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Does anyone else reject the cognitive functions?

reckful

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Hm. Well as someone who was a dichotomy based thinker for a very long time (because I didn't know about cognitive functions), I have come to believe that a functions based approach provides a much richer understanding of personality.

As to the the "lip service" by the "official MBTI folks", I think there is truth to that. I think the official MBTI folks are wrong though. That's my point.

Gifts Differing is a very good book in my opinion. The third or fourth time I read it, I began to see the depth of understanding of the system that the authors had. I believe they wrote it the way they did because they wanted something that could be understood by the masses. They were simplifying a complex thing. The first couple of times I read it, I missed the functions part entirely but it is very much there at the heart of the system.

My guess is that the main reason you've come to think of a "functions based approach" as providing a "much richer understanding of personality" is that what you think of as a "dichotomy based" approach is a straw-man version of the dichotomy-centric MBTI perspective that Myers (really) subscribed to. As Reynierse (rightly) points out in the article I've previously linked to, it's actually the dichotomy-centric framework that's richer and more flexible.

The properly-framed, dichotomy-centric MBTI (what I call the Real MBTI Model) — which is the one that has "validity" (as they say in the psychometric biz) — says this:

INFP = I + N + F + P + IN + IF + IP + NF + NP + FP + INF + INP + NFP + INFP.

Myers really understood (because it's what her years of data-collection told her) that there was nothing fundamental or special about the combinations that purportedly correspond to the "cognitive functions" — and in fact, as previously noted (and as further discussed in this post), Myers thought NF/NT/SF/ST were the most significant dichotomy combinations (and she may have been right).

By contrast, a typical "functions based approach" treats a very limited subset of the preference combinations — e.g., NJ (Ni) and TJ (Ti) for an INTJ — as if they were the fundamental building blocks of personality, while tending to ignore or shortchange the others.

What's more, a function aficionado will tell you that, comparing an INTJ and an INTP, the INTJs' N will generally play a greater role in their personality than their T and the INTPs' T will generally play a greater role than their N — because dom/aux! — and that's yet another function-based expectation with virtually no respectable data support behind it (and some significant data that contradicts it). By contrast, the Real MBTI Model says that INTJs and INTPs both have N and T preferences, with all that those entail, and whether the N or the T plays a greater role in any NT's personality will basically depend on whether one of those two preferences is substantially stronger than the other — and the data suggests that the N preference is no more likely to be the stronger one for an INTJ than for an INTP. So there's another aspect of the system where it's the Real MBTI Model that allows for more flexibility and richness.

In any case, though, any deep, true thing that can be said about a (supposed) Ti-dom, for example, can just as well be said about an I_TP. So the Real MBTI Model doesn't really have "missing slots" for characteristics that you might otherwise associate with the eight "functions"; it just frames them differently.

If you're looking for a limiting framework, just give a listen to any of the large number of forumites whose posts indicate that the MBTI "letters" really don't say much about anyone, and that INTJs and INTPs (for example) have almost nothing in common — because I and N and T (and the IN and NT and IT combinations) don't correspond to any significant aspects of personality. There's the limiting and impoverished perspective if you ask me. And it certainly isn't a Jungian perspective. Jung spent more of Psychological Types talking about the things he thought extraverts had in common and introverts had in common than he spent talking about all eight of the functions put together.
 

Jaguar

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Introduction to Type® Dynamics & Development
Exploring the Next Level of Type

Katharine D. Myers and Linda K. Kirby

https://www.cpp.com/en/mbtiitems.aspx?ic=6862

It's not exactly a new book considering the second edition was published 15 years ago. I've had the book for years.
I suppose someone can pretend CPP and Katharine D. Myers have nothing to do with the MBTI, but I don't think anyone would buy that.

The book was written to enrich the understanding of type, rather than just a grade school approach of I+N+T+J.
 

reckful

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Introduction to Type® Dynamics & Development
Exploring the Next Level of Type

Katharine D. Myers and Linda K. Kirby

https://www.cpp.com/en/mbtiitems.aspx?ic=6862

It's not exactly a new book considering the second edition was published 15 years ago. I've had the book for years.
I suppose someone can pretend CPP and Katharine D. Myers have nothing to do with the MBTI, but I don't think anyone would buy that.

The book was written to enrich the understanding of type, rather than just a grade school approach of I+N+T+J.

In case anyone might be confused by the name, Katharine Myers is Isabel Myers's son's ex-wife. I haven't had the pleasure of reading her book, but I've looked at her website, and I'd say she's nothing like an impressive source when it comes to MBTI theory and the history of the MBTI — i.e., the changes her mother-in-law made to Jung.

In any case, there's certainly no question that she's a big "cognitive functions" aficionado — although, to her credit, and like Quenk, she doesn't subscribe to the Harold Grant function stack and its associated tandems, so you can't point to her as a supporter of the notion that INFJs and ENTPs (for example) are cousins in the sense of being "Fe/Ti types." But more importantly, and like all of her fellow functionistas, she can't point to any respectable body of studies in support of her beloved "type dynamics."
 

