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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a theory that INTJs come from INTPs. If you do not agree with this, please at least read my entire post before replying. Criticism is appreciated, so long as it is from a scientific perspective (difficult as this may be regarding psychological analysis of the effects of limited data on the results of a non-scientific test)


Theory: Many, if not most INTJs are INTPs who were forced to adapt to severe psychological pressures during childhood.


Anecdotal evidence concerning development of INTJs and INTPs

In this thread it seems INTPs tend to have decent enough parents who give their children plenty of independence. Our dream families:
http://personalitycafe.com/intp-for...your-childhood-formed-your-personality-2.html

Examples:
-"I wasn't really pushed by my parents to achieve anything in particular...They got that I valued independent activities like reading, writing and playing around on our big, beige box of a computer than going outside and playing with the other kids on my street and they didn't try to 'fix' me to be like everyone else."
-"I grew up with my mom at work and my dad for the most part ignoring us."
-"Both parents are strong T types and I was left alone for long periods of time."
-"I'm really noticing a pattern here—it seems like most of us spent a good portion of our childhood by ourselves and/or had parents that were "environmentally" open-minded."


As opposed to this:
[url[http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/23665-intj-has-reason-everything-psychological-issues.html[/url]

Examples:
-"Growing up I was physically and emotionally abused by family members and a teacher."
-"I was abducted and raped at 14. At 20 I was held up by crazy person in a bar and held in headlock for an eon. What followed was PTSD symptoms and mild agoraphobia both times. I have been beaten up by partners too. By the time I was 23 no prick would ever do that kind of shit to me again....I prefer to do the beatings now thank you very much...the last person who tried to make a victim out of me got a kick in the face...literally."
-"At sixteen my brother was in a car accident with his two kids. My four year old nephew suffered severe head trauma and lost nearly all motor function. My niece was traumatized because she thought her dad was dead and didn't speak for nearly a month, the sight of him in traction only seemed to make it worse until he was released weeks later. I didn't see my nephew for over a month, he couldn't even speak, he could only moan his joy or displeasure. I was very attached to my niece and nephew, their trauma was my trauma."
-"My parents divorced before my first birthday. I was raised by my mother who lives on emotional manipulation of those around her, and who is very religious (Christian). I forced myself to memorize large sections of the Bible and read commentaries on scripture by bible scholars in highschool. Then I attended a (cult) bible college, trying to know everything there was to know about Christianity, so I could make my mother proud. My [INTJ] understanding was that if I knew enough about it, her being proud of me would make me happy. Nope. Nada. Zilch. The worst anxiety attacks occurred WHILE I was at bible college... then I realized when I got home that continuing that path would only enforce their system on my life - give up thinking and knowledge and learning, and become barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen for some guy..."


INTs need plenty of independence growing up. In the INTP list I found not one mention of severe psychological stress, dominating or unstable parents, nor total social isolation. With INTJs, were some of the greatest tortures imaginable for an INTP.


Personal Experience

At a young age I was very likely an INTP (if memory serves me correctly). I grew up with a bipolar, ADHD, ESFP, father, who took out his anger on my mother, my younger brother and me (fortunately never physically). My ISFJ mother was very little protection against this, and it wasn't until about age 17 that I put together that his anger was not the result of my inadequacies. Eventually this, along with a general lack of friends and great frustration with school, led me to consciously decide that I would block out my emotions and act logically/rationally. 6 years later, I am now an INTJ.

It seems (from the above forum, which is not the most reliable sample), that the more than half of INTJs had problems much worse than mine growing up. I found not a single example on the INTP thread complaining of overly emotional or controlling parents.


