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Thread: Folk Typology

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    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Default Folk Typology

    So we've been debating over the dynamics of the functions, and the term "folk typology" has been coined by Solitary Walker in regard to both some of the statements SimulatedWorld has made, and some of the things Simulated World has been criticizing, such as an ENFP who does something logical "using Ti", as well as ignorant statements about the functions, such as in the Fi debates.
    (Since both member's names would be abbreviated "SW", I'll have to revert to "BW" for Solitary; aka/fka "BlueWing").
    Some of us are wondering where exactly BW is coming from. He is in a way like US religious fundamentalists who are "known more for what they are against, than what they are for". He's mentioned "Neo-Beebeans", and I wonder who exactly he means by that.

    I can only imagine people like Berens, who is the one with the most well known publications that describe the Beebe model of the archetypes. Mark Hunziker (Building Blocks of Type and VTWellness site) also mentions them. Then you have Nardi and Hartzler who have books on the eight processes, but they don't really go into the archetypes. Other than that, there is another school of thought, closely aligned with these theorists, whom I have referred to as "Hyper-Beebean", which emphasizes the archetypes heavily, but makes the eight processes associated with them into hard entities that do not seem to allow for the complexities of individuals, and ignores the archetypes as being complexes within the ego, and the notion of undifferentiated functions. So this is actually where we get claims such as any manifestation of enthusiasm or emotion being Fi or Fe.
    Meanwhile, as T/F is overemphasized, I/E and J/P become almost meaningless as nothing more than "dominant or extraverted function attitude", (based on some later quote of Jung) and you end up with stuff like "introverted extraverts" and saying a person uses "too much" Te or Fi to be a TP type. It's sort of like the opposite extreme of ENFP's claiming to use Ti because they did something logical. Instead of starting with the type and then making an exception of the function being used, you mine behavior for a particular function (defined by such "key words" as "valuing", "considering", "arranging", etc) and then assign a type accordingly.

    It seems this system was very influential, even on this site earlier on. The key-word system is based largely on Berens.
    So as much as people criticize either "folk typology" or whatever else you may call the "general layman's" use of the concepts, we are all still influenced by it, (especially in treating the eight functions as so monolithic, for instance). It's like we are all grappling to find out what is the most correct expression of the theory, or what is real or not. So it would be good if the site would be a place to get a good understanding of the theories in discussion (and perhaps ultimately serve to gain more respect for the theory) rather than just a place where misunderstandings are passed around.

    The other person who references Beebe's model is Lenore Thomson, and she has her own semi-archetype system, with a different order, based on a ship crew analogy. She also aims to clarify Beebe's model, and point it back to its Jungian moorings.
    So I can't imagine her being classed in this "folk typology" group. Her brain lateralization theory seems to attempt to tie type theory to neuroscience, and if that works out, I could see it gaining typology or at least Jungian cognitive theory more respect in the science field!


    So I'm just curious as to who or what exactly this "folk typology" embodies, and I'm curious as to BW's view of Beebe and his archetypes (is that indelibly apart of "folk typology" or is it only people's misinterpretation of him?). Is Myers-Briggs version of the theory itself the root of folk typology? (Since many people do criticize it; think Socionics or even "Jack Flak's system" is better, the test is imperfect and only 65% accurate, etc). And what can we all to to overcome and avoid the "FT" trap, or improve our understanding? Is BW aiming to be a pure Jungian? I think he kind of denied that recently, when asked why he uses the MBTI code which is not from Jung.
    But is Jung seen as the best source; and who else, (if any) is?

    I think this whole subject of "folk typology" deserves discussion. What does everyone else think of it?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    I think the phrase "folk typology" (when it's not being callously used as a way of dismissing a person as "stupid" or "wrong") is used specifically to describe the popular notion of what the functions are - i.e. Berens' presentation of discrete functions, describing them as skill-sets wherein human behaviour can be neatly divided into eight categories of thought. Stuff like the cognitive functions test - which is usually the next step people take after exhausting traditional MBTI tests - helps perpetuate this sort of thinking. I imagine she presents it like this because it's management-friendly, and it seems she's made a career out of consulting.

