I’ve been learning about the Meyers-Briggs types lately, and I like them – I find personality typologies interesting, and in the cases I’ve seen of someone taking a test, the description always seems quite accurate. The thing is, the whole cognitive functions part doesn’t make that much sense to me.
For one thing, having functions determined by J vs. P seems strange. The way I understand it, the J and P choice seeks to measure whether someone’s main way of dealing with the world is decision-making or information gathering, which decides what their dominant function will be. However, in a Meyers-Briggs test, the J/P result is based on questions about a specific aspect or personality: whether someone prefers to plan ahead and stick to a decided routine, or whether they prefer to decide things as they go and explore different options more. This makes sense to me as a distinction in someone’s personality, like "conscientiousness", and I do fit P in that respect. However, I don’t think that aspect of personality determines what the main part of someone’s personality is in terms of sensing/intuition or thinking/feeling. I don’t think there’s always a link between these two ideas that J/P is supposed to express. For example, I’m more introverted and I’d rather keep my options open, but does that really mean I necessarily use “feeling” more than “intuition”? I don’t think there’s always a link.
For another thing, half of the types, mine included, are supposed to have Thinking or Feeling as their dominant function, and the other one as the weak inferior function. I don’t think many people are like that – it sounds like Spock and McCoy from Star Trek. Most people use logic frequently in some situations and emotion frequently in others, and while I know people usually lean one way or another, I don’t think it’s so black and white as “dominant function vs. inferior function” for half of people. I think F is right for me since I consider emotions and sympathy when making decisions, but I think logically a lot of the time and can be very detached and analytical. It seems wrong to say thinking is my “inferior” function.
Honestly, it just doesn’t seem right to me to think that people’s minds work in such a specific, limited way of only four possible processes, and I’m no expert, but I don’t think there’s much psychological evidence for it. If someone wants to explain the functions in a way that would make me see them as more valid, you can, but that’s not necessarily what I’m looking for. I’m just wondering if anyone else likes the Meyers-Briggs typology without necessarily believing that people’s minds are ruled by those cognitive functions.