Do you think in sentences, images, abstractions, feelings or another? In what order?

Do you think in sentences, images, abstractions, feelings or another? In what order?

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This is a discussion on Do you think in sentences, images, abstractions, feelings or another? In what order? within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; I recently started wondering if the cognitive functions had a bearing on the guise your thoughts took. So, for example, ...

  1. #1

    Do you think in sentences, images, abstractions, feelings or another? In what order?

    I recently started wondering if the cognitive functions had a bearing on the guise your thoughts took.

    So, for example, I am an ENFP. I am very audible, meaning I think in sentences and obviously out loud when there is someone there. I'm also good and remembering sounds, which is why I've always been able to pick up and play instruments pretty easily.

    So you could say, maybe my Ne opperates in sentences in my head or out loud.

    A lot of INFJs I've spoken to reportedly think in images. A lot of INFPs I've spoken to say they are mostly in the realm of emotions. As an Fi user I sort of understand what this means, although, when I have an emotion, I tend to pick it apart in sentences (I guess when I was younger I just acted on my emotions immediately though).

    So, I would like to find out if there is any basis for this idea that your functions are affecting your thoughts in this way.

    So, how do you all experience thoughts? Can you link it to your to your decision making and perception functions?
    Last edited by Dscross; 10-26-2018 at 03:58 PM.
    shoreline and tarmonk thanked this post.



  2. #2

    I don't think in words. When I need to communicate, I have to focus. My thoughts are a chaotic blend of everything. Blurred shapes, taste, textures, (subdued) colors and light and dark, music, sounds from day to day life, smells, voices (no words), urges, hunger, images, shifting forms (like globules of black oil in water), touch, climates, temperatures, rushes (like movement), thirst, altitude change, need, heavy and light.

    It's hard to put my thoughts into words. Like my thought of needing an overview but I don't think of the words overview. It's the sensation of going up and looking down a landscape. It's crazy knowing other people think in the system that I use as a tool. It's like saying they think in utensils. utensils aren't thoughts. They're tools. How the fuck did you think before you knew how to use utensils? Like how does that even work?

  3. #3

    @Dscross I am also an Ne dom, however I think in abstract terms.
    I guess that's part of the Ne/Ti loop in action?

    So many disassociated concepts just come together in my mind and suddenly something cohesive and logical appears out of nowhere.
    Occassionaly I have trouble verbalising my thought process because I feel like my thoughts are far too complex to reduce down to simple language!
    Last edited by Clare_Bare; 10-26-2018 at 08:21 PM.
    RomeoFoxtrotTango thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    No idea. Everything happens so rapidly, I can never catch up.

    Sometimes I've felt somewhat blurry-eyed by how I think, and when I try to converse in this state, I either trip over my tongue and skip words to not lose train of thought, or scare people because they think I'm having a moment -- both might have been results from social anxiety, though. Outside of this, if I contain my composure, I speak well.

    Maybe I think in images made out of words, simultaneously focusing on how the other person feels, throwing into consideration subtle motions or micro-expressions I can never explain outside the very moment I detect them. I imagine Spiderman saying, "My spider senses are tingling," then branch off from there.

    I sound like a mess. Maybe this is why improvisation has never been my strong point in life. With decision making, if I don't have a clear vision of what I want or where I'm going, maybe I become somewhat spontaneous and haphazard -- if not, I put a lampshade on my head, and blend in with the furniture.

  6. #5
    Unknown

    My thoughts are a dialogue in my head, but that doesn't mean I'm incapable of thinking in pictures and stuff like that. Often there will be music stuck in my head too.

    I find it fascinating that some people think primarily non-verbally. It seems alien to me, but thinking in sentences must seem equally alien to them.
    Dare and Roslyn thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Clare_Bare View Post
    @Dscross I am also an Ne dom, however I think in abstract terms.
    I guess that's part of the Ne/Ti loop in action?

    So many disassociated concepts just come together in my mind and suddenly something cohesive and logical appears out of nowhere.
    Occassionaly I have trouble verbalising my thought process because I feel like my thoughts are far too complex to reduce down to simple language!
    That's interesting. Mine are pretty complex tbh. It's only when I stop to notice them I realise they are in sentences. I reckon Ne, by it's very nature, is rapid fire. Although I imagine thoughts might be pretty quick and complex for everyone, at various levels.
    Clare_Bare thanked this post.

  8. #7

    In education these are generally referred to as "learning styles" and I'm not sure how much they have to do with functions. That is, whether you're verbal, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, blah blah.

