User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 27

  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default Strength of Functions: Dominant and Auxiliary

    Everyone has a perceiving function which can be either dominant or auxiliary. Location of the perceiving function doesn't determine the strength of the perceiving function and I suppose the same is true for the judging fuction. For example, an ESP being a dominant perceiver, doesn't necessarily have stronger/better/more accurate Se than and ISP. It's just where the perceiving function falls in the cognitive functions.

    I'm reading Jung's Psychological Types and from what I'm understanding he's not saying that the dominant function is the most skillfully used function. The dominant function is simply the function that a person feels most comfortable using, which doesn't indicate if they use it well. Like taking a certain route home not because it's the shortest or most scenic, but just because it's the one you like the best. It seems that because a person uses it the most they'd also be more adept at it, but it's not necessarily true although it can be.

    What confuses me is the insistence that the auxiliary function is weaker than the dominant. Everyone has a way of receiving information (S or N) and a way of evaluating information (T or F). Saying that a dominant judger (Ti, Fi, Fe, Te) takes in less information than a dominant perceiver or that a dominant perceiver (Se, Ne, Ni, Si) evaluates information less than a dominant judger is psychologically off balance. I don't know how to explain it so possible explanations of why this is or isn't true are appreciated.
    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

  2. #2
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    3,377

    Default

    The dominant function is the one that the person feels most comfortable using. For most people this will mean that they will use it the most, and therefore it will be the function that they are most skillful with. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but I also think they are fairly rare. If a person does not primarily use the function that they feel the most comfortable with, then they are probably untypable. Also I would guess that they would be fairly depressed or neurotic.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  3. #3
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default

    I was reading something from Lenore Thomson and she says that people often confuse functional abilities with skills. She says:
    Jung never used the word "skill" when he talked about the functions. He used the word "orientation." In fact, he specifically compared the four functions to the four directions on a compass. Orienting oneself by North doesn't make you good at dog-sledding or building igloos. And, conversely, being good at building igloos doesn't mean that you're innately disposed to go North.

    I also won't deny that the more we orient ourselves by one of the functions, the more differentiated it becomes. But that word "differentiated" doesn't mean that our functional skills are well-developed. It means that the function becomes more and more adapted to the tasks we've set ourselves with respect to work and love.
    And like I said, I'm reading Psychological Types right now and I have not (yet?) read anywhere that people are most skillful in use of their dominant function although I suppose if you continue along that train of thought the person could be more "skilled" with the function. Are we conflating orientation with skill?

    What are your thoughts the auxiliary function being "weaker" than the dominant?
    Last edited by proteanmix; 10-28-2007 at 09:18 AM. Reason: quote
    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

  4. #4
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    The dominant function is the one that the person feels most comfortable using. For most people this will mean that they will use it the most, and therefore it will be the function that they are most skillful with.
    That tends to be the natural progress. So what you are saying might make some theoretical sense, PM, but in how it plays out in reality? Generally, practice makes perfect. But there are nuances to that concept.

    Something I have not written up much yet but was on my ToDo list was exploration of people who class as one type when they look at the descriptions, but if you look at how that personality plays out, they tend to utilize their auxiliary more than their dominant... partly because perhaps in childhood they felt more comfortable showing their auxiliary.

    (For example, in emotionally dangerous long-term situations, some functions are better at enabling the child to survive than others, regardless of initial inclination. For example, INxPs forced into social settings and constantly criticized attacked for making Ti/Fi style observations, if they cannot withdraw completely, will easily end up being more comfortable in relying on their Ne and you'll see this in how they approach others. They also tend to distrust their own reasoning process, be non-committal, much more P in approach. And yet they will not match up with ENxP in their personalities; extroverted situations will drain them, they'll have to pull back a lot to regain energy, etc., and it is clear they are still introverted. So in cases like this... and for other types as well... I think it is possible for someone to have developed/relied upon their auxiliary because it's less dangerous, even thought instinctively their brain is wired to still approach things with the dominant. They just end up not trusting their dominant enough to express it outwardly or place as much stock in it as they'd like. And this causes strong unrest in the personality later in life.)

    So what is driving your thoughts about perhaps the auxiliary not always being weaker than one's dominant?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Socionics
    ENTj
    Posts
    5,908

    Default

    Jennifer, your insight is great, and it's a small observation of the real underlying phenomenon which is type-continuum along IP, EP, IJ, EJ axes, which means that there are such types as ENXJ (with equally strong extraverted thinking and extraverted feeling, and strongest available auxiliary introverted intuition), or ESXPs (with equally strong introverted thinking and introverted feeling creative function). Of course, if you take the derivative at any given point in time you will find that a person either is an ENFJ or ENTJ, but for t->infinity, type->ENXJ in the case I described above.

