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View Poll Results: What do you think Reid's type is?

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  1. #1
    Member 10blackroses's Avatar
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    Default Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds type

    I usually see people discussing whether Reid is INTP or INTJ, but I'm not sure either is the case. In fact, Reid strikes me as the "purest" member of the BAU, still a child who is curious about the world, even if he knows more things about it than almost everyone else. It's true that the T trait is more closely related to intelligence (statistically, Rationals are the most intelligent group, Idealists on second place), but not at all as close as it would often seem.

    I'm an INxP myself, leaning slightly towards T, and maybe my own type influences my judgment. But growing up, I was the Reid of every school I attended; even teachers would ask me if there was something in the books that they didn't know or understand, but other students didn't quite like me or "get" me, and they still don't. Intelligence-wise, I'd never put myself on the same level as him, he's between 40 and 50 IQ points ahead of me, but I relate to his personality and role in a group. It's a thing that often comes with an intellect that differs significantly from the norm, both afflicting those with higher and lower intelligence. Although my IQ is merely about 140, it makes it difficult to have a natural conversation with others - when using words like "archaic" in everyday chatting and constantly acquiring new information through the other party's words and immediately integrating it into the foundation of all your reasoning skills is perfectly normal to you, others are bound to lose track on your associations and what the hell you're actually saying, creating three options:

    1) Keep being incomprehensible and leave people wondering about what you mean, which would be seen as arrogant,
    2) Attempt to dumb down pretty much all of your points, which could result in the other person thinking you're underestimating them, and
    3) Talk less and observe more, being even more of a know-it-all than you were in the first place and putting yourself even further away from the viewpoint of others.

    A person of above-average intelligence, like Reid, has to "morph" between these strategies all the time. Thus, the distance he seems to be keeping from the others might not be a product of a Thinking personality, but a result of being intellectually separated from the rest of the world.

    That said, although all team members are excellent at pointing out what kind of person a culprit would be, Reid seems to me better at actually understanding them. Instead of seeing them of problems to be overcome, he is quite good at putting himself in their place. Reid is the only one of the profilers who puts his gun down and takes off his bullet-proof vest to gain an unsub's trust, risking his life to understand and be understood, as shown in "Derailed", "The Fisher King: Part II" and "An Elephant's Memory". Reid doesn't believe in control at all costs, he believes in emotional connections and empathy, and, more often than not, he knows exactly how to disarm a person on the verge of madness, simply by feeling how they must feel.

    Some examples of Reid's tendency to relate rather than disconnect:
    In the episode "Sex, Birth, Death", he says "I know what it's like to be afraid of your own mind"; while Morgan sees the person in question as a weirdo and a potential future danger, Reid sees him as a person, trying to see the world from his perspective, even using his own emotions to understand him. In "Derailed", he plays along with a psychotic man's fantasies by relating to his feelings and stop trying to reason with his subdued sense of logic, and in "Somebody's Watching", he quickly finds the exact words that will make the stalker lose her temper and self-control, making her easier to take down. At that particular moment, he was cornered and emotionally distressed himself, but he was still able to connect with the unsub, suggesting that he does it more or less automatically and that striving to understand and identify with others comes naturally to him. He is kidnapped by a man with split personalities in season 2, and while two of the personalities have treated him harshly, he looks genuinely sorry when the man is shot and dies while in his kinder personality - while an event like that would undoubtedly have a tremendous impact on a Thinker as well, Reid shows empathy even towards a man who has beaten and tortured him, almost killing him at least once. I, as a person between T and F, would definitely not empathize in such a moment; maybe later, but not then and there. I think that this shows a tender nature that few Thinkers have.

    Many would attribute his ability to put himself in someone else's shoes to his intelligence, but I think there's something more to him. The actor who plays him has confirmed that he has Asperger's Syndrome, a diagnose thought to be related to the INTJ, INTP and ISTJ types - I agree that he has it, but I'm an Aspie too, and that doesn't make me robotic or emotionless. And while we're at it: If Reid's intelligence had only been slightly above average, would we even consider the possibility of him being a Thinker, or would his empathy be so obvious that we couldn't have questioned this particular preference?

    All in all, I have a hunch that Reid might actually be a Feeler: An INFP, to be precise. While INTPs will often seem arrogant without that being the intention and INTJs can sometimes actually be arrogant, INFPs usually come across as merely oblivious, which, in my opinion, also applies to Reid. And honestly - what kind of T, including myself, who is almost not a T at all, would abandon all logic to connect with a man who had lost all his sense of reason? Definitely not an INTJ, and probably not an INTP either.

    I bet I'm gonna get a whole lot of protests for suggesting a different personality type for him, but I really believe he's a Feeler, so I don't think any angry comments will make me change my opinion Still, feel free to disagree as loudly as you wish, rational arguments can always make me see the light
    Last edited by 10blackroses; 03-04-2013 at 02:50 PM.

