Jung and the attitude of the auxiliary

Jung and the attitude of the auxiliary

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  1. #1

    Jung and the attitude of the auxiliary

    I've posted before on Jung's perspective on the attitude of the auxiliary function, but I've been meaning to plant a more longform post on that subject for a while. The issue just got raised here and, rather than derail that thread, I thought it made more sense to reply in a new thread.


    According to Myers, Jung's function model called for the auxiliary function to have the opposite attitude to the dominant (e.g., Ni-Te for INTJs). But Myers acknowledged that the great majority of Jung scholars — all but one, she said — disagreed with that interpretation. I think she was mistaken (assuming she wasn't being disingenuous) although it wasn't a very significant "mistake" from Myers' perspective since, although she gave the functions quite a lot of lip service in the first half of Gifts Differing, she then essentially left them behind in favor of the dichotomies (to her credit, IMHO) — and, for anyone who's interested, I discuss that issue at greater length in the post I link to at the end of this one.

    I think the only interpretation that's really consistent with Psychological Types as a whole — as distinguished from Myers' very selective cherry-picking — is that Jung's function model for an Ti-dom with an N auxiliary was really Ti-Ni-Se-Fe, and I think that's how he viewed himself at the time he wrote Psychological Types.

    Jung said more people were essentially in the middle on E/I than were significantly extraverted or introverted and, because he viewed his eight function-types as four varieties of extravert and four varieties of introvert, that may mean Jung thought that a plurality of people really didn't have a well-differentiated dominant function. But, setting the typeless folks aside, Jung thought that what you might call the default state of affairs for someone who did have a dominant function was that their dominant (substantially differentiated) function would have what Jung called their "conscious attitude" (i.e., introverted for an introvert), and all three of the other functions would have the opposite attitude and would basically be "fused" with the other undifferentiated functions in the unconscious.

    Describing the F, S and N functions of a Ti-dom, Jung explained:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    The counterbalancing functions of feeling, intuition, and sensation are comparatively unconscious and inferior, and therefore have a primitive extraverted character that accounts for all the troublesome influences from outside to which the introverted thinker is prone.
    But... notwithstanding that I just referred to that as the "default" state of affairs, Jung also said that, in the typical case, a person would also have an auxiliary function that, although it was less differentiated than the dominant, would be sufficiently differentiated to "exert a co-determining influence" in their "consciousness."

    I believe Jung's view was that, although the default attitude of the second function was in the opposite direction from the dominant function, that corresponded with the default place for the second function being the unconscious — in an "archaic" state and fused with the other unconscious functions. If and to the extent that the second function was brought up into consciousness and developed ("differentiated") as the auxiliary function (serving the dominant), I think Jung envisioned that it would also, to that extent, take on the same conscious attitude (e.g., introversion for an introvert) as the dominant function.

    In the brief section of Psychological Types devoted to the auxiliary function, Jung specifically refers to the tertiary and inferior functions as the "unconscious functions" and the dominant and auxiliary functions as the "conscious ones"; and he notes that "the unconscious functions ... group themselves in patterns correlated with the conscious ones. Thus, the correlative of conscious, practical thinking [— i.e., a T-dom with an S-aux—] may be an unconscious, intuitive-feeling attitude, with feeling under a stronger inhibition than intuition." Thirty years later, in Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy, Jung's model hadn't changed. As he explained:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    If we think of the psychological function [sic] as arranged in a circle, then the most differentiated function is usually the carrier of the ego and, equally regularly, has an auxiliary function attached to it. The "inferior" function, on the other hand, is unconscious and for that reason is projected into a non-ego. It too has an auxiliary function. ...

