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  1. #1
    Senior Member Entropic's Avatar
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    Default The differences between the MBTI and Jung

    I see a lot of confusion on this site about the differences between the MBTI and Jung. The reason I'm making this thread is because I think we need to discuss the differences between what an MBTI type is and what a Jungian type is which is not the same thing. In the MBTI system, what is mostly measured are what we could call at best function output. This is why the MBTI tests ask questions whether you're a thinker or a feeler, an outgoing type or an introverted type and so on.

    In Jungian theory, what the MBTI truly measures is thus what Jung called the persona:

    The persona, for Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, was the social face the individual presented to the world—"a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual."
    What we get is thus that people often end up being one MBTI type but a different Jungian type. For instance, many sensors mistype themselves as intuitives because they see themselves as imaginative and so on, and many intelligent feelers mistype themselves as thinkers and many intuitives who are more hands-on mistype themselves as sensors, and many extroverts mistype themselves as introverts because they fail to understand the differences between how the MBTI defines introversion-extroversion as opposed to Jung, and many thinkers mistype themselves as feelers if they are more on the emotional spectrum.

    Thus, a lot of confusion arises from the fact that the MBTI system does not attempt to fully utilize the cognitive function theory Jung laid out, but instead tries to peg people into types based on perceived function output. Therefore, a person who appears unemotional must be a thinker because their ego is oriented more towards thinking and rejects feeling as an evaluative process. This might sound good in theory but utterly fails in actuality, since being emotional or not has little to do with whether we are thinkers or feelers. It shows a great misunderstanding of Jung's concept of type and how the functions operate within the psyche.

    Aside thinking and feeling that I think are arguably one of the most misunderstood functions in type communities, there's an equally big problem with the introversion-extroversion axis where many fail to realize that your social energy is not necessarily related to your ego-conscious function attitude. By ego-conscious function attitude I am referring to that Jung postitulated that the ego will always accept one function as the dominant perspective in the psyche, and this function will furthermore be oriented in an introverted or extroverted manner, suggesting a bias where our cognitive focus lies. The best way to exemplify the differences between cognitive introversion-extroversion is to compare to the differences between subjectivity-objectivity in philosophy:

    Objectivity is a central philosophical concept, related to reality and truth, which has been variously defined by sources. Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being true even outside of a subject's individual feelings, imaginings, or interpretations. A proposition is generally considered to be objectively true (to have objective truth) when its truth conditions are met and are "mind-independent"—that is, existing freely or independently from a mind (from the thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. of a sentient subject). In a simpler meaning of the term, objectivity refers to the ability to judge fairly, without bias or external influence.
    Subjectivity is a term used in philosophy to refer to the condition of being a subject and the subject's perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires.[1] The term is usually contrasted with objectivity,[1] which is used to describe humans as "seeing" the universe exactly for what it is from a standpoint free from human perception and its influences, human cultural interventions, past experience and expectation of the result.
    When the ego is oriented towards extroversion, we could thus say that the ego also favors an objective view of the world whereas if the ego is orientated towards introversion, we could say it favors a subjective worldview. Where we derive our energy thus doesn't say much when it comes to our actual cognitive function preferences.

    Therefore, what is important to understand is that the MBTI type must be separated from actual Jungian cognitive type. This is why I type as an MBTI INTP because my personality or persona is oriented towards thinking. I'm what you could say, unemotional in the sense of not being particularly people-oriented. Similarly, I'm extremely messy and not very organized and structured and I'm idea-oriented over hands-on concrete thinking and I'm introverted because I can't stand being around people for long without suffering a mental breakdown resulting in panic attacks because it drains so much energy.

    Despite of this, I'm a Jungian F-N-S-T type with a preference towards my ego being introverted meaning Fi-N-S-Te. My thinking is expressed through the inferior because my thinking is extroverted, not introverted which is completely opposite of the INTP type that prefers the functions Ti-N-S-Fe. It would be possible to argue Te-N-S-Fi for me, so in a way it is right just that my ego orientation would thus be extroverted instead of cognitively introverted, but I do not possess any ego complexes surrounding my feeling function as I do when it comes to thinking. My auxiliary and tertiary functions are not fully differentiated towards any specific orientation which is expressed in that I can find myself switching between Ni-Se and Si-Ne.

    When typing people we should thus ask ourselves, what is it that we're actually typing? Is it MBTI type based on stereotypes but if that's true, then why even bother with function terminology and instead not just type people based on the four letter code? If it's an attempt to type Jungian type, then why get stuck on whether people derive energy from social interaction or doing things as opposed to where their cognitive focus bias seems to lie? Is it towards objectivity or subjectivity? Most importantly, we should ask ourselves, how do we type people? Why do we type people the way we type them? Does self-growth comes from knowing your MBTI type more or does it come from knowing your Jungian type?