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  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    The cutest INTP ever. He has that real pure innocence going for him, which makes him seem squishy. Frankly, from what Ive seen, that squishiness is present in most INTPs. It is usually just hidden behind some serious barbwire. Spencer seems to have had a rather sheltered life, and is supported by his team (who are trained in reading people, as well), which seems to have left him rather barb-free (kind of like baby skin thats never been in the scorching sun). But he still thinks things through analytically, he still gets stumped by his own feelings, he has his values, but he does need to discuss them with Rossi in order to feel they are validated. He has a social awkwardness about him that is utterly adorable, and he prefers statistics and facts to draw his conclusions when using his brilliant mind in job. He deals with what happens to him by secluding himself and thinking things through, often having trouble digesting the emotional mass of it (drugs, anyone?), until he eventually confides in one of his team mates (who btw all surround him with an almost parental love as they can sense his fragility).


    So I vote for babyskinned, almost barb-free INTP
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Strikes me as an INTP, armchair detective, he reminds me of another fictional INTP, L Lawliet.
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  5. #5
    Member 10blackroses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robopop View Post
    Strikes me as an INTP, armchair detective, he reminds me of another fictional INTP, L Lawliet.
    Awesome that you should mention L, I've seen that parallell myself! L is as INTP as one can possibly be, the brain of the team, and seen as odd by his colleagues.
    But I still think they are different types. L is also an 'untouched' character, but he still shows signs of ruthlessness:

    - He used a death-row convict as a substitute for himself, knowing that he would be killed for it (even though this person - Lind L. Taylor - would eventually have died anyway, he did use another human being as a shield.)
    - By using the name of a popular singer, Hideki Ryuga, who was completely innocent, he risked the latter's life if Kira had decided to try to kill him, because Kira would automatically picture the singer when writing his name.
    - He was willing to test if the Death Note was genuine by actually killing someone with it.
    - He kept both Light and Misa under uncomfortable and - in Misa's case - humiliating surveillance in order to observe possible signs of any of them being Kira.

    I can't imagine Reid doing any of these things; while they would certainly have occurred to him, he seems to have a 'moral filter' that keeps him from doing things that he thinks are wrong. INTPs are pragmatic by nature - if something really needs to be done, they won't hesitate to do it. They weigh the consequences of doing something radical against the consequences of not doing it, and in the end, they will often go with the most efficient solution, which may not be the most morally correct one.
    INFPs, on the other hand, do under no circumstances want to wield the knife that takes a life. Even in the episode L.D.S.K. in the first season of Criminal Minds (and I still saw him as an INTP at that point), Reid was forced to shoot an unsub with Hotch's gun - the bullet hit the unsub's head, but Reid later claimed that he had been aiming for the leg (maybe a humorous comment, but I hardly think so). All the other agents would have thought it perfectly acceptable to aim to kill in that situation - Hotch even said 'nice shot' or something similar - but killing wasn't Reid's intention. Not wanting to take a life, even under those circumstances, is far from pragmatic. He was scared to death, knowing that this unsub could end up killing him, but he didn't want to do any serious damage, even though that could be fatal. Reid had already been in the job for two years and knew how these hostage situations could end, so why not aim to kill? This is a Feeler's approach, not that of a Thinker. I see your point, but I still think Reid is INFP.
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  6. #6
    Member 10blackroses's Avatar
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    Also, I think the character might have been envisioned as an INTP by the creators of the show, but Matthew Gray Gubler, who portrays Reid, ended up changing the original concept and made him seem Feeler-ish, and that personality eventually edged out the original Thinker that Reid was supposed to be.
    A question that sometimes drives me hazy; Am I or the others crazy?
    ~Albert Einstein

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10blackroses View Post
    Awesome that you should mention L, I've seen that parallell myself! L is as INTP as one can possibly be, the brain of the team, and seen as odd by his colleagues.
    But I still think they are different types. L is also an 'untouched' character, but he still shows signs of ruthlessness:

    - He used a death-row convict as a substitute for himself, knowing that he would be killed for it (even though this person - Lind L. Taylor - would eventually have died anyway, he did use another human being as a shield.)
    - By using the name of a popular singer, Hideki Ryuga, who was completely innocent, he risked the latter's life if Kira had decided to try to kill him, because Kira would automatically picture the singer when writing his name.
    - He was willing to test if the Death Note was genuine by actually killing someone with it.
    - He kept both Light and Misa under uncomfortable and - in Misa's case - humiliating surveillance in order to observe possible signs of any of them being Kira.

    I can't imagine Reid doing any of these things; while they would certainly have occurred to him, he seems to have a 'moral filter' that keeps him from doing things that he thinks are wrong. INTPs are pragmatic by nature - if something really needs to be done, they won't hesitate to do it. They weigh the consequences of doing something radical against the consequences of not doing it, and in the end, they will often go with the most efficient solution, which may not be the most morally correct one.
    INFPs, on the other hand, do under no circumstances want to wield the knife that takes a life. Even in the episode L.D.S.K. in the first season of Criminal Minds (and I still saw him as an INTP at that point), Reid was forced to shoot an unsub with Hotch's gun - the bullet hit the unsub's head, but Reid later claimed that he had been aiming for the leg (maybe a humorous comment, but I hardly think so). All the other agents would have thought it perfectly acceptable to aim to kill in that situation - Hotch even said 'nice shot' or something similar - but killing wasn't Reid's intention. Not wanting to take a life, even under those circumstances, is far from pragmatic. He was scared to death, knowing that this unsub could end up killing him, but he didn't want to do any serious damage, even though that could be fatal. Reid had already been in the job for two years and knew how these hostage situations could end, so why not aim to kill? This is a Feeler's approach, not that of a Thinker. I see your point, but I still think Reid is INFP.
    These factors have little to nothing to do with Thinking types vs Feeling types, both Ti and Fi are based on personal principles.

