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MOTM Aug 2010
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Functions Order Models Guide


Here is a guide to the various models for Jung/MBTI functions. For the sake of clarity, I will simply list the models in this post and save any opinions I have on these models for subsequent posts in this thread.

For the examples in this post I will use ISTP, just for the sake of convenience.

Dominant and Auxiliary Functions

In his book Psychological Types (first published in 1921), Carl Jung discusses eight functions. The Rational functions are Thinking and Feeling, both of which can be Extraverted or Introverted. The Irrational functions are Sensing and Intuitive, which again can be Extraverted or Introverted.

For each type, there is both a Dominant function and an Auxiliary function. The Auxiliary function is of the opposite rationality and attitude, so someone with a dominant Introverted Rational Function (Ti or Fi) would have an auxiliary Extraverted Irrational Function (Se or Ne).

Myers-Briggs Four Function Model, and The Four-Letter Type Code

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was first published in 1962. It was with this instrument that the 4-letter type code, and in particular the J/P designation (something Jung did not mention in his work), was introduced.

For Extraverts, ExxPs have an Irrational function (Se or Ne) as their dominant function, while ExxJs have a Rational function (Te or Fe) as their dominant function.

For Introverts, IxxPs have a Rational function (Ti or Fi) as their dominant function, while IxxJs have an Irrational function (Si or Ni) as their dominant function.

The four-function model also features tertiary and inferior functions. The tertiary function is the "opposite" of the auxiliary function, while the inferior function is the "opposite" of the dominant function. When I refer to "opposites" in this sense, I mean the following:
Ti is the opposite of Fe
Fi is the opposite of Te
Se is the opposite of Ni
Ne is the opposite of Si

So, for our ISTP example:
Dominant: Ti
Auxiliary: Se
Tertiary: Ni
Inferior: Fe

John Beebe's Eight-Function Model

But the four-function model only accounts for half of Jung's eight functions. So what about the other four?

John Beebe
, who first published about his model in the 1980s, came up with "Shadow" functions, which are arranged like this:
Ti is the shadow of Fi
Te is the shadow of Fe
Se is the shadow of Ne
Si is the shadow of Ni

The Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions are the first four (Beebe refers to them as Hero/Heroine, Father/Mother, Puer/Puella, and Anima/Animus). The last four functions, which Beebe calls Opposing Personality, Senex/Witch, Trickster, and Demonic Personality, are the same functions with opposite attitudes. So for our ISTP example, the functions are arranged in the following order:

Hero: Ti
Father: Se
Puer: Ni
Anima: Fe
Opposing: Te
Senex: Si
Trickster: Ne
Demonic: Fi

Lenore Thomson's Brain Hemisphere-Based Model

Research on brain lateralization has shown that behaviors that correspond to Thinking, Feeling, Sensing, and Intuition are in both hemispheres of the brain, with the left brain being more sequential and verbally oriented and the right brain being more holistic and visually oriented. Extraversion has been associated with the front of the brain, while Introversion has been associated with the back of the brain.

Thus, Jonathan Niednagel has associated left-brain dominance with Judging (Js have Te or Fe and Si or Ni as their main functions) and right-brain dominance with Perceiving (Ps have Ti or Si and Se or Ne as their main functions).

Lenore Thomson took this one step further, associating each of the eight functions with a specific part of the brain.
Front-Left: Te, Fe
Front-Right: Se, Ne
Back-Left: Si, Ni
Back-Right: Ti, Fi

In her book, Personality Type: An Owner's Manual (1998), Thomson introduced the idea of Alternatives and Double-Agents. The Alternatives are on the same side of the brain as your dominant and auxiliary functions, while the Double-Agents are on the opposite side. So for our ISTP (right-brain dominant) example, it looks like this:

Dominant: Ti
Auxiliary: Se
Right-brain Alternative 1: Fi
Right-brain Alternative 2: Ne
Left-brain Double Agent 1: Te
Left-brain Double Agent 2: Si
Tertiary: Ni
Inferior: Fe

Socionics Model A

Unlike Beebe and Thomson, who developed their models based on the work of Myers-Briggs, Aušra Augustinavičiūtė developed her model independently of Myers-Briggs, first publishing at some point between 1978 and 1980.

Model A is difficult for me to explain in words, so I'll just use an example of LSI (ISTj).

  1. Leading function: Ti
  2. Creative: Se
  3. Role: Ni
  4. Vulnerable: Fe
  5. Suggestive: Ne
  6. Mobilizing: Fi
  7. Observant or Ignoring: Si
  8. Demonstrative: Te
 

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You get awesome points for posting this.
 

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MOTM Aug 2010
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Discussion Starter #4
Oh i can help you out with Socionics A-model

i'll post another topic to clarify since as MannyP said it could get a bit complex
Thanks. I'm not a Socionics expert myself and I hesitated to post it in my guide at first because Socionics is a system that's independent of MBTI. But I did include a little bit on it for the sake of completeness.
 

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MOTM Aug 2010
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Discussion Starter #6
OK, so here's a topic for discussion: between Beebe and Thomson, whose model do you prefer and why (I realize there's a thread about this in the INFP forum, but since many people here don't go to the INFP forum I figured I'd open the question up to all types)?

I prefer the Thomson model, for several reasons.

Observation of People's Function Analysis Tests

From all of the Function Analysis Test results I've seen in this forum, not a single one fits the Beebe's order cleanly (in fact, the most common pattern I've seen is more like Dominant and Auxiliary > Opposite Brain Double Agents > Same Side Alternatives > Tertiary and Inferior). I would think that one would have to be very well-balanced to have higher scores on their Tertiary and Inferior functions than they would on other functions.

Science

As I've mentioned in my original post, Thomson's model does have some scientific basis to it. As of yet we haven't been able to map the eight functions specifically to certain parts of the brain, and in fact we've only really proven half of the four-letter code (I/E for back/front of brain, J/P for left/right of brain). But this is the closest thing we have to neuroscientific evidence of MBTI.

Type Development Models

The prevailing model of type development states that children start by developing their dominant function first, and that their auxiliary function doesn't develop until adolescence, leading some to believe that children can use either of two possible auxiliary functions (so a young ISTP is really an IxTP and can use either Se or Ne). While I don't personally believe that not having a developed function is not the same thing as not having a function, or using either of two possible functions, the notion that functions with the same attitude oppose each other (the way Se and Ne supposedly do) appears to contradict this theory.

Mistypes

A lot of SPs mistype as NPs, and TPs often mistype as FPs as well. Based on the shadow function idea, these mistypes should, in theory, not happen because they are very different from each other. But in reality, they do happen - in fact, I even typed as an INFP once, and I have observed some INFP-like behaviors in myself at times!

On the other hand, people rarely mistype as their inferior function type (I don't think I could ever test as an ENFJ, for example).
 
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