User Tag List

123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 53

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    113

    Default Socio-economic background and MBTI

    Many of the type stereotypes on this board and other places online seem to exist within their own, tidy little vacuums, and one important aspect is rarely factored in: viz. the effect of socio-economic background on shaping someone's personality.

    Most of the type stereotypes and type descriptions work best if the frame of reference is your typical all-white, middle-class, white-picket fence suburban western culture. Sheltered people who only read newspapers about "those lazy poors" who seemingly live in an entirely different galaxy.

    What if someone grew up in an urban ghetto? How stereotypically INFP can one be in a poor, industrial town? Perhaps a lot of the disdain people show against sensors come about as a result of this kind of socio-economic misunderstanding?

    If you live in a rat-infested apartment, mulling over the ills of the world in your blog while sipping your latte macchiato won't help you pay the rent. The only language your landlord understands his "give me the %$%%*& money or your ass is out!!" You have to be more grounded and sensor-like to survive in such socio-economic circumstances.

    In certain environments, you need to develop both Se and Te (aka "street smarts") if you don't want to get mugged. In my highschool, one of my classmates got stabbed by a gang member over his game boy advance (he didn't die thankfully). I also know that the stereotypical jocks, nerds, and hippies division did not develop in my high-school. So the culture of the socio-economic environment seems to have an effect on the personalities and roles that people take on, then why not on type? or perhaps it only affects what functions you choose to manifest?

    Even so the type descriptions seem awfully sterile and narrow to me because there are other factors that come into play in shaping someone's personality, and the socio-economic one is important, imo.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  2. #2
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    intp
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,292

    Default

    I see what you mean, though I come from a working class environment, and within that frame of reference you can type people as N or S.

    Though trouble is though as you say, that when coming onto a forum with people from all different backgrounds, those who have been coached from a young age in Theory and Logic will seem to be more "intuititive" and "rational".

    This is why what I look for in iNtuition, is ability to question established norms, to "look through" the "face value" of our society, and understand the essence of it.

    This is a better indicator than "an interest in absract ideas", because the children of proffessionals, are coached in "abstract ideas" froma young age, and I think there is many an XSTJ, especially, from a priveliged background, who will consider themselves an N, when in reality they are an S who is good at learning theory.

    Ins ome ways, it's even harder to question the status quo when you are from a rich background than from a humble background, because it means questioning your whole family, all the values you were brought up with etc. This may be why, the two most intuitive people I've met in my life and who had the biggest influence on me (both ENTP's), were from the poorest of poor backgrounds.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  3. #3
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Enneagram
    827 sp/so
    Posts
    20,128

    Default

    rural working class background (farm country! and we didn't have a very big farm)

    went to college

    moved to the 'hood

    got robbed a few times and moved in with a friend

    now live in a lower working class ethnically diverse neighborhood surrounded by the hood
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Enneagram
    4w5
    Posts
    113

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post

    This is a better indicator than "an interest in absract ideas", because the children of proffessionals, are coached in "abstract ideas" froma young age, and I think there is many an XSTJ, especially, from a priveliged background, who will consider themselves an N, when in reality they are an S who is good at learning theory.
    Excellent point. I have also noticed on forums especially that a lot of times when people talk about the S/N divide, it seems suspiciously similar to the rich/poor divide.

    Perhaps this topic is taboo because I can't recall anywhere else where people talked about type in terms of socio-economic influences. If someone could point some research on this matter, I would be very grateful.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  5. #5
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    9w1
    Socionics
    INFj None
    Posts
    9,827

    Default

    My own socio-economic background is sort of a mixed bag. I'm white and have been poor most of my life, but my grandmother (who was influential in my upbringing) was from an upper-middle class family and my family was religious and those factors probably always made me seem more middle class.

    If I've ever lived anyplace truly dangerous while exercising normal precautions, I was oblivious to it, but I've lived near dealers (some of the best neighbors I've had) and been on just about every kind of public assistance you can get. I've been that so-and-so with the junk car that broke down in the middle of the intersection and that person ahead of you in the grocery store check-out with the WIC voucher and too many kids.