    I'm not convinced that the functions can be considered as such - it allows people to treat them as separate from their own behaviour, and in a way allows them to "construct" a new identity without having to take an honest look at themselves (something that I think is made more complicated by Berens' popularity on the internet, where people are free to construct new identities all the time on discussion forums). "Hmm, I like how Fi makes me sounds idealistic and nice - that must be me!" or "I like how Te makes me sounds organised and in control - that must be me!" I just don't think they help illustrate how people actually behave or think.

    I also think that the shadow functions don't help illustrate the reality of things either. I like the archetype system, in that it's an easily digestible way of understanding what roles the functions play in relation to each other, but I just don't see what the shadow functions are actually representing - they just seem like an excuse to "include" the four remaining functions for each type.

    I like how Thomson approaches and describes the functions - as warring perspectives - but I don't agree with her idea that everyone has "back-up" functions, again seeming like an excuse to include the four functions left out of each type.

    At the end of the day, the only real barometer I can use to gauge the validity of these ideas are my own experiences - and so anything that confirms what I've experienced, and what I observe not only in myself but in other people around me, tends to be what I agree with.
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    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    • I think Berens would be very surprised to hear her writing about the functions described as 'skill sets." A much better description of the way she and Nardi talk about them (and I know both of them really well) would be cognitive functions, of which some come more naturally than others. For the less natural ones, we can develop skills that allow us to access the gifts of that function. That to me is very different from a skill set. And while some people on this forum have a knee-jerk reaction to anything mentioning behaviors, while behaviors can be controlled or influenced, decades of field research still demonstrates patterns to the behaviors shown by people with different whole types. "Every ENFP is like all ENFPs is like no other ENFP" is one way to put this.
    • Beebe's and Thomson's models are well-respected within the type community (people who use type theory professionally, whether as consultants, counselors, educators, spiritual directors...). One of them speaks at almost every conference--you can do a webinar with Beebe at Type Resources in the near future. But many who have done extensive research do not believe those models fit everyone.
    • There are a lot of practitioners who don't care about improving the theory but instead care about improving practice. What type-related activities/processes/discussions will lead educators to meet the needs of more students? What coaching techniques will help executives further their careers AND become leaders their employees actually want to follow? How can type help couples embrace their differences and find fulfillmet in a relationship? Theory is the starting place; putting the theory to use is what matters to them.
    edcoaching

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    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    If "folk typology" is observing people's behavior patterns and using my knowledge of those common patterns to improve my relationships with those people, then I say THREE CHEERS FOR FOLK TYPOLOGY!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member VagrantFarce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    • I think Berens would be very surprised to hear her writing about the functions described as 'skill sets." A much better description of the way she and Nardi talk about them (and I know both of them really well) would be cognitive functions, of which some come more naturally than others. For the less natural ones, we can develop skills that allow us to access the gifts of that function. That to me is very different from a skill set. And while some people on this forum have a knee-jerk reaction to anything mentioning behaviors, while behaviors can be controlled or influenced, decades of field research still demonstrates patterns to the behaviors shown by people with different whole types. "Every ENFP is like all ENFPs is like no other ENFP" is one way to put this.
    Regardless of her intent, I think a lot of amateur practitioners still think of them in terms of skillsets or tools, or just huge, discrete generalisations.

    Maybe this is more what "folk typology" is all about:

    • "I have a high F because I'm sensitive"
    • "I have a high J because I find it hard to deal with new experiences"
    • "I have a high I because I'm not loud or gregarious and I don't go out and get pissed every night"

    Going even further...

    • "I use Te because I meet deadlines and can follow a schedule"
    • "I use Fe because I'm nice to people and say 'please' and 'thank you'"
    • "I use Fi because I'm sensitive"
    • "I use Ti because I'm good at mathematics"
    • "I use Si because I have a good memory"
    • "I use Ni/Ne because I'm imaginative"
    • "I use Se because I do a lot of sport"

    None of this, in my opinion, reflects what the types and functions are able to illustrate so effectively (in fact, I bet many of these function misunderstandings and generalisations can be traced back to that fucking cognitive functions test! ). The types (and the four functions that make up each one) say so much about how we instinctively perceive, process and interact with the world - it's kind of sad to see people treat them as abstract "tools" separate from their own, actual personality.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    Maybe this is more what "folk typology" is all about:

    • "I have a high F because I'm sensitive"
    • "I have a high J because I find it hard to deal with new experiences"
    • "I have a high I because I'm not loud or gregarious and I don't go out and get pissed every night"

    Going even further...

    • "I use Te because I meet deadlines and can follow a schedule"
    • "I use Fe because I'm nice to people and say 'please' and 'thank you'"
    • "I use Fi because I'm sensitive"
    • "I use Ti because I'm good at mathematics"
    • "I use Si because I have a good memory"
    • "I use Ni/Ne because I'm imaginative"
    • "I use Se because I do a lot of sport"

    None of this, in my opinion, reflects what the types and functions are able to illustrate so effectively (in fact, I bet many of these function misunderstandings and generalisations can be traced back to that fucking cognitive functions test! ). The types (and the four functions that make up each one) say so much about how we instinctively perceive, process and interact with the world - it's kind of sad to see people treat them as abstract "tools" separate from their own, actual personality.
    Well, then we're in agreement. Just don't mix up Berens with "amateurs" who don't understand that at least on the "real" MBTI scores say nothing about skill or strength of preference, just how clear you are that you indeed prefer that side of the dichotomy.

    The problem comes when amateurs mix up preferences and traits. You can't be "high Se" in a preference in the way you're described by Myers. Probably the very best descriptions out there are by Gordon Lawrence who asked at least 100 people of each type to choose the core from which they operate. His "Descriptions of the 16 Types" avoids ALL behavior-based descriptors. The booklet isn't free but it's cheap at CAPT: Training, Books, Research for MBTI, Archetypes, Leadership, Psychological Type.. He also lines up the opposite whole types on teh same page so people immediately see that these aren't horoscopes but qualitatively different ways of perceiving and judging.
    edcoaching

  7. #7
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    I think the phrase "folk typology" (when it's not being callously used as a way of dismissing a person as "stupid" or "wrong") is used specifically to describe the popular notion of what the functions are - i.e. Berens' presentation of discrete functions, describing them as skill-sets wherein human behaviour can be neatly divided into eight categories of thought. Stuff like the cognitive functions test - which is usually the next step people take after exhausting traditional MBTI tests - helps perpetuate this sort of thinking. I imagine she presents it like this because it's management-friendly, and it seems she's made a career out of consulting.

    I'm not convinced that the functions can be considered as such - it allows people to treat them as separate from their own behaviour, and in a way allows them to "construct" a new identity without having to take an honest look at themselves (something that I think is made more complicated by Berens' popularity on the internet, where people are free to construct new identities all the time on discussion forums). "Hmm, I like how Fi makes me sounds idealistic and nice - that must be me!" or "I like how Te makes me sounds organised and in control - that must be me!" I just don't think they help illustrate how people actually behave or think.
    Yeah; BW did describe some "folk typologists" as setting things up like that so that people would say "that's me"! I didn't really get that sense either from Berens books or Nardi's test. I took it all as simple descriptors so you could get a basic idea of the functions. It worked for the perception functions: Se-what is, Si- what was, Ne-What could be, Ni- what will be, though now I'm seeing that in this last case, it doesn't really give you the essence of Ni.
    Yet I can clearly see that this "key word" method has been pushed beyond its useful limits by many interpreters, and now Berens & co. (sometimes including even Beebe himself) seem to be getting the blame for "folk typology" and reducing it all down to "skiils sets". Again, I took the "skills" listed as examples to give you an overal portrait of what the function preference (or temperament, Interaction Style, etc) was like.
    I also think that the shadow functions don't help illustrate the reality of things either. I like the archetype system, in that it's an easily digestible way of understanding what roles the functions play in relation to each other, but I just don't see what the shadow functions are actually representing - they just seem like an excuse to "include" the four remaining functions for each type.

    I like how Thomson approaches and describes the functions - as warring perspectives - but I don't agree with her idea that everyone has "back-up" functions, again seeming like an excuse to include the four functions left out of each type.
    Again, the shadows are simply repressed from the consciousness. There doesn't need to be any "excuse" to "include" them. Why wouldn't they exist for the person? I believe the reason they were left out of the older MBTI four process theory is because it was not decided what role they would play. the theory was basically being developed as time went on. Like they originally thought the tertiary followed the opposite orientation from the dominant, like the auxiliary and inferior. Then, it was realized it was really in the same orientation (and when was once thought to be the tertiary, now lied in the unconscious, like the opposite orientation of the auxiliary and inferior). So bith Beebe and Thomson have expanded the theory to include the roles of the "other four" (which are really suppressed attitudes of the first four). And it seems to fit my experience, and others I see (even if they might not be conscious of it, which is likely).

    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    [*]Beebe's and Thomson's models are well-respected within the type community (people who use type theory professionally, whether as consultants, counselors, educators, spiritual directors...). One of them speaks at almost every conference--you can do a webinar with Beebe at Type Resources in the near future. But many who have done extensive research do not believe those models fit everyone.
    I would love to do those, but it's $1295 for the whole series ($195 each). Are those really designed for classroom or group study type settings, where I would be presenting it to several people, who would split the cost?
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    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Like they originally thought the tertiary followed the opposite orientation from the dominant, like the auxiliary and inferior. Then, it was realized it was really in the same orientation (and when was once thought to be the tertiary, now lied in the unconscious, like the opposite orientation of the auxiliary and inferior). So bith Beebe and Thomson have expanded the theory to include the roles of the "other four" (which are really suppressed attitudes of the first four). And it seems to fit my experience, and others I see (even if they might not be conscious of it, which is likely).
    Actually the attitude of the third function is still very much up in the air. I'm on the side of "It depends." Qualitative research indicates that it may depend on the person's experiences/education/occupation/interests since we're talking "2nd half of life" development. It's an ongoing theory/research project.

    I would love to do those, but it's $1295 for the whole series ($195 each). Are those really designed for classroom or group study type settings, where I would be presenting it to several people, who would split the cost?
    Is it really? Sometimes Beebe presents at local type associations and the fees are reasonable (that's just the way the market works).
    edcoaching

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    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    Actually the attitude of the third function is still very much up in the air. I'm on the side of "It depends." Qualitative research indicates that it may depend on the person's experiences/education/occupation/interests since we're talking "2nd half of life" development. It's an ongoing theory/research project.
    Lenore really made it make sense for me. The tertiary would default to the opposite attitude (because the ego chooses its dominant attitude along with the function, and the other functions and orientation are altogether suppressed). However, it is the Puer complex (not function) that orients the tertiary function to the dominant attitude; hence, the "tertiary temptation".

    To keep it on topic; I believe this sort of understanding is part of the antidote for "folk typology".
    Then, even Beebe is said to suggest functions 3 and 7 (child, trickster) developing close together. The actual order would be 1,2,3,7,4,5,8,6. So that also could explain what appears to be the tertiary function being the opposite orientation. For the 7th is the 3rd in the opposite orientation.

    Is it really?
    Yeah; it's right on that CAPT site you linked!
    Sometimes Beebe presents at local type associations and the fees are reasonable (that's just the way the market works).
    I wonder if those are advertized on the site.
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    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Lenore really made it make sense for me. The tertiary would default to the opposite attitude (because the ego chooses its dominant attitude along with the function, and the other functions and orientation are altogether suppressed). However, it is the Puer complex (not function) that orients the tertiary function to the dominant attitude; hence, the "tertiary temptation".

    To keep it on topic; I believe this sort of understanding is part of the antidote for "folk typology".
    Then, even Beebe is said to suggest functions 3 and 7 (child, trickster) developing close together. The actual order would be 1,2,3,7,4,5,8,6. So that also could explain what appears to be the tertiary function being the opposite orientation. For the 7th is the 3rd in the opposite orientation.
    Mmmm, but you're relying on the theoretical as an antidote for "folk typology", not reality. Dario Nardi's brain research, for example, has strong indications that the tertiary is in the same attitude as the dominant. Autobiographical research by others is showing that it differs for different people. Beebe's model, helpful as it is, is based on his own development as I understand it. Other outstanding theorists who have attended his 4-day-workshops/understand it thoroughly disagree with its rigidity.

    Yeah; it's right on that CAPT site you linked! I wonder if those are advertized on the site.
    You can find listings of the happenings at all the local chapters (well, if they remember to submit them) at the region/chapter page at APTinternational. And then you can bookmark to the chapters closest to you. Minneapolis, for example, has Gregg Husczco coming 2/27, one of the best management/OD people out there.
    edcoaching

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