Personality Cafe banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Mike of NFGeeks has some insightful things to say about how the "cognitive functions" have been fetishized in online MBTI communities. He calls the online community "poisoned" by function talk.

I have to say that I totally agree with him. 9 times out of 10, when I read function talk here on PerC, I'm seeing confusion, rationalization, subjective validation, or simply the Forer effect.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,227 Posts
Had I been on that show, I would have, point blank, asked Mike "are you advocating the use of MBTI without any regard to the cognitive functions?" It was unclear to me whether he wants them entirely gone or to be used at points further down the road in the typing process, and there is an enormous difference between those two stances.

You cannot ultimately understand the innateness of MBTI without Jung, and the functions need to remain part of the theory. The reason people are dissatisfied with their type may have to do with identity searching in some cases, as Mike says, but there are many cases where a more specific justification for a type would provide a more firm substantiation for an end to such searches. And that that substantiation will NOT come from type descriptions that funnel people into bizarre, non-relevant patterns of behavior that may or may not have nothing to do with the scope of MBTI.

The solution here is not to avoid functions altogether. It is to, as the guy on the left said, triangulate (to use Dario Nardi's word) multiple scope and centers of foci to arrive at a person's archetypal similarity, or difference with others. The problem with the functions - and, interestingly, with the enneagram - is that you must look for precedent in typing - in other words, not "what you do," but what is actually driving what you do, and how it is driving it. Just because it takes time, mistakes, and experience in doing this doesn't mean that abandoning it as a practice in type would be a terrible disservice.



Keirsey is a sack of horseshit. I'm not even going there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
I'll concede that most folks who talk about functions online (and I absolutely include myself in this) aren't using a terribly sophisticated framework for the way they influence / factor into / constitute a person's perspective, and that "fetishization" aptly describes a common (perhaps the most common) way people neglect to develop this sophistication. Rather than trying to puzzle out what it means to relate to X function in Y fashion given that your type is Z, people (again including myself) reify all kinds of things we value, as a society or individually, alienate them onto function X, and then struggle with fashion Y or type Z endlessly as a consequence.

That said, I 200% disagree with their actual positions, their arguments are garbage, and the entire video reads like a unilateral attempt to delegitimize functions and the people who use them in favor of their own dichotomistic priorities, evidently without understanding why people use functions in the first place.

Mr. NF Geeks in particular accuses function folks of being reductionist and needing to look at things more holistically (perhaps fair) but then spends most of his time talking about how he types by dichotomies (OK) and "gets it right" without having to worry about functions at all -- that is, using another kind of reductionism in order to protect the legitimacy / authority of his own typings of people. He claims that typing via "memorizing type descriptions" (?!?!?) are inherently legitimate, but no argument from a couple sentences of a forum post could possibly be. ('Cuz "holism?") They speculate about why people are drawn to functions ("dissatisfaction" or "confusion" or the desire to create an "identity") in order to oversimplify and denounce each in sequence, all without getting at what I'd consider is the real appeal of function theory, conclude that online communities are inherently "poisoned," and speculate about "what is to be done," as though they were talking about an ant infestation. Yeah thanks dudes.

What really gets me though is how Mr. NF Geeks suggests that what underlies function stuff is the need to create an identity for oneself, which he evidently distinguishes from the constellations of traits or behaviors that constitute his memorized "type descriptions." I kinda agree that this is an important consideration that makes it more difficult to objectively type -- but I think it's more than anything a flaw in the dichotomy-centered approach. Rather than fetishizing functions (which I think is a mistake) folks who use dichotomies fetishize the constellations of traits and behaviors that underlie dichotomies and type descriptions, imbue that with a kind of authoritative scientific legitimacy, and then are upset with folks who talk about functions because they don't personally support / reinforce this kind of talk.

Listen, I actually think that dichotomies deserve a kind of scientific legitimacy; they're a lot more falsifiable than functions, and there's a lot more literature to support it. (Though I think "big five" language is probably a more useful way of talking about it than dichotomies exactly.) What I take issue with is precisely this attempt to fetishize dichotomies, and then make an identity out of them. To me ISFJ describes how I relate to the functions, nothing more, and I'm a little creeped out when Mr. Thou-Shalt-Not-Identify suggests via his memorized type descriptions that I ought to identify with something more than that.

Indeed the reason I care about type at all, the reason I care that I'm an ISFJ at all, is because type via functions gives you a particular perspective on / conceptual vocabulary for talking about your own subjectivity, as an integrated whole. This is something that can actually give you a meaningful / useful perspective on who you are and how you relate to others, if you're the kind of person who has difficulty putting that stuff together from scratch. Dichotomies don't, not in the same way. The best they can give you is an "identity" of sorts.

Which is why I'm kinda upset when folks go out of their way to try to delegitimize function talk in the communities dedicated to this kinda thing. Your stuff does certain things well, good for you. But if you're not careful it morphs into a kind of toxic identitarianism, and I'd like a space to talk about functions away from all that, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Had I been on that show, I would have, point blank, asked Mike "are you advocating the use of MBTI without any regard to the cognitive functions?" It was unclear to me whether he wants them entirely gone or to be used at points further down the road in the typing process, and there is an enormous difference between those two stances.
If I tell you that the previous NF Geeks video was a 30 minute lecture detailing Ni+Fe vs. Fi+Ne, can you guess the answer to that question?

Keirsey is a sack of horseshit. I'm not even going there.
We will have to agree to disagree about his ideas, I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
Kersey baffles me because I've met very few people who particularly meet the SJ descriptions. I mean seriously who are these SJ's that supposedly are out there ? Most people I know do not enjoy doing repetitive tasks or being organized.

Another thing, if your going to simplify Jung you should simplify it to Ti/Fe vs Fi/Te not "feeler" vs "thinker". Your ability to do math correlates with how empathetic and nice you are ? WTF ? That is a stupid dichotomy.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,373 Posts
And, in his previous video he talked about extroverted functions being his speaking functions and introverted sharing the proprieties of listening. I quite enjoyed that idea. There is something to be said about using dichotomies, and, there is something to be said about using the cognitive functions. My scepticism lies thus: given that Mike is a licensed MBTI practitioner is be obliged to promote views in line with the MBTI foundation. Much like a political party. A collective. Is this a new direction for the institution?

The problem lies not in the functions themselves but people's misunderstanding and misuse of the functions. Given that we don't all own a copy of the MBTI manual our definitions for the functions differ. I, personally, refer to socionics and Chapter 10 of Psychological Types of Carl Jung. Having a common definition will provide a standard of measurement akin to the International System of Units.

I choose my metaphor deliberately. Functions are measuring tools, as are dichotomies and type descriptions. Personality type is NOT your personality. There are ENTPs with whom I have plenty in common and because of where my interest lie, I might find more in common with the NFs then my own type. There's more to me and every single one of us then the 16 categories. Cognitive functions are tools with which we measure and observe personality and make predictions.

Given that we are human and not machines, these predictions are probabilistic. And, given that our type is defined by preferences it doesn't mean we're incapable of functions otherwise.
 

·
Over 300 Confirmed Kills
Joined
·
11,428 Posts
Kersey baffles me because I've met very few people who particularly meet the SJ descriptions. I mean seriously who are these SJ's that supposedly are out there ? Most people I know do not enjoy doing repetitive tasks or being organized.

Another thing, if your going to simplify Jung you should simplify it to Ti/Fe vs Fi/Te not "feeler" vs "thinker". Your ability to do math correlates with how empathetic and nice you are ? WTF ? That is a stupid dichotomy.
This.

The modern ''SJ'' is not what a quiz on similarminds would have you believe nor are most at the seat of a conspiracy to oppress anyone. l've met a handful of truly organized people in my life and they were known among friends and family for that trait, probably mostly ExFJ's.

People are too busy, don't care, and it's not realistic. This ''SJ'' person presented is from the 1950's.

J/P dichotomy is questionable when it comes to organization anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
a) I don't think Mike meant "type descriptions" as in "literally go look up a type description on the internet or in a book." I think he meant that people should see themselves as complete beings with preferences toward one side or the other on each MBTI dimension, rather than as a weird hodgepodge of discrete states that the functions imply. He calls it reductionist vs. holistic.

b) I'd like to point out that Myers and Keirsey both paint portraits of SJ types that are decidedly more well rounded and even handed than the discussions that happen on internet forums. Please remember that "Something an internet forum user said about SJs" is not the same thing as "What MBTI experts say about SJs (or about S or about J)".

c) Some people online, including some in this thread, are approaching dimension/dichotomy talk as if it were function talk, and then finding problems. That's not really a good way to look at things. Dimension talk encourages you to think about your basic tendencies, how you have a natural pull one way or another on each dimension, and how this natural pull shapes your outlook on life and other secondary preferences. Function talk encourages you to think about processes and specific behaviors. For example, no one who understand the MBTI dimensions would ever say "Thinking is used for math, Feeling is used for empathy". In contrast, I see function talkers say things like "Ti is when you're understanding how things relate together in a systematic way, like a math equation, while Fe is adhering to social norms and being polite." Do not attribute to the MBTI and dimension talk what does not belong to the MBTI and dimension talk.

d) In short, I see a lot of projecting of stereotypes on the dimensions, but if people were to go back and read the actual material that Myers and other MBTI experts have written, those stereotypes would be difficult to find. The source of those stereotypes is online forums, not the MBTI or dimensional models themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
@Teybo, in your reply you seem to be

- attributing certain aspects of "the way people talk about functions" to the internet to "function talk" in the abstract;
- disassociating "dimension talk" in the abstract with certain aspects of "the way people talk about dimensions" on the internet;
- using this to criticize (or at least implicitly endorse a criticism) of not just "the way people talk about functions on the internet" but indeed "the act of talking about functions on the internet" in communities dedicated to MBTI.

Perhaps "Ti ~ math" and "Fe ~ empathy" is a fair criticism of a particular unsophisticated approach to functions -- you certainly have to say things like that to introduce them, and if you stay at that level (thinking of people as though they were swiss army knives of "discrete states") then you'd be right to criticize that approach as reductionist. I don't consider that inherent to "function talk" though -- to me the whole point is "your own subjectivity, as an integrated whole" -- and am genuinely surprised to see "function talk" presented like that. Reading Yergin and Pearman and Thompson and Qwenk and Jung you don't really get that impression. More holistic than reductionist.

Given this the second seems like a bit of a "no true scotsman" to attribute problems in internet discourse across the MBTI community to function talk in particular; I think it's completely fair to be concerned about the quality of discourse, and again I think that "unsophisticated frameworks" for function talk are a bit of a problem, but I think from the examples we've all seen it's clear that these are problems with not "function talk" but "all our talk." (Indeed I honestly don't see how dichotomies can lead you to a conception of yourself as a "complete person" the same way functions can; and I personally think that dichotomies are inherently more prone to these problems of "talk," and in an inherently more destructive form -- "toxic identitarianism" -- but I'm not really out to "delegitimize your approach" so much as to "ask to be left alone," so I'll skip that for now.)

The third just seems... difficult to understand, if not a bit unfair. I'd understand if you're annoyed at the kind of cachet that functions may have in certain corners of the internet, if you can't talk about dichotomies anywhere without someone going "ahHEM but FUNCtions" or whatnot, and honestly it seems to me that drawing clearer boundaries between the two approaches would probably help discourse in a number of ways. But I'm not going to concede that "MBTI" is the exclusive territory of the dichotomy folks, and I still want a space for functions away from this kind of rhetoric -- the video at least wasn't merely trying to delegitimize an inherently humanistic approach, but straight up dehumanizing (or at least belittling) and I still think everything I said about it was completely fair.

(Fair point about "type descriptions" by the way -- I presumed that he was at least working from his own internalized / experiential / heavily personalized understanding of what people were like, but that still strikes me a baffling approach to typing. Perhaps an ENFP would be better at using it than I would, but I find it difficult to imagine it'd be particularly reliable, especially since he was busy criticizing alternative approaches to typing.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Teybo

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
I somewhat think think that the functions in that current form are useless actually. However most of the time all people are claiming is speculation.

On the other hand, MBTI and the big five put people into arbitrary categories of behavior which may not be relevant at all. At it seems to me like they have a much more absolutist attitude. Why is introversion and extroversion in the big five even a valid dichotomy ? People can go back and forth between being sociable or not through their lives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,362 Posts
Indeed the reason I care about type at all, the reason I care that I'm an ISFJ at all, is because type via functions gives you a particular perspective on / conceptual vocabulary for talking about your own subjectivity, as an integrated whole. This is something that can actually give you a meaningful / useful perspective on who you are and how you relate to others, if you're the kind of person who has difficulty putting that stuff together from scratch. Dichotomies don't, not in the same way. The best they can give you is an "identity" of sorts.

Which is why I'm kinda upset when folks go out of their way to try to delegitimize function talk in the communities dedicated to this kinda thing. Your stuff does certain things well, good for you. But if you're not careful it morphs into a kind of toxic identitarianism, and I'd like a space to talk about functions away from all that, thanks.
^ ^ This. So SO much this.

And I will say that in my interactions with Teybo on this site since he converted to this intense anti-function schtick, more and more he's responded to my statements about my lived experience as if I and my mate are close to the only ones who use the function conceptual model in ways akin to your description.

"Function fetish" - nice phrase. Kind of like it's a "hammer fetish" when someone finds it useful to get the nails into the planks for a specific project using a tool that gets that part done effectively.

Fetish indeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
On the other hand, MBTI and the big five put people into arbitrary categories of behavior which may not be relevant at all. At it seems to me like they have a much more absolutist attitude. Why is introversion and extroversion in the big five even a valid dichotomy ? People can go back and forth between being sociable or not through their lives.
The interpretation of the absolutist attitude is an assumption (derived from where?). Jung uses the word 'habitual' and MBTI uses the word 'preference'. These are not absolutist words. I cannot speak for big five.


On another note, I see how functions and letters are equally valid and talking about the same thing in two different ways. I think it's ridiculous that the community is splitting into Jacob vs Edward camps on it. :p

Sidebar: I wonder which is the one that rips off his shirt at every opportunity and which sparkles - JCF or MBTI? :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
The interpretation of the absolutist attitude is an assumption (derived from where?). Jung uses the word 'habitual' and MBTI uses the word 'preference'. These are not absolutist words.
Yep, but you should also remember than Jung is talking about function when he talks about habit(habitual use of function). While MBTI when talking about preferences is talking about preferences on the letters. So for example i have a preference T and N, but also have F and S, its just that i prefer T and N over F and S most of the times.

Jungs idea of habitual attitude(this word is often misused by internet folks) of for example thinking is basically the same as thinking type.

Attitude
The readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain way, based on an underlying psychological orientation. (See also adaptation, type and typology.)


From a great number of existing or possible attitudes I have singled out four; those, namely, that are primarily oriented by the four basic psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, intuition. When any of these attitudes is habitual, thus setting a definite stamp on the character of an individual, I speak of a psychological type. These function-types, which one can call the thinking, feeling, sen-sation, and intuitive types, may be divided into two classes . . . the rational and the irrational. . . . A further division into two classes is permitted by the predominant trend of the movement of libido, namely introversion and extraversion.[Ibid., par. 835.]

The whole psychology of an individual even in its most fundamental features is oriented in accordance with his habitual attitude. . . . [which is] a resultant of all the factors that exert a decisive influence on the psyche, such as innate disposition, environmental influences, experience of life, insights and convictions gained through differentiation, collective views, etc. . . .At bottom, attitude is an individual phenomenon that eludes scientific investigation. In actual experience, however, certain typical attitudes can be distinguished . . . . When a function habitually predominates, a typical attitude is produced. . . . There is thus a typical thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuitive attitude.[Ibid., pars. 690f.]

Adaptation to one’s environment requires an appropriate attitude. But due to changing circumstances, no one attitude is permanently suitable. When a particular attitude is no longer appropriate, whether to internal or external reality, the stage is set for psychological difficulties (e.g., an outbreak of neurosis).

For example, a feeling-attitude that seeks to fulfil the demands of reality by means of empathy may easily encounter a situation that can only be solved through thinking. In this case the feeling-attitude breaks down and the progression of libido also ceases. The vital feeling that was present before disappears, and in its place the psychic value of certain conscious contents increases in an unpleasant way; subjective contents and reactions press to the fore and the situation becomes full of affect and ripe for explosions.["On Psychic Energy," CW 8, par. 61.]

The tension leads to conflict, the conflict leads to attempts at mutual repression, and if one of the opposing forces is successfully repressed a dissociation ensues, a splitting of the personality, or disunion with oneself.[Ibid.]
Lexicon of Jungian Terms | New York Association for Analytical Psychology
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,330 Posts
Yep, but you should also remember than Jung is talking about function when he talks about habit(habitual use of function). While MBTI when talking about preferences is talking about preferences on the letters. So for example i have a preference T and N, but also have F and S, its just that i prefer T and N over F and S most of the times.
LOL Is that not what I implied?

Also Jung did not intend for 'habitual' to only apply to functions, he also meant it for orientation (E/I).

Now, when the orientation to the object and to objective facts is so predominant that the most frequent and essential decisions and actions are determined, not by subjective values but by objective relations, one speaks of an extraverted attitude. When this is habitual, one speaks of an extraverted type.

The point of my original post was that they never stated or implied that you always use E or I, S or N, T or F, and never its bipolar opposite.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top