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  1. #1
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    Default The difference between T and F

    Aagh, help me understand this. When it is written that Thinkers make decisions based on logic and Feelers make decisions based on feelings and values, what does it mean? What kinds of decisions are talked about here? Because there are so many kinds of decisions! So which decisions matter the most?

    #1 small decisions that don't include other people, like whether to go out now or later: The decision is pretty much based on my feelings of the moment. Also, the consequences I think the decision will create can play a role (like getting all wet and then having to take a shower or becoming frustrated very soon if I don't go out right now)

    #2 forming opinions about topical things: I typically form my opinions (political etc) based on both values and reason. I am often frustrated by how illogical and incoherent people seem to be, how they for example say that they are in favour of freedom of speech but the next moment they are ready to limit someone's freedom of speech because they don't like that someone's opinions. x( So, when forming opinions (especially political ones), I am (and strive to be) logical, just, impersonal and coherent, but of course I base my oh so coherent opinions on values such as social justice, respect (yes, I think that people should respect each other and I disapprove of disrespectful behaviour), equality, freedom, and people's as well as other natural creatures' well-being.

    #3 big decisions about my life: This is a hard one. I feel like I just let things happen. Like, when I chose my major in university, I went with my feelings of the moment, with what I was interested in. I didn't make definitive plans about my future or consider all the consequences of the choice, I just chose to have faith that my decision would turn out to be the right decision. Then again, sometimes I do calculate how my "big decisions" will affect my future. Like, in relationships I seem to be unable to go with my feelings-- immediately when I see a candidate, I start calculating, summing up his looks, health, wealth, interests, personality traits, intelligence, and considering intellectually the chances of the possibility that we could have a happy family together. I've been hoping that this fairly unromantic calculation tendency will be turned off when I meet Mr Right One.

    #4 small decisions in social settings: I do take others into consideration in my small decisions. I am friendly to people. I try not to hurt anyone. I often keep my thoughts to myself just because I think they could hurt someone or because I think that others would disapprove of my thoughts. Lately I have started to make a point about voicing my thoughts more openly because I've come to the conclusion that it's good for my own well-being to be who I am more openly, without letting the fear of other people's disapproval etc guide me, and also because sometimes I believe it's the right thing to do. Like, when everyone is saying negative things about someone who I don't think deserves to be talked badly about, I often pluck up the courage to open my mouth and defend the person that is being discussed unfairly or even point out others' hypocrisy (although I see that as a huge social risk). These kinds of things are sometimes quite important to me; to do the "right thing", to go against the flow. Is this an example of making decisions based on Feeling? I'm pretty sure it's either Fi or Ti, not sure which one however.

    #5 beliefs about the world: I have gone through a cynical phase when I based nearly all my beliefs about the reality on evidence and rationality. I feel like I'm at the end of that phase and ready to move on to a more holistic approach where not only evidence matters, but also feelings and hunches. I used to be a strict determinist, believing that free will is an illusion, but lately I have started thinking as if free will existed anyway. I still don't believe that it actually exists but I feel like it is a very useful way of approaching life. I have also started having faith in a god even though there is no logical reason to have faith in such a being. Actually I do think that there is a rational reason to have faith in some kind of a "god" (just thinking about the universe and the beauty and infallibility of mathematics, and how mathematical laws seem to regulate the universe and its natural laws leads me to think that there must be some kind of a superior force that has set all the order and beauty in this world) but there is no reason to believe in a god who is interested in us, people. However, I have started to pray. Without any logical/rational reason to do so. I don't believe that god can hear my prayers, I just choose to have faith that he (or she) can.

    Anyway. This is such a complicated issue! I still have no idea what the T/F dichotomy is all about! Which of these many kinds of decisions is the kind of decision that is meant when it is said that F people make decisions based on feelings and T people make decisions based on logic?

  2. #2
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    To point #4 I want to add that it pissess me off especially much when people talk negatively about someone because they don't understand this person's logic!! Agh! I think it's perfectly ok to disagree with someone and have a differing opinion, it's even ok to think that someone is an arse and say it, but I strongly dislike it when people confuse the wrong opinion and the wrong logic with each other. Often people with wrong opinions are perfectly logical and rational people, it's just that they have different premises. So it pisses me off a great deal when people arrogantly think that someone is stupid or illogical when the person in question is actually being very logical and intelligent. It's frustrating when people think they're so smart in pointing out "logical errors" when there are, in fact, none. Logical errors are a pain in the arse, yes, but just because someone has a frustrating opinion doesn't mean that their thinking includes "logical errors".

    Is this Te or Ti at work? I'm pleased if someone can help me in figuring out my tr00 type.

  3. #3

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    Well... You're never 100% T or F. You use both, depending on which decision. Being a T just means that on most decisions, you base it on logic and from a distance.

