I posted this on another type web site, but I think this might generate more conversation here since the site is so much busier.
I am oft known to complain about Keirsey because I find a lot of his descriptions too binding and stereotyped (like did anyone notice how he describes ISTJs as wearing "homespun" clothes???!! Gimme a break!!)
But I decided to emphasize today what I like about Keirsey or what I got from his book at all, and that principally applied to the temperaments: NF/SP/NT/SJ.
I found that I actually related to more SP traits than NF, which caused me to question Se vs. Ne, along with other things over the course of a couple of months.
I like best the matrices he places in each section: for example, Artisan syntax is "Descriptive" (yes! that's me!) and they find Self-Esteem in being Artistic, Self-Respect in being Audacious (this really resonated with me, again), and Self-Confidence in being Adaptable. I think my Vocation is more applicable to "Equipment" (whether that be cooking tools or using a computer for writing) rather than Personnel, which is the NF Vocation. While some of the NF traits may apply, I found that the SP Temperament characteristics made more sense.
I also thought that some of the SJ traits really did seem like SJs I know - Seeking Security, Yearning for Belonging, Aspiring to be Executives, and often having a Pessimistic attitude in the Present, while garnering Self-Esteem in being Dependable.
I found these descriptions less offensive and less overly specific.
Does anyone else appreciate this aspect of Keirsey, but not others?
Feel free to discuss any and all of Keirsey (what you like, what you don't) in this thread.
I got really excited when I was reading it, but I think that's because of the way it's a story...and I like folk tales and archetypal stuff, I was really into astrology as a teenager, blah blah blah.
But stepping back and looking at it as a source of objective information for personality type? NO WAY. He says things like SJ women see sex as a duty and with some of his quotes makes SPs sound like smart-alecky or "tough guy" characters from mid-20th century movies. All NFs are apparently fragile, non-confrontational social workers (I definitely did not see myself in that) and apparently he claims he fell in love with the first NF girl he ever met as an NT? It's all a bit over the top if you look at it in terms of actually seriously typing people.
It's entertaining, it's fun, yes there's some useful information in the framework of it (like I do think he does loosely correlate some SJ behaviors to Si, and some SP behaviors to Se, etc.) ...and I find the temperaments much more useful than the individual type descriptions, though I can't really say I'm a fan once he gets into things like sexual attitudes (seems really, really stereotyped beyond belief) even while I think his Parenting styles for the temperaments are kind of spot on.
Keirsey is a big fairy tale of hit and miss. It's got grains of truth to it, just like a fictional story. Because essentially that's what it is.
And that's the only way I can appreciate it, is by seeing the usefulness of the grains of truth in the archetypal fairy tale. But when people take it so seriously, I find it offensive. Because it over-simplifies type theory and reduces human beings down to lame stereotypes which may have nothing to do with their actual cognitive functions.
I've seen some SRS Keirsey fanatics say the dumbest things about people...and a couple of these guys are INTx...you'd think they'd be more intellectually discriminating than that...but I guess not.
I can totally see where I would have gotten carried away with Keirsey if I had read it when I was like seventeen. Totally. I would have taken it as seriously as astrology, I would have gotten caught up in the artistry and mythology of it.
It's only because as an adult with life experience that it horrifies me how much it reduces human beings to ridiculous stereotypes. It doesn't seem like any educated adult should take it quite that seriously.