Differences between INTJs and INTPs are similar to those developed by psychological defense mechanisms

I have also been reading the INTP forums. They are very similar to us INTJs. I've noticed the following traits among INTPs, when compared to INTJs:
wish they were J instead of P, so that they would be more motivated
procrastination
lack of motivation to act
sleightly better intuitive social skills
wish they had more friends
avoids conflict -- not aggressive
less defensive
more human
not actively non-conformist (passively non-conformist)
not megalomaniacs -- believe that there are things they cannot do
not quite such a utilitarian austerity
positive view of humanity
not perfectionists
lower tendency to wear black


My guess, is that if one takes a young INTP and puts him/her through an environment of great psychological pressure, grinds the INTP into the dirt, and then, without help, the INTP is forced to rebuild himself/herself from the ground up in order to survive, you will have created an INTJ.


Does anyone have similar experiences, or do you believe this is merely Freudian nonsense?
 

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You might be on to something, if I look at myself and at my friend who is an INTP then I have to agree.
But just having a lot of INTJ's and INTP's that speak from their own experience agreeing on this, isn't enough to make a theory.
Maybe if we can have a lot of INTJ's replying how they had a normal/happy youth, we can dismiss this idea?
 

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It makes sense, but would this mean that all Js at some point or another suffered trauma compared to Ps? Perhaps our brain is wired in the womb to deal with trauma differently, and this difference translates to being a P or a J? Implication being that everyone suffers disappointment at some point, but how we receive and process the experience creates the P or J.
 

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It seems very plausible. I had thoughts about this before, as most every INTJ I personally know has had some sort of imbalance, distress, or problem when they were growing and developing as a child. I think I may have even posted a thread about it around the time I joined, though I garnered few replies. I never thought about the possibility that we could have came from INTPs. When I was younger, the first time I took the test, I scored INTP. It has been four years since then, and I've scored INTJ every time I've been coerced into taking an MBTI test. Though, I faced my predicaments when I was much younger.

I commend you for thinking this far.
 

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Although I am unsure about my own typing, my Dad is a definite INTJ. He doesn't often talk about his childhood but I don't think he has great relations with his parents. I think he has often felt unloved by them, and this was neatly demonstrated once when his father said to him, "M, you have the coping gene" - explaining, why he wasn't giving him as much help as his siblings.
Now, as I don't know the details I don't know how much this will have affected him, and I also don't know whether he displayed the P characteristics as a child. However, I have always had a feeling that this lack of emotional connection with his parents led to his own lack of emotional connection with me, although he does try very hard!!

So, although that may not have been overly helpful, perhaps that feeling that his lack of emotion stemmed from his childhood may be of some use??
 

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Changing from INTJ to INTP would require rewiring of entire cognitive ladder as they don't share a single cognitive function in common. I very highly doubt this can happen that your brain will just completely rewire itself if your parents divorce or your get physically abused or raped. From what I read of the MBTI theory, the dominant function is thought to sets in around age 5-10. Auxiliary sets at around age 10-15. As such you'd have to suffer trauma very early on, younger than your teenage years for your dominant function to change to something else. As far as trauma later in life is concerned from my personal experience I'd say it doesn't change the core personality type. I've known one ISFJ girl who was raped in her teens, but she was still an ISFJ after, and one ESTP who came back from Iraq with a post traumatic stress disorder, but he was still an ESTP after the fact as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think we're talking about ages under 10, before teen at least.
15-16 and at the very latest, mostly 10-12 and younger.

Changing from INTJ to INTP would require rewiring of entire cognitive ladder as they don't share a single cognitive function in common. I very highly doubt this can happen that your brain will just completely rewire itself if your parents divorce or your get physically abused or raped. From what I read of the MBTI theory, the dominant function is thought to sets in around age 5-10. Auxiliary sets at around age 10-15. As such you'd have to suffer trauma very early on, younger than your teenage years for your dominant function to change to something else. As far as trauma later in life is concerned from my personal experience I'd say it doesn't change the core personality type. I've known one ISFJ girl who was raped in her teens, but she was still an ISFJ after, and one ESTP who came back from Iraq with a post traumatic stress disorder, but he was still an ESTP after the fact as well.
A couple of clarifications:
-I'm not talking about a single incidence, my theory is based on the idea that INTJs suffer continuous trauma/pressure for our entire childhood, for years on end.
-This also has nothign to do with MBTI theory. It's mostly inductive reasoning. Anyway, if you closely compare INTJ and INTP threads, we are very similar except for those attributes I listed. We view the world in almost exactly the same way, except for INTJs constant cynicism and critical outlook.