    I was waiting for the day you and I would meet.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member madhatter's Avatar
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    I don't disagree completely with what you're saying here, especially the part about the persona. But, I don't necessarily agree that MBTI types should be separated from the Jungian ones. You mention different types "mistyping" in their preferences. And that's exactly what they are: mistypes. People not understanding the true nature of the preferences or functions, and not having a lot of self awareness. I don't like the simplification that MBTI has undergone from Jungian functions, in that the simplification leads to the stereotypes in a lot of material. Not all, but enough to perpetuate some of the more offending stereotypes. Especially when it comes to the Sensation-Intuition dichotomy.

    I know we have discussed this before, but I don't think that you can be INTP in MBTI, and INFP in Jung's functions. There is some variations between MBTI and Jungian types, but not so drastically that you can different dominant preference/functions that really are not compatible in that way. For instance, in MBTI, I would say that my sister is ISTJ. But, in Jungian types, I debate whether she is Si-dom or Te-dom. But it's still xSTJ, or Si-Te. With my own type, I have good command of my second auxiliary, so I often fluctuate between being Ti-Se-Ni-Fe, and Ti-Ni-Se-Fe. When I first typed myself in MBTI, I tested as both ISTP and INTP. So the most consistent thing in my type has been Ti, or IxTP, which makes sense. My INFP brother has a thinking persona, but I would not type him as INTP in MBTI. His thinking function is inferior, but that doesn't make him any less intellectual or intelligent or logical, etc. But despite this side to him, in which we really connect, he still makes judgments based out of this evaluative, deeply personal and elusive place before he would make judgments from an impersonal, conceptual position like I would.

    I still see you as an MBTI INFP, and I can see how your thinking persona is stemming from inferior Te. You would call yourself "unemotional" and from the outside, I would call my brother unemotional and not people-oriented as well. This makes sense. Fi is very oriented to the self, and its true nature is not on the surface for others to witness like Fe is. True INFPs are not all buttercups and rainbows, and that goes for MBTI and JCF.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Entropic's Avatar
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    @madhatter I suppose it depends on how you understand the functions and the system and how the functions are defined. I always type as INTP on MBTI tests, and there are plenty of people who are certain I'm an INTx type (I asked two people on PersC during the past couple of days and they both swear on my INTP-ness). If we look at what the MBTI system is meant to do, i.e. sorting people based on their personality to see what tasks they are good at performing at the work place, then arguably I am not an INFP type either since I prefer performing typical "INTP professions".

    Unlike you, I've never typed as a sensor on any MBTI test and always score a strong preference towards intuition. I also tend to score strongly towards thinking since many MBTI tests tend to differentiate T/F based on how people-oriented you are.

    So according to you, what is a true INFP? Is a true INFP different to an MBTI INFP and a Jungian Fi-N type and if so, why or if not, why not? There is clearly a great disrepancy between how the two types are depicted in both systems.

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    Really interesting questions you raise, though I'm only new to both Jung and MBTI and still trying to get to grips with both (see my first post of confusions yesterday!). I'm still trying to evaluate how useful either method is, especially in the light of people's preference for the four elements which is my main interest. The issue of objective/ subjective orientation is so important but I'm not sure if relating it directly to extraversion/introversion is too simplistic? I haven't typed myself with MBTI yet but think I'm something like a INTP.. but in truth, I don't much like many of the definitions of terms or descriptions of resulting types that I've read. They seem very loose and sloppy to me, in my research so far.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Entropic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julesxbm View Post
    Really interesting questions you raise, though I'm only new to both Jung and MBTI and still trying to get to grips with both (see my first post of confusions yesterday!). I'm still trying to evaluate how useful either method is, especially in the light of people's preference for the four elements which is my main interest. The issue of objective/ subjective orientation is so important but I'm not sure if relating it directly to extraversion/introversion is too simplistic? I haven't typed myself with MBTI yet but think I'm something like a INTP.. but in truth, I don't much like many of the definitions of terms or descriptions of resulting types that I've read. They seem very loose and sloppy to me, in my research so far.
    Actually, it may seem like a simple and inaccurate correlation at first but it's not quite so. You will see in time that it will most likely be the extroverts who will argue that the world is objective and there is only one truth which we can all observe whereas introverts will be likely to claim that there are many truths and they can only know their own. Knowing that their truth is subjective, they will thus also proceed to assume that everyone else is in possession of their own truths too, limited by their perception of the world in a similar manner.

    The extroverts being extroverts, tend to be blind that there is a subjective nature to our experiences, this is particularly true for Je dominants. Pe dominants may suffer from the issue to being unable to decide on their perception just seeking mroe and more information.

    Why do you find the INTP profiles sloppy?

