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  1. #11
    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameo View Post
    I did take it, and I scored ISTJ haha. But my S/N preference is definitely where I waver the most.
    For what it's worth, Jung himself said he thought more people were in the middle on E/I than were significantly extraverted or introverted, and he also stressed that people of the same type varied considerably in terms of the strength (or, as he often characterized it, "one-sidedness") of their preferences.

    Myers likewise distinguished between people with mild and strong preferences, and allowed for the possibility of middleness on all four MBTI dimensions.

    Nobody knows for sure at this point, but as I understand it, the existing studies suggest that it's likely that most or all of the MBTI dimensions — like the four Big Five dimensions they basically correspond with — exhibit something like a normal distribution, with substantially more people near (or in) the middle than near the extremes. Myers believed that it might turn out that one or more of the dichotomies was truly bimodal to one degree or another — with, in effect, a more or less empty (if narrow) zone in the exact middle of the spectrum. But she never asserted that that theoretical possibility had been factually established by any respectable body of evidence, and the 1985 MBTI Manual (which she co-authored) stressed that the evidence for bimodality was sketchy at best. And since then, as I've said, quite a lot of evidence has accumulated that seems to suggest that most or all of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something more like a normal distribution.

    In at least one of the early versions of the MBTI, it was possible to get an "x" on any dimension. The current version assigns people a (tentative) type on each dimension, but that's a very different thing from saying that it isn't possible for someone not to have a preference — and the MBTI Manual specifically notes that someone with a score near the middle is someone who has essentially "split the vote" rather than offered much evidence of a preference.

    The "Step II" version of the MBTI includes five "facets" for each dimension — just as the NEO-PI-R has six facets for each Big Five dimension — and allows for the possibility of being, for example, on the S side of three of the facets and the N side of the other two.

    So in trying to figure out what label captures you best, I'd say it makes sense to not rule out the possibility that, whether or not it's possible to be in the exact middle on S/N, it may be that a not-insubstantial number of people may have S/N preferences that are sufficiently mild that "x" arguably captures them better than either S or N would.

    If you're interested in an "introduction to S & N" I put together a while back (with quotes from Myers and Keirsey), you'll find it in the first spoiler in this post.

    And in case they're useful to you, I've put roundups of INTJ and ISTJ profiles in the spoiler below.


  2. #12
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    In the MBTI, people aren't really "in the middle". The scores are not "strengths" of preference, but rather the "Preference Clarity Index" (MBTI Manual, p.7,8) showing how clear the prefernce is, to them.
    (Now, instead of assigning X's for tied scores, it assumes the person is likely an I, N, F, and/or P that has gravitated toward E, S, T or J due to societal infuences).

    I find ISTJ's are often very interested in theory, and stuff using theory such as science fiction. Functionally, not completely sure why and don't want to say too readily that it's [just the] inferior Ne. (In older people, this will obviously come into play, but younger adult ones often are as well). It will obviously have to do with Te, and what I've seen is that they're not so much into theorizing themselves, but just referencing others. It's also probably about Si learning and storing the facts of the tangible world. (And thus, it will be more prominent for ISTJ's than ESTJ's).
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
    Ti 54.3 | Ne 47.3 | Si 37.8 | Fe 17.7 | Te 22.5 | Ni 13.4 | Se 18.9 | Fi 27.9

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  3. #13
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    In the MBTI, people aren't really "in the middle". The scores are not "strengths" of preference, but rather the "Preference Clarity Index" (MBTI Manual, p.7,8) showing how clear the prefernce is, to them.
    (Now, instead of assigning X's for tied scores, it assumes the person is likely an I, N, F, and/or P that has gravitated toward E, S, T or J due to societal infuences).

    I find ISTJ's are often very interested in theory, and stuff using theory such as science fiction. Functionally, not completely sure why and don't want to say too readily that it's [just the] inferior Ne. (In older people, this will obviously come into play, but younger adult ones often are as well). It will obviously have to do with Te, and what I've seen is that they're not so much into theorizing themselves, but just referencing others. It's also probably about Si learning and storing the facts of the tangible world. (And thus, it will be more prominent for ISTJ's than ESTJ's).
    first time I saw it was in my friend the ESTJ. very interesting.

  4. #14
    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    In the MBTI, people aren't really "in the middle". The scores are not "strengths" of preference, but rather the "Preference Clarity Index" (MBTI Manual, p.7,8) showing how clear the prefernce is, to them.
    Whether someone is actually in the middle on an MBTI dimension and what their test score is are two separate things.