Jaguar

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Katharine D. Myers is co-owner with Peter Myers of the MBTI® assessment copyrights and Director Emeritus of the Myers-Briggs Foundation. (Unless there's been a recent change.) Her marital status doesn't interest me.
 

big sexy

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The book was written to enrich the understanding of type, rather than just a grade school approach of I+N+T+J.

Hm, I don't understand why some say the preference combinations are elementary. I prefer them above most other approaches - at once general enough to account for the differences among even people of the same type, specific enough so that there are appreciable differences even with 'similar' types, and flexible enough to account for those who may not be clearly one type or another. That allows for plenty of of variation. It's neither needlessly complex nor too simplistic (IMO), a good balance.
 

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Legion said:
But cognitive functions are supposed to be cognitive. Behaviour stems from cognition (doesn't it?), and surely there is good correlation, but I don't think then identifying a CF with a behaviour makes much sense.
Cognition is behavior. When you think, you're doing something.
 

Studmuffin23

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Hm, I don't understand why some say the preference combinations are elementary. I prefer them above most other approaches - at once general enough to account for the differences among even people of the same type, specific enough so that there are appreciable differences even with 'similar' types, and flexible enough to account for those who may not be clearly one type or another. That allows for plenty of of variation. It's neither needlessly complex nor too simplistic (IMO), a good balance.

Well said.

Unlike Jung's functions or Keirsey's temperaments, it's able to explain peoples' personalities without pigeonholing them.
 

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Carl Jung — mystical streak notwithstanding — was a believer in the scientific approach, and Myers took Psychological Types and devoted a substantial chunk of her life to putting its typological concepts to the test in a way that Jung never had, and in accordance with the psychometric standards applicable to the science of personality. Myers adjusted Jung's categories and concepts so that they better fit the data she gathered from thousands of subjects, and by the start of the 1960s (as the leading Big Five psychologists have acknowledged), she had a typology that was respectably tapping into four of the Big Five personality dimensions — long before there really was a Big Five. And twin studies have since shown that identical twins raised in separate households are substantially more likely to match on those dimensions than genetically unrelated pairs, which is further (strong) confirmation that the MBTI dichotomies correspond to real, relatively hard-wired underlying dimensions of personality. They're a long way from being simply theoretical — or pseudoscientific — categories with no respectable evidence behind them.

Actually Myers studied Jung really closely and did not try to make a new or adjusted version of Jungs typology, instead she tried to make a test that would measure Jungian type(which is cognitive functions theory, but Jung only measured type by dom function and then said that there is also often another or two aux functions, but thats a whole different thing on Jungs definition of aux and his view on tert, which myers adopted in her test by doing this whole I/E and J/P thing around N/S F/T in a way that she thought Jung meant) and then in addition to making a test for measuring Jungian type she created descriptions of types, which are not definitions of types, but general descriptions about them, so that type would be more easily understood by people not familiar with complex psychological stuff and terminology(while Jung made deliberately his typology using, because its needed and can explain things better for professions to help diagnose patients and to create understanding between different types of people).

MBTI is a measurement of cognitive functions, at least thats what myers and briggs made it for(but ofc the community has expanded the theory based on MBTI quite a lot, some more far out theories than others). But if you think about some regular joe manager who wants to use MBTI for recruiting new employees, its much easier for him to think about types in terms of I/E S/N T/F J/P than TiNeSiFe TeSiNeFi etc. so it was better way for myers to express type, sort of abstraction from Jungs work, which still staid loyal to Jungs typology. All that myers and briggs really did was a questionnaire, descriptions of types and figured out the type code so that type is easier to explain to general audience with no psychology training.

What comes to big 5 vs MBTI, big 5 style of measuring personality with scales instead of being type theory is statistically better, because with MBTI you might get whole false type with people close on some scale, while in big 5 its just 5% here or there on a scale. Thats why big 5 sort of personality measurement has become the favourite of researchers and therefore academia in general. But big 5 has some limitations to MBTI when type is actually known, but thats a whole another topic which im not going to go now.
 

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Cognition is behavior. When you think, you're doing something.

No. The difference between cognition and behavior is that behavior is an outward expression of you which is observed by someone, while cognition is something that is going inside of your head and may or may not lead to behavior, or can lead to behavior in very roundabout ways.

wiki said:
In science, cognition is the set of all mental abilities and processes related to knowledge: attention, memory and working memory, judgement and evaluation, reasoning and "computation", problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language, etc. Human cognition is conscious and unconscious, concrete or abstract, as well as intuitive (like knowledge of a language) and conceptual (like a model of a language). Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.

