• You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to additional post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), view blogs, respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, so please join our community today! Just click here to register. You should turn your Ad Blocker off for this site or certain features may not work properly. If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us by clicking here.

[Jungian Cognitive Functions] Personality Type - An Owner's Manual

How do you rate this book?


  • Total voters
    12

highlander

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
25,200
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
6w5
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
510FQcEsu2L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


This book, written by Lenore Thomson is one of the more popular ones out there. When I first read it, I have to admit to literally brimming with enthusiasm. There are chapters on the role of the dominant and auxiliary functions, the tertiary functions, type dynamics and the extraverted and introverted attitudes. After this material, the author goes into the profiles for each of the 16 types, which are absolutely outstanding - certainly the best that I have seen. There is a chapter on each dominant function and the two types associated with each are elaborated on in exhausting detail.

The one thing I don't like about the book, and it is a fundamental aspect of the author's material, is the creative license that she takes in describing the role of the cognitive functions that are traditionally considered #5 through #8 in the stack. She talks about right brain alternatives (crow's nest), left brain double agents and describes these things as being integral to our personality. According to her material, these functions come out when we are in situations that the dominant functions can't handle. In describing the function order stack, she actually places those 5th through 8th functions in the middle between the dominant/auxiliary and the tertiary/inferior (i.e., as #3 - #6 instead of #5 - #8). I don't know if I believe in any of that really. Of course this stuff is all just a bunch of theory and could be fiction right?

Anyway, because of the richness of the profile descriptions, I give the book 5 stars, but with the caveat that you have to take some of her material, which is her own invention, with a grain of salt.
 

Eric B

ⒺⓉⒷ
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
3,618
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
548
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
Her arrangement is actually somewhat similar to Socionics Model A. She's not really making them #3-6. It does seem to make some sense, as like for me, Fe, as the inferior is like close enough to consciousness to be all the more shunned, but in stress, when needing a "humane" perspective on something the technical one can't solve; I may just swap the functions, but keep the dominant attitude (which in her theory would represent remaining in the same brain hemisphere), so hence, a lot of TP's who appear to "use" Fi, which also leads to a lot of TP/FP uncertainty.
 

INTP

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
7,808
MBTI Type
intp
Enneagram
5w4
Instinctual Variant
sx
It had some okay info for beginners, some good info, but its also filled with stupid bullshit like that crows nest thing that are misleading for people trying to learn typology. This really makes the book something i wouldnt recommend for anyone who doesent already know typology to spot the crap in it, but those people wont find more than few things there that can expand their knowledge further.
 

Evo

Unapologetic being
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
3,161
MBTI Type
XNTJ
Enneagram
1w9
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
It had some okay info for beginners, some good info, but its also filled with stupid bullshit like that crows nest thing that are misleading for people trying to learn typology. This really makes the book something i wouldnt recommend for anyone who doesent already know typology to spot the crap in it, but those people wont find more than few things there that can expand their knowledge further.

I had actually had some what of a discussion with you about this sorta thing a LONG time ago. (I don't expect you to remember it or anything, I was just starting to post on TypoC.)

Anyways...You had said that if I was an ENTJ...That I didn't have Fe. That if there was any resemblance to Fe that I had....it would be because I was using Te to express my Fi....which makes it look like Fe...

I'm of course paraphrasing! You probably did not say this word for word. But this was the overall picture I had gotten from what you were trying to convey.

****

Now I don't think I agreed with you back then, cause this Lenore stuff was really fresh in my mind. And I was very inclined to agree with her.

This is also because everyone knows that when I have had built up emotions which I suck at introverting (inferior Fi,) I explode. It is an all-out outburst of emotions (usually extreme anger) But this was the only time that my ISFJ friend says that he ever sees me "emote." And I have gathered that "emoting" is something that Fe does.

This was why I was inclined to side with Lenore. Cause she says that the first function that I go to, under extreme stress that Te can't handle, is Fe. Then if worse stress...I would go to Si after that...according to her theory.

I definitely relate(d) to that.

And I have also seen the face of INTP that I know, that looks like they're using Fi. Usually it's like a bitter face, where they're not expressing emotions...but it's oozing out of them like an introverted feeler would.

