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View Poll Results: David Bowie's Personality Type?

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  • ISTJ

    0 0%
  • ISFJ

    0 0%
  • INFJ

    4 10.81%
  • INTJ

    2 5.41%
  • ISTP

    2 5.41%
  • ISFP

    13 35.14%
  • INFP

    5 13.51%
  • INTP

    2 5.41%
  • ESTP

    1 2.70%
  • ESFP

    2 5.41%
  • ENFP

    1 2.70%
  • ENTP

    3 8.11%
  • ESTJ

    1 2.70%
  • ESFJ

    0 0%
  • ENFJ

    0 0%
  • ENTJ

    1 2.70%
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Thread: David Bowie?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DaRick's Avatar
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    Default David Bowie?

    I am a casual fan of David Bowie's work, particularly the period from 1971-83 (Hunky Dory to Let's Dance). The man behind the masks (from dance-pop to piano-driven rock to ambient electronica to hard rock) has always fascinated me, though. I have always wondered what his personality type could be. I've heard types as disparate as ISFP and ENFJ. On my part? I believe that he's an ENTP. I'll use the four Jung ENTP preferences to prove my theory:

    Extraverted Intution:
    Well, as we all know, Bowie is a 'musical chameleon', changing his musical output depending on changing tastes (the declining popularity of glam rock), internal strife (drugs leading him to Berlin with Iggy Pop, resulting in the Berlin trilogy) and even on personal whims. For instance, he moved into Philly soul over the course of two albums (including Diamond Dogs), just before glam rock's popularity declined. He also realised the popularity of dance-pop in the early 1980's and exploited it to gain hiherto unreached commercial success with Let's Dance. He also intermittently planned movies, at least one of which he failed to complete (the Diamond Dogs movie) and also acts in movies as diverse as fantasies (Labyrinth) and period films (The Prestige).

    Introverted Thinking:
    Bowie uses Introverted Thinking, as his auxillary function, to reach logical decisions as to which musical direction he should take next. This is why Bowie is so visionary in his ability to popularise (to varying degrees) and thus rake in either cash, attention, critical acclaim, or all three. Bowie arguably used Introverted Thinking to move to Berlin in the mid-1970's in an effort to escape his drug addiction. He moved there out of principle - the then-underground German krautrock was something he had not yet played with, therefore compelling him to experiment with it, even to the point of influencing Iggy Pop's 1977 releases. He certainly didn't move there for practical reasons; the music he created, while (surprisingly) financially and critically successful, could not match Station to Station commercially. I say this because Bowie could be as commercially calculated as any other musician. The 'Berlin Trilogy' also created music which I would refer to as 'abstract'; much of it consisting of instrumentals, which, to my understanding (I dislike instrumentals), were electronica, ambient and avant-garde.

    Extraverted Feeling:
    Despite this being Bowie's teritary function, Bowie's Extraverted Feeling does appear to be well-developed. For instance, in several interviews, he does come across as somewhat affable. This function allows him to justify entertaining and thus stay loyal to his fans, as he has done for over 40 years. He also helped Iggy Pop out when he was struggling financially by re-recording China Girl to considerable commercial success (Bowie's version is also better), allowing Iggy, as a co-writer, to take home a royalty cheque and then rebuild his life.

    Introverted Sensing:
    Bowie's inferior function - and it sometimes shows. Bowie has intermittenly shown a lack of awareness of musical norms during different time periods (i.e - releasing electronica and avant-garde albums during the punk era). He also released albums with 'Tin Machine' during a time where the worlds of hair metal and then grunge held sway. He also only reflects on the past when prodded and keeps changing his account of what occured, particularly with his bisexuality. A dominant Si, conversely, would use the present to evoke what was with precision (like my mother does). However, Bowie has often acknowledged musical norms, releasing glam rock and Phily soul when those two genres were commercially viable. So, his Si isn't as badly developed as it could be.

    In summary, then, I believe that David Bowie is a fairly well-developed ENTP, except during those periods when he fell into drug abuse. Visionary, influental...yep, that's Bowie for ya!
    Last edited by DaRick; 11-27-2007 at 09:39 AM.
    MBTI: INFJ (I: 100% N:58% F: 58% J: 84%)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Sandy's Avatar
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    Default

    I enjoyed reading your assessment, DaRick! I know David Bowie is a thinker... and I often wondered if he was introverted/extroverted. No time to think about this... *heading to work* =)
    -Sandy
    I - 75% N - 55% F - 55% P - 61%
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DaRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    I enjoyed reading your assessment, DaRick! I know David Bowie is a thinker... and I often wondered if he was introverted/extroverted.
    Really? To me, this aspect of his personality seemed quite evident - he seems to enjoy interacting with people. I suppose that's why he seems affable in interviews. But thanks for the plaudit.
    MBTI: INFJ (I: 100% N:58% F: 58% J: 84%)
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  4. #4
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Default

    ENTP?