Ofc Jung didnt take all of those in his typology, but thought that there are 4 major cognitive functions that make most difference between people; T, F, S, N and that these functions can work in different attitudes towards external and inner worlds. Also if you look at the wiki definitions for the word "cognition" in general, you can see the influence of jungs typology even in that. Also Jungs idea of cognition of these functions being capable of being unconscious or conscious is something that also shows todays academia. Concrete cognitive attitude Jung saw as extraverted, abstract as introverted. If you look at one part saying that cognition can be "reasoning and computation and problem solving and decision making", you can clearly see that this is what T is about(except Jung thought that some persons are more influenced by their moods and "feeling" states in their decision making and attitude in that area is what F > T is about).
Its funny how todays academia treats Jung, on the other hand they had a lot of influences from him(which you can see even from that wiki article of one of the central terms in todays psychology), but then they label and talk of him as some guy who believed in magic and went insane.
 

reckful

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Actually Myers studied Jung really closely and did not try to make a new or adjusted version of Jungs typology, instead she tried to make a test that would measure Jungian type(which is cognitive functions theory, but Jung only measured type by dom function and then said that there is also often another or two aux functions, but thats a whole different thing on Jungs definition of aux and his view on tert, which myers adopted in her test by doing this whole I/E and J/P thing around N/S F/T in a way that she thought Jung meant) and then in addition to making a test for measuring Jungian type she created descriptions of types, which are not definitions of types, but general descriptions about them, so that type would be more easily understood by people not familiar with complex psychological stuff and terminology(while Jung made deliberately his typology using, because its needed and can explain things better for professions to help diagnose patients and to create understanding between different types of people).

I've discussed this issue with you over at PerC, but I guess my posts haven't quite sunk in yet.

Yeah, Myers didn't move concrete/abstract from E/I (where Jung had mistakenly located them) to S/N, did she? Well, I realize you may be a lost cause, but for anyone else who might be interested in the facts of the matter, I've put a long recycled-reckful post from PerC in the spoiler.


And you know what, INTP? The majority of the posts linked to in that last linked post involve two back-and-forths that I had with — wait for it — you, my man! Two back-and-forths in which I supplied you with lengthy Jung quotes that made it clear that this was not really an issue on which reasonable forum posters could disagree.

And the major concrete/abstract surgery was just one of many adjustments, large and small, that Myers made to Jung's original types based on her insights and (especially) her data-gathering.

As another example, and as further explained in this long TC post, it turned out that there was no Jungian function in more need of heavy-duty adjustments than "Si." And this is not a controversial issue, INTP. And it's not a "dichotomies vs. functions" issue. As described in the linked post (with illustrative quotes), even the more function-centric modern MBTI theorists (Thomson, Berens, Nardi, Quenk) don't make significant use of Jung's Si description. Their IS_J portraits are very much like Myers' IS_J portraits, and are to a substantial extent the opposite of Jung's Si-dom portrait.

Jung said an Si-dom "has an illusory conception of reality," and that the relation between the actual physical world and the Si-dom's perceptions of it is "unpredictable and arbitrary," while Thomson, Berens, Nardi and Quenk portray Si-doms as noteworthy for their down-to-earth, practical and reliable focus on the facts. Jung said it was understandable why the Si-doms (together with their Ni-dom cousins) are considered the "most useless of men" from the standpoint of achieving practical, real-world results, while Thomson, Berens, Nardi and Quenk portray Si-doms as among the likeliest candidates for employee-of-the-month.

And again, there's a much lengthier discussion, with many more quotes, in that linked post.

Still hungry? You can read about the changes Myers made to Te in this PerC post.

So... your assertion that Myers "did not try to make a new or adjusted version of Jungs typology" is, not to put too fine a point on it, just silly. Briggs and Myers started from Jung — along with a much simpler typology that Briggs had been developing before she encountered Psychological Types — but where the MBTI ended up was substantially different from Jung's original concepts.

As McCrae and Costa (the leading Big Five psychologists) have explained:

McCrae & Costa said:
Jung's descriptions of what might be considered superficial but objectively observable characteristics often include traits that do not empirically covary. Jung described extraverts as "open, sociable, jovial, or at least friendly and approachable characters," but also as morally conventional and tough-minded in James's sense. Decades of research on the dimension of extraversion show that these attributes simply do not cohere in a single factor. ...

Faced with these difficulties, Myers and Briggs created an instrument by elaborating on the most easily assessed and distinctive traits suggested by Jung's writings and their own observations of individuals they considered exemplars of different types and by relying heavily on traditional psychometric procedures (principally item-scale correlations). Their work produced a set of internally consistent and relatively uncorrelated indices.
 

Legion

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Cognition is behavior. When you think, you're doing something.

Hm, well I was thinking in terms of behaviourism that posits that a behaviour is something observable to others, and specifically precludes studying thoughts.

But, if this is what you meant by what you said, then there is no issue.
 

