and thus under the influence of tertiary Ni (never mind that he’s more Ne than Ni).
I bet more than a few people end up mistyping themselves in a similar fashion after reading her book. It’s a prime example of how professionals who’ve made a career of studying a typology system are hardly less prone to error than discussion board amateurs. Reminds me of some of Keirsey’s more notable screw ups, like typing Steven Spielberg an ISFP.
Last edited by mysterio; 04-08-2009 at 04:55 PM.
i believe that i am in hell, therefore i am there.