    As I previously noted, Myers allowed for the possibility of no preference on all four MBTI dimensions.

    As for whether MBTI test scores should be viewed as having anything to say about somebody's preference strengths, the MBTI Manual actually tries to somewhat have it both ways on that issue, stating that the scores really aren't intended to be taken as indicators of preference strengths, while also noting that it's "reasonable to expect" that there will tend to be some relationship between high scores and stronger preferences.

    In any case, though, whether someone can essentially be in the middle on an MBTI dimension and whether the test can reliably indicate that are two different issues.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Patrick's Avatar
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    @cameo, IMO people are interested in lots of different things, regardless of their personality type. I know several people with a Sensing preference who are lifelong learners, who accumulate knowledge, and who show a curiosity and interest in many subjects, including philosophy and literature.

    Type isn't a matter of which hobbies or interests you have, or even what behaviors you exhibit; it's more a matter of what your deep-down needs and values are. Unfortunately most of us are unaware of our own deepest needs; we have to infer those by assessing our values and talents and other things.

    If you're an SJ, then according to Dr. Linda V. Berens a snapshot of your temperament should look like this:

    The core needs are for group membership and responsibility. They need to know they are doing the responsible thing. They value stability, security, and a sense of community. They trust hierarchy and authority and may be surprised when others go against these social structures. People of this temperament prefer cooperative actions with a focus on standards and norms. Their orientation is to their past experiences, and they like things sequenced and structured. They tend to look for the practical applications of what they are learning. (from this Web page)
    "Some would say that extended meaningful conversation is a thing of the past. But they'd say it more quickly." (Tom Morris)

  6. #16
    Member cameo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    @cameo, IMO people are interested in lots of different things, regardless of their personality type. I know several people with a Sensing preference who are lifelong learners, who accumulate knowledge, and who show a curiosity and interest in many subjects, including philosophy and literature.

    Type isn't a matter of which hobbies or interests you have, or even what behaviors you exhibit; it's more a matter of what your deep-down needs and values are. Unfortunately most of us are unaware of our own deepest needs; we have to infer those by assessing our values and talents and other things.

    If you're an SJ, then according to Dr. Linda V. Berens a snapshot of your temperament should look like this:
    Yes, I totally agree with that. I sort of touched on this in my reply to your other post, but I think that it's internet stereotypes that make that it so difficult to type based on things like values. I mean, it just makes it all that much harder to type when most internet type descriptions say that NTs are way more likely than SJs to be "highly intelligent" or have certain hobbies or interests. For one thing, it makes certain types look way more appealing at face value, but it also serves to confound things when you have certain specific traits that are typically asserted as being more common for types other than your own but that are really no more than stereotypes. So that's where my struggle stems from.

    That said, I still have a really hard time choosing between that "Guardian" description and the "Rational" one. If I force myself to choose one, I think I tend toward the Guardian temperament, but it is pretty slight. When I read about the functions, I definitely relate to Si more than, say Ni, and I'm pretty confident about that. But to extend that function preference to all these other things, like that I also then must tend to value traditional gender roles or some such thing, that's where I start having doubts.
    So what if I don't have a lot to talk about?/
    I shut my mouth and keep it locked until it counts/
    And what if I don't ever want to leave my house?/
    Stay on the couch while all my friends are going out/
    I'll make the journey down the hall back to my room/
    And kill more time, and let it rot inside its tomb/
    See, I ain't one to climb some social ladder to/
    Some Shangri-La that all the cool kids will abuse/

  7. #17
    Member cameo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckful View Post
    For what it's worth, Jung himself said he thought more people were in the middle on E/I than were significantly extraverted or introverted, and he also stressed that people of the same type varied considerably in terms of the strength (or, as he often characterized it, "one-sidedness") of their preferences.

    Myers likewise distinguished between people with mild and strong preferences, and allowed for the possibility of middleness on all four MBTI dimensions.

    Nobody knows for sure at this point, but as I understand it, the existing studies suggest that it's likely that most or all of the MBTI dimensions — like the four Big Five dimensions they basically correspond with — exhibit something like a normal distribution, with substantially more people near (or in) the middle than near the extremes. Myers believed that it might turn out that one or more of the dichotomies was truly bimodal to one degree or another — with, in effect, a more or less empty (if narrow) zone in the exact middle of the spectrum. But she never asserted that that theoretical possibility had been factually established by any respectable body of evidence, and the 1985 MBTI Manual (which she co-authored) stressed that the evidence for bimodality was sketchy at best. And since then, as I've said, quite a lot of evidence has accumulated that seems to suggest that most or all of the MBTI dimensions exhibit something more like a normal distribution.

