Thinking and Feeling and Introversion and Extroversion

Thinking and Feeling and Introversion and Extroversion

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This is a discussion on Thinking and Feeling and Introversion and Extroversion within the Cognitive Functions forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    Thinking and Feeling and Introversion and Extroversion

    Unfortunately, I’ve never been satisfied with the definition of introversion/extroversion dichotomy as being the source of one’s energy. For example, extroverts get their energy from outside sources (e.g. socializing, brainstorming); and introverts get their energy from within (e.g. being alone, reflection). The reason is that according to this definition, I (along with many others) could easily fit under both categories equally well. However, even when looking at cognitive functions, I’m still not quite satisfied to think of an extroverted function as being ‘external’ or ‘out-loud’ while introverted functions are seen as ‘internal’ or ‘silent.’ The reason for this is that this is defining cognition (inherently an internal/unobservable process) as behaviour (inherently an external/observable process), and I feel that just doesn’t work. I like to believe that introverted functions and extroverted functions have the ability to be both internal and external in the sense of observability.

    Introversion and Extroversion

    Whether or not a function is introverted or extroverted technically changes whether the direction of the action is guided inward (reflection) or outward (alignment), as far as my understanding goes. But when a function is being used, how can we understand which direction it is flowing? Especially since all too often, these cognitive processes are indeed internal (in the sense of cognition rather than direction of a function), and rarely observable (in the sense that outward behaviours are observable). In other words, someone may arrive at the same outcome (e.g. sympathy/empathy for another) but have travelled completely different paths to get there (e.g. reflection on how their own feelings; aligning their feelings to the other person’s).

    Moreover, these processes of cognition are nearly instantaneous, and only by going back in the past and putting these functions in slow motion through the discussion and interviewing of actual instances can we realize the differences in a person’s process compared to another’s. So when Thinking and Feeling are involved, how do we understand if these processes are flowing internally or externally?

    Personally, I like to think of them as tall and wide when regarding judging functions (T/F). (I know this sounds ridiculous, but stay with me for a moment.) Introversion of a decision-making function is tall, much like validity – relying on intrinsic values within the context of oneself. These introverted processes are subjective, meaning that they are defined mostly on a singular, individual context.

    Extraversion of decision-making functions are wide, much like reliability – reaching outward to universal values that can be applied regardless of the context. These extraverted processes are objective, meaning that they are defined mostly on multiple, external contexts. Both validity and reliability can be achieved when a balance of both decision making functions is reached – something that is both deep and far-reaching. So basically, the result looks as follows:

    Ji – tall/deep, aspiring towards validity, intrinsic values, subjective.
    Je – wide/broad, aspiring towards reliability, extrinsic values, objective.

    Thinking and Feeling

    Thinking and feeling are both decision-making, evaluative processes (judging). They are in a search for value in their different terms of the word. It is difficult to define these functions in words without automatically choosing words that lean towards introversion or extroversion. The reason for this, I think, is because these are merely theoretical constructions of half-functions. The moment they are brought into actuality is the moment that they must take on either an introverted process or an extroverted process. Therefore, I will leave this section to the traditional sense of head vs. heart. Thinking being the head (i.e. intellectual); and feeling being the heart (i.e. emotional). The end result is as follows:

    Tx – head, intellectual.
    Fx – heart, emotional.

    Combining the Two Factors

    When we combine these two factors together, they may look something like this:

    Ti – tall/deep head; aspiring towards intellectual validity; subjective thinking.
    Te – wide/broad head; aspiring towards intellectual reliability; objective thinking.

    Fi – tall/deep heart; aspiring towards emotional validity; subjective feeling.
    Fe – wide/broad heart; aspiring towards emotional reliability; objective feeling.

    While this may seem to make some sort of sense, the whole thing seems contrived, almost as if it were cut and pasted together hastily. This is not far from the truth, and there is wisdom to be said for such evaluations. This is because the whole is often more than the sum of the parts. If we were to think of these parts together to get an idea of the holistic picture, we would get a better understanding of how each function differs. The following is my best attempt at finding specific words which fit the constructs I’ve made in an attempt to understand these functions on an equal level:

    Ti – logic.
    Te – principles.

    Fi – morals.
    Fe – ethics.

    As far as I understand, logic (Ti) aspires towards intellectual validity; fits well and deeply within individual contexts; and searches for value intrinsically. Whereas principles (Te) aspire towards intellectual reliability; fits well and broadly across multiple contexts; and searches for value extrinsically.

    Likewise, morals (Fi) aspire towards emotional validity; fits well and deeply within individual contexts; and searches for value intrinsically. And ethics (Fe) aspire towards emotional reliability; fits well and broadly across multiple contexts; and searches for value extrinsically.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I apologize if this endeavor to understand introverted/extroverted thinking/feeling functions on a relatively equal and non-biased context has either previously been explained or contains several grievous misunderstandings. I also realize that all of these are completely lacking in good, concrete examples from reality. If I can come up with any of these in the mean time, I'll let you know! I would also like to explore I/E perceiving functions possibly at a later date.

