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  1. #1
    Junior Member Scytale's Avatar
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    Default Help with jungian dichotomies vs. cognitive functions

    Greetings y'all. I'm quite a newcomer to the forum, although I've been lurking around for a while now; appologies if this has been posted before (it probably has, but couldn't find anything).

    Can someone shed some light or point me at some reading material on why (not how) dichotomies translate into cognitive functions and viceversa? I can sort of understand how the 4 dichotomies work, and how cognitive functions apply to people, but the relationship between them doesn't seem consistent.

    I, myself, coming out of the closet as an intj with a weaker or stronger i can relate to Ni, Te, Ti, I see how Fi, Se, Ne, and Si play their fairly minor roles in my life, and would also gladly ship most strong Fe's and Se's around me (including my EnFj gf, who is the living incarnation of Fe on Earth) to an orbital reeducation camp. So I can at least see how the dominant and secondary stand out sometimes in people.

    But given that the correlation between one's personality matrix and their actual behavior is rather weak (.3 - .4 maybe, according to some studies) and that when it comes to empyrical psychology we could agree that "natura non facit saltus" it's somewhat hard for me to understand how one change in the 4 dichotomies (I'm going to say from a P to a J) changes one's cognitive functions almost completely. Consistent manifestation of tertiaries or shadows seems highly unlikely from this perspective - how on Earth can someone pin a tertiary to you, if your primary and secondaries are barely visible with .3 certainty. Also, the algorithms by which cognitive functions are derived from dichotomies or viceversa seem akin to horoscopes (things like "if you have a J than your whatever function is extrovertite" on websites make my skin curdle).

    It's a bit hard for me to formulate my questions exactly, so I'm hoping that someone can gather what my MBTI insecurities are from the above.

  2. #2
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Well, there's basically two camps in this issue. One speaks of the alternating i and e functions with confidence, i.e. "If you have secondary Ti, then you have tertiary Fe", etc. The other camp considers what the person's main cognitive functions really are, and fits them into the standard model. I.E. this person has top cognitive functions Ni, Ne, Te, but as it doesn't fit any standard MBTI type, disregard Ne and type him/her as an INTJ.

    I place myself strongly in the second camp, and I lean a bit to the behavioral development model. It suggests that people develop their functions during different time periods, which overlap to some extent. It's a fuzzy subject, but there's some statistical evidence to establish connections between type and behavior.

    Person's two dominant functions follow the theoretical model, by definition. It gets fuzzy as soon as counting from the third function and up.

    I've noticed that a person aged 30 years is usually well developed in both the i and e version of their first function, quite contrary to the theory, which would have the two functions in opposite ends of their preference.

    I've also noticed that the i and e versions of developing functions (second function at about age of 20, third at about 30) have a greater difference in strength at the time of most intense development. I wouldn't call that a scientific finding, tho - it's just a big, fat opinion from my side.

    The undeveloped functions, like Si and Se for and ENTP, usually both seem rather undeveloped for a person aged 20..30. This seems like a strong statistical observation, with many prominent counterexamples.

    All this speculation is uncertain due to lack of scientifically validated method to measure person's cognitive functions, tho it seems like there's something there.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
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    I ran across an article yesterday that confirmed what we all should know about Extravert/Introvert dichotomies. The author says that:
    The stereotyping comes when we imagine that the two functions are opposing extremes, whereas reality is that everybody needs some time by themselves, particularly if they are in a busy job with lots of social contact, and everybody needs some time with other people. There are also those who for various reasons find it hard to deal with change, and noise, and bright lights, and who may need time in a peaceful, darkened room to recharge, making them seem more introverted than they necessarily are. And there are those who seem well-balanced, able to socialise and also to enjoy their own company.
    I think that using simple dichotomies, although most find it easy to understand type with this method, does a disservice to Jung’s work.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Scytale's Avatar
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    It does indeed make more sense for me to think of any Xi and Xe as the same cognitive function, aimed inwards or outwards - perhaps as preferred ways to use the same cognitive functions, not as different functions. Which is why somehow statements like "your Ni does this and your Ne does that" may seem quite distorted.

  5. #5
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
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    Yet if you think about it. The attitude (E/I) gives the function a totally different flavor. Going with your example of Ni/Ne, in general intuition is:
    .... a process of becoming aware of abstract information, like symbols, conceptual patterns, and meanings. It is an intangible "knowing" of what something means, how it relates to something else, or what might happen. Some call this the "sixth" sense. Sometimes this process is by an external event, or sometimes this abstract information just seems to present itself to our awareness.
    However when you add the extraverted attitude, Ne is about:
    .... weaving themes and "threads" together. We don't know the weave until a thought thread appears or is drawn out in the interaction with a previous one. Thus there is often an emergent quality to using this process. A strategy or concept emerges based on the here-and-now interactions, not appearing as a whole beforehand. Extraverted iNtuiting involves realizing that there is always another view. An example is when you listen to one friend tell about an argument and understand perfectly and then listen to another friend tell a contradictory story and understand that view also. Then you wonder what the real story is because there are always so many different possible meanings.
    I purposely bolded the information, because too many times people misunderstand that Ne looks into the future. Both extraverted irrational functions (Se/Ne) are present oriented. The only difference is that Ne sees possibilities in a situation and Se sees the actual opportunities to take advantage of a situation. Compare the definition of Ne to Ni which is:
    .... foreseeing implications, conceptualizing, and having images of the future or profound meaning. Introverted iNtuiting often involves a sense of what will be. The details might be a little fuzzy, but when you tune in to this process, there is some sense of how things will be. Using this process, we often are able to get pictures about the future or at least a sense of what will happen before we have any data. Sometimes it is an awareness of what is happening in another location and we have no sensory data to go on. Other times introverted iNtuiting operates when we conceptualize and get a sense of a whole plan, pattern, theory, or explanation. In using this process, we tune into a likely future or something universal.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Scytale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by "?" View Post
    Yet if you think about it. The attitude (E/I) gives the function a totally different flavor.
    I don't see how... pure Ne seems to be exactly intuition based on outside stimuli, while pure Ni seems to be intuition based on internal formalism, completely disconnected from reality. Ultimately, intuition is a hightened sense of deriving the synthesis from thesis and antithesis - a branch of formal reasoning - which they're trying to do on computers nowadays.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
    I don't see how... pure Ne seems to be exactly intuition based on outside stimuli, while pure Ni seems to be intuition based on internal formalism, completely disconnected from reality. Ultimately, intuition is a hightened sense of deriving the synthesis from thesis and antithesis - a branch of formal reasoning - which they're trying to do on computers nowadays.
    pleeeeeeeeeese speak english. What I do know is that introverted intuition wouldn't have anything to do with 'formal reasoning', being an introverted AND irrational process. (most of logic-class logic is Te).

    What exactly are you trynig to say.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Scytale's Avatar
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    It depends what you mean by rational and reason. If I'm not mistaken, by "irrational" Jung didn't actually mean lack of reason, he meant to distinguish passive, observant functions from active, judgemental functions. Intuition is formal reasoning, because - unless you're a mentalist and believe in ocult intervention - the information which is the result of the process of intuition (however skewed and weird and irrational it may seem in the case of strong intuitive types), doesn't quite fall out of nowhere, it's still the result of your neocortex working off existent information through a more or less rigurous algorithm.

    If I understand correctly what Jung meant by intuition and thinking, both intuition and thinking are logical, but Intuition works with more abstract formalism and symbols and tends to branch off into the holy void sometimes, Thinking works with more hegelian/kantian types of constructs which can be applied in everyday life (which is why people may infer that Te and Ti are more "judgemental" and "practical"). Ultimately, it seems to me that they're quite the same, but at different scales: where thinking takes you from apple to fruit, intuition will take you from apple to original sin.

  9. #9
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    I took irrational to mean without conscious thought aka automatically processed.

    Based on that definition, I don't see how intuition can be formal reasoning though. It's unconscious.

  10. #10
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
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    Let's get back to basics here. First let's clarify the subject heading. Jung's work does not outline dichotomies. He merely references E/I in support of the the functions by calling them attitudes and references to J/P in grouping the functions. Thus there are no dichotomies but terms to distinguish his functions. Nevertheless this is what he says about introverted judging and perceiving:Introverted Judging
    Both the foregoing types are rational, since they are founded upon reasoning, judging functions. Reasoning [p. 496] judgment is based not merely upon objective, but also upon subjective, data. But the predominance of one or other factor, conditioned by a psychic disposition often existing from early youth, deflects the reasoning function. For a judgment to be really reasonable it should have equal reference to both the objective and the subjective factors, and be able to do justice to both. This, however, would be an ideal case, and would presuppose a uniform development of both extraversion and introversion. But either movement excludes the other, and, so long as this dilemma persists, they cannot possibly exist side by, side, but at the most successively. Under ordinary circumstances, therefore, an ideal reason is impossible. A rational type has always a typical reasonal variation.
    Introverted Perceiving
    The two types just depicted are almost inaccessible to external judgment. Because they are introverted and have in consequence a somewhat meagre capacity or willingness for expression, they offer but a frail handle for a telling criticism. Since their main activity is directed within, nothing is outwardly visible but reserve, secretiveness, lack of sympathy, or uncertainty, and an apparently groundless perplexity. When anything does come to the surface, it usually consists in indirect manifestations of inferior and relatively unconscious functions. Manifestations of such a nature naturally excite a certain environmental prejudice against these types. Accordingly they are mostly underestimated, or at least misunderstood. To the same degree as they fail to understand themselves -- because they very largely lack judgment -- they are also powerless to understand why they are so constantly undervalued by public opinion. They cannot see that their outward-going expression is, as a matter of fact, also of an inferior character. Their vision is enchanted by the abundance of subjective events. What happens there is so captivating, and of such inexhaustible attraction, that they do not appreciate the fact that their habitual communications to their circle express very, little of that real experience in which they themselves are, as it were, caught up.
    Last edited by "?"; 05-16-2008 at 10:26 AM.

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