    I can talk to just about anybody on their level and identify with them, but I don't think I fit in very well with any particular group. But I'm more introverted, articulate, analytical, and cause-oriented than the (mostly white) people I encounter regardless of their socio-economic status.

    We do have a decent number of people on the forum who identify as iNtuitives that are not white and/or middle class or above.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #6
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    intp
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,292

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by purplesunset View Post
    Excellent point. I have also noticed on forums especially that a lot of times when people talk about the S/N divide, it seems suspiciously similar to the rich/poor divide.

    Perhaps this topic is taboo because I can't recall anywhere else where people talked about type in terms of socio-economic influences. If someone could point some research on this matter, I would be very grateful.
    I doubt there has been much research, because personality typing is so marginal within psychology, that the psychologists who orient to it are already probably quite consolidated into the idea that "consciousness determines social being" and not the other way around.

    As a Marxist I believe it's the other way around but meh, I stil find MBTI interesting as a descriptive tool, even though I agree with you, it's pretty much useless at explaining how and why we acquire the behaviour patterns we do.

    I see MBTI as describing the roles people play in relation to each other and not any kind of depeer truth - for a deeper truth, you need a materialist and not a subjectivist analysis IMHO.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  7. #7
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    5&4 sx
    Socionics
    INFj
    Posts
    1,232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by purplesunset View Post
    Many of the type stereotypes on this board and other places online seem to exist within their own, tidy little vacuums, and one important aspect is rarely factored in: viz. the effect of socio-economic background on shaping someone's personality.

    Most of the type stereotypes and type descriptions work best if the frame of reference is your typical all-white, middle-class, white-picket fence suburban western culture. Sheltered people who only read newspapers about "those lazy poors" who seemingly live in an entirely different galaxy.

    What if someone grew up in an urban ghetto? How stereotypically INFP can one be in a poor, industrial town? Perhaps a lot of the disdain people show against sensors come about as a result of this kind of socio-economic misunderstanding?

    If you live in a rat-infested apartment, mulling over the ills of the world in your blog while sipping your latte macchiato won't help you pay the rent. The only language your landlord understands his "give me the %$%%*& money or your ass is out!!" You have to be more grounded and sensor-like to survive in such socio-economic circumstances.

    In certain environments, you need to develop both Se and Te (aka "street smarts") if you don't want to get mugged. In my highschool, one of my classmates got stabbed by a gang member over his game boy advance (he didn't die thankfully). I also know that the stereotypical jocks, nerds, and hippies division did not develop in my high-school. So the culture of the socio-economic environment seems to have an effect on the personalities and roles that people take on, then why not on type? or perhaps it only affects what functions you choose to manifest?

    Even so the type descriptions seem awfully sterile and narrow to me because there are other factors that come into play in shaping someone's personality, and the socio-economic one is important, imo.
    Good point.

    I agree that type behavior would manifest differently depending on socio-economic status. For example, I'm sure an SJ who was brought up around theory would look differently from an SJ who wasn't; an INFP who grew up in poverty would look starkly different from one who wasn't; an SP who grew up in a family of iNtuitives may look differently than one who did not, etc. Socio-economic status, along with countless other external factors, could alter the way type is manifested. It adds to our individuality.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    I see what you mean, though I come from a working class environment, and within that frame of reference you can type people as N or S.
    Well, that's the opposite of her point.

    In typing, preference is something you're naturally inclined to do. If you're an SJ, for instance, and theory has been emphasized in your family then you'll think more abstractly although that may not be your affinity. You'll still an SJ but one whose good at theory. Typing people in that frame of reference wouldn't be typing at all in the traditional sense because it would be more about the person's aptitude than preference.

    Though trouble is though as you say, that when coming onto a forum with people from all different backgrounds, those who have been coached from a young age in Theory and Logic will seem to be more "intuititive" and "rational".
    I think some here have made that mistake.

    This is a better indicator than "an interest in absract ideas", because the children of proffessionals, are coached in "abstract ideas" froma young age, and I think there is many an XSTJ, especially, from a priveliged background, who will consider themselves an N, when in reality they are an S who is good at learning theory.
    Great point!

    This is the type of thing I've struggled with both in high school and in college: the pretense I've witnessed others have because they consider themselves "intellectual" when in fact they've merely had more, and earlier, exposure to ideas and modes of learning than, say, a child in the projects who took a natural interest in books. That type of behavior has always bothered me because in a sense it's a way of rubbing your socio-economic status and your privilege into someone else's face, particularly someone who's less privileged and may not have had the same opportunities afforded to them.
    Last edited by neptunesnet; 03-20-2010 at 06:21 PM.

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

    Default

    I wrote this before and I think it's applicable.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    The things people often use as examples differentiating sensing and intuiting seems to me to come down to education, experience, and exposure.

    What I notice on the forum is if anyone can talk about politics, science, current events, and their feelings, with any intelligence they're an N. I'm from DC so any Joe or Jane Blow on the streets of downtown DC can talk politics and current events and I can go to the theater or a make-up counter to hear people talking about their feelings.

    These are my opinions of why people think intuitives are so rare:

    Location: People from smaller population centers tend to be more like-minded than those from larger metropolitan areas. That like-mindedness is often thought of as being "sensing" which it isn't necessarily. Your immediate culture impacts how you conceive of things, which brings me to the second reason:

    Culture: I'm a racial minority and I find it hard to scrape off the thick patina of Fe, Si, and Se from most of the black people I try to type. I know two black INTJs that are more Fe than me! And frankly the way my Fe manifests itself feels different than the way the other Fe-dominants on the forum manifests itself so I've basically given up trying to find people who I typologically identify with on the forum.

    Exposure: You can be the strongest ISxJ ever and if you've been exposed to many different types of people, foods, ideas, languages, whatever I completely think you'll be more open to experience than an ENxP who's been in one place their whole life. In fact, the larger vat of knowledge Si has to pull from it begins to look like an encyclopedia of knowing virtually anything.

    Education: This ties to exposure as well, but you can be taught things like critical thinking skills, argumentation, metaphor use. A lot of what people consider being intuitive comes down to being culturally literate, i.e. "Did you get my [obscure] reference?" Yes: N. No: S. Being culturally literate is dependent upon how much you're plugged into the dominant culture. If you're not, a lot of metaphor use will go over your head. Or you'll use metaphor that is within your domain of knowledge but doesn't necessarily map to the dominant culture.

    And these gawd-awful typing threads!!!:steam: Think about this: if you have an incredibly popular movie or fictional character that everyone seems to relate to and enjoy they're probably a sensor or close enough to the S/N line for people to see a bit of everyman in that character. Ye average sensor, will not identify with a hardcore N and vice versa. When I researched correlations between MBTI and the Big Five I found studies that most people hover around the middle of the Openness factor, which roughly relates to what MBTI considers "sensing" and "intuiting." The Openness factor as has subfactors:

    1. Fantasy - the tendency toward a vivid imagination and fantasy life.
    2. Aesthetics - the tendency to appreciate art, music, and poetry.
    3. Feelings - being receptive to inner emotional states and valuing emotional experience.
    4. Actions - the inclination to try new activities, visit new places, and try new foods.
    5. Ideas - the tendency to be intellectually curious and open to new ideas.
    6. Values - the readiness to re-examine traditional social, religious, and political values.


    If I had to guess, I think the ONLY factors that indicate a preference for intuiting are Ideas and Values. Fantasy, Aethetics, Feelings, and Actions, are anyone's game. And guess what? You can score highly on those subtraits and still get a high Openness score without having high Ideas and Values scores. Conversely, you can score high on the Ideas and Values subtraits and still have a low Openness score. I personally think a truly open person would score highly on all subtraits not just a few, or rather the most important ones.