    In the psychology of the functions there are two conscious and therefore masculine functions, the differentiated function and its auxiliary, which are represented in dreams by, say, father and son, whereas the unconscious functions appear as mother and daughter. Since the conflict between the two auxiliary functions is not nearly as great as that between the differentiated and the inferior function, it is possible for the third function — that is, the unconscious auxiliary one — to be raised to consciousness and thus made masculine. It will, however, bring with it traces of its contamination with the inferior function, thus acting as a kind of link with the darkness of the unconscious.
    As already noted, the majority of Jung scholars believe that Jung viewed the auxiliary function as providing balance between judging and perceiving, but not between introversion and extraversion. Myers largely rested her contrary case on the sentence where Jung says the auxiliary function is "in every respect different" from the dominant function. And I'd agree that her interpretation would appear to be the best one if all you do is look at that one sentence in isolation. But the trouble is, that interpretation seems inconsistent with way too much else in Psychological Types. When Jung wrote about how an introvert's introversion gets balanced (or "compensated," as he more often put it) by extraversion (and vice versa) — and he actually devoted a great deal of Psychological Types to that issue — he consistently envisioned the I/E balance happening by way of the unconscious, and never by way of a differentiated conscious function oriented in the opposite direction.

    Jung spent substantially more of Psychological Types talking about extraversion and introversion than he spent talking about all eight of the functions put together. In the Foreword to a 1934 edition of the book, Jung explained that he'd put the eight specific "function-type" descriptions at the end of the book for a reason, and he said, "I would therefore recommend the reader who really wants to understand my book to immerse himself first of all in chapters II and V."

    Chapter II is Jung's detailed discussion of Schiller's Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, and centers around Schiller's insight, as a Ti-dom, into the specific kinds of "barbarism" found in the dominant Christian culture as the result of its one-sidedly extraverted orientation. Jung, as a fellow Ti-dom, concurred with much of Schiller's analysis, and noted that the extraverted one-sidedness of the culture (and its consequential barbarism) had only gotten worse since 1795 (when Schiller wrote).

    At 110 pages, Chapter V is the longest chapter in the book, and it centers around a detailed analysis of Spitteler's Prometheus and Epimetheus — which, as Jung notes, very much parallels his interpretation of Schiller. Jung calls Prometheus & Epimetheus "a poetic work based almost entirely on the type problem," and explains that the conflict at the heart of it "is essentially a struggle between the introverted and extraverted lines of development in one and the same individual, though the poet has embodied it in two independent figures and their typical destinies." Epimetheus (embodying the extraverted attitude) represents the established, traditional Church and the (by Spitteler's time, as both he and Jung saw it) barbaric influence of its one-sidedly extraverted attitude on Western culture, while Prometheus tries to bring about a religious reformation/renewal as a result of the introverted orientation that causes him to represent the view that God is to be found within each man rather than outside him.

    And the central focus on extraversion/introversion, and the things Jung thought all extraverts and all introverts tend to have in common, runs through every chapter of Psychological Types other than Chapter X — the only part of the book with any substantial description of the eight functions.

    As Jung saw it, the dynamics of the human psyche revolved first and foremost around a single great divide, and that divide involved two all-important components — namely, introversion/extraversion and conscious/unconscious.

    And for Jung, to a much greater degree than Myers, a person's unconscious played a large role in motivating and influencing their ordinary thoughts, feelings and behavior. Jung thought that, for a typical person on a typical day, something like half of their speech and behavior might well be the product of their unconscious functions, and Jung said it was sometimes hard to tell the consciously-sourced stuff from the unconsciously-sourced stuff. He said one way to figure out which was which was to be on the lookout for the "archaic" (or "primitive") aspects that tended to be charactistic of unconscious-based stuff.

    So, under ordinary circumstances, the one-sidedness of an introvert's conscious side would be "compensated" on a daily basis by extraversion from the unconscious. But Jung noted that, as time passed, there could be a tendency for the introverted one-sidedness to increase — possibly by greater development of the dominant function (potentially a positive thing for some purposes) — which in turn would mean that the unconscious extraverted stuff got repressed to a greater degree and failed to provide adequate "compensation," resulting in a build-up of dammed libido in the unconscious. (Jung's break with Freud was, alas, far from total. :p) This could lead to neurotic symptoms, and maybe things would end up being resolved in a relatively undramatic way or maybe the person would end up needing Jung's professional services.