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INTP said:
But cognitive functions are supposed to be cognitive. Behaviour stems from cognition (doesn't it?), and surely there is good correlation, but I don't think then identifying a CF with a behaviour makes much sense.
Utilizing a cognitive function is an action, and a cognitive function has no reality except in its utilization. If we say that someone has Ni, we're referring to their ongoing history of doing Ni; if they have no such history, there is nothing left in them for us to call Ni. At most we can say that they have an aptitude for Ni. Any number of people could have an aptitude for a cognitive process, but if they don't engage in the process, we can no more call them users of it than we can call someone a singer who, although gifted with a perfect voice, has never sang a note. Singing consists in performance; the same goes for a cognitive process.
 

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Hm, I don't understand why some say the preference combinations are elementary. I prefer them above most other approaches - at once general enough to account for the differences among even people of the same type, specific enough so that there are appreciable differences even with 'similar' types, and flexible enough to account for those who may not be clearly one type or another. That allows for plenty of of variation. It's neither needlessly complex nor too simplistic (IMO), a good balance.

If you were to listen to an orchestra, would you claim to hear a violin+cello+flute+trumpet. etc? I hear something larger than the sum of its parts. And considering how many people fall near the center of each so-called dichotomy ( J/P is not a Jungian construct), it makes little sense to me to make large qualitative claims of those who could have small quantitative differences. Should one retake the MBTI, one can easily end up in the opposite camp on more than one dichotomy. The difference between being categorized as S or N could come down to one question.

Katharine D. Myers states in her publication, Introduction to Type Dynamics & Development Exploring the Next Level of Type:

Developmental models imply there is one particular pattern to be followed for 'healthy' development. According to type theory, however, each person develops variations of the pattern whether through choice or adaptation. It is important not to apply any model, including this one, too rigidly to oneself and certainly not to others. A particular adaptation may be serving one well; another may have been useful in the past but is no longer productive.
In other words, individuals can run different adaptive pattern variations at different times in their lives to serve their own particular needs, without being dubbed "unhealthy" as many are wont to do. Perhaps you might consider there are those who view type as static, and those who view type as part of an evolving process which includes transcendence. That leads me to suggest doing some research on Jungian concepts, specifically the transcendent function. What it is, why it exists, and how it can make all the difference. There is balance. And there is wholeness. The Transcendent Function by Jeffrey C. Miller is a worthwhile read for those who seek wholeness rather than + symbols for understanding, or one can take a shortcut and read the transcendent function chapter in The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell.

Jung did not view type as an end goal. He viewed it as the beginning of a problem — becoming one-sided with ever-growing amounts of compensatory action required in the unconscious to keep neuroticism at bay. Frankly, I don't think Isabel even grasped what Jung was saying. She spent years of her life on the type problem, but not the transcending of type as a solution.
 

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I'm just curious. Are there any other MBTI enthusiasts out there who think that the cognitive functions are malarkey? I reject them for several reasons

1) Easily projected onto yourself and others

2) No one can seem to agree on their definitions of them (I mean, unless you want to accept the "Fi-users are independent; stay true to their selves" "Fe-users are submissive; incapable of being their own person" set of definitions.)

3) They're unobservable and subjective

4) In spite of being a non-behaviorist attempt to understand personality, they're used and interpreted in a behavioristic way.

5) They have no verifiable existence outside of Carl Jung's imagination (artificial constructs which he, Myers, and her followers read into the personalities of other people, much as Marx and his followers interpreted human history to support their philosophy)

I just stick with the MBTI preferences. They're simple, straightforward, and more compatible with my common-sense and life experience
The principles of the cognitive functions seem plausible, but I don't see these as a complete outlining of all cognitive functions. It is true that people think along a continuum of objective - subjective processes and concrete - abstract, but I suspect there are other fundamental continuums that are not included. Also, the categories become ludicrous when applied rigidly as though some people are "Fe users" and "Fi users" and the two are separate, never intermingling, never connected. I can see how I use all the cognitive functions at times. Personality is far more like a kaleidoscope than a collection of boxes.
 

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Also Jungs idea of cognition of these functions being capable of being unconscious or conscious is something that also shows todays academia. Concrete cognitive attitude Jung saw as extraverted, abstract as introverted. If you look at one part saying that cognition can be "reasoning and computation and problem solving and decision making", you can clearly see that this is what T is about(ex

Yeah, Myers didn't move concrete/abstract from E/I (where Jung had mistakenly located them) to S/N, did she?
Jung spent more of Psychological Types talking about the personality characteristics he thought extraverts tended to have in common and introverts tended to have in common than he spent talking about all eight of the functions put together — and he loaded up both extraversion and introversion with quite a few characteristics that decades of MBTI (and Big Five) studies have firmly established don't statistically cluster together in real-life people. And among those characteristics was the difference between people who are more interested in the "facts" (extraverts, as Jung saw it) and people who are more interested in "abstractions" and "theories" (introverts, per Jung).

