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  1. #1
    Senior Member MerkW's Avatar
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    Question The Role of Shadow Functions in MBTi Type

    Although I have read a little bit about the role of the shadow functions, this reading has been limited to only insignificantly small blurbs on the internet, as I have actually not yet had the opportunity to get my hands on any professional literature dealing with this subject (such as Lenore Thomson's book).

    For those who have had the opportunity to research this, what precisely are the theorized functions of a type's shadow functions? Take INTP for example. What is the specific role that the 5th (Te), 6th (Ni), 7th (Se), and 8th (Fi) functions?

    Feel free to explain in great detail.
    "The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics..." - G.H. Hardy

    "Another roof, another proof." - Paul Erdős

    INTJ (I = 100, N = 100, T = 88, J = 43)
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    RL(x)EI (RlxE|I|)- Inquisitive Dominant
    Reserved Idealist
    ILI-Ni/INTp

  2. #2
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerkW View Post
    Although I have read a little bit about the role of the shadow functions, this reading has been limited to only insignificantly small blurbs on the internet, as I have actually not yet had the opportunity to get my hands on any professional literature dealing with this subject (such as Lenore Thomson's book).

    For those who have had the opportunity to research this, what precisely are the theorized functions of a type's shadow functions? Take INTP for example. What is the specific role that the 5th (Te), 6th (Ni), 7th (Se), and 8th (Fi) functions?

    I would appreciate this to be explained with utmost precision and detail.
    John Beebe, M.D.—A Closer Look at the Auxiliary Function (Upcoming Event and Further Reading) | Capital

    (three articles by beebe about his theory)

    (all shadow process roles are usually employed passively and unconsciously)

    5/th process/backup/opposing personality: This is usually the first process to jump to defend us, if we are articulating our mission in response to an insult, it is this process that we use. when people here remarks from someone who's dominant process is thier fifth process, they often 'blow it of before it even registers'. When someone is using this process a lot, we get frustrated and think "this is so dumb/pointless". I think I can see my INTJ math teacher get tense when I talk.
    6th process/discovery/witch/senex: One aspect of the auxiliary process is that it is very good at taking care of other people but not very helpful for taking care of yourself. If someone is taking advantage of this, or if we are feeling stuck or powerless in any way, one solution is to 'tie down' others so that they don't get in our way. The senex/witch accomplishes this by being viciously critical of others, demoralizing them and stopping them in thier tracks, i.e "you ungrateful bitch!". When we see this process in someone else, we might interpret everything they say as criticism.
    7th process/humor/decieving/trickster: Another way to respond to being controlled is to set double-binding traps. if you intimidate the child, you get to deal with the witch and the trickster. Usually a significant part of someone's humor is about this process. We often distrust others when they are using this process.
    8th process/devilish/demon: This is the most amoral of all the cognitive processes in our head, and a person's definition of evil is usually about this process. Often our most painful/traumatizing experiences in life involve this process. This process is often an empty vessel where society pours its influence. Long lasting hatreds also reside here. Most uses of this process are either awkward and painful, or completely phony and banal. If two people trigger the 8th process in each other, they often bring out the worst in each other.

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I'm still not convinced on the prominence and impact of the latter four "shadow functions."

    One test -- scramble the four unused functions and then assign them to shadow function slots 5-8... and then make up a definition of how they could serve that role in the person's life. I bet you could do it.

    So that's the problem, to me. Where did these latter four "roles" get derived from? Why is slot 6 the senex/witch? (To get that, they had to assign slot #2 to be a parent function.) It's all rather self-created by the psychologist in question.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I would have to agree with Jennifer; I think once you get past the dominant and auxiliary functions, social conditioning can very easily change the order of functions 3-8. My third most used function is Fi, which is supposedly the eighth and the one I define as evil. The one I use the least happens to be Te, which is supposedly my fifth. I think it might have something to do with the fact that my ENFJ mother's dominant function was Fe (which translated over as Fi) and her "demon", therefore, was Te. Of course, this might be incorrect because she herself had her functions rearranged by her childhood.

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Yeah, things really do get scrambled after 1 and 2.

    My third highest is Ni.
    Fe is my fourth (as per the theory).

    The only one I can see having any validity is the function in position #8 ... which is the one that would directly interfere with the primary.

    For example, INTP's are Ti dominant, so the Fi function REALLY is the fubar function. You can't process something impersonally AND personally all at the same time, one always dominates.

