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Guide to becoming awesome: MBTI Edition

81585 Views 137 Replies 61 Participants Last post by  beth x
Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to introduce one of the greatest musicians of our age: Miracle of Sound, aka Gavin Dunne. Even though he and I have never met or spoken, he's been a true bro throughout this process and always had my back every step of the way. Without him, the hypothesis you're about to read would not exist. It makes me a bit emotional to think that I may finally be able to give something back to him. He's about to live the artist dream - his music will change the entire world. Here he is.

Hypothesis regarding the development of personality types
by Sam Ayars

"It's not if it is wrong, it's that it can't be wrong." - an INTJ friend's assessment

Welcome to the next major chapter of typology. I initially called this a theory for a short time. Then I recalled that an idea only gets to be called a theory after a group of professional peers have concluded that the author is not batshit insane. Hypothesis it is then. To follow along you'll want a general understanding of functions, but that shouldn't be an issue for most of the people initially reading this (and I'll provide a crash course for those that don't). It's a bit long since I have to rather exhaustively explain my logic when advancing psychology to this degree. I'll try to add a much shorter version in the future when that logical explanation isn't nearly as required.

If you are brand new to MBTI, typology, and personality types in general, I found the following website extremely good at giving a broad introduction without being too vague.

Personality Types | 16Personalities

Two things of immediate note. One is that there are sixteen personality types. The other is that there are four broad groups that each contain four personality types: NT, NF, SJ, and SP.

Now off we go down the rabbit hole.

This is mainly written from a MBTI terminology standpoint, though I'll briefly make mention to some parallels in Socionics here and there. The cumulative man hours and efforts that has been put into typology via Socionics is truly admirable. My intention is not to undercut it, MBTI, or any other area of typology. To do so would be exceedingly pointless and counterproductive. Rather, I hope to point towards the possibility of a new area of depth, which may also help shed some light on what were previously 'exceptions' to the rule. A hard science does not tolerate or shrug off the appearance of exceptions. It instead accepts their existence as a sign of knowledge yet undiscovered and strives to explain every single occurrence. So I believe typology must do the same if it wishes to continue advancing. Sure, every human is different and grows in unique ways, and we must take care to not reduce them to merely bits of data to be scanned in like a bar code, but human variation should also not become a blanket excuse that is used to write it off every time there is a person that does not neatly exist inside of the current typology models.

Chemistry has a periodic table listing the elements, but the world also contains numerous compounds based on those elements. Typology has done a wonderful job up to this point identifying and understanding as many elements as possible. Perhaps it is time to consider what compounds might be produced when certain elements merge together to form a single entity. If such personality compounds are possible, then by understanding them we can learn how to produce them more efficiently. We have seen what civilization has done with advancements in our understanding of how to use the world around us. How much more of an impact might be yielded by advancements in the understanding of how to utilize the human mind?


Many people have enough trouble with one personality type. Does aiming to have five sound arrogant? It did to me. When I first dove into MBTI types, it took me about two weeks of nigh constantly consuming MBTI related information for me to figure out that I had three types active (aka, the time it took to actually identify my core type - the single type that I was during childhood) - and I wasn't faking any of them somehow. All three types were actually functional, though the third hadn't quite hit its stride yet and I knew it had been 'coming online' just within the past few years. My immediate response was "My subconscious mind's arrogance knows no bounds!" It seemed to essentially be playing Pokemon with personality types. Suddenly the last 10-15+ years of my life could be viewed under the new lens of when I might've developed each type - and the view was startlingly clear. I also wasn't stopping, apparently. My core type is ISTP and progression had first been to ISTJ. Recently INTP had started doing that whole 'this connects to this which connects to this which connects to...' process in my head from time to time. I also noticed that I had spent much of the last year slowly but surely 'breaking the seal' on the emotions I'd kept leashed and locked away for years. If a fourth personality type was going to develop, it'd likely be an F type, though I did wonder about that last introverted thinking type.

My initial attempt to 'forecast' what type it would be was to just swap the T to a F in my "tested as" type, which was merely the most recent type to develop, so going from INTP to INFP. Seemed like the smallest jump, right? At a first, very broad glance, I could see some small similarities, but my (INTJ and INFP) friends immediately responded "No, I don't really see you as that type." I replied that it was in the early stages, and that I also wasn't sure if I'd pinpointed the correct F type. I read some more extensive descriptions of INFP characteristics, and it quickly became apparent that it was a fairly significant departure from my core identity and was unlikely to be the correct guess. Just didn't seem to fit (INTP was still in sluggish mode at this point, though active). I'd somehow already developed three types without knowing anything about MBTI or really psychology in general, so it obviously wasn't a matter of superficially deciding "I like this type's traits, so I'll become that" or I would've just walked over to INFJ and held out my hands for one of the emotion decoder rings that they appear to be equipped with. Throwing darts at the 8 F types to determine which one (if any) would emerge didn't seem very productive either. There was also the fact that all three of my current types were I_T_ preferenced. I let the 'why' and 'how' questions sit in the back of my mind while I continued to read up and absorb/inhale information about MBTI.

A bit over a month later, during which a fair amount of personal growth in numerous areas had been occurring, and suddenly pieces of the puzzle in my mind started getting windmill slammed into place in rapid succession. What was produced was not just an explanation for the path I'd taken, but a logical explanation for it that could be applied to all types, and thus far it has successfully cross-checked against the examples I have available to personally assess it with. One description of ISTPs that I have read stated that they often like to take things apart and put them back together, just a little bit better than they were before. Consider this hypothesis my attempt to do so for typology.


"The true strengths of the core personality type can be realized by training all functions of the psyche, which is accomplished by developing the functional stacks of additional personality types."

The basic premise is to develop the four personality types around a core type (aka, the first one to naturally emerge during childhood or a person's 'true type') that each differ by the preference of one trait from the core type. The aim of doing this is to help reduce the inherent weaknesses of the core type, supplement it with additional strengths from other areas, and ultimately magnify the core type's 'specialty' among the sixteen personality types.

I'd like to carefully note that I stated this is done by 'developing the functional stacks' rather than actually changing to or becoming another personality type. Although each functional stack is linked to a personality type as the stack a type starts out with (their core), this does not mean that the mind is unable to learn how to use more than one functional stack. How this new method of mentally processing information is used will depend on their core personality type, rather than exactly copying how the type related to the new functional stack might typically use it.

A significant point is the natural tendencies of the types that will be developed. Most should be familiar with the sixteen personalities fitting into four archetypes. Different dividing lines have been drawn, but four groups of four are commonly used. Such as all four SJ's being referred to as 'Guardians' or 'Sentinels' by MBTI systems. Or the four ST types being called Pragmatists by some areas of Socionics. When all five types are developed, three of these will naturally come from the same archetype (the core being one of those three) and the other two will be from separate archetypes, leaving a single archetype untouched. Not only does this have the obvious effect of broadly reinforcing the archetype a person belongs to based on their core type, entrance into two of the three remaining archetypes should help significantly expand their ability to understand the views, stances, and actions of others, facilitate communication with them, and understand and accept their differences. Rather than merely knowing that types are different, a person will actually be able to experience some of those differences firsthand. Put another way, a person that has developed their five types is likely (though not guaranteed!) to be significantly more mature and well-rounded compared to someone that shares their core type but has not developed any additional types.

As a litmus test, imagine what a person of any particular type might be like with the broad strengths of those four extra types available to them as support for their core type, and whether that combination feels too forced or if it actually seems to fit together somehow. For me, the general result my mind gave back to me was "That person sounds pretty badass." A promising start.

Let's use Batman as an example litmus test. Because Batman. Sure, he's fictional and a larger than life character, but generally fictional characters won't be popular over a long period of time if they are designed poorly or written with a lot of inconsistencies. Also, Batman.

I'll suggest that he's an INTJ. World's greatest detective and all that. Also has to reach (correct) conclusions quickly to escape all the death traps villains throw at him and make snap decisions to generally not die via bullet spam from the hapless grunts that think they have a chance against Batman. There's also the inevitable 'if these two characters fight, who would win?' debates, which generally arrive at the conclusion "If he has enough preparation time, Batman automatically wins." I've seen Batman listed as a couple of other personality types, but let's just go into the types surrounding his (supposed) INTJ core type.

INTP: Is there any logical principle that Batman can't understand? He has ridiculous tech, and it seems like he designed at least half of it himself. Certainly a good complement to INTJ (and there are numerous anecdotal reports of INTJs/INTPs claiming that they often go between the two types) both in the batcave and while out dealing with the crazy plans of lunatics. Lastly, it makes a great pair with INTJ when dealing with all of the Riddler's off the wall references. Poor Riddler. If only he'd done some personal growth he might not get crushed by Batman so easily. Or at least he would be able to last a bit longer.

INFJ: "I swear Bats, I don't know nothing! Joker doesn't tell us grunts anything about where he keeps the goods!"
"....You're lying."
'Nuff said.

ISTJ: Cold night? Pouring down rain? Still goes out on patrol. Took a bullet or has other wounds? Virtually nobody in the city appreciates him? Batman keeps at his self-appointed duty, because it needs to be done and it's the right thing to do as far as he's concerned. His unwavering determination and ability to stick to his beliefs is practically legendary.

ENTJ: Batman doesn't perform on a small scale, it's citywide (sometimes even wider range than that - like with the Justice League). ENTJ's are also known for sometimes being able to get something done almost through sheer willpower. Yeah, sounds about right. I'm sure serious Batman fans can remember more than one situation where this fits. ENTJ also helps him successfully manage Wayne Enterprises when he needs to occasionally disguise himself as Bruce Wayne.

Don't know about you, but the litmus test is checking out for me. You may be able to find another core type that fits your image of Batman, but let's have that wonderful debate elsewhere. The example seems to illustrate the potential viability of the hypothesis reasonably well to me, so let's move on to how exactly we might manage to approach being half as awesome as Batman.

Crash Course in MBTI

It occurs to me that some people that eventually read this might need a crash course in MBTI. There's good info elsewhere so I'll be brief.

There's a judging trait, which divides into F (Feeling) and T (Thinking). The perceiving trait divides into S (Sensing) and N (Intuition). They are commonly referred to as preferences of their respective trait.

The F, T, S, and N preferences further divide into introverted and extraverted versions (such as Ti and Te) for eight total functions.

One function from each of these four preferences is placed into a functional stack based on a couple rules (one being all four of the above preferences are used). Sixteen possible combinations gives us sixteen personality types.

The functions alternate in order between being introverted and being extraverted. The top pair and bottom pair contain both a perceiving and judging function. If the judging function in the upper pair (dominant/auxiliary - preference of these two is used in the type name) is extraverted, it is a J (Judging) personality type. P (Prospecting) if an introverted judging function is used. Whether a type is considered an I (Introvert) or E (Extravert) is simply a reflection of which way the dominant function is orientated.

This is what the functional stack looks like for ISTP:

Dominant: Ti
Auxiliary: Se
Tertiary: Ni
Inferior: Fe

Here's a link to a cheat sheet listing the functional stack for each personality type.

Development Path

I've concluded that there seems to be two (similar) paths to obtain five types when viewed from a top down level, though they follow the same principle when we get into functions.

Edit: Upon recent analysis (sometimes being a S type that requires personal experience is a pain in the neck), I believe that subtypes from Socionics influence the development path. Rather than change and update everything, I'll just add a few notes here and there about it. For the purposes of reading this hypothesis, assume that the type's dominant function is also their subtype. The order is slightly changed for the other subtype, but the formula is still the same.

For those whose dominant function is from the F/T preference, the suggested path is to first develop J/P, then N/S, followed by F/T, and lastly E/I.

For those whose dominant function is from the N/S preference, the suggested path is to first develop J/P, then F/T, followed by N/S, and lastly E/I.

Progression through archetypes also depends on which one the core type is from The end result is the same (3-1-1), but being aware of the difference can be helpful while in the middle of development.

As a side note, early on I briefly contemplated whether the perceiving functions or the judging functions might be harder to change. I eventually concluded that emphasis should be placed upon whatever the dominant function was, rather than my personal experience based, subjective opinion of which of the two may be more difficult to develop. Everybody is different, and I (having a core type that has Ti as the dominant function) shouldn't expect to understand how much weight N/S dominant types place on that preference's function in comparison to their F/T auxiliary (or rather, their combined auxiliary/tertiary combo).