    A lot of my inner world is images and sounds and emotional longings. The "feel" of things - the aesthetic of something, or the disgust from it. This type of thinking actually feels very peaceful to me, when I let things "come" from my inner world or I absorb it from the outer world. The sound of a song or film might more accurately allow me to process my thoughts and feelings than just writing them down.

    I'm obviously verbal too, but I don't "think in words" the way I think some people do, I think some people are VERY abstract, and I really struggle with not only abstract math, but anything that's too wordy and dry and academic. I manipulate words quite well, perhaps enviably to some, but there's only so much of it I can take. No, I don't want to do the New York Times Crossword. Ever.

    I got interested in literature early on but found linguistics frustrating, and when I'm up against someone like Chomsky, a linguist and a philosopher, I'm just like, oh, I'm dumb. Lol.

    I've been wondering lately if we should try so hard to put ourselves in boxes so tightly. Maybe we have three or four learning styles we're good at, and two we're terrible at, and the other one is meh. Maybe there's not just one. Maybe function theory isn't real.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Clare_Bare View Post
    @Dscross I am also an Ne dom, however I think in abstract terms.
    I guess that's part of the Ne/Ti loop in action?

    So many disassociated concepts just come together in my mind and suddenly something cohesive and logical appears out of nowhere.
    Occassionaly I have trouble verbalising my thought process because I feel like my thoughts are far too complex to reduce down to simple language!
    So you're saying you like algebra?

  10. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
    I don't think in words. When I need to communicate, I have to focus. My thoughts are a chaotic blend of everything. Blurred shapes, taste, textures, (subdued) colors and light and dark, music, sounds from day to day life, smells, voices (no words), urges, hunger, images, shifting forms (like globules of black oil in water), touch, climates, temperatures, rushes (like movement), thirst, altitude change, need, heavy and light.

    It's hard to put my thoughts into words. Like my thought of needing an overview but I don't think of the words overview. It's the sensation of going up and looking down a landscape. It's crazy knowing other people think in the system that I use as a tool. It's like saying they think in utensils. utensils aren't thoughts. They're tools. How the fuck did you think before you knew how to use utensils? Like how does that even work?
    You write quite poetically for a polar bear, or the serial killer from a 70s slasher flick.

    Dude, I'm not saying you never think this way, but come on. I've actually slept with men less articulate than you. You do have some verbal intelligence even if it isn't your preferred learning style.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Nymph View Post
    In education these are generally referred to as "learning styles" and I'm not sure how much they have to do with functions. That is, whether you're verbal, auditory, visual, kinesthetic, blah blah.

    A lot of my inner world is images and sounds and emotional longings. The "feel" of things - the aesthetic of something, or the disgust from it. This type of thinking actually feels very peaceful to me, when I let things "come" from my inner world or I absorb it from the outer world. The sound of a song or film might more accurately allow me to process my thoughts and feelings than just writing them down.

    I'm obviously verbal too, but I don't "think in words" the way I think some people do, I think some people are VERY abstract, and I really struggle with not only abstract math, but anything that's too wordy and dry and academic. I manipulate words quite well, perhaps enviably to some, but there's only so much of it I can take. No, I don't want to do the New York Times Crossword. Ever.

    I got interested in literature early on but found linguistics frustrating, and when I'm up against someone like Chomsky, a linguist and a philosopher, I'm just like, oh, I'm dumb. Lol.

    I've been wondering lately if we should try so hard to put ourselves in boxes so tightly. Maybe we have three or four learning styles we're good at, and two we're terrible at, and the other one is meh. Maybe there's not just one. Maybe function theory isn't real.
    I have a couple of things to say about this.

    1) I don't think function theory does put people in tight boxes. According to the theory, we all use all 8 functions. I think, the WAY people use it ends up putting people in boxes. But at the end of the day, it doesn't determine all of your personality, just how you are making decisions/taking in information. I'd actually say that, while the theory is the least 'scientfic' in psychology because it's based on Jung's observations, it's the only bit of psychology I've ever been able to apply to real life and had a lasting impact. There are MANY areas in life where it's helped me and improved my relationships.

    2) Why are you so sure that Jungian theory cannot be connected to learning styles? Can you not link topics together and see how they fit? No topics are mutually exclusive from another. You did not really made a case for saying the cognitive functions don't have any bearing on HOW you learn and think. You are just basically saying you've read other things elsewhere about this so you can't reconcile the two things in your mind. New information are often paradoxes in how they fit together. Just because one exists doesn't mean you should necessarily discount the other if a lot of the other parts to it ring true. It's seems more likely to me you should try and make things like this slot together like a puzzle.

    3) If you are an ISFP, using FiSe first, your descriptions would actually make perfect sense in terms of thought processes to me.
    Last edited by Dscross; 10-27-2018 at 11:48 AM.


     
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