    As an analogy, you can juggle, ride a unicycle, and sing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" at the same time... but you can't sing two songs simultaneously with the same set of pipes. You either sing one or the other, or a bounce back and forth between the two, note by note... but no "dual singing."

    I don't know how people could use Ti/Fi at once, or Se/Ne, or Fe/Te, etc.

    And since Ti (in this example) is the preference, values-based introverted judgment makes no sense / is confusing to use.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Senior Member MerkW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yeah, things really do get scrambled after 1 and 2.

    My third highest is Ni.
    Fe is my fourth (as per the theory).

    The only one I can see having any validity is the function in position #8 ... which is the one that would directly interfere with the primary.

    For example, INTP's are Ti dominant, so the Fi function REALLY is the fubar function. You can't process something impersonally AND personally all at the same time, one always dominates.

    As an analogy, you can juggle, ride a unicycle, and sing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" at the same time... but you can't sing two songs simultaneously with the same set of pipes. You either sing one or the other, or a bounce back and forth between the two, note by note... but no "dual singing."

    I don't know how people could use Ti/Fi at once, or Se/Ne, or Fe/Te, etc.

    And since Ti (in this example) is the preference, values-based introverted judgment makes no sense / is confusing to use.
    You see, the reason why I am scrutinizing the shadow function theory is because I am still questioning my own type.
    It has been near impossible for me to determine whether I am an INTJ or INTP. My Ti, Ni, Ne, and Te are all in excellent use (according to the cognitive processes test, as well as personal research of each function), with my Ti and Ni being slightly more developed than my Ne and Te. Similarly, both my Se and Fe are terrible (I score under "unused" for both).
    "The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics..." - G.H. Hardy

    "Another roof, another proof." - Paul Erdős

    INTJ (I = 100, N = 100, T = 88, J = 43)
    Solitary/Idiosyncratic, 5w6 sp/sx
    RL(x)EI (RlxE|I|)- Inquisitive Dominant
    Reserved Idealist
    ILI-Ni/INTp

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yeah, things really do get scrambled after 1 and 2.

    My third highest is Ni.
    Fe is my fourth (as per the theory).

    The only one I can see having any validity is the function in position #8 ... which is the one that would directly interfere with the primary.

    For example, INTP's are Ti dominant, so the Fi function REALLY is the fubar function. You can't process something impersonally AND personally all at the same time, one always dominates.

    As an analogy, you can juggle, ride a unicycle, and sing "Dude Looks Like a Lady" at the same time... but you can't sing two songs simultaneously with the same set of pipes. You either sing one or the other, or a bounce back and forth between the two, note by note... but no "dual singing."

    I don't know how people could use Ti/Fi at once, or Se/Ne, or Fe/Te, etc.

    And since Ti (in this example) is the preference, values-based introverted judgment makes no sense / is confusing to use.
    I use Ti and Fi in different circumstances; Ti tends to be used more in my free time, and Fi tends to be used more in social circumstances, because people respond to it far more favorably than Ti. In the end, I probably trust Ti more with decisions; a developed Fi is very useful to me when the Ti basically says it can't do anything because this is a feeling issue at its core. I think as long as you don't have the Ti and Fi balancing/battling eachother (which happened for a few months in sixth grade; very long story) and one exhibits some type of dominance over the other, a complementary pairing like that gives you a great advantage in many areas.

  8. #8
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    * Jennifer, I could see how two Perceiving functions can be used simultaneously without hindering each other, on your example, Se/Ne. E.g. One could love walking on the beach because of the tactile sensations of sand, water, wind, at the same time, because it is the chance to explore and muck around.

    I've a harder time with the "fubar" pairs of Fi/Ti, Fe/Te though i.e. Judging functions being employed simultaneously, because for a decision to be made, one has to be dominant? Making sense?

    Also, what happens if our cognitive functions are not in the order prescribed for the type? Does that mean my shadow is per personal ranking of functions, or the archetype ranking?

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    Yeah, it can get pretty bad when two opposing judging functions go at war with eachother; when they go to battle, you have absolutely no control over your mind, and if left untreated, something like that probably leads to insanity.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    I'll also add, you will not get the function order from the results of the cognitiveprocesses test. I don't see why people think THAT would have to be happen for the theory to be true.
    And yes, exactly what you just said Badlands. I think that's the subject in Othello and King Lear.

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