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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The fact that there are 8 components of the Cognitive Functions system (Se, Si, Ne…) means that there are 40,320 ways of organizing them from strongest to weakest in any given person’s thought process (8 possibilities for the strongest * 7 possibilities for the second strongest * 6 possibilities for the third strongest * … * 2 possibilities for the second weakest * 1 possibility for the weakest). I personally go from

Ne: 48.5
Fi: 43.2
Ti: 40.3
Ni: 33.9
Te: 32
Si: 17.8
Se: 14
Fe: 10.7

If each Myers-Briggs-styled 4-letter code (ISFJ, ISTP...) is assigned a specific order of the 8 functions (for example, INFP = [strongest] Fi, Ne, Si, Te, Fe, Ni, Se, Ti [weakest]), then there is only a 16/40,320 chance (≈0.04%) that a person’s personality type will be one of the orders with a type associated.

If, and this is more common, we say that only 4 of the cognitive functions are used by any one person (for example, INFP = [strongest] Fi – Ne – Si – Te [weakest], Fe/Ni/Se/Ti [nonexistent]), then we run into new trouble of the categories not applying to anybody. For example, if Si is defined as “comparing external stimuli to past experiences of similar stimuli” against defining Se as “experiencing external stimuli completely as they are happening,” then it’s physically impossible for a person’s brain not to do both.

If you start with a construct, declare that “ISTPs do not have Si in their function stack, they have Se” according to said construct, and test real people to see which one they are capable of, then you would find that everybody experiences present stimuli and remembers past stimuli.

This construct only works if you adjust the data (how do people think) to support the construct’s assumptions (how the functions are supposed to be ordered), which is the opposite of what can be described as scientific.

**

Now perhaps this is too extreme, perhaps instead the “function stack” is simply the strongest of each pair (Se vs. Si, etc…). In this case, ISTP would go from (strongest) Ti – Se – Ni – Fe, and then some order of Te/Si/Ne/Fi that we don’t care about because all 4 are weaker than their opposing function.

This is an extremely fair point: on the MBTI, I am not 100% INTP, rather am 93% Introverted, 92% iNtuiting, 68.5% Thinking, and 84.5% Perceiving. If others say “Myers-Briggs doesn’t work because people aren’t 100% anything” and if I’m then going to defend MBTI by pointing out that it’s a set of spectra, rather than of binary choices, then I should absolutely accept that Function stacks could work in exactly the same way. In this case, ISTP would mean:

1) Se is the strongest S, Ni is the strongest N, Ti is the strongest T, Fe is the strongest F

and 2) the strongest T (Ti) is stronger than the strongest S (Se) which is stronger than the strongest N (Ni) which is stronger than the strongest F (Fe).

We’ve now narrowed down the number of possible stacks down to 384 (8 possibilities for the first * 6 possibilities for the second * 4 possibilities for the third * 2 possibilities for the fourth), of which mine is Ne – Fi – Ti – Si. However, the main advantage for using 8 functions instead of 4 axes is supposed to be the greater depth of measurement, and “streamlining” my function stack erased the fact that Fe is my weakest function instead of Ni, Te, or Se.

Moreover, this still doesn’t change the fact that only 16/384 ≈ 4.167% of the potential function stacks work according to the system that’s been set up for assigning 4-letter codes to said stacks.

In my case, Ne and Fi being my “strongest” types would make me an ENFP, which would then follow that my Si must be stronger than my Se and that my Te must be stronger than my Ti in order for my data to fit the theory.

Even with all of the fudging that I have tried to allow for (narrowing the 40,320 possible results down to 384), I still end up with data (my stack is Ne – Fi – Ti – Si) that conflicts with the theoretical construct (“a stack starting with Ne – Fi must finish with Te – Si because functions are supposed to balance out”).

Suppose we narrow the possibilities down even further to say that only the strongest Judgment and strongest Perception matter (for example: if the strongest Perception is Se, the strongest Judgment is Fi, and the Fi comes first, then the 4-letter code is ISFP). This still leaves 4 groups of “unacceptable” combinations in addition to the 4 groups of “acceptable” options:

Pi – Je (IxxP), Pe – Ji (ExxP), Je – Pi (ExxJ), Ji – Pe (IxxJ)
Pe – Je (????), Pi – Ji (????), Ji – Pi (????), Je – Pe (????)