    Thank you for reading! I look forward to any thoughts!
    Herp, kelar, JungyesMBTIno and 11 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Makes sense I suppose I look forward to the Pi and Pe ones... To me, Ti is about being right while Te is about what works, hence why NTJ's are known for being highly pragmatic, they're not as concerened with the truth (Sweeping generalisations are my theme for today)

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality

    Thanks! It's good to know that it at least seems to make sense so far. I had been discussing Fi and Fe with an INFJ friend, and we were trying very hard to understand the difference between Ti and Te similarly. In general, I was getting the feeling that just because the process was or wasn't out loud didn't necessarily make it extroverted or introverted. She had mentioned a comment about reliability vs. validity, and I remembered one of my assignments comparing those to tall vs. wide. It sounds silly, I know... but I had used it to explain the difference to the entire research methodologies class. And I was thinking/hoping maybe the off-the-wall adjective use would somehow make sense here too. :3


    Edit: Reliability = wide; validity = tall... I'm not very good at keeping the order the same when speaking/typing without planning...
    Lackjester thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    You've summed everything up very nicely. :) I'm striving for a chance to fully understand the Fi and Te processes, because I personally don't have them. The more I read from you (and talk to you), the more I can fine tune my understanding. It's actually very fascinating. :X

    (I'm also super interested to see the way you might eventually put together the Pi/Pe processes for a similar comparative learning experience.)

    I think PerC is trying to keep me from posting. so many errors... if this appears more than once, I am very sorry.
    erasinglines thanked this post.

  6. #5
    Unknown Personality

    Thank you! It's always great to talk and read and gather information and bounce ideas off sounding boards and puzzle things out... just to make sure everything checks out across contexts. I'm always happy when I find a friend I can talk with at length about an idea bunny that's really been nestling in my brain.

    I suppose, though, I should take the time here to mention and clarify a few things. By reliability and validity, I generally mean a more general sense of the term rather than breaking things down by more focused types of reliability/validity (e.g. internal/external reliability and internal/external validity). I don't know whether or not it needed mentioning, but I was working on a few other thoughts and it had suddenly occurred to me.

    Also, I didn't know whether or not it needed mentioning, but each personality type has a balance of thinking/feeling and introversion/extroversion. So it basically breaks down like this for each type:

    Ti/Fe - logic backed by ethics (ISTP, ESTP, INTP, ENTP)
    Te/Fi - principles backed by morals (ISTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, ENTJ)
    Fi/Te - morals backed by principles (ISFP, ESFP, INFP, ENFP)
    Fe/Ti - ethics backed by logic (ISFJ, ESFJ, INFJ, ENFJ)

    Maybe if I ever figure out how to draw up a neater version of the picture in my notebook, I should post it here... And as always, I should back it up with less theoretical and more real-life examples...

    As for the Pi/Pe differences, I'm currently thinking very deeply on the nature of perception and whether or not introversion/extroversion has a similar or different nature as that of Ji/Je. Some things seem to suggest that it's similar and some things seem to suggest that it's different; and I'm not yet quite sure whether it's caused by the difference in the nature of perception vs. judging.
    Lackjester and Nymma thanked this post.

  7. #6
    INTJ - The Scientists

    This is very cool, and thanks for explaining it so concisely. I think I understand judging functions a little more now. I've learned a lot about the perceiving functions, but very little about the judging functions so far, so this was a good place to start.

    This thread derailed into some interesting conclusions about perceiving functions, if you want to learn more about them.
    Spades and erasinglines thanked this post.

  8. #7
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Great thread!

    You've done a phenomenal job at packing all these reflections in these few short posts. At first glance, it seems to make perfect sense to me but I have to admit that I'm not extremely knowledgeable about cognitive functions. Could you recommend some basic books or websites on the subject to me? That'd be very appreciated! It's so frustrating to witness everyone discussing these things and not actually being able to actively take part in the discussions. :(
    erasinglines thanked this post.