And a rebuttal:
-About suffering trauma very early on, this is exactly what I mean: spending an entire childhood subject to a dysfunctional family. Furthermore, this theory is restricted to INTPs and INTJs.


But just having a lot of INTJ's and INTP's that speak from their own experience agreeing on this, isn't enough to make a theory.
Maybe if we can have a lot of INTJ's replying how they had a normal/happy youth, we can dismiss this idea?
I completely agree. Can you think of any other ethical ways to test this?
 

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I have a theory that INTJs come from INTPs. If you do not agree with this, please at least read my entire post before replying. Criticism is appreciated, so long as it is from a scientific perspective (difficult as this may be regarding psychological analysis of the effects of limited data on the results of a non-scientific test)


Theory: Many, if not most INTJs are INTPs who were forced to adapt to severe psychological pressures during childhood.


Anecdotal evidence concerning development of INTJs and INTPs

In this thread it seems INTPs tend to have decent enough parents who give their children plenty of independence. Our dream families:
http://personalitycafe.com/intp-for...your-childhood-formed-your-personality-2.html

Examples:
-"I wasn't really pushed by my parents to achieve anything in particular...They got that I valued independent activities like reading, writing and playing around on our big, beige box of a computer than going outside and playing with the other kids on my street and they didn't try to 'fix' me to be like everyone else."
-"I grew up with my mom at work and my dad for the most part ignoring us."
-"Both parents are strong T types and I was left alone for long periods of time."
-"I'm really noticing a pattern here—it seems like most of us spent a good portion of our childhood by ourselves and/or had parents that were "environmentally" open-minded."


As opposed to this:
[url[http://personalitycafe.com/intj-forum-scientists/23665-intj-has-reason-everything-psychological-issues.html[/url]

Examples:
-"Growing up I was physically and emotionally abused by family members and a teacher."
-"I was abducted and raped at 14. At 20 I was held up by crazy person in a bar and held in headlock for an eon. What followed was PTSD symptoms and mild agoraphobia both times. I have been beaten up by partners too. By the time I was 23 no prick would ever do that kind of shit to me again....I prefer to do the beatings now thank you very much...the last person who tried to make a victim out of me got a kick in the face...literally."
-"At sixteen my brother was in a car accident with his two kids. My four year old nephew suffered severe head trauma and lost nearly all motor function. My niece was traumatized because she thought her dad was dead and didn't speak for nearly a month, the sight of him in traction only seemed to make it worse until he was released weeks later. I didn't see my nephew for over a month, he couldn't even speak, he could only moan his joy or displeasure. I was very attached to my niece and nephew, their trauma was my trauma."
-"My parents divorced before my first birthday. I was raised by my mother who lives on emotional manipulation of those around her, and who is very religious (Christian). I forced myself to memorize large sections of the Bible and read commentaries on scripture by bible scholars in highschool. Then I attended a (cult) bible college, trying to know everything there was to know about Christianity, so I could make my mother proud. My [INTJ] understanding was that if I knew enough about it, her being proud of me would make me happy. Nope. Nada. Zilch. The worst anxiety attacks occurred WHILE I was at bible college... then I realized when I got home that continuing that path would only enforce their system on my life - give up thinking and knowledge and learning, and become barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen for some guy..."


INTs need plenty of independence growing up. In the INTP list I found not one mention of severe psychological stress, dominating or unstable parents, nor total social isolation. With INTJs, were some of the greatest tortures imaginable for an INTP.


