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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kephalos's Avatar
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    Default Missing the trees for the forest

    What attracted me to personality typologies in the first place was the prospect of gaining some understanding of myself. But, I have to say that I have been very dissappointed; surely I understood to some extent what the types were, especially with regard to introversion and extraversion, yet these concepts have not helped me at all in what I was initially seeking. They have been even less helpful with regard to other people; typology has been useless to try to get closer to others by trying to understand them.

    The types, as abstract concepts that they are, merely summarize some patterns that can be discerned in large groups of people, such as many patients who went to see Dr. Jung. However, nothing guarantees that someone who fits, accoring to the test, to some type will behave anywhere near what the description presents as his personality. Since people seldom deal with large numbers, but with small numbers, or in reflection with just one, then these patterns are pretty much useless.

    Moreover, the types could be thought of not as patterns observed in actual people, but simply as yet another expression of those things that fascinated Jung, namely the archetypes. Jung, I read, considered them as comparable to Kant's categories, that is, that they are without any empirical content and that precede any experience. So, in fact, when saying, "he is an INTJ", or "she is an INFP", you may not be asserting anything about him, or her, but merely porjecting one or another archetype unto them. Now as we become more conscious and more individual, such a view of reality fades away. I think this is good, since it allows you to SEE what is in front of you.

    Anyway, just some sudden burst of thoughts...

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    Anyway, just some sudden burst of thoughts...
    That's not very J of you

    :P

  3. #3
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    However, nothing guarantees that someone who fits, accoring to the test, to some type will behave anywhere near what the description presents as his personality.
    This is your problem. You don't understand what personality is, I would guess...

    Stop looking at people's overt BEHAVIORS, and start interpretting them. Look at their face, watch their body language, listen to their verbage, and stare into their soul. Then you will reliably see type.

  4. #4
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Of course not. That's what makes people interesting.

    Don't we all project? We choose shades of meaning out of a limited tool box of words to describe people, things, etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    However, nothing guarantees that someone will behave anywhere near what the description presents as his personality. [...] these patterns are pretty much useless.
    You deserve a prize for having a brain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    What attracted me to personality typologies in the first place was the prospect of gaining some understanding of myself. But, I have to say that I have been very dissappointed; surely I understood to some extent what the types were, especially with regard to introversion and extraversion, yet these concepts have not helped me at all in what I was initially seeking. They have been even less helpful with regard to other people; typology has been useless to try to get closer to others by trying to understand them.

    The types, as abstract concepts that they are, merely summarize some patterns that can be discerned in large groups of people, such as many patients who went to see Dr. Jung. 1However, nothing guarantees that someone who fits, accoring to the test, to some type will behave anywhere near what the description presents as his personality. 2Since people seldom deal with large numbers, but with small numbers, or in reflection with just one, then these patterns are pretty much useless.

    Moreover, the types could be thought of not as patterns observed in actual people, but simply as yet another expression of those things that fascinated Jung, namely the archetypes. Jung, I read, considered them as comparable to Kant's categories, that is, that they are without any empirical content and that precede any experience. So, in fact, when saying, "he is an INTJ", or "she is an INFP", you may not be asserting anything about him, or her, but merely porjecting one or another archetype unto them. Now as we become more conscious and more individual, such a view of reality fades away. I think this is good, since it allows you to SEE what is in front of you.

    Anyway, just some sudden burst of thoughts...
    I agree with your post as a whole, but I disagree with this assessment in a big way.

    1. Something does guarantee that these patterns can be observed in individuals, (unless they are purposely pretending to be who they are not), namely, the answers that they filled out on the test. If you have located an ESFJ who prefers time alone to time with friends, enjoys spending most of her unplanned time (which is all of her time) considering and systematizing topics that may be considered abstract or irrelevant, is a remarkably calm and rational cares more about the acquisition of knowledge than the well-being of others, and thinks that established societal symbols don't deserve a second thought, and theorizes actually about the many ways they should be changed, if they are considered at all, then you haven't actually found an ESFJ, you've found an INTP.

