# Thread: Jack Flak's Function System Adventure

1. Originally Posted by miked277
this whole thing is like saying, "people are having trouble seeing that 2 + 2 = 4 so let's just define 2 + 2 = 5 so that everyone can be right."

i agree w/ pretty much all of what dissonance and hap have said.
I just have to quote this for absurdity. And no, it's more like saying "2+2+1+1+?+?+?+?=10" is a ridiculous conclusion, and "2+2=4" is more reasonable. As long as we're using stupid little analogies.

I should probably field this post by Eric B, but Orangey has the opportunity to respond to dissonance if she chooses. And I agree with jason m's post, for the most part.
Originally Posted by Eric B
Some of this would be solved by realizing the standard function order identifies roles and not necessarily strengths. That's why the CP test results come all out of order, but while a function designated a "shadow" might be strongly used; it you think about it, it will still probably fall into the more negative role described for your type.
I completely agree, because in the INTP, a preference for Intuition doesn't imply that use of logic is flawed in any way. More effort is generally applied to perceiving the object than judging it. (Additionally, It is my assessment that the Cognitive Processes test was designed to fit the sixteen types as much as to fit the original Jungian functions. But I don't have direct evidence that this is the case.)

As for I/E; I would say based on the type descriptions that your "expressiveness" will basically match the dominant function attitude, though for various reasons, it may not always play out in the stereotypical "introvert/extrovert". So an extravert may be more reserved at times, but the "gregariousness" will come out in some way at times, or they will be driven by the same motives, but carry them out differently. (Much of this questioning of I/E definitions involves saying "I know this Exxx who is quiet and thinks a lot"; but this is basically the exception and not the rule, and probably also you're only seeing a period of their behavior. But their dominant function is defined as referencing the outer world of people and action. (and there's also the possibility that they're simply mistyped).
To define I/E with something as specific as "gregariousness" is erring, I believe. I can usually tell the difference between an I and an E by watching them communicate IRL, but I can't give you a short list of specific traits. How I would best define I/E is need, and it can sometimes be noticed. Viewing an individual in group interaction, say, do they seem to need the interaction? If so, E, and if not, I.

2. Originally Posted by jason_m
Here are the reasons why MBTI function theory is flawed:

1) In what way are ISTPs and INTPs alike? If you look at their careers, their interests, and their behaviour, they don't seem very alike at all. ISTPs typically express themselves using tools and machines. In what way are they engaging their logical abilities more than their senses by doing this? Does it make sense to think that the introverted thinking of ISTPs is so hidden that it doesn't even show up in their careers or interests?
I would think, because it's introverted, it might not look like much to the outside. However, the use of tools and machines requires the same internal knowlege of frameworks and models as the more familiar abstract counterpart. And that's the difference. Ti+Ne is more into concepts and theories, while Ti+Se is more into physical things.

Now I too often try to sort out what exactly the difference is between Pe/Ti and Ti/Pe, particularly since I am one who came out with Ne stronger on the CP test, yet I still ended up INTP and, I really do not identify with ENTP and extraversion much at all. It seems to be that the ENP's (Ne dom.) start with ideas (information gathering, for its own sake), and then process it through their judging function. INP's however, are driven by their internal logic or ethic/value frameworks, and then use Ne to "feed" this by exporing all the possibilities. So this is where the archetype roles come in; because the auxiliar is the "parent" that guides how the dominant ("hero") is used.
One is the driving force, and the other is the guide.

(Edit: Having an overdeveloped Ne when I'm wired for dominant thinking ends up in a flood of incoming information, and not enough time or energy to process it. So I go jumping from one thing to another, and find it hard to focus, though to try to focus is my natural preference. I imagine the flipside of this is the ENTP with an overdeveloped Ti will have a deficit of information to process).

So with the STP's, the ESTP's driving force would be Se, and the type is described as "action" oriented. Ti would then guide or parent this. So the ISTP like the INTP starts with the internal frameworks, but then uses it on physical experience moreso than just concepts.