*******

But now....ever since you had brought up that it is probably Te expressing Fi (or however you put it,) I have not been able to tell the difference between that...and Fe..... :shrug:

So the questions is....do we use any of our 4 shadow functions...or are they just not a part of us?

I still don't know. :shrug:

I love discussing the difference though, and wouldn't mind any feedback if you have any insight :)


or [MENTION=8936]highlander[/MENTION] can you tell me why you might not believe in any of that in which you were talking about, in the OP?
 

highlander

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
25,200
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
6w5
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
or [MENTION=8936]highlander[/MENTION] can you tell me why you might not believe in any of that in which you were talking about, in the OP?

I kind of have the same view that [MENTION=7595]INTP[/MENTION] does about the book. The crows nest and double agent stuff just seems invented.
 

Evo

Unapologetic being
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
3,161
MBTI Type
XNTJ
Enneagram
1w9
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
I kind of have the same view that [MENTION=7595]INTP[/MENTION] does about the book. The crows nest and double agent stuff just seems invented.

Is this because you don't think we use our shadow functions that much? Or?
 

INTP

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
7,808
MBTI Type
intp
Enneagram
5w4
Instinctual Variant
sx
I had actually had some what of a discussion with you about this sorta thing a LONG time ago. (I don't expect you to remember it or anything, I was just starting to post on TypoC.)

Anyways...You had said that if I was an ENTJ...That I didn't have Fe. That if there was any resemblance to Fe that I had....it would be because I was using Te to express my Fi....which makes it look like Fe...

I'm of course paraphrasing! You probably did not say this word for word. But this was the overall picture I had gotten from what you were trying to convey.

****

Now I don't think I agreed with you back then, cause this Lenore stuff was really fresh in my mind. And I was very inclined to agree with her.

This is also because everyone knows that when I have had built up emotions which I suck at introverting (inferior Fi,) I explode. It is an all-out outburst of emotions (usually extreme anger) But this was the only time that my ISFJ friend says that he ever sees me "emote." And I have gathered that "emoting" is something that Fe does.

This was why I was inclined to side with Lenore. Cause she says that the first function that I go to, under extreme stress that Te can't handle, is Fe. Then if worse stress...I would go to Si after that...according to her theory.

I definitely relate(d) to that.

And I have also seen the face of INTP that I know, that looks like they're using Fi. Usually it's like a bitter face, where they're not expressing emotions...but it's oozing out of them like an introverted feeler would.

*******

But now....ever since you had brought up that it is probably Te expressing Fi (or however you put it,) I have not been able to tell the difference between that...and Fe..... :shrug:

So the questions is....do we use any of our 4 shadow functions...or are they just not a part of us?

I still don't know. :shrug:

I love discussing the difference though, and wouldn't mind any feedback if you have any insight :)


or highlander can you tell me why you might not believe in any of that in which you were talking about, in the OP?

Well the thing about functions is that first of all they are S T N F, not Se, Si, Te, Ti etc. Se is extraverted attitude(
) towards the function of sensing, which means that the objective factors that sensing shows is what Se person relates to automatically and trusts more readily, Si person relates automatically to the subjective factors more instead.

It is impossible for person to hold two conflicting attitudes simultaneously, that is if the person isnt schizophrenic. With schizophrenics basically the subjective and the objective world is mixed and seen as one, hence the delusions/hallucinations/whatevers or maybe i should say that the delusions/hallucinations/whatevers are the result of mixing of the subjective and objective inputs to one. Im not sure if introversion and extraversion of same function is present, but this illustrates the problem of holding two opposite attitudes simultaneously.
I think this is something that Jung might had seen most likely unconsciously when writing psychological types. In the chapter 'VII the type problem in aesthetics' where he speaks of extravert "feeling-into subject and animating it with himself" and introvert retreating from the object and creating an abstraction(removing irrelevant stuff and focusing on what is seen as relevant by the unconscious mind) of what is perceived. In my eyes it seems like schizophrenics create both an abstraction and animating the object with unconscious material really heavily.