    In at least one of the early versions of the MBTI, it was possible to get an "x" on any dimension. The current version assigns people a (tentative) type on each dimension, but that's a very different thing from saying that it isn't possible for someone not to have a preference — and the MBTI Manual specifically notes that someone with a score near the middle is someone who has essentially "split the vote" rather than offered much evidence of a preference.

    The "Step II" version of the MBTI includes five "facets" for each dimension — just as the NEO-PI-R has six facets for each Big Five dimension — and allows for the possibility of being, for example, on the S side of three of the facets and the N side of the other two.

    So in trying to figure out what label captures you best, I'd say it makes sense to not rule out the possibility that, whether or not it's possible to be in the exact middle on S/N, it may be that a not-insubstantial number of people may have S/N preferences that are sufficiently mild that "x" arguably captures them better than either S or N would.

    If you're interested in an "introduction to S & N" I put together a while back (with quotes from Myers and Keirsey), you'll find it in the first spoiler in this post.

    And in case they're useful to you, I've put roundups of INTJ and ISTJ profiles in the spoiler below.

    I have definitely considered just going with IxTJ, but I can't help but feel like it's sort of a cop-out, more or less for the reasons that are commonly mentioned (that someone 'can't' be in the middle, etc.). After having read the spoiler in the other thread regarding S/N, I still have to say I must be an S, but I think my preference for it is really pretty slight. I have also read up on Ni and Si (in attempting to determine between INTJ and ISTJ), and I am aware that you have criticized that particular-function stack model (what you refer to as the Harold Grant model--though I don't know much about all this myself), but at any rate, insofar as Si is sort of a "cataloging" process and Ni is more of a "synthesizing" process, I certainly relate more to Si than Ni. The hard part for me is that, while Si is my go-to and I know I use it all the time, the various typology systems and theories begin to feel quite limiting to me because it seems like so often these things are set up as mutually exclusive or something; like, if you're a Sensing type or if you prefer Si, then you just collect facts but never manage to "synthesize" them into grander theories, but if you're an iNtuitive type or you prefer Ni, then you are able to do both, or at least you can do the more intensive "synthesizing" work.

    I'm not sure what you think of this website as a source, but it was really these type descriptions (for ISTJ and for INTJ) that helped me the most in deciding on ISTJ over INTJ. In particular, the part in the ISTJ article where he refers to stereotypes of ISTJs as "a rather boring worker bee satisfied to meticulously “inspect” and maintain all the boring detailed systems underlying society – in essence, an unambitious and short-sighted INTJ." I think this is an extremely pervasive stereotype and I have a hard time not being persuaded/weakened in my confidence by it.
    So what if I don't have a lot to talk about?/
    I shut my mouth and keep it locked until it counts/
    And what if I don't ever want to leave my house?/
    Stay on the couch while all my friends are going out/
    I'll make the journey down the hall back to my room/
    And kill more time, and let it rot inside its tomb/
    See, I ain't one to climb some social ladder to/
    Some Shangri-La that all the cool kids will abuse/

  8. #18
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameo View Post
    I have definitely considered just going with IxTJ, but I can't help but feel like it's sort of a cop-out, more or less for the reasons that are commonly mentioned (that someone 'can't' be in the middle, etc.). After having read the spoiler in the other thread regarding S/N, I still have to say I must be an S, but I think my preference for it is really pretty slight. I have also read up on Ni and Si (in attempting to determine between INTJ and ISTJ), and I am aware that you have criticized that particular-function stack model (what you refer to as the Harold Grant model--though I don't know much about all this myself), but at any rate, insofar as Si is sort of a "cataloging" process and Ni is more of a "synthesizing" process, I certainly relate more to Si than Ni. The hard part for me is that, while Si is my go-to and I know I use it all the time, the various typology systems and theories begin to feel quite limiting to me because it seems like so often these things are set up as mutually exclusive or something; like, if you're a Sensing type or if you prefer Si, then you just collect facts but never manage to "synthesize" them into grander theories, but if you're an iNtuitive type or you prefer Ni, then you are able to do both, or at least you can do the more intensive "synthesizing" work.