    2.So we see now that your assessment is incorrect. However, the thoughts that lead you to this assessment were not. It is true, with some thought, you could devise 16 NEW types, none of which are the same as the MBTI types, simply by focusing on different aspects of personality.
    An inscription above the gate to Hell:
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    Stop looking at people's overt BEHAVIORS, and start interpretting them. Look at their face, watch their body language, listen to their verbage, and stare into their soul. Then you will reliably see type.
    I agree with this. As an ENFP, my intelligences are inclined to interpreting behavior. (I don't know why this is, but it's extraordinarilly appealing, and is why I have been drawn to psychology from such a young age and spend all my time studying psych and philosophy.) I find type to be very reliable, not always in behaviors, per se, because behavior relies on circumstance, and you can't account for someone's upbringing and all particular circumstances. This would be absurd to expect. If you will though, focus on the temperaments first. NT's tend to be quite a bit like other NT's in some ways and NF's like NF's, It is rare that I find any NT to be as emotionally invested in people as any given NF. That alone points to a high percentage of reliability.
    An inscription above the gate to Hell:
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    You deserve a prize for having a brain.
    Not saying you don't have a brain, but don't listen to this guy, he's an S.

    By the way, Kephalos, are you good at recognizing contingencies that may arise before a given longterm goal? I'm a smart guy, and this is the last thing on my mind. IF I can even think of a long-term goal, the steps taken to get there really elude me.
    An inscription above the gate to Hell:
    "Eternal Love also created me"

  9. #9
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    What attracted me to personality typologies in the first place was the prospect of gaining some understanding of myself. But, I have to say that I have been very dissappointed; surely I understood to some extent what the types were, especially with regard to introversion and extraversion, yet these concepts have not helped me at all in what I was initially seeking. They have been even less helpful with regard to other people; typology has been useless to try to get closer to others by trying to understand them.

    The types, as abstract concepts that they are, merely summarize some patterns that can be discerned in large groups of people, such as many patients who went to see Dr. Jung. However, nothing guarantees that someone who fits, accoring to the test, to some type will behave anywhere near what the description presents as his personality. Since people seldom deal with large numbers, but with small numbers, or in reflection with just one, then these patterns are pretty much useless.

    Moreover, the types could be thought of not as patterns observed in actual people, but simply as yet another expression of those things that fascinated Jung, namely the archetypes. Jung, I read, considered them as comparable to Kant's categories, that is, that they are without any empirical content and that precede any experience. So, in fact, when saying, "he is an INTJ", or "she is an INFP", you may not be asserting anything about him, or her, but merely porjecting one or another archetype unto them. Now as we become more conscious and more individual, such a view of reality fades away. I think this is good, since it allows you to SEE what is in front of you.

    Anyway, just some sudden burst of thoughts...
    Well, I find typology very useful.

    I think people become disillusioned by it when they expect it to "do" things that it cannot do.

    For example, if you have been unable to get closer to people, have you really gained an understanding of them? More than a factual understanding ?

    Typology can't simply implant empathy into you---You have to allow yourself to be transformed by the information and insights it contains.

    To some degree, you have to be willing to believe it has value in order to really invest in it and to benefit from it.

    If you are unwilling to believe it has value until you have proven it does from your own experience, you will probably never experience the full value of it.

  10. #10
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    The types, as abstract concepts that they are, merely summarize some patterns that can be discerned in large groups of people...
    Agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kephalos View Post
    Since people seldom deal with large numbers, but with small numbers, or in reflection with just one, then these patterns are pretty much useless.
    Disagree; that which has broad application logically has some application on a more discrete level, albeit perhaps not as specifically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonkavision View Post
    I think people become disillusioned by it when they expect it to "do" things that it cannot do.
    Agree; MBTI cannot, imo, help you learn empathy, find a compatible mate, tell you your fortune, choose a successful career, or any other number of things individuals seems to expect from it. BUT, it can paint a picture to help you gain a better appreciation of other's perspective, of another's point of view. And provide you a path for self-exploration and acceptance; tolerance.

    Just a few thoughts. Good luck on your journeys!

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