Personal Experience

At a young age I was very likely an INTP (if memory serves me correctly). I grew up with a bipolar, ADHD, ESFP, father, who took out his anger on my mother, my younger brother and me (fortunately never physically). My ISFJ mother was very little protection against this, and it wasn't until about age 17 that I put together that his anger was not the result of my inadequacies. Eventually this, along with a general lack of friends and great frustration with school, led me to consciously decide that I would block out my emotions and act logically/rationally. 6 years later, I am now an INTJ.

It seems (from the above forum, which is not the most reliable sample), that the more than half of INTJs had problems much worse than mine growing up. I found not a single example on the INTP thread complaining of overly emotional or controlling parents.


Differences between INTJs and INTPs are similar to those developed by psychological defense mechanisms

I have also been reading the INTP forums. They are very similar to us INTJs. I've noticed the following traits among INTPs, when compared to INTJs:
wish they were J instead of P, so that they would be more motivated
procrastination
lack of motivation to act
sleightly better intuitive social skills
wish they had more friends
avoids conflict -- not aggressive
less defensive
more human
not actively non-conformist (passively non-conformist)
not megalomaniacs -- believe that there are things they cannot do
not quite such a utilitarian austerity
positive view of humanity
not perfectionists
lower tendency to wear black


My guess, is that if one takes a young INTP and puts him/her through an environment of great psychological pressure, grinds the INTP into the dirt, and then, without help, the INTP is forced to rebuild himself/herself from the ground up in order to survive, you will have created an INTJ.


Does anyone have similar experiences, or do you believe this is merely Freudian nonsense?
Basically you´re saying,.. An INTJ is an INTP with a high self-confidence.

You´re also saying that a traumatic childhood creates self-confidence. I always thought that psychology tells us the exact opposite. Trauma in your childhood doesn't help boasting your self-confidence.

Besides that:

INTJ = Ni - Te - Fi - Se
INTP = Ti - Ne - Si - Fe

You see that? INTJ's and INTP's don't share a single cognitive function in the first 4 functions. INTJ's and INTP's are extremely different from eachother. The difference between J and P is huge. Much bigger than the difference between I and E for example.

It looks like you´re trying to explain something that's important to you personally, and are willing to go pretty far to make it work. But it doesn't make much sense. You need to explain your past in a different way.
 

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Theory seems doubtful, but it's interesting. First, you have to consider that "before", when they were supposedly INTPs, they were children. The traits associated with Judging are also associated with maturity and being a proper adult (being organized, punctual, etc). So even J kids are going to seem P in comparison to J adults. Kids are still developing their types too, so it's kind of an unreliable mish-mash of growing up.

Second, INTJs have tertiary Fi...INTPs, inferior Fe. So not only do INTJs use Feeling slightly more than INTPs (so they dwell on their shitty childhoods more), they've got the Fi instead of Fe.

Fi is more likely to stew over past wrongs.
Fe is more likely to not want to burden the group or kill the mood by talking about their miserable childhoods.

* Although, I will admit that the INTJs I've known had rough childhoods. Either with their home life, school life, or both.
 

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I see the exact opposite.
Not confidence, but a need for personal power to overcompensate for deeper emotions of inadequacy, most-likely formed from the pressure received in childhood.

Fi's a bitch. lolololol
 

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It's an interesting theory, and I do believe that early childhood experiences, especially ongoing trauma, seem likely to shape how children develop. I unfortunately don't fit your theory at all. I had a remarkably happy childhood with a loving family that accepted my dreamy intellectualism and which was quite tolerant of my oddities. I don't remember any trauma at all until I hit puberty at around age 14, by which time my personality was pretty much set. Life got much rougher then, but that's pretty common for teenagers.

My 17 year old son is also INTJ, and while I can't speak for him, he always seemed a happy child, and there were no obvious ongoing traumas in his life.

He has always been remarkably self-confident and independent, by which I mean he has NEVER cared what most people think about him. His own perception of his abilities and worth has always been his measuring stick, ever since he was very small. I think that is pretty much true of me as well. It feels like a basic part of my personality, and my Ni is insisting to me that it wasn't caused by external experiences. My Te is now busy pointing out that this is purely anecdotal and I have no measurable evidence whatsoever.

So maybe we should say that trauma may incline some towards this personality type, but there are other, perhaps more important factors at work.
 

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Wouldn’t ENTJs make more sense as the pre-trauma INTJ or vice versa? Since they share the same functions, it seems plausible that INTJs were at one time ENTJs or that ENTJs at one point were INTJs. I've seen threads where Es claimed to be introverted as children and later grew more extroverted.

Here is one for example: ENTP Evolved INTP.
 

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A couple of clarifications:
-I'm not talking about a single incidence, my theory is based on the idea that INTJs suffer continuous trauma/pressure for our entire childhood, for years on end.
-This also has nothign to do with MBTI theory. It's mostly inductive reasoning. Anyway, if you closely compare INTJ and INTP threads, we are very similar except for those attributes I listed. We view the world in almost exactly the same way, except for INTJs constant cynicism and critical outlook.

And a rebuttal:
-About suffering trauma very early on, this is exactly what I mean: spending an entire childhood subject to a dysfunctional family. Furthermore, this theory is restricted to INTPs and INTJs.
You don't have anything to cite yourself besides single incidences gathered from forums. Forums are a biased way to gather data. Of course they will have more people who have suffered from trauma on them because these people are most likely to study psychology and use support groups, such as this forum can offer. But to add to 'single incidence' part, I have two INTJs in my family, no they haven't suffered any childhood trauma, no they don't hang out on forums like this one, no they don't know much about psychology as they are well adjusted to their environment so they have had no need to study it.

Also not clear why you picked INTPs and INTJs then. Why not say that INTJs who suffered trauma used to be INFPs in the childhood? Way more similarity between these two types, they at least share two functions in common, while INTJs and INTPs share no functions. What led you to pick INTPs as the starting point? Explain your reasoning.

As for look-alike types where completely different cognitive function set gives rise to very similar behavior there are many pairs like this: INTJs/INTPs, INFJs/INFPs, ENTJs/ENTPs, ESFJs/ESFPs and the list goes on.

It looks like you´re trying to explain something that's important to you personally, and are willing to go pretty far to make it work. But it doesn't make much sense. You need to explain your past in a different way.
Yes, there is a lot of subjective bias in the original post.
 

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Well, I can say that by and large, I didn't have a traumatic childhood or adolescence. I've known INTPs who've had this and still been INTPs.
I don't think the theory holds up.
 

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This is a really interesting topic and is worth further investigation.

The case evidence that you have provided so far is, as you say, insufficient to back up your hypothesis, but may more likely be indicative of a trend that demonstrates the ways in which each type is willing to present themselves to the general public.

As some have helpfully pointed out, the functional differences alone suggest that major psychological changes would need to occur in order to change from a P to J type.
There is a greater chance that the dominant function of a particular type could be suppressed due to environmental variables. If this were the case for an INTJ (NiTe), the result would look something like an ENTJ (TeNi), or even an ESTJ (TeSi) if the intuition was suppressed sufficiently. It would look this way to psychometric testing because the tests assume that the strongest function is the preferred function.
Assuming the individual reverts to a preference type when the environmental suppression is removed, testing and questionnaires could be devised to detect such changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you everyone who has helped debate this theory.

Thanks to those comments, it is now clear that my evidence is -- at best -- insufficient, and -- at worst -- nonsense.

Regardless of your opinions, please just let this thread die. We have insufficient information to get anywhere with it, and further discussion is pointless.
 

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I am curious about other personality types who shares the same functions as an ESFP or ISFP, can a trauma change them into INTJ or vice versa? I sometimes felt like trying to feel and act like the people around me only to interact socially, or sometimes I get the need to draw something from the heart. Yet, I don't have the energy to become an performer, I am not as sensible as an artist, or don't have the urge to lead as an ENTJ. We are all made from the same pieces but we act very differently.
 
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