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  1. #1
    Senior Member hilo's Avatar
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    Default sweeping generalizations about INF*

    There may be real data to back this up, but I'm interested in personal insight as well.

    I have been told by a couple of people that INFP is more likely to choose a career in science than INFJ. I couldn't really map that back to the function preferences. Tertiary Ti would seem to be more favorable than Inferior Te, plus having primary Ni would also support e.g., a person wanting to do theoretical mathematics.

    (The reason for comparing these two is that, yes, I'm trying to type someone and I'm pretty sure about the first three... )

    Love ya NFs!
    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
    - Umberto Eco

    INTP e9 (sx/so/sp)
    Ti = Ne (41.3) > Si (31.2) ~ Ni (31.1) ~ Te (30.1) > Se (24.1) >> Fe (21) & Fi (20.1)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilo View Post
    There may be real data to back this up, but I'm interested in personal insight as well.

    I have been told by a couple of people that INFP is more likely to choose a career in science than INFJ. I couldn't really map that back to the function preferences. Tertiary Ti would seem to be more favorable than Inferior Te, plus having primary Ni would also support e.g., a person wanting to do theoretical mathematics.

    (The reason for comparing these two is that, yes, I'm trying to type someone and I'm pretty sure about the first three... )

    Love ya NFs!
    Its my understanding that the opposite is true. As an INF who went through science, and works in engineering/science, it is also my experience that the opposite is true.*

    * for the science fields I've seen, which are physics, chemistry, and materials science. bio or wildlife-bio or environmental science may all very well be different.

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Career choice does not determine a person's functions, so I wouldn't use that criteria for deciding what type someone is. An ISFJ (or whatever) could choose a career in science also.

    In Gifts Differing, Isabel Myers simply noted that both INFX types were surprisingly, frequently found working as research scientists. I don't see why either would have an edge over the other. As usual, Fi is being greatly underestimated though...Not to mention, INFPs are dealing with the external world through Ne, and INFJs through Fe, so that it seems INFJs tend to be more people-focused, IMO.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Career choice does not determine a person's functions, so I wouldn't use that criteria for deciding what type someone is. An ISFJ (or whatever) could choose a career in science also.

    In Gifts Differing, Isabel Myers simply noted that both INFX types were surprisingly, frequently found working as research scientists. I don't see why either would have an edge over the other. As usual, Fi is being greatly underestimated though...Not to mention, INFPs are dealing with the external world through Ne, and INFJs through Fe, so that it seems INFJs tend to be more people-focused, IMO.
    don't underestimate the importance of having J. In particular, INFJ's are MUCH closer to being an INTJ than is an INFP [IJ approach to life, shared Ni dom]. And, imo, INTJ's are the norm in [hard] science. Also, generally, J's stick to things more than do P's, and are better at understanding what is actually required and meeting those requirements while still being able to say "fuck this" to everything else that they want to say that to. Remember, INFJ's are usually less dissatisfied in their careers than are INFP's. Also, I'm guessing that Ni is useful in science, or at least lots of scientists have and use it. The best an INFP usually can do is *pretend* to be or play at being an INTP, but I'm afraid to say that Ti has no real place in science, or at best it should but I've rarely if ever seen it. I've yet to really see expression of Ne in science either, other than maybe in making analogies to explain concepts to non-technical people. Also, IME, INTJ's squash NFP's like bugs, but ENFP's are too ?jolly? ?busy brainstorming? ?gregarious? to care. Also, I think INTJ's are much more comfortable with INFJ's than they are with INFP's, and since INTJ's are the norm in science ime, don't discount the importance of that either. Every single day I wonder if I want to quit my job [and historically the job before it, and the two schools before it], JUST based upon how much I DON'T like INTJ's, and they started it. Remember, in many ways INFP's and INTJ's are shadows or opposite of each other, and most people don't like spending every single [work]day seeing someone in their face who excels where they naturally suck. Also, INFJ's can fake being an NT, or appear as being a NT, MUCH more easily than can an INFP.

    I wish their were more INFp's in science. I['m sure they are more common in bio, environemntal science, and especially psych. But in the hard sciences, I know of only one [hint: me]. Also, of the 3 NF's I've known in my physics training, both NFP's didn't get a PhD, and only the INFJ did. Don't underestimate the impact of that J.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hilo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    don't underestimate the importance of having J. In particular, INFJ's are MUCH closer to being an INTJ than is an INFP [IJ approach to life, shared Ni dom]. And, imo, INTJ's are the norm in [hard] science. Also, generally, J's stick to things more than do P's, and are better at understanding what is actually required and meeting those requirements while still being able to say "fuck this" to everything else that they want to say that to. Remember, INFJ's are usually less dissatisfied in their careers than are INFP's. Also, I'm guessing that Ni is useful in science, or at least lots of scientists have and use it. The best an INFP usually can do is *pretend* to be or play at being an INTP, but I'm afraid to say that Ti has no real place in science, or at best it should but I've rarely if ever seen it. I've yet to really see expression of Ne in science either, other than maybe in making analogies to explain concepts to non-technical people. Also, IME, INTJ's squash NFP's like bugs, but ENFP's are too ?jolly? ?busy brainstorming? ?gregarious? to care. Also, I think INTJ's are much more comfortable with INFJ's than they are with INFP's, and since INTJ's are the norm in science ime, don't discount the importance of that either. Every single day I wonder if I want to quit my job [and historically the job before it, and the two schools before it], JUST based upon how much I DON'T like INTJ's, and they started it. Remember, in many ways INFP's and INTJ's are shadows or opposite of each other, and most people don't like spending every single [work]day seeing someone in their face who excels where they naturally suck. Also, INFJ's can fake being an NT, or appear as being a NT, MUCH more easily than can an INFP.