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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    persona is not what MBTI tries to measure, its just a bias that comes from self report tests and proper MBTI testing includes an discussion with an MBTI professional for this reason to determine the true type. MBTI attempts to measure jungian type, so if your jungian type is FiNe, that makes you MBTI INFP regardless of what results you get from some crappy tests on internets or from official MBTI test(even the official test is just a way to suggest a type for you, not to determine your type and type profiles are just stereotypical crap you need to take with a grain of salt).

    what comes to functions, MBTI used TiNeSeFe originally for INTP because that is what jung was saying about functions. today there are disagreements on whether tert is oriented the same way as dom is or whether it is the opposite as it originally was in MBTI, this is why INTP functions are often said as TiNeSFe, tert having no introversion or extraversion in the official MBTI education.

    this whole aux and tert having no introversion or extraversion in jungs typology is a common misunderstanding stemming from what jung said about only differentiated functions being capable of being oriented and inferior functions being the opposite extraversion/introversion from dom. but what this actually means is just that undifferentiated functions do not sort of guide your ego consciously, hence you are not being oriented by them. and what jung actually said about the other functions is that for introvert dominant function is introverted and other functions having infantile extraverted attitude(i dont have time to look up for exact quote, but you can find it easily if you google, im pretty sure it was on 'psychological types').
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  7. #7
    Fair and Square Flatlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    persona is not what MBTI tries to measure, its just a bias that comes from self report tests and proper MBTI testing includes an discussion with an MBTI professional for this reason to determine the true type. MBTI attempts to measure jungian type, so if your jungian type is FiNe, that makes you MBTI INFP regardless of what results you get from some crappy tests on internets or from official MBTI test(even the official test is just a way to suggest a type for you, not to determine your type and type profiles are just stereotypical crap you need to take with a grain of salt).

    what comes to functions, MBTI used TiNeSeFe originally for INTP because that is what jung was saying about functions. today there are disagreements on whether tert is oriented the same way as dom is or whether it is the opposite as it originally was in MBTI, this is why INTP functions are often said as TiNeSFe, tert having no introversion or extraversion in the official MBTI education.

    this whole aux and tert having no introversion or extraversion in jungs typology is a common misunderstanding stemming from what jung said about only differentiated functions being capable of being oriented and inferior functions being the opposite extraversion/introversion from dom. but what this actually means is just that undifferentiated functions do not sort of guide your ego consciously, hence you are not being oriented by them. and what jung actually said about the other functions is that for introvert dominant function is introverted and other functions having infantile extraverted attitude(i dont have time to look up for exact quote, but you can find it easily if you google, im pretty sure it was on 'psychological types').
    Would you say, then, that a lot of people do not have a proper Jungian type, as you understand his version of a type?
    Thinking must serve the thinker.

  8. #8
    Senior Member madhatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeaT View Post
    madhatter I suppose it depends on how you understand the functions and the system and how the functions are defined. I always type as INTP on MBTI tests, and there are plenty of people who are certain I'm an INTx type (I asked two people on PersC during the past couple of days and they both swear on my INTP-ness). If we look at what the MBTI system is meant to do, i.e. sorting people based on their personality to see what tasks they are good at performing at the work place, then arguably I am not an INFP type either since I prefer performing typical "INTP professions".
    To be blunt, I think that the MBTI tests are complete rubbish when it comes to measuring Fi. Usually the "F" on the tests is more indicative of Fe than Fi. I know two Fi-dominants (INFPs), who I have personally given the test to, who both scored as ISTJ on the test (one being my brother, who scored as ISTJ twice). An ISFP I know scored as ISTP. Also, I sense you're being somewhat rhetorical and facetious here, but I really don't think using professions as a proper basis for determining a type. That's one aspect where I think a lot of MBTI profiles are wrong. For example, I have literally seen "farmer" listed as a potential ideal job for an ISTP. Talk to most ISTPs and suggest becoming a "farmer"...see the reaction that comes from that (I would imagine at best, it would be a collective *facepalm*; at worst, serious trolling and ribbing would ensue). If we just went on the basis of professions, I would be INTP myself. I do not seek adrenaline, thrill-seeking environments. However, I would rather have a work environment that is action-oriented and hands-on, i.e. where I can take direct action towards a realistic goal, even if it involves "theory". I need lots of variety or I go stir-crazy. This is very Se-oriented, even though I do not relate to the stupid grease monkey or adrenaline junkie descriptions.

    The thing about people being convinced you're an INTx type. I was convinced my brother was INTx type. I don't trust that persona anymore. I know I keep referencing my brother, but he's a wealth of information and my primary source for practically understanding Fi, so bear with me. Another reason why I can see you as INFP, even an MBTI INFP, is because of my very first impression of you on PerC. When you first started posting and going under the INTP label, I distinctly remember thinking, I sense Fi in her, not Ti. It was a hunch, and one I think has proved true.

