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  1. #1
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    Default NTs and changing models

    Maybe this is more of an INTP question, but I guess this is something I'd like to hear about from NTs in general.

    From what I understand, INTPs develop or generate a model of the world or people they interact with. Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong or if my understanding is incorrect. I can somewhat understand the modeling thing as I had to learn it for my career (engineering) but I don't apply it to people or how I look at the world and so for me it's a bit foreign to understand.

    If the model is incorrect, or was (accidentally) developed for a specific person/scenario, what is the process like to update the model? Does it take a long time or is it relatively quickly? How do you know when the model needs to change?

    I want to clarify that I'm not actively trying to change someone else's model, but that this person brought up to me that he assumed something about me and my behavior based on the model of the type of relationship we have. This assumption turned out to be incorrect and he mentioned this realization on his own to me recently. So I'm curious about that process and what goes on underneath the hood, so to speak.

  2. #2
    Member Idontcare's Avatar
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    well... at least for me it goes by experiences and theorizing from those experiences until it expands into a broad enough picture. I form a model of how certain people react to certain things and can tell how they will react to other things based on there first reaction. Eventually i can figure what that person is like while barely knowing them, and most of the time im right but when im wrong i have to update the model for that specific person. I always shift back to the default model of the type of person unless the behavior occurs enough with that type of person, then i update the model. I used to do this a lot until i learned about personality types. Now i just look for a persons type.

  3. #3
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    My preference is to call people concepts instead of models, since models infer that multiple individuals can be pigeon-holed. Patterns of behaviour help to define them as concepts so it usually takes a number of similar actions/reactions to confirm that my concept of them needs to be revised.

  4. #4
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    I think the goal is to find the best 'default' model. Creating a structure that when altered is a relatively easy process. Instead of having to change entire concepts you can alter slightly according to each person and if you assumed incorrectly about your thoughts on a person it doesn't take much to alter them. The key is to finding a universal default to work from, once you found that (easier said than done) adjusting your conceptions of a person is rather simple. This is my personal goal at least.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lucas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExAstrisSpes View Post
    Maybe this is more of an INTP question, but I guess this is something I'd like to hear about from NTs in general.

    From what I understand, INTPs develop or generate a model of the world or people they interact with. Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong or if my understanding is incorrect. I can somewhat understand the modeling thing as I had to learn it for my career (engineering) but I don't apply it to people or how I look at the world and so for me it's a bit foreign to understand.

    If the model is incorrect, or was (accidentally) developed for a specific person/scenario, what is the process like to update the model? Does it take a long time or is it relatively quickly? How do you know when the model needs to change?
    The process of updating is relatively simple, depending on what caused the flaw in the model. Typically, if there is a simple data error, then that error is corrected and a new conclusion reached.
    If there is a structural error, then it takes much longer, because the entire framework has to be recreated.

    A data error for this model would be a mistaken assumption about an individual, about the way they work or think.
    A structural error would be a fundamentally mistaken assumption about the way humans work in general, for instance, changing from a rational model of human action to an irrational model, or a free-willed to a determinist one.

    You know when a model needs to change when it fails to accurately predict.
    "Those are my principles and if you don't like them......well, I have others"

    -Groucho Marx

    "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

    - Frederich Nietzsche

  6. #6
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    If there is a structural error, then it takes much longer, because the entire framework has to be recreated.

    A structural error would be a fundamentally mistaken assumption about the way humans work in general, for instance, changing from a rational model of human action to an irrational model, or a free-willed to a determinist one.

    You know when a model needs to change when it fails to accurately predict.
    How many errors would you need to see in order to recognize a structural error? And how long does it take to alter and test the new model?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lucas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExAstrisSpes View Post
    How many errors would you need to see in order to recognize a structural error? And how long does it take to alter and test the new model?
    Difficult to say. It depends on the magnitude of the error, but generally it is recognized when the model consistently fails to predict, but there are no errors in the data. Of course if there is expected variability in the outcome then it can be difficult to determine if the error is due to the model or simple variation, or if the data cannot be confirmed.
    So for instance if the structure presumes that humans are free-willed rational actors, but humans continually act contradictory to self-interest or in irrational ways, then either there is an error in the assumption, or the humans who constitute the error are simply stupid and therefore constitute variation.

    Updating the model for a significant structural error could take any amount of time, as it does take time to force thought patterns along new lines. It kind of depends on whether or not the error is retroactively self-evident, or was proven true via data. The second method tends to take more time to change than the first.

    [Edit]
    Also, there tend to be two types of models. One is personal, and based solely on data. The other is general, and based more on assumptions backed up by data. Personal models are models of behavior primarily for individuals, and based predictions primarily on past action, and so are less prone to structural error.
    General models are applied to population groups or really anything with a widespread effect, and tend to rely on foundational structures modified and updated by evidence.

    Based on your original post, your INTP is updating a personal model of your behavior, which tends not to take long.
    Last edited by Lucas; 11-17-2010 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Added model types
    "Those are my principles and if you don't like them......well, I have others"

    -Groucho Marx

    "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

    - Frederich Nietzsche

  8. #8
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    I see. That's really interesting.

    I get the impression the INTP in question based his model of the kind of relationship on his interactions with a specific person, and not necessarily on some arbitrary model of what that kind of relationship should be like. So he anticipated some specific behavior from me (behavior that is quite hurtful in my opinion), and I suspect would be distressed about it (unbeknownst to me) until he decided that the model wasn't working.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExAstrisSpes View Post
    From what I understand, INTPs develop or generate a model of the world or people they interact with. Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong or if my understanding is incorrect. I can somewhat understand the modeling thing as I had to learn it for my career (engineering) but I don't apply it to people or how I look at the world and so for me it's a bit foreign to understand.

    If the model is incorrect, or was (accidentally) developed for a specific person/scenario, what is the process like to update the model? Does it take a long time or is it relatively quickly? How do you know when the model needs to change?
    As an INTJ, I have a model of my own internal world that is ever changing as new insights can bubble up through my introverted intuition that is constantly processing all the data in my head which is forever growing in a sense. This isn't necessarily what you meant I'd presume but you didn't specify an internal or external world and both do exist to my mind. Now, because of our difference at the end, that I'm judging and you are perceiving, I am the type to like structure, order and rules so I tend to look for them everywhere. Methods to the madness you could say. This model is completely abstract in its nature as while there is a physical existence to the brain, it isn't easy to see all the data.

    As I noted above the model is in a constant state of change, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you've ever seen an optical illusion and noticed how there were at least 2 perspectives to it, it is like generating that second perspective for me though it is being done constantly. Even when I'm sleeping, part of me is still processing data, trying to see new perspectives and insights. If you want an analogy, consider my model to be like the theory of evolution. There is a lot of evidence to support why my model is built in a certain way, but it is far from proven to be flawless.

    As for a specific scenario, there are thousands of these in my mind at any given point in time. For example, what on-line forum do I want to read now, what TV show or movie do I want to watch, or what personal work do I want to do are situations where I line up a few "What if..." and then carry them out. If I measure out my laundry detergent and pour it in the washer, add dirty clothes that are sorted to be of a specific type like darks or whites, and turn on the machine, this is how I get clean clothes is an example that tends to work 99.99999% of the time, assuming Heisenberg's Principle holds at some point.

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