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  1. #1
    Member nightwatcher's Avatar
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    Default Mistyping John Locke and Fox Mulder

    INTJs Locke (Lost) and Mulder (X-Files) seem to be commonly mistyped as INTPs. Since it’s generally agreed that both are INTs, the best way to get a fix on that 4th letter is to determine whether their dominant mode is Introverted Intuition (main function of INTJs) or Introverted Thinking (main function of INTPs). It appears more than likely that both are INs (e.g., Locke seeking a mystical union with the Island and his vision quests; "Spooky" Mulder’s “weird” theories) rather than ITs (whose main focus is on logic, problem-solving and analysis). Compare Mulder to INTP character, Data, from Star Trek NG, to see the difference between a driven visionary INTJ and a more flexible and logical INTP viewpoint. Mulder and Locke both fit the profile of single-minded INJs in pursuit of their IN visions of Truth, even if at times they also seem like SP action heroes.

    I would add that obsessive INTJs like Mulder tend to get lost in their IN world of theories and ideas and become split off from their balancing, organizing auxiliary Extroverted Thinking function. They don’t always appear as textbook Js like most SJs do, hence Mulder’s messy office and closet that would give a typical SJ character like Monica from Friends nightmares.

    Introverted Intuition is like the Twilight Zone, while Introverted Thinking is more like a supple, sophisticated computer. That’s why there’s a substantial difference in focus between INTP “architects” and INTJ “visionaries.”

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    The problem is that I know real-life P's who behave like them.

    The behavior you are mistaking for J doesn't necessarily mean they are J's.

    You should also consider that many people aren't "textbook" function cases. It's very easy for an individual to have a third function that is developed (often tracking along with their primary or secondary) which then leads in these sort of typing errors if you take the evidence of the function's existence as meaning it needs to be a #1 or #2 slot function.

    Prime example: it's not uncommon for N people to develop BOTH N functions decently, even if according to theory they should only have one. If you assume the existence of the other means it's a primary or secondary, you would be wrong. It's simply an accompanying function.

    If you look at how muldur AND locke manifest themselves in external behavior... they are NOT J's. They are P's. You can't assume the presence of any Ni-style behavior is a clincher that they are J's. They are both less interested in organizing the external environment Te-style and instead much better at looking for patterns in it in the style of Ne, in order to develop their inner model of the world.

    Internally, they both seem to be developing models, and constantly updating them based on new inputs of evidence. (I think you can compare Locke to Ben and see why they clash; Ben is textbook INTJ, a strong user of Te, while John allows people freedom and refuses to organize the external even when it makes sense.)

    Mulder and Locke also often don't know what their Te responses should be, because they are trying to gather and understand information rather than necessarily act upon it... but unfortunately are forced to act since they are members of a TV cast.

    I think it's also a mistake to think all INTPs look like Data. He's not a person. He's an android. (First of all.) And he only represents a less personable variation of INTP.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Member nightwatcher's Avatar
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    Doubtless some people are not “textbook function cases” (which may be an interesting topic for a separate thread), especially fictional characters. Any type system inevitably oversimplies people in the translation onto paper.

    Still, it’s contradictory to use a typing theory to type characters and then say it doesn’t apply to these same characters that you seem confident fit a certain type (Mulder and Locke as INTPs). If my typing is incorrect on the basis that type theory—dominant functions—itself doesn’t apply (at least for these characters), then from your point of view it shouldn’t even matter what Locke and Mulder’s type is.

    Also, it’s not a very convincing argument to say that Locke can’t be an INTJ because he’s not a sociopathic control freak like Ben who uses ET in such an extreme way, or that another INTJ wouldn’t “clash” with Ben.

    Locke for one is definitely not more EN than IN. He’s not mainly concerned about looking for patterns in the environment to match inner patterns to build inner models as you put it. He’s trying to connect with something numinous much greater than what you would call a pattern, which he senses in himself, that he’s been unconsciously seeking his entire life. He finally found a reflection of it on the Island, found “himself”, if you will. It’s all about inner vision for Locke. He's an INJ mystical seeker.

    Locke and Mulder both remind me much more of INTJs I’ve known or known of than INTPs. And neither of them is content to "gather and understand information without necessarily acting on it." They are both J’s who are driven to complete the circuit. That’s their core motivation, not information gathering per se.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZiL's Avatar
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    This is the problem with fictional characters on television: even if they wanted to, it would be nigh on impossible for the writers of a show to allow their characters to constantly "gather and understand information without necessarily acting on it." With no action (especially on shows like these which are typically fast-paced) the story wouldn't be too good. So P characters would have to do some more J-like things from time to time to get the show moving.

    I'm not familiar with Locke, but for Mulder I would even think ENTP or INFJ before I would think INTJ. Of course I could be wrong (and how right can we be when we're typing people who have functions to fulfill to drive a story, and so might exhibit a conglomeration of characteristics not found in normal folks?) I just feel like Mulder's "essence" is more P. He's very anti-authoritiarian/anti-hierarchy, and though he can be single-minded in his search for the truth, he is willing to change his internal models very quickly based on new evidence. P's can be single-minded too, with things that they really care about. At the core he seems very self-doubting; he just gets tired of others always dismissing his ideas as crazy without further thought, and so when speaking to more "closed-minded" characters, he often comes across as defensive and self-assured (more self-assured than he probably is). However, when speaking with people he respects, like Scully, he'll listen more carefully to their points of view even if they counter his. He's read all of these old X-Files kept in his office, creating a storehouse of paranormal information (Si) to draw on at later times in seemingly unrelated situations (Ne).

    I'm sure INTJ's can exhibit these characteristics, I just feel that taken as a whole, Mulder seems more P than J. But once again, I could be wrong, this is just the impression that I have gotten, and my understanding of Ni is rather shoddy.
    Last edited by ZiL; 06-01-2008 at 01:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    1 more try; positive this is not the quick reply i'm posting on:

    locke intj. ni dominant & inj tension, clear as day. i

  6. #6
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    Something wrong with the edit button?

  7. #7
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    part 2: mulder infp. starts out intj, becomes/redrawn as infp, not intp

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    They are both less interested in organizing the external environment Te-style and instead much better at looking for patterns in it in the style of Ne, in order to develop their inner model of the world.
    I see patterns everywhere, constantly, and I'm sick of it.

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