    I don't know exactly which parts of the typical MBTI INFP descriptions that you don't relate to, but I think I guess fairly well. One, you're a 5, and that's going to affect a lot of things; two, I have my brother's experience for a point of reference. You've already mentioned that you're not "people-oriented" like a lot of NF descriptions, and you're not outwardly emotive. Fields such as public service, teaching, counseling, and whatever else INFP descriptions say are ideal jobs would not appeal to you. You also don't fit into the humanitarian, soft image of the badly-written INFP descriptions. Let's look at your area of interest: anthropology. It's a very academic, intellectual, research-oriented field, and what people would immediately say, a-ha! that's NT (because of course, SJs, SPs, and NFs can't be interested in such things...fracking Keirsey). But, what an interest in anthropology shows me is a fundamental interest in humanity, which does not contradict INFP in anyway. It is on a more personal level for you, but what else illustrates Fi better? Your Fi is just not taking an outwardly bent towards an interest in humanity, but in reality, none of the Fi-users I know have an outward expression of their Fi. If they had an outward expression of their Feeling function, they would be extraverted Feelers. Granted, there are a lot, a LOT, of bad descriptions out there that make a complete joke out of INFP, and IxFP in general.

    Unlike you, I've never typed as a sensor on any MBTI test and always score a strong preference towards intuition. I also tend to score strongly towards thinking since many MBTI tests tend to differentiate T/F based on how people-oriented you are.
    Another example of why MBTI is rubbish for measuring Fi.

    So according to you, what is a true INFP? Is a true INFP different to an MBTI INFP and a Jungian Fi-N type and if so, why or if not, why not? There is clearly a great disrepancy between how the two types are depicted in both systems.
    A true INFP is the INFP who, while is sensitive and experiences emotions very deeply and richly, is outwardly cold and aloof, and perhaps apathetic to anything outside their own evaluative and emotional experience. The INFP can be the friendly, easy-going person, but then in a flash is as rigid and immovable and argumentative as the most aggressive ExTJ. Understanding and forgiving of people on one hand, the hypercriticism of mostly themselves but also of others, the perfectionism, and stubbornness on the other hand. I could go on, but I don't see a "true" INFP being different to an MBTI INFP or different to Fi-Ne. Because, I don't see the discrepancy being as great as you describe. The majority of MBTI literature that I own describes INFP very similarly to how I've seen Jungians describe Fi. There of course some things that I disregard automatically in these sources. For instance, anything referring to jobs or hobbies, which I believe to be more environment-based than preference-based. But the true meat of the descriptions I believe effectively describe INFP and effectively describe the experience that such a type may go through. When I refer to "true" INFPs, what I mean is simply people who are actually INFPs opposed to people who think they're INFPs based on the fact that "OMG! INFP is the most unique and rare and imaginative and creative type, I'm unique, imaginative, and creative, and emotional and I luv everybody, except for those awful meany thinkers with no souls! <3<3 xoxoxox :3:3, I must be an INFP!!!!!" *700 quazillion thanks received* (I strongly suspect that people who post like that are 13 year old girls). But that mentality of typing based on cutely packaged adjectives without digging deeper. But with that sort of display running rampant in the xNFP forums, I see why some who actually uses Fi, i.e. you and several other Fi-Ne users I've interacted with on PerC, would not relate to that sort of thing at all. The good INFP descriptions, I feel, don't misrepresent INFPs in this way. It's mainly the crappy internet ones of dubious origin that do.

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    I guess I've been strongly influenced by my Buddhist background (tho' I was probably drawn to that initially because of the pull of my underlying nature). What it's left me with is a conviction/ understanding that there is an objective reality on one level but it's only causal - it's all circumstantial, there's no substance to it. So while everything exists in one sense, it's doesn't exist independently. Buddhism talks about relative truth (things do exist on one level... clearly they do otherwise we couldn't function!) and absolute truth (everything is inherently empty of permanent, independent existence).
    True, I happen to be probably Ti or Ni, but what's to stop an Te or Ne holding the same conviction?

    As for sloppy profiles, I'll answer later cos I've got a whingey one-year-old on my hands!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
    Would you say, then, that a lot of people do not have a proper Jungian type, as you understand his version of a type?
    Jung made the distinctions of extraversion/introversion and thinking/feeling/intuitive/sensing type, so your dom function is your type. Also the key difference is that jung usually talked about two auxiliary function, instead of aux and tert, both of them being extraverted in introverted type. When you develop one of the aux functions it is more differentiated than the other one.

    Personally i think that tert is oriented same as dom and jungs idea of concretism and arhaism is what made him think otherwise. Imo Sensation for example can be both concreistic and introverted, but jung simply saw concrete functions being extraverted.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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