Understanding MBTI and inferior functions

Understanding MBTI and inferior functions

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This is a discussion on Understanding MBTI and inferior functions within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Hi I'm an INTP and I found myself with some questions. MBTI has helped me a lot, but I just ...

  1. #1
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Understanding MBTI and inferior functions

    Hi I'm an INTP and I found myself with some questions. MBTI has helped me a lot, but I just want to understand this more.

    I posted this question in a thread in the INTP forum but I think it would be better explained here.

    How would the test results of an INTP with a strongly developed Fe compare to one that has not developed their Fe side at all? Will it make a difference in the test results?


    If you need more background information to understand the question, feel free to ask.



  2. #2
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    I'm not really sure how to answer the question. As an INTP, your Fe probably won't be well-developed until you get older (by that I mean mid-life), if it develops at all, according to MBTI theory.

    Of course, even within the same type, I think people develop their 8 functions differently. So as an ISTJ, I might have a higly developed Fe, whereas snother ISTJ might have a higher-developed Ti. This will be manifested as differences in personality (which is fine, since 16 types is not enough to desribe all people really). I bet you could have a highly developed inferior function and also have some highly developed shadow functions. I know the theory says that you only use your four functions, byt I don't agree with it.

    Many an INTP with a more highly developed Fe would come out in the test as an INFP. Or, maybe as an ENTP, since Fe is the tertiary function for an ENTP. .. maybe your Fe is better than your Si?

  3. #3
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by kittychris07 View Post
    I'm not really sure how to answer the question. As an INTP, your Fe probably won't be well-developed until you get older (by that I mean mid-life), if it develops at all, according to MBTI theory.

    Of course, even within the same type, I think people develop their 8 functions differently. So as an ISTJ, I might have a higly developed Fe, whereas snother ISTJ might have a higher-developed Ti. This will be manifested as differences in personality (which is fine, since 16 types is not enough to desribe all people really). I bet you could have a highly developed inferior function and also have some highly developed shadow functions. I know the theory says that you only use your four functions, byt I don't agree with it.

    Many an INTP with a more highly developed Fe would come out in the test as an INFP. Or, maybe as an ENTP, since Fe is the tertiary function for an ENTP. .. maybe your Fe is better than your Si?
    This all sounds good, this is the same as the way that I've understood it so far.
    I still have some questions, some of which may not be answerable, but I will ask them anyways :)

    1. Would an INTP that works hard on developing their their tertiary and inferior functions be able to develop them before mid-life?

    2. If you have highly developed tertiary and inferior functions does it decrease your use of your primary and secondary functions? The test results would imply this by perhaps changing your type if you have worked on your weaker functions, but does this really happen?
    Right now I'm thinking that maybe this shouldn't happen because, for example, my primary is Ti, but my inferior is Fe. So they are on the thinking/feeling scale, but my thinking is directed internally and my feeling externally. So the two shouldn't overlap.

    Thanks for the input and I apologize again for posting deep INTP questions

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  5. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by listentothemountains View Post
    This all sounds good, this is the same as the way that I've understood it so far.
    I still have some questions, some of which may not be answerable, but I will ask them anyways :)

    1. Would an INTP that works hard on developing their their tertiary and inferior functions be able to develop them before mid-life?

    2. If you have highly developed tertiary and inferior functions does it decrease your use of your primary and secondary functions? The test results would imply this by perhaps changing your type if you have worked on your weaker functions, but does this really happen?
    Right now I'm thinking that maybe this shouldn't happen because, for example, my primary is Ti, but my inferior is Fe. So they are on the thinking/feeling scale, but my thinking is directed internally and my feeling externally. So the two shouldn't overlap.

    Thanks for the input and I apologize again for posting deep INTP questions
    Yeah, as an INFJ I've got a super highly developed Fi, which is right on par with my Ni dom.

    And I believe so. Its not like when you hit 25, the level cap goes up and you can suddenly work on your other functions more. We grow every day, and learn every day. Understanding the need to develop the oother functions at an early age is actually a good thing.

    I don't thing so. The functions don't ever replace each other- more like, they supplement each other. I think somewhere in the theory it says that you're always your type, and your dom function should always shine through- its the one you prefer out of all. Others may help it make better decisions and grow, but ultimately you're going to stay an INTP, even if you become a very well rounded one.
    jbking, darksoul and luemb thanked this post.

  6. #5
    INTP - The Thinkers

    The way the functions (seem to) work is that your dominant is always dominant. Its an hierarchy so for INTP Ti is always first and all the other function work in subjection to it in a way. By that I mean that even if you have developed your other functions to be on par with your Ti, its still the boss and all the other functions will filter through it.
    I take myself as an example. I am an INTP with decently developed Fe (esp considering my age). I care, to an extent, about other and their general well being, I help them where I can. But, that caring still has a Ti edge. If someone is upset I dont cry with them, instead I try to come up with solutions, or at the very least, help them to work through their feelings logically.
    Im sort of rambling but I hope this is a little helpful...

    As for test results, what's been said about appearing more extroverted and/ or feeling seem accurate. I tend to come close between the T and F on the online tests, though after much careful thought Ive realized Im INTP through and through.

  7. #6
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Thanks for that comment. When I take the MBTI tests its always hard to know what answers to choose, because I know I am a thinker through and through, but I really want to be better at caring for others.

    So I guess now the test results can be used to show me just how good a job I've done in developing my other functions, meanwhile I still use my Ti preferably, the most comfortably, and the best of all the functions.

  8. #7
    INFP - The Idealists

    I've kind of wondered a bit about the tests considering that you have to choose one answer or the other, but those choices don't reflect how difficult it was for you to choose one over the other.

    It seems like even if you only slightly prefer to use T over F, if that slight preference tips the scales on every question then you'll look like you're strongly T without it showing that you also have that ballance with the other side of things. But then, if you alternate between answering one way and the other to reflect the fact that you do use both well, it would make you look less firmly a T and closer to the middle-ground.

  9. #8
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by Aelthwyn View Post
    I've kind of wondered a bit about the tests considering that you have to choose one answer or the other, but those choices don't reflect how difficult it was for you to choose one over the other.

    It seems like even if you only slightly prefer to use T over F, if that slight preference tips the scales on every question then you'll look like you're strongly T without it showing that you also have that ballance with the other side of things. But then, if you alternate between answering one way and the other to reflect the fact that you do use both well, it would make you look less firmly a T and closer to the middle-ground.
    I agree with this too. I think a better test would be a scale type test for questions that deal with, for example, either feeling or thinking, but not both. The questions could also differentiate between introverted and extroverted too, and give a full analysis of the 8 different functions' strengths for a person. That way strongest functions become clear, but also how developed the weaker functions are.

  10. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by listentothemountains View Post
    How would the test results of an INTP with a strongly developed Fe compare to one that has not developed their Fe side at all? Will it make a difference in the test results?
    It may or may not make a difference. Some INTPs with well developed Fe might get more balanced T/F scores. Others might still score close to 100% T but they realize the value that F plays in some situations. Conversely, just because you score nearly 50/50 on T/F doesn't necessarily mean you actually are balanced in that regard. You could be answering a lot of questions in the direction of your opposite preference if you're feeling alot of pressure to be that way.

  11. #10
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by listentothemountains View Post
    Thanks for that comment. When I take the MBTI tests its always hard to know what answers to choose, because I know I am a thinker through and through, but I really want to be better at caring for others.
    Can you give an example of how you fall short currently and what exactly you want to be better at?

    What I've read about INTP personal growth, it seems the key to our success is to develop Ne


     
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