  9. #8
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by listentothemountains View Post
    This is very cool, and thanks for explaining it so concisely. I think I understand judging functions a little more now. I've learned a lot about the perceiving functions, but very little about the judging functions so far, so this was a good place to start.
    Thank you very much! I'm glad it could help. :D

    This thread derailed into some interesting conclusions about perceiving functions, if you want to learn more about them.
    THIS! This is what I've been puzzling at!! I'm so terrible at finding the words to specifically fit the images and parameters in my mind, but these are so perfect!!! Thank you thank you THANK YOU! This is fantastic~! XD

    Quote Originally Posted by harlEqu1n View Post
    You've done a phenomenal job at packing all these reflections in these few short posts. At first glance, it seems to make perfect sense to me but I have to admit that I'm not extremely knowledgeable about cognitive functions. Could you recommend some basic books or websites on the subject to me? That'd be very appreciated! It's so frustrating to witness everyone discussing these things and not actually being able to actively take part in the discussions. :(
    Thank you! And I just wanted to say that it's okay. :D All understanding comes from a tiny seed that must have water and sunlight and air to grow and blossom. At one point, I was very new to cognitive functions myself, and I would jump into discussions and threads in order to negotiate a better understanding. For me, it's not so much about whether or not I'm right or wrong (and I've been wrong loads of times, and it's exciting to discover all kinds of new information), but it's about generating insightful understanding about the true nature of anything. (It just happens to be cognitive functions for me at the moment.) So if you want to jump in and participate in the discussions, I know I - as well as many of the other members of PerC - would be more than happy to add your knowledge and experience and perceptions to the mix. :D

    As for resources, I suppose most of the online resources for cognitive functions I found right here in PerC. Some off-the-top-of-my-head threads I've found useful are here:

    How Winnie the Pooh helped me understand cognitive functions (With pictures)
    MBTI functions explained
    Intro to Function Theory + More Detailed Descriptions of Each Function Attitude
    Understanding the Archetypes involving the eight functions of type (Beebe model)

    As far as website sources, I often use this one to double check and make sure I'm not mistaking the order of cognitive funtions:

    MBTI Cognitive functions

    And I've found this book to be extremely helpful in going back to the source to get a very intricate description of cognitive functions:

    Carl Jung - Personality Type

    Of course, sometimes it can be very cumbersome and difficult to puzzle through. But if you ever have any questions, just let me know and I'd be more than happy to help... or more likely than not, puzzle through with you! (I'm still sifting through a lot of this information as well.) :3
    Spades, JungyesMBTIno, Owfin and 2 others thanked this post.

  10. #9
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by erasinglines View Post
    Thank you! And I just wanted to say that it's okay. :D All understanding comes from a tiny seed that must have water and sunlight and air to grow and blossom. At one point, I was very new to cognitive functions myself, and I would jump into discussions and threads in order to negotiate a better understanding. For me, it's not so much about whether or not I'm right or wrong (and I've been wrong loads of times, and it's exciting to discover all kinds of new information), but it's about generating insightful understanding about the true nature of anything. (It just happens to be cognitive functions for me at the moment.) So if you want to jump in and participate in the discussions, I know I - as well as many of the other members of PerC - would be more than happy to add your knowledge and experience and perceptions to the mix. :D

    As for resources, I suppose most of the online resources for cognitive functions I found right here in PerC. Some off-the-top-of-my-head threads I've found useful are here:

    How Winnie the Pooh helped me understand cognitive functions (With pictures)
    MBTI functions explained
    Intro to Function Theory + More Detailed Descriptions of Each Function Attitude
    Understanding the Archetypes involving the eight functions of type (Beebe model)

    As far as website sources, I often use this one to double check and make sure I'm not mistaking the order of cognitive funtions:

    MBTI Cognitive functions

    And I've found this book to be extremely helpful in going back to the source to get a very intricate description of cognitive functions:

    Carl Jung - Personality Type

    Of course, sometimes it can be very cumbersome and difficult to puzzle through. But if you ever have any questions, just let me know and I'd be more than happy to help... or more likely than not, puzzle through with you! (I'm still sifting through a lot of this information as well.) :3
    Awesome. Extremely helpful, thanks so much! ;) <3
    erasinglines thanked this post.

  11. #10
    INTP - The Thinkers

    The whole "energy" thing can be confusing, because there are different ways of expressing it. It can be referenced to a "source", as in the OP's example; but it can also be put in terms of "direction" of "flow", which sounds almost opposite. It's about where the energy is going, rather than coming from.

    It's better understood when though of in terms of the notion of "adding" (e) vs "subtracting" (i). The extravert essentially merges his ego with the object, or introjects himself into it. Hence, this is where his energy or "libido" flows, and it at the same time can still be seen as a "source" for him. The introvert subtracts from the object what is not relevant, and this is based on an internal storehouse of data. So the inner world is both where the energy flows to, as well as the source.

    The terms I have found are most unambiguous for T/F are T being "technical" (or "impersonal") content, and F being "humane" (or "personal" in a collective rather than individual sense).

    So:
    Te adding to technical content (hence, organizing, etc)
    Ti subtracting from technical content (drawing out and identifying underlying principles)
    Fe adding to humane content (connecting with a group and adopting its values)
    Fi subtracting from humane content (drawing out the universal needs)


     
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