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  1. #1
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    Default INTPs and lack of memory for details

    I've been thinking about my everyday problems and came up with the conclusion that I'm totally oblivious to things other people always remember. I don't mean the usual "I put the keys somewhere I'm not used to and now I can't find them". I forget details about things I've heard 5 seconds ago, and I'm certain I'm going to be able to remember them in about 5 years. I remember phrases and faces of people I haven't seen in 10 years, but I can't remember I have to buy bread when I enter the specific shop to buy bread (and I buy something else instead).

    I know in most descriptions of INTPs, we're depicted like the people who don't remember names or specific "banal" info about a person, but does this happen with objects, appointments, words said seconds ago, etc?

    Is it just me having early symptoms of Alzheimer's or does this happen to all INTPs (or is it related to any function)?

    i know there are forgetful people from all types, I'm just curious to know if INTPs (or NTs) have a "natural predisposition" to forget things.
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenErased View Post
    I've been thinking about my everyday problems and came up with the conclusion that I'm totally oblivious to things other people always remember. I don't mean the usual "I put the keys somewhere I'm not used to and now I can't find them". I forget details about things I've heard 5 seconds ago, and I'm certain I'm going to be able to remember them in about 5 years. I remember phrases and faces of people I haven't seen in 10 years, but I can't remember I have to buy bread when I enter the specific shop to buy bread (and I buy something else instead).

    I know in most descriptions of INTPs, we're depicted like the people who don't remember names or specific "banal" info about a person, but does this happen with objects, appointments, words said seconds ago, etc?

    Is it just me having early symptoms of Alzheimer's or does this happen to all INTPs (or is it related to any function)?

    i know there are forgetful people from all types, I'm just curious to know if INTPs (or NTs) have a "natural predisposition" to forget things.

    Well it gets worse when you get older, probably.

    I'm in my 40's now, and I find I'm getting more forgetful of even the random trivia shit that used to pop straight into my head; I can struggle with names and places now, to the degree of feeling frustrated. I thought it was just me, but typically everyone experiences some degree of this? However, I still don't forget faces or places I've seen/been; I might not come up with the name, but I KNOW whether I have seen a particular person before. I'm really good at watching movies and picking out some extra immediately and recollecting that I saw them in some random TV episode years before, for example. Or I can hear a song and know what else I've heard it in, even if it was a long time ago.

    As far as what information I don't retain well:
    • Information that is not interesting or directly pertinent in some way
    • Information that I immediately generalize into a concept


    For that second part, it's how my mind works. I've realized over time I have a hard time holding on to particular detail, because my brain is trying to work efficiently, and reduce globs of detail into short useful concepts from which I can construct understandings. So basically I grab this big ball of data with the goal of making an idea/concept out of it, and then what I do is store the concept and pitch much of the detail.

    This can be frustrating when I have to reverse-engineer -- like if I have to support an argument. I do great with rebuilding logical/conceptual steps to support an argument but have a hard time presenting nitty-gritty detail that I originally examined to draw the conclusion in the first place.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totenkindly View Post

    As far as what information I don't retain well:
    • Information that is not interesting or directly pertinent in some way
    • Information that I immediately generalize into a concept


    For that second part, it's how my mind works. I've realized over time I have a hard time holding on to particular detail, because my brain is trying to work efficiently, and reduce globs of detail into short useful concepts from which I can construct understandings. So basically I grab this big ball of data with the goal of making an idea/concept out of it, and then what I do is store the concept and pitch much of the detail.

    This can be frustrating when I have to reverse-engineer -- like if I have to support an argument. I do great with rebuilding logical/conceptual steps to support an argument but have a hard time presenting nitty-gritty detail that I originally examined to draw the conclusion in the first place.
    I see! That's what happens to me most of the time. If someone tells a story, I can summarize it in a word or two, but five seconds later, the details are blurry. I may only remember them precisely after a long time, probably when the person that told the story has already forgotten about it.

    I don't remember what I had for breakfast but I remember with tons of details (colours, smells, textures) things that happened long ago, as if my memory took its time to process it into a well-defined memory.

    But yeah, uninteresting information disappears as it's being heard.

    I was starting to freak out, because I'm in my early 20s and I had the sensation that I was going to forget how to talk by age 50. Thanks for your response!
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  4. #4
    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    I'll go to the top of the stairs and wonder why I'm there, it's nothing new though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenErased View Post
    I see! That's what happens to me most of the time. If someone tells a story, I can summarize it in a word or two, but five seconds later, the details are blurry. I may only remember them precisely after a long time, probably when the person that told the story has already forgotten about it.

    I don't remember what I had for breakfast but I remember with tons of details (colours, smells, textures) things that happened long ago, as if my memory took its time to process it into a well-defined memory.

    But yeah, uninteresting information disappears as it's being heard.
    yeah. See, now I feel a bit better too. It can be frustrating, but... ehhhh.

    Weirdly, I used to be in Bible release programs when I was young, and I was very capable of memorizing 20 verses in about ten minutes, going in, and rattling them all off. In fact, STORIES stick in my head as far as narrative points, even if I forget some of the specific words; I will also remember specific dramatic phrases from stories, I guess because they impacted me.

    I was starting to freak out, because I'm in my early 20s and I had the sensation that I was going to forget how to talk by age 50. Thanks for your response!
    haa... along those lines, I also tend to mix up words sometimes now. I feel like a machine where the wires are rubbing a bit raw with age. SO I'll go to type one thing but especially if I am thinking of something else at the same time, I'll either insert a word from what I was thinking about, or I will insert words that sound similar in some way to the word I wanted but completely the wrong word -- perfectly spelled, just not even close to the right word in definition. It's kind of hilarious and eerie, and I was wondering if I was going aphasiac.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke O View Post
    I'll go to the top of the stairs and wonder why I'm there, it's nothing new though.
    I bet you forgot what thread you are in now!
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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  6. #6
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    @Luke O

    Ah, yes, that happens to me since I was a child. I sometimes carry with me detailed notes of the circuit I have to do and what things I have to do at easch stop, otherwise I go out of home and forget 75% of the to-do list.

