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Discussion Starter #1
..'sup?

I was thinking earlier about cognitive function theory and it occurred to me that surely, loads of us have stronger functions than our dominant and auxiliary functions.

For example, I believe my Ti is equally as strong, if not stronger, than my Fe in person.
In fact, I'd suggest my Ne and Fi are equally as strong as my Fe and they're not even in my 'stack'.

It's like at the very top is Ni, which is just overwhelmingly my natural state, and everything under it is so far down they may as well all just be the same function.
It's like the dominant function is called "dominant" for a reason or something.

This led to me thinking that perhaps our cognitive stacks aren't in order of strength.
I realise it's all about preference, but hear me out - we see people, myself included, harping on about how "strong" our functions are.. got "strong" or "high" Ti for example, or however we want to say it.

What if that doesn't mean a thing? What if that is the result of your upbringing, where you live, societal norms, culture, inner values etc.


I think we underestimate the importance of "preferences".
There is simply no way that people on an internet forum can accurately type someone from a questionnaire.
What we see is a persons writing style, responses that may or may not be the truth*, we can gauge how well a person might use each function, sure, but can we accurately determine their preferences?

*this is impossible to determine - we need body language, facial expressions, we need to see people improvising responses to assess whether what we hear is the truth, ideally we would take this a step further, and see how people actually solve a problem or resolve a situation - in real time - without the option of responding via text, taking however long they want, editing and refining their message to best reflect how they feel, or how they want to be seen.



Where we end up, is assessing how strong a persons functions are - according to what they want us to see.
This doesn't reflect a persons preferences. It isn't a fool-proof way to type anyone.

What we suggest to people might not line up with who they are - just because a person demonstrates "high" Ti for example, doesn't mean it is a preference or their natural state - it simply reflects the persons Ti is strong.
It may very well be their inferior function, it may be a function they do not enjoy using, it may be a function that is activated under times of stress - what if this person is always stressed?
We would suggest massively high Ti - Ti dom - but no, Ti is a million miles away from their own actual preferences.



Consider this - INTPs are supposedly the most intelligent and academic of all the types, right?
Now there are over 7 billion people in the world, only 16 types.
There's going to be an absolute barnload of INTPs who are dumb as dog shit and are equipped to do no more than wash the dishes in cheap restaurant, or make my coffee in the morning - twice, after I take it back because they fucked it up the first time.

They might have trouble figuring out how anything makes logical sense, yet.
Their Ti might be ridiculously low. Yet, it's their preferred state. It's how their brain works.
It's what they prefer to do. They're just shit at it.

Hell they might be your stereotypical INTP nerd who can't get enough World of Warcraft in their spare time - yet they're simply not great with Ti. Perhaps they just wander through life in a world of flawed logic - a world they prefer to be in.

They'd wind up never being told they're a Ti dom on any test, yet it's their preference.
These people would embark on a journey to discover their true (insert any damn type that's not a Ti dom) self when it's not the path they should be following.


I don't know.
I feel like there's flaws in the whole system with regards to accurately typing yourself.
I believe tests and questionnaires are essentially worthless, just something to do for fun, and the only way you can actually find your true self, is to consider your preferences, not strengths, and be honest with yourself.


Keen to hear peoples thoughts re: strengths V preferences.
I could be way off the mark.
 

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It is the case that lots of functional strengths are cultivated. I work with a programmer analyst who can function as if she were an INTJ in her job, but she is definitely an ISFJ as her natural state. Part of the approach relies on seeing how people naturally tend to express themselves, but that can be unreliable if people have strong cultivated tendencies, or if they are too familiar with cognitive function theory and have learned to think about things in that lens.

A good test should notice that you are using Ti, and not necessarily using it well. If Ti is natural to someone and is not being supplanted by a strong cultivated ability, it should be noticed. If that is not the case and Ti is still glanced over, then I would suppose that that person is in a very unhealthy state and that is always a significant impediment to typing (hence why the questionnaire starts off by asking about mental state, though one can be an unhealthy representative of a type without having other problems).
 

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I agree that preference doesn't always mean strength, but wouldn't one lead to the other? Like, if you prefer to use Ni, and, thus, you rely on it a lot, wouldn't you become better at it with time? By the way, it's strange to think that a function is "strong" or "weak" since they don't operate by themselves, everything depends on the person's ability to use them.

This makes me think, if a person's dominant function is their "weakest" one, I can't help but think that this person is dysfunctional or delusional. Imagine a Fe-dom who doesn't understand social rules, but rely on them a lot to guide themselves through life, this person would be a mess. But I really don't doubt that there are plenty of people like this.
 

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Part of the approach relies on seeing how people naturally tend to express themselves, but that can be unreliable if people have strong cultivated tendencies, or if they are too familiar with cognitive function theory and have learned to think about things in that lens.
Exactly.

I think people read function descriptions, then start to pick and choose which they prefer the most on a descriptional level. Because let's face it, not everyone is going to like the order of their function stack. Like, ''Sure I'm totally Ni, it's an aswesome function, but Fe?? Eww! No! I'm totally Fi.'' But then they'll fully accept Ti because it sounds cooler than than Te and finally will argue that their Inferior Se is just as strong as their top 2 function because they don't wannna be seen as un-athletic geeks and so on.

Function theory is just that....a theory, but you either abide by it or you dismiss it entirely. But you can't agree with it by only choosing the parts you like. Once you're pretty sure of your type, the functions (at least the top 2) should be very obvious to you. If you feel like you're some sort of hybrid, chances are you mistyped yourself and/or need to work on insight.

Part of embracing your type is to accept that you don't like every single aspect of it. That some people are just better at certain things than you are. In other words, you can't always have your cake and eat it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree that preference doesn't always mean strength, but wouldn't one lead to the other? Like, if you prefer to use Ni, and, thus, you rely on it a lot, wouldn't you become better at it with time?
One would certainly hope.

Consider auxiliary functions though, are you able to explain how an introvert - say, ISFJ, would develop their Fe naturally throughout their life to a level that is higher than their Ti? Or even Fi or Ni?

If the ISFJ is highly introverted, it simply doesn't make sense that their Fe would be stronger than really any of their introverted functions.

How could they have developed it to be at such a level?
Yet their cognitive functions stack will say Si-Fe-Ti-Ne.

We aren't introverts for no reason.
We're introverts because we prefer to be alone.

It doesn't make much sense that Fe as an auxiliary would be more highly developed than the tertiary, introverted, Ti, in an ISFJ for instance (assuming the tertiary function is even the second direction as the dominant).


My hangups here might be bias as Fe aux is about people and requires people to be developed, really.

What about someone who is a lazy ISTP.
They're probably not going to score highly on Se in cognitive functions tests yet they may very well prefer Se over Ne.


It just doesn't make sense to me that a persons cognitive function stack would line up perfectly with where their strengths lie.
I feel like the functions lining up perfectly in that fashion would be in a minority of situations.

Could probably find some proof of this by matching peoples cognitive functions results to their type.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Exactly.

I think people read function descriptions, then start to pick and choose which they prefer the most on a descriptional level. Because let's face it, not everyone is going to like the order of their function stack. Like, ''Sure I'm totally Ni, it's an aswesome function, but Fe?? Eww! No! I'm totally Fi.'' But then they'll fully accept Ti because it sounds cooler than than Te and finally will argue that their Inferior Se is just as strong as their top 2 function because they don't wannna be seen as un-athletic geeks and so on.

Function theory is just that....a theory, but you either abide by it or you dismiss it entirely. But you can't agree with it by only choosing the parts you like. Once you're pretty sure of your type, the functions (at least the top 2) should be very obvious to you. If you feel like you're some sort of hybrid, chances are you mistyped yourself and/or need to work on insight.

Part of embracing your type is to accept that you don't like every single aspect of it. That some people are just better at certain things than you are. In other words, you can't always have your cake and eat it too.
I understand what you're saying, but every system can be improved.

I don't believe for a second that a person has to abide by the theory and the prescribed cognitive function stack for their type, or they're immediately "mistyped" and require more insight.
This is far too rigid and defeats the purpose of self-discovery and improvement.
 

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One would certainly hope.

Consider auxiliary functions though, are you able to explain how an introvert - say, ISFJ, would develop their Fe naturally throughout their life to a level that is higher than their Ti? Or even Fi or Ni?
Yes, because they need an extraverted function to interact with the world outside of their heads. If they don't, they would get too much deep into their own head, completely disconnected from reality. The auxiliar function is the function that the introvert uses to "deal" with the real world, it's something essential to them, that's what make us balanced individuals.

My hangups here might be bias as Fe aux is about people and requires people to be developed, really.
I don't think that you have to be constantly interacting with people to develop Fe, though. Fe is about aligning yourself with shared values/ethics in a group/society, it's a natural focus on people as a whole, and you can do that without directly interacting with others.

What about someone who is a lazy ISTP.
They're probably not going to score highly on Se in cognitive functions tests yet they may very well prefer Se over Ne.
Even if they're lazy, they might use their Se in one way or another. Se is a form of perception, so their natural focus is going to lie on sensory data regardless if they "engage" with it or not. Se is not = physical activity; physical activity is a mean to get more in tune with Se, but it's not the function itself (just like interacting with people is not equal to Fe).

It just doesn't make sense to me that a persons cognitive function stack would line up perfectly with where their strengths lie.
I feel like the functions lining up perfectly in that fashion would be in a minority of situations.

Could probably find some proof of this by matching peoples cognitive functions results to their type.
In theory, the cognitive function stack makes a lot of sense to me, but yeah, I don't think that everyone use their functions exactly in that order, it's probably a lot more fluid. I think that the cognitive function stack serves more to illustrate an overall pattern and order of relevance of the functions being used, not exactly how they're used all the time. But I'm not sure, I may be missing your point entirely.
 

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The goal of typing is ti understand what your type is and then, see what functions you use and improve them as needed. For example if your INTP that's too dumb to serve coffee isn't using his/her Ti function well why is that? Where is the failing. Is it possibly because they aren't utilizing their Ne enough to make their internal model more robust by encountering and processing more outliers and possibilities? Are they using their Ti just fine but coffee making requires other cognitive functions like Ni or Se and that's where they're getting fucked?

I do agree though that the questionnaires on here and on most places leave a lot to be desired. What you would actually do if your car crashed on the way to the concert may be different than what you think you'd do while answering a questionnaire where you might already have some mbti type in mind. It's why I tend to try and think of real life examples of me doing something in congruence with the answer I choose. For the time being, while we can't yet read minds, I think that's the best we can ask of and hope from those asking for advice in typing themselves.

Sorry for any typos. On phone.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

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Keen to hear peoples thoughts re: strengths V preferences.
I could be way off the mark.


I suppose utilizing "strenth," is simply word-gymnastics that does not need to be present;

Each sensing/intuitive - feeling/thinking - perciving/judging - has their own 'transmission' inside a transmission.

___________



'Preferences', as I understand it, regarding 'cognitive-functions' (denotes multiple "gears").

If you are familiar with motorcycle gear-shifting - consider the 'neutral' gear, that is only a (half)-point between the lowest - and 2nd up gear.



In "neutral," (re: between various 'gear' shifts') (X)-cognitive functions [fluctate at different 'speeds']. (Developed / undeveloped). Which is meta-gear shifting.

::

(X)-cognitive function in the dominant - will be in the 'lowest' 1st gear of the largest transmision; and in gear [D] of the smallest transmission; if your most preferred-function/speed is (Ni), it must be in the correct (dominant-gear) for proper functionality - cognitive-functions are subconscious reflexes (or reactions to sensory external-stimuli), so where said cognitive function is shifted in non-meta 'gear slots' is consciously irrelevant, as it is will always automatically (be in 1st-gear), if preferred. Without such, the motor will suffer injury and the engine will be killed at stop lights.


Although, while (X)-function is in the dominant position; it will be the (strongest) function in so far as vehicle is gaining, or as shifted it's [momentum] within this state - since (X)-function (Ni)-dom is always in (N) -- 'intuitive'-gear, "Intuition," will always be strongest - regardless of meta 'gear type' - and dominant 1st-gear in the main slot. If I shift up into (sensing)-gear, the momentum (transmission) will change - gaining most it's momentum via the sensing function - 'this will be the strongest gear' regardless of gear locality.

At most, a dominant / aux; intuitive user will alternative functions (and can accerlate / de-ccerlate speeds in (X)- meta gear slot), that is between (Ne - Ni); but intuition in the dominant degree, never "alternates between major gears". The only time the functions gain speed or loose speed within it's proper gear-slot.
 

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Preferences translate into strengths when you use them enough. Malcolm Gladwell's 10000 hour rule describes how extended practice of a subject/task will make the person highly proficient at what they do. If a person has a higher preference towards a certain thing, they are likely to spend more time on it

Think of it like this: Sam the Farmer was born on a farm and became a farmer, succeeding a long family of farmers. He has always had a passion for farming, and is fixated on the concept.

As he grows up and into midlife, Sam's passion for farming and the environment he is raised in both lead to him becoming heavily involved in his trade. While spending so many hours farming, he has learned new tricks, shortcuts and improvements to his methods that have not yet been discovered by others (what time of year is best for planting certain crops, what manure to use etc). Through these improvements gained over long periods of practice, Sam is now a great farmer (think of Sam's proficiency at farming as his cognitive function, whatever it may be)

On the other hand, if Sam possessed the passion for farming, but grew up in the city with parents who were electricians, it may become more difficult for him to practice his passion, thus hindering his proficiency (and therefore strength) at farming

Let's bring this back to cognitive functions. Say a person living in a remote rural village is an INTP, but does not have the environment to support the Ti Ne combo (lets just say in the form of academia). This person is unlikely to be considered a "genius" because they have not had the chance to develop their cognition in the same manner as the assessed medium. However, if they were given said environment their chances of developing their cognitive functions to a much greater extent would be higher

Long story short, passion leads to obsession, obsession leads to practice, practice leads to improvements, improvements leads to proficiency. Granted this formula doesn't always work, but we're only human so nothing ever does
 
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