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  1. #11
    Junior Member DomNi's Avatar
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    I'll start with the caveat that typing public figures is always problematic due to the contextual nature of their behavior. Having said that, I believe we're looking at a pair of _SFP types here -- ISFP for McCain; ESFP for Obama. The justification for this opinion can be found in this article:
    Political Types | Type Insights

    -Robin

    PS: For those who need to know what qualifies me to express this opinion -- I'm a Qualified AND Certified MBTI Professional; I've been using multiple models of personality type professionally for over 15 years; I'm Past President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the APT; I've presented sessions on type at many international conferences, including the most recent APT Conferences in the US and Australia.

  2. #12
    Junior Member DomNi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    I have seen glimmers of INTJ-ness in Obama in the debates. He really has a very precise vision that reminds me a lot of my INTJ friend. But he's so charismatic, and that doesn't seem very INTJ at all. I mean, I dig INTJs (mmmm robot aloofness), but they don't tend to be people people.
    In my opinion, the "glimmers of INTJ-ness" you're seeing come from ESFP Obama having the same conscious cognitive processes as INTJ, albeit accessed in a different order.

    INTJ = Ni, Te, Fi, Se
    ESFP = Se, Fi, Te, Ni

    -Robin

  3. #13
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomNi View Post
    I'll start with the caveat that typing public figures is always problematic due to the contextual nature of their behavior. Having said that, I believe we're looking at a pair of _SFP types here -- ISFP for McCain; ESFP for Obama. The justification for this opinion can be found in this article:
    Political Types | Type Insights

    -Robin

    PS: For those who need to know what qualifies me to express this opinion -- I'm a Qualified AND Certified MBTI Professional; I've been using multiple models of personality type professionally for over 15 years; I'm Past President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the APT; I've presented sessions on type at many international conferences, including the most recent APT Conferences in the US and Australia.
    Hi Robin--Bet you can guess who I am by my sig even though I just use my screen name here. Nothing in Dreams from My Father, his approach to running the Harvard Law Review, or his style of humor or his strategizing once he discovered what it takes in community organizing makes me think Obama is S... I too think it's terribly difficult to type political figures since by design they wear personas but in this case we ahve a fine example of his writing and a search for themes and connections in his life long before he was a political candidate. I think his first book is the best place to look for type clues.
    edcoaching

  4. #14
    Junior Member DomNi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    Hi Robin--Bet you can guess who I am by my sig even though I just use my screen name here. Nothing in Dreams from My Father, his approach to running the Harvard Law Review, or his style of humor or his strategizing once he discovered what it takes in community organizing makes me think Obama is S... I too think it's terribly difficult to type political figures since by design they wear personas but in this case we ahve a fine example of his writing and a search for themes and connections in his life long before he was a political candidate. I think his first book is the best place to look for type clues.
    Whenever I hear people talk about S and N as standalone letters, I know there's a difference in the way we understand the model.

    Isabel Briggs Myers always intended her instrument to be an indicator of which Jungian cognitive processes were preferred. Note the wording -- the "I" in "MBTI" stands for "Indicator" and the cognitive processes are "preferences", not absolutes.

    Unfortunately, many early type authors latched onto Isabel's letter code and dissected the individual letters as though they had meaning of their own. I admit I did the same for the first 5 years I used the MBTI. But for the last 10 years, I've been using the 8-level model, treating the cognitive processes as individual functions, and using the MBTI code as a convenient shorthand to refer to them. (Although it's interesting to note that some type professionals now use the top two cognitive process abbreviations to represent whole type, such as NiTe for INTJ.)

    Since the 8-level model postulates that all people can access all 8 of the cognitive processes, albeit with different degrees of proficiency, it's erroneous to call someone an "S" as if to imply they can't do iNtuiting. If you see evidence of (say) Ni in Obama's writing, I contend that it's perfectly valid, since I believe it's his 4th, or "Aspirational" process.

    Incidentally, Peter Myers and Kathy Myers (Isabel's son and daughter-in-law) both heartily endorse the 8-level model. In fact, several years ago, Kathy invited me and my wife to attend a private workshop with Dr. John Beebe to explore his 8-level model in depth. And when we presented a session on this topic at the APT Conference last year, Peter Myers attended and said he learned some new things from us.

    I'll echo again what you say about the difficulties associated with typing public figures. However, given what we have to work with, I believe Vicky Jo's article makes an excellent case for Obama having ESFP preferences.

    -Robin

  5. #15
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Ahh, I learned a lot (and ultimately probably rejected a lot) about MBTI/Jungian typology from Vicky Jo! Among the things I rejected, I think, is the 8-level model. It is interesting and neat from a metaphor/archetype standpoint, and I would probably use it to tell a story about myself, and that's about it. I don't really think it's practically useful, and her use of it does not convince me that Obama is ESFP.

