When cognitive functions don't fit Myers-Briggs type.

When cognitive functions don't fit Myers-Briggs type.

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  1. #1
    INTJ - The Scientists

    When cognitive functions don't fit Myers-Briggs type.

    In browsing various personality forums, I have noticed that many people don't fit the expected cognitive functions of their Myers-Briggs type. This has been especially apparent for me. Over the last four or so years, I've been trying to figure out my type. At first, I focused only on the dichotomies, and I believed for a couple of years that I was an INTJ. Then I came to understand the cognitive functions more thoroughly and decided I was an INFJ. However, that didn't quite fit either, so I'm now considering INTP.

    Through all this, I feel like personalities are not as simple as posited by both MBTI and cognitive functions. It seems to me that the normal cognitive process model describes a textbook version of each personality type. In reality, people are much more varied, and you'll find many flavors of each type.

    For example, I still believe I'm an INFJ, but this is my function list according to the average score of three tests: Ni, Ti, Fe, Ne, Te, Si, Fi, Se.

    Here are the results of each test:

    Te (Extroverted Thinking) (70%)
    your valuation of / adherence to logic of external systems / hierarchies / methods
    Ti (Introverted Thinking) (85%)
    your valuation of / adherence to your own internally devised logic/rational
    Ne (Extroverted Intuition) (70%)
    your valuation of / tendency towards free association and creating with external stimuli
    Ni (Introverted Intuition) (95%)
    your valuation of / tendency towards internal/original free association and creativity
    Se (Extroverted Sensing) (25%)
    your valuation of / tendency to fully experience the world unfiltered, in the moment
    Si (Introverted Sensing) (50%)
    your valuation of / focus on internal sensations and reliving past moments
    Fe (Extroverted Feeling) (75%)
    your valuation of / adherence to external morals, ethics, traditions, customs, groups
    Fi (Introverted Feeling) (45%)
    your valuation of / adherence to the sanctity of your own feelings / ideals / sentiment
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    based on your results your type is likely - infj

    Cognitive Process Level of Development (Preference, Skill and Frequency of Use)
    extraverted Sensing (Se) ************** (14.4)
    unused
    introverted Sensing (Si) ************************* (25.7)
    average use
    extraverted Intuiting (Ne) ************************************ (36.7)
    excellent use
    introverted Intuiting (Ni) ****************************************** (42.9)
    excellent use
    extraverted Thinking (Te) ***************************** (29.9)
    average use
    introverted Thinking (Ti) ************************************ (36.7)
    excellent use
    extraverted Feeling (Fe) *************************** (27.7)
    average use
    introverted Feeling (Fi) ************************** (26.4)
    average use

    Summary Analysis of Profile
    By focusing on the strongest configuration of cognitive processes, your pattern of responses most closely matches individuals of this type: INTP
    Lead (Dominant) Process
    Introverted Thinking (Ti): Gaining leverage (influence) using a framework. Detaching to study a situation from different angles and fit it to a theory, framework or principle. Checking for accuracy. Using leverage to solve the problem.

    Support (Auxilliary) Process
    Extraverted Intuiting (Ne): Exploring the emerging patterns. Wondering about patterns of interaction across various situations. Checking what hypotheses and meanings fit best. Trusting what emerges as you shift a situationís dynamics.
    If these cognitive processes don't fit well then consider these types: ENTP, or INTJ

    Your Cognitive Functions:
    Introverted Intuition (Ni) ||||||||||||||||||||||| 10.925
    Extroverted Feeling (Fe) ||||||||||||||||||| 8.98
    Extroverted Thinking (Te) ||||||||||||||||||| 8.7
    Introverted Thinking (Ti) ||||||||||||||||||| 8.53
    Extroverted Intuition (Ne) |||||||||||||||| 7.015
    Introverted Sensation (Si) ||||||||||||| 5.77
    Introverted Feeling (Fi) |||||||||||| 5.48
    Extroverted Sensation (Se) ||||||| 2.57

