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Archetypes of the Functions

proteanmix

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From Type Insights

Archetypes are patterns of energy that are easily recognizable and resonant to human beings, and become the unconscious frameworks that determine how/why people think and react. The name comes from Greek archetypos, "original pattern." Archetypes are universally familiar characters or situations that transcend time, place, culture, gender, and age. They represent eternal truths.

We identify and relate to archetypes as primary characters or personalities of the human condition. They are the "givens" in our psychological makeup, the patterns that shape our perceptions of the world - an unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way. Some archetypes include the Mother, the Father, and the Child. Many archetypes are story characters. Probably best known is the Hero, usually engaged in fighting the "shadow" in the form of dragons and other monsters. Then there is the Witch who controls, manipulates, and casts spells - destroying connection with other people and with oneself. Or there is the Trickster, often represented by a clown or a magician, whose role is to hamper progress and generally make trouble...

By exploring the archetypal figures you manifest, you can develop a more complete, whole sense of self. Archetypes are powerful for helping you notice what you are doing with your energy-or even to make your life a bit more exciting or relaxing, once you choose to manifest them consciously.


Primary Processes
We can consciously control these through development and use.

1. Dominant/Hero/Heroine/Leading - organizes adaptation; initiates individuation; has our complete trust. We have more conscious control over this function and energy costs for using this function are low.

2. Auxiliary/Father/Mother/Supporting - Supports and nurtures dominant function; sets standard of perfection; how we are helpful to ourselves and others. More energy costs than the dominant function, but still relatively low.

3. Tertiary/Puer/Puella/Relief - the playful and vulnerable child; moderates the purposefulness of the dominant and auxiliary functions allowing the person to lighten up and relax; how we express our creativity and improvisational skills; high energy costs.

4. Inferior/Anima/Animus/Aspirational - gateway to the unconscious; last function we have conscious control over; source of ideals that are difficult to live up to; sense of purpose, inspiration, and change; likely to look immature when using this function; high energy costs

Shadow Processes
These are usually experienced negatively and are beyond our conscious control. All have high energy costs.

5. Opposing - defends by offending, seducing, or avoiding, provides self-critiquing; refuses to play by the rules; serves as a passive or aggressive adversary to the Hero/Heroine of other people.

6. Critical Parent/Witch/Senex - finds weak spots in ourselves and others; appears under extreme duress; seeks to discourage, cast doubt, set limits, and belittles; is authoritarian and stern.

7. Deceiving/Trickster - mischievous, wreaks havoc, circumvents obstacles, petulant; is not trustworthy when seen in other people; fools us into thinking something is important to do or pay attention to; compensates for the trust of the puer/puella and insulates against the cruelties of the world.

8. Devilish/Demon/Daimon - destructive to ourselves and others, undermines, often erupts violently; distorts trust in relationships, promotes chaos

Positives and Negatives of Each function

Primary
1. Dominant: + Leading, - Domineering
2. Auxiliary: + Supportive, - Overprotective
3. Tertiary: + Relief, - Unsettling
4. Inferior: + Aspirational, - Projective

Shadows
5. + Backup, - Opposing
6. + Discovery, - Critical
7. + Comedic, - Deceiving
8. + Transformative, - Devilish

Links for more research:

What are Archetypes?
The Jung Lexicon by Jungian analyst, Daryl Sharp, Toronto
Great Lakes APT : Beebe's 8 Functions
 
Last edited:

Athenian200

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Wasn't this originally posted on cognitiveprocesses.com? This particular set of archetypes has a few flaws that I've seen. For one, I'm not necessarily opposed to all of my shadow processes. Secondly, I would say that my inferior function is the one that bothers me the most, and causes me to have outbursts. Thirdly, they haven't shown that there is any definitive pattern of development for the opposite four functions, that is mostly a guess.
 

The Ü™

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In the INxJ, I wonder if their inferior Se is what fuels the Ni's desire to mentally escape the world...
 

proteanmix

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Wasn't this originally posted on cognitiveprocesses.com? This particular set of archetypes has a few flaws that I've seen. For one, I'm not necessarily opposed to all of my shadow processes. Secondly, I would say that my inferior function is the one that bothers me the most, and causes me to have outbursts. Thirdly, they haven't shown that there is any definitive pattern of development for the opposite four functions, that is mostly a guess.