And then also, S/N changes both the temperament and interaction style. Both ITP types are introverted and pragmatic, but one is informing and structure focused, while the other is directive and motive focused. So they are different in that respect, as well as the perception functions. I would call those types simply judgment compatible. They share a judgment "spine" tandem, as well as three letters in the code; but otherwise, yes, they are quite different.
2) MBTI Si and Ni bear little relation with Jung's original interpretations of them. Introverted intuitives were considered to be prototypical artists. If you look at the career preferences of the types, you will find that INTPs and INFPs prefer artistic careers over INTJs and INFJs. Further, Jung's introverted sensors could be artists, because they had unique sensory perceptions of the world, and this could easily be translated into art; ISFPs and ISTPs are much more likely to go into art than ISTJs and ISFJs.
In some of those cases, you may be seeing the "inflation" of the tertiary function (which then can sometimes appear to outdo those with the function in the dominant position). So INTP's and INFP's have Si in that position (and when I'm artistic, it will usually involve some nostalgic thing or something like that). ISTP's and ISFP's have Ni in that position.
When you look at Myers' and Briggs' definitions of Si and Ni, there are problems. For instance, IS_Js are very detail-oriented and methodical, and IN_Js are noted for their drive and determination. Not only are these definitions very different from what Jung described, but in what way are these characteristics a matter of perception?
Well, detail is definitely something that is perceived! (then the methodicalism comes from wanting to stick to what's familiar, which is their internal concrete perception). The drive and determination of Ni types comes from their visions of change, which are characteristic of their perception.
Also, I think that Myers' and Briggs' basic approach to determining the types is flawed, and that's what creates this problem. In an attempt to determine functions, they created a test that measures dichotomies. A more logical approach would have been to test people for their dominant function, and, once that is determined, give them a second test to determine which of the two possible auxiliary functions is appropriate. I can't understand why this approach was not taken.
Originally Posted by Jack Flak
I completely agree, because in the INTP, a preference for Intuition doesn't imply that use of logic is flawed in any way. More effort is generally applied to perceiving the object than judging it. (Additionally, It is my assessment that the Cognitive Processes test was designed to fit the sixteen types as much as to fit the original Jungian functions. But I don't have direct evidence that this is the case.)
I agree, and I would think that the Nardi cognitive processes test should be the "official" MBTI!

To define I/E with something as specific as "gregariousness" is erring, I believe. I can usually tell the difference between an I and an E by watching them communicate IRL, but I can't give you a short list of specific traits. How I would best define I/E is need, and it can sometimes be noticed. Viewing an individual in group interaction, say, do they seem to need the interaction? If so, E, and if not, I.
I was just trying to give an example of one of those classic "extraversion" traits that some people with dom. extraverted functions are said to not necessarlily display all the time. Separating "expression" from "need" is also what we do over in the FIRO system, but in my own correlation of the sytems (ERICA vs) high need (or "responsiveness"; "people vs task focus", etc) would tend to correspond to Informing communications and Motive focus (and loosely, the T/F and J/P scales). It would depend on who tends to approach who in the interaction. Traditional extraversion basically would refer to those who do the approaching, rather than passively want to be approached. However, cognitively, I could see wanting being classified as an "outer focus' as defined in the definition of extraverted functions. That's why for one, I realize that I do have extraverted tendencies, though I am low in expression (at least, in person).

3. Dissonance: I'm going to respond, but I have a paper to write for the early part of the day. Will be back.

4. if you wanted to make type theory more useful i don't think dumbing it down and eliminating valid distinctions is the right direction. but hey, if you're having fun then i'm in no place to stop you.

5. Originally Posted by miked277
if you wanted to make type theory more useful i don't think dumbing it down and eliminating valid distinctions is the right direction. but hey, if you're having fun then i'm in no place to stop you.
You're in no place to stop me regardless of your intentions, using non-arguments like that with such reckless haste. You obviously don't understand the system, and have made an incorrect snap judgment. I salute you.

6. Originally Posted by Jack Flak
You're in no place to stop me regardless of your intentions, using non-arguments like that with such reckless haste. You obviously don't understand the system, and have made an incorrect snap judgment. I salute you.
sure i understand it. as highly you think of your ideas jack, it is possible for others to understand them and still have good reasons to disagree. shocker i know.

7. Originally Posted by miked277
sure i understand it. as highly you think of your ideas jack, it is possible for others to understand them and still have good reasons to disagree. shocker i know.
You'll have to define good. If being comfortable with an antiquated system of false conjecture is a good thing, then I have to agree. This is the only argument which holds merit, because your level of happiness will decrease if your system is replaced. You have to respect happiness.

8. Originally Posted by dissonance
I/E and J/P are just indicators of information about function distribution/orientation. That is all.