    Jung viewed the conflicting aspects of extraversion and introversion as so fundamentally opposed that it was ultimately impossible to truly reconcile them in terms of anything in the nature of conscious reasoning. Instead, Jung said that extraversion and introversion could only be reconciled in a kind of inchoate and fragile way, by a process he referred to as the "transcendent function," through which a "symbol" would arise from the unconscious that would allow the repressed unconscious libido to surface in a constructive way and unite with the conscious attitude — but only temporarily, because "after a while the opposites recover their strength." Jung explained that "the creation of a symbol is not a rational process, for a rational process could never produce an image that represents a content which is at bottom incomprehensible."

    Contrast all that with Myers' notion that everyone's conscious side includes both an introverted and an extraverted function that, in a reasonably well developed person, work together to keep the person balanced both in terms of judgment/perception and extraversion/introversion.

    Again, the psychodynamics of the conflict between extraversion and introversion was really Jung's great theme in Psychological Types — as he emphasized in that 1934 foreword. If you asked someone trying to defend Myers' interpretation how an opposite-attitude auxiliary function could have been missing in action through all those chapters where the E/I battles raged, they might point to the fact that the section of Chapter X devoted to the auxiliary function was extremely brief — an afterthought, really — and so the E-vs.-I aspect of the auxiliary's role was just something Jung didn't happen to mention. But I'd argue that, if Jung thought the auxiliary function played any substantial role in terms of a person's E/I psychodynamics, (1) there's no way the auxiliary function would have ended up being a brief afterthought at the end of Chapter X, and (2) there's no way all the many passages in the first nine chapters where extraversion and introversion repress each other and fight each other and compensate each other would have been written in the way they were — i.e., with the E/I psychodyamics consistently and exclusively framed as parallelling the conscious/unconscious divide.

    Want more? In 1923 — two years after Psychological Types was published — Jung gave a lecture (separately published in 1925) that's included in the Collected Works edition of Psychological Types. After some opening remarks on the shortcomings of past approaches to typology, here's how he began his discussion of extraverts and introverts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    [I]f we wish to define the psychological peculiarity of a man in terms that will satisfy not only our own subjective judgment but also the object judged, we must take as our criterion that state or attitude which is felt by the object to be the conscious, normal condition. Accordingly, we shall make his conscious motives our first concern, while eliminating as far as possible our own arbitrary interpretations.

    Proceeding thus we shall discover, after a time, that in spite of the great variety of conscious motives and tendencies, certain groups of individuals can be distinguished who are characterized by a striking conformity of motivation. For example, we shall come upon individuals who in all their judgments, perceptions, feelings, affects, and actions feel external factors to be the predominant motivating force, or who at least give weight to them no matter whether causal or final motives are in question. I will give some examples of what I mean. St. Augustine: "I would not believe the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not compel it." ... One man finds a piece of modern music beautiful because everybody else pretends it is beautiful. Another marries in order to please his parents but very much against his own interests. ... There are not a few who in everything they do or don't do have but one motive in mind: what will others think of them? "One need not be ashamed of a thing if nobody knows about it."

    [The previous examples] point to a psychological peculiarity that can be sharply distinguished from another attitude which, by contrast, is motivated chiefly by internal or subjective factors. A person of this type might say: "I know I could give my father the greatest pleasure if I did so and so, but I don't happen to think that way." Or: "I see that the weather has turned out bad, but in spite of it I shall carry out my plan." This type does not travel for pleasure but to execute a preconceived idea. ... There are some who feel happy only when they are quite sure nobody knows about it, and to them a thing is disagreeable just because it is pleasing to everyone else. They seek the good where no one would think of finding it. ... Such a person would have replied to St. Augustine: "I would believe the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not compel it." Always he has to prove that everything he does rests on his own decisions and convictions, and never because he is influenced by anyone, or desires to please or conciliate some person or opinion.

    This attitude characterizes a group of individuals whose motivations are derived chiefly from the subject, from inner necessity.
    The first thing to note here is that, in the second sentence of that second paragraph, he characterizes extraverts as people "who in all their judgments, perceptions, feelings, affects, and actions feel external factors to be the predominant motivating force." Judgments and perceptions both. This is clearly inconsistent with the idea that a typical extravert would either be extraverted in their judgments and introverted in their perceptions or vice versa.