    Thinking just focuses more on impersonal, technical(not immoral or amoral) content while Feeling focuses on more emotional content so they might more aware of emotional states(of themselves or others). Remember Thinking types do not lack emotions but they try to block out what they think as emotional biases as much as possible from their evaluation process, they are still motivated primarily by emotion. Feeling types can easily arrive at conclusions that would be considered very immoral by most people, Hitler(ENFJ) for example.

    You could say Thinking is concerned with statements of true and false while Feeling is concerned with more grey areas like pleasantness and unpleasantness, this is what Jung defined them as.
    Reserved Calm Unstructured Egocentric Inquisitive Clown

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  8. #8
    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    I've always thought of Spence as an INTP. Sometimes I think ENTP when he's on an Ne-high, but then I always slap myself and go back to INTP because his inferior Fe just adds to his adorable awkwardness haha.
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  9. #9
    Member 10blackroses's Avatar
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    The first CM episode I saw - The Fisher King: Part II - actually made me type him ENFP. He spent that whole episode finding unlikely possibilities that turned out to be true, but it was also a somewhat heartbreaking episode for him
    . When I started to watch every episode and season automatically, I briefly re-typed him INTP, but I changed that in Derailed, when I decided on INFP.
    A question that sometimes drives me hazy; Am I or the others crazy?
    ~Albert Einstein

    A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

    Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn't want to live there.
    ~Owl City (Song: The Real World, album: All Things Bright and Beautiful)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10blackroses View Post
    Awesome that you should mention L, I've seen that parallell myself! L is as INTP as one can possibly be, the brain of the team, and seen as odd by his colleagues.
    But I still think they are different types. L is also an 'untouched' character, but he still shows signs of ruthlessness:

    - He used a death-row convict as a substitute for himself, knowing that he would be killed for it (even though this person - Lind L. Taylor - would eventually have died anyway, he did use another human being as a shield.)
    - By using the name of a popular singer, Hideki Ryuga, who was completely innocent, he risked the latter's life if Kira had decided to try to kill him, because Kira would automatically picture the singer when writing his name.
    - He was willing to test if the Death Note was genuine by actually killing someone with it.
    - He kept both Light and Misa under uncomfortable and - in Misa's case - humiliating surveillance in order to observe possible signs of any of them being Kira.

    I can't imagine Reid doing any of these things; while they would certainly have occurred to him, he seems to have a 'moral filter' that keeps him from doing things that he thinks are wrong. INTPs are pragmatic by nature - if something really needs to be done, they won't hesitate to do it. They weigh the consequences of doing something radical against the consequences of not doing it, and in the end, they will often go with the most efficient solution, which may not be the most morally correct one.
    INFPs, on the other hand, do under no circumstances want to wield the knife that takes a life. Even in the episode L.D.S.K. in the first season of Criminal Minds (and I still saw him as an INTP at that point), Reid was forced to shoot an unsub with Hotch's gun - the bullet hit the unsub's head, but Reid later claimed that he had been aiming for the leg (maybe a humorous comment, but I hardly think so). All the other agents would have thought it perfectly acceptable to aim to kill in that situation - Hotch even said 'nice shot' or something similar - but killing wasn't Reid's intention. Not wanting to take a life, even under those circumstances, is far from pragmatic. He was scared to death, knowing that this unsub could end up killing him, but he didn't want to do any serious damage, even though that could be fatal. Reid had already been in the job for two years and knew how these hostage situations could end, so why not aim to kill? This is a Feeler's approach, not that of a Thinker. I see your point, but I still think Reid is INFP.

    There are several logical fallacies in your argument here. Firstly, you are comparing Spencer Reid to L. Lawliet , and though they are both fictional characters, the former is much more "human". This partially stems from the latter being animated and thus limiting emotional performance (or rather the perception of it) and partially from the way each character's development was written. Secondly, you don't seem to fully understand mbti types since you're ignoring cognitive functions. Based on function placement, one letter could mean a rather drastic shift in "personality". Also, INTPs have a feeling function (Fe) in their primary stack -as do all types- but it just happens to be the inferior one. If you look at Reid's progression he seemed to develop it further over the years (I.e. he became more socially adept and showed a broader range of comfort in his emotional expression and that of others). Now, one could argue that L. (although he still had developed Ne) was in a Ti-Si loop or had drastically underdeveloped Fe, either of which could explain his callousness and social aversion. And lastly, you should know, mbti is more of a guideline and serves as a framework, for each individual but personal experiences and environment can affect what presents and how it does so.

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