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  1. #1
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Default MBTI test S/N distinction

    I've typed as ESTJ on more than a few occasions (including a three-choice quiz I took just now), especially the first few times I took it, which could suggest that I am an ESTJ who has mastered the implications behind the questions in order to manipulate my results towards ENTJ (however, this tactic is in itself unlikely to be very sensorish).

    As I said in another thread, my instinctive feelings are that a lot of S types are no doubt confused about their type, and that they are actually N types. A lot of these people are "proud" that they are in fact an S rather than an N. (However, I'm sure a) there are some Sensors on here and b) some such Sensors recognise that their pride is well founded as they are surrounded by iNtuiters and are ironically more unique than iNtuiters on forums.) These so-called Sensors are essentially "victims" - for lack of a better term - of poor question phrasing or testing.

    Take the ENTJ. Very few ENTJs would consider themselves head-in-the-clouds people more than they would down-to-earth people, and so what happens is they tick the Sensor box, scoring a point against their being iNtuitive. Alternatively, concrete vs. abstract: it depends entirely on the meaning of the term abstract. I hate a lot of philosophy; I find it very pointless and impractical. So would many ENTJs. And yet the test determines the iNtuitive type to tick the abstract box. If an ENTJ were to do this enough, they would come out as ESTJ. I've done this myself a few times. I'm down-to-earth, practical, and concrete. But this does not make me an ESTJ.

    Generally then, I think the S/N distinguishing questions are the most flawed. The E/I, T/F and J/P ones are relatively straightforward and most people don't have an issue with answering them. But when it comes to S/N, I think those who struggle to answer them are probably iNtuitives, because questioning their very meaning in the first place suggests that they are in fact iNtuitive thinkers, looking for implications, principles and hidden meanings as opposed to literal meaning.

  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    I would go further and pinpoint the problem to be the simplistic dichotomy that people have been taught is the be-all end-all of typology. Every type can intuit, and every type can sense, and studying the functions can help you to understand how the balance may be tipped in one direction over another. It's also valuable to know that all four of the perceiving functions are different to each other:


    • Extraverted Sensation (Se) says that the observable world is filled with wonderful stimuli, and all you have to do is let yourself react to it. No need to think, just react. The meaning of something is what your gut tells you you should do in response. If it's not here or not now, it's not real.
    • Introverted Intuition (Ni) says that the observable world is arbitrary and deceitful, and not representative of all the possible interpretations of itself. You have to liberate yourself from these arbitrary interpretations by considering all possible interpretations, or you will risk being led astray.



    • Extraverted Intuition (Ne) says that everything in the observable world is connected to a greater context, and it allows you to make contextual connections between this object and another one. Through this act of discovery, we become aware of greater possibilities for meaning, knowledge or action.
    • Introverted Sensation (Si) says that the observable world is so overwhelmingly filled with stimuli and randomness that you need something stable to focus on, or you'll just be permanently overwhelmed and confused.



    The only way someone will know their type for sure is if they explore what the functions illustrate and see their own behaviour reflected back at them, warts 'n' all.
    Hello

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    I would go further and pinpoint the problem to be the simplistic dichotomy that people have been taught is the be-all end-all of typology. Every type can intuit, and every type can sense, and studying the functions can help you to understand how the balance may be tipped in one direction over another. It's also valuable to know that all four of the perceiving functions are different to each other:


    • Extraverted Sensation (Se) says that the observable world is filled with wonderful stimuli, and all you have to do is let yourself react to it. No need to think, just react. The meaning of something is what your gut tells you you should do in response. If it's not here or not now, it's not real.
    • Introverted Intuition (Ni) says that the observable world is arbitrary and deceitful, and not representative of all the possible interpretations of itself. You have to liberate yourself from these arbitrary interpretations by considering all possible interpretations, or you will risk being led astray.



    • Extraverted Intuition (Ne) says that everything in the observable world is connected to a greater context, and it allows you to make contextual connections between this object and another one. Through this act of discovery, we become aware of greater possibilities for meaning, knowledge or action.
    • Introverted Sensation (Si) says that the observable world is so overwhelmingly filled with stimuli and randomness that you need something stable to focus on, or you'll just be permanently overwhelmed and confused.