I posted a summary from a book called Building Blocks of Personality Type by Leona Haas and Mark Hunziker and Dynamics of Personality Type: Understanding and Applying Jung's Cognitive Process by Linda V. Berens. Both are based on Jung's archetypes. Building Blocks goes into more detail about when the processes develops and how they interplay so you may want to read it for more information. If you have beef with the descriptions take it up with Jung. :)

Most psychoanalysts say the functions develop like this:

Dominant
Auxiliary
Tertiary
Inferior
Shadows (5,6,7,8)

Lenore Thomson says they develop like:

Dominant
Auxiliary
Shadows (5,6,7,8)
Tertiary
Inferior

If Thomson's development pattern is right that may be why you have more problems with your inferior. Personally, I think I'm aware of when I'm using Ti and although I can't access it on demand, I can see it at work in myself. The shadows I have not a clue about. :(
 

The Ü™

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The thing about those structures is that they're probably all right, because no one develops in the same way.
 

Athenian200

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Most psychoanalysts say the functions develop like this:

Dominant
Auxiliary
Tertiary
Inferior
Shadows (5,6,7,8)

Lenore Thomson says they develop like:

Dominant
Auxiliary
Shadows (5,6,7,8)
Tertiary
Inferior

If Thomson's development pattern is right that may be why you have more problems with your inferior. Personally, I think I'm aware of when I'm using Ti and although I can't access it on demand, I can see it at work in myself. The shadows I have not a clue about. :(

I think the development might be different for each person. I don't the system can be defined outside of itself. Although I would say that the patter of functional development for me feels more like:

Dominant
Auxiliary
Tertiary
Shadows (5,6,7,8)
Inferior

What do you think of that?
 

ygolo

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I think the development might be different for each person. I don't the system can be defined outside of itself. Although I would say that the patter of functional development for me feels more like:

Dominant
Auxiliary
Tertiary
Shadows (5,6,7,8)
Inferior

What do you think of that?

For me, I think, it was

  • 0-3 years old : Domimant/Backup
  • 3-10 years old : Dominant/Discovery/Relief
  • 10-13 years old : Dominant/Auxiliary/Discovery
  • 13-18 years old : Transformational/Dominant/Aspirational
  • 18-22 years old : Auxiliary/Comedic
  • 22 years old-Now: Auxiliary/Relief/Backup/Aspirational
 

Mort Belfry

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I did the functions test at Understanding the Eight Jungian Cognitive Processes / Eight Functions Attitudes a couple of times and the order of my functions seems to quite random, but follows Lenore's model to some slight degree.

1st - Ti - My Dominant - Excellent
2nd - Ne - My Auxilary - Excellent
3rd - Te - My Backup - Good/Average
4th - Fi - My Devillish - Average
5th - Si - My Tertiary - Average
6th - Se - My Trickster - Limited
7th - Ni - My Critical - Limited/Unused
8th - Fe - My Inferior - Unused

It almost seems that after developing your first two functions you either develop you Tertiary or Backup and cascade down from there finishing your develoment with your Devillish or your Inferior.
 

"?"

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Wasn't this originally posted on cognitiveprocesses.com? This particular set of archetypes has a few flaws that I've seen. For one, I'm not necessarily opposed to all of my shadow processes. Secondly, I would say that my inferior function is the one that bothers me the most, and causes me to have outbursts. Thirdly, they haven't shown that there is any definitive pattern of development for the opposite four functions, that is mostly a guess.
Just responding so I will know where to find this topic later. I am glad that I found this topic, because I have contemplated on creating one.

Athenian, I think Beebe's term for inferior function is different than what we most understand that term to be in general. Your inferior is actually something that you use well. You would have little or no use of Si. If you disagree with Beebe's theory, then do you prefer Lenore Thomson's lasagna? Thanks for starting this thread Protean.
 

"?"

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There is so much that I considering in this specific subject, that I find it hard to know where to start. So I will begin in expounding on Protean’s information.

The roles of the process provide both positive and negative contributions for each function. Dr. Berens says that the positives of the lead role, as Protean has started is:
…Usually develops early in life. We tend to engage in this process first, trusting it to solve our problems and help us be successful. Being the most trusted and most used, it usually has an adult, mature quality to it. While we are likely to engage in it rather automatically and effortlessly, we have much more conscious control over it.
There is a negative side to using this lead role, and Berens goes on to say:
…we can sometimes “turn up the volume” on this process and become overbearing and domineering. Then it takes on a negative dominating quality.
I liken this to the personalitypage.com Growth theory. It has taken years for them to complete the section, however it goes into how we can over use our dominant function. As a result the other functions weaken due to the dominant function being overbearing. As a Ti dominant type, when I “turn up the volume”, it results in:
Getting "stuck in a rut" and only doing those things that are known and comfortable.