Reasoning behind the path structure

Time to start getting into the nitty gritty of why I selected the path I did, and also explaining why it just might actually work.

An observation that I have arrived at is that typology seems to be based on uneven pairs. The most obvious of this is the Dominant/Auxiliary pairing. Both aspects are needed and valuable, but one side is more prominent than the other. It is not just limited to this, however. The Dominant/Auxiliary could be grouped as a single entity that is paired with the Tertiary/Inferior combo. Another example is SPs vs SJs. In the former, the perceiving pairing may look like Se-Si. Si informs Se how much the incoming sensory information varies from the current 'standard' as the SP seeks new, novel information. For a SJ, it is Si-Se and Se is used to determine how much variance there is in incoming information compared to the Si defined ideal state of things. This could be further expanded to Se-Ni vs Si-Ne. Another well known example is the dominant and inferior functions. The very synergistic nature of Fe and Fi in producing empathy is another in that for some types, emotions detected in others by Fe can sometimes be reproduced internally and then processed by Fi.

Both parts of this uneven pairing must be improved for forward progress to be made. The judging and perceiving traits need the other to be fully operational. If one gets too far ahead of the other, useful progress slows or even stops until the portion of the pairing that has been lagging behind catches up. And yes, this applies even to something like Thinking vs Feeling. As opposite as they may often appear to each other, both are part of the overall judging trait and it is only by strengthening both that true progress can continue to be made in the dominant preference of the pair. The strengthening of the mind by training both aspects of these uneven pairings is the true nature of this hypothesis.

The primary focus is on the weight that functions have within a personality type, the preferences they're connected to, and the importance the core type places on each. MBTI only uses four functions to describe each type's functional stack and leaves the other four unassigned, though as described above they're all still active to some extent. Socionics has a description for how all eight functions are placed within a core type. I will reference some of these labels based on what is known as, to my knowledge, Model A. I have found the slightly zoomed out perspective that the MBTI functional stack provides to be a better vehicle for explaining the core components of this hypothesis. Should others find parts of this hypothesis to be accurate, somebody motivated should be able to adapt the core component to the Socionics functional model - and the extra level of detail Socionics provides could prove quite useful to everybody.

Although this hypothesis generally refers to a 'typical' personality type in that it isn't too borderline in certain functions and thus useful for examples, the core of the hypothesis should be quite adaptable as the true focus is on personal growth rather than a specific description of functions. After all, there are psychology theories that attempt to explain the mind in a completely differently manner than the one used by typology. Just a note to try and help people not get too hung up on the specific details of one function over another. Within Socionics exists subtypes, to help further identify a person's strength and focus. Knowing details like these may be an additional help to a person in determining the exact natural progression path that is right for them.

Edit: As mentioned above - I now believe that a person's subtype will influence their development path. This helps explain a number of distinct differences I've seen within members of a type (such as for ISTP: INTP is the third type for some like me, but ISFP is for others).

Wiki link describing Socionics Model A:

A brief thought on MBTI and Socionics

I will not lie. I initially formulated this hypothesis based on looking at MBTI information and only later learned about Socionics. There was nobody to tell me that Socionics had relatively widespread professional acceptance or that MBTI has failed to withstand close scrutiny in the past (at least according to a note on a wiki - grain of salt). All I knew was that I had some quality information in front of me and that it could be put together in a way that none of the articles I read had even hinted at. Learning of Socionics since then has only helped to strengthen and refine my hypothesis. When I first read an overview of Socionics, I was impressed with the amount of detail. As my core type is ISTP, I have a large appreciation for having lots of details available to work with. However, I have also learned the danger of getting too focused on those details to the point of missing the big picture. The (likely incomplete) image of Socionics I saw in front of me at the time seemed to be a poster child for this danger. Every little detail was identified, classified, categorized, and labeled. They were lined up next to each other, but they hadn't yet been combined to actually make something. Socionics (and MBTI) didn't seem to be -doing- anything with all the details they had identified. Perhaps because an ISTP hadn't yet come along to build an engine out of the high quality parts that they were manufacturing. There was even a Socionics chart that listed how every single type is likely to interact with every other type, as if to imply that all human interaction could neatly fit into the tidy package of a small 16x16 table. It was so neck deep in the little details that the entire point was getting hard to see. Zoom out! It is my hope that this hypothesis will enable people to gain some perspective. There's certainly a plethora of information to work with. Just needs a new approach.

As for MBTI vs Socionics, I see them as essentially just being two different perspectives - just like two different personality types. Both have value and knowing of one can add to the other. They define the dividing line of functions a bit differently from each other, but this is not a particularly major issue since those dividing lines are drawn rather arbitrarily in the first place simply to facilitate a better understanding of the perspective that each particular theory is focused on. If the preference were a circle, one theory may divide it into two functions via a vertical line while the other uses a horizontal or diagonal line. The circle is still there, it is just being explained a little differently. So people will likely grasp one explanation far more readily than the other, depending on their own psyche and learning style. Every person starts at a slightly different spot in that circle, so the most accurate dividing line may simply feel slightly different for each person.

Edit: MBTI and Socionics are completely compatible as they're both describing the psyche. The only conflict between them is a human generated one based on terminlogy and definitions. Here's the two main things to know when converting.

1. The E/I axis of functions is flipped between functions. So MBTI's Fi would be Fe in Socionics. Same for the other functions.

2. The four main pairings (such as dom/aux) are also flipped. MBTI's dominant function corresponds to the creative function (function 2) in Socionics. This appears to stem from the Socionics model being set up based on the initial strength of each function (4D, 3D, etc.) and possibly how information was perceived to flow through them. MBTI simply used a different setup to make functional stacks, which resulted in each pairing reversing which function position it puts at the front.

I noticed the second difference rather recently. I'll try to edit my references to use the correct Socionics function position in relation to the MBTI postion I talk about, but I may've missed some here and there so just be aware of that.

Developing the second type: Swapping J/P

First up is the personality type that has the J or P that your base type doesn't have, while keeping the other letters the same. There is several reasons why, independent of the path I took, I believe that this is the best type to start with.

To begin with, the two types aim to do moderately similar things. Not the exact same, as there are significant differences which is why they're different types. Certainly, from the closer perspective of the two types themselves, they are quite different. However, the methods/goals of these two have a reasonable amount in common when taking a broad view, such as in comparison to the other fourteen types. When viewed from a vastly different type, they appear to share quite a bit in common. A different approach, using the same tools (preferences). Foreign, yet familiar.

One of the big benefits of developing this type is that this gets a person used to trying things from a new angle, without ripping them out of their comfort zone. They maintain their intro/extraverted tendencies, and their primary perceiving/judging preferences are also unchanged. This internal acceptance of there being more than one way of doing things helps pave the way forward as they work on flipping the preference of the other three traits one by one. In turn, this also means that the first few types developed beyond the core type will likely be the hardest. Especially as a person gets older, they are more likely to get 'set in their ways' in comparison to a young mind that more easily accepts new ways of doing things. Puberty might represent a significant point in development as it relates to personality types, but I'll leave that analysis to actual experts.

Perhaps the reason behind why the two types are similar, yet different, is that the preferences of the functions in their dominant/auxiliary pair are the same (and thus the same in the tertiary/inferior). However, they're flipped. As the E/I didn't change, the order that functions are introverted or extraverted in the functional stack won't change either. From our Batman example, he started with Ni/Te and gained Ti/Ne when he developed his INTP type. Both types are _NT_ so the top two functions of the stack are also an NT pair. With the J/P preference flipped, what this actually accomplishes is that we now have all 8 functions participating in an active personality type from a prominent position. No more floating functions in the background. A quick glance at the MBTI functional stack would show that these two types have no functions in common and some may assume the two types are too different and can't work together. This is merely a conclusion from staring at the function level of magnification for too long. Pulling back slightly and viewing the uneven pair relationship of the functions within their trait preference should make the connection readily apparent. Not done with those extra four yet, but at least they have the structure of a personality type to start operating in.

In Socionics terms, the new dominant/auxiliary pair is made up of the restricting and background functions - both deemed to be quite strong within the core type. The new auxiliary function being the only other 4 dimensional function and the new dominant being 3D - both come from the id block whereas in the core type the dominant and auxiliary functions are in the ego block. Additionally, this type is the only one of the five where the perceiving/judging functions within the dominant/auxiliary pair reverse their intro/extraverted nature. So to use our Batman example, his second type is INTP. It is the only type out of his five that uses introverted judging (Ti) and extraverted perceiving (Ne). The other three types developed follow the example of his core type. Carl Jung wrote about the unhealthy dangers of focusing too much on one aspect and ignoring the other - such as an introvert that completely disregards extraverted perspective or vice versa. This danger can be applied to any pairing.

For these reasons and others, I view this type as the 'backbone' of this five type development.

There's a popular expression that states: "There's more than one way to skin a cat" and it refers to the fact that there is almost always more than one way of doing or accomplishing something. Likely not a surprise to hear from an ISTP. This should be the overriding motto and theme as a person works to bring type two online. The purpose is not to ignore or give up on their core type. Instead it is to recognize that although they have many strengths, there are also weaknesses and limitations - additional types are there to help address these weaknesses. The core type and its strengths won't be going away and will instead only grow stronger as progress is made.

It's a start, but how about the next step?

Third type: Swapping N/S or F/T

Simply put, next it's time to swap the preference of the core's auxiliary and at the same time strengthen the core's dominant function. The core personality type has not gone away and it is still the center of who a person is, though this can be difficult to see at times for people stuck at the backbone stage. Swapping the auxiliary's preference first allows a person to obtain a second personality type that share's the core type's dominant (and thus inferior) function - the only other one that does so among all sixteen types. This gives the dominant function a new type to express itself alongside a completely different auxiliary/tertiary combo which should enable exploration of the dominant trait from a different angle and perspective - which will complement the already present abilities of the core type. This strengthening of the core's dominant function will likely lead to a much better understanding of it, and a greater ability to use it in either type.

As an example, at this step ISTPs and INTPs would be developing the other type. ISTP generally focuses on details and how they interact with each other, whereas INTP is often better at examining the broad conceptual level of why certain concepts are connected to others. In comparison, INFJ is N dominant and will actually be developing INTJ at this step. Initially seemed abrupt to my T dominant thinking, but when putting importance on swapping/reinforcing the dominant/auxiliary functions in a proper order, it is the next logical type to be developed.

This is likely to be the hardest type to fully develop. Not a lot of people even get type two started, but we do have plenty of anecdotal accounts from people stating that they go between more than one type. So for some people it may be easier to develop type two than it is for others. Quite a few people may have done so naturally without even noticing, thinking it was just 'part of growing up.' Also of note is that for the intuitive types, they get to stay inside their NT/NF archetype during the development of type two, potentially further easing the process. One thought I've had is that during/shortly after puberty, some people may start developing this second type automatically based on their experiences. Can't prove or disprove puberty being a potential milestone in type development at this time, but worth mentioning the possibility for those that'll come after me as the ones who will streamline this process as much as possible.

Most people will likely have to put a fair bit of conscious effort to transition into the backbone. Type three, on the other hand, is almost certain to require a concerted effort to develop for just about everybody. With all eight functions equally represented and having a place to develop, breaking that balance and working to start specializing in the core's functions is unlikely to come easily. A person may vaguely feel like they are in a state of stable limbo after spending an extended amount of time with only two types being active, and that their core type is weakened. As mentioned above, that will only be temporary - completing the third type will greatly assist in breaking them out of this state.

The new auxiliary function, when viewed from the perspective of the core type, would be considered in Socionics to be the role function, which is two dimensional (indicating that the model is essentially a snap shot of the start of development). Strengthening that function to the point of it being able to function as an auxiliary is no small task, yet it is the only other function capable of pairing with the core type's dominant function as an auxiliary within the structure of a functional stack. Actually making use of it within this type's functional stack should significantly help grow and strengthen the function from its initially weak state. For me, it took around a decade of blindly stumbling my way forward before I could really use it effectively. Those that are armed with more information and a better plan should, hopefully, be able to beat my time by a significant margin.

If type two is the backbone, this type could be considered an 'expansion' of the core type's major strengths.

Fourth personality type: Freeeedoooom!

Now that the core type's dominant function has been strengthened, it is time to boost the auxiliary function by swapping the preferences of the dominant and inferior functions.

There's a couple of significant things that happen here. It's the first type since the core type that shares the same auxiliary (or even has the core's auxiliary function within its functional stack at all). Type two placed the other four functions and type three was about swapping out the core's auxiliary to boost the core's dominant, so we're finally getting back to our baseline auxiliary/tertiary combo. There is potential that as a person developed the second and third type, they might feel that their core's auxiliary was starting to weaken a bit. Not to worry. Not only does this type contain it, the fifth type also has it - but we'll get there. If you recall, the premise of this hypothesis is that all of the extra types that are developed actually feed back into the core type to strengthen it. Although the functional stacks of other types are being developed, the core type is still the same and there is a difference between someone that has a type as their core and someone that has developed that type.

As an example, although INFJ and INTJ overlap into each other during development of additional types (type three for them), an INTJ who develops the INFJ type will likely not have underlying emotions that are anywhere near as strong as much of a driving force as they might be for a person whose core is INFJ. This is because the INTJ's Fi is actually tertiary in their core type, which also means it will never rise higher than tertiary among their five types. Their Fi even becomes the inferior function in the fifth type. A Fe auxiliary in INFJ is as high as either function of the F preference reaches in the INTJ's group of five types. The other four F function placements for them is twice in the auxiliary and twice in the inferior.

As such, it may be reasonable to speculate that although capable of being more aware of the emotional state of others after developing the INFJ type, an INTJ may view this more as another piece of information, rather than being prone to experiencing significant levels of empathy for that person like a core type INFJ. At the very least they would be unlikely to experience empathy to the same degree as a core INFJ or INFP experiences it because the Fi ability to process internal emotional information is far less developed and of significantly lower priority to an INTJs core functional stack and overall psyche. This hypothesis is about addressing weaknesses in the core and obtaining strength from the functional stacks of other types to further boost the core type, not copying the entire identity of other types. Hopefully this serves as a clear enough example of this point. Still, the developed Ni-Fe decoder ring does feed into the Fi function native to the core type of the INTJ. They might warm up enough to be a floating ice cube instead of the solid block of ice that some of them often claim to be. ;)

I mentioned that there was a couple of things happening when this fourth type is developing. The next, that some people may've noticed, is that the preference linked to the core type's inferior is actually the preference of the dominant function in this type. This dominant function is, of course, the alternate function of that preference (using ISTP as an example, Fe inferior in the core type and Fi dominant in type four). None of the four additional personality types obtained by developing around a core will boost the core type's inferior function above the core's dominant function. Although the functions are different, they are still connected to the same preference. Different sides of the same coin, though one side holds more weight than the other due to uneven pairs. It would be unusual for both functions to perform at exactly equal strength (the difference is part of what leads to developing a core type, after all). That, and functions are just that - a function of the overall preference. Now if you've been following along you might've noticed that thus far, the preference of the core type's inferior function has been very low key. In the three preceding types, there have been two appearances as the inferior function and one appearance as the tertiary via the alternate function (back in the second type, when we were getting all the functions up and running).

The preference of the core's inferior has been waiting while both the core's dominant and auxiliary preferences were strengthened - particularly via type two, which swapped functions but kept the same preferences within the dominant/auxiliary pair. Here in the fourth type is where the preference of the core type's inferior is finally able to surge forward all the way to a dominant function position and is finally able to experience the freedom to significantly develop. A significant amount of catch up to the other three preferences (among N/S/F/T) can be expected to occur. As the other function of the preference is the core type's inferior function and thus relatively muted initially, a significant degree of potency is to be expected from the dominant function of type four so as to keep the combined preference balanced in its uneven paring with the other judging/perceiving preference that it is connected to.

The massive growth and freedom that the preference of the core's inferior preference receives via this fourth type should finally allow it to relax and stabilize within the core type. As the overall preference now has a place to express itself and grow, the dominant and inferior within the core type should be far less likely to clash compared to a person who only has their core type active. Because of all this, the fourth type may be following hot on the heels of the third type solidifying - though activating it won't be automatic - as if the until now suppressed function knows that it is almost time for it to be set free. This may be in stark contrast to the difficulty of obtaining types two and three.

Some of you may be familiar with the apparent trouble that sometimes occurs in a core personality type between the dominant and inferior functions. I have seen it described as a tug-of-war relationship, but I feel a dog on a leash going for a walk seems more apt. If the dog and its owner travel at the same speed, everything is fine. If they try to travel at different paces or go in different directions, conflict occurs. The best results come about when they synchronize their actions. What MBTI labels as the inferior function (an unfortunate and possibly misleading name, I might add), Socionics instead refers to as the suggestive function. Similarly, with the top function being called 'dominant' it can give the impression that it needs to keep the inferior suppressed, as if one is better than the other. I disagree and view it as more of a collaborative relationship (an uneven pair). Some may focus on the relative lack of finesse that the inferior function possesses compared to other personality types that use the same function at a higher position within their functional stack. I instead see the inferior as applying the broad concept of its function to the personality type as overall guidance, due to being deeper in the stack, which contrasts with the detailed level of control/understanding a person has over their dominant function. It is quite similar to my earlier reference of getting too caught up in the details and sometimes having a need for a more zoomed out perspective. To make another comparison, let us consider an automobile and the driver. The automobile possesses vastly more physical power than the human, but it is through relatively small inputs that the driver directs where to put to use the automobile's strengths. Each has their part to play and only by working together can the two move forward.

In even broader terms, it is related to how the introverted and extraverted functions are still linked to the same preference (uneven pairs again). The growth, or lack thereof, of one impacts the other. This is also true of the preferences as whole. This would indicate that T and F are not actually opposing, mutually exclusive forces, but collaborative ones (this is also true of N/S, of course). In some people T takes the lead with a focus on logic and rational thought. In other people F takes the lead with an emphasis on feeling (or ethics, as Socionics so nicely puts it) and the principles and lessons that can be learned through examination and processing of feelings. They're still a pair, just like the dominant/inferior relationship, and through mutual growth both can happily move forward together. Depending on a person's core type, one of those is designed to lead while the other happily follows along providing guidance and suggestions.

If the leading preference tries to rush too far ahead, the preference that was following might yank on the leash to rein in the leader's overzealous ambition. That second preference isn't designed to lead though, and problems will continue to mount until the lead preference calms down and starts working in tandem with the other preference once again. Should the leader stubbornly continue and all but sever their connection to the follower, ignoring the subtle guidance provided, the leader will soon find themselves lost, without direction, and will have significant difficulty making forward progress. Pulling back the viewpoint even further, if the (F/T) judging pair is too far from the (N/S) pair, then no matter which is dominant we end up with a situation where either the judging trait doesn't have enough information to work with or the perceiving trait is gathering too much and the judging trait is unable to handle all the incoming information. A similar parallel could be drawn out to the person as a whole or even further to how it reflects in society when multiple individuals come together. The core concept of electricity, which can be considered to be the veritable lifeblood of modern civilization, is built upon the force of an excess of one type (generally the negative charge of electrons and their abundance or scarcity) seeking to obtain a more balanced state of being. Should it come as a surprise that the human mind may be striving for a balance of its own?

In relation to that (slight tangent time!), Norman Schwarzkopf - the four star general that led the US forces in Operation Desert Storm in the early 90s - said this during an interview with Barbara Walters (which can be found on YouTube): "...and frankly, any man that doesn't cry scares me a little bit.... I don't think I would like a man who is incapable of enough emotion to get tears in his eyes." That's from the mouth of a four star general of the entire US forces while on national television. Many like to deride the US for spending a large amount of money on their military in comparison to other nations, but I bet one of the top things that money was invested into was learning what factors are needed to comprise the best military leadership methods, and they then formed a plan to instill these characteristics into the leaders that they train. When the lives of the army of an entire nation is potentially on the line, you want to be extremely sure that the person calling the shots is equipped to arrive at the best decision for the situation at hand as efficiently as possible - because there will be hard decisions to make. Leading with their ego can lead to a lot of people getting needlessly injured or killed, and the military simply won't allow such indulgence just for the sake of one person's ego or to indulge in some misguided concept of being 'manly.' Norman Schwarzkopf knew what was up when it came to being a man and getting a job done. Might wanna go take some notes.

Back to type four, though. In Socionics terminology, the dominant function of this type comes from the core type's vulnerable function. Considered important, but often underdeveloped or not well understood by the core type. In addition to that, the premier function in type three would be considered the role function in Socionics (both from the super-ego block). How could these reach the point of functioning as a dominant or auxiliary? The astute reader may recall that in type two, these two functions were paired together. Whether MBTI or Socionics, it is generally accepted that between a primary pairing of judging and perceiving functions, one must be introverted and the other extraverted. The importance of this pairing is evident not just in MBTI's functional stack, but also in how Socionics indicates their importance and relation to each other with their three letter type acronyms that refer to just two functions, despite their model including all eight.

The dominant function of type four may very well represent the 'hot button' of a person's core type - a source of frustration that the core type experiences due to an inability to use the function properly. Thus, in a core type, when the function is offended it tries to strongly express itself. Being that it is eventually able to perform as a dominant function, as it does in type four, may partially explain the strength and potency of some of these 'hot button' reactions. This is not out of the two preferences (such as T and F, in my case) actually being opposites, but is rather simply a symptom of the lack of type development that we all start out at. When this function tries to express itself during these 'hot button' moments, the inferior function (being the same preference) is likely to resonate with it and also reject whatever event is causing the negative reaction. The combined force from both functions of the preference is likely to catch a person's psyche off guard, as in a default state it is ill equipped to handle such a situation.

The pairing done in type two (where type four's dominant is placed as the tertiary) allows this function to slowly start to express itself in a healthy manner, and the underlying potency helps pull the inferior it is paired with along that path of growth - which is a good thing because, as we covered, the inferior it is paired with in type two needs to grow enough to serve as the auxiliary in type three. By the time this function has done enough growth for the linked type three to start functioning, the paired tertiary function will likely be well on its way to being capable of performing as the dominant function of the subsequent type four. The multiple services that type two performs really helps it live up to its moniker of being the backbone of type development.

This type could be considered to be a stabilizer or 'anchor' for the psyche.

The Fifth type: Can I actually change to an Intro/Extravert?

It's time. Time to swap that I to the oft-perceived super scary E, or vice versa (oh noes, my social life will be over!) and obtain the final type in this progression. Don't worry too much about it at the start - by the time a person gets to this point it should actually feel like a fairly natural and smooth progression compared to the first two types. Additionally, the person will have the four other types that lean in one direction along this axis and it's just this type that'll break new ground. Also, to refer again to Jung's caution about focusing too much on one aspect - this type will help balance out a person's natural leaning towards one side or the other on the E/I axis. Remember how type two is the only one of the five to have the intro/extraverted nature of its judgement and perceiving functions flipped? It was laying the ground work for the major shift seen here, which won't be such a major shift by the time a person gets here. Another example of it being the backbone. Type two really is a workhorse. All the core type does is sit around ordering everybody else about and waiting to reap the benefit of the backbone's efforts. Core type is a jerk, why are we helping it again?

So first thing's first. This type has the exact same functions as the core type does. We've come full circle, though there's certainly some differences now. As this type is swapping the E/I preference, the order in which functions in the functional stack are intro/extraverted also changes. In order to continue using the same functions, this of course means that they'll swap places compared to their positions in the core type. As is to be expected, no core preference will cross the line between auxiliary and tertiary.

You might notice that the core type's dominant and inferior are now sitting snugly next to each other as the auxiliary/tertiary. If an attempt to obtain this type was made from the start, there is a very strong possibility of the psyche throwing a bit of a tantrum. Following the outlined type progression, a person arriving at this as their fifth type would have just gotten done a lot of strengthening of various preferences and functions. Skipping that and going from the core to this fifth type will strengthen an already strong dominant function while giving little room for the core's inferior function/preference to grow. That's not all, though. Remember those other four functions not contained in the core type? If someone were to jump straight to type five, then those functions still wouldn't have the structure of a functional stack to prominently grow and express themselves in. As we just covered, the preference of the inferior gains the most room for growth in type four via the alternate function becoming the dominant function in that type. Skipping all of that and going directly for type five is a recipe for disaster. Some people may be able to find a delicate equilibrium and manage to happily use both functional stacks, but this is likely to be rather unhealthy long term as they still need to develop the rest in order strengthen their other functions and preferences to obtain a much sturdier and stable foundation. Others may have a rather draining yoyo-esque experience as they bounce between an introverted and extraverted functional stack without any support structure.

Let's say someone did follow the progression I'm describing (as I feel it's the natural, healthy, and logical path to take based on my analysis). How well would they fare then? Well, let's recap. In the first four types, every one of the eight functions appears twice each. It's an even distribution. Furthermore, the second appearances of the core type's four functions were all at the same place in the functional stack as their position in the core type's stack. Thus the core type itself has been strengthened by each of its functions having another personality type to develop in, alongside different functions than they're paired with in the core type. We also just got out of type four, which let the inferior's preference stretch its legs and have somewhere to express itself and grow. Since the preference of the core's dominant function (via the alternate function) became the inferior in that type it also helps to prevent the core's dominant preference from doing runaway growth.

By this stage of development, the functions of the core type will have gotten fairly comfortable with their role in the stack. While this fifth type does place the core's dominant and inferior functions next to each other, they should now be much more comfortable where they are and negative situations should be easier to process and less likely to cause an outburst. I would refer back to the dog on a leash analogy. The size of the leash hasn't changed (core type's functional structure is still what is being used) and so as long as the dog and owner walk in tandem there's no problems. From the viewpoint of a picture taken from where they started though, the further away they are from that starting point the closer together they appear to be. If we are zoomed out, looking from the static point a picture would be taken from, the physical distance on the picture itself between the two seems small. Relative to their size and distance though, they're the same distance apart and can continue enjoying themselves. Additionally, the fifth type using the same functions as the core now means that all functions of the core appear three times, while the functions that were absent from the core's functional stack have appeared twice each. This is another way that the core type is strengthened. Lastly, the core's dominant and auxiliary have swapped spots (same has happened in the tertiary/inferior pairing, of course) which will prove useful providing a different, fresh perspective.

Let's recall back to type two and how it generally handles similar issues to the core type but in a different way, due to how the stack of that type is set up. Type five approaches situations in a manner much closer to how the core does, though this time the differences are along the E/I axis rather than J/P. Another example of type two laying the groundwork for future development and why I refer to it as the 'backbone.' Type five however, I consider to be the 'capstone.'

The way that this 'capstone' type differs from the core type is of course the E/I preference. The introverted type is generally narrower in scope than the extraverted version, but the introverted version is often more intensive, deep, or focused. In contrast for giving up some of the introverted version's strength, the extravert version provides much broader scope and area in which it can work, dealing with things that the introvert often fails to even detect. I'll stop there, as many who have even a passing familiarity with typology should understand the core characteristics of introversion and extraversion well beyond society's common misconception that it relates to whether or not someone is a 'people person.' There's been plenty written on the concept by better, more informed writers than me.

What does this mean, though? Well, since the capstone and the core types are designed for similar situations, their abilities should actually overlap and function simultaneously. All developed types are active at the same time as there is no real 'type selection screen' for which functional stack to use like a video game might have for which character you want to use. This creates a synergy that allows the strengths of both the capstone and the core to be utilized at the same time. This means that an extraverted core type that has a naturally broad scope will now be able to plunge deeper into their area of expertise, supported by the massive breadth of their newly increased range. The inverse can be said for an introvert being able to apply their intensive focus across a significantly broader area.

Ok, so how do I do all that?

It actually sounds fairly easy and simple on paper, though remember that development of the initial few types is likely to be the most difficult part of this process.

Just pop the clutch.

I bet nobody ever told you that the psychological engine your brain uses isn't actually an automatic. It's a manual transmission. A stick shift. Rather hard to switch gears if you weren't aware you needed to manually do so in the first place. Just like someone learning to drive a car with a manual transmission, it will take some time before using the clutch and switching gears is a smoothly practiced motion that's done nigh unconsciously. There will be some growing pains early on, though they'll hopefully be relatively light due to actually having an operation manual to consult.

So how does a clutch work in a car? Well, it's used for three major purposes. Starting, stopping, and changing gears while in motion. The gears of the psychological engine could be considered the functional stack linked to each type. The engine itself would actually represent the core type. The functional stack a type starts with is simply first gear, not a functional stack exclusive to their type nor the entirety of what a personality type is capable of achieving. A person only using first gear would be like a car puttering down a driveway. Someone that has gone through the full development process would be akin to a vehicle roaring down a highway.

So much like a car has to be taken out of first gear to be put in second gear when the engine reaches a high RPM, the psychological engine has to reach a point where it needs a higher gear. A situation in which first gear isn't meeting all of the psyche's needs. You'll need to manually concentrate on it at first, but now you'll have an idea of not only when to shift but also what gear to shift into. Having a grasp of the functional stack you're attempting to shift into (aka, develop) and how it works should help the process as well.

Time to start the most epic road trip in history. Wanna join us?

As it should prove helpful, I'll try to expand on how all eight functions are working within a single functional stack rather than just the four listed by the common MBTI model. The judging/perceiving functions pair up to make four pairs + two more from auxiliary/tertiary pairs. This six pair composition is what makes a particular functional stack's way of handling information unique. The process starts from type four's dominant function, the function which gives the core type so much trouble pre-development, and eventually arrives at the core's dominant function. Let's use a term MBTI already has around and refer to these 'unlisted' functions that still operate within their own, secondary functional stack as the shadow functions. Their positions are automatically determined by the related preference's positions in the main functional stack. In my case as an ISTP, the process would start from Fi (opposite preference of Fe inferior and dominant function of type four) which is the inferior's shadow function. Fi is paired with Ne, Si pairs with Ne, followed by Si and Te. It then moves to the main ISTP stack where a similar process occurs.

Here's a visual representation:

Dominant: Ti
Auxiliary: Se
Tertiary: Ni
Inferior: Fe

Shadow Dominant: Te
Shadow Auxiliary: Si
Shadow Tertiary: Ne
Shadow Inferior: Fi

A lot of current function definitions relate to what they are or why certain results and behaviors happen when they're involved - particularly when they're in a prominent position such as dominant or auxiliary. There's less information on 'how' they work no matter what position (shadow or main functional stack) that they appear in, especially from a mechanical standpoint. Here's a short definition of each that should help provide understanding of how a particular functional stack operates when combining all eight functions. Examine the dominant/auxiliary to determine what goal it is trying to accomplish, and then start from the inferior shadow function and loop your way around through all eight, ending at the dominant function.

Si - what has occurred/worked previously - endurance - precedents
Se - immediate surroundings - whole environments - situations
Ni - what might work in the future - possible improvements
Ne - details - specific parts of a whole - patterns
Ti - determine how to join multiple pieces together - efficiency
Te - constructs: order - structure - systems - planning
Fi - determine causes of positive and negative responses - provides vigor
Fe - harmony - smooth conveyance - minimizing conflict - provides warmth

Ne and Se are actually the reverse of what might be the common perception (based on behavior of related types). This is due to how the functional stack process works. Although a type like ISTP may be known for working with details, it actually starts processing those details early on in the functional stack process via Ne and then ultimately compares how those details fit into an environment (like an engine of many parts). For a Ne user like INTP, they ponder whole environments (Se early in functional stack) and eventually pull out important pieces via Ne by combining the overlapping/common points of differing situations. An ISTP is 'good with details' because they start processing them early in the functional stack, not because Se is about details.

The descriptions are a bit broad/vague because all of the functions are used at all times to some extent or another, so the descriptions need to be adaptable enough for those needs. I'll specifically point out that I did not reference the F functions in terms of emotions. I believe that their true abilities encompass a realm that is much larger than just the conventionally accepted idea of emotions or social interaction. Further definition refinement is surely possible, but these descriptions should be serviceable enough to get the ball rolling. Furthermore, I'll provide a rough example of one of the types and the steps/thought processes that may help someone that is trying to develop that type. I'll select ESFP - I have been neglecting the extraverts a bit in my examples, after all.

Starting from the inferior's shadow function and going up to the shadow dominant, then from the inferior up to the dominant the function list would be: (shadow) Ne-Ti Fe-Si + (main) Ni-Te Fi-Se.

Broad goal of type (aux/dom pair): Increase level of positive responses in surroundings.

1. (Ne-Ti) Take account of specific details/patterns and to determine how they might be combined together cohesively.

2. (Fe-Ti) Select pieces that harmonize and combine them into a cohesive whole.

3. (Fe-Si) Consider how to smoothly convey these crafted pieces while minimizing conflict potential based on precedents.

4. (Ni-Te) Based on perceived future potential, structure and orderly arrange current pieces.

5. (Fi-Te) Assess the ability to influence positive/negation responses and rearrange/reorder.

6. (Fi-Se) Look for what causes positive responses and negative ones by applying the details from previous steps to immediate surroundings.

Appropriate wording may change from situation to situation, but that should serve as a reasonable example of how all eight functions operate within the functional stack. The first function of each stack performs 'multiple' times to make a 'single' result for the second function. I tried using a four pair version of the above process, but six pairs currently seems to yield a smoother, more accurate depiction.

When attempting to trigger a new type, the most likely obstacle will be wherever the core's shadow tertiary and shadow inferior appear in the new functional stack, rather than always at the new dominant/auxiliary pair.

I'll reiterate the difficulty of initial progress into a new type. For example, when I was initially developing ISFP I more or less had to beat myself over the head with content that was ridiculously emotionally charged that also contained situations I could relate to (manga is what worked for me). It still took quite awhile to see solid progress, and I was even managing to use manga to train both INTP (pattern recognition of Ne - core's shadow tertiary) and ISFP (Fi - core's shadow inferior) at the same time. At first, a type will not have a fine level of control. Broad/strong concepts (depending on type) may be needed to get things started. It's like the chart at the eye doctor that has letters that get smaller on each line. Start at the top with the big letters and work your way down from there.

Lastly, be vigilant against growing lax and taking the easy, comfortable method of doing things. You need high RPMs to shift gears and likely also need extra RPMs on top of that as a margin for error due to initial clumsiness with shifting into the new gear. A quote by Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sums it up quite nicely.

"Master Splinter is constantly telling us that when given two choices, always choose the harder path."

If you're still faced with a paralyzing fear leading to inaction as you fight against fears from your past, or have feelings of inadequacy about your current progress, here's the ISTP version of poetry to help you through:

Don't get too far ahead of yourself

Focus should primarily be kept on what is needed in the next step. Much like trying to do steps 1-8 all at once when putting something together isn't too useful (though being prepared and having everything needed available could certainly help increase the speed and efficiency), neither is skipping backwards and forwards in the instructions likely to yield the end result that is desired. If the person thinks the instructions are wrong or missing a step, they can get someone else to help look it over, and once satisfied just go through the steps one at a time. Or just play it by ear in terms of what to work on next - that's what I do (it's a SP thing). Might take longer than using an actual plan, though.

Developing five types is not to be confused with disliking the core type or being envious of other types. It is more about recognizing the current limitations and weaknesses of the core type and having a genuine desire to grow and overcome them, even if that means putting development of the core's strengths on hold for a little bit. Would have eventually been held back by an underdeveloped shadow tertiary/inferior anyway. As I mentioned in the type two section, it is about accepting that there are alternate ways of doing things. And as we just covered during type five, the end result is basically a more badass version of the core type. Just wanting to be a badass won't get anyone there of course, or every other 20 something male would be jump kicking the moon powered by nothing more than the strength of their ego. I also highly doubt that it's possible to fake type development particularly well. Trying to emulate and pretend to have characteristics from the next type in line is unlikely to work (seriously, how do you even pretend to have that INFJ decoder ring?). Some of you may've grasped from the nigh nonstop talk about the functional stack that this is a change that happens at the foundational level, after which the characteristics of the new type will naturally show themselves. Some characteristics and behaviors of a type are because that is their core type - another type developing the related functional stack would be less likely to share those same behaviors (refer back to INTJ vs INFJ empathy potential), thus trying to just emulate how people of the type to be developed behave is unlikely to yield particularly useful results.

When the right pieces are in place, the associated personality type will naturally grow and assert itself as it receives more and more practice. Slowly bringing more of its components online until it's fully functional. To get the ball rolling, a person can identify areas where the strengths of their personality type(s) aren't quite enough - it's something outside their specialty, and possibly trying to forcibly use the person's strong suit in those situations is yielding disagreeable results. In such a case, one could focus on trying to soften the use of their core strengths, so that a different perspective and plan of action can be pursued.

I would liken developing a new functional stack to leveling a character in an MMORPG. While the new type is being formed it is like leveling a character towards the level cap, as those games generally don't have all of the tools and abilities available during the leveling process. Some are saved for the end and others are given partway through. Reaching the level cap would be when the personality type has become fully active. All the tools and abilities are there, but the person is not completely familiar with them quite yet. Ability usage is a bit suboptimal and the character likely hasn't obtained high quality equipment yet. Just like in an MMO, the new type has to be put to use. Give it food to digest. Which is essentially (once a person notices enough components of the new type coming online), seeking out situations in which the developing personality type would perform well (aka, the new dominant-auxiliary pairing) - though these activities will have probably already been underway to facilitate initial type growth in the first place, so just expand the range/depth. There'd be no surprise if someone who has the new type as their core was also engaging in the same activity. Doing that should help to solidify the newest type. It won't happen all at once and different people proceed at different rates.

Suggestions for progressing through each type

The first type to develop, as we covered above, is from swapping the J/P preference. Again, this will likely be one of the hardest ones to do if it does not naturally occur early on in life. The largest hurdle will likely be the inferior/tertiary of the new functional stack, as these are the shadow inferior and shadow tertiary of the core type and have merely altered which of the two comes first in the mental process (as well as being in the main functional stack of the new type).

Furthermore, since a person will know what type they'll be getting, the person can look up and be aware the different strengths between it and the core type, which should help identify situations where the new type's functional stack is stronger/more appropriate. As long as a person doesn't try to force their core type to fill that strength, and instead tries to approach those situations from the new perspective that their upcoming type might have (and thus via it's functional stack), it may be a method that will help them progress. Should merit be found with the core of what I'm presenting, I'm sure input from other types will be helpful in putting together a much better, more extensive and streamlined plan for activating additional functional stacks. As an ISTP, I generally have to wing it to some extent the first time through. ;)

If a person has a good grasp of the various personality types, they'll likely have a solid idea of when it is active but still struggling to hit its stride, and when it is a 'fully armed and operational battle station.' Once type two is settled in, they'll be able to move on to type three - the first time they'll swap functions in the core type's functional stack. This one is a bit simpler to explain. As before, they'll want to focus on the preference that is being changed. I knew nothing of functions or MBTI while I was progressing and still managed to get it online eventually - and so has a significant portion of the adult population. Knowing the actual function to focus on should help greatly. Personally, though I needed Ne, I tried focusing on Ni first after determining that my S preference wasn't sufficiently covering all situations I was coming across (particularly when playing video games - look Mom, all those years of gaming weren't a waste of time after all!) - maybe that was just me reinforcing the preference via the core's tertiary before working on Ne, though. An idea for the streamliners to play around with.

The tertiary/inferior combo of type two can also help, as mentioned previously. Also, keep in mind that currently all eight functions are represented once each in a main functional stack. The core type generally has more sway than other types that have developed, but the most recent type seems to stay on top as the 'default mode of operation' so that it can continue to practice using functions in an order that differs from the core type. Type three also represents there being more than one 'gear' to shift to in the psychological engine, which is an important precedent to teach the mind and thus can take a bit of effort.

After type three, there's a chance of it being relatively smooth sailing fowards to type four, as it's similar process to type three except that now the core is strengthened, making further progress a tad easier if the right activating event is encountered. That and since it's the type where the inferior's shadow function gets to finally run around, it may be all but dashing onto the scene at top speed, as it likely experienced growth as part of the tertiary/inferior pair in type two. Type two should now be firmly set in its 'backbone' position in the background to the core in terms of outer behavior, though right behind it and ready to assist as needed.

I will take this time to bring up a possibility, which seems more and more likely as I have examined it. The possibility of type three and type four needing to be developed simultaneously (which is roughly how it occurred for me), rather than sequentially with type four not starting until three is fully complete. The principle of uneven pairs seems to apply to type development from here on out. Type three will take the lead, but it will likely need to repeatedly wait for type four before more progress can be made. A bit like waiting for everyone to finish one leg of a race course before moving on to the next section. The reason for this relates back to the dominant/auxiliary combo in the core type. Type three gives the core's dominant function a new auxiliary to connect to, which is not a problem by itself. The issue is that too much solo growth by the core's dominant would bring unbalance to its pairing with the core's auxiliary. This continues out to all functions needing to be trained for any one (such as the dominant) to be able to continue forward. Thus a way of training multiple functions at once is required - a rather tall order in some cases.

A related note of interest is that much like types one and two, types three and four also share no common functions in their MBTI functional stack. All eight are represented. They also do not share any preferences in their judging/perceiving traits - such as, in my case, type three being NT and type four being SF. All are represented and the entirety of the psyche is trained simultaneously between them, rather than only a specific portion. Training all eight functions evenly so that none fall too far behind seems to be one of the steps needed for mental development.

Additionally, there exists in Socionics the concept of subtypes: a significant difference of people who have the same core type between favoring their type's dominant or auxiliary function (though remember that Socionics defines functions from a different perspective than MBTI even though similar terminology is used). Examining and expanding on this concept may help point towards the 'training' methods most suitable for developing additional functional stacks for either subtype.

Edit: So yeah, subtypes are important and determine which order a person develops extra functional stacks. They'll end up with the same ones in the end, but it does cause variance during development - and of course what a person focuses on.

By the time someone is capping things off with type five, they'll be an old hand at this. The 'shift' should happen more or less automatically, but it does still need to be used and trained to really solidify it just like the previous types. As discussed, the psyche should now be able to focus on the core's auxiliary as the new dominant function without nearly as much trouble, as the previous types will have settled the core's four functions into place fairly well and the relatively mild, at this point, move of flipping the core's auxiliary into the dominant position shouldn't encounter much resistance. It will also let the auxiliary catch up to the dominant even more closely than was provided by type four and their synergistic output should be increased immensely. As this is the first (and only) type that has the core's dominant/auxiliary combo also occupy the top two positions, it will even further reinforce the core's tendencies and strengths while providing its own style of additional assistance.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we might be able to approach being half as awesome as Batman.

But wait, there's more...

Holy crap, he's still rambling (welcome to crazy town)

So for an ISTP like me up to this point, there is access to three of the four introverted thinking types. Just missing INTJ. It wasn't included on the way to the capstone, but it's still sitting there... looking like it should fit in. An incomplete collection (my subconscious is playing Pokemon, remember?). I could certainly see how it might help to have access to the INTJ strengths, but is that possible? It's Ni dominant with a Fi tertiary, the opposite of type four where Fi finally got to run around and bring things into a better balance. Well, it's far enough removed from the core type that maybe we can get away with it. And the capstone is able to flip the dominant/auxiliary pairing after reinforcing the primary core layout. After all, Ni is part of my ISTP core functional stack and hasn't received any specific reinforcement. So maybe, just maybe.

Let's go back to Batman, because nobody gets away from Batman. There are still some things missing from our litmus test of him that sound really Batman-like. For example, an ISTP's strength with details. Batman is good with that stuff. You can probably think of some other types that may fit him in some way. So let's take a leap and do another litmus test with him. This time, it'll be the personality types that differ from his core (supposedly INTJ) by two preferences.

ISTP: As mentioned, Batman is good with details. Nothing escapes him, no matter how small or insignificant. He'll notice it, process it through his vast NT abilities, and determine what it means. Also, utility belt. If there's one thing that made me think 'that's so awesome' as a kid when I watched Batman cartoons, it was all the little gadgets he could pull from his utility belt whenever they were needed. Always seems to have a solution to whatever problem he ran into. Like dealing with small, nigh inconsequential details such as "I'm on the ground, but I would prefer to be on the roof of this skyscraper instead." Other types might find this a challenging problem (superheroes in elevators, anyone?), but not Batman. An ISTP finds an ideal solution to such a problem rather obvious, even if the implementation isn't always easy. Gadgets are cool.

INFP: I'll just point at his ironclad decision to never kill. Ever. The Fi dominant INFP type would've certainly helped produce the conclusion that it really isn't worth it no matter what. Good thing he's so adept at finding alternate solutions and generally evading the feeble attempts villains make trying to get him to kill somebody.

ENTP: Ah, the final NT type. This will expand the range of his INTP backbone's abilities significantly. No wonder the Riddler never stood a chance. Batman has the entire suite of NT types available to tackle rational problems from every angle. Rarely is he 'stumped' when it comes to logical issues, though some solutions do take longer to come together than others. The batcave has a computer that is well equipped to do research for a reason.

ISFJ: Batman provides his unique version of long term care for Gotham City and its citizens. Even when the city doesn't believe in itself, he's working to improve and make it better. Even if it requires years or even decades, he's in it for the duration.

ESTJ: Bringing effective solutions to large areas. Also, when he has a plan that involves a dozen other heroes doing stuff, he can get them to do it and they all know their role. Of course they do fail at times because they're not Batman. He then has to clean up after their mess, but at least he lets them try. Occasionally it actually succeeds in saving him some effort. He also must have quite the system worked out for exactly where he stores things in his utility belt.

ENFJ: Hmm, Batman basically never really smiles or forms emotional connections with people. Everyone does pay attention when he has something to say though. If he speaks, the audience is his captive (because nobody gets away). This may also be his 'go to' type for Bruce Wayne public relations.

Huh, that somehow turned out better than expected. Maybe there's something to it. An expansion to build after the capstone is in place and the core is firmly strengthened. A nice thought.

Why stop there though, this is crazy town! How about types that only have one preference in common with the core type! We are kind of reaching at this point though (and likely were on a few from the set just covered). Batman really isn't an ENFP, for example. ESFJ also doesn't seem to fit him. At this point my INTP side started tapping me on the shoulder saying I am too focused on the details, and then pointed out a perspective that's even further zoomed out.

Dominant: Core type (INTJ for Batman)
Auxiliary: Types that differ from the core by one preference
Tertiary: Types that differ from the core by two preferences
Inferior: Types that differ from the core by three preferences

Hmm. Well, one of the things that the inferior is known to provide is a sense of purpose and overall guidance (suggestive function, in Socionics - and the tertiary would be mobilizing, which puts the above litmus test under a new light). What do the types that are in his inferior function have in common? Well, we have ESTP, ISFP, ESFJ, and ENFP. Bit of a broad mix. Actually, all of those types seem to be pretty good on their feet. You could drop them into large variety of situations that are remotely related to their strengths and they'd likely find a way to manage or even thrive. Ready for and able to adapt to just about anything. That... kinda sounds like Batman.

But what about ESFP, the last remaining type? Well, as the complete opposite of Batman's INTJ type it completely inverts the functional stack. This would indicate that ESFP is the one thing Batman doesn't have access to, the one thing he can't do, and should never try to obtain. The Forbidden Fruit, as it were. What are ESFPs in very broad terms? They're often the people at a social gathering exuding energy to entertain or otherwise make sure as many people as possible are having a good time. The life of the party.

There's also this amusing concept to consider:

Uh... I think I just did a reverse litmus test and somehow the insanity didn't immediately crumble.

So Batman might very well represent an INTJ that has developed a whopping 15 of the 16 types. At this point, some of the INTJs out there may be cursing their shortsighted vision of trying to plan out world domination when they could've been transforming themselves into a real life version of Batman. No time like the present to get started, right? Can't help with the wealthy inheritance component, though.

There's nothing to guarantee that these tertiary personality types can't start developing before the capstone of the auxiliary personality types is in place. And indeed, upon a closer examination it seems likely that at least a few will need to develop before the capstone can be activated. In my personal experience, I have experienced a bit of 'bleed over' into other types. Not major stuff, but I've noticed myself doing small things or acting in a way that is often characteristic of other types outside my basic five types. Specifically, INTJ and ISFJ stand out (and as they're tertiary types, they would naturally be less noticeable or potent compared to the auxiliary and core types). A function in each of those pairs is actually from the dominant/auxiliary of type two, because for the progression of the core type's backbone (ISTJ for me) these two tertiary types are actually types three and four in its own progression. Additionally, the other prominent functions in these two new types (that aren't from the dominant/auxiliary pair of the backbone) are from the tertiary and inferior functions in the core type. So those functions will finally receive a type specifically for boosting them. So while the backbone is being reinforced, it is also strengthening the core type (does it ever quit being helpful? No, it's the backbone). ISFJ seems to be first (backbone's type three), followed by INTJ. In this way all four functions from the core type are reinforced before the capstone is put in place.

Adding to that, proceeding directly to the capstone type would've put me at a 4:1 ratio in favor of T, P, and S types. A rarther unbalanced state of affairs. Adding two tertiary types first would instead yield four T and S types, two F and N types, and three each of P and J types. The latter indicates an interesting mechanism of maintaining a balance between J and P type functional stacks as more are developed. Without the tertiary types coming in before the capstone, the psyche would've had to process data via three P types in a row. The reverse, of course, is true for core J types. Not enough P types would leave the J functional stacks starved for information to process and performance would be suboptimal.

This does mean the ratio between the E/I preferences will seem quite lopsided, but the J/P preference can be seen as the less extreme middle ground between the two due to the J/P preference indicating whether an introverted or extraverted judging function is primarily used.

This pattern of uneven pairs being used to reinforce previously developed types (much like the core's backbone was just reinforced) can be followed all the way to the final type. Also remember that an uneven pairing of types will train all eight functions. There are a couple of principles that these major pairings past the backbone adhere to:

1. All eight functions are represented between the functional stacks of the two types.
2. All four of the preferences of the judging/perceiving traits (T, F, S, and N) are present between the two types.
3. Both types are P or both types are J.

Following this line of logic, while considering what function may need a boost next and what types need reinforcement, the remaining type pairs can be determined. For Batman, he would've developed ISTP and INFP as tertiary types (because they're types three and four of INTP, his backbone type) before his ENTJ capstone. However, the capstone has to be part of an uneven pair as well, and ISFJ is the partner to it for an INTJ core type. Next would be the 'backbone' type of ENTJ, which is ENTP (which is also the capstone of INTP, the backbone of the INTJ core) and it is paired with ISFP, the final introvert type and the first type to be placed in the inferior. Types three and four of the ENTJ capstone are next, those being ESTJ and ENFJ, finishing up the tertiary. Next would be ENTP's type three and four which are ENFP and ESTP. Finally is the last type - ESFJ. It is not paired with the 16th type (ESFP), as that type is a complete inversion of the core type's functional stack. Instead, this last type actually forms a pair with the core type, as they have opposite functions, finally completing a person's type development. It is interesting to note that Socionics has termed this type the 'Dual' of the core type, proof that their work was laying a strong foundation (I am curious to see how Socionics might eventually revise and update their 16x16 type relation chart, and what the new version might look like).

That would be the major pairings, such as the case of types three and four in the auxiliary alongside the backbone and capstone type. The exact, type by type progression, follows a slightly different pattern. After the core and backbone, the psyche does engage in having the four main preferences represented every two types. However, it always alternates between J and P types starting from the core type itself.

Thus an INTJ's/Batman's full development path of types looks like this.

INTJ (core), INTP (backbone), INFJ ('type three'), ISTP (backbone's type three), ISTJ ('type four'), INFP (backbone's type four), ENTJ (capstone), ISFP (paired type of capstone's backbone), ISFJ (capstone's pair - and dual), ENTP (capstone's backbone), ESTJ (capstone's type three), ENFP (capstone's backbone's type three), ENFJ (capstone's type four), ESTP (capstone's backbone's type four), ESFJ (core's dual).

Edit: This, of course, would be for a Ni (dominant function) subtype of INTJ. For an auxiliary subtype (INTJ-Te), the type that corresponding to 'three' and 'four' would be swapped, which'll cause adjustments in other areas. Formula is still the same.

A more simple view would be as follows:

Dominant: INTJ

An interesting note is the types at the end of each layer (last developed type tends to stay on top in terms of default behavior, remember?). If we combine the inferior and tertiary we get ESFJ + ENFJ. Aka, behavior of Bruce Wayne for public relations. Going to the auxiliary we have ENTJ - Bruce Wayne when running Wayne Enterprises and when in a private setting. And then of course INTJ - Batman in his true form. I actually picked Batman as an example to use back when I was only thinking of just the first five types. Funny how it all seems to have naturally worked out and fit together, huh?

If this section was rather confusing for some of you, don't worry too much. Actually getting to the capstone is one of the hardest parts of the entire process. Development will be relatively automatic after that point, if effort is still being made. So just focus on resolving the current issue you face one step at a time. You can also ask for assistance.

Before we leave crazy town, I have two last concepts to toss out for fun that have popped into my head.

The first is based on a recent observation over just a few weeks (as the tail end of development occurred for me while polishing this hypothesis) and thus, far more information will need to be gathered before anything conclusive could be claimed. Part of the observation is that, although it is currently summer and exceptionally warm for the area I live in, I haven't really felt a sweltering heat even though this has been the case at times during past, less severe summers. Sometimes there'll be sweat on my forehead, but it's been more akin to duly noting that it's warmer than usual without it really impacting my ability to function.

The possible cause of this is that by developing types and training all of the functions, the way that the psyche uses those functions to internally regulate the body may also have been improved. All SPs have Ni in their tertiary/inferior combo, and Fe is the other function for me. This would point to the body attempting to predict, adapt to, and harmonize with the environment around me before it gets too uncomfortable. So there's a possibility that consciously training the functions via type development will also improve the body's ability to internally monitor and regulate itself.

The second main observation, that seems to support that reasoning, is that I used to have significant trouble falling asleep. My body would feel physically tired, so I would attempt to go to bed, but my mind would stay active for hours and hours as I lay in bed not actually getting any rest and I'd be up and down all through the night - a rather inefficient setup. This seems to be a result of when I was first developing INTP, but had not yet developed ISFP significantly. As such, Ti would have been stronger than Se. The mind still had energy to keep going, but the body couldn't keep up, and this imbalance in functional strength (of the Ti-Se pair in my core functional stack) may have led to the above issue. I would sometimes joke that my body decided that a day didn't have twenty four hours, and that instead some days were shorter and others were far longer.

Lately though, I have been sleeping much better. When finally tired, I fall asleep much faster and the sleep I do get is far more restful. On one recent occasion, after being awake for a significant amount of time through the night (close to twenty hours or so), I finally went to sleep the next morning as my friends were coming online. I was asleep within minutes of lying down - and I woke up less than four hours later feeling fully rested and popped right out of bed. My friends commented "I thought you went to bed" as so little time had passed. Why yes, I did go to bed. And I finished resting already. I was awake and functioning for another extended period of time without feeling any real fatigue. It was, almost literally, a night and day difference from past experiences. As I mentioned, this is still a recent change and it will need to be monitored over a long period of time, but so far it appears that developing all the functions of my psyche has increased my body's operational endurance while also vastly boosting the regenerative effects of rest. The two combined together multiply productivity potential immensely. My body may still be undecided about how many hours are in a day, but the actual number of hours decided upon doesn't seem to be a split decision nearly as often as it used to be.

What might be causing this increase though? It is one thing for the mind and body to get tired at the same time, but there's clearly something else going on. Well, let us hearken all the way back to the Socionics model that depicts the starting line of functional development. The two weakest functions are Fi and Ne - the shadow inferior and shadow tertiary function respectively. Having gone through type development, these functions are now strengthened and working synergistically with the rest of the psyche. The result is that Fi can now much more effectively internally determine what would produce a positive or negative impact and Ne is now able to provide my psyche with information on specific areas that need attention. This added strength seems to synchronize with the rest of the (also bolstered) functions to produce the recent changes that I have observed. I have noticed a few other changes in my body's operation that seem to have coincided with recent development, but the above are the ones that really stand out.

The truly interesting part, which is quite the conceptual jump, is how this may pertain to current medical illnesses that have no known cause or cure. I have an INFP and ENFP friend that currently deal with issues of that nature. Their shadow inferior/tertiary pair is composed of Ti and Se (just a different order between them) - functions which may very well represent the psyche's ability to cohesively repair damage to the entire body. Perhaps training the mind will allow a person's body to better assist in naturally resolving some of these ailments, if some of them are indeed actually resulting from an imbalance of the psyche's functions. I will (firmly) reiterate that it is far too soon to come to any conclusions, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on. I certainly have a renewed motivation to help my two friends through their type development the best that I can. Considering the prospective benefits of type development on overall health can be rather exciting. I can't wait to see more results.

See? Told you the F functions were involved in a tad more than just emotions. :)

Here is the other fun concept.

Following the concept of uneven pairs, in that one aspect leads and the other follows as the (equally important) support role, we can examine some of the aspects of typology in relation to reality around us. For example, we mainly see concrete, solid matter so S would be the leader to N in the perceiving pair. On the judging side of things, it is fairly easy to see T taking the lead over F. We can then take these and a few other factors into account, such as rough population percentages, to produce something that looks like this:

Possible functional stack of humanity:

Dominant: SJs
Auxiliary: SPs
Tertiary: NTs
Inferior: NFs

NFs will probably have a field day with how that potentially connects everyone together. Enjoy.

Major Roadblock

Having observed a few others, reflected on my own experience, and compared against the related functional stacks, it would appear that a major roadblock comes just after activating initially type four (five functional stacks total). I have met a number of people (especially fairly healthy, mature adults) that seemed to be stuck at this stage of development - which makes it stand out.

An individual type can only be trained so far before progress stops, otherwise the dominant function would experience too much runaway growth (as noted above in previous sleeping irregularities observed). Based on my experience, compared against the order the types train and develop functional stacks, significant forward progress seems to be required for even the third type to really start providing major contributions. All seem to require a significant 'activating' event.

For me, this order looked like this: ISTP > ISTJ > INTP > ISFJ > ISFP... > ... INTJ > ESTP > INFJ > INFP > ESTJ...

Edit: Remember that the ordering will be based off of subtype.

A lot of people get the first tertiary type and the fourth (anchor) type started, though it can take many years to get there and may never occur at all for some people. It's more or less the point we often consider someone 'mature' by today's standards. That second tertiary type is very hard to get started, likely because the dominant function in the shadow functional stack of that next type is the core's shadow tertiary.

To show this with an example, the ISTP shadow tertiary is Ne and shadow inferior is Fi. Here's INTJ (the major roadblock for ISTP) with all eight functions shown.

Dominant: Ni --- Ne
Auxiliary: Te --- Ti
Tertiary: Fi --- Fe
Inferior: Se --- Si

The issue may be perceived as an inability to connect Te and Ni, but Ne is very clearly in a prominent position within the shadow functional stack and would be the actual problem area. An interesting note to make is that the shadow functional stack corresponds with the main functional stack of ENTP. The backbone of the capstone type (ESTJ for an ISTP) is similar in that is also has the same ordering for the main and shadow functional stack. The two types just swap which of the two is the prominent functional stack. This seems to be the case when swapping the E/I and J/P letters of a type. So that may be an interesting avenue to explore when looking for advice on a current mental hurdle.

Fortunately, it seems to get a tad easier after that major hurdle is overcome, though still not easy. Each type needs to be activated, but the mind is already used to it by this point and the initially weak functions have also been significantly bolstered. The required trigger should be less severe for types past this second tertiary type.

The major obstacle when activating a new functional stack seems to often be related to where the core's shadow tertiary and shadow inferior (especially the former) appear in the new functional stack. So don't get too distracted by the dominant/auxiliary combo of the new type, as the real road block might be slightly different and located elsewhere. Knowing what to look for should help tremendously, as will knowing why to focus on resolving it and what may lie on the other side of overcoming that mental obstacle.

A last word of caution would be about the capstone's backbone. Much like with the original backbone type, a stability may set in that'll require a bit of extra effort to break out of before proceeding to the last few types. It is interesting to note that the first major roadblock many people are stopped at is after five types, or a third of the way through type progression. This second potential hurdle is after ten types - two thirds of the way through.

FAQ/observations and thoughts

Q. How can I determine my core type so that I know what to focus on?

A. There's a lot of information already out there to help in this area, but some of the observations I've mentioned should also help - especially if someone has managed to get more than one type online, such as the core and the backbone (a common roadblock). Knowing the order itself should prove very helpful of course, but looking for the core's inferior shadow function via what types of situations cause a 'hot button' reaction may also prove useful in identifying the core type. Also, the shadow tertiary would be an incredibly weak function of the psyche for an undeveloped type, so that may serve as another clue. To add to that, looking at not just the person's current state but also their past should prove very useful. In particular, examining how they acted as a child (pre-teens, mainly). It may be easier to find behavior that'll lead to determining the core type by examining that part of a person's history. Not everyone is cut out for analyzing data of that nature, so asking for assistance would make quite a bit of sense for some types.

Q. How about determining my current progress?

A. This is a bit trickier and requires some personal honesty. Claiming to have progressed to a stage you aren't yet at will only cause you to waste time trying to activate a functional stack that isn't actually next in line for you. Take note of how your type might use each functional stack, rather than how the type linked to it behaves (especially in the case of tertiary types), and compare to whatever currently worries you. Obtaining assistance in this area can be extremely helpful, but caution is still advised. Even with all I've learned while writing this, I sometimes incorrectly estimate a person's current state of growth or even core type. Particularly for types I currently have less experience with (and when I try to make an initial analysis off of minimal information, before really talking to them about it). I've gotten fairly decent at revising my evaluation rather quickly as new information becomes available, but just a word of caution about assuming the first answer to be absolutely true.

Q. What about the facets of each preference?

A. Facets are a relatively fine level detail in comparison to types, preferences, and even functions. They also might be on the characteristics side (grows out of the type) rather than a building block - haven't inspected them thoroughly enough to determine that, but that's my impression of them. From my experience in dealing with details, facets did not strike me as being important/requiring attention to be able to progress. Someone else may be able to do a better analysis and show if awareness and focus on facets can help expedite the journey through type development or not. Perhaps they could be a useful thing to focus on changing while moving through the type progression. I'll leave that streamlining analysis to someone that's better suited to it.

Q. What about Ambiverts?

A. To my knowledge, Ambiverts are basically a 'we're not sure if you're a thing, but you're obviously a bit different from someone clearly E or I so we kind of have to recognize you're there.' Aka, it hasn't really been decided (especially at a professional level) if they're an actual thing or merely a symptom of something else. I won't try to answer that, so I'll just give both answers (typical P type, right?).

If Ambivert is not a real preference, and there is a single core type as many professionals have expressed, this type progression may actually help clear up the confusion. If this were the case, then it is likely that an Ambivert has their core type and the type five 'capstone' developed without all of the support structure (a possibility mentioned above). As it simply reverses the four pairs of the eight functions without moving the pairs themselves, it seems plausible that a person might be able to activate the capstone type pre-maturely. By going through the development of additional types, they'd end up with both types at the end anyway, but the types in the middle will have been based off of the core type. This may prove especially helpful to those that sometimes feel energized and sometimes feel drained from both E/I activities. Since there is a core type, that means there's a backbone type to place the four functions into that are still floating around as shadow functions. This will also give an additional type on the same side of the E/I line as their core, which should help stabilize things. If they can't identify their core type (see above for a few tips), then some generic J/P changes may need to be focused on until type two emerges. They might also be partway through their natural progression as well, so the next type may be something other than the backbone type.

If Ambivert is a real preference, then (assuming this progression works for them as well) how the new types emerge could prove interesting. Recall how I mentioned that Socionics and MBTI divide and define things a bit differently. Like picking a different spot to draw a dividing line of the same circle - and different people having different starting points in that circle. Ambiverts could very well just be someone that started right on top of that E/I dividing line. If that is the case, it would just be a matter of needing a different classification/dividing line to explain where they start and where they grow into. They may only be partially developed in the common definition of each type (which combine to make a full Ambivert type), but going through type progression should eventually give them the stability needed just like with other types. That and using a different dividing line for E/I, to account for Ambiverts, would mean they'd have the normal amount of types.

I'm rather leaning towards the first option after looking at both, but I wouldn't rule anything out without strong evidence. Real answer may very well be something else entirely.

Q. Can I go out of order and development a type outside the four adjacent to my core type right away?

A. It is hard to be absolutely certain, but it seems being able to pick and choose would be rather improbable. It'd likely be similar to shoving a square peg into a round hole and would have a high possibility of being rather unhealthy - possibly triggering a tether effect. No reason to be jealous of other types. Half the point of typology in general is for people to appreciate their own gifts rather than being envious of others. It does make me think of those old family run inns that were passed down through the generations, especially the ones where the daughter was forced to learn numerous rituals and behaviors even if it clashed with her personality. Possibly forcing the emergence of the type deemed the 'best' to provide the service that establishment was known for providing. I recall reading an article on a similar situation, such as a job that's a poor fit for a person and they forced themselves to adapt to it. It basically amounted to soldiering through it despite internal protests from their core, but as soon as the person leaves the situation their core type would reassert itself. Sounds more like emulation of behaviors rather than true type development. If, for whatever reason, someone's experiences in life has caused them to fully develop another type out of order and it's causing issues, the best that I can recommend is just following the type progression from their core. As each aspect gains a place to express itself, the overall balance and health of the person should improve and they'll be more readily able to support the ways that the extra type varies from their core.

Closing thoughts (really)

I will take some time to share a perspective in regards to these seemingly opposing dynamics. I'll use the T vs F relationship, as it is by far the most widely recognized difference, even by people among general society that are unaware of typology. I'll approach it from my own position as a T developing F (and why to bother doing so), as I believe that this is generally the biggest point of contention. T types have a tendency to dismiss emotions and focus on their logical side. F types don't necessarily dismiss the value of logic (many value it quite highly, even if it does not come naturally to them), they just place higher priority and value on the emotional side of things and would like to share those values with the T types.

T types prize strong logic. When properly exercised, it allows us to learn more about the very nature of things and why they are the way they are. Incorrect conclusions can often be reached, but this is generally due to incomplete information or poorly executed logic by the person rather than an issue with the way the world is structured. The world will continue to work the way it does whether someone understands it or not. Emotions are often viewed as inconsequential to the process of determining the logical nature of things. As T types generally have an underdeveloped F preference, they have significant trouble learning or understanding the lessons and principles that many F types do as a matter of course. Thus, T types often only see the emotions and are stopped short of the actual goal and purpose of said emotions. So it is no wonder that they place a significantly lower value upon them. Emotions are often seen as whimsical and as having no true basis in a logical reality.

Consider this, though. Do not many F types reach the same conclusions and hold the same values as their peers? Such as caring for the needy, the sanctity of all life, the importance of trust and honesty, and many other values. There may be some variance, but just like improperly applied logic can lead to an incorrect conclusion, so too can poorly handled and processed emotions lead to a conclusion that is inaccurate. How many principles and values, that are foreign or unimportant to many T types, are agreed upon almost universally by types such as INFPs, ENFPs, ISFPs, and so forth? On top of that, there have also been people espousing many of these same values all throughout history. Does this not indicate that there may in fact be an underlying, unchanging emotional foundation to the world that serves as just as much of a universal constant as the logical structure that T types so eagerly pursue and attempt to know? Furthermore, it does not seem altogether likely that these two entities are completely separate. It instead seems a much stronger possibility that the two are interconnected with each other (much like both are represented within every person's functional stack). This would indicate that both sides of the equation need to be employed, even if a person is primarily pursuing only one end of the spectrum. The reverse would also be true, in that logic may at times be required to obtain a further understanding of emotion based values. If all of this is indeed the case, then by completely ignoring and devaluing one side of the equation a person will never get the full picture and will be forever basing their actions and perspective off of an intentionally incomplete understanding of things. Carrying on in such a manner when there's an alternative seems, to me, to be extremely illogical and inefficient.

The psyche didn't start operating in the manner I've described recently. A large number of history's influential figures may very well have been people that managed to stumble their way through type development, whether in part or in full. Albert Einstein, for example. Often considered the poster boy for the INTP type. Sorry, my Ti-dom compatriots, but I will suggest that this was not the case. Einstein was instead a developed ENTP and the INTP capstone caused the mix up. Might be hard to hear, but I have confidence that your Ti will allow you to accept it.

However, as your Ti-dom sibling, I still have your back. There's someone else that I can confidently point to as a fully developed INTP. Bill Gates. Simplest method of pointing this out is that his fourth 'anchor' type is INFP. The Gates Foundation is specifically setup to find logical solutions that can be used to improve the entire world. In contrast, an ENTP's anchor type is ESTP.

This does suggest the amusing idea that developed ENFPs are the 'Einsteins of emotions.' Mahatma Gandhi may have actually been an example of this, based on a relatively quick initial analysis. I've seen varying one word descriptions of each personality type, so I'm picking and choosing from different sources here, but If we take the ENFP type progression functional stack and look at the last developed type of each line and piece them together, we'd get this (starting from the core and going to the inferior) to describe a developed ENFP: A 'Campaigning Mediator' that is a 'Thinking Virtuoso.' Another pairing of the core and capstone (ENFP > INFP) using descriptors I've seen would be "Inspiring Idealist." Doesn't sound too far off the mark to me.

Many more people that have developed their type beyond the common road block can likely be identified, now that you know what to look for. This may be the case for many prominent world leaders. They aren't formed from a different mold like one might think, they're simply normal people that are the early adopters of becoming awesome.

Soon, awesome will be the new normal.

About a decade ago, I played an online game that allowed players to set a personal motto. This was displayed to anybody looking up that player's information. That game was also one of the first places where I really put into action that ISTJ ability to push through the thick and thin of something once committed, due to the belief that the end result is worth it. It remains an extremely meaningful experience for me to this day for that and many other reasons. The motto that I eventually chose is as follows:

"The path to greatness does not have any shortcuts."

"Come into this world of mine..." -Gavin Dunne, a developed ISFP


Your friendly neighborhood ISTP troubleshooter
Sam Ayars

P.S. Problem solved. Problem staying solved.
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It's true what they say. After experiencing success my mind's immediate reaction seems to be "That was awesome... can I do it again?"

What might I be interested in troubleshooting next? This caught my eye.

Looks to me like there are a lot of high quality parts being assembled and several conceptual engines need to be built. Then those engines need to be combined to make a single, super awesome engine of amazingness. Sounds like fun.

Bill Gates is an INTP. I'm an ISTP. It's practically a match made in Ti wombo combo heaven.

I also happen to live less than an hour north of Seattle.

We should do lunch sometime.
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I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite song on the Citadel.

Reaches of space - NT
Asari grace - NF
Battle worn Batarians - SJ
Turians with reach and flexibility - SP

You'll never be better than Commander Shepard because

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For those that read the post when I first made it, I have since done some revisions (particularly to the type by type development path), fine tuning, and polishing. The admin Stephen kindly edited the updated version into the first post for me a few days ago.

I have three smaller points to add some thoughts about at this time.

1. The described way the functional stack works (the 6 steps) is more or less intended to be a rough outline to work with. As some may have inferred from my wording about it in the main post, it is not meant to be a gold standard but rather something to start from. I feel quite comfortable about pairings and the multiple/single relationship within a pair. The exact order used for processing information is up for debate. There is a mild concern about the auxiliary/tertiary pairing, as it would be a pair of two judging or two perceiving functions, but that is not currently enough for me to reject the idea as a possibility because it still holds to pairing an extraverted and introverted function together (and the outcome of that pairing doesn't seem too unnatural, either).

Possible variations would include the shadow functional stack remaining the same but with the process starting from the top (shadow dominant), which would yield one giant loop. Another is that the shadow functional stack could be inverted, as some depictions show.

An inversion actually connects slightly better to a depiction I saw from Socionics that suggested there is more than one mental loop used by the psyche. One of the loops includes just the top four functions of model A. Those functions, via the terminology I used, would be the dominant, auxiliary, shadow tertiary, and shadow inferior. Visually inverting the shadow functional stack, and placing it next to the main functional stack, would put these four functions next to each other allowing for a loop between the four to be easily drawn. There is another loop that uses the other four functions, as well as a few others. The work done in Socionics may prove a useful reference for people desiring a more detailed depiction of how the functions interact with each other.

2. I compared the function positions of MBTI functional stacks to position definitions that Socionics use, particularly in regards to initial strength, such as 4D or 3D. I have since noticed that Socionics actually seems to reverse the ordering of each pairing in comparison to how MBTI places them. The dominant function in MBTI seems to actually correlate to the creative function in Socionics, and thus the auxiliary is the MBTI version of the leading function.

Similarly, the mobilizing function in Socionics would actually match up with the MBTI inferior and the suggestive function would actually be the tertiary. This reversal would be true of the other two pairings as well. Not a major point, but worth bringing up for the sake of clarity.

3. MBTI and Socionics function descriptions seem to mainly vary along the E/I line. MBTI Ti is roughly equivalent to Socionics Te. The Se of MBTI is quite similar to Socionics Si. And so on. Actual extravert/introvert personality types aren't swapped, it's just at the function level. There is still some variance between the theories, but comparing the Te of one system to Ti in the other should yield better results than trying to use the same term/function in both.

This, along with the above points, makes it much easier to understand how I'm an ISTP (Ti-Se) in MBTI, but (according to my best self-analysis) I seem to be a SLI/ISTp (Si-Te) in Socionics.

Perhaps these points will prove useful to some of you.

On a lighter note, I believe I've identified two more people that are fully developed and still alive today.

Warren Buffett (should need no introduction), who I believe to be an ISTJ.
Michio Kaku, who I believe to be an ENTP.

Michio Kaku, for those unfamiliar, is a theoretical physicist that is the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory). He basically works on the same stuff as Albert Einstein did, and his contribution to that scientific field is more or less on the same magnitude level. He has many YouTube videos available about various physics concepts, especially in relation to Big Think.

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Enlisted Stephen's help for another edit for three reasons.

1. I deleted an entire section in the first edit I asked him to include for me, because I'm super skilled like that.

2. It gave me an excuse to add the Socionics/MBTI conversion method into the main post. There's basically been a massive feud over the definition semantics of two points. That's it. Everything is else should be fairly compatible/translatable between to two, so hug each other and make up already. Prolonged, pointless fights between his children make grandpa Jung sad.

3. Main reason - a person's subtype (Socionics concept) impacts the development path they'll take, which caused a few extra things to finally make sense. Short version, an ISTP-Ti such as myself would have INTP as their third type. An ISTP-Se would instead gain the ISFP functional stack first. Reverse for fourth 'anchor' type, of course. Impacts the order of obtaining tertiary/inferior functional stacks slightly, though the formula is still the same and a person can still obtain 15 functional stacks.

Does raise a couple questions that are difficult to answer at this time. First being whether or not each functional stack has a subtype or not, and whether it is determined per functional stack or if the formula still stems from the initial core subtype. Current thought is that the subtype is related to a person's type (only have one) and not their functional stack(s). Would also still need to account for balance in mental growth such as J/P balance, and the related alteration of functions between functional stacks as they're added. Might be simpler to refer to a person's subtype as being related to the judging trait (F/T) or perceiving trait (S/N) rather than the specific function in the top two of their core functional stack. Concept would need to be examined more to see if that holds true throughout development, though.

The other question that pops up right now is about all the extra dichotomies in Socionics. The immediate question to ask is how many of them are core, building block components and how many of those dichotomies are actually symptoms/behaviors that grow out of the actual core components? I feel that a fair amount fall into the latter camp, but a Socionics expert may be able to filter through them a bit more effectively.

Technically, there's also a semantics debate about the 4 letter type names used in Socionics vs the MBTI personality type names. Socionics uses a rather silly, redundant formula though - they're better off with the three letter names as those are more concise/indicate the same thing that the four letter type names try to say while using one less letter (and referencing a type like SLI looks distinctly different from a MBTI type name, so makes it much easier to tell which system is being referenced).

It's almost like the human psyche is complex and challenging to decipher or something. Who knew?
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Very nice long article, I will have to come back and read it, but I really wanted to ask you (since I skimmed through and didn't see the topic mentioned) your thoughts on 'type dynamics'

From the homework I've done, type dynamics (cognitive stacks in designated orders) is a flawed theory, and the true way to measure "type" is to give each letter its own individual scale without grouping it with other letters (such that ISTP would have not be Ti-Se-Ni-Fe, but instead be T+S+I+P in a random order of natural preference, completely removing the I-E as an attachment to other letters as a fundamental)

I was wondering how your article fits this in, as I would like to spend time getting a quality read on it. I loved the title, its just like the title of my blog "becoming awesome" haha. :)
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Very nice long article, I will have to come back and read it, but I really wanted to ask you (since I skimmed through and didn't see the topic mentioned) your thoughts on 'type dynamics'

From the homework I've done, type dynamics (cognitive stacks in designated orders) is a flawed theory, and the true way to measure "type" is to give each letter its own individual scale without grouping it with other letters (such that ISTP would have not be Ti-Se-Ni-Fe, but instead be T+S+I+P in a random order of natural preference, completely removing the I-E as an attachment to other letters as a fundamental)

I was wondering how your article fits this in, as I would like to spend time getting a quality read on it. I loved the title, its just like the title of my blog "becoming awesome" haha. :)
Haha, yes. At roughly 20k words it is a rather long read. Especially since there's a fair amount of piecing stuff together, rather than being a flat, simplistic read (well, it looks rather straightforward to me, but that's mainly because I've already examined the components from a multitude of angles). Some people are more comfortable with long articles like that than others, so very understandable if you need to take your time.

As for the type dynamics you mentioned, I think this may help to explain some of those observations. An exception to existing knowledge is an indication that there is yet more to learn. Identifying with more than one type (exception to the 'you have one type' rule) is more or less what started the whole inspection of typology for me. So differences are always worth bringing up and examining. Power of communication and all that, which is another thing I've finally managed to learn about recently. Refining knowledge is a never ending process. I continue to do with my understanding of typology, even if I believe that I have the large majority of the core components nailed down.

First, I agree with the previous assessments that there is an ordered structure to how functions are used, based on type. Rather than calling the theory flawed, I would use the word 'incomplete' to describe the current state of typology. Much like conventional wisdom suggests, it is best to build on a solid foundation. Rock rather than sand. The MBTI functional stack, as far as I can tell, is an accurate model and I expand on it in the article to account for all eight functions. Just like the base of the Socionics functional model appears to be accurate, even if it views the psyche from a slightly different angle.

Second, the differing of functional strength that has been observed would be, I believe, related to a person's growth as they develop the ability to use more functional stacks. Just like a core personality type is strong with some functions and weak with others, so would the additional functional stacks train other functions with varying degrees of effectiveness. The more stacks a person has access to, the more balanced the psyche will become. So the cause of variance in function strength could be significantly explained by the development process I've attempted to describe.

Related anecdote:
I don't view online quizzes as much more than a solid starting point to get you in the general area, but I took a function strength test around a month or so ago and tried to answer the best that I could. Ti came back as being stronger than the rest, and Fe was the weakest. I estimated that, as I did not yet have any experience of successful Fe usage and had answered accordingly. I may have had a few more functional stacks to develop at that time, too. The other 6 functions were almost all dead even in strength, which appeared fairly unusual in comparison to most results posted in the thread (test results people posted also showed some patterns within people of the same type, that I find fairly explainable).

As for the static foundation vs change synthesis, I've recently come to view MBTI and Socionics in this light. MBTI seems to be more focused on examining the solid, static, unchanging foundation of the psyche. Socionics focuses more on changes and current state, as some of the visual identification methods currently used mainly are about 'impressions' rather than an unchanging, logical basis. Socionics could be considered the vanguard of typology, looking for what might be discovered next. Both sides of the equation are important and needed.

I have been seeing possibilities like that all over the place lately, not just in typology. How many things in the world that previously seemed extremely incompatible, that have people on both sides that feel strongly about their stance, may actually be compatible. That there may be a way to successfully combine the core values of the two sides into a single solution.


After considering subtypes a bit more, a slightly better way of expressing them may simply be as the dominant/auxiliary subtype (or Creative/Leading). This lines up a bit better when considering function progression off of backbone/capstone types in addition to the core type.

Related to that, I have two more people I believe to be examples of someone with a highly developed psyche.

The first would be Michael Jordan, known around the world including by many who don't even follow or particularly care about sports. My estimate is that he would be an ESTP-Se. I've seen him labeled as an ISTP before (a PerC thread quoting professionals), and I can more or less go along with that idea except one problem - the shape of his nose is simply too different from all ISTP pictures I've looked at. Fits much better alongside ESTP photos I can use for comparison, and ISTP capstone anyway. Partial guess on my part, as I still have much to learn about accurately typing others. Especially in the visual identification department, as that is not even remotely a natural strength for an ISTP. Best way to refine and improve is to practice though, which my mind automatically does from time to time after obtaining enough information. Se seems a likely subtype given the nature of Jordan's career, but I don't know enough about him to say for certain.

The second is Elon Musk, who I think may be an INTJ-Te. One of the factors is looking at how an INTJ's face shape is generally structured (thanks for the reference material, PerC). Another would be his general conduct/valuation of expressing what he sees to be the truth, even if it's not the popular thing to say. The other would be related to when he decided to invest his personal fortune to save one of his companies from going under, which may have been when he pushed through the second significant road block (encountered at 10 functional stacks). If he is an INTJ-Te as suggested, his 'anchor' type would be INFJ - which PerC calls the Protectors. The 11th type (and capstone of his anchor) would be ENFJ, which PerC labels the Givers. That mental hurdle more or less serves as a psychological check to determine if a person has embraced the different viewpoint that the two types represent, in comparison to the continued strengths of their core type.

A common theme to consider among all the people I've mentioned (regardless of type, if I even got their core type correct - still much to learn in that area) is that they are all rather relaxed and self-confident, among other traits. They also do not seem to be extremely judgmental/polarized. They know that they are not perfect, might not always get it right the first time around, nor do they have all the answers. However, they don't let all of that paralyze them into inaction. So they all seem to remain open to new possibilities, while also being able to confidently move forward.

Attempting to type the two of them (including subtype) turned out to be an interesting exercise that even yielded a couple of new perspectives, so I'm glad I tried it.
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I was utterly defeated by the volume and meandering tone of this post(s). There were some interesting bits, some amusing thoughts, and yet it felt like walking through a sinking marsh. It could not hold my attention and I don't have low stamina as a reader. It is too self indulgent. I would like to read a more parsimonious version of this. How do you develop each type according to your theory? Is it simply a sequential switch in each letter of the original type? I could agree with this. Each type would act as an advisor, a la InsideOut, with the main type having the final say.
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Regardless of the potential merit of your hypothesis (I haven't properly followed it, for the same reasons Humaning mentioned) and regardless of your MBTI, there is at least one thing I can say about this: You're not making adequate use of the ISTP's notorious ability to cut to the heart of the matter. I would also hope an ISTP could describe things in more pragmatic terms, and not surrounded by so much fluff.
The needless verbosity can be either the sign of the INTJ chipping down his Ni into a million Te nuggets (which would be natural) or a an ISTjs PoLR function (Ne - socionics) going out of control and overriding mostly everything else for the sake of materializing what started out as a simplistic Ni (a la tertiary).
Maybe I'll dissect this more properly, maybe I won't. It's just very exasperating to read.
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A note on Socionics/MBTI: I did more conceptual testing of a conversion method, received some feedback, and come to the same conclusion that most people have been saying for years: there's currently no consistent way of converting a type in one system to a type in the other. So for now type should be determined separately in the two theories.

There's some similarities in functions of the two theories and I'll continue looking for transferable concepts as they're both related to the psyche, but simply too many differences right now. Still has a lot of good ideas and both are worth knowing.

I would like to read a more parsimonious version of this. How do you develop each type according to your theory? Is it simply a sequential switch in each letter of the original type? I could agree with this. Each type would act as an advisor, a la InsideOut, with the main type having the final say.
A 'short' