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  1. #1
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default Too much focus on introversion/extroversion of functions

    The title pretty much says it all.

    Seems that everyone has this idea that the introverted and extroverted version of each function are SOOOO different.

    But really, most of the time you can't even tell the difference. It's easy to label an instance of cognition N, S, T, or F (because they're totally clearly defined and don't overlap). There's no room for grey area. But with Ti vs. Te, for example, how the hell can you tell the difference if you just observe one instance?

    What I mean is this. Say someone says "2 + 2 = 4" and someone else responds "oh, that's true." Well, that's clearly an instance of the responder using Thinking. How would you know whether that person is using their internal standard to come to that conclusion or the external standard? You literally cannot possibly know.

    One way to distinguish is to observe the Thinking user over time and watch whether they make more conclusions relevant to the current situation or to themselves. But the only way to see that is for them to make a conclusion that CLEARLY favors relevance in one direction. And honestly, most instances of Thinking aren't clearly in one direction like that.

    I really want people to think of the functions as just N, S, T, and F. Introversion and extroversion of those functions are only important to discuss when they're descriptively useful of a behavior. I'd say most of the time, at least when discussing a relatively short scope of behavior, they're not that relevant.

    I see people get way too wrapped up in these differences...the problem is that distinguishing between I/E is soooo much more susceptible to confirmation bias. I hear stuff like -- "Oh, he actually was being Fi to care about other people in that situation because it's relevant to his psychological state" or "oh, that was Te because he acted out his truth conclusion or said it out loud" or whatever. It's just nonsense. Unfalsifiable hypotheses.

    The cool thing about MBTI is that you can use it a bunch of different ways. But it's up to the users of the system to figure out how deep to go in each situation. And it seems like many of y'all forget that MBTI is only as "true" as it's descriptive validity. It's not as character-defining as the common belief on this site seems to imply.

    /rant

  2. #2
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    So my wife (ESFJ) and I (ISFP) are the same type in this instance? FSNT?
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

    Quinlan's Creations

  3. #3
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Yeah after re-reading that post I knew people were going to misunderstand me.

    If your goal is to fully type someone with all four letters, then you must choose which direction is preferred for each function...but the goal of MBTI shouldn't be JUST to type someone.

    The goal of MBTI should be to describe behaviors with efficient terminology. I'm just saying that a lot of people think they HAVE to define whether a function is introverted or extroverted just to assert something about it.

    It's fine to just call a behavior F instead of Fe or Fi. Because F can be quite descriptively useful. Sometimes people get so stuck in trying to choose between Fe and Fi (or whatever function) that they allow the MBTI system to convolute their thoughts instead of clarifying them.


    So yes, in certain descriptive conversation situations, your wife and you can be described similarly, or as in the same category. Each conversation has a different scope, so its up to everyone to figure out how deep they want to go into MBTI to efficiently discuss their ideas. My point is that there seems to be a lot of failure in that area. People delve too deep into MBTI in situations where it's not useful and instead just confuse.s everything. This happens much more with I/E directions than other parts of the system which I think are much more simple and useful to talk about a lot of the time.

  4. #4
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    Yeah...I don't use the functions of MBTI much because of that. Socionics is really for introverted vs. extroverted functions, and even then it's still similar. I'd prefer to keep MBTI more on a letter basis myself.

    I already said that on another thread you had I think...so this is just for other posters I guess...

  5. #5
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I have the opposite complaint.... so much focus on the 4 letter dichotomies lends to stereotyping and often is a result of poor understanding of the functions. Often on tests, I score INTP because the "F" questions sound like Fe and not Fi. Between Fe & Ti I relate more to Ti, because I use introverted judging (Ji) and I think that would be more readily apparent than pinpointing whether it's a Thinking or Feeling function, until you got to know me more & then it would probably become evident that I use Fi. I'm talking about in-person impressions also, as far as demeanor and expressing oneself goes.

    I think MBTI created the 4 letter system (using J/P as patterns to determine function orientation) in order type other people and put Jung's theory in laymen's terms, but it also oversimplified everything. There's pros and cons to making it so simple, with one of the cons being it can make some people test the wrong type.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  6. #6
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    What happened to the ambiverts? Why can't I be an ANTP?
    But then everyone would probably call themselves an ambivert and make up their own things, seems chaotic.