    That's what I know

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    A good example that I read about when I first starting learning about MBTI is the following:

    Let's say you own a family business. It's been passed down to you through a previous generation and now you're in charge. The economy goes bad and you are now losing money. Something needs to be done. You come to the conclusion that your only option is to cut your payroll by letting one of your employees go. Here are your choices:

    1. You have a 55 year old employee - who has been a loyal employee for the family business for 25 years. Over those 25 years he has been dedicated, hard working, loyal, and a friend to the family. He is currently paying for his 2 children to go through college. He'll probably retire in the next 5 years, after his kids are out of college. In the last couple years, you have noticed that his work ethic had dropped off a bit. He shows up late and sometimes leaves early. His enthusiasm and productivity are down a bit. You sense that he's just trying to get through the next few years before he decides to retire. But, he's still a good friend of the family and has a lot of knowledge.

    2. You have a 28 year old employee who graduated with a Master's degree from a good school and then went to work for you. He is single and has no kids. He works extremely hard - he's the first one at work in the morning and he's the last one to leave at night. He is ambitious and is extremely productive.

    You have to fire one of them. Which one would you fire?

    The "T" will likely get rid of #1 - he is concerned with efficiency and the "bottom line" - he simply compares the productivity of the 2 individuals and it's easy to see who is more productive. The truth of the matter is plain to see: the older guy is costing the company money. The younger guy is making money for the company. Therefore, the older guy has to go.

    The "F" will likely get rid of #2 - they will reason that the younger guy can easily get a job somewhere else and do well in his career. He has no burdensome financial obligations, no children to feed/put through college, no house payment, etc. Plus, the older guy has been such a loyal and true employee over the years - it wouldn't be fair to just throw him on the street now that he is close to retirement. He was loyal to the company, now the company has an obligation to be loyal to him.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  5. #5
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    I've recently determined (in my view of ll this) that the base definition of this dichotomy is
    F = Personal
    T = Technical (aka "impersonal")


    This basically refers to the perspective you are using, not the objects you are judging.
    So it's possible to judge people by "impersonal" ("technical") standards, and to judge impersonal objects by personal standards.

    I believe part of the problem, was the terms "personal vs impersonal", was too vague, and various theorists tried to fill this in with terms like "emoting", "values" or "ethics" vs logic, or even "subjective vs objective" . These all have truth to them, but again, are too prone to misunderstanding. Everyone judges both personally and impersonally. I would say the difference in the T vs F preference is in the focus, and a more specific term for "impersonal" is technical. It's "linear, cause and effect" rationalizing, rather than how something affects a person.

    In your examples:

    #1, you mention "feelings", but then everyone has feelings. The key indicator is the second part of the statement: consequences. That's specifically the T language of cause and effect, regardless of any immediate personal consideration. Your feelings, including about suffering whatever negative consequence you are trying to avoid, are secondary to the technical factor.

    #2 everyone has "values". Feeling deals specifically with putting yourself in the other people's shoes, [edit: this is at the root of INTPness' example] and using either your internal standards (If I were them, I would feel this way), or external standards (well, they feel this way about it) to judge. But you're looking at them from a total detached, impersonal standpoint. Basically, treating the people and their stated values and actual behaviors as impersonal "objects" so to speak.

    #3 When finally faced with a personal-based decision like that, it was very difficult, and you were more passive. (The same thing happens with me). Later, you then try to reference cause and effect variables. So that reflects a T preference.
    So that is a T judgment, regardless of how many "values" are involved".

    #4 this sounds like inferior Fe, which of course, reflects the dominant T. Like #3, when it comes time for a more personal-based decision, it's more about passivity. Later on, it seems that a sort of reactive Fi comes up, when defending others based on personally identifying with them (perhaps unconsciously) based on a universal sense of justice.
    Even though Fi is supposed to be all the way on the "bottom" for INTP's, this seems fairly common. It is the shadow of inferior Fe, and also the right brain alternative to Ti, so it does come up like that, and it is usually in the context of some negative situation like that. It is both "demon" and "angel".
    (This type of stuff gives a lot of us confusion when deciding between NTP and NFP).

    The addendum further betrays the superior T perspective the apparent F is supporting.
    Te is about agreed upon logic (the external standard), and it seems in that instance, it is not agreed, so you reference personal/universal logic (the internalized standard) to defend the other person's stance.