What comes to what i said earlier, i think that a thinking function is capable of processing material better suited for feeling processes. But heavy T users with undeveloped F will try to use T in F stuff because T is what they know how to do, what they automatically do and F is something not preferred by ego(this is the definition of shadow) and something really taxing and the personal weakness that the strong T users obviously doesent want to show others easily.
 

Evo

Unapologetic being
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
3,161
MBTI Type
XNTJ
Enneagram
1w9
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
It is impossible for person to hold two conflicting attitudes simultaneously

I think I agreed with this (and everything else,) and that's probably why what you said, had stuck with me for so long. It was pretty much me holding on to the contradiction to Lenore's theory that you presented, but I didn't know it at the time.

Anyways thank you for clearing that up! I really appreciate the feedback :happy2:



*****



On to my review: I will give it a 3. It was an interesting read, and it also opened me up to wanting to know more about the brain. Like where each function resides when used in the human brain and such. So it was like a gateway to Dario. However, I as well, am not sold completely on the fundamental theory presented, for reasons discussed above.
 

Lily Bart

New member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
136
MBTI Type
INFJ
I've actually started to review this book several times on this site and given up halfway through because I have such a love-hate relationship with it. I almost wish she would write more so I could get a better feel for where she's coming from -- I've searched for her online and can't find anything, so I can't figure out if she's brilliant or opportunistic! Her insight into maturity and balance of functions is very good, but it seems to be a one-size-fits-all model that she tries to force all the types into, with varying success. I also really appreciate her brief references to mature use of third and fourth functions, because this is new and interesting, but she spends more time on the limited assertion that they cause problems when the auxiliary function is weak than on how to use them effectively when the auxiliary function is strong--which, as she admits, is material for another book -- I just wish she'd write it! I'm also not much on popular culture, so her digressions into Star Trek episodes, etc., don't add anything for me. Also, my limited knowledge of right and left brain research tells me that her use of right and left brain skills is limited, simplistic and outdated.

On the other hand, her descriptions of the functions, dominant, auxiliary, introverted, and extroverted, are without parallel -- the examples she uses to illustrate the functions truly bring to life ideas that are often difficult to understand and readily stereotyped. Too many of the popular books on type have cartoonish descriptions of each type, but hers are intelligent, sophisticated, and nuanced -- the sort of things you really think about yourself rather than the horoscope-style flattery that you may briefly enjoy hearing about yourself! I also like her blow-by-blow descriptions of a malfunctioning auxiliary function--they're quite accurate as I've observed in myself and other people, although I'm not convinced that this is as widespread an occurrence as she seems to imply. I think most of the time the two functions work pretty well together but can break apart under stress and she sees it as more of a middle-aged crisis sort of a thing. I wish she'd better developed the idea of how the functions work together for most people most of the time.

All right, if I go on any longer I may just hit the erase button and log out, and I really did want to add my thoughts about this book -- whatever criticisms I or anyone else has about this book, it deserves to be read and taken seriously.
 

Eric B

ⒺⓉⒷ
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
3,618
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
548
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
I've actually started to review this book several times on this site and given up halfway through because I have such a love-hate relationship with it. I almost wish she would write more so I could get a better feel for where she's coming from -- I've searched for her online and can't find anything, so I can't figure out if she's brilliant or opportunistic! Her insight into maturity and balance of functions is very good, but it seems to be a one-size-fits-all model that she tries to force all the types into, with varying success. I also really appreciate her brief references to mature use of third and fourth functions, because this is new and interesting, but she spends more time on the limited assertion that they cause problems when the auxiliary function is weak than on how to use them effectively when the auxiliary function is strong--which, as she admits, is material for another book -- I just wish she'd write it! I'm also not much on popular culture, so her digressions into Star Trek episodes, etc., don't add anything for me. Also, my limited knowledge of right and left brain research tells me that her use of right and left brain skills is limited, simplistic and outdated.

On the other hand, her descriptions of the functions, dominant, auxiliary, introverted, and extroverted, are without parallel -- the examples she uses to illustrate the functions truly bring to life ideas that are often difficult to understand and readily stereotyped. Too many of the popular books on type have cartoonish descriptions of each type, but hers are intelligent, sophisticated, and nuanced -- the sort of things you really think about yourself rather than the horoscope-style flattery that you may briefly enjoy hearing about yourself! I also like her blow-by-blow descriptions of a malfunctioning auxiliary function--they're quite accurate as I've observed in myself and other people, although I'm not convinced that this is as widespread an occurrence as she seems to imply. I think most of the time the two functions work pretty well together but can break apart under stress and she sees it as more of a middle-aged crisis sort of a thing. I wish she'd better developed the idea of how the functions work together for most people most of the time.