    I wish their were more INFp's in science. I['m sure they are more common in bio, environemntal science, and especially psych. But in the hard sciences, I know of only one [hint: me]. Also, of the 3 NF's I've known in my physics training, both NFP's didn't get a PhD, and only the INFJ did. Don't underestimate the impact of that J.
    Thanks for the replies, all very interesting.

    I agree that either type can do it. ANY type can do almost any job, of course. I'm talking about likelihood merely because it came up in the context of this person - who I still can't type worth a damn (leaning INFP though, so there are others in hard science out there... )

    In my field (physics), the main type by far is ISTJ/ESTJ, followed by ISTP, INTJ, ENTJ, and INTP.

    As a Ti-user, I find there is a huge place for it in my work, along with Ne... I use them together to build systems to explain data. The 'P' if it may be considered on it's own, is quite useful in letting me jump out of the box and make connections that others won't because they're tied down to the current paradigms too much. Of course it also makes it hard for me to draw lines in writing up a result.

    I think it could depend on the person's personal development as well. For instance, male INFP (similarly situated in some ways as a female INTP) are going to be pushed early and often to develop other functions. Perhaps this gives them the kind of early balance which allows for them to use lesser-preferred functions ?

    Scott N Denver - if you don't mind my asking, if you got out of science, what do you think you would do? Would it necessarily be more people-oriented?
    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
    - Umberto Eco

    INTP e9 (sx/so/sp)
    Ti = Ne (41.3) > Si (31.2) ~ Ni (31.1) ~ Te (30.1) > Se (24.1) >> Fe (21) & Fi (20.1)

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    but I'm afraid to say that Ti has no real place in science, or at best it should but I've rarely if ever seen it.
    This piqued my interest. I agree with your post in large part about INTJ's dominating the science fields and being the most cut out for it, but I'd also like to understand why you think Ti has no place in science. What about Ti makes it not suitable to science? And also, if it's not suitable to science, what fields do you think it is more suitable for?

    I have my own personal answer for these questions already, but I'm interested to hear your opinion, since you have experience in the field.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Hilo: In my field (physics), the main type by far is ISTJ/ESTJ, followed by ISTP, INTJ, ENTJ, and INTP.
    Thanks for starting this incredibly interesting post! How do you know that these are the types most frequently found in your field? A study? Experience?

    And really -- INFJs are often in the sciences? That is what this INFJ wants to do -- research, but behind a computer screen using data and not in a lab. Once I got out of the lab, I thought I really did not want to do research at all... but data and market research is swinging me back around the other way. I keep saying "I bet I will end up in market research".

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    Quote Originally Posted by hilo View Post
    There may be real data to back this up, but I'm interested in personal insight as well.

    I have been told by a couple of people that INFP is more likely to choose a career in science than INFJ. I couldn't really map that back to the function preferences. Tertiary Ti would seem to be more favorable than Inferior Te, plus having primary Ni would also support e.g., a person wanting to do theoretical mathematics.

    (The reason for comparing these two is that, yes, I'm trying to type someone and I'm pretty sure about the first three... )

    Love ya NFs!
    As a budding scientist, Te is really being beaten into me, so...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    This piqued my interest. I agree with your post in large part about INTJ's dominating the science fields and being the most cut out for it, but I'd also like to understand why you think Ti has no place in science. What about Ti makes it not suitable to science? And also, if it's not suitable to science, what fields do you think it is more suitable for?

    I have my own personal answer for these questions already, but I'm interested to hear your opinion, since you have experience in the field.
    I don't agree with the idea of intjs' "dominating" the science fields. As in, found more in science than any other type. But I can see a very strong lean towards the intj mindset characterising modern science.

    I am doing an advance science degree, and in one of my subjects (basically a learning to be a scientist class) we had to take a keirsey test.

    And i'll quote myself here

    We had to physically separate into Kiersey's temperaments and do group work together in our temperament. Anyway, on average... there was a large proportion of guardians (generally 12), then there were the 'artisans' (generally 8), 'idealists' (generally 6) and finally the 'rationals' (generally 4). So that's about 40%, 27%, 20% and 13% for guardians, artisans, idealists and rationals respectively. I realise the kiersey breakdowns are contentious, but there you go.

    Obviously, this is only a (shit ass) 'case study' and can't illuminate anything substantial, particularly since it's based only on my word. Along with that there are too many variables... not to mention, we took pathetic tests (as most tests are... although we did have to evaluate our types according to the 'type' description and changed accordingly), and moreover, we were forced to do it for homework, so judging on the after discussion, most people didn't take it seriously (being various science students and all).
    I think you might find certain types in certain sciences though. You might find more xnxx in applied science, and more xsxx in base research. You might find more xnfx in psychology, cosmology, environmental science etc. But 'more' in terms of located in a particular science field as opposed to others. Not 'more' as in, more of that type than any other, are found in that field.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilo View Post
    There may be real data to back this up, but I'm interested in personal insight as well.

    I have been told by a couple of people that INFP is more likely to choose a career in science than INFJ. I couldn't really map that back to the function preferences. Tertiary Ti would seem to be more favorable than Inferior Te, plus having primary Ni would also support e.g., a person wanting to do theoretical mathematics.

    (The reason for comparing these two is that, yes, I'm trying to type someone and I'm pretty sure about the first three... )

    Love ya NFs!
    Not in my case. I hate science. Too analytical.

    But, someone I know, that I'm almost positive is an INFP works for Lilly. So, I guess it's not impossible.

    Most INFP's, even if they don't work in an art field, still consider themselves to be artists "deep down."

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