    And in case you think, well, maybe Jung just slipped up in terms of how he worded that one sentence — although I'd say that would have been a pretty huge slip-up — the second thing to focus on here is the substance of the second and third paragraphs as a whole. They're pretty much all about judgments, right? The second paragraph describes a series of extraverted judgments and the third paragraph describes a series of introverted judgments. And Jung doesn't say those extraverted judgments are characteristic of Je-doms and Pi-doms; he says they're characteristic of all extraverts (Je-doms and Pe-doms alike). And likewise he says the introverted judgments in the third paragraph are characteristic of all introverts (Ji-doms and Pi-doms alike.). And again, there is no way that is how he would have described things if his model said that half of extraverted judgers were introverts (the Pi-doms) and half of introverted judgers were extraverts (the Pe-doms).

    Carl Alfred Meier was Jung's longtime assistant and the first president of the Jung Institute in Zόrich and, as James Reynierse has noted, Meier's interpretation of Jung (as reflected in his book, Personality: The individation process in light of C.G. Jung's typology) was that the auxiliary function would have the same attitude as the dominant — as a result of which, as Meier wrote, "cooperation with the main function is made easier."

    And that's hopefully more than enough for most readers but, for hardcore Jung/MBTI dweebs, I've put a little more ponder-fodder (involving a BBC-TV interview) in the next spoiler.

    to Part 3 of a BBC interview done with John Freeman when Jung (born in 1875) was 84. Forward to around 8:40 and you can watch this exchange:

    JF: Have you concluded what psychological type you are yourself?

    Jung: (chuckling) Naturally I have devoted a great deal of attention to that painful question, you know.

    JF: And reached a conclusion?

    Jung: Well, you see, the type is nothing static. It changes in the course of life. But I most certainly was characterized by thinking. I overthought from early childhood on. And I had a great deal of intuition, too. And I had definite difficulty with feeling. And my relation to reality was not particularly brilliant. I was often at variance with the reality of things. Now that gives you all the necessary data for the diagnosis.
    Note that Jung both indicates that his thinking and intuition preferences have long been reasonably clear, and that typing himself has been a "painful" process. If you assume that he also considered his introversion reasonably clear — and anyone who's read his autobiography isn't likely to doubt that — then the only issue that seems to be a likely candidate for any kind of "painful" uncertainty is the issue of whether he was a Ti-dom with an N-aux or an Ni-dom with a T-aux. And that conclusion is also consistent with the fact that (1) as described in this Vicky Jo "news flash," Jung reportedly told Stephen Abrams (a Jung scholar) in 1959 that he was an "introverted intuitive"; and (2) as described in this follow-up report, Marie-Louise von Franz (one of Jung's most famous pupils) declared that Jung was an N-dom.

    Speaking of von Franz, she also said (citing Jung) that people have the most difficulty understanding not the opposite of their dominant function (i.e., Se for an Ni-dom), but rather their dominant function turned in the opposite direction (i.e., Ne for an Ni-dom). As she put it:

    Quote Originally Posted by von Franz
    Jung has said that the hardest thing to understand is not your opposite type — if you have introverted feeling it is very difficult to understand an extraverted thinking type — but the same functional type with the other attitude! It would be most difficult for an introverted feeling type to understand an extraverted feeling type. There one feels that one does not know how the wheels go round in that person's head.
    With that as background, and if you assume that the "painful" part of Jung's typing decision was the choice between Ti-dom with an N-aux and Ni-dom with a T-aux, I think it's worth noting that, if you assume Jung viewed the auxiliary function as having the opposite attitude to the dominant, Jung's "painful" dilemma would have involved figuring out whether he was Ti-Ne or Ni-Te, which readers of Psychological Types know Jung viewed as substantially different function pairs. By contrast, if you assume Jung viewed the auxiliary as having the same attitude as the dominant, Jung's "painful" dilemma would have involved figuring out whether he was Ti-Ni or Ni-Ti — the same two functions, and therefore a considerably more understandable source of uncertainty.