    But anyway, welcome to MBTIC.
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. #16
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DomNi View Post
    Whenever I hear people talk about S and N as standalone letters, I know there's a difference in the way we understand the model.
    Actually I wasn't talking about S and N as standalone letters. The evidence I've gathered leads me to believe that Obama's style indicates one of the four Intuitive types.

    Isabel Briggs Myers always intended her instrument to be an indicator of which Jungian cognitive processes were preferred. Note the wording -- the "I" in "MBTI" stands for "Indicator" and the cognitive processes are "preferences", not absolutes.
    Since Obama hasn't made his MBTI results nor his four-letter type code public, this is rather a moot point.

    Unfortunately, many early type authors latched onto Isabel's letter code and dissected the individual letters as though they had meaning of their own. I admit I did the same for the first 5 years I used the MBTI. But for the last 10 years, I've been using the 8-level model, treating the cognitive processes as individual functions, and using the MBTI code as a convenient shorthand to refer to them. (Although it's interesting to note that some type professionals now use the top two cognitive process abbreviations to represent whole type, such as NiTe for INTJ.)
    In working with groups and individuals, many of the top type trainers vary the models/type breakdowns they use to fit the needs/time constraints/purposes of their target audience. There is no perfect model, no right way. There are definitely wrong, unethical applications and uses but temperaments, interaction styles, preference pairs, the 8-function model, and so on all have legitimate applications and uses.

    Since the 8-level model postulates that all people can access all 8 of the cognitive processes, albeit with different degrees of proficiency, it's erroneous to call someone an "S" as if to imply they can't do iNtuiting. If you see evidence of (say) Ni in Obama's writing, I contend that it's perfectly valid, since I believe it's his 4th, or "Aspirational" process.
    All of the type models assume people can access all of the preferences. That's why it's so hard to type public figures, because the most mature, savvy individuals know which preferences to draw on (even if they've never heard of type) to reach their audience/respond to a situation/develop their own emotional intelligence/get along in life. Type dynamics theory puts forth that if the environment supports the child, we develop conscious use of our first two functions during childhood and adolescence. Whether people go beyond that (or even develop the first two!) is what we talk about as maturity, in one form or another.

    Incidentally, Peter Myers and Kathy Myers (Isabel's son and daughter-in-law) both heartily endorse the 8-level model. In fact, several years ago, Kathy invited me and my wife to attend a private workshop with Dr. John Beebe to explore his 8-level model in depth. And when we presented a session on this topic at the APT Conference last year, Peter Myers attended and said he learned some new things from us.
    They also heartily endorse many other models.

    I'll echo again what you say about the difficulties associated with typing public figures. However, given what we have to work with, I believe Vicky Jo's article makes an excellent case for Obama having ESFP preferences.
    You might check out other threads on this forum where excellent cases are made for Obama having other preferences. Bob Boozer's poll of the type community on candidate preferences is I think an excellent illustration of how very, very difficult it is to type from afar since the "votes" are split almost evenly, except on S-N. I tend to stick to the ethics that we all learned in the Qualifying Program of not typing from afar but admit I've gotten caught up in trying to figure out Obama whereas I've wasted little effort on the Current Occupant and the other candidates...
    edcoaching

  7. #17
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Ahh, I learned a lot (and ultimately probably rejected a lot) about MBTI/Jungian typology from Vicky Jo! Among the things I rejected, I think, is the 8-level model. It is interesting and neat from a metaphor/archetype standpoint, and I would probably use it to tell a story about myself, and that's about it. I don't really think it's practically useful, and her use of it does not convince me that Obama is ESFP.
    I've studied the model and had extensive conversations with type community leaders on it...there are definitely three camps regarding it. Some view it as THE model. Some reject it completely, perhaps partly because of the dogmatic way in which it is often presented which is NOT the way to convince the overall very flexible type community to believe in anything! And some (this is me) see it as useful but reject that there is a set order of development by type that applies to each individual. Whereas one's type code middle letters reflect the first two functions and, therefore, if you disagree that those functions describe your dominant and auxiliary then you need to choose a different type code, beyond that we think that family of origin, life experiences, education, career and other opportunities for development may result in customizing the order of preferences for various individuals.

    A rather large group is trying to figure out how to gather input from people on the order in which they believe their functions develop. Pat Wyman believes it's heavily influenced by our Enneagram type which is something that needs further explanation.

    I love all these competing models because it keeps type from a rats-in-a-maze deterministic hard-wiring...even though way too many people talk of it in that way!
    edcoaching

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