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  1. #1
    Senior Member sciski's Avatar
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    Default INTJs and prior experience

    Hello! This is something that has been puzzling/troubling me for a little while...

    I understand that the main theoretical difference between INTJs and ISTJs is that INTJs prefer Ni and ISTJs prefer Si.

    Now, Si is usually associated with memories and ISTJs describe their thought pattern as using prior experience and memories as a basis upon which they can make their Te decisions for actions.

    Does this mean that INTJs generally don't refer to prior experience when making decisions (seeing as it's not preferred)? When is prior experience and memory used or 'factored in' by INTJs?

    Cheers for any responses. Non-INTJ observations of INTJ behaviour are also welcome.

  2. #2
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    I mainly draw upon past experience in dealing with the world around me, but not in forming my ideas. In other words, I'll find myself thinking, "The last time I tried to express a similar idea in such-and-such a manner, people reacted by..."

    Meanwhile, even in my learnings, I'm generally more interested in the angles than the facts. I'll remember the new perspective a book added to my world-view more readily than the actual facts it presented. Usually, though, I can reconstruct the fact and often even the quote on the basis of the "angle" that I retained in memory.

    ...hope that helps.
    Last edited by Mycroft; 03-31-2010 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Small typo.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  3. #3
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Meanwhile, even in my learnings, I'm generally more interested in the angles than the facts. I'll remember the new perspective a book added to my world-view more readily than the actual facts it presented. Usually, thought, I can reconstruct the fact and often even the quote on the basis of the "angle" that I retained in memory.
    Exactly.

    Imagine the mind as an abstract web of experiences/ideas. When we learn something new, the usable information becomes an integral part of the web.

    When we need to make a decision, it comes from the collective, rather than the individual relevant experience that was added to it, giving us both a quick decision making process and the ability to easily adapt to changing circumstances after the decision has been made.

    I'm not familiar enough with specific functions or ISTJ's to comment on their half.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Good stuff + INTJs phrase things the most gloomy way possible, so if they are to rely on past experiences only, this would mean they must live as zombies on graveyards wandering around haunted .
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  5. #5
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Of course we don't use past experience! What utter nonsense!



    (brain braaaain braaaaaaiin BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!!!!!! *munch*)

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  6. #6
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    The past...

    it is a claustrophobic locale, and I don't like it much. Bringing past experience directly to conscious consideration feels counterproductive. Like, knowing what I did last time doesn't tell me what I should do this time, and if it does, then by implication the present event will be tiresome. Which is actually not to say I don't use a lot of appallingly routinised procedures to get through the day. But...

    The past isn't directly informative. It's a fixed point that can't change, and as such doesn't offer me too much information. It doesn't hold the key to new understandings. Unless it can be reinterpreted. And by and large, it can't be. (The caveat being when new information emerges in the present and throws light on past mysteries.)

    I don't really know what my relationship to the past is. I generally take it for granted that today came from yesterday but tomorrow comes from today. (Which is a cryptic way of announcing a particular article of faith, that if something completely new is needed, it can be started today, no matter what happened yesterday.)

    I dunno. Maybe the past only exists as a bunch of competencies and warnings acquired at other times.
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  7. #7
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciski View Post
    Hello! This is something that has been puzzling/troubling me for a little while...

    I understand that the main theoretical difference between INTJs and ISTJs is that INTJs prefer Ni and ISTJs prefer Si.

    Now, Si is usually associated with memories and ISTJs describe their thought pattern as using prior experience and memories as a basis upon which they can make their Te decisions for actions.

    Does this mean that INTJs generally don't refer to prior experience when making decisions (seeing as it's not preferred)? When is prior experience and memory used or 'factored in' by INTJs?

    Cheers for any responses. Non-INTJ observations of INTJ behaviour are also welcome.
    To be honest, I don't agree with the definition of Si as being specifically to do with recalling memories. To my mind, that is symptom of what it does, not the fundament.

    I think of Si as a preference for information which is seen as certain or reliable. A primary Si will grade information according to how reliable they think it is, and the higher they rate it, the more it will feature in their decision making.

    Prior experiences are absolute, in a sense, because what happened, happened. How much an ISTJ learns from these exoeriences will depend upon the individuals intelligence, which isn't really covered by function theory.

    A less talented ISTJ may just think "We tired that and it didn't work, so I'm not doing it again". A smarter one will think something like: "We've tried that once, under a particular set of circumstances, and it failed. One trial is not enough to be certain, but this method is now unfavourable. Changing circumstances may invalidate this observation."