  6. #6
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Posts
    3,377

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I was reading something from Lenore Thomson and she says that people often confuse functional abilities with skills. She says:

    And like I said, I'm reading Psychological Types right now and I have not (yet?) read anywhere that people are most skillful in use of their dominant function although I suppose if you continue along that train of thought the person could be more "skilled" with the function. Are we conflating orientation with skill?

    What are your thoughts the auxiliary function being "weaker" than the dominant?
    I've been thinking about this some more and I think the term "skilled" can be taken more than one way. Does skill refer to how well one uses a function on a short term basis, or does skill refer to the final quality that one will have on a larger scale completing a "project". Consider an analogy using these two scenarios:

    Scenario 1: Bob and George are construction workers. Bob has had more formal training in construction and also more experience, so he is considered above average when it comes to building houses. George has less training and experience, and he is considered to be of average ability in building houses. If each are given 10 days to build a house, then who will build the more valuable house? Clearly Bob will build the house with the higher market value.

    Scenario 2: Let's say that Bob and George have no time limit when it comes to building their house. Also Bob doesn't particularly like building houses. He simply does it to make money, and he can build an acceptable house in 10 days time. George on the other hand loves to build houses, and this particular house that he is building is the one that he is going to be living in. He spends 60 days building his house. In this case who is going to build the more valuable house? I think it's clear that this time George's house will have a higher value.

    So my point is that a person's dominant function is going to produce the best overall results when using that function, simply because they use it more and they prefer to use it more. I can say from personal experience that my Ti is very sharp. I have two Math degrees and many years of using math in my various jobs. In one sense my Ti is stronger than most of the INTP's that I know. I can spot logical errors, or solve logical problems better than most INTP's.

    On the other hand when it comes to developing some large coherant logical theory, I will never be nearly as good as most INTPs. First of all that is not the kind of thing I like to do. But even if I had to make myself do it for some reason my Ne would keep getting in the way. I'd want to keep collecting more data and starting over (not to mention start a completely new project), and I'd never really get anywhere. At best I'd just create a lot of small theories that are very loosely tied together. But for INTP's developing largem coherant theories and ideas seems to come quite naturally, so they are always going to be the type most suited for it.

    Likewise an INFJ may be more skilled at Fe than an ENFJ for example. So the INFJ might seem to always know the right thing to say or do in every situation compared to even the ENFJ. On the other hand, when it comes to making friends, the INFJ is going to want to stay at home a lot. But the ENFJ is going to keep trying to befriend people even if they make some social blunders along the way, and eventually they will win a lot more people over. Persistant use of a dominant function is going to yield the best long term results.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    8,828

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Everyone has a perceiving function which can be either dominant or auxiliary. Location of the perceiving function doesn't determine the strength of the perceiving function and I suppose the same is true for the judging fuction. For example, an ESP being a dominant perceiver, doesn't necessarily have stronger/better/more accurate Se than and ISP. It's just where the perceiving function falls in the cognitive functions.

    I'm reading Jung's Psychological Types and from what I'm understanding he's not saying that the dominant function is the most skillfully used function. The dominant function is simply the function that a person feels most comfortable using, which doesn't indicate if they use it well. Like taking a certain route home not because it's the shortest or most scenic, but just because it's the one you like the best. It seems that because a person uses it the most they'd also be more adept at it, but it's not necessarily true although it can be.

    What confuses me is the insistence that the auxiliary function is weaker than the dominant. Everyone has a way of receiving information (S or N) and a way of evaluating information (T or F). Saying that a dominant judger (Ti, Fi, Fe, Te) takes in less information than a dominant perceiver or that a dominant perceiver (Se, Ne, Ni, Si) evaluates information less than a dominant judger is psychologically off balance. I don't know how to explain it so possible explanations of why this is or isn't true are appreciated.
    Okay. The dominant function is the function that a person typically prefers to use when there are no negative consequences for doing so. So in a typical theoretical situation, this would be the function they use most of the time, therefore it would be strongest. However, if you assume there was negative feedback, then it's reasonable to assume that they used another function more. In this case, the strongest/most skilled function could be different from the preferred/dominant function.