I personally think socionics codes make more sense than MBTI codes (they flip the J/P for all introverts). So an Ni dom with Fe is called an INFp, since their primary function is introverted and a perceiving function.

But that's a matter of aesthetics; it doesn't have to do with the information contained within the system. Jack's system contains less information than socionics.

Regarding "arbitrary detail with little connection" -- again, the letters themselves (I/E and J/P) don't directly correlate to observable reality. All that correlates to observable reality are the 4 cognitive functions and their orientations. MBTI type is NOT composed of four dichotomies -- it's just a code for the distribution.

(Someone suggested a few months ago that we don't even need 4 letters to contain all the information in MBTI, we just need 3. So an INFJ would be INF and an INFP would be IFN. This is also definitely a better code...)
I agree that the J/P and E/I only refer to the order and orientation of functions in MBTI. That's the whole problem. I/E determines the overall primary function, and J/P determines the primary extroverted function (or the function that deals with the outer world). When I/E and J/P come into conflict, as they do in the case of all introverts, the I/E overrides the J/P in importance (in determining the dominant function). In other words, the dominant function must always align in orientation to I/E, and this will be equivalent to the J/P for all extroverts but changes for introverts, because an extroverted function can't be dominant in an introverted person.

Jack's system gives more importance to J/P in this regard, as you know, because it determines the primary function regardless of I/E. If we kept the function orientation, this would (as I think Bluewing pointed out in another thread, though I could be mistaken) make the system incoherent because some introverts would have extroverted dominant functions (like the INTP, which would have Ne as primary). And if we are defining introversion and extroversion by the orientation of the dominant function, then it makes no sense to call someone with an extroverted dominant function an introvert. This is why it is necessary to cut out the function orientation and define introversion and extroversion as separate categories unlinked to the functions.

And doing this has the merits that I mentioned in an earlier post, namely:

-It clears away the confusion of determining what counts as introverted or extroverted function behavior (which, you can keep telling me are clear and that it's just because of some deficiency on my part that I can't see them...and I will keep denying that this is so because I've read as much of the material as anybody, though perhaps less than some people).

I mean, I see from the function descriptions that the only real difference between, say, Ti and Te is the object at which the thinking is aimed...and if this is the case, then the distinction between the two is not in the function itself, but in the situations in which the function is used. So Te is better at organizing material in the outside world, while Ti is better at doing this for internal 'concepts'. It seems clear to me that the act of using either will depend on the situation in which the actor finds his/her self, and not as a result of their being predisposed to use either one.

-It makes the connection between introverted/extroverted social behavior (by the common definitions) and I/E more clear. So if you see that someone needs their "alone time" frequently, then you know that they are an introvert. You don't have to try and figure out the orientation of their dominant function to determine whether they are introverted/extroverted (which seems like a far less accurate endeavor).

-It is less counter-intuitive when observing people. Take the INTJ, for example. If we had two people for whom thinking was clearly preferred to feeling, but one of those people displayed more definitiveness while the other was more laid back, we could easily attribute thinking as the dominant function to the one and a perceiving function as the dominant function in the other to account for the difference. This is more clear than saying that, well, one is using Te but as a support function, and the other is using Ti but with Ne as a support function. In both of those cases, if we use MBTI, we end up having to play up the support function to account for the differences in behavior when it would be easier to just say that one is a dominant thinker while the other is a dominant perceiver.

Originally Posted by dissonance
Eh. I mean, I/E does correlate to observable behavior, just not directly. Plus, I'd attribute "indecisiveness" more to the fact that your first judging function is introverted -- it doesn't directly engage the outer world.
I don't see why the function's introverted-ness should mean that it is any less decisive. Ti is a function that is used to make decisions (albeit decisions whose objects are "inward" as opposed to "outward", whatever that means). If I am not so good at making decisions (i.e., "indecisive"), then how can I say that I use Ti, or any other decision-making function, most?

Originally Posted by dissonance
You seem like a quite clear Ti dominant to me. What we must remember, though, is that amount of usage of a function is not correlated to ability with that function. An EFJ could have "better" Ti than an ITP; they just use it less often by definition. You could even have a "better" Ne than Ti (although I don't think you do) and still be an INTP as long as Ti is more often used.
I never said anything about the quality of function usage. I only said that I use Ne more often than Ti, which, if I hang on to the MBTI definitions, I think is absolutely true. And I probably come off as far more decisive on this forum than I am IRL, because I won't post anything unless I have something clear to say about it. Plus, I don't see how Ne or Ni can be determined by someone's posting (unless we're talking about the way that people erroneously label incoherent or rambling posts as Ne).