Resist and reject anything that doesn't support my own experiential understanding of the world. If there is a conflict between my own way of life and something that I encounter, I don't perceive that "something" in an objective sense. Rather, I reject it to avoid conflict and to preserve the sanctity of my inner world.

Choose to surround myself with people who support my way of life, and reject people who think or live differently.
Become overly paranoid about social organizations and institutions trying to control me.

Unknowingly or uncaringly hurt people's feelings.
Be completely unaware of how to express my inner world to others in a meaningful way.

Become completely unaware of the type of communication that is often desireable and (to some degree) expected in an intimate relationship, or to a lesser degree be aware of the kinds of things that are appropriate to say and do to foster emotional bonding, but be unable to appreciate the value of such actions in feeling too vulnerable to express myself in this fashion and so reject the entire idea.

If pushed beyond my comfort level to form commitments or emotional bonds, I may reject a relationship entirely.

Under stress, I may show intense emotions that seem disproportionate to the situation.
I have was led to believe that some of these were based on poor usage of Fe, however as Beebe and Berens claim, that is my fourth function, so I actually have some idea of it’s use. What occurs is my over usage of Ti. I will write more later, to keep my posts short.
 

"?"

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Again, each role alluded to by Protean can contribute both positive and negative results. As a supporting role (auxilary function), Berens proposes that:
The supportive role is how are helpful to others as a well as supportive of oursleves. Once we have developed some facility with our leading role process, we are likely to engage a different process is supporting role behavior. In it's most positive form, it can be quite like a nurturing parent. In it's negative aspect, it can be overprotective and stunting rather that helpful.
I see my Se usage used more negatively on occasion, because I stop seeking new experiences or just living in the moment. That is usually an indication that I am too much in my head and not allowing the body to live. When that occurs for me personally, I am in teritiary function mode (or what is described here as "The Relief Role". That would be Ni, which Berens describes as:
...giving us a way to energize and recharge ourselves. It serves as backup to the supporting role and often works in tandem with it. When we are younger, we might not engage in the process that plays this role very much unless our life circumstances require it or make it hard to use the supporing role process. Usually in young adulthood we are drawn to the activities that draw upon this process. The relief role is how we often express our creativity. In it's most negative expression, this is how we become childish. This has an unsettling quality, and we can use it to distract ourselves and others, getting us off target.
Wow, again my relief role being Ni can be so unsettling and distracting at times that I can become immobolized by it's internal presence. I can stop acting due to unforseen visions that I have or stop acting taking on an almost entitled attitude about my future. Usually my Ti dismisses the Ni and later I realize that the Ni was correct. At the time however, I question how anyone could be that accurate on what has yet to come.
 

"?"

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I am a bit perplexed by John Beebe's theory. Meyers-Briggs only alludes to four of the eight functions, allowing us to infer that either we only use four and/or she simply states the most natural and the two least natural. As a result, Lenore Thomson's lasagna theory shows a type's secession in a different way than Beebe, with the dominant function and auxilary being first and second, followed by the other four remaining roles, and then ending it with the teritiary and weakest function. Beebe seems to say that the four alluded to by Meyers-Briggs is our four most used functions, followed in some seccession by the other four remaining. Any thoughts from your own experiences how that plays out?
 

Gabe

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I am a bit perplexed by John Beebe's theory. Meyers-Briggs only alludes to four of the eight functions, allowing us to infer that either we only use four and/or she simply states the most natural and the two least natural. As a result, Lenore Thomson's lasagna theory shows a type's secession in a different way than Beebe, with the dominant function and auxilary being first and second, followed by the other four remaining roles, and then ending it with the teritiary and weakest function. Beebe seems to say that the four alluded to by Meyers-Briggs is our four most used functions, followed in some seccession by the other four remaining. Any thoughts from your own experiences how that plays out?

I'll admit I haven't heard of Lenore's model before.
As for Beebe, he himself has stated that some of the ordering (especially of the shadow functions) might be arbitrary. Personally, I find the 'spine and arms' model, with the archetypes, to be particularily powerful (especially the archetypes). For instance, regardless of whether I might use extraverted feeling more than introverted intuition, introverted intuition is the 'opposing personality' and I think it was expressed in the creepiest (and most memorable) dream I've ever had. I had a dream that, for some reason was all in drab colors (almost in greyscale), and took place in November. I was informed, by a voice from who-knows-where that some wierdo had decided the world was going to end, and that (therefore?) he thought he had to kill every person left. The rest of the dream was spent trying to run away from this guy.
I even hate the idea of anything being 'inevitable'.
good example?
 

"?"