  7. #7
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I have the opposite complaint.... so much focus on the 4 letter dichotomies lends to stereotyping and often is a result of poor understanding of the functions. Often on tests, I score INTP because the "F" questions sound like Fe and not Fi. Between Fe & Ti I relate more to Ti, because I use introverted judging (Ji) and I think that would be more readily apparent than pinpointing whether it's a Thinking or Feeling function, until you got to know me more & then it would probably become evident that I use Fi. I'm talking about in-person impressions also, as far as demeanor and expressing oneself goes.

    I think MBTI created the 4 letter system (using J/P as patterns to determine function orientation) in order type other people and put Jung's theory in laymen's terms, but it also oversimplified everything. There's pros and cons to making it so simple, with one of the cons being it can make some people test the wrong type.
    Well I have that complaint too.

    But I think you misunderstand me. Differentiating between Thinking and Feeling (the functions) is super easy. Deciding whether someone prefers one over the other is a whole different question. There is no grey area between Thinking and Feeling. There is only grey area about what a person's preference is.

    The problem is, there IS grey area in differentiating between the functions Fi and Fe, for example. That's why I think, when we're JUST talking about functions, we shouldn't really think of Fe and Fi as different. They're only different mentalities a Feeling user could have.

    This has been confounded beyond belief, so I don't even know if my point is coming through.

  8. #8
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Well I have that complaint too.

    But I think you misunderstand me. Differentiating between Thinking and Feeling (the functions) is super easy. Deciding whether someone prefers one over the other is a whole different question. There is no grey area between Thinking and Feeling. There is only grey area about what a person's preference is.

    The problem is, there IS grey area in differentiating between the functions Fi and Fe, for example. That's why I think, when we're JUST talking about functions, we shouldn't really think of Fe and Fi as different. They're only different mentalities a Feeling user could have.

    This has been confounded beyond belief, so I don't even know if my point is coming through.
    IDK, maybe I am misunderstanding you, but I still don't agree with this. If there is overlap in Fe & Fi being both F, I see the same for Ti & Fi, because they are both Ji. In which case, combining Fi & Fe as F is just one way people choose to categorize the functions.

    There are ways in which behavior and expressions of Fe & Fi overlap, but I'd argue the same for other function comparisons/contrasts. I can see many ways that Te and Fe are similar as far as how they work and how they appear. It's hard to pinpoint the exact thought process behind what people do/say, period.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  9. #9
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    IDK, maybe I am misunderstanding you, but I still don't agree with this. If there is overlap in Fe & Fi being both F, I see the same for Ti & Fi, because they are both Ji. In which case, combining Fi & Fe as F is just one way people choose to categorize the functions.

    There are ways in which behavior and expressions of Fe & Fi overlap, but I'd argue the same for other function comparisons/contrasts. I can see many ways that Te and Fe are similar as far as how they work and how they appear. It's hard to pinpoint the exact thought process behind what people do/say, period.
    T and F do not overlap whatsoever. If it's a value-label, it's F, if it's a truth-label it's T. I'm not saying it's easy to tell which is which in all situations, especially because you need all four functions to DO anything. But you can always break it down and figure out which parts are which, at least in terms of N, S, T, and F. You cannot do this consistently with Fi vs. Fe, though. It just isn't the same kind of conclusion to make.

    If you can distinguish truth-labels from value-labels, you can distinguish T and F. But introversion and extroversion of a specific function can have multiple consistent analyses -- for example, saying "that's bad" out loud could easily be an instance of either Feeling function (Fe or Fi). But it MUST be F and not T. There is no way to call that T. (unless you want to be wrong)

  10. #10
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    There is overlap in Fi/Fe for me because my own personal values do, in fact, care about people and the world as a whole. What would be the point of values or idealistic tendencies that were all centered on myself or things that had no consequence to others? What I can't be is as emotionally involved or relevant or drop my guard in some of the ways that Fe can. Not to mention it's exhausting. There's a different flavor to it somehow. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding it. I see the bridge between Ti as well, because there is a need for clarity in my principles, and a sense of universalism. I guess I just don't come about them or investigate in the same way as Ti.

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