We started out with 40,320 combinations of functions, each reasonable and informative on their own but which were incapable of being attached to a 4-letter code in 99.96% of cases. Some creative negligence of important data later (sacrificing the original relevance), we narrowed down the possibilities to 384 families of reasonably similar combinations that can be treated as identical, but again, 96% of these groups were still incapable of being attached to a 4-letter code. Finally, after deleting almost all of the information of the original system, we arrive at 8 basic groups, and still 50% of them are incapable of being attached to a 4-letter code.

The only way for every single Cognitive Function stack to be attached to a 4-letter code under the present construct would be to take the strongest function (perhaps a Pe) and go all of the way through the list until you find the strongest opposite (in this case, whichever Ji is strongest).

For example, if somebody’s functions went from (strongest) Fe – Ne – Ti – Te – Fi – Se – Ni – Si (weakest), then Fe being strongest means that we want to know which Pi is stronger than the other. In this case, Ni is stronger than Si, and Fe – Ni gives us ENFJ.

All that was required to reach this conclusion (the 4-letter code for this person’s cognitive functions is ENFJ) to was for us to ignore all of the real world data (Ni was one of the person’s weakest functions while Ne, Te and Fi were among the strongest) which conflicted with our desire for this specific conclusion (Cognitive Function stacks are assigned 4-letter codes where N/S and T/F tell you which functions are the strongest and I/E and J/P tell you the order and direction of the strongest functions).

**

The orders of functions which provide useful information cannot be typed according to 4-letter codes (there are mathematically too many for only 16 possible 4-letter codes to reveal all of the information), and attempting to type the orders of functions with 4-letter codes destroys the most useful information (The “ENFJ” in the previous example had a far stronger Ne, Te, and Ni then the construct would suggest).

In order to be considered scientific, theories must be adapted to fit the evidence rather than the other way around. As such, it doesn’t make any sense for questions about Cognitive Functions to be answered with 4-letter codes (“I have functions Fi – Si – Te – Ne, is my type ISFP or ISFJ?”) or vice versa (“How could you possibly confuse INTP with INTJ? Their function stacks don’t have anything in common”).

Lists of cognitive functions (which is your strongest, which is your second strongest…) are useful.

4-letter codes for Myers-Briggs axes (are you mostly introverted or extraverted, are you mostly intuitive or sensory…) are useful.

4-letter codes for lists of cognitive functions (are you IxxP = Ji first & Pe second or are you …) are nonsense.
 

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The notable issue with the analysis you present is the assumption that relevant data can be obtained about relative cognitive function "strengths" - something which I'm sure most who are enamoured with functions-based theories would dispute. I think it's fair to say that without some accepted method of obtaining data, the theory is ultimately too speculative and prone to subjective biases to be meaningful, but I still think this point stands. Some of the other aspects of the analysis are questionable as a result of working from this data (a lot of the argument here rests upon every theoretical possibility attainable on purported tests being a possible configuration that a person could actually have, for instance)...

With that said, I think the point is largely a fair one. There are simply too many unjustified assumptions inbuilt into functions-based theories for them to be viable; unlike the "four-letter" approach (where dividing each of four dimensions in half justifiably results in sixteen possibilities), most functions theories require the acceptance of a number of notions without good reason to "justify" limiting the possibilities to just sixteen combinations. To the extent that these presuppositions don't stand up to scrutiny (either because objective evidence demonstrates that they're incorrect, or, more commonly with type theory, because they are wilfully presented in a manner not amenable to objective evaluation), theories incorporating those presuppositions are flawed.

There is definitely a disconnect between the four-letter approach to type and the functions approach, even if, by some means, functions theories could be supported - this being particularly prominent with J/P, since it's treated as having two distinct roles (one as a dimension pertaining to preferences for structure vs. flexibility - to put it incredibly simplistically - and one to say which of two completely distinct function stacks a person supposedly has), but also present with the other three dimensions to varying degrees. So even if none of the various issues with functions theories were present, such that we could theoretically have two parallel theories of type running alongside one another, the claim that functions are incompatible with "four-letter" type would still hold to the extent that both theories, in their separate operation, come to differing conclusions (e.g., if a person could demonstrably be shown to be an ISFJ under the "letter"-based theory but an ISFP under functions-based theories).
 

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Why do you trust a list of ambiguous questions to correctly evaluate your cognitive functions?

You wrote all this on the blind trust of a test, rather than reading the theory, which clearly explains why there can only be 16 personalities.

The fact that you scored highly on Fi and Ti; two completely contrary functions, should have proven to you that the tests don't work.
 

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Why do you trust a list of ambiguous questions to correctly evaluate your cognitive functions?

You wrote all this on the blind trust of a test, rather than reading the theory, which clearly explains why there can only be 16 personalities.

The fact that you scored highly on Fi and Ti; two completely contrary functions, should have proven to you that the tests don't work.
Surely the idea that one should discount data because of what the theory states (here, by concluding that the tests are flawed because they don't reflect the theory) is precisely the idea @Simpson17866 is railing against? As I pointed out above, the idea that data from online tests reflects function strength is open to dispute (as you've done here), but all that does is leave us without any data from which we can actually evaluate the theory's veracity at all. Again as pointed out by the OP, when meaningful definitions are actually provided for each function, there tends not to be any evident reason why a person couldn't use two functions that are supposedly contrary to each other.

I'd like to know how the theory "clearly explains" why there can only be sixteen myself - and, by that, I mean in a meaningful sense, not in the sense that it asserts a slew of unjustified restrictions on what is and isn't possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why do you trust a list of ambiguous questions to correctly evaluate your cognitive functions?
What's the point in learning about cognitive functions if you're not going to talk about what they look like in the real world?

You wrote all this on the blind trust of a test, rather than reading the theory, which clearly explains why there can only be 16 personalities.

The fact that you scored highly on Fi and Ti; two completely contrary functions, should have proven to you that the tests don't work.
Kepler's original model clearly explained why the orbits of the planets around the Sun in circular orbits measured by nestled Platonic Solids. Real world observation conflicted with this construct.

Where would astronomy be today if William Herschel and Urbain Le Verrier had been told "You wrote all of this on the blind trust of observations, rather than reading the Platonic theory, which clearly explains why there can only be 6 planets"?
 

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Functions can't be measured by tests, only indicated by them.

Opposing functions can't exist together in consciousness. They are 'psychological aims' or 'direction'. The development of one function perspective suppresses the development of it's opposite function perspective. Our mind can't simultaneously place highest importance on two completely opposite perspectives.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Functions can't be measured by tests, only indicated by them.
Then what's the point?

Opposing functions can't exist together in consciousness. They are 'psychological aims' or 'direction'. The development of one function perspective suppresses the development of it's opposite function perspective. Our mind can't simultaneously place highest importance on two completely opposite perspectives.
That's like saying that "opposing muscles can't exist together in limbs (biceps vs. triceps, quadriceps vs. hamstrings...)"
 

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Then what's the point?
Probably to make money out of people somehow. Convince people that they can help them develop inferior functions and then sell a book or run a workshop or something. I don't know, I didn't create the test. :tongue:

That's like saying that "opposing muscles can't exist together in limbs (biceps vs. triceps, quadriceps vs. hamstrings...)"
No, it's like saying that the biceps and triceps can't simultaneously contract.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Probably to make money out of people somehow. Convince people that they can help them develop inferior functions and then sell a book or run a workshop or something. I don't know, I didn't create the test. :tongue:
I wasn't asking "what's the point of talking about tests if you're not supposed to use them to see which functions a person uses the most strongly," I was asking "what's the point of talking about functions if you're not supposed to use tests to see which ones a person uses the most strongly?"

No, it's like saying that the biceps and triceps can't simultaneously contract.
You mean like isometrics? I'm doing that right now.
 

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Functions can't be measured by tests, only indicated by them.

Opposing functions can't exist together in consciousness. They are 'psychological aims' or 'direction'. The development of one function perspective suppresses the development of it's opposite function perspective. Our mind can't simultaneously place highest importance on two completely opposite perspectives.

So you mean that
F
T
S
N
are each separate things, but expressed in different ways depending on i/e?


N is ingenuity... but inwardly pointing (Ni) or outwardly pointing (Ne).
F is feeling... but inwardly pointing (Fi) or outwardly pointing (Fe).
S is immersion into the physical world... but inwardly pointing (Si) or outwardly pointing (Se).
T is rational thought... but inwardly pointing (Ti) or outwardly pointing (Te).

e is about sharing?
i is about processing reality?

So you process, then share, process, then share?
Like that?

It is a nice theory to explain the behavior or "personality" of a person I guess. But I think it is a lot about fabricating evidence and bending the facts so that each person will fit into this box of description. It works because it is hard refute something this diffuse.
But it is derived from theory, it is theory, not reality.
 

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I wasn't asking "what's the point of talking about tests if you're not supposed to use them to see which functions a person uses the most strongly," I was asking "what's the point of talking about functions if you're not supposed to use tests to see which ones a person uses the most strongly?"

You mean like isometrics? I'm doing that right now.
I don't know anything about isometrics, I'm sure that doesn't prevent you from understanding the point I was trying to make.

Cognitive functions are a small part of a larger theory, which is why I'm interested in learning about and discussing them. I can't answer for everyone else.
 

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So you mean that
F
T
S
N
are each separate things, but expressed in different ways depending on i/e?


N is ingenuity... but inwardly pointing (Ni) or outwardly pointing (Ne).
F is feeling... but inwardly pointing (Fi) or outwardly pointing (Fe).
S is immersion into the physical world... but inwardly pointing (Si) or outwardly pointing (Se).
T is rational thought... but inwardly pointing (Ti) or outwardly pointing (Te).

e is about sharing?
i is about processing reality?

So you process, then share, process, then share?
Like that?

It is a nice theory to explain the behavior or "personality" of a person I guess. But I think it is a lot about fabricating evidence and bending the facts so that each person will fit into this box of description. It works because it is hard refute something this diffuse.
But it is derived from theory, it is theory, not reality.
I'm aware it's a theory. I'm discussing the theory, I just don't continually point it out in every post. Beginning every post with 'According to theory' would get a little tiresome after the umpteenth time. So I just assume that everyone else is also aware that it's a theory, or at least they will soon figure it out.

Functions (and i vs e attitudes) represent placing highest importance on particular aspects of perception and judgements.

We wouldn't function effectively if our minds weren't selective with which parts of information they value most. The mind has to discriminate in order to focus.

N is placing highest importance on the intuitive aspect of perception

S.....
... the tangible information

T...... Logic based criteria

F....... Value based criteria

e - from the 'outer world'

i - from the 'inner world' aka archetypes/primordial images, derived from the collective unconscious or 'inherited' part of our psyche.

According to the theory.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
More like a see-saw. Both sides can't be up (or down).
But there are 8 functions, not 2, so the low end of one see-saw could still be higher than the low end of another.
 

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But there are 8 functions, not 2, so the low end of one see-saw could still be higher than the low end of another.
Sure if they existed independently in a vacuum.

E/I one see-saw
S/N another see-saw
T/F another see-saw

See the attachment below containing a diagram from Psychiatrist and Jungian Analyst, Anthony Stevens:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
See the attachment below containing a diagram from Psychiatrist and Jungian Analyst, Anthony Stevens:
That's a fantastic picture of what the human mind could look like (if artistic symmetry came first and real-world observation followed), and there are certainly some people (≈4%) who's real-world data would support this desired conclusion.

I myself have a fantastic picture of what the Solar System could look like under the same concern for artistry over observation:

 

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That's a fantastic picture of what the human mind could look like (if artistic symmetry came first and real-world observation followed), and there are certainly some people (≈4%) who's real-world data would support this desired conclusion.

I myself have a fantastic picture of what the Solar System could look like under the same concern for artistry over observation:

I think you take things way too literally. Sigh...

Please tell me this real world data that supports the functions as you claim them to be? Regardless, people believed the world was flat too. (some still do!) :p
 

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The fact that there are 8 components of the Cognitive Functions system (Se, Si, Ne…) means that there are 40,320 ways of organizing them from strongest to weakest in any given person’s thought process (8 possibilities for the strongest * 7 possibilities for the second strongest * 6 possibilities for the third strongest * … * 2 possibilities for the second weakest * 1 possibility for the weakest). I personally go from

Ne: 48.5
Fi: 43.2
Ti: 40.3
Ni: 33.9
Te: 32
Si: 17.8
Se: 14
Fe: 10.7

If each Myers-Briggs-styled 4-letter code (ISFJ, ISTP...) is assigned a specific order of the 8 functions (for example, INFP = [strongest] Fi, Ne, Si, Te, Fe, Ni, Se, Ti [weakest]), then there is only a 16/40,320 chance (≈0.04%) that a person’s personality type will be one of the orders with a type associated.

If, and this is more common, we say that only 4 of the cognitive functions are used by any one person (for example, INFP = [strongest] Fi – Ne – Si – Te [weakest], Fe/Ni/Se/Ti [nonexistent]), then we run into new trouble of the categories not applying to anybody. For example, if Si is defined as “comparing external stimuli to past experiences of similar stimuli” against defining Se as “experiencing external stimuli completely as they are happening,” then it’s physically impossible for a person’s brain not to do both.

If you start with a construct, declare that “ISTPs do not have Si in their function stack, they have Se” according to said construct, and test real people to see which one they are capable of, then you would find that everybody experiences present stimuli and remembers past stimuli.

This construct only works if you adjust the data (how do people think) to support the construct’s assumptions (how the functions are supposed to be ordered), which is the opposite of what can be described as scientific.

**

Now perhaps this is too extreme, perhaps instead the “function stack” is simply the strongest of each pair (Se vs. Si, etc…). In this case, ISTP would go from (strongest) Ti – Se – Ni – Fe, and then some order of Te/Si/Ne/Fi that we don’t care about because all 4 are weaker than their opposing function.

This is an extremely fair point: on the MBTI, I am not 100% INTP, rather am 93% Introverted, 92% iNtuiting, 68.5% Thinking, and 84.5% Perceiving. If others say “Myers-Briggs doesn’t work because people aren’t 100% anything” and if I’m then going to defend MBTI by pointing out that it’s a set of spectra, rather than of binary choices, then I should absolutely accept that Function stacks could work in exactly the same way. In this case, ISTP would mean:

1) Se is the strongest S, Ni is the strongest N, Ti is the strongest T, Fe is the strongest F

and 2) the strongest T (Ti) is stronger than the strongest S (Se) which is stronger than the strongest N (Ni) which is stronger than the strongest F (Fe).

We’ve now narrowed down the number of possible stacks down to 384 (8 possibilities for the first * 6 possibilities for the second * 4 possibilities for the third * 2 possibilities for the fourth), of which mine is Ne – Fi – Ti – Si. However, the main advantage for using 8 functions instead of 4 axes is supposed to be the greater depth of measurement, and “streamlining” my function stack erased the fact that Fe is my weakest function instead of Ni, Te, or Se.

Moreover, this still doesn’t change the fact that only 16/384 ≈ 4.167% of the potential function stacks work according to the system that’s been set up for assigning 4-letter codes to said stacks.

In my case, Ne and Fi being my “strongest” types would make me an ENFP, which would then follow that my Si must be stronger than my Se and that my Te must be stronger than my Ti in order for my data to fit the theory.

Even with all of the fudging that I have tried to allow for (narrowing the 40,320 possible results down to 384), I still end up with data (my stack is Ne – Fi – Ti – Si) that conflicts with the theoretical construct (“a stack starting with Ne – Fi must finish with Te – Si because functions are supposed to balance out”).

Suppose we narrow the possibilities down even further to say that only the strongest Judgment and strongest Perception matter (for example: if the strongest Perception is Se, the strongest Judgment is Fi, and the Fi comes first, then the 4-letter code is ISFP). This still leaves 4 groups of “unacceptable” combinations in addition to the 4 groups of “acceptable” options:

Pi – Je (IxxP), Pe – Ji (ExxP), Je – Pi (ExxJ), Ji – Pe (IxxJ)
Pe – Je (????), Pi – Ji (????), Ji – Pi (????), Je – Pe (????)

We started out with 40,320 combinations of functions, each reasonable and informative on their own but which were incapable of being attached to a 4-letter code in 99.96% of cases. Some creative negligence of important data later (sacrificing the original relevance), we narrowed down the possibilities to 384 families of reasonably similar combinations that can be treated as identical, but again, 96% of these groups were still incapable of being attached to a 4-letter code. Finally, after deleting almost all of the information of the original system, we arrive at 8 basic groups, and still 50% of them are incapable of being attached to a 4-letter code.

The only way for every single Cognitive Function stack to be attached to a 4-letter code under the present construct would be to take the strongest function (perhaps a Pe) and go all of the way through the list until you find the strongest opposite (in this case, whichever Ji is strongest).

For example, if somebody’s functions went from (strongest) Fe – Ne – Ti – Te – Fi – Se – Ni – Si (weakest), then Fe being strongest means that we want to know which Pi is stronger than the other. In this case, Ni is stronger than Si, and Fe – Ni gives us ENFJ.

All that was required to reach this conclusion (the 4-letter code for this person’s cognitive functions is ENFJ) to was for us to ignore all of the real world data (Ni was one of the person’s weakest functions while Ne, Te and Fi were among the strongest) which conflicted with our desire for this specific conclusion (Cognitive Function stacks are assigned 4-letter codes where N/S and T/F tell you which functions are the strongest and I/E and J/P tell you the order and direction of the strongest functions).

**

The orders of functions which provide useful information cannot be typed according to 4-letter codes (there are mathematically too many for only 16 possible 4-letter codes to reveal all of the information), and attempting to type the orders of functions with 4-letter codes destroys the most useful information (The “ENFJ” in the previous example had a far stronger Ne, Te, and Ni then the construct would suggest).

In order to be considered scientific, theories must be adapted to fit the evidence rather than the other way around. As such, it doesn’t make any sense for questions about Cognitive Functions to be answered with 4-letter codes (“I have functions Fi – Si – Te – Ne, is my type ISFP or ISFJ?”) or vice versa (“How could you possibly confuse INTP with INTJ? Their function stacks don’t have anything in common”).

Lists of cognitive functions (which is your strongest, which is your second strongest…) are useful.

4-letter codes for Myers-Briggs axes (are you mostly introverted or extraverted, are you mostly intuitive or sensory…) are useful.

4-letter codes for lists of cognitive functions (are you IxxP = Ji first & Pe second or are you …) are nonsense.
The tests are incompatible with the actual Jung studies, and the cognitive functions. The MBTI type indicator is literal crap.
The simple answer to this is that you should not place any value on the tests at all, as they do not correlate with the rest of the study.

And, the four letter codes have their purpose. Each letter has a useful purpose associated with the cognitive functions.

For example, you are an INTP:

I - Indicates your dominant function is introverted
N- Indicates you prefer your intuiting function over your sensing function.
T- Indicates you prefer your thinking function over your feeling function.
P - Indicates you use extroverted perceiving and introverted judging.

The 4 letter codes do not correlate with the specific functions themselves, yes, and that is because they are a code. A simple way of summarizing the type. They have their place, as far as I'm concerned and they are useful.

However, I'm interested to see your argument against their use, so please elaborate.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
P - Indicates you use extroverted perceiving and introverted judging.
And J is supposed to mean that I would mostly use Extraverted Judging and Introverted Perceiving.

What about somebody whose primary Judgements and Perceptions are both Extraverted? Or both Introverted?
 
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