    I'm not sure what you think of this website as a source, but it was really these type descriptions (for ISTJ and for INTJ) that helped me the most in deciding on ISTJ over INTJ. In particular, the part in the ISTJ article where he refers to stereotypes of ISTJs as "a rather boring worker bee satisfied to meticulously “inspect” and maintain all the boring detailed systems underlying society – in essence, an unambitious and short-sighted INTJ." I think this is an extremely pervasive stereotype and I have a hard time not being persuaded/weakened in my confidence by it.
    Yeah, there are a lot of bad type descriptions ou tthere.

    Really, we all do all of the "functions", and what determines which ones define our type are the ego states that are what use them. The dominant is simply connected with the ego's main state, and the auxiliary is connected with a supporting state. The other functions (which mirror these first two) then associate with other states.

    So you can be ISTJ, in which Si is dominant, but for one thing, the sominant can become so second nature that it actually becomes "unconscious" in a way! Especially an introverted function, and especially something like Sensing, which is connected with our most primal means of gathering information. What makes it the dominant is the ego's "heroic" state of being the primary problem solver )whether you are conscious of it as such or not).

    So you can be unaware of "using" the function so much, and this even be reflected in not having a high clarity of preference for S in general, and yet it still be your dominant.
    APS Profile: Inclusion: e/w=1/6 (Supine) |Control: e/w=7/3 (Choleric) |Affection: e/w=1/9 (Supine)
    Ti 54.3 | Ne 47.3 | Si 37.8 | Fe 17.7 | Te 22.5 | Ni 13.4 | Se 18.9 | Fi 27.9

    Temperament (APS) from scratch -- MBTI Type from scratch
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    Likes cameo liked this post

  9. #19
    Senior Member reckful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameo View Post
    I'm not sure what you think of this website as a source, but it was really these type descriptions (for ISTJ and for INTJ) that helped me the most in deciding on ISTJ over INTJ. In particular, the part in the ISTJ article where he refers to stereotypes of ISTJs as "a rather boring worker bee satisfied to meticulously “inspect” and maintain all the boring detailed systems underlying society – in essence, an unambitious and short-sighted INTJ." I think this is an extremely pervasive stereotype and I have a hard time not being persuaded/weakened in my confidence by it.
    I don't consider Michael Pierce a good MBTI source.

    As one jaw-dropping example, he's got a long E vs. I video where his main illustrative example of extraversion vs. introversion involves two jungle explorers, where one explorer is to be tasked with writing down their "personal, subjective interpretations" (emotional, philosophical, theoretical, etc.) of the things they encounter, without being concerned with anything like an accurate representation of the things' objective, physical qualities, while the other explorer is to be tasked with meticulously recording only the objective, physical qualities of the things they enounter.

    And Pierce's less-than-piercing perspective is that, if one of the explorers is an ENFP and one is an ISTJ, you should choose the ENFP to be the meticulous, just-the-facts recorder and choose the ISTJ to be the one who, as Pierce describes it, ignores the objective facts and records stuff like "how she thinks the creature appeared rather horrid, and how that seems to reflect an interesting idea about possible morality and justice in the animal kingdom, and the philosophical implications of such a thing, and how this compares with her personal values and ideas."

    And the way for a guy to arrive at that kind of blinkered perspective on ENFPs and ISTJs to is to spend too much time poring over Jung's works (like some medieval Biblical scholar), while both ignoring the many changes Myers (rightly) made to Jung's original type concepts and, maybe more importantly, failing to get out much and actually interact with any significant number of real-world ENFPs and ISTJs.

    I believe Isabel Myers would have said that, in choosing which explorer was best suited to which of those two tasks, the S/N (first) and T/F (secondarily) preferences were the most significant ones, and that an ST was best suited for exclusively focusing on "just the facts" and the NF was best suited to be the recorder of subjective emotional/aesthetic/philosophical impressions — and that that two-explorers example was a very poor one to choose as an illustration of "extraversion" vs. "introversion."

    And if that's what Myers would have said, she would have been correct.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Patrick's Avatar
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    @cameo Have you tried finding your best-fit type using the method at the bottom of this Web page?

    Linda Berens (a former student of David Keirsey, and now a theorist, author, and speaker on p-typing) takes a somewhat different approach, and it seems to work well for some people. Most of what she says, however, seems to me to be in line with mainstream thinking on the subject.
    "Some would say that extended meaningful conversation is a thing of the past. But they'd say it more quickly." (Tom Morris)

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