    As an (almost) final note, Jung said that the auxiliary function, because it "served" the dominant function, wasn't "autonomous" or true "to its own principle" to the same extent as when it was the dominant function and, as I understand it, some theorists have suggested that Jung's view of the functions of a Ti-dom with auxiliary N (assuming the S remained in the unconscious) are better viewed as Ti-N-Se-Fe. I'm maybe very mildly open to that idea, but I think it's more likely Jung would have said (if he'd ever spelled it out clearly) Ti-Ni-Se-Fe.

    And I put my final note in the last spoiler.

    Because I'm a pretty big believer in the MBTI, and because a lot of what ended up in the Myers-Briggs typology had its roots in Jung, and maybe especially because the function-centric MBTI theorists and their internet forum followers are inclined to give Jung's perspective — or at least what they think was Jung's perspective — a lot of weight, I often find myself talking about what Jung's views were on X, Y or Z, and often in cases where my own views are substantially different.

    So... as a final note, and to avoid any misunderstanding, Ti-Ni-Se-Fe is not the functions model I subscribe to, because I don't subscribe to any functions model. As I noted at the start of this post, I think Myers was correct to essentially abandon the functions in favor of the dichotomies — and I think the disingenuousness of some of her Jungian lip service was understandable, given her circumstances. As further discussed in the last post linked below, Myers was a nobody who didn't even have a psychology degree — not to mention a woman in mid-20th-century America — and I assume that background had at least something to do with the fact that her writings tend to downplay the extent to which her typology differs from Jung.

    One of the most fundamental ways the Myers-Briggs typology differs from Psychological Types is that, when it came to the thoughts and feelings and speech and behavior of a normal person on a typical day, Myers' perspective involved situating a much larger share of the relevant temperament-related causes in the conscious part of the person's psyche. Accordingly, an interpretation of Jung that said that essentially all of an introvert's extraversion was unconscious, and that something like half of that introvert's speech and behavior was the result of unconscious causes, was majorly inconsistent with Myers' perspective. So it's not hard to see how convenient Myers' minority interpretation of Jung's auxiliary function was, since it effectively meant that the lion's share of someone's introverted and extraverted attitudes and activity could be viewed as consciously-sourced.

    In any case, regardless of the extent to which Myers really believed her model was true to Jung, my position is (1) that it wasn't true to Jung, but also (2) that its infidelity to Jung was ultimately irrelevant, given that, as I've noted, the Myers-Briggs typology — once you strip away the Jungian lip service — essentially (and rightly, IMHO) represented an abandonment of the functions in favor of the dichotomies.

    And anyone who's made it this far and is interested can read more from me about the place of the functions (or lack thereof) in the MBTI's history — and the tremendous gap between the dichotomies and the functions in terms of scientific respectability — in this long INTJforum post.


    Links in INTJforum posts don't work if you're not a member, so here are replacements for two of the links in that long INTJforum post:

    McCrae & Costa article (click on the pic on the right to access the full article)
    Reynierse article
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  2. #2

    What are your thoughts on the work of Nardi?

  3. #3

    Since Socionics is also based directly on Jung, I'm curious how they came to the same conclusions as Meyers as regards the function order and orientation, if Meyers clearly misunderstood or set aside Jung's views on the orientations of the functions. Both systems have the aux opposite, both in function and orientation, and the third and fourth in the same way. Since Socionics utilizes all eight functions it tends to come across differently, but essentially, the top four functions are the same as Meyers', but they were developed in isolation from her, so if she did not get her theory from Jung, where did they get them? It seems to me that Jung must have this somewhere, either that, or it was obvious on both sides of the Atlantic that Jung was deficient in his theories... I don't know the answer... This is a genuine question...
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  5. #4


    I'm still considering everything, but I do have to say, this is an absolutely amazing post. Very thought provoking and served with tons of evidence.