    #5 sounds like you started out as T, and now you're maturing and ready to pay attention to the other perspectives. (Though a lot of that sounds like it deals more with iNtuition than Feeling).
    This is what we're supposed to do as we grow.
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  6. #6
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    A good example that I read about when I first starting learning about MBTI is the following:

    Let's say you own a family business. It's been passed down to you through a previous generation and now you're in charge. The economy goes bad and you are now losing money. Something needs to be done. You come to the conclusion that your only option is to cut your payroll by letting one of your employees go. Here are your choices:

    1. You have a 55 year old employee - who has been a loyal employee for the family business for 25 years. Over those 25 years he has been dedicated, hard working, loyal, and a friend to the family. He is currently paying for his 2 children to go through college. He'll probably retire in the next 5 years, after his kids are out of college. In the last couple years, you have noticed that his work ethic had dropped off a bit. He shows up late and sometimes leaves early. His enthusiasm and productivity are down a bit. You sense that he's just trying to get through the next few years before he decides to retire. But, he's still a good friend of the family and has a lot of knowledge.

    2. You have a 28 year old employee who graduated with a Master's degree from a good school and then went to work for you. He is single and has no kids. He works extremely hard - he's the first one at work in the morning and he's the last one to leave at night. He is ambitious and is extremely productive.

    You have to fire one of them. Which one would you fire?

    The "T" will likely get rid of #1 - he is concerned with efficiency and the "bottom line" - he simply compares the productivity of the 2 individuals and it's easy to see who is more productive. The truth of the matter is plain to see: the older guy is costing the company money. The younger guy is making money for the company. Therefore, the older guy has to go.

    The "F" will likely get rid of #2 - they will reason that the younger guy can easily get a job somewhere else and do well in his career. He has no burdensome financial obligations, no children to feed/put through college, no house payment, etc. Plus, the older guy has been such a loyal and true employee over the years - it wouldn't be fair to just throw him on the street now that he is close to retirement. He was loyal to the company, now the company has an obligation to be loyal to him.
    I'd have a chat with the first employee. Sensing that something's not quite right- his productivity hasn't been good as usual, I'd try to encourage him to talk about whatever it is that's bothering him and what the company can do so he works more productively. I don't think I'd have the heart to just fire him. I'd worry alot about him finding another job as he is older and how it would impact his family. On the other hand, I'd have alot of problems firing the second employee. How can you fire someone who's that hard working and productive? What message does that say about the company? I'd do whatever I could to keep both employees. Solicit input from other colleagues, if I must choose one to fire. Or cut the work hours from both employees- then they both get to stay and the company doesn't lose money but that's a less than ideal solution too.
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  7. #7
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I'd have that same dilemma. Between efficiency and the personal consideration. That too is inferior Fe, maybe even some of that Crow's Nest Fi, conflicting with backup Te.

    I think that the "T" that would just readily get rid of 1 and keep 2 is specifically Te.
    Ti would more likely be what's working with Fe (as well as Ne) to break down the situation (Lenore: "the variables in a situation related to our intended effect") to try to find a middle ground good for all.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    I'd have a chat with the first employee. Sensing that something's not quite right- his productivity hasn't been good as usual, I'd try to encourage him to talk about whatever it is that's bothering him and what the company can do so he works more productively. I don't think I'd have the heart to just fire him. I'd worry alot about him finding another job as he is older and how it would impact his family. On the other hand, I'd have alot of problems firing the second employee. How can you fire someone who's that hard working and productive? What message does that say about the company? I'd do whatever I could to keep both employees. Solicit input from other colleagues, if I must choose one to fire. Or cut the work hours from both employees- then they both get to stay and the company doesn't lose money but that's a less than ideal solution too.
    And so goes the debate. There's a million different possible scenarios/implications in this situation, but the final decision and how that decision is reached would tell a lot about T vs. F. I'd guess that most people would be torn on making such a decision - I know I would. But, if I'd talked to the older guy and he still wasn't performing - if he's costing the company money - I have no choice but to show him the door. I'd feel for him - no doubt about it - but I can't just have him showing up to work every day and collecting a paycheck while the youngster works circles around him. Just doesn't make sense for the livelihood of the company. And it wouldn't be like I just threw him out the door - he kind of hung himself by slacking off in his later years. Either way, it's not an easy decision to make.

    These types of decisions are made every day in the corporate world. Both sides of the argument (T vs. F) have importance and value, but some will lean one way while others will lean another way.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  9. #9
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    This is just my observation.

    F and t are both logical and rational. Both also arrive at destinations and conclusions that can not always be explained by physical evidence.
    The difference seems to be people.
    F seems to consider the human implications of a situation and includes them in it's decision making.
    T seems to consider the human implications of a situation,as irrelevant, except their own.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    And so goes the debate. There's a million different possible scenarios/implications in this situation, but the final decision and how that decision is reached would tell a lot about T vs. F.
    These types of decisions are made every day in the corporate world. Both sides of the argument (T vs. F) have importance and value, but some will lean one way while others will lean another way.
    And even then, other factors will still skew the final decision. Like a T who went through that himself might personally relate and consider the F perspective more. This is how stressful situations often push us to the functions lower in our consciousness.
    Or the F can be capitulating to the wishes or orders of the company or his superiors.
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