    Based on my experience I think the population of S/N is around 60/40 rather than 75/25 or that impossible 90/10.
    Also there's a majority of poor, college graduates here:



    as well as childless 18-34 year olds



    I think that if you switched up any of those demographic factors (more affluence + children OR no post-secondary education + children) the forum would become more "sensor" with children being the deciding factor. I think many people here are "allowed" to be a stereotypically scatterbrained and head-in-the cloud sensotards because they don't have the responsibility that comes with taking care of a family. When children come into the equation you must learn certain characteristics that are associated with sensing and judging. Also why don't we have more 35-49 year olds here? If they can find their way to eBay and youtube then they can find their way here. My reason: they're more comfortable in their skin and don't need personality indicators like MBTI to tell them who they are.

    And here's something that annoys the hell out of me: THERE ARE NOT MORE INTUITIVES ON THE INTERNET! Whenever I see someone saying that I want to come through the screen and throttle them. What you mean to say is that on the small corner of the internet you inhabit, it seems that way to you. If you hung around a different neighborhood on the internet you would see other things that lead you to a different conclusion. The internet is freaking huge.

    Also to have home internet access is still a sign of higher SES. I think most people here although they may not be affluent themselves, many of them still live with parents so maybe the affluence is a little skewed. Which is another factor I find interested in the S/N debate and SJs. Why don't more people have SP, NF, or NT parents? I think there are boatload of mistypes regarding parents because people tend to assume SJ. Which goes back to my first point of how I think children are a main factor: responsibility comes with children and responsibility is associated with S and J.

    I wish I could find some data on where most people on the forum are geographically located. I've nursed the thought for some time now that most of the American audience is from the Midwest and the South. There are people here from the East and West coasts, but I think the culture of the American South and Midwest tends to give the illusion of a sensing personality. States very much have their personality types; think of what comes to your mind when someone says they're from New York (I tend to assume NYC) or Kansas or Wyoming. I have an ENFP friend from Mississippi and she's always saying "Well I'm from the South and we do/don't do ________." She's very much about her southern heritage and what she does based upon that, but also very much Ne-dom.

    I don't know much about the international audience so I can't say much about them. Of course, MBTI is mostly in English-speaking countries and that's no surprise.
    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
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Enneagram
    827 sp/so
    Posts
    20,128

    Default

    ^ great post!

    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    intp
    Enneagram
    5
    Posts
    1,292

    Default

    I think that if you switched up any of those demographic factors (more affluence + children OR no post-secondary education + children) the forum would become more "sensor" with children being the deciding factor. I think many people here are "allowed" to be a stereotypically scatterbrained and head-in-the cloud sensotards because they don't have the responsibility that comes with taking care of a family. When children come into the equation you must learn certain characteristics that are associated with sensing and judging. Also why don't we have more 35-49 year olds here? If they can find their way to eBay and youtube then they can find their way here. My reason: they're more comfortable in their skin and don't need personality indicators like MBTI to tell them who they are.
    Yes this is true. I know many adults who in their youth dabbled with N hobbies and theory, but once they had kids, all their time had to go on this.

    Again wealth comes into play, because wealthier people can afford to work less hours or get help in the home. Also people with "careers" tend to have kids older.

    Incidentally this goes against the idea that "we develop our inferior functions as we get older". Both my parents - SJ's - wre more iNtuitive in their youth than they are today.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

Similar Threads

  1. ZNP's bad analysis of two economic theories and it's relation to MBTI (NTJ vs NTP)
    By ZNP-TBA in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-14-2016, 08:52 AM
  2. MMORPG's (WoW, Guild Wars, etc.) and MBTI types
    By Maverick in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 81
    Last Post: 09-29-2013, 10:18 AM
  3. Smiling in Pictures and MBTI Type
    By thirtyfour in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 66
    Last Post: 03-08-2011, 11:08 PM
  4. Big 5 and MBTI type
    By Athenian200 in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 64
    Last Post: 10-11-2010, 10:14 AM
  5. Risk Tolerance and MBTI
    By proteanmix in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 06-08-2007, 02:40 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