    Your Introverted Intuition (Ni) is very developed.
    Your Extroverted Intuition (Ne) is moderate.
    Your Introverted Sensation (Si) is moderate.
    Your Introverted Thinking (Ti) is moderate.
    Your Extroverted Thinking (Te) is moderate.
    Your Extroverted Feeling (Fe) is moderate.
    Your Introverted Feeling (Fi) is moderate.
    Your Extroverted Sensation (Se) is poorly developed

    Based on your cognitive functions, your type is most likely:
    Most Likely: INFJ
    or Second Possibility: ENFJ
    or Third Possibility: ENTJ



    So, basically, what I gather from this is that Ni is obviously my most developed function. Ti comes in second, which doesn't fit the INFJ cognitive process profile. Beyond that, I have about equal usage of Ne, Fe, and Te, and none of those functions feel at all alien to me. Neither do Si or Fi, though I'm not as comfortable using them. Se, which should be my fourth function, feels most alien to me, while functions that shouldn't even be in my functional stack feel somewhat natural.

    From what I've read of the functions, I strongly identify with both types of intuition, identify somewhat with both types of thinking, identify with Fe, and don't really identify at all with either type of sensing, though Si is significantly stronger than Se.

    So this leads me to adopt a different theory on the cognitive function model (note: there will be a lot of Ni/Ti unsupported claims here). The current model doesn't make sense to me. It seems like it would work in a perfect world where everyone fits neatly into a personality box, but we don't live in such a world. People are complicated creatures.

    I think we actually use all the processes to some extent, and can even feel comfortable using processes that should be uncomfortable. Instead of thinking in terms of the eight function model, I think it might be better to look at it as a four function model where we display degrees of introversion and extroversion for each function. For example, I am a dominant intuitive and an introvert, so I would naturally prefer to introvert my dominant intuition. However, that doesn't mean I can't extrovert it as well, just that I prefer that option less. That being said, since intuition is my dominant function, Ne will not show up fifth in my functional stack like it should according to theory.

    Based on cognitive functions, my second-most-preferred cognitive function is thinking, rather than feeling like it should be. As a strong introvert, I prefer to introvert my thinking, though I am also capable of extroverting it when necessary (or at least more so than would be indicated by the accepted model). According to theory, the Ni/Ti combination means I'm in a destructive loop and unbalanced, but I don't think that is necessarily the case.


    My third cognitive function is feeling. In fitting with the INFJ model, I strongly prefer Fe to Fi. That being said, I use both functions; I just prefer to extrovert my feeling function.

    The least used functions are my sensing functions. Since both are used so little, I can't come to any major conclusions, though it would appear I prefer Si to Se. Again, though, it's a matter of degree. I believe anyone has access to any of the functions and can use any of the functions effectively. Some will simply be more uncomfortable than others and people will form preferences for one over the other. I believe we can develop any function through sufficient use of it.

    Now, I could be entirely wrong on this, but this is just things as they make sense to me. The more research I do into my personality, the more I find I don't fit any of the type descriptions (both the general and cognitive function models). Based on my cognitive function profile, I could be an INFJ, INTJ, or INTP,. And I do find I contain aspects of each personality. In many ways, I identify with the two NT profiles, except for one major issue: I do not consider emotions to be ridiculous and irrational. In fact, my own emotions are quite complicated. I also make an effort to avoid conflict, which doesn't fit with either NT profile. On the other hand, the pursuit of knowledge motivates me more than doing something like therapy/counseling as would fit the INFJ profile.

    In short, the MBTI and the cognitive functions model both provide decent frameworks toward understanding personality. However, they fit only people who follow a certain pattern. People are much more complicated than that. Someone who works through logic doesn't have to discount people's feelings. Someone with emotional intelligence can possess great logical skills. The cognitive functions model describes people who have developed only their top two functions. But people can develop any function with work.