    Indeed, things that happened in the past are more likely to have known outcomes, and so will attract the attention of ISTJs. An SJ will look at events in the past, and try to use them to predict what will happen in the future, so that they can steer a safe course.

    Ni's, on the other hand, tend to look forward into the future to spy out some possibility they see as desirable, they try to see how that possibility can be brought about. To do this, they will often look to the past, to see how things have worked out and use that knowledge to help bring about the sought after future.

    It is worth noting that Si and Ni are shadows of each other. Having on in the primary position forces the other into the 8th place - that is a shadow function, but the most potent one. Si and Ni underline each other. In an INTJ, Ni picks the outcome it wants, then shadow Si quietly supplies information to help Ni + Te reach a verdict. Ni is in the driving seat, but much of the sense of certainty that INJs experience comes from the shadow Si.

    In an ISTJ, Si rules, but shadow Ni plays it part. It helps the SJ by pointing out possible futures that are worth avoiding. I also think it forms part of the judgement call as to which information is judged as reliable in the first place.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I mainly draw upon past experience in dealing with the world around me, but not in forming my ideas. In other words, I'll find myself thinking, "The last time I tried to express a similar idea in such-and-such a manner, people reacted by..."

    Meanwhile, even in my learnings, I'm generally more interested in the angles than the facts. I'll remember the new perspective a book added to my world-view more readily than the actual facts it presented. Usually, thought, I can reconstruct the fact and often even the quote on the basis of the "angle" that I retained in memory.

    ...hope that helps.
    Yup. I will rely on past experience to deal with the mundane day-to-day stuff...rote learning only works for stuff like figuring out the way to the station, what I have to do to get a ticket etc. etc. once I know how to do that, I can zone out and use my brain for more interesting things. More Se than Si, maybe.

    I will also observe reactions and integrate those in a plan I might have. Which actually might point to a lack of Si, because without observing these reactions, I'd never figure out the Si rules behind them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member forzen's Avatar
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    So I talked to the first INTJ girl a week ago. Her expression, mood, and ackward smile really made me feel ackward. The difference is really noticeable from the ISTJs (there are alot in the military) or INFP that I used to hanged out with.

    Given, I was not exposed to alot of NT until now.
    This post grammatical errors had been intentionally left uncorrected.

  10. #10
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    To be honest, I don't agree with the definition of Si as being specifically to do with recalling memories. To my mind, that is symptom of what it does, not the fundament.

    I think of Si as a preference for information which is seen as certain or reliable. A primary Si will grade information according to how reliable they think it is, and the higher they rate it, the more it will feature in their decision making.

    Prior experiences are absolute, in a sense, because what happened, happened. How much an ISTJ learns from these exoeriences will depend upon the individuals intelligence, which isn't really covered by function theory.

    A less talented ISTJ may just think "We tired that and it didn't work, so I'm not doing it again". A smarter one will think something like: "We've tried that once, under a particular set of circumstances, and it failed. One trial is not enough to be certain, but this method is now unfavourable. Changing circumstances may invalidate this observation."

    Indeed, things that happened in the past are more likely to have known outcomes, and so will attract the attention of ISTJs. An SJ will look at events in the past, and try to use them to predict what will happen in the future, so that they can steer a safe course.

    Ni's, on the other hand, tend to look forward into the future to spy out some possibility they see as desirable, they try to see how that possibility can be brought about. To do this, they will often look to the past, to see how things have worked out and use that knowledge to help bring about the sought after future.

    It is worth noting that Si and Ni are shadows of each other. Having on in the primary position forces the other into the 8th place - that is a shadow function, but the most potent one. Si and Ni underline each other. In an INTJ, Ni picks the outcome it wants, then shadow Si quietly supplies information to help Ni + Te reach a verdict. Ni is in the driving seat, but much of the sense of certainty that INJs experience comes from the shadow Si.

    In an ISTJ, Si rules, but shadow Ni plays it part. It helps the SJ by pointing out possible futures that are worth avoiding. I also think it forms part of the judgement call as to which information is judged as reliable in the first place.
    This perspective really resonated with me. I work with a number of ISTJs. My experience is that they tend to be oriented towards tried and true solutions, are very in touch with facts, can be very knowledgeable, and are able to readily recall lots of previous experiences, using that experience to confidently provide a perspective. As an INTJ, I would tend to be much more oriented towards innovative solutions, creating new and better ways of doing things, considering alternative or different perspectives, and being more forward looking and strategic. The two can be very complimentary. The ISTJs I work with help me to stay grounded and I open their eyes to perspectives they would otherwise dismiss or not consider.

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