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  1. #1
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Default Why INJs (sometimes) find temperament unhelpful for self-typing.

    Are you an INJ? Did you have trouble initially deciding whether you're an NT or an NF, despite the fact that the two are completely different temperaments?

    If you're an INJ who totally resonates with their temperament, or someone who believes that individual letter preference strength is independent of type, then this will probably seem ridiculous to you.

    Have you ever wondered why everyone else swears by temperament theory, and think it adequately explains things, while to you it seems kind of like an arbitrary boundary between things that don't seem mutually exclusive?

    Well, I have an answer. Look at this:




    There are several reasons why INJs are left as outliers. The chief reason, is their rarity in the population (the statistics showing that INJs are the rarest types are well-known, so I will not bother to source them). The majority of INxx types are INPs, for whom the system works perfectly. ENJs and ENPs do not generally feel enough of a disparity to question the concept, though they probably feel far less certain about it than INPs. It really only affects INJs, thus the tool was built around handling the most common situation.

    I feel I should also note that the creator of MBTI herself, Isabel Myers, was an INFP, and hence saw things from an INFP perspective. David Keirsey, another major proponent of temperament theory, was an INTP. Therefore, not only was the data based on majority of Intuitives tested, who were not INJs, but the designers of the system themselves were INPs, and thus saw things from an INP perspective. I'm not saying that they were deliberately biased, however. In fact, even if they saw this disparity, there might have been no way to fix the system for INJs without making it less helpful for the majority of Intuitives. I do think that it should have been noted, however.

    Now, Keirsey clearly realized some of the issues with dividing people who have the SAME dominant function, at least among Sensors. It was this sense that lead him to create temperaments that would group together both ESPs and both ISJs, yet he actually created a new problem by placing both ESJs and both ISPs into the same temperaments, destroying the ST and SF temperaments for those who found them most useful. Perhaps his experiences involved more ESPs and ISJs, so he felt compelled to repair the situation for them? I don't know.

    What I do know, is that this issue is created by attempting to reduce Jungian theory into something similar to the ancient four temperament system Galen came up with (Sanguine, Melancholy, Choleric, Phlegmatic). I believe that doing so is actually a mistake. Jung (his type is debated, but my ego would like to believe he was an INFJ) would never have done this, and I doubt he would have condoned it when Isabel and Keirsey did it. In Jungian theory, a person's basic type IS their dominant function, and the auxiliary is a balancing function that a person has a much weaker preference for in general. The fact that most people acknowledge that it doesn't even start developing until age 12, is a fairly good indicator that it's not at the core of a person's psyche, and does not define them the way a dominant function does.

    Now, I believe that the motivation in doing this, was to describe how types generally appear to other people, as the J/P dichotomy attempts to do. Not to describe their underlying motivations. In this, it is partly successful, but often assigns people incorrectly due to being grossly incongruent with the underlying system.

    My suggestion to everyone is this... pay careful attention to functions and individual type descriptions. Do not type yourself using temperament theory, because it often uses strong stereotypes... it could well make a person in academia or intellectual subjects think they're an NT, a person in business or theology think they're an SJ, and a social worker or "emo" person think they're an NF. The archetypes implied by them are quite superficial, and usually not representative of underlying psychology. Jung is probably turning over in his grave every time people rely on it to type themselves or validate their typing.


    Note that I have made three basic assumptions while writing this:

    1. Dominant functions filter the flavor of all the functions below them.

    2. Function strength is largely decided by type. There can be slight variations, but not major ones. If there are major ones, you belong to a different type.

    3. Introverted functions are felt a little more strongly as part of the self, if placed in the dominant or auxiliary positions.

    I apologize if this thread has been created before... I wasn't able to find it using a search, and the idea has occurred to me several times.

    This issue may in fact disappear to some extent with INJs who extravert themselves a lot, and make heavy use of the auxiliary such that they come to identify with it almost as much as Ni. This is especially true if they leave their tertiary function relatively undeveloped. However, I think that these INJs tend to be more the exception than the rule (though INJs seem to be the exception to MOST rules anyway).

  2. #2
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    So you're saying you hate Keirsey?

    I'm just curious. Simulated World once said the N types should be NJ and NP rather than NT and NF, but I disagree.

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    Oh also I'd like to add here that INTJs seem very NT to me, and INFJs are still NFs...even if you guys have a harder time seeing it yourselves. I think of INTJs as being pretty damn T-ish, actually, which is why they are sometimes called robots.

    Could this just be your individual issue? Because you seem pretty Fe to me.

  4. #4
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    So you're saying you hate Keirsey?
    No, I don't hate him. I just disagree with him. I can understand why he came up with the theory he did, I'm just pointing out some of the compromises he made and how they don't work for everyone.

    I'm just curious. Simulated World once said the N types should be NJ and NP rather than NT and NF, but I disagree.
    I once thought so, but not anymore. If we changed it to NJ and NP, the temperaments might work better for INJs, but it wouldn't work as well for other types, who have much stronger identification with T/F.