    Sorry this got so long. I've really been trying to work through the theories lately.




  2. #2
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Ti-Ne can often be misinterpreted as Ni and vice-versa. The inferior function (Fe, if INTP) subconsciously dominates the user. Would you say your Fe is unhealthy or underdeveloped as an INFJ?
    rwm4768 thanked this post.

  3. #3
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneWeirdGuy View Post
    Ti-Ne can often be misinterpreted as Ni and vice-versa. The inferior function (Fe, if INTP) subconsciously dominates the user. Would you say your Fe is unhealthy or underdeveloped as an INFJ?
    I wouldn't say my Fe is unhealthy. It's not as developed perhaps as that of some INFJs, but I know I prefer to avoid hurting anyone's feelings, even if I know their logic or facts are wrong. It's like I think logically like an INTP and use evidence like an INTJ, but at the same time, I want to maintain harmony with people.

    I'm not sure on the Ti-Ne imitating Ni. When I read about intuition, I feel like I can relate to both types of intuition. I've noticed that a lot of intuitives score highly in both Ni and Ne.

  4. #4
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by rwm4768 View Post
    I wouldn't say my Fe is unhealthy. It's not as developed perhaps as that of some INFJs, but I know I prefer to avoid hurting anyone's feelings, even if I know their logic or facts are wrong. It's like I think logically like an INTP and use evidence like an INTJ, but at the same time, I want to maintain harmony with people.

    I'm not sure on the Ti-Ne imitating Ni. When I read about intuition, I feel like I can relate to both types of intuition. I've noticed that a lot of intuitives score highly in both Ni and Ne.
    Get all of those stupid type generalizations out of your head. "use evidence like an INTJ..." No. They're over-simplifying and sometimes inaccurate.

    Ne is divergent. It starts with one thing and thinks of multiple possibilities. Ni is convergent. It takes multiple occurrences and correlations and intangibly and sometimes inexplicably gets down to one possibility.

    Ti-Ne can look like Ni. The auxiliary function is basically the dominant's bitch. Ti is making a decision or solving a problem through the lens of logic. Because I've been reading about Isaac Newton, let's say in this instance, it (Ti) is trying to think of why the apple fell out of the tree and hit the ground. Ti cracks a whip to Ne and Ne obeys, thinking of many different possibilities which Ti narrows down using its logic. Which is why it can look like Ni. They're both convergent by nature.

    I do think you're an INFJ though, because the inferior function is rarely that developed at a young age.
    surgery, rwm4768 and Bluity thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneWeirdGuy View Post
    Ne is divergent. It starts with one thing and thinks of multiple possibilities. Ni is convergent. It takes multiple occurrences and correlations and intangibly and sometimes inexplicably gets down to one possibility.
    And that's where I run into problems. I feel like I do both of those things. That's where I think there's something off about the descriptions if you really only can use one. For example, I'm a writer. When I'm thinking up a plot, my intuition naturally runs wild, thinking of all the different possibilities when I'm in brainstorming mode. When it comes to actually writing the book, though, I take all those different possibilities, all these things that don't seem like they could possibly fit together, and turn them into one plot.

    Of course, maybe that's all Ni. I do nearly all the brainstorming in my own head. Aren't Ne user more likely to bounce their ideas off other people (which I do occasionally)?

    And I do think I'm an INFJ, or at least that's the type I'm closest to. I just don't think personality is as simple as it's made out to be. Within any type, there are people who fit the type description almost perfectly, and then there are people like me.

  6. #6
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by rwm4768 View Post
    And that's where I run into problems. I feel like I do both of those things. That's where I think there's something off about the descriptions if you really only can use one. For example, I'm a writer. When I'm thinking up a plot, my intuition naturally runs wild, thinking of all the different possibilities when I'm in brainstorming mode. When it comes to actually writing the book, though, I take all those different possibilities, all these things that don't seem like they could possibly fit together, and turn them into one plot.