    @Totenkindly

    Yeah, it's frustrating! The problem of writing words that belong to another "branch of thought" is also common for me. i tend to multitask, so sometimes I type what I'm hearing and reply to someone what I should be writing... or the typical:

    - What do you want to do this afternoon?
    - Yes.
    It also happens that I'm typing something and my mind gets stuck in an idea, but still keeps thinking of what I should be typing, so when the idea is gone, my fingers start typing again, so my writings frequently have sentences with a missing beginning or end. Ooooh, and about the spelling and words that sound the same: my native language is Spanish, so I sometimes go too fast for my fingers to realize I should write in English, and I end up writing the word as it sounds but with the Spanish phonetics (e.g.: I may... = Ai mey). It's sad
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  7. #7
    Megustalations Ghost's Avatar
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    I relate to this a lot. I'll walk into a room to get or do something and forget why I'm there. What's weird is that I'll remember which room or area to go to but not the specific reason for being there. My mom (ESFJ) also easily forgets what she wanted to do.

    Over the last few years I've learned to track back to remember the thoughts of the last few minutes. It's literally re-thinking my thoughts until I stumble across the right one. I either rewind my mind or list the possible things in that room that I could need, and it'll come back to me.

    I think what happens is that my body goes into automatic while I think of more interesting things. It's not entertaining to think, "Wallet, wallet, wallet" as I go upstairs. (Although it sometimes helps to make a mental note for emphasis before I space out and forget.)

    My memory has always been garbage. The situational stuff is getting worse, but I used to have a problem remember specific words. It would derail entire conversations as I struggled to pull the exact word I was looking for out of the dusty corners of my brain. I don't have that problem so much anymore. It's gotten easier with age to recall those words or find suitable substitutes. I still have a problem recalling names or errands because those things are pretty low priority for me.

    I also learned about the doorway effect on QI. It seems relevant.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    I relate to this a lot. I'll walk into a room to get something or do and forget why I'm there. What's weird is that I'll remember which room or area to go to but not the specific reason for being there. My mom (ESFJ) also easily forgets what she wanted to do.

    Over the last few years I've learned to track back to remember the thoughts of the last few minutes. It's literally re-thinking my thoughts until I stumble across the right one. I either rewind my mind or list the possible things in that room that I could need, and it'll come back to me.

    I think what happens is that my body goes into automatic while I think of more interesting things. It's not entertaining to think, "Wallet, wallet, wallet" as I go upstairs. (Although it sometimes helps to make a mental note for emphasis before I space out and forget.)

    My memory has always been garbage. The situational stuff is getting worse, but I used to have a problem remember specific words. It would derail entire conversations as I struggled to pull the exact word I was looking for out of the dusty corners of my brain. I don't have that problem so much anymore. It's gotten easier with age to recall those words or find suitable substitutes. I still have a problem recalling names or errands because those things are pretty low priority for me.

    I also learned about the doorway effect on QI. It seems relevant.
    This is so interesting!! Thanks for the link!!

    I agree with everything you wrote. I always forget words, even silly ones, and I always say I'm in autopilot. I walk down the street, turn the autopilot on, and the only clear thing is the path I have to make not to hit people (I do anyway, but that's another story).. the rest is all blurry, unless it's interesting, like a man wearing only one shoe, so it sort of.. lights up. Maybe it's that autopilot thing that distracts me from the goal. I should try to be more attentive during the "trip" to see if I remember what I'm supposed to do or not, geting to know if the autopilot thing is to blame or not! ... Now I have to see if I'll remember to test this...
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  9. #9
    Member VeniVidiVertigo's Avatar
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    I usually remember what i thought about something rather than the thing itself. Or i remember my "judgement" so to speak. If something is irrelevant i neglect it. This is usually. Cause when i'm not in my thoughts i remember stuff without to much discrimination. I guess from an evolutionary standpoint, it's an advantage to be able to quickly make judgements without to much thought so your energies can be spent on solving future problems. So when you go into a store and forget to buy your bread you unconciously know that food is no problem. but what you think about might be? i suspect you would not forget to buy bread to your family if your children were starving
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  10. #10
    Schemata Architect CognitiveLiberty's Avatar
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    I think the fact I'm replying to this thread having barely read it, is a manifestation of quite a distinctive cognitive style INTPs have. The most clear way to describe it is "using Ni as Si".The way we take in information is primarily through building the set of principles and parameters associated with a system and trying to construct a schema which will be the general pattern rather than the specific implementation. this results in NI and SI potentially having quite a conflicting relationship. Something that happens quite a lot with me is I often can forget a quite familiar word but still 'know' exactly what is I'm trying to say; the Ni of "knowing" the word as a 'whole' is the reversal of the mental process of breaking something down and describing the individual parts.

    So what I'm trying to say, we have Si, but it's Si of knowing these individual boxes of stuff we can't easily express. I quite often have musings about JCF stuff like this thats quite interesting but in the typical INTP style, it usually just a cool thought that is forgotten.

    I still know very little about it, so would be quite curious if anyone has any background in Socionics as it is these functionalist and 'debugging' parts of personality provide a lot practical insight to seeing how your mind functions and what leads to the many 'bugs'. The particular insight about "Inverting Ni for Si" is probably the primary contributing cause to why so many INTPs under perform at academics
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