    The only way someone will know their type for sure is if they explore what the functions illustrate and see their own behaviour reflected back at them, warts 'n' all.
    You know how many times I have to tell people "Its just a coincidence". Of course my Ti pieces things together and I then proceed to not be able to make head or tails if it is just a coincidence or real or whats going on. Then my Se steps in and says screw it, who cares, just move and respond and maybe some Ne type will be able hobble it together and make heads or tails of it.
    Im out, its been fun

  4. #4
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    I'm guilty -- I've never taken a formal Myers-Briggs test, I've just read typology books for years and every time they'd have a quick quiz to tell what type you are, I'd always check off "Sensor" because it fit me so well -- or so I thought! I've always considered myself "practical" "down-to-earth" "commonsense" etc., etc. -- definitely not a "dreamer" or "head in the clouds." On the other hand, I do consider myself a planner, I'm always thinking about the future, and I'm the one with the contingency plan. I'm good at thinking outside the box, I come up with solutions to problems no one else wants to deal with, and when I used to do a lot of financial work my budget forecasts were incredibly accurate. I'd say these are all products of the so-called Intuitive Function. I finally saw the light when I read Keirsey -- I took his test and labeled myself as a "Sensor" yet again, but his descriptions of the individual types finally helped everything fall into place.

  5. #5
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily Bart View Post
    I'm guilty -- I've never taken a formal Myers-Briggs test, I've just read typology books for years and every time they'd have a quick quiz to tell what type you are, I'd always check off "Sensor" because it fit me so well -- or so I thought! I've always considered myself "practical" "down-to-earth" "commonsense" etc., etc. -- definitely not a "dreamer" or "head in the clouds." On the other hand, I do consider myself a planner, I'm always thinking about the future, and I'm the one with the contingency plan. I'm good at thinking outside the box, I come up with solutions to problems no one else wants to deal with, and when I used to do a lot of financial work my budget forecasts were incredibly accurate. I'd say these are all products of the so-called Intuitive Function. I finally saw the light when I read Keirsey -- I took his test and labeled myself as a "Sensor" yet again, but his descriptions of the individual types finally helped everything fall into place.
    Very similar to me, actually. Especially concerning Keirsey.

  6. #6
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    Interesting. Keirsey characterizes the Intuitive Function as preferring abstract language and symbolism, which is accurate, but then he asks Intuitives to characterize themselves by, for example, a preference for stories of fantasy and heroism, a tendency to take what people say figuratively, or (my favorite) whether they find visionaries and theorists “somewhat annoying” or “rather fascinating.” On the other hand, his belief that personality can only be described by external actions (not what’s going on in your head) leads to what I found to be uncanny life-like descriptions of the types. Since the tests, including Keirsey’s, tend to be constructed based on what is in the test-taker’s head, it may not be so surprising (if Keirsey’s belief is the right one) that they may not be accurate in many cases.

  7. #7
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    I've typed as ESTJ on more than a few occasions (including a three-choice quiz I took just now), especially the first few times I took it, which could suggest that I am an ESTJ who has mastered the implications behind the questions in order to manipulate my results towards ENTJ (however, this tactic is in itself unlikely to be very sensorish).

    As I said in another thread, my instinctive feelings are that a lot of S types are no doubt confused about their type, and that they are actually N types. A lot of these people are "proud" that they are in fact an S rather than an N. (However, I'm sure a) there are some Sensors on here and b) some such Sensors recognise that their pride is well founded as they are surrounded by iNtuiters and are ironically more unique than iNtuiters on forums.) These so-called Sensors are essentially "victims" - for lack of a better term - of poor question phrasing or testing.

    Take the ENTJ. Very few ENTJs would consider themselves head-in-the-clouds people more than they would down-to-earth people, and so what happens is they tick the Sensor box, scoring a point against their being iNtuitive. Alternatively, concrete vs. abstract: it depends entirely on the meaning of the term abstract. I hate a lot of philosophy; I find it very pointless and impractical. So would many ENTJs. And yet the test determines the iNtuitive type to tick the abstract box. If an ENTJ were to do this enough, they would come out as ESTJ. I've done this myself a few times. I'm down-to-earth, practical, and concrete. But this does not make me an ESTJ.

    Generally then, I think the S/N distinguishing questions are the most flawed. The E/I, T/F and J/P ones are relatively straightforward and most people don't have an issue with answering them. But when it comes to S/N, I think those who struggle to answer them are probably iNtuitives, because questioning their very meaning in the first place suggests that they are in fact iNtuitive thinkers, looking for implications, principles and hidden meanings as opposed to literal meaning.
    I think the multiple models version works well for differentiating ESTJ and ENTJ:
    --Both are directing, initiating and structure
    --ESTJ is affiliative
    --ENTJ is pragmatic

    Just thought I'd point it out for future reference .

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