    I call ISFP and a clear-cut one at that : 1974 interview

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sandy's Avatar
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    Default Maybe he is...

    Quote Originally Posted by DaRick View Post
    Really? To me, this aspect of his personality seemed quite evident - he seems to enjoy interacting with people. I suppose that's why he seems affable in interviews. But thanks for the plaudit.
    Well, I guess I am basing a lot of my observations on all the books I have read about him. He enjoyed being alone, but he does enjoy people. I have always thought maybe he had learned to enjoy people (sort of like me).

    I know he hated being on stage, so that is why he developed "characters". He has stated that these "characters" helped him be something that he was not.

    He also stated that he felt like an alien.
    -Sandy
    I - 75% N - 55% F - 55% P - 61%
    Enneagram 4w5

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    There is truth... in the red letters

  6. #6
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Default

    Like Sandy, I worship David Bowie. I would have guessed him to be an STP? But what do I know! He's just impossibly cool, period.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Sandy's Avatar
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    Default I could be wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    Like Sandy, I worship David Bowie. I would have guessed him to be an STP? But what do I know! He's just impossibly cool, period.
    ...however I am leaning towards ISTP, too.
    -Sandy
    I - 75% N - 55% F - 55% P - 61%
    Enneagram 4w5

    There is love... in the red letters
    There is truth... in the red letters

  8. #8
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    David Bowie is super tough to figure-out because he is a man of personas.
    He also spent some portion of his public life psychotically whacked-out on cocaine. I said that it was hard to guess celebrities because of their image.
    It couldn't be harder than with Bowie.

    I think he is an Introvert. He's probably not a J...
    The two in the middle stump me.

    As far as Enneagram goes, I could be wrong, but I've tended to think that he is the model of 4/3.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member DaRick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    ENTP?

    I call ISFP and a clear-cut one at that : 1974 interview
    I wouldn't put much store by that interview - given that he was apparently abusing cocaine at that time. To prove that point, ENTP's apparently turn into ISFJ's (their shadow) when under extreme illness, stress, etc. Assuming that drug abuse falls into the category of extreme illness, ISFP is pretty close to ISFJ. I assume that he only retained his P because his livelihood and reputation more or less forced him too. I would also say that his P is the strongest of his traits, thus making it less likely that he would transform into a 'negative' J. Also, he helped Iggy Pop in 1977 more because he wanted to use him as a musical 'guinea pig' - a clear sign of Introverted Thinking overpowering his Extraverted Feeling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy
    Well, I guess I am basing a lot of my observations on all the books I have read about him. He enjoyed being alone, but he does enjoy people. I have always thought maybe he had learned to enjoy people (sort of like me).

    I know he hated being on stage, so that is why he developed "characters". He has stated that these "characters" helped him be something that he was not.

    He also stated that he felt like an alien.
    Well, you are a much bigger Bowie buff than I am. But I still think he's an extrovert - his lyrical themes are occassionally introspective and self-focused ('Changes' and 'Sound and Vision'), but more often than not, they tend to be focused on others and his attitude towards them ('The Jean Genie' on Iggy Pop, 'Life on Mars', 'China Girl'). I still think his exploitation of 'characters' and his ability to popularise music, his influence and seemingly reliance on principles, apparent friendliness and dodgy recollections of the past still makes him an ENTP. After all, we know that he changed 'characters' explicity to fit in with whatever music he was using, thus allowing him a fresh change of 'character' every few years. But why did he feel like an alien?

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha
    I would have guessed him to be an STP?
    I agree with the TP, but why the S?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
    David Bowie is super tough to figure-out because he is a man of personas.
    He also spent some portion of his public life psychotically whacked-out on cocaine. I said that it was hard to guess celebrities because of their image.
    It couldn't be harder than with Bowie.

    I think he is an Introvert. He's probably not a J...
    The two in the middle stump me.

    As far as Enneagram goes, I could be wrong, but I've tended to think that he is the model of 4/3.
    I agree...Bowie is a hard case. That's why I decided to crack him wide open. He's no J, I agree. Also, Enneagram doesn't necessarily have to correlate with MBTI. For instance, I keep receiving 4w5 with the Enneagram - uncommon amongst INTJ's, I believe.
    MBTI: INFJ (I: 100% N:58% F: 58% J: 84%)
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  10. #10
    Senior Member 563 740's Avatar
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