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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Type vs. Ability vs. Strengths

    MBTI or cognitive preference does not imply a strength. If someone prefers Ne or Te, it doesn't mean that it's well developed. On the same token, the MBTI profiles consistently describe what each type is good at as well as their weaknesses. An example would be "NTs are good at strategic planning" or "NFs are empathetic".

    These things seem contradictory.

    There are a few possibilities I can think of:
    - The profiles are bad/wrong
    - cognitive preferences do lead to strengths because a person prefers to think a certain way and do it a lot
    - cognitive preferences do lead to strengths because a person has greater natural ability for certain things

    Any thoughts on this? Any opinions on the relationship between those three things (type, ability, strength)?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member PimpinMcBoltage's Avatar
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    You got it right. It should also be noted that these profiles are working on either dichotomy idiocy or poorly described versions of the cognitive functions, such as describing Si as a categorization function whenever it isn't.

    Also a lot of the profiles are worked around having a specific persona (INTJ "Mastermind"), and not actually delving inside deeply into the each person's individual brain, which is why you get a lot of INTJs out there who are simply not INTJs (though I believe half of those who mistype as INTJs are Intuitives. There aren't more intuitives out there than sensors. No matter how much your ego wants it to be).

    Outside of that I don't have nothing original to say.

  3. #3
    Anew Leaf
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    (This concept feels so chicken/egg... I have a hard time finding an edge to grasp onto. Oh, Ni... my delicious bane in life.)

    I kind of think it's all of these at play to some degree.

    There is a line that has to be walked with profiles to describe with enough detail to seem plausible/legit and enough generalities that the person can fill in the blanks themselves. Not to say that profiles don't have merits/accuracies in them... I just think there is a giant grey area of usefulness-less to them.

    To me there is definitely a natural relationship between certain strengths and cognitive preferences. I don't think that it's by accident that certain types predominantly fill certain roles in society. (It doesn't rule out other types filling those same rules, but they will arrive by a different method and perhaps have different intentions/results.) If you like doing something and you are good at it, it's a self feeding positive feedback loop that is going to keep you doing that same thing. Maybe that's it.

  4. #4
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    There are a few possibilities I can think of:
    - The profiles are bad/wrong
    - cognitive preferences do lead to strengths because a person prefers to think a certain way and do it a lot
    - cognitive preferences do lead to strengths because a person has greater natural ability for certain things
    I think all three of these things are true, just not 100% of the time. But especially in the case of strengths, it is often interpreted as ALL or even most people of X type have X strength....which is often so far from the truth that it can be very misleading.

    So for example a description could say that NTs are more likely to be good at math than other types, and it could be correct - maybe NTs are twice as likely to be good at math vs. the average person (for whatever reason - probably a combination of the ones you've mentioned), which seems like a notable difference.

    But let's say 10% of the overall population is good at math and 20% of the NT population is good at math. Furthermore, the NT population is less than 1/4 of the overall population. This means that (with these obviously fake numbers), not only is an NT 80% likely to be not good at math, but also that a randomly selected "good at math" person is more likely to be non-NT, due to their relative scarcity. Yet you'll see NTs everywhere bragging that their type means they're good at math and assuming that everyone who's good at math is an NT, and vice-versa.

    So even when a description is technically accurate when interpreted correctly, it is very common to see it wildly over-interpreted. The most obvious example is Ns and IQ, but you could pick just about any strength or weakness and find a dozen examples on this forum.
    -end of thread-

  5. #5
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    To me there is definitely a natural relationship between certain strengths and cognitive preferences. I don't think that it's by accident that certain types predominantly fill certain roles in society. (It doesn't rule out other types filling those same rules, but they will arrive by a different method and perhaps have different intentions/results.) If you like doing something and you are good at it, it's a self feeding positive feedback loop that is going to keep you doing that same thing. Maybe that's it.
    You are on the right track. It is an extension of "practice makes perfect". If we prefer and feel comfortable doing something, we will tend to do it more often, and get better at it through practice and experience as we see what works and what doesn't. Conversely, if we don't like something and it makes us uncomfortable, we will try to avoid it, and are less likely to improve. To go along with this, we might prefer and enjoy an activity at least partly because we are good at it. So, there might be some innate ability fueling our preferences to begin with.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    there's no "good" at cognitive functions without context. to be good at a cognitive function means to be able to learn quickly when given a task that would supposedly correlate with function aptitude? master a particular task over time? explain the function with a high degree of awareness? work effectively in specific roles in socio-cognitive groups that would benefit from that function?