    I'm saying that I think that temperament theory is flawed in and of itself, and is based on a misguided desire to map Jungian theory back to the simpler theory of Galen's four temperaments. Which is far too simplistic to accurately capture Jungian theory. Whichever approach you take, you end up lumping together too many types, and some will always be better representatives of the temperament than others.

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    Sorry I didn't mean to imply that you actually hated Keirsey, I meant do you hate his theory. lol.

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    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200
    Are you an INJ?
    No. I am INFP.
    Did you have trouble initially deciding whether you're an NT or an NF, despite the fact that the two are completely different temperaments?
    Yes.
    Have you ever wondered why everyone else swears by temperament theory, and think it adequately explains things, while to you it seems kind of like an arbitrary boundary between things that don't seem mutually exclusive?
    A lot of people dislike temperament theory because the way it categorizes types can seem stereotypical. I'm not a huge fan of it, but I find it somewhat useful as a very, very vague guide. I mostly dislike Keirsey too (who I think is ISTP in MBTI & Jungian theory).

    I feel I should also note that the creator of MBTI herself, Isabel Myers, was an INFP, and hence saw things from an INFP perspective.
    I don't find the test to be from an INFP perspective. It's from Isabel Myer's perspective. As an INFP, I have a problem with the way Feeling is portrayed on the test, and it's likely why I test low on Feeling & highest on I & N, even though I am Fi-dom. I don't relate to MBTI's picture of Feeling.

    Frankly, I also don't see INJs as so speshial that they don't fit into a NF or NT temperament. INFJs don't seem more NTish to me than other NFs at all.....nor do INTJs seem more NFish. My personal experience is that I DO relate more to an INFJ than an ENTP, even though I share Ne with ENTPs & no main functions with INFJs. The fact of the matter is, we still both judge with feeling & perceive with intuition, even if our judging & perceiving have different "attitudes".
    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)

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  7. #7
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Are you an INJ? Did you have trouble initially deciding whether you're an NT or an NF, despite the fact that the two are completely different temperaments?
    Yes, I'm an INJ. No, I didn't have any trouble wondering if I was NF. ISTJ or ISTP perhaps but not NF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post

    If you're an INJ who totally resonates with their temperament, or someone who believes that individual letter preference strength is independent of type, then this will probably seem ridiculous to you.

    Have you ever wondered why everyone else swears by temperament theory, and think it adequately explains things, while to you it seems kind of like an arbitrary boundary between things that don't seem mutually exclusive?
    Functions seem more useful to me than temperament actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Well, I have an answer. Look at this:

    This is interesting, but where do you get that? What's it based on?

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Oh also I'd like to add here that INTJs seem very NT to me, and INFJs are still NFs...even if you guys have a harder time seeing it yourselves. I think of INTJs as being pretty damn T-ish, actually, which is why they are sometimes called robots.

    Could this just be your individual issue? Because you seem pretty Fe to me.
    Well, it might be. But I do know INTJs and INFJs who struggle with the issue. The thing is, INFJs are much more analytical than they appear, and INTJs are much more emotional than they appear. It's very apparent to themselves, and people who know them well. The Te and Fe actually don't run very deep... for instance, I'm the sort of person who would laugh at extremely sick jokes (the kind that NTs make), but then a few moments later feel ashamed of myself for finding it funny, possibly even apologizing. The difference is, an INTJ wouldn't feel ashamed at all. And an F dominant person would probably feel disgusted immediately and not laugh at all.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Yes, I'm an INJ. No, I didn't have any trouble wondering if I was NF. ISTJ or ISTP perhaps but not NF.
    You wouldn't be the target audience, then. But thank you for reading.


    Functions seem more useful to me than temperament actually.
    That was my point, actually. Glad you agree.

    This is interesting, but where do you get that? What's it based on?
    The functions. The assumption is that the dominant function is always the strongest function. Then, I assume that Ni is the most N, Fi is the most F, and Ti is the most T. Therefore, the type with dominant Ni is the most N, and having only an auxiliary and extraverted T or F, has a weaker T/F preference than the other types in their temperament.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Well, it might be. But I do know INTJs and INFJs who struggle with the issue. The thing is, INFJs are much more analytical than they appear, and INTJs are much more emotional than they appear. It's very apparent to themselves, and people who know them well. The Te and Fe actually don't run very deep... for instance, I'm the sort of person who would laugh at extremely sick jokes (the kind that NTs make), but then a few moments later feel ashamed of myself for finding it funny, possibly even apologizing. The difference is, an INTJ wouldn't feel ashamed at all. And an F dominant person would probably feel disgusted immediately and not laugh at all.
    Hmm yes but INFJ logical and INTJ emotional don't look alike. And I know a couple or three INFJs who seem especially Ti-ish who I still know are INFJs and their Fe shines like a light they can't hide under a bushel.

    Same with INTJs ... their emo doesn't look like Fe to me. It looks like sweet, childlike (and occasionally insanely immature and vindictive "MY WAY MY WAY") Fi.

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