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  1. #1
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Default I'm this, so you must be this

    It seems to me that often people are dangerously self-referential in their MBTI understanding.

    What I mean by this is that as someone grows in self-awareness along with type-awareness, they seem to begin to intertwine what they know about themselves with their understanding of the type and attribute behaviors or processing that have nothing to do with MBTI as being necessary characteristics of the type.

    I've noticed this same phenomenon with people who have close relationships with a member of a particular type (spouse, parent, best friend, etc). They seem to observe behaviors in this person (usually things that irritate them or that they don't like) and begin to either overlay the characteristics of the person they know on to the expression of everyone who claims that type or else conclude that those who don't exhibit a particular characteristic, but still claim the type, must be mistyped.

    Anyone else noticed this? Any thoughts?
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
    ...Anais Nin

  2. #2
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    OMG I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    it's seriously the thing that pisses me off most about all the XNXX hate threads (actually it may be the thing that pisses me off most on this whole forum).

    people within a type show a great deal of variability. and cognitive functions don't directly measure personality.

    sometimes when i talk about how i don't identify with the traits most of the INFJs on this forum seem to agree on, people suggest "further exploration", etc. so annoying.

    seriously, thank you for posting this.

  3. #3
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    I remember when I first learnt of type and picked which one sounded like me, the only reference I had for my type was myself. As a result I learnt more of INTPs straight away before any other type and the biggest example I had of one was me.

    I think people have the tendency, when learning of type, to remember descriptions of their type that describe them and either ignore or reshape descriptions that don't in Forer style. This makes them create their own picture of their type using the features of themselves. I had to make a conscious effort to not let myself do this.

    But there are things that even now I find myself doing with type. I have an old friend, who can be quite petty and who I really don't like much and he is almost definitely an INTX. I really, really want him to be a J, just so he can be further removed from me. I told this to another INTJ friend of mine who knows the same guy and he too was horrified that I typed both of them the same.

    I don't think this example really shows that much subjective typing though, it only shows how much of a prick this guy I'm talking about is.
    Why do we always come here?

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  4. #4
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    Anyone else noticed this? Any thoughts?
    I do that quite a bit.

    I've been trying recently to be much more careful in those kind of judgments. The poor INTJs have had to suffer the blunt of my intuitive generalizations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  5. #5

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    I just ran into that yesterday when a poster questioned my type because I don't like cats.

    I agree that this phenomenon is the most frustrating thing about type. Some people take it to mean that there are really only sixteen people in the world, and we just have different names.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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    /Nohari

  6. #6
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Lol, people are nuts.

    It's incredibly hard for me to believe that all human beings can somehow fit into, and be defined by, a mere 16 personality archetypes.

    When I was first introduced to the MBTI, and subsequently discovered that I typed as an "ENFP", upon reading the profile, I remember feeling literally *shocked* by how accurately the type description reflected not only who I was as a person, but also why I was who I happened to be.

    It was like experiencing ninja voodoo magic, in fact I still kind of regard it as such, but whatever, it works for *me*.

    I think most people need something to believe in, whether it be God, Christianity, or the fact, er fiction, that they are an ENTP.

    I've *never* met another ENFP in real life, and I have major difficulties typing those who are closest to me, so yeah, the MBTI is *not* for everybody.

    For me, it's just nice to know that I am not a complete mutant being, and that there are in fact others who are similar to me.

    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

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  7. #7
    perdu fleur par bologne Martoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I've noticed this same phenomenon with people who have close relationships with a member of a particular type (spouse, parent, best friend, etc). They seem to observe behaviors in this person (usually things that irritate them or that they don't like) and begin to either overlay the characteristics of the person they know on to the expression of everyone who claims that type or else conclude that those who don't exhibit a particular characteristic, but still claim the type, must be mistyped.
    I agree with what you're saying, except I don't see people limiting their point of reference to close relationships. They'll guess a type for the most casual acquaintance that rubs them the wrong way (at work, school, checkout cashier, whatever), and project those qualities on that type.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I just ran into that yesterday when a poster questioned my type because I don't like cats.
    That's why my cat hates INTJs.

    I agree that this phenomenon is the most frustrating thing about type. Some people take it to mean that there are really only sixteen people in the world, and we just have different names.
    lol. That nails it pretty well. Maybe we should just go all-in and use homogeneous names within our type. Like all the Todds and Lorraines in the Bright and Shiny cult in Bubble Boy.


    Unfortunately, any time you classify people into any kind of named classes, people inevitably use it prejudicially, and feel compelled to establish some kind of superior/inferior relationships. MBTI is no exception. In fact, a lot of the talk I see around these forums (and more so at INTPc, I think) is the same rhetoric I see from racists, sexists, etc., with different keywords swapped in.
    I'm not a procrastinator. I'm a long-term planner.

  8. #8
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Yep, confirmation bias is a big problem for the MBTI. It causes projection of selected elements, big time.

  9. #9
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Yep, bias is in general the biggest single problem in typology.
    I know a couple of tested ENTJ's via the military. (They/we seem to be drawn to that place.) But none of them are like me in most cases. I get the feeling we're alike on a basic level but that it differs greatly in other areas. Like what life has given or taken from us.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  10. #10
    Enigma Nadir's Avatar
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    It sucks for the invalidator but only partially for the invalidated -- because when one does that, all it results in a statement saying: "Regardless of who you might be, I will perceive you this way." Because, repeat after me, type is meaningless. When one's type is so invalidated, nothing actually changes -- it's simply a notification that the other side would rather conform to a more narrow minded perspective.
    Not really.

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