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  1. #1

    Default Ni, Tarot and Confirmation Bias

    This is my first post here, but I've been reading about and pondering type and Jung's functions for about 10 years now. I'm not a newbie by any means.

    Anyway, this may sound terribly biased but it's not meant as a judgement -- just trying to understand things by trying different angles.

    It seems to me that tarot card reading is one of the best examples of Ni in action. It involves archetypes, introspection and "deeper meanings". It also involves massaging data and recontextualising it to fit those archetypal images.

    In my opinion, it also involves a lot of "confirmation bias": a tarot reading can never be wrong, because all you have to do is recontextualise the data and... BAM! It all fits. (You also see this when an INTP and INTJ argue -- the INTP feels like the INTJ is playing a shell game in order to always be "right".)

    So that's my hypothesis: so-called "confirmation bias" is an artefact of Ni.

    As an added bonus, if you buy John Beebe's model (which I do), Ni in INTPs seems to manifest itself in the Senex/Witch archetype as a kind of negative "magical thinking" whereby everything seems to conspire to point towards the worst possible outcome. (See, for example, Billy Bob Thornton's more OCD-ish traits.) Again, it all involves confirmation bias, and this may explain why this is such a bugbear with INTPs.

    Anyway, thoughts?

    (I wrote this as conjecture but in the process near-convinced myself, but I'd still like others' input.)

  2. #2
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The WhimWham View Post
    It seems to me that tarot card reading is one of the best examples of Ni in action. It involves archetypes, introspection and "deeper meanings". It also involves massaging data and recontextualising it to fit those archetypal images.

    In my opinion, it also involves a lot of "confirmation bias": a tarot reading can never be wrong, because all you have to do is recontextualise the data and... BAM! It all fits.
    Much like astrology, Nostradamus' predictions, and dream analysis.

    So that's my hypothesis: so-cal led "confirmation bias" is an artefact of Ni.

    As an added bonus, if you buy John Beebe's model (which I do), Ni in INTPs seems to manifest itself in the Senex/Witch archetype as a kind of negative "magical thinking" whereby everything seems to conspire to point towards the worst possible outcome. (See, for example, Billy Bob Thornton's more OCD-ish traits.) Again, it all involves confirmation bias, and this may explain why this is such a bugbear with INTPs.

    Anyway, thoughts?
    It seems plausible, but I doubt think Ni is the sole proprietor of CB. Additionally, I wouldn't stretch or contort myself to convince anyone that if they have a confirmation bias that it's the direct result of Ni. I'd even cluster Ni with Fi in this instance.

    It's probably just an interesting coincidence.

    I wrote this as conjecture but in the process near-convinced myself, but I'd still like others' input.
    That happens a lot with NTPs. Of course, other types too, but NTPs probably more than the others.
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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    i could see Ni being responsible for confirmation bias, though i'd say xNxJs probably learn to account for it. it seems like more of an underdeveloped Ni thing.

    edit: i also agree with nocapszy about Fi being involved.

    and when i think about it, i know a couple of xSFPs that are into it. (confirmation bias )

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    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Probably more underdeveloped Je thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Probably more underdeveloped Je thing.
    Or overdeveloped. Je without any underlying vision/sense of things will categorize inappropriately based on what seems expedient or comfortable.

    I think the point is that the essence of Ni greatly complements confirmation bias.

    My Ni is pretty healthy, but I do know i have a sense of fatalism. I might be projecting a big picture where none exists, then filling in the gaps with the likely tragedies that flesh it all out. Another problem is causes is that it actively can undermine Ti because it "discounts" any specific approach to a situation because I can't prove that particular framework to be any more true than another, potentially. (Still, ISxJs are often fatalist/dour. In that case, Ni is their 8th function and Ne is their auxiliary.)

    Anyhoo, confirmation bias can also just be based on shoddy thinking, over-emotionalism, or a host of other things. Everyone is screwy, just in their own way.
    "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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    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Hmm...

    Let's take a look into an INTJ's mind.

    Ni puts everything into relativistic terms. Absolutely nothing can remain concrete, or so they've learned, so they've come to accept that everything has bias. Nothing can be taken at face value, because everything has the stink of something else all over it. Usually we don't believe that the 'stink' is evil (as INFJs do in their pursuit for 'sincerity') but as rather just the way the world is, and that one has to live with it and fight through the bias one's self.

    Because nothing can be trusted, the INTJ must trust his own biases if he's ever going to get anywhere. He can accept that he has biases, and usually doesn't bother with 'in my opinion' at the end of phrases because he thinks that it should be obvious. These biases are relatively useless and harmless until they rub up against the real world. When they do, one bias can be proven effective and one can be proven ineffective. If the INTJ's bias is proven ineffective when actually handling the world around him for gains, be they personal or otherwise, he will refine them until they are effective. Because, on top of everything, effectiveness is also relative, the INTJ continually strives to make things more and more effective -- which is often perceived as the 'overtightening of screws' by other people.

    When you argue with an INTJ, the INTJ naturally thinks that he is right. If he makes his statement and you don't immediately agree or shred the argument apart with logic, he will argue. Usually he'll try to attack your point with the amorphous idea in his head and struggle to shape it into words for weapons. What somebody else may perceive as a shift in an INTJs argument is one of three things: 1) the INTJ trying to reshape the argument because he thinks that the original argument didn't make sense to you and that you didn't 'get it,' so it bears repeating in different words that hopefully you'll understand, 2) the INTJ is subconsciously shifting their argument, which is a boo-boo on their part, or 3) the INTJ is consciously shifting their argument because of a previous boo-boo and is praying that you won't notice.

    Also, according to an INTJ, they are never wrong. They will have an idea, and then they will intellectually spar with you and your idea. If your idea wins, then they will adopt your idea, but it's still theirs because it has become a part of their mind. They may not take credit for it, but they still have a grasp on it, and it's still good, so it's theirs. They may not have always been 'right,' but this doesn't matter because they're still 'right' in the present time, so they are moving on. The only reason why being 'wrong' previously would bother them is if they had done something very stupid because of their 'wrongness' or had hurt a loved one because of it, but otherwise, being wrong and then being found out is harmless and a part of the learning experience. This approach isn't either right or wrong, it's just something that INTJs have to do to sleep soundly at night.

    Back to 'confirmation bias': what I see here is the INTP's Ti rubbing against Ni the wrong way. Ti finds and sorts 'truth' while Ni cannot see outright truths in anything. Ni sees how something can fit into something without any regards to truth, which is very much like a tarot reading. But, if this is accepted as being biased, does the fact that it's confirmation bias even matter anymore? If we accept that there was either a subconscious or conscious reason for information to be presented in a certain way, why should it matter? If we accept that, everything restabilizes and the fact that there was 'confirmation bias' in the first place is no longer important. It is just something that merely is.

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    hap, doesn't what you said about INTJs apply to INFJs as well?

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    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    hap, doesn't what you said about INTJs apply to INFJs as well?
    Most of it does. Fe for INFJs helps to soften the blow of this bizarre logic to other people, though. Most of it applies, but if it were for an INFJ, it would be toned down quite a bit.

    For example an INFJ may remain deferential to somebody who had taught them what was 'right' in order to preserve good relations while an INTJ wouldn't care. If the other person can't move on on from the fact that the INTJ made a mistake, then the INTJ would leave because the person is obnoxious. Most of the basic points would still stand for INFJs, though, because most of it is caused by domNi. However, I just knew that I'd get a lot of INFJs yelling at me if what I said didn't apply to them and I'd included them.

    See, if I had done anything, it would be 'Stupid INTJ, not able to understand anyone but themselves!' but if another INFJ says anything they would just be 'Stupid... person!' If any INFJs want to highlight what still holds true for them from that very long, long, long post, be my guest.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Much like astrology, Nostradamus' predictions, and dream analysis.
    Absolutely. Of course, the irony here is that we could probably include type in that list as well.

    It seems plausible, but I doubt think Ni is the sole proprietor of CB. Additionally, I wouldn't stretch or contort myself to convince anyone that if they have a confirmation bias that it's the direct result of Ni. I'd even cluster Ni with Fi in this instance.

    It's probably just an interesting coincidence.
    Can you go into more detail as to how Fi ties in here?

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    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The WhimWham View Post
    Absolutely. Of course, the irony here is that we could probably include type in that list as well.
    Not exactly. Most peoples' understanding maybe, but type doesn't attempt to know what's happening. It only describes what we can already see. It's like having a dictionary for personality. Most people don't use words right either though.

    Can you go into more detail as to how Fi ties in here?
    Fi tends to believe what it wants. It's a value judgement. How xxx phenomena makes someone feel is what matters. Not what makes sense.

    It's not a perfect fit, but neither is Ni.

    That being said, CB was designed to describe something more universal than type theory does, so it makes sense that it would have some overlap and some places where it doesn't quite match.
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