    Of course, maybe that's all Ni. I do nearly all the brainstorming in my own head.Aren't Ne user more likely to bounce their ideas off other people (which I do occasionally)?

    And I do think I'm an INFJ, or at least that's the type I'm closest to. I just don't think personality is as simple as it's made out to be. Within any type, there are people who fit the type description almost perfectly, and then there are people like me.
    No, no, no. What did I tell you in my previous post lol? Understand each function abstractly and for what it is as its core. Forget the descriptions you've read!

    Quote Originally Posted by rwm4768 View Post
    And that's where I run into problems. I feel like I do both of those things. That's where I think there's something off about the descriptions if you really only can use one. For example, I'm a writer. When I'm thinking up a plot, my intuition naturally runs wild, thinking of all the different possibilities when I'm in brainstorming mode. When it comes to actually writing the book, though, I take all those different possibilities, all these things that don't seem like they could possibly fit together, and turn them into one plot.

    Of course, maybe that's all Ni. I do nearly all the brainstorming in my own head.Aren't Ne user more likely to bounce their ideas off other people (which I do occasionally)?

    And I do think I'm an INFJ, or at least that's the type I'm closest to. I just don't think personality is as simple as it's made out to be. Within any type, there are people who fit the type description almost perfectly, and then there are people like me.
    I think you need to examine your thought process more thoroughly.

    Forget "fitting the description." You say that one more time, I WILL kill a kitten. Base your type off of cognitive function and what they are abstractly and at their core, not type descriptions.

    Also, MBTI is not meant to fit everybody perfectly in 16 neat boxes. They are meant to be guidelines for how we think, make decisions and solve problems. MBTI is hardly even a 'personality' typology. It only says how we perceive and judge information. Not our quirks, motivations, fears, gait, or hand size. How we perceive and judge information. That's it.
    rwm4768 and Dewymorning thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I think you're an INFJ. Remember that these online tests can only go so far. They're great as a starting point, but they're not foolproof at all. The questions are also often based on dichotomy, or on very specific situations that aren't always accurate as an indicator for a function.

    A lot of what you're saying sounds exactly like what I was saying when I was questioning my type. That doesn't prove anything, of course, but here's my opinion based on my own experience. I think Ni users know they're Ni users. They might not always be able to explain it properly, and this frustrates them. Their inability to put precise words to their own understanding causes others to misunderstand them in return. I also think people are wary of those claiming to be Ni-dominant, because INTJs and INFJs are supposed to be relatively rare. I'm not sure how much I believe that, but I am no expert.

    In my situation, I knew that I was Ni-dominant and that I was an INFJ. I actually don't fit the description well, but as I read about the functions, I knew Ni-Fe was correct. I sought advice from others and got a variety of answers, INFJ, INFP, INTP, INTJ. I tried reading all about it and just ended up more confused. But when I finally took a deep breath, cleared my head, and asked myself what was true, the answer was just there. If you are Ni-dominant, allow yourself to access this inner clarity and you'll find that you've known the truth all along.

    Perhaps that's a cheeseball answer. I tried, though. XD

    And yes, ThatOneWeirdGuy is right, go ahead and dismiss the specific explanations/examples about the functions and types. The functions are very abstract, and those examples exist to make the ideas a little more tangible. But they can muddle everything up in the process. Sure, Ne users bounce ideas off each other. But Ne isn't the "bouncing ideas off other people" function. Any type will use their extraverted function to share thought/ideas and take in feedback. These concepts just aren't that cut-and-dry.

    Try to clear your head, throw out the preconceptions, read about the functions, and try to determine which one is your driving force. Keep an open mind, and you will figure it out. :)
    surgery, rwm4768, Ellis Bell and 2 others thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INTJ - The Scientists

    I looked at your function list and though 'INFJ' with enneagram type 5, look at your profile, and sure enough, you are a type 5.