For Jung, the core inner dynamic that caused introversion in the first place involved a projection of negative unconscious contents by the introvert onto the people and things of the external world, which in turn caused the introvert to falsely perceive that those people and things were charged with negative energy (libido), which in turn caused the introvert to feel threatened by those people and things, and fear them, and mount a defense which took the form of, among other things, (1) avoidance, and (2) a process of "abstraction" by which the introvert reduced people and things to their abstract qualities, thereby (as Jung saw it) "withdrawing libido from the object ... to prevent the object from gaining power over him."

In the first chapter, describing the ways in which several of the bitterest doctrinal controversies in the early Christian church reflected the E/I divide, Jung wrote that beneath those controversies "lies the great psychological schism. The one position attaches supreme value and importance to the sensuously perceptible; ... the other maintains that the chief value lies with the abstract and extra-human."

"The man who is oriented to the idea [— i.e., the introvert —] apprehends and reacts from the standpoint of the idea," Jung explained. "But the man who is oriented to the object [— i.e., the extravert —] apprehends and reacts from the standpoint of sensation. For him the abstract is of secondary importance, since what must be thought about things seems to him relatively inessential, while for the former it is just the reverse."

And the same abstract/concrete dichotomy is also reflected in Jung's conceptions of the introverted and extraverted forms of each function, with the introverted form being oriented toward the inner world of abstract ideas, values, etc. and the extraverted form being oriented toward the physical world. For example: As further discussed in this post, Jung described a Te-dom's thinking as "concretistic," and hence overly tied down by the "facts" and "objective data" at the expense of abstract "interpretation" of the facts. (And please note: this was Te-doms without regard to whether they were S-aux or N-aux.) And conversely, and as further described in this post, Jung described Ti-doms as highly abstract thinkers who, as a result, were prone to be overly dismissive of the facts and end up concocting theories that bore no substantial relation to reality. (And please note: this was Ti-doms without regard to whether they were S-aux or N-aux.)

Chapter 8 of Psychological Types was titled, "The Type Problem in Modern Philosophy," and revolved around William James's round-up of "tough-minded" and "tender-minded" philosophers. Jung explained that many of the fundamental differences in their philosophies stemmed from their psychological types, and in particular, whether they were introverted or extraverted. As far as Jung was concerned, extraverted philosophers were what he called "empiricists," because they had "the temperament that favours concrete thinking," while introverted philosophers were the "abstract thinkers" who were interested in "abstract ideas" rather than "facts." And I've put three paragraphs from Chapter 8 in the spoiler.

And... we now know that Jung was wrong to associate introversion and an abstract orientation, on the one hand, and extraversion and a concrete orientation, on the other hand. There are abstract extraverts (ENs) and concrete introverts (ISs), and no significant correlation at all between Myers' (statistically supportable) versions of E/I and S/N.

And the competing focuses on "concrete facts" vs. "abstract ideas" that Jung so strongly associated with E/I is not an essentially different concrete/abstract than the concrete/abstract that Myers associated with S/N. ... On the contrary. The S/N items on Form G of the MBTI (the one being used when Myers wrote Gifts Differing) included "If you were a teacher, would you rather teach (S) fact courses, or (N) courses involving theory?" and "Which word appeals to you most? (S) facts or (N) ideas" and "Which word appeals to you most? (S) concrete or (N) abstract." And there wasn't a single E/I item that had anything remotely resembling a concrete/abstract flavor. And that's equally true of Form M (the current version of the MBTI).

You can find lots more discussion of Jung's association of abstraction with introversion (and being "concretistic" with extraversion) — with lots of lengthy quotes from Psychological Types — in the posts linked to in this post.
And the major concrete/abstract surgery was just one of many adjustments, large and small, that Myers made to Jung's original types based on her insights and (especially) her data-gathering.

It should be pointed out, that what I had once been shown was the original definitions of these terms: "concrete"="mixed together", while "abstract"="the process of abolishing distinctions among many concrete things in order to focus on what they share in common, which can thereafter be treated as an idea".

Based on that, the root definition Jung used, regarding the functions, would amount more to "undifferentiated vs differentiated" more than either extraversion/introversion or sensing/intuition.
When a function was poorly developed, it tended to remain "mixed with sensations", (including our limbic emotional reactions), and thus was in a primitive state he called "concretistic". When it "developed" more (as we often put it), then consciousness is actually abstracting the particular perspective of the function (is/isn't, could/couldn't, true/false or good/bad); meaning actually setting it apart from the rest of data at hand.