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I'll admit I haven't heard of Lenore's model before.
As for Beebe, he himself has stated that some of the ordering (especially of the shadow functions) might be arbitrary. Personally, I find the 'spine and arms' model, with the archetypes, to be particularily powerful (especially the archetypes). For instance, regardless of whether I might use extraverted feeling more than introverted intuition, introverted intuition is the 'opposing personality' and I think it was expressed in the creepiest (and most memorable) dream I've ever had. I had a dream that, for some reason was all in drab colors (almost in greyscale), and took place in November. I was informed, by a voice from who-knows-where that some wierdo had decided the world was going to end, and that (therefore?) he thought he had to kill every person left. The rest of the dream was spent trying to run away from this guy.
I even hate the idea of anything being 'inevitable'.
good example?
Interesting Gabe. Can you give me a link?
 

Gabe

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Interesting Gabe. Can you give me a link?

just google 'evolving the eight function model' or you can find it somewhere on Vicky Jo's website.
it's at the end of that paper. That's also where he illustrates the 'spine and arms' model.
 

Gabe

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(responding to one of your earlier posts)

In an interview (just google Beebe's name) Beebe says that it's both underusage and ignoring of the inferior, and overuse of the dominant.

I've seen the growth model on that link, and it also closely fits (with a few un-admitedly speculate claims) the stuff from Myer's old MBTI booklet. personally, I don't think that this dichotomy based growth advice really resonates in real life. I develped my auxiliary feeling early in high school, and was trying to parent people with it two years later. Really, I found it pretty easy to develop too.

According to Von Franz, she never 'pushes people directly to thier inferior'. She instead brings them to develop thier 2nd and 3rd functions. You definately have some idea of the fourth function, and it's an incredibly crucial part of the identity (hence the anima, or 'soul image' archetype). It's also still a constant challenge.
 

Badlands

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1. Dominant (Ti) - 38.4
2/3. Auxiliary (Ne)/Devilish (Fi) - 36.4
4. Critical (Ni) - 34.3
5. Inferior (Fe) - 26.5
6. Trickster (Se) - 24.4
7. Tertiary (Si) - 23.2
8. Backup (Te) - 21

Based on my results, I would definitely say the rigid descriptions of function development are false. Your dominant and auxiliary are the two that are certain to be used and develop fully before puberty, while the remaining functions can be embraced or shunned depending on social conditioning (sorted in order from easiest to hardest to develop though). The development of Fi was heavily encouraged when I was younger (language therapy), and the people that I loved most used it a lot, so it eventually became second nature after a couple of years of depression. I mainly use Fi for extroverted purposes, however (I rant about my personal opinions as a bonding tool much of the time, instead of for my own worth and purpose).
 

Edu4rd0

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Is there a possibility to change the type during the course of life?
 

Eric B

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I am a bit perplexed by John Beebe's theory. Meyers-Briggs only alludes to four of the eight functions, allowing us to infer that either we only use four and/or she simply states the most natural and the two least natural. As a result, Lenore Thomson's lasagna theory shows a type's secession in a different way than Beebe, with the dominant function and auxilary being first and second, followed by the other four remaining roles, and then ending it with the teritiary and weakest function. Beebe seems to say that the four alluded to by Meyers-Briggs is our four most used functions, followed in some seccession by the other four remaining. Any thoughts from your own experiences how that plays out?
Badlands said:
1. Dominant (Ti) - 38.4
2/3. Auxiliary (Ne)/Devilish (Fi) - 36.4
4. Critical (Ni) - 34.3
5. Inferior (Fe) - 26.5
6. Trickster (Se) - 24.4
7. Tertiary (Si) - 23.2
8. Backup (Te) - 21

Based on my results, I would definitely say the rigid descriptions of function development are false. Your dominant and auxiliary are the two that are certain to be used and develop fully before puberty, while the remaining functions can be embraced or shunned depending on social conditioning (sorted in order from easiest to hardest to develop though). The development of Fi was heavily encouraged when I was younger (language therapy), and the people that I loved most used it a lot, so it eventually became second nature after a couple of years of depression. I mainly use Fi for extroverted purposes, however (I rant about my personal opinions as a bonding tool much of the time, instead of for my own worth and purpose).
If we only used four, then all types other than SP's and NJ's would never perceive (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) the current reality.
So the Cognitive Processes test seems to explain it the best. The strengths of the functions won't always match the supposed development order, but your type will still be determined by which "role" they play in your life.
Beebe and Berens do seem to leave a question mark as to whether the shadows are supposed to follow the last four in the same order, or whether they truly "shadow" the firstfour in the same level of strength. The results we have all been posting would seem to go either way.
 
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