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Discussion Starter #1
Hi fellow ESTJs!

I'm an INFJ woman with a health science background. I recently had a hunch that there might be physiologic differences between the (4) personality types (SPs, SJs, NTs and NFs). One of them may be respiratory rate.

Can you please tell me your respiratory rate at rest (i.e., while sitting and are not engaged in activity)? You just have to count the number of breaths for 30 seconds and then multiply this number by (2) for breaths/minute.

Thanks!
Sun18 :eek:)
 

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Hi ESTJs!

Here is the rationale and the results of my short survey.

Many individuals on Personality Cafe have bemoaned the fact that a great number of people have mistyped themselves. The challenge with the Myers Briggs personality test is that there is so much room for interpretation and bias. However, most would agree that there are clear differences in temperament from one person to the next.

The question is "Are there other parameters that one can use to better identify one's true personality type?"

As I was recently pondering this question, an idea came to mind...

I've been meditating for several years. In 2009, my meditation center acquired an EEG machine to show the difference in brain waves while people are sitting eyes open, then sitting eyes closed, and finally sitting eyes closed while meditating. Predictably, the brain waves would slow down during the process and more alpha and theta brain waves would appear on the computer screen.

After a while, I could predict at an almost 100% accuracy which meditator would produce greater levels of slow brain waves in any of these conditions. These individuals fitted to a tee the NF description - gentle, warm, introverted and introspective. I also noticed that although there was a group of people watching their EEGs on a big screen, they were very relaxed and their breathing was slow.

Interestingly, factors such as age, sex, physical fitness level or the number of years that they meditated for didn't affected their production of slow brain waves. For example, a 25 year-old tall, apparently very fit young man could produce less slow brain waves (and breathe much faster) than a small elderly woman. Also, someone who had been meditating for 3 weeks could produced more slow brain waves than someone who has been meditating for 35 years twice daily!

Therefore, I research the literary to understand this phenomenon, and discovered that all humans produce mainly the following (4) brain waves:
Beta: 12-40 Hz
Alpha: 8-12 Hz
Theta: 4-8 Hz
Delta: 0-4 Hz

The majority of adults function mainly in Beta while a smaller percentage at Alpha and almost none at Theta. Delta brain waves are mostly produced when we sleep.

The link between personality types and brain waves is that to function at Beta, one has to breathe predominantly 12-20 times/minute. Also, to mainly function at Alpha, one has to breathe 6-8 times/minute. It's important to underline the fact that these breaths should be shallow.

Therefore in order to determine one's personality type, another tool could be one's respiratory rate. The respiratory rate lends itself to less subjectivity than a questionnaire because it's only one number and only takes 30 seconds to measure.

I predicted that SPs would have the highest respiratory rates, followed by the SJs, then the NTs, and the NFs would have the lowest respiratory rates. Furthermore, I expected that most people would be mistyped and have a respiratory rate of 12-16 breaths/minute.

Here's how I broke down the respiratory rates by personality types:

NFs: 6-8 breaths/minute
NTs: 9-11 breaths/minute
SJs: 12-16 breaths/minute (I arbitrarily divided the 12-20 range in the middle to create a divide between SJs and SPs)
SPs: 17-24 breaths/minute

Now the results:
Total responses: 96
NFs: 24 responses
NTs: 32 responses
SJs: 23 responses
SPs: 17 responses

NFs who fall into each (4) respiratory rate:
6-8 breaths/minute: 2
9-11 breaths/minute: 5
12-16 breaths/minute: 10
17-24 breaths/minute: 7

NTs who fall into each (4) respiratory rate:
6-8 breaths/minute: 9
9-11 breaths/minute: 11
12-16 breaths/minute: 12
17-24 breaths/minute: 0

SJs who fall into each (4) respiratory rate:
6-8 breaths/minute: 0
9-11 breaths/minute: 3
12-16 breaths/minute: 14
17-24 breaths/minute: 6

SPs who fall into each (4) respiratory rate:
6-8 breaths/minute: 1
9-11 breaths/minute: 5
12-16 breaths/minute: 5
17-24 breaths/minute: 6

Overall, the number of individuals who fall into each (4) respiratory rate are as follows:
6-8 breaths/minute: 12
9-11 breaths/minute: 24
12-16 breaths/minute: 41
17-24 breaths/minute: 19

Therefore all my predictions for this small sample size were correct. It would be interesting if a larger scale research could be done on brain waves and personality type. I leave such a study to more competent researchers! :wink:

Sun18 :eek:)
 

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Hi everyone!

I will soon be closing the threads about the respiratory rate of the (4) main personality types.

Below is the latest compilation of answers that I’ve given to various people on Personality Cafe. I trust that most people will have their questions answered by reading through them.

1. Many individuals on Personality Cafe have bemoaned the fact that a great number of people have mistyped themselves. The challenge with the Myers Briggs personality test is that there is so much room for interpretation and bias. However, most would agree that there are clear differences in temperament from one person to the next.

The question is "Are there other parameters that one can use to better identify one's true personality type?"

As I was recently pondering this question, an idea came to mind...

I've been meditating for several years. In 2009, my meditation center acquired an EEG machine to show the difference in brain waves while people are sitting eyes open, then sitting eyes closed, and finally sitting eyes closed while meditating. Predictably, the brain waves would slow down during the process and more alpha and theta brain waves would appear on the computer screen.

After a while, I could predict at an almost 100% accuracy which meditator would produce greater levels of slow brain waves in any of these conditions. These individuals fitted to a tee the NF description - gentle, warm, introverted and introspective. I also noticed that although there was a group of people watching their EEGs on a big screen, they were very relaxed and their breathing was slow.

Interestingly, factors such as age, sex, physical fitness level or the number of years that they meditated for didn't affect their production of slow brain waves. For example, a 25 year-old tall, apparently very fit young man could produce less slow brain waves (and breathe much faster) than a small elderly woman. Also, someone who had been meditating for 3 weeks could produce more slow brain waves than someone who has been meditating for 35 years twice daily!

Therefore, I research the literary to understand this phenomenon, and discovered that all humans produce mainly the following (4) brain waves:
Beta: 12-40 Hz
Alpha: 8-12 Hz
Theta: 4-8 Hz
Delta: 0-4 Hz

The majority of adults function mainly in Beta while a smaller percentage at Alpha and almost none at Theta. Delta brain waves are mostly produced when we sleep.

The link between personality types and brain waves is that to function at Beta, one has to breathe predominantly 12-20 times/minute. Also, to mainly function at Alpha, one has to breathe 6-8 times/minute. It's important to underline the fact that these breaths should be shallow.

Therefore in order to determine one's personality type, another tool could be one's respiratory rate. The respiratory rate lends itself to less subjectivity than a questionnaire because it's only one number and only takes 30 seconds to measure.

I predicted that SPs would have the highest respiratory rates, followed by the SJs, then the NTs, and the NFs would have the lowest respiratory rates. Furthermore, I expected that most people would be mistyped and have a respiratory rate of 12-16 breaths/minute.

2. Because I was very curious about the link between brain waves and respiratory rate, I used the following sources to verify that most adults breathe 12-20 times/minute and function mostly in Beta brain waves:

Physical Examination and Secondary Assessment (Principles of Clinical Practice) (Paramedic Care) Part 2

Respiratory rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How Meditation Changes Your Brain Frequency

Wellness Tips | Physical Therapy, Yoga, Rieki Healing | Aum Physical Therapy | Bakersfield, CA

Brainwaves: Beta ~ Alpha ~ Theta ~ Delta

Hawkins, David R., The Eye of the I: From Which Nothing is Hidden. Sedona: Veritas Publishing, 2001. Pages 262 & 263.

And this video:

It's true that I should've specified that the breaths should be shallow - or more natural than forced. However, if I did mention this condition, the results would be skewed in my favour. For example, someone who reported breathing 9 times/minute but was breathing deeply, actually may breathe 11 shallowly or normally. Therefore, there would be even less NFs and NTs and more SJs and SPs.

3. The main issue that I was trying to determine is who is mostly an introvert versus an extrovert. You can easily Google the average respiratory rate of an adult, and it is 12-20 breaths/minute. With that kind of respiratory rate you will be producing mostly Beta brainwaves and you will be focused on the outside world.

Most meditative practices advocate working on slowing down the respiratory rate because it is virtually impossible to be inner focused while breathing 12-20 times/minute. NFs usually breathe slower because they are naturally in a meditative state and inner focused. NTs as intuitive thinkers fall between NFs and SJs.

I didn't say that my study is the final word about this matter - it is a short survey of only 96 responses. I said that respiratory rate is another parameter (among others) to help people better identify their true personality type. More research needs to be done.

4. It's true that I split the 12-20 breaths/minute at 16 to get the middle point. There were only (1) ENFP who reported a breathing rate of 21 and one ISTJ who reported a breathing rate of 24. I didn't want to exclude them from the analysis, that's why the last category goes up to 24. Even if I remove these two numbers, it wouldn't make much of a difference to the final data because all of the other numbers cluster between 12-16 and 17-20.

The fact that the reported respiratory rates don't match with most people's official temperament is to be expected. As I already stated, many individuals have bemoaned the fact that many people have mistyped themselves. Even when someone calculates their own breathing rates, it will stay within a range (usually + or - 2 breaths). As per the data that I have collected, it ranges from 6 to 24 breaths/minute - enough of a range to notice a trend.

Before I saw firsthand these EEGs for the past 5 years, I would have totally agreed with you regarding the effect of other factors on breathing rate. I was shocked when a clearly athletic young man had a faster respiratory rate than a middle age sedentary woman. After a while, I realized that high levels of Alpha brain waves had a greater influence on breathing rate than fitness level or other obvious factors.

I observed the same phenomenon regarding years of meditative practice. Individuals who naturally produced more Alpha brain waves always produced higher levels of that brain wave than someone who meditated for many years but didn't have that natural predisposition. EEGs were done many times on several individuals during the past 5 years, and time again, the person with a more settled brain produced more Alpha brain waves and breathed naturally slower. When we looked at people's brain waves it was always in (3) conditions: sitting eye open; sitting eyes closed; and sitting eyes closed meditating. I observed the same phenomenon in these three conditions. Again, I was baffled by this discovery. I wish I could fly you to Toronto, and show you live what I mean!

I never said that respiratory rate is the only parameter that can determine personality type. I said that it's another tool that one can use, but that other parameters should be included to help people identify their true temperament. Also, other studies should be done to understand the differences in brain functioning between these (4) main MBTI types.

I never intended to publish this study - I think that you may have misunderstood my intentions. I wanted to explore in a fun way the differences between the different personality types, respiratory rates, and brain waves. However, I still stand by the fact that introverts tend to produce more slow brain waves than extroverts.

5. I was myself intrigued by why better oxygenation usually results from slower and shallower breathing. Based on what I have uncovered, it seems that it has to do with the balance between carbon dioxide (C02) and oxygen (02).

When a person breathes fast and deep, they expel too much C02 from their cells. The red blood cells that carry the O2 will hold on to the 02 because a minimum amount of C02 is required for them to release the O2 into the cells.

When a person breathes slowly and shallowly, they expel a small amount of C02 from their cells. The red blood cells that carry the O2 will quickly release their O2 into the cell and this results in better oxygenation. That's why when someone is hyperventilating (i.e., very stressed) they breathe their own C02 back by using a small brown bag. They are trying to increase their C02 levels to in turn increase cell oxygenation.

I was recently reading this study about the signs that health care professionals should look for when determining if an elderly person may die soon. According to that study, respiratory rate is one of the best ones. If someone breathes more than the average 12-20 breaths/minute, it is a strong indication that their health is quickly deteriorating. Because of the phenomenon that I have described above, a hyperventilating person's body becomes acidic and is prone to diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes.

6. Again, that's what I say in my compiled answers. A number of people (me included) have said that many people are mistyped. If most people properly typed themselves, I wouldn't do this survey in the first place! For example, there are individuals on this forum who reported that they breathe 20 times or more/minute, and yet they type themselves as NFs. I'm not using circular reasoning and manipulating the results to win an argument. I wish I could plug each person on this forum to the same EEG machine to truly illustrate my point.

I didn't say that my short survey is the final word on this theory, I actually said that more research needs to be done to understand the differences between the (4) main personality types. However, I still stand by the fact that someone who breathes 12-20 times/minute at rest has a brain mostly set at Beta brain waves and is more outward focused (or a Sensor). Conversely, someone who breathes less than 12-20 times/minute produces slower brain waves and is mostly inward focused (or an Intuitive). That's what I have observed in the past 5 years at my meditation center regardless of how many times these meditators were tested at different times of the day.

Since everyone produces the (4) main brain waves, you can try this exercise on yourself. Breathe 1/2 as fast and pay attention to where your mind naturally focuses. By contrast, breathe (2) x faster, and pay attention to where your mind naturally drifts to. You will then understand one of the main differences between Introverts and Extroverts.

7. When I stumbled on this phenomenon, I was very intrigued because I didn't expect it. I think that more research should be done to understand the details of this correlation. For example, an athletic person tends to have a slow heart rate (which means that the heart is more efficient at pumping the blood), yet have a high respiratory rate. In fact, a fit young man on this forum told me that he is experiencing exactly that (his respiratory rate is 20 breaths/minute).

Sun18 :eek:)
 
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