Being mixed with sensations sounds like it favors Myers' use of "concrete", but in Psychological Types Jung said:

"There is an abstract thinking, just as there is abstract feeling, sensation and intuition. Abstract thinking singles out the rational, logical qualities ... Abstract feeling does the same with ... its feeling-values. ... I put abstract feelings on the same level as abstract thoughts. ... Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as opposed to sensuous sensation and abstract intuition would be symbolic as opposed to fantastic intuition."

This is not talking about i/e "attitude". As you can see here JUNG LEXICON: Concretism

[Concrete thinking] has no detached independence but clings to material phenomena. It rises at most to the level of analogy. Primitive feeling is equally bound to material phenomena. Both of them depend on sensation and are only slight differentiated from it. Concret-ism, therefore, is an archaism. The magical influence of the fetish is not experienced as a subjective state of feeling, but sensed as a magical effect. That is concretistic feeling. The primitive does not experience the idea of the divinity as a subjective content; for him the sacred tree is the abode of the god, or even the god himself. That is concretistic thinking. In civilized man, concretistic thinking consists in the inability to conceive of anything except immediately obvious facts transmitted by the senses, or in the inability to discriminate between subjective feeling and the sensed object.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 697.]
 
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reckful

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It should be pointed out, that what I had once been shown was the original definitions of these terms: "concrete"="mixed together", while "abstract"="the process of abolishing distinctions among many concrete things in order to focus on what they share in common, which can thereafter be treated as an idea".

Based on that, the root definition Jung used, regarding the functions, would amount more to "undifferentiated vs differentiated" more than either extraversion/introversion or sensing/intuition.
When a function was poorly developed, it tended to remain "mixed with sensations", (including our limbic emotional reactions), and thus was in a primitive state he called "concretistic". When it "developed" more (as we often put it), then consciousness is actually abstracting the particular perspective of the function (is/isn't, could/couldn't, true/false or good/bad); meaning actually setting it apart from the rest of data at hand.

Being mixed with sensations sounds like it favors Myers' use of "concrete", but in Psychological Types Jung said:

"There is an abstract thinking, just as there is abstract feeling, sensation and intuition. Abstract thinking singles out the rational, logical qualities ... Abstract feeling does the same with ... its feeling-values. ... I put abstract feelings on the same level as abstract thoughts. ... Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as opposed to sensuous sensation and abstract intuition would be symbolic as opposed to fantastic intuition."

This is not talking about i/e "attitude". As you can see here The page cannot be found

[Concrete thinking] has no detached independence but clings to material phenomena. It rises at most to the level of analogy. Primitive feeling is equally bound to material phenomena. Both of them depend on sensation and are only slight differentiated from it. Concret-ism, therefore, is an archaism. The magical influence of the fetish is not experienced as a subjective state of feeling, but sensed as a magical effect. That is concretistic feeling. The primitive does not experience the idea of the divinity as a subjective content; for him the sacred tree is the abode of the god, or even the god himself. That is concretistic thinking. In civilized man, concretistic thinking consists in the inability to conceive of anything except immediately obvious facts transmitted by the senses, or in the inability to discriminate between subjective feeling and the sensed object.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 697.]

It sounds to me like you may be unaware that Jung uses "concrete" and "abstract" in two different ways in Psychological Types — as he specifically notes in his Abstraction definition. The first involves the undifferentiated and differentiated forms of the functions — which is the one your post focuses on — and the second involves extraversion and introversion (including the extraverted and introverted form of each function), and is the one my post was talking about.

Here's Jung, from the Abstraction definition:

Jung said:
ABSTRACTION ... is the drawing out or singling out of a content (a meaning, a general characteristic, etc.) from a context made up of other elements whose combination into a whole is something unique or individual and therefore cannot be compared with anything else. Singularity, uniqueness and incomparability are obstacles to cognition; hence the other elements associated with a content that is felt to be the essential one are bound to appear irrelevant. ¶ Abstraction, therefore, is a form of mental activity that frees this content from its association with the irrelevant elements by distinguishing it from them or, in other words, differentiating it (v. Differentiation). ...

Abstraction is an activity pertaining to the psychological functions (q.v.) in general. There is an abstract thinking, just as there is abstract feeling, sensation, and intuition (qq. v.). Abstract thinking singles out the rational, logical qualities of a given content from its intellectually irrelevant components. Abstract feeling does the same with a content characterized by its feeling-values; similarly with sensation and intuition. Hence, not only are there abstract thoughts but also abstract feelings, the latter being defined by Sully as intellectual, aesthetic, and moral. To these Nahlowsky adds all religious feelings. Abstract feelings would, in my view, correspond to the 'higher' or 'ideal' feelings of Nahlowsky. I put abstract feelings on the same level as abstract thoughts. Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as opposed to sensuous sensation (q.v.), and abstract intuition would be symbolic as opposed to fantastic intuition (v. Fantasy and Intuition).

So that's the first way he uses "concrete" and "abstract" — in connection with the difference between the undifferentiated form in which each function is found in the unconscious (where it's fused with the other functions) and the differentiated form that each function is capable of taking on if it's separated from the other functions and raised into consciousness (e.g., the differentiated Se of an Se-dom).