Originally Posted by dissonance
I'm not sure I'm understanding you correctly, but I think you have it backwards. I do not type myself as an INFJ because I know I'm an I, an N, an F, and a J. I type myself as INFJ because I know my Ni is dominant, leaving two possibilities, INTJ or INFJ. Then I look at the orientation of my thinking and feeling and find that Ti/Fe is a closer match than Te/Fi.
But you see? You've relied solely on the system as put forth by MBTI. You've identified a couple of variables, and then used the system to fill in their order and the order of all the other variables.

Originally Posted by dissonance
Typing people really isn't so hard. Just identify the dominant function (which is what Jung's book is all about anyway -- the dominant function), and then look at the orientation of the complimentary ones (if your dominant is a judging, look for orientation of perceiving and vice versa).
Yes, but this doesn't tell me why, if I identify myself as a dominant perceiver, say I even choose Ne specifically, I should be constrained to ENTP or ENFP. What if I don't identify with either of those profiles, especially as they describe social extroversion?

Originally Posted by dissonance
@"I can very rarely identify my own behavior as, "look, I just used Ti"," -- What you should be able to do at least is to identify when you are using thinking, feeling, sensing, or intuition. The orientation in one moment in time is pretty impossible to spot. Orientation comes from observing trends in your functions OVER TIME.
If the orientation is impossible to spot in any momentary function usage, then I don't see how it is possible to spot trends in that regard over time, as a whole bunch of those unidentifiable moments adds up to just that- a group of unidentifiable moments.

Originally Posted by dissonance
The problem is that J vs. P is a false dichotomy. Unless you want to change the definitions, but then you're losing some data and gaining other data, which means the system doesn't correspond to MBTI.
Whether or not something corresponds systematically with MBTI is not the issue. No, Jack's system doesn't correspond to MBTI (like socionics does, only with a shifting of the naming convention). But that doesn't mean it is any less descriptive, because as I have (hopefully) shown, getting rid of the function orientation is made up for by replacing the qualities attributed in MBTI to introverted functions with a switch in the order (making the perceiving function dominant). And like I said before, if you've typed yourself by identifying specific MBTI functions like Ti or Ni, then yes, you might have to change your type code. This only applies to introverts, though.

Originally Posted by dissonance
That's another thing. I'm not just blindly defending this function orientation thing...I've observed people for years and found this stuff to be the most interesting distinction of them all. Communication problems between Fe and Fi users, etc... it's really a useful framework.
But the way that MBTI is set up, there is rarely an occasion in which Fi and Fe come into direct conflict. In other words, if there is a conflict between people of different types, the Fi and Fe rarely align in ways that make the conflict seem unambiguously attributable to differences between Fi and Fe. For instance, even between types where Fi and Fe are dominant (in MBTI), such as the INFP and the ENFJ, the conflicts that arise between these two can be attributed to lots of other factors besides Fi and Fe alone (such as the famous imperiousness and decisiveness of J's, and the flippant laziness of P's).

Originally Posted by dissonance
It definitely takes some practice and some research to get working definitions for everything and to be able to spot these trends in people. But the trends are there.

If you want to give up on MBTI in favor of Jack's system, you'll never be able to see the cool distinctions that function orientation lets you see.

It's understandable; learning this all is quite frustrating. But you really can get to a point where it all clicks...and it would be too bad if you gave up on that path.

Also, not to sound like an asshole, but it's entirely clear that Jack has not gotten to that point with MBTI. He got frustrated before he figured out the system, so he made up a new one, that, yes, is easier to learn, but is also sort of a lobotomized version.

Again, his system works -- it's logically consistent and all. It just isn't as powerful. He's trading complexity for learnability.
Well, to characterize what I'm doing as adopting one thing over another thing is false. I never really adopted MBTI wholesale in the first place, so I'm not actually adopting Jack's system in favor of MBTI at all. I don't want to discard either system...I'm just defending Jack's from being discarded because I think that it has merits that MBTI doesn't.

Originally Posted by dissonance
How does fewer variables lead to greater flexibility??????
Maybe not as a rule, but in this case it does, I think.

9. A personal note to all doubters and naysayers:

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10. A different God, different mountain top.

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