I get that. If I didn't see Ni and Si working side by side in my children, I wouldn't be so dogmatic. But there it is. And having opened my mind to this possibility, I'm hearing/seeing in others that they do it too. It also allows for a better fit with people whose functions weren't 'lining up' or who didn't fit well with the MBTI archetypes.Typology itself is pure conjecture. It can't be tested because Jung's ideas of cognitive functions are just arbitrary, subjective interpretations of biological processes we don't yet have the science to understand fully.
If you want to test the nature of cognition, you need to go study psychology and make some significant advances in brain scanning and neurological imaging techniques. The inherently subjective, nebulous nature of functional theory makes it impossible to pin down empirically or test accurately, ever. You're not going to get accurate tests about psychological type until science advances far enough to render Jung's theories totally obsolete anyway.
So trying to test an untestable idea based purely on philosophical conjecture is a waste of time. The only way to collect data on this topic is to study the values of others in relation to your own, talk to others about it and try to make sense of it for yourself. This can't be translated into externally objective terms.
How do you plan to deal with the fact that no question you write can ever be shown to accurately represent any real functional attitudes? You might design a question thinking, "Ok, if he answers this way then that's a point for Fi, but if he answers that way it's a point for Ti instead!"
The problem? You have no idea if Ti people will actually choose the answer you arbitrarily decided represents Ti. This (along with the myriad problems with self-report evaluation) is why you'll never be able to build a working test for Jungian functions. The concepts themselves are too abstract and subjective to be accurately measurable.
Really? So...you don't think "I saw a pattern" indicates Ne use, either? Perhaps you could explain why you believe you "use Ne" frequently and effortlessly, then?
That's not a bad analogy. But over a period of years, getting into the habit of listening to one part of the umbrella builds up psychological resistance to listening to certain other parts of the umbrella that conflict with it. This is why Jung described the shadow functions as "suppressed" parts of our consciousness...their influence shows up sometimes, but we can't just run along merrily swapping between wholly contradictory attitudes on ourselves, the universe and all the relationships therein whenever we feel like it and utilize both conflicting attitudes with equal efficacy. Simply by listening to some functions more often than others, the mind builds up significant barriers against the non-preferred forms of cognition. You don't just flip a switch and totally invert your entire worldview at will. The human mind simply doesn't work that way.
Your claim that you use all functions frequently and easily is like claiming that you switch between theism and atheism all the time. Functions represent deeply ingrained patterns in the way we conceptualize humanity, life, meaning, purpose, the nature of the universe and cognition itself--you don't just swap to an attitude that contradicts your preferred one and back hundreds of times per day. To claim that you do is to pretend that you are wholly immune to the effects of perceptual bias, which is awfully arrogant (and, incidentally, a typical Ni-dominant mistake.)
Jung defined the functions such that each individual will prefer one orientation for each one, and have difficulty operating from the other orientations because they require him to break from his normally preferred perspective.
Seeing the world from all eight functional attitudes with perfect ease all the time would require extraordinary perceptual flexibility and near total immunity to any perceptual bias at all. It's simply unrealistic. (Of course, overconfidence in one's ability to see every perspective and remove oneself from perceptual bias is in itself typical of Ni doms!)
While I can't rule this out entirely, it doesn't really make much sense because this "masked ninja function" would contradict one or more of the INTJ's preferred attitudes and therefore require a difficult perceptual shift to access. It would not just pop up whenever convenient and constantly offer pertinent and well-reasoned advice.
Ni and Si are not mutually exclusive, but they do clash with each other's approaches enough that breaking out of the preference for whichever one you prefer and trusting the other one is difficult to do and requires expending a lot more energy.
You see, Ni and Si don't just represent different types of mental tasks; they represent fundamentally different approaches to cognition that can't operate simultaneously. You have to tune one out to listen to the other because they lead you in opposite directions regarding how to interpret meaning.
Ni: "I won't commit to one particular way of interpreting things because that limits my perspective--I want to avoid this kind of bias at all costs."
Si: "Of course I'm biased toward a particular way of interpreting meaning--based on what I've experienced and discovered before. Anything less would leave me at the mercy of an inherently chaotic and unpredictable universe!"
You think the eight functions just run along acting in completely different realms and you don't see any reason any function should preclude any other function from operating simultaneously--this is the biggest problem with your approach. There is so much more conflict between opposing function attitudes than you seem to realize.
Ever notice how every type is overconfident in his own dominant function? Ever notice, also, how Ni doms often think they see every possible perspective on everything because Ni as an attitude leads you to value seeing all possible perspectives (and to be threatened by the idea that there are any you can't see readily)?
I think you don't like the idea of there being perspectives out there that you can't directly experience and operate from easily and routinely, because Ni hates the feeling that there's some angle it's unable to see from. I think your attempt to debunk the idea that you have real attitudinal biases stems from dominant Ni's insistence on seeing everything from an outside perspective:
The problem is that your lofty goal of completely separating yourself from built-in interpretations is impossible. As a human, you will always have perceptual biases that you can't escape and that's an inescapable fact, uncomfortable though it may be for Ni.
Look at you, demonstrating this right now--your insistence on deconstructing the system's map and removing your own experiential bias from the picture directly contradicts Si's attitude. Your very insistence on avoiding definitive interpretations of meaning here violates the spirit of Si's worldview.
It's hard for you to use Si because you have to turn off Ni temporarily to do that!
Ni: We should try to see every possible angle and avoid committing to one definite interpretation. Having a clearly defined map of meanings limits our perceptive abilities, and is therefore to be avoided.
as opposed to...
Si: We should use our stored impressions of past memories and facts to associate all new information with something we already know directly. Having a clearly defined map of meanings is necessary in order to avoid getting lost in the utter chaos of reality.
But noooo, your dominant Ni is so certain that it's immune to unconscious bias, that it can see every angle, that it sees through the smoke and mirrors to the real meaning, that no perspective is out of reach, that it leads you to arrogant overestimation of your own ability to operate from every possible perspective any human brain can offer. Eventually you just have to accept that some people really do have perspectives that you can't see, understand or utilize easily, no matter how annoying that is to Ni.
And function theory doesn't really say you can never orient from the perspective of non-preferred attitudes. It just says the non-preferred attitudes are more difficult, less common and much harder to orient from because they require breaking away from the attitudes you've built deeply ingrained preferences for over years and years of life experience.
The more you get in the habit of orienting by Ni, the harder it is for you to stop doing that and temporarily orient by Si. It can be done, but it's not easy or commonplace, no matter how much you want to believe that your perspective is effortlessly all-encompassing.
Don't think I'm not open to learning something new. I am very open to it. But the 'something new' must be exactly that; something that I have missed. Unlike you, what I've seen thus far with function theories does not jive completely with me. Hence I'm trying to figure out what does. If you don't think what I say jives with you, then great.