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Octavian View Post
    What are your thoughts on the work of Nardi?
    If you're talking about the study he analyzes in Neuroscience of Personality, my understanding is that even Nardi himself doesn't claim that that study was anything more than a tentative, exploratory one. It involved 60 people and didn't come close to providing sufficient data to respectably validate any of the functions. And it's also been criticized on the grounds that EEGs are too crude a tool for this kind of stuff. Here's most of Wikipedia's list of "disadvantages" of EEG-based research:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Relative disadvantages
    • Low spatial resolution on the scalp. fMRI, for example, can directly display areas of the brain that are active, while EEG requires intense interpretation just to hypothesize what areas are activated by a particular response.
    • EEG determines neural activity that occurs below the upper layers of the brain (the cortex) poorly.
    • Unlike PET and MRS, cannot identify specific locations in the brain at which various neurotransmitters, drugs, etc. can be found.
    • Signal-to-noise ratio is poor, so sophisticated data analysis and relatively large numbers of subjects are needed to extract useful information from EEG.
    And if there's been a single review of Neuroscience of Personality in any reasonably well-known psychology periodical, I haven't been able to find it.

    More generally, in talking about theorists like Berens and Nardi in the context of Jung/Myers discussions, it's important to keep in mind that they tend to position themselves in terms of a partly mythical "history" of the MBTI (often reflected in forum posts) that says that Jung left us with a set of type descriptions that were pretty much spot on; that Myers didn't do much more than take Jung's brilliant insights and simplify them in a way that made it easier to test people; and that the mainstream MBTI is fine as far as it goes, but its primary (and relatively superficial) focus on the dichotomies causes a lot of people to lose sight of the fact that Jung's "cognitive functions" are what the typology is really about.

    But, among the other factually-challenged aspects of that "history," the function descriptions that Thomson, Berens and Nardi use are, to a substantial degree — e.g., Si (as described in this post) and Te (see this post) — non-Jungian descriptions that seem to have been jerry-rigged to match up with the things that Myers described the supposedly corresponding types as having in common. So, for example, the Thomson/Berens/Nardi Si descriptions, unlike Jung's, fit MBTI SJs. And similarly, the particular functions model that Thomson, Berens and Nardi subscribe to (where INTJ = Ni-Te-Fi-Se) matches neither Jung (INTJ = most likely Ti-Ni-Se-Fe, or arguably Ni-Ti-Fe-Se) nor Myers (INTJ = Ni-Te-Fe-Se).

    As you know if you read the last spoiler in my OP (and especially the linked INTJforum post), and setting aside the specific differences among Jung's and Myers' and Nardi's four-function models, I think the cognitive functions themselves have been rightly characterized by Reynierse as a "category mistake," and that Myers was right to essentially abandon them (despite some lip service) after many years of analyzing the results of tests and MBTI studies led her to conclude that the four MBTI dichotomies — as she came to conceive them — were what the typology was really about.

    So... Nardi's more than welcome to perform some larger studies — although, as I understand it, he's left UCLA, and I don't know if any further studies are in the works — but if I had to bet, I'd bet that he's not going to ultimately end up with a body of respectable data support for his four-function model, because I don't think it's a valid model.

    As a final note, and as I've pointed out many times before, and notwithstanding the fact that Nardi's been touting that INTJ=Ni-Te-Fi-Se model for 20 years now, he's never (as far as I know) managed to put together a test that uses function-based items and that ends up doing a respectable job reflecting that model for the majority of takers. As discussed in more detail in the spoiler in this post (reviewing the posted results in a 350-post INTJforum thread), INTJs typically get high Ni scores and high Ne scores (with Ni not substantially favored over Ne), and high Te scores and high Ti scores (with Te not substantially favored over Ti), when they take Nardi's keys2cognition test — which is arguably the most-linked-to function-based test — and the T functions tend to be somewhat favored over the N functions (even though INTJs are supposedly N-doms).

