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Discussion Starter #1
I ind myself wondering if there are any rigorous qualitative studies of how people experience and describe their cognitive functions. I'm thinking of stuff like interview-based studies with people who get typed by way of cognitive function approach, trying to inductively uncover patterns and variations in experience/description of different functions and their interplay. Of course any single qualitative study could not cover all types at once, since that would be way too huge an undertaking.

To be clear, I'm not talking about studies to find the "one true meaning" of cognitive functions or prove/disprove the usefulness of MBTI ... and this thread is not the place to go there. Please also know that I'm also not talking about quantitative (statistical) studies or research models. I'm talking about ground-up, most likely interview-based, rigorous-by-qualitative-standards stuff.

Anyone know of anything along these lines? If so will you share links, citations etc?
 

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If by "rigorous" you're referring to anything near the level of peer-review (or slightly "below"), I can tell you that I've occasionally come across qualitative research tied to the FFM, but I've never seen anything of the sort with function models. I'd guess that your best bet would be at the Journal of Psychological Type or perhaps checking those articles for authors/references for other materials like book chapters? I'd honestly be surprised (and interested) to hear if anything of that sort has actually been done. :unsure:
 

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I would read this http://www.petergeyer.com.au/library/Image_to_Likeness_Review.pdf as it will probably answer a lot of your questions.
I've been skimming the pdf in that link and am not sure what exactly you think I will/should get out of the article. It's interesting in itself but I'm plagued by the sense I am missing whatever your purpose is in recommending it in light of my post. Could you say more about why you think the article addresses my question?
 

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I had another idea. You also might try asking anyone with an MBTI manual (I think @Abraxas and @reckful each had one at some point) to see what sort of references are in there. There seems to be some things that are difficult to find anywhere else but in those manuals.
 

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I had another idea. You also might try asking anyone with an MBTI manual (I think @Abraxas and @reckful each had one at some point) to see what sort of references are in there. There seems to be some things that are difficult to find anywhere else but in those manuals.
I have the second edition of the MBTI Manual. By somebody else's count, it references around 1,500 MBTI-related studies — and, from what I can tell just from the Manual descriptions, it looks to me like virtually all of those studies involved the dichotomies rather than the functions.

As James Reynierse explained in this article, the third edition of the MBTI Manual (published in 1998) cites a grand total of eight studies involving the cognitive functions — which Reynierse refers to as a "category mistake" — and Reynierse summarizes them as "six studies that failed, one with a questionable interpretation, and one where contradictory evidence was offered as support." He then notes: "Type theory's claim that type dynamics [— i.e., the functions model —] is superior to the static model and the straightforward contribution of the individual preferences [— i.e., a dichotomies framework —] rests on this ephemeral empirical foundation."
 

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I've got an MBTI manual & I'm certified. I haven't heard of any CF studies but I know there are definitely people looking into it. The only one I can think of right now is that visual typing group.
 
They kind of do an interview...

probably not what you wanted but you could contact them and see if they can push you in the right direction. You're most likely to find the information you seek among the cognitive functions purists.

You could also try exploring Beebee. I think he's mostly theory but he's probably got some intriguing sources. It's hard to imagine someone studying a subject in-depth without even brushing up against something credible.
 

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I've been skimming the pdf in that link and am not sure what exactly you think I will/should get out of the article. It's interesting in itself but I'm plagued by the sense I am missing whatever your purpose is in recommending it in light of my post. Could you say more about why you think the article addresses my question?
Because it explains the genesis of type dynamics and the reason function stacks exist in the first place (beyond the obvious ones proposed by Myers). You begin to realize that a lot of what we think of as 'factual' or even theoretical was just the product of someone's interpretation and has been grossly taken out of context. No wonder Reynierse and Harker were not able to find much correlations because when the underlying impetus was based on something quasi-religious.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I suspect there's a substantial amount of misunderstanding or even outright lack of knowledge about what qualitative research is about (its underlying epistemology) in some of these replies. This is understandable. But even so, it's getting me thinking and I appreciate that people are taking time to reply.

I'd refer back to the OP and the focus I tried to set up there, but on reflection, I think it's not really fair for me to ask that people can understand the OP focus when "research" so often means research based on a quantitative epistemology and that's the shape of understanding in a sort of invisible way. (well, unless I want to lay out the underlying elements of qualitative research, which I am not going to do for a thread based on my vague curiosity :))
 

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Since personality psychology is such a relatively new field, most studies are only done once and never repeated. Most research in personality psych is iffy but we use the Jungian theories anyway. And, just because there has never been a study about it, doesn't mean it isn't true (super Ti thing to say). Meh, it's still fun to use.
 
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Since personality psychology is such a relatively new field, most studies are only done once and never repeated. Most research in personality psych is iffy but we use the Jungian theories anyway. And, just because there has never been a study about it, doesn't mean it isn't true (super Ti thing to say). Meh, it's still fun to use.
1. Replication is not a qualitative research goal

2. I'm not looking to see if it's true (true/not true is a quantitative binary and not what qualitative research focuses on).

I'm interested in the qualitative aspects, patterns and relationships related to how people experience and describe their cognitive processes.
 

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The cognitive types group I think makes a strong case that the functions can be seen visually. Even if you don't like their definitions of the functions. The patterns that they've must mean something.
 

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1. Replication is not a qualitative research goal

2. I'm not looking to see if it's true (true/not true is a quantitative binary and not what qualitative research focuses on).

I'm interested in the qualitative aspects, patterns and relationships related to how people experience and describe their cognitive processes.
The closest you might get is something like some of Beebe's books (maybe) especially if you are talking about the deployment of functions in a certain way. I'd suggest Harold Grant as well. Since most of what is written about type interaction is (at best) clinically derived opinion but is more likely conjecture. Actually Grant's writings would fall into that category -- a more qualitative and symbolic approach to functions. There's a lot of books out there on type that sort of, at the end of the day, are more qualitative analysis of functions and how people interact. Certainly James Hillman's work on the feeling function would count as a qualitative analysis as would Marie Louise Von Franz's dissertation on the inferior function. You might put someone like VanderHoop in that category as well and really, to be honest, Psychological Types is much more of a qualitative exploration as Jung doesn't really jump through hoops to prove or disprove his theory on any truly scientific basis so much as posit a new paradigm for looking at people. But most modern type writings pull heavily toward the post-Grant/Beebe/Thompson/Kiersey world which I think tends to mix and mangle a lot of different ideas and so its hard to find any real consistency. I'd just pick up any type book published in the last 20 years including Gifts Differing and I think you'll find aspects of what you are looking for.

Function stacks or type dynamics is a something is often just accepted as true in most current type literature (despite not necessarily being officially endorsed in some MBTI circles) so on some level you'll find some ideas about this, but as far as a rigorous exercise on the subject, akin to a study? I don't know if there is anything, 1) because these things tend to either lean in a more quantitative scientific direction a la Nardi or Berens or Thompson, or fall heavily in the experiential/clinical realm like Beebe. MBTI itself sort of floats somewhere in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The cognitive types group I think makes a strong case that the functions can be seen visually. Even if you don't like their definitions of the functions. The patterns that they've must mean something.
While that's not the kind of research I'm thinking about -

As a tangent, I find that stuff pretty interesting, mainly because it actually solved a communication difficulty between me and my INFP - she assumed my eye movements meant something (that upset/disconcerted her), I had no idea what eye movements she was talking about since I never saw them, and seeing those movements mapped to NiFe was a real eye-opener for us both. The FiNe one was also really useful/interesting, though in a less urgent way.
 

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There is a powerful inconsistency built right into any form of binary type theory. The problem is, any good statistical model is going to show most people falling into some kind of average which forms the middle of the bell-curve. That makes it a lot harder to reliably test one way or the other. Instead, people will re-test and get a different result each time. There is no way to cleverly phrase test questions to avoid this. This is just how statistics themselves work. This is very problematic for MBTI, which strictly adheres to an "either-or" policy with regards to personality.

If, instead, there were a number of "ambivalent" types (e.g., INXJ or XNFP) formalized into the system, you'd see the vast majority of people resulting in those types, entirely consistent with statistical predictions. Most people are undecided on at least one category, or, when re-taking the MBTI test later, score one letter different. It seems, under the circumstances, it would make sense to just adjust the model in light of this data. However, this would pose a dilemma for cognitive function type dynamics, because if people are allowed to be ambivalent on one or more dichotomies, then are they allowed to be ambivalent on one or more functions?

TL;DR, both the MBTI types, and the cognitive functions themselves, need to be updated to account for statistical facts and decades of research that is not subjective. Subjectivity comes into the picture when we decide what the facts mean, but the facts remain facts, and if our subjective interpretations require us to just ignore them, something is wrong with our interpretations.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update from OP

I suppose I shouldn't be at all surprised that no matter what I say in the OP and comments, there is almost zero comprehension of qualitative epistemology (meaning: foundational assumptions about knowledge production) in this discussion. It's like there's this rut of thinking that is the only one available to people and even if I say "this discussion isn't in that place" that's the only way people know how to think about it. A comprehension rut. Understandable but getting more and more irritating for me to read.

It's now gotten far more frustrating than useful for me, so I'm going to unsubscribe from my own thread. Sorry in advance for not thanking participants as acknowledgement, as is customary for me when I start threads.
 

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*shrugs*

While I don't speak for the rest of your audience, I myself am perfectly aware of what you said in your OP and what you wanted, and also what constitutes a qualitative study. And I would totally support such research, if it had any basis in reality. However, to quote Indiana Jones, "they're digging in the wrong place."

Especially when it comes to cognitive functions. I fail to see how a qualitative investigation into people's experience with something that nobody has experienced would prove informative. You're begging the question, experience with what? It can't be cognitive functions, because that's what's being disputed via quantitative research.

On the other hand, if you wanted to do a qualitative study into the traits associated with each cognitive function, that might prove informative about personality in general, or any number of things besides (assuming those traits are really being experienced). But it wouldn't have anything to do with cognitive functions. It would have to do with the traits themselves, how people experience those traits, and what that might imply about whatever.
 
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