    i think it just means your learning is located in types of cognitive pathways. they're all happening, but your attention, your spotlight, the huge investment in illuminating part of the process as you connect past learning to the decision moment that is happening deliberately with your adult brain which has built up not just a privileged relationship with a specific type of pathway but also a realization that this pathway has more development than most of the other ones for you because its degree of awareness is so much finer. and because your ego is an outgrowth of this specialization as well, so your sense of who you are produces all kinds of additional constraint that makes this way of thinking and these ways of producing something valuable a part of you.

    i just mean that sometimes we think of it backwards. there can be a selective pressure that says we prefer a particular type of process. and then there can be a selective pressure that says a fuckload of our learning has happened in a specialized way and that that's our highest quality understanding that most relates to what we are and how we understand ourselves. attention is this huge blast of awareness that allows us to learn much, much faster. it's hard to know whether there are real limitations or constraints that make it difficult to switch how our attention works, or if it's just a practical thing that usually happens because the need to be efficient and not start over from scratch with types of awareness that are so undeveloped. i see the pressure as both top down and bottom up.

    we often do equate the aptitude for something with the ability to do so without really paying respect to the cultivation necessary to be successful in those tasks. some Ni tasks, for instance, benefit greatly from intermediary languages to help anchor the conceptual, analogy process. and they are developed by constant recursive iterations and feedback modeling systems, which requires circular thinking. but Ni can be used for various scopes and can be more or less visual, depending on cultivation. all of the processes can do a lot of shit beyond how we vaguely describe the behavioral distinctions between them.

  7. #7
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    If you like doing something and you are good at it, it's a self feeding positive feedback loop that is going to keep you doing that same thing. Maybe that's it.
    That seems about right. Although honestly i've never found anything I like doing that I am good at, apart from constant attempts at joking....which i'm not good at, but I enjoy it nonetheless.

    I'm sure i've read multiple times now that functions, (being a template to outline something that could be considered to already exist in heuristics), aren't about capabilities but they can influence...tastes, as @Saturned said above.

    For example, (and i'm being extremely general here), ESJ's are probably always going to have some inclination to organise the immediate physical and social environment, based on logistical/loss and gain considerations or social ones. How each individual ESJ person might do this depends entirely upon that individual, but the outline remains, it just isn't as defined nor constricting as people make it out to be.
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  8. #8
    Junior Member Emerill's Avatar
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    Default

    I've wondered about this also.
    It's all three points.
    A large part of this problem is because the profiles are too biased, and tests. It's rare to find a good profile.

    Another problem could be the wording. I agree with AffirmitiveAnxiety, those are preferences. These preferences could make it easier to develop certain behaviors than others. But since it's a preference, it's not always, for various reasons (one could be an underdeveloped cognitive function, like you mentioned). So instead of making generalizations like 'NF's are empathetic', it should be, 'NF's have a tendency to be empathetic than other types' or the like. Otherwise, those generalizations just become stereotypes and create a lot of confusion.

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    of course you have to wonder about people who intentionally develop different skill sets that they are not naturally adept at as well (a non-functional example being a person with a stutter who trains themselves out of it and becomes pretty awesome at interpersonal verbal communications)

    and I've often thought that anyone who can look at a type description and NOT think that it's utter crap is lying to themselves
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  10. #10
    Member roastingmallows's Avatar
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    Totally. NTs are supposed to be all "smart" but that is really only if they are SMART NTs. I'm sure there are plenty of dumb NTs around. The functions are just tools. You have to use them well to get good results, and work with your strengths. Besides that, the functions are kind of VAGUE, and don't get me started on the MBTI dichotomies. Obviously, people have individual strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, an NT and an SJ may have similar strenths, but go about them in different ways, bringing something completely different (but equally useful) to the table.

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