All right, -- whatever criticisms I or anyone else has about this book, it deserves to be read and taken seriously.

She has written more, a bit, though yes, it is hard to find.
Having written the book (with its eight function model framed in terms of a ship crew or lasagna) before Beebe's more common model had become more known, she later began addressing the theory, which you can see archived here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20061210155437/http://www.greatlakesapt.org/uploads/media/beebe1.PDF

Also, I at one point, approached her on Personality Pathways, and you can see the three part response here:
Carl Jung Psychological Orientation | Lenore Thomson Bentz

Another Q&A she did with some else on that site:
Jung MBTI Theory | Lenore Thomson Bentz

Our discussion went way beyond that page, and she clarified, among other things, some reservations regarding Beebe's model (especially regarding some of the "shadow" archetypes), and emphasized that this model is really all about "complexes". A complex is what is "constellated" when the archetype (a collectively held set of emotionally freighted imagery), becomes personalized, by filling up with each person's own experiences.

This made the whole thing easier to understand, for most everyone has heard of complexes, and the way some others have put Beebe's model out there; it's the functions themselves that "do" everything, and the "archetypes" are just these roles the functions fall into.
But having read up more on various Jungian concepts, a "complex" (or "ego state") can basically be thought of as a lesser sense of "I" working under the ego, which of course is our primary sense of "I". One or another will usually be in executive control, and the ego is the one usually in control, but others can come up and take over. Hence, as Jung says, "you've heard that we have complexes, but many don't know that complexes can have us".
It's basically a lesser form of "dissociation", which becomes "multiple personalities" disorders when it is not regulated well enough.

Again, this makes the whole thing easier to understand. The functions are just the perspectives held by these "I"s. The dominant or Hero will operate through the dominant function and attitude. In my case, approaching life through judging things true or false (T) by what I have learned individually or from nature (i). The Parent will be about "support", and connect with the auxiliary function.
So when we say something about "My Trickster did this, with this function...", what we are saying is that a part of ourselves; another "I" in effect, that is not usually in executive control [it's largely unconscious; hence, "shadow"] has surfaced because we feel double bound, and it tends to see things in the function opposite from the auxiliary, but with the same attitude, which is then used to in some way turn the table on the threat (to place the other person in a double bind, or at least to get yourself out of it. That's the "trigger" and purpose of that particular complex).

So this is basically what I learned through her.
So I would love to see her write another book covering all of this. It would really bring a lot of understanding to the theory.
 

Totenkindly

@.~*virinaĉo*~.@
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
46,774
MBTI Type
BELF
Enneagram
594
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
Thought this was interesting from her at one of those links:

developing behavioral skills associated with a function is, in general, a positive thing. It broadens the sphere of options that we recognize within the context of our type preference. New solutions to old problems become available to us.

Doing this, however, bears no immediate relationship to "individuation." Rather, it results in ego maturation, an expansion of conscious potential.

Individuation, by contrast, builds a bridge to unconscious aspects of the psyche, by way of art or religion or dreams, aligning ourselves with sources of guidance that the cognitive system can't co-opt on its own terms. This *reduces* our identification with the dominant standpoint's interpretive selectivity, rendering the ego and our functional preferences less important.
 

Eric B

ⒺⓉⒷ
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
3,618
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
548
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
Yes, because as she also said (and I believe it is in one of those articles), type preference was seen by Jung as a "wound" on the psyche.