    As others have said, MBTI is only describing one part of who you are, and there are a lot of things that also influence who you are, but these things can distort your test results.

    I shall quote an INTP who I am talking to right now who is complaining about how people either glorify or completely dismiss socionics/Jung.

    Jung's types are there to develop the ideas of the various functions, they aren't "realistic" in any ways as he himself says, and what he says "realistically happens," he is very vague about.
    Also, when you say Se feels most alien to you, well, it is not really your fourth function, it is your inferior function, so for that function in particular to stick out as the most alien is a sign that you are an Ni-dom.
    rwm4768, ThatOneWeirdGuy and Sun Lips thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Thanks. I'm feeling more confident that I'm an INFJ. The type 5 could definitely be a factor. Figuring out your MBTI is hard enough. Add Enneagram to the mix, and it becomes even harder. I've had trouble with the Enneagram too, especially the tritype. I'm a five, probably a one, and then either a two or four.

    It is tough to avoid the stereotypical descriptions. It's difficult to find descriptions that don't treat every type and every cognitive function as monolithic. There's so much variation in the way we gather information and make decisions. And that's where I think we don't always develop functions in the order we're supposed to and that we can access our shadow functions, especially the shadow of our dominant function, perhaps more than our inferior function.

    I think it's a good point that Ni can be difficult to understand. It's the function I've used unconsciously for all my life, so I'm hard-pressed to find a way to explain it or even give examples of how I use it. I think it's also the most mysterious of the functions. Ne, by contrast, seems easy to understand, and maybe mine isn't as strong as the tests say it is. I don't know.

    I'll just have to accept that I'm an INFJ, but perhaps not the most INFJ of INFJs.
    Dewymorning and Sun Lips thanked this post.

  10. #10
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Quote Originally Posted by rwm4768 View Post
    In browsing various personality forums, I have noticed that many people don't fit the expected cognitive functions of their Myers-Briggs type. This has been especially apparent for me. Over the last four or so years, I've been trying to figure out my type. At first, I focused only on the dichotomies, and I believed for a couple of years that I was an INTJ. Then I came to understand the cognitive functions more thoroughly and decided I was an INFJ. However, that didn't quite fit either, so I'm now considering INTP.
    All those 3 tests show a pretty clear INFJ pattern. Not sure where'd you get INTP, with that high of Fe and that consistently high Ni.

    Ti comes in second, which doesn't fit the INFJ cognitive process profile.
    Beyond that, I have about equal usage of Ne, Fe, and Te, and none of those functions feel at all alien to me.
    Maybe they are so alien to you that you can't know to the extent you know them?

    Se, which should be my fourth function, feels most alien to me
    It's not really that Se is fourth but that it is in the inferior position, where it is natural to feel alien.

    Instead of thinking in terms of the eight function model, I think it might be better to look at it as a four function model where we display degrees of introversion and extroversion for each function. For example, I am a dominant intuitive and an introvert, so I would naturally prefer to introvert my dominant intuition. However, that doesn't mean I can't extrovert it as well, just that I prefer that option less. That being said, since intuition is my dominant function, Ne will not show up fifth in my functional stack like it should according to theory.
    I tend to think of it as something like that too. An intuitive type is going to show such a strong preference for such that even the I/E counterpart will show up highly.

    Based on cognitive functions, my second-most-preferred cognitive function is thinking, rather than feeling like it should be. As a strong introvert, I prefer to introvert my thinking, though I am also capable of extroverting it when necessary (or at least more so than would be indicated by the accepted model). According to theory, the Ni/Ti combination means I'm in a destructive loop and unbalanced, but I don't think that is necessarily the case.
    I'm skeptical of that theory.... it's not so much necessarily a loop or an imbalance but that as an introvert you are going to side with your introverted functions a little more so.
    rwm4768 and Sun Lips thanked this post.


 
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