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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2008

    Default Constructivist or Emotivist?

    I found an interesting article based on Reinin dichotomies that might differentiate between INFPs and INFJs. Since it's based off of Socionics, it says an EII or INFP, (INFj for socionics) is a constructivist, and an IEI or INFJ, (INFp for socionics) is an emotivist. Here are the descriptions of both:

    Constructivists try to get into the right mindset for an activity and it takes time for them to get from one mindset to another. When they are at home, they are mentally prepared for anything that could happen at home and when they are at work, they switch over to work-mentality. They can get overwhelmed by emotions because once they get into an emotional state, they stay in that emotional state for a long time. Constructivists avoid emotional contact with others and they don't think it's necessary to adjust to the conversation emotionally. They use automatic polite responses and customs, like starting with "how are you?" or offering their guests coffee or tea. Practical conversation (talking "business") is easier for them. They like to repeat emotional states - rereading books, watching movies that they have already seen and revisiting places they liked. They avoid movies, situations and people who give them a negative mindset, because they have a difficult time getting rid of that mindset. Constructivists use emotional anchors (carefully chosen music, books, movies) to keep or strengthen their internal emotional state.

    Emotivists try to enter the emotional atmosphere of the conversation and they try to keep the emotion in the conversation positive. They can talk about various things they have no interest in or do not believe in simply for the sake of maintaining a "positive spirit". Talking business is more difficult and the conversation topic can wander off into emotional exchange. They try to get new experiences and new emotions, which is why they travel to new places and rarely watch movies they have already seen. In emotivists calls for action/requests are not critically estimated and because of it they can get overwhelmed by them. After getting into a theme they stay in that mode of operation for a prolonged period of time and have difficulty switching, "disconnecting" (and because of it try to avoid unpleasant requests).

    As an INFP, I can easily relate to the constructivist mindset. I definitely agree with this section: "They like to repeat emotional states - rereading books, watching movies that they have already seen and revisiting places they liked. They avoid movies, situations and people who give them a negative mindset, because they have a difficult time getting rid of that mindset. Constructivists use emotional anchors (carefully chosen music, books, movies) to keep or strengthen their internal emotional state. "

    I would like to know if INFPs and INFJs can relate to their descriptions. If so, give examples. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    8w9 sp/sx



    its a lot like acting
    it explains why i see myself as a spy/detective/chameleon

    my emotions are outside of me
    I N V I C T U S

  3. #3
    Junior Member AscendingFlame's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    INFP here and the Constructivist rings very true for me. It's very hard for me to do anything if I'm not in the right mindset. Different mindsets for work and home is totally me. It also explains why I have a real problem when I have to take work home. It confuses the mindsets.

    Watching movies and reading books again - totally me. If I really like a film, I will watch it over and over again. Same with books and music.

    I really liked that picture of emotional anchors. I definitely use those. Also the thing about it being very hard to get rid of a negative mindset was unfortunately very true. Happy films/books/music help a lot in that respect.

  4. #4
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Jun 2008


    Strangely enough - I am both.

    On the one hand, I enjoy watching a movie or listening to a song I like 20 times (really extreme, I know). I can even enjoy a movie I really like the next day. Usually I really exaggerate it to the point where I cannot listen to it or watch it anymore, whereupon I will not listen/watch it for a year or more - maybe even several years. Then I will "re-discover" it by chance and the process begins anew - it is like finding a new "treasure."

    In addition, I love going to places where I have been when they have some sort of symbolic significance for me. For example, my husband and I got married at the place we met. Every time I go there, it reminds me of beautiful experiences. In these ways, I am more like a constructionist.

    When I teach, that student is my goal. I usually cater the lessons to suit that person. For example, if I notice the person loves to talk about private things, I will let them do that and enjoy the fact that they trust me. On the other hand, I will keep the situation all business for people who do not feel comfortable with opening up. I keep the ball in their court. It is much more fascinating to learn and talk with people about things other than vocabulary and grammar, and I am glad that I work in an area where that is possible and fostered on a regular basis. I can mould my behavior to accommodate people, which is more Emotivist, if I have understood the term correctly.

    In addition, I can shift very easily. Once one student leaves and the next one arrives, it is like my mind shifts into another shelf. THAT student now becomes my top priority. I get very emotionally engaged - hoping my students will succeed. My Ne and Fi go into SUPERMODE when I teach, but not in a way that is exhausting unless my students do not react in a positive way. I'm sure this is more Emotivist.

    Because I can usually correctly assess what is the best way for which person and balance these two extremes, I am typically considered to be a good teacher.

    Oh, by the way, I am a balanced ENFP - see the values below.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Leysing's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Constructivist is totally me.

    I have always said that my emotions are very stable. Certain flighty persons don't seem to understand this: if I'm sad or annoyed or something, they suppose that I'll be okay in the next five minutes. But I'm not. (Then they consider me to be depressed and heavy-minded and something like that.) My brighter moods, however, last long as well. Ha-ha, I like that. If something nice (that others often consider minuscule) happens, like someone says something about me, or I see a beautiful landscape or hear a new good piece of music, I'll be very happy for the rest of the day.

    I don't like emotional contacts with others. I consider my emotions a very private part of myself and I feel very uncomfortable sharing them with others if I don't completely trust them.

    I have always been considered polite and "having good manners". Others comment on this characteristic quite often and I'm always surprised, because I'm naturally polite and "formal" (especially with strangers).

    Re-reading books and listening to music over and over again is 100 % me. I do that all the time.

    Yes, I definitely avoid things that make me feel bad because the bad feeling lasts. I once saw something totally awful and horrible and I felt ill for a couple of weeks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member helen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    Neither description was entirely true of me, but I could relate to both in different ways.
    "There ain't no doubt in no one's mind that love's the finest thing around. Whisper something soft and kind." --James Taylor

  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Jun 2008


    I'm neither INFP nor INFJ (I don't think), but I can relate fairly well to the "constructivist" description. I watch the same films and listen to the same music over and over again because of the "feelings" or atmospheres that they generate (for me). I also avoid emotional contact with others and generally respond to people with "stock" politeness. The part of the description that doesn't really ring true with me is the part about "mindsets" for different occasions (not being able to change them quickly) and the bit about avoiding things that produce negative feelings. I pretty much have the same mindset throughout the day no matter where I am or what I'm doing. I also like listening to music or watching films that produce negative emotions or feelings, which is contrary to the description.

    Just thought I'd add this, since even though the thread is addressed to NF's, I thought it was interesting that it applied to me as well as it did.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

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