The functions are really artificial divisions of an otherwise undivided reality. What is/isn't, could/couldn't, true/false, good/bad, and environmental/individual are all ways a limited ego consciousness embedded in space and time splits reality, but when we do that, we don't see all of reality as it is. So some of it ends up ignored or suppressed (which is what forms the "shadow"), so hypothetically, "individuation" is not adding ("developing") more functions in addition to the preferred ones.
It would, as she said, reduce identification with them, but then you would see all of reality. (Of course, this is not something anyone can actually attain in our current human state. It is just the hypothetical goal of development of consciousness).
 

spirilis

Senior Membrane
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
2,676
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
9w1
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
I read this many years ago, and had the same conclusion as [MENTION=8936]highlander[/MENTION] ... Her theoretical basis for the left/right-brain stuff was also derived from a quack, can't remember his name (see bibliography, John something-or-other) but he supposedly did "research" in his own private practice with brain scans/etc. but would never publish anything and was also a consultant for some sports teams in trying to psychoanalyze potential teammates for their likelihood of success. Really gave me a dim view of that whole system of hers, but the function descriptions I think were rather insightful and seemed on the mark (echoing [MENTION=6610]Lily Bart[/MENTION] ... they are without parallel).
 

Eric B

ⒺⓉⒷ
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
3,618
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
548
Instinctual Variant
sp/sx
That's Jon Niednagel, braintypes.com
 

Lily Bart

New member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
136
MBTI Type
INFJ
Sorry, I do not check in here very often -- thanks for all the links and additional information -- it looks very, very interesting and I think it will prove very helpful and I look forward to working my way through it!
 

Doctor Anaximander

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,165
Enneagram
5
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
My wife has been reading my copy, in addition to a copy of Keirsey's Please Understand Me II.

I'm just glad I will have someone outside of this forum with whom to discuss typology and underlying theories.
 

Doctor Anaximander

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,165
Enneagram
5
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
I was going to start a new thread for this (I may do this once I can better articulate my thoughts), but for now I will comment here. I think the functions might be bullshit. Well, I'm not 100% certain...but I don't think they can be worked into the current 16 type systems which are most popular (MBTI, socionics). I realize this is not a popular opinion with most people in online typology communities and I'll probably catch some flak for suggesting this (oh lawd, how can he reject the all knowing Jung?) Only I'm not rejecting Jung's theory.

I'm also not prepared to reject the 16 type system.

I'm working on it.
 

reckful

New member
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Messages
656
MBTI Type
INTJ
Enneagram
5
I think the functions might be bullshit.

I think you might be right.

Just in case you haven't yet been exposed to much of my take on the dichotomies-vs.-functions issue and are interested, you can find a heaping helping in the spoiler at the end of this post and the collection of posts listed at the end of that spoiler.
 

Seymour

Vaguely Precise
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
1,576
MBTI Type
INFP
Enneagram
5w4
Instinctual Variant
sx/so
I was going to start a new thread for this (I may do this once I can better articulate my thoughts), but for now I will comment here. I think the functions might be bullshit. Well, I'm not 100% certain...but I don't think they can be worked into the current 16 type systems which are most popular (MBTI, socionics). I realize this is not a popular opinion with most people in online typology communities and I'll probably catch some flak for suggesting this (oh lawd, how can he reject the all knowing Jung?) Only I'm not rejecting Jung's theory.

I'm also not prepared to reject the 16 type system.

I'm working on it.

To expand on [MENTION=18736]reckful[/MENTION], people like Wilde have come up with quantitative approach for generating something like functions from preference strength (of course this only works for dominant and auxiliary). And "dichotomy" (really a preference pair) really indicates a continuous—not dichotomous—strength of preference, with people tending toward middling prefernences.

So, while this tends to rule out tertiary and inferior functions as meaningless (despite many efforts in support for finding them), it does open the door to other preference pairs (and triads) as being meaningful. It rescues the validity of the Keirsey temperaments (with non-functional pairs like "NF" and "NT") and others preference combinations as well (like "IJ" and "IP").

All that being said, I personally like Thomson... partially because she has good "function" (actually preference pair or triad) descriptions and breaks away from traditional type dynamics. I would rank her significantly less silly than Beebe (who I think is smoking crack beyond the dominant and auxiliary function preference pairs), since she has some non-traditional-type-dynamics insights to offer and some keen observations.

I wouldn't take her "lasagna" approach too seriously (although lasagna is delicious), but I think for people with middling T/F and/or S/N preference, her model is closer to accurate that the traditional four functions models (far more so than Beebe's).
 
Top