But Jung goes on to explain that he also uses "abstraction" in a second way:

Jung said:
In this work I also associate abstraction with the awareness of the psycho-energic process it involves. When I take an abstract attitude to an object, I do not allow the object to affect me in its totality. ... My aim is to disembarrass myself of the object as a singular and unique whole and to abstract only a portion of this whole. No doubt I am aware of the whole, but I do not immerse myself in this awareness; my interest does not flow into the whole, but draws back from it, pulling the abstracted portion into myself, into my conceptual world, which is already prepared or constellated for the purpose of abstracting a part of the object. ... 'Interest' I conceive as the energy or libido (q.v.) which I bestow on the object as a value, or which the object draws from me, maybe even against my will or unknown to myself. I visualize the process of abstraction as a withdrawal of libido from the object, as a backflow of value from the object into a subjective, abstract content. For me, therefore, abstraction amounts to an energic devaluation of the object. In other words, abstraction is an introverting movement of libido (v. Introversion).

And as between the two, I think it's fair to say that Jung uses concrete/abstract in the extraverted/introverted sense considerably more often than in the undifferentiated/differentiated sense. And it's the extraverted/introverted sense that corresponds to the concrete/abstract, theory/fact aspect of MBTI S/N, and that my post talked about.

Jung thought the thinking of a Te-dom is "concretistic" not because it's undifferentiated — it's the Te-dom's dominant function, after all — but rather because it's extraverted. Chapter 7 spends a lot of time explaining why Jung thought introverted art is abstract. And so on.

Funnily enough, I recently had a long back-and-forth at PerC with Deus Absconditus (then known as Shadow Logic) because he was stubbornly refusing to back down from his contention that Jung only used concrete/abstract in the extraverted/introverted sense — and just in case you're interested, that exchange started with this post.
 

Eric B

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I meant to go into that and mention the fact that the terms, as Jung used them, are ambiguous, and it's hard to tell which meaning he's using at a given time, often. I was aware that introverting a function was also a form of "abstraction", and connects with the other definition in that you're further "freeing this content from its association with the irrelevant elements by distinguishing it from them", in that the introverted perspective is more individual, while extraverted perspective is more environmental or collective. So the introverted function filters the data through their own individual "storehouse" or blueprint and eliminates what's not relevant to that standard.

The point was, it's hard to tell which context he's using at times, and the terms are apparently flexible enough to be stretched to S/N as well (for S take things as they are, and N "abstracts" meaning from them, and the first example of "concretistic" does involve sensation as well).
 

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It should be pointed out, that what I had once been shown was the original definitions of these terms: "concrete"="mixed together", while "abstract"="the process of abolishing distinctions among many concrete things in order to focus on what they share in common, which can thereafter be treated as an idea".

Based on that, the root definition Jung used, regarding the functions, would amount more to "undifferentiated vs differentiated" more than either extraversion/introversion or sensing/intuition.
When a function was poorly developed, it tended to remain "mixed with sensations", (including our limbic emotional reactions), and thus was in a primitive state he called "concretistic". When it "developed" more (as we often put it), then consciousness is actually abstracting the particular perspective of the function (is/isn't, could/couldn't, true/false or good/bad); meaning actually setting it apart from the rest of data at hand.

Being mixed with sensations sounds like it favors Myers' use of "concrete", but in Psychological Types Jung said:

"There is an abstract thinking, just as there is abstract feeling, sensation and intuition. Abstract thinking singles out the rational, logical qualities ... Abstract feeling does the same with ... its feeling-values. ... I put abstract feelings on the same level as abstract thoughts. ... Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as opposed to sensuous sensation and abstract intuition would be symbolic as opposed to fantastic intuition."

This is not talking about i/e "attitude". As you can see here The page cannot be found

[Concrete thinking] has no detached independence but clings to material phenomena. It rises at most to the level of analogy. Primitive feeling is equally bound to material phenomena. Both of them depend on sensation and are only slight differentiated from it. Concret-ism, therefore, is an archaism. The magical influence of the fetish is not experienced as a subjective state of feeling, but sensed as a magical effect. That is concretistic feeling. The primitive does not experience the idea of the divinity as a subjective content; for him the sacred tree is the abode of the god, or even the god himself. That is concretistic thinking. In civilized man, concretistic thinking consists in the inability to conceive of anything except immediately obvious facts transmitted by the senses, or in the inability to discriminate between subjective feeling and the sensed object.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 697.]

Its not just mixed together, but mixed together with sensation.

http://www.nyaap.org/jung-lexicon/c/ said:
Concretism
A way of thinking or feeling that is archaic and undifferentiated, based entirely on perception through sensation. (Compare abstraction.)
Concretism as a way of mental functioning is closely related to the more general concept of participation mystique. Concrete thinking and feeling are attuned to and bound by physiological stimuli and material facts. Such an orientation is valuable in the recognition of outer reality, but deficient in how it is interpreted.

Concretism results in a projection of . . . inner factors into the objective data and produces an almost superstitious veneration of mere facts.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 699.]

[Concrete thinking] has no detached independence but clings to material phenomena. It rises at most to the level of analogy. Primitive feeling is equally bound to material phenomena. Both of them depend on sensation and are only slight differentiated from it. Concret-ism, therefore, is an archaism. The magical influence of the fetish is not experienced as a subjective state of feeling, but sensed as a magical effect. That is concretistic feeling. The primitive does not experience the idea of the divinity as a subjective content; for him the sacred tree is the abode of the god, or even the god himself. That is concretistic thinking. In civilized man, concretistic thinking consists in the inability to conceive of anything except immediately obvious facts transmitted by the senses, or in the inability to discriminate between subjective feeling and the sensed object.[Ibid., par. 697.]

Then if we take Te for example:

psytypes said:
Thinking in general is fed from two sources, firstly from subjective and in the last resort unconscious roots, and secondly from objective data transmitted through sense perceptions.

Extraverted thinking is conditioned in a larger measure by these latter factors than by the former. Judgment always presupposes a criterion ; for the extraverted judgment, the valid and determining criterion is the standard taken from objective conditions, no matter whether this be directly represented by an objectively perceptible fact, or expressed in an objective idea ; for an objective idea, even when subjectively sanctioned, is equally external and objective in origin. Extraverted thinking, therefore, need not necessarily be a merely concretistic thinking it may equally well be a purely ideal thinking, if, for instance, it can be shown that the ideas with which it is engaged are to a great extent borrowed from without, i.e. are transmitted by tradition and education.

Here Jung says that thinking is fed from two sources inner(abstract) and outer(concrete) and that extraverted thinking means that the persons attitude(habitual way of doing X) is more concrete, i.e. guided by what senses give and thinking thinks about the stuff that senses tell. But extraverted thinking is not only concrete, but also ideal, which means ideas borrowed by external sources like education. Also introverted thinker can also think so that the thinking is guided by sensations, but the subjective side still is more decisive factor, there is a subjective evaluation of the importance of the sensation. Jung saw this sort of introverted thinking guided by sensations also concrete thinking.

The main point is that thinking is the function, and extraversion and introversion are attitudes(habitual ways) towards thinking. Extraverted attitude of thinking means habitually thinking guided by sensation(concrete thinking) or using borrowed ideas from tradition or education(ideal thinking). <- This here is the important part in ow the 8 function model differs from Jungs model and also something that MBTI has pretty much left out when trying to simplify Jungs theory. 8 function model and many MBTI folks see Ti and Te as separate functions, while in Jungs model T is the function and Ti and Te are different habitual ways of approaching the thinking function.
 

Eric B

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Its not just mixed together, but mixed together with sensation.
Well, at that point, I meant the original definition of the general word, and since what we take in through the senses is basically "mixed together" like that (it "is what it is", and not filtered through our cognitive perspective yet), then that's why Jung used it as "mixed with sensations")
Here Jung says that thinking is fed from two sources inner(abstract) and outer(concrete) and that extraverted thinking means that the persons attitude(habitual way of doing X) is more concrete, i.e. guided by what senses give and thinking thinks about the stuff that senses tell. But extraverted thinking is not only concrete, but also ideal, which means ideas borrowed by external sources like education. Also introverted thinker can also think so that the thinking is guided by sensations, but the subjective side still is more decisive factor, there is a subjective evaluation of the importance of the sensation. Jung saw this sort of introverted thinking guided by sensations also concrete thinking.

The main point is that thinking is the function, and extraversion and introversion are attitudes(habitual ways) towards thinking. Extraverted attitude of thinking means habitually thinking guided by sensation(concrete thinking) or using borrowed ideas from tradition or education(ideal thinking).
That might be true (and it's good to have it spelled out like that, and the term "ideal" specified, and it shows "concrete" is not contiguous with extraversion, and "abstract" not contiguous with introversion, of Ti can be "concrete" too), but there is still another meaning of "mixed with sensations" that involves a function so undifferentiated , it is still bound with emotional responses (which are also "sensations"; i.e. like an animal, you take in sensations, and then react to them instinctually as opposed to processing them more cognitively, by sorting out into awareness). The fact that Jung mentions "primitive" people. That's certainly not saying they all preferred Te.

This here is the important part in ow the 8 function model differs from Jungs model and also something that MBTI has pretty much left out when trying to simplify Jungs theory. 8 function model and many MBTI folks see Ti and Te as separate functions, while in Jungs model T is the function and Ti and Te are different habitual ways of approaching the thinking function.
That's actually how I see the functions now.
 
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