    In my experience, even the most devout cognitive function aficionados are usually willing to acknowledge that there isn't any test they can point you to that's particularly likely to give you results that place your dominant function in first place and your auxiliary function in second place — never mind ID-ing your tertiary and inferior functions in any easy-to-spot way. But, as you've probably noticed, they virtually always explain that in terms of all the tests sucking — and/or in terms of the functions being somehow inherently impossible to effectively capture in testable descriptions — rather than in terms of the model being faulty.
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  7. #6


    Here is possibly another argument to add:

    One cannot be introverted or extraverted without being so in every respect. For example, to be "introverted" means that everything in the psyche that happens as it must happen according to the law of the introvert's nature. Were that not so, the statement that a certain individual is "introverted" would be as irrelevant as the statement that he is six feet tall, or that he has brown hair, or is brachycephalic. These statements contain no more than the facts they express. The term "introverted" is comparably more exacting. It means that the consciousness as well as the unconscious of the introvert must have certain definite qualities, that his general behaviour, his relation to people, and even the course of his life show certain typical characteristics.

    Introversion or extraversion, as a typical attitude, means an essential bias which conditions the whole psychic process, establishes the habitual mode of reaction, and thus determine not only the style of behaviour but also the quality of subjective experience. Not only that, it determines the kind of compensation the unconscious will produce.
    Par 939-940 pg 534 CW6, 3rd essay, "A Psychological Theory of Types" (1931)

    In a way, the first sentence counters the "in every respect" argument that Myers' uses from the Principle and Auxiliary section of PT.
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  8. #7

    This was a very helpful thread.
    Changing sig for sure from this. =)

  9. #8

    I really wish more people were aware of this information.

    I've been beating this drum (that the auxiliaries share the attitude of their attached functions) for years.
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  10. #9

    I've spent ample time molding myself into a student of human psychology, studying all those around me, and tearing apart biographies. I've never known anyone to display a dominant and auxiliary turned to the same direction. The only apparent sin in using the current function model is that of it not being quintessentially Jungian. I see no need to latch onto his work as if it were the word of god and view the later theorists as being sound in their decisions to turn the auxiliary away from the dominant, and the tertiary to the same direction as it.

    You can brilliant, as Jung was, and make critical errors in your theorizing. History has shown that over and over.
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  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Octavian View Post
    I've spent ample time molding myself into a student of human psychology, studying all those around me, and tearing apart biographies. I've never known anyone to display a dominant and auxiliary turned to the same direction. The only apparent sin in using the current function model is that of it not being quintessentially Jungian. I see no need to latch onto his work as if it were the word of god and view the later theorists as being sound in their decisions to turn the auxiliary away from the dominant, and the tertiary to the same direction as it.

    You can brilliant, as Jung was, and make critical errors in your theorizing. History has shown that over and over.
    That you haven't ever known anyone to display a dominant and auxiliary sharing the same attitude brings to mind two prominent possibilities:

    1) Most people don't differentiate their conscious auxiliary function very well, and thus it only obtains the conscious attitude infrequently, therefore showing the relatively unconscious attitude of their inferior function most of the time (which would thus lend reliability to Myers' interpretation and subsequent dichotomies, insofar as being more practical for typing the majority of people). Instead, only in a small sample of statistical deviations would we find individuals showing a more pronounced attitudinal similarity between their conscious dominant and auxiliary. But again, those would be special exceptions to what would otherwise be the rule, and so we can set that minority aside and say, you're basically correct in that the MBTI interpretation serves its purpose better (for the majority of cases).

    2) Jung was fundamentally and systematically wrong about his entire conception of introversion and extraversion. He was wrong when he conceived of the ego-complex as being the determining force behind the attitude of consciousness (and subsequently the unconscious). And he was wrong when he conceived of the ego-complex as being the determining force behind which functions are allowed into consciousness. Instead, he should have conceived that it was instead the functions behind it all that possess attitudes, and that there is no way to separate a function from an attitude, because there are no definable "functions" at all apart from their attitudes, and that the attitude of the preferred function is the determining force that explains the preference of the ego-complex, not the other way around.

    These two explanations are giving your anecdotal personal experience the benefit of the doubt, since I respect you and I think your reputation affords you some measure of credibility, so I don't feel compelled to dispute the reliability of your personal observations. However, setting that aside, I still think the former explanation for the dissonance you've experienced serves better than the latter.
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