    The auxiliary is the function that is second most preferred, so it would be presumed again that this is the function a person would use in situations where the dominant wasn't appropriate or useful. Again, influences against using, or rewards for using another non-preferred function could interfere with this.

    So typically and ideally, a person's dominant is most used, and their auxiliary is second most used. Those functions will always be the source of the most creativity and intelligence in the person, so it's kind of a shame if they get too focused on a non-preferred function and never realize the potential of their dominant or auxiliary.

    In extreme circumstances, a person may even live out their "shadow" functions. Meaning that in certain circumstances, if things were habitually oppressive enough in that direction, an INTP could be forced to behave like an ESFJ, or an INFJ could be forced to behave like an ESTP, an ENFJ could be forced to behave like an ISTP, and so on. There would likely be lasting psychological/emotional damage from this, though.

    Does that make sense?

  8. #8
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So what is driving your thoughts about perhaps the auxiliary not always being weaker than one's dominant?
    What's driving my thoughts are I've been reading Jung's book this week and rereading some of my other books about this subject and I've seen no evidence by Jung or otherwise that the auxiliary is weaker than the dominant. Jung never uses the term auxiliary, but he does mention an opposing attitude (my words). The more recent books (Berens, Beebe, Thomson, Haas/Hunziker) all emphasis that each person has a information receiving function and an information evaluating function. I'm thinking that those should be equal in strength. That's like saying EFJs and IFPs have "more feeling" than EFPs and IFJs or like saying one of our five senses are (with all being equal) are better than another. For example, even though you may be a visual learner, but that doesn't mean you auditory capacities are any worse. It just depends on which one is preferred. Someone may in fact learn better if they switched their preferred style to another.

    I'm not saying that the persistent use of dominant function doesn't make a person good at it. Like TLL said, practice makes perfect. Lenore Thomson mentioned that people are confusing functional preferences with functional skills. I agree with her. There seems to be an assumption that just because it's someone's dominant function, they're better at it which I think is untrue. When did the ranking of functions become part of MBTI? I can see how between two of the same types of function, one would be better at another but not between a perceiving and a judging. The P/J work together.

    Using your example above, just because an INP was in a situation where the dominant function was not acceptable doesn't mean that it is less used than the auxiliary. It just had to be hidden. As soon as the INP (or any other type) is out of the oppressive environment then the repressed function should begin to return to normal. This may take some time like you said Actually this illustrates the point quite well! Wouldn't you have to "retrain" yourself to use the dominant function that's been dormant for so long? Doesn't that mean that facility of the function is not innate, you just don't pop back into top form? The fact that it can be suppressed means that it's not as dominant as people think it is. Am I repeating back to you what you just said?! I'll stop with that train of thought because I'm confusing myself.

    How many people have read Jung's Psychological Types? I feel like I have to erase all this MBTI junk out of my head and get back to the source and rework from there. If anyone is doing some research out in the MBTI world, it seems like there's a split between Jungian psychoanalysts and MBTI theorists. I think I'm starting to lean more towards the psychoanalysts because MBTI is becoming so restrictive.
    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

  9. #9
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    8,828

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How many people have read Jung's Psychological Types? I feel like I have to erase all this MBTI junk out of my head and get back to the source and rework from there. If anyone is doing some research out in the MBTI world, it seems like there's a split between Jungian psychoanalysts and MBTI theorists. I think I'm starting to lean more towards the psychoanalysts because MBTI is becoming so restrictive.
    I have it. I've read it as well. I was thinking it might be important to get back to Jung's theories as well, and it's been helpful in seeing where the Jungian roots are, what useful ideas might have been discarded, and what new innovations exist. Jung's does seem to permit a bit more variation.

  10. #10
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Posts
    5,514

    Default

    Bumping because I just saw this in Related Threads and I still would like to have discussion on 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.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

Similar Threads

  1. [JCF] Development of Childish and Auxiliary functions?
    By Ribonuke in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-20-2015, 10:37 PM
  2. The Push-Pull Relationship between Dominant and Auxiliary Functions
    By Mal12345 in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-25-2015, 07:27 PM
  3. Development and resolution of the dominant function
    By sculpting in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-14-2012, 05:16 PM
  4. How do you assess the strength of your Tert and Inf functions?
    By IZthe411 in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-22-2010, 10:03 AM
  5. 'Ambiverts' - relative strength of primary and secondary function
    By annnie in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-31-2010, 07:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO