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Thread: about function order vs strength

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx

    Default about function order vs strength

    Take a look at my signature and you can see that the function strengths arent normal for intp.

    For example my Fi, its way stronger than my Fe but i still try to use my Fe more often and more easily than my Fi. Its kinda like i got bigger urge to use Fe, but i suck at it and i dont start using Fi that easily but when it kicks in it kicks in harder than Fe and its easier to use. Its like Fi needs more extreme situation to start working fully in a conscious way, its still working more than Fe, but more in unconscious way somewhere back of my head. Same thing goes for Te and Si, but the difference isnt nearly as big. Kinda hard to explain, but hopefully someone understands.

    So i was wondering that if Fi is my third function afterall even tho its my third strongest function? Other rambling about the subject is appriciated
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  2. #2
    Supreme High Commander Array Andy's Avatar
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    Nov 2009


    I guess you used one of the many online test to determine that, so the first thing I should say is that most of them suck! I shouldn't worry too much about what results they give.

    I suppose the best way I can help you is to underline the distinction between function strength and function order. For each type, I think function order is invariant, becuase it represents the roles each function plays rather than an order in which they are used. As you go down the conciouse functions, each progressively gets less developed and controled.

    However, just because a function isn't high in the function order doesn't mean it isn't used. Vagrant Force has mentioned something called the tertiary temptation, a situation in which the tertiary becomes prefered to the auxilary. Similarly, other lower placed functions can come to the fore in people at times.

    The trouble is, when the preference for function us is different to the function order we have an unbalanced situation. The person is preferentially using functions which are less sophisticated and over which they have less control. Thus, such a person will have less control over themselves as well.

    In the tertiary temptation, the individual ends up using either two introverted functions or two extroverted functions. For the introvert, neither function creates a drive to take action. Thus, they refuse to do anything, concocting all sorts of excuse as to why it is better to do nothing, and while they are doing nothing, their problems grow larger.

    The extrovert, on the other hand has two extroverted functions, creating a huge demand for action, but none at all to actually work out what is going on. They bounce around in a frenzy of activity that drowns out all thought until it becomes too much and they burn out and wind up in rehab somewhere. Celebrity culture provides many good examples of this!

    As for Fi... In an INTP it is the 8th function, which usually opperates to subconciously underline the primary, as far as I can tell. I think that in an INTP, Fi works by telling them that getting everything to fit together in a nice, self consistent way is important and needs to be done.

    Does this help you at all?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array edcoaching's Avatar
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    Jun 2008


    I echo that there isn't any online assessment that will really tell you the strength of your functions. At worst they might represent wishful thinking or self deception--in which case the value might be to take the numbers and sit down with someone who shoots straight with you to figure out where reality clashes with how you answered the assessment.

    If you really want to know about how well you use your functions, analyze in depth the last few decision you made--choose two that turned out to be wise and two that in retrospect you blew. Then go through the functions (and forget about the attitudes--in truth past the first few unless you're 80 with the wisdom of Solomon or the Dali Lama you aren't going to be able to tell the difference) and walk through how well you did on each step.

    [LIST]Sensing: Did you gather enough facts about the situation? Did you reflect on similar past experiences and use that data? Did you talk with anyone with prior experiences? Did you define well exactly what it is you were trying to accomplish?
    • Intuition: Did you entertain a sufficient number of possibilities? Did you see out ideas beyond what you could generate on your own? did you honor your hunches--take things into consideration forwhich there is no evidence yet? Did you think about what the situation might be analogous to and consider that sound input?
    • Thinking: Did you think about precedents, pros and cons, if-then argument, measurable and objective criteria for the decision?
    • Feeling: Did you weigh the decision against your values or the values of the "community" that would be affected? Did you step into the shoes of others involved to determine how they would be affected? Did you consider how wedded you were to each alternative whether it was "best" given the Thinking analysis or not?

    THAT's what using functions means. Most people, even those who have great ability to make decisions, find that if they had an hour to make a decision, they'd spend 24 minutes using their dominant, 20 with their auxiliary, 12 with their tertiary and 4 with their inferior. Unless of course they use a decision-making model.

    The questions I asked of each preference above actually come from John Dewey's model of good decision-making How We Think. However Dewey's writing indicates he was probably INTP, and his model leaves out the Feeling function completely, kinda proving that distribution of time spent in each function for him at least Myers, whose mother used Dewey's educational theories to home school her, added the Feeling function (no surprise for an INFP) and captured the model in INtroduction to Type. It is the most effective tool I've found for individual and group decision-making and I've used it with great effect in some of the most dysfunctional teams I've ever tried to improve. If only Congress would try it...

  4. #4
    He who laughs Array
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    Dec 2008


    Andy put it nicely. May I add that Ti and Fi as a introverted function is both value/rational functions. Which basically means that they are harder to distinguish, in a sense, than the Fe which is extroverted. The introverted preferences intertwine with eachother as do the extroverted functions. So a person that is introverted function first will put a stronger value on corellating introverted functions. Do remember that introverted thinking classifies feelings in a logical introverted way while introverted feeling uses rational arguments to give it a personal touch (if one can say that). So they have some similarities that Fe dont have, even if we practically do use Fe more than Fi.

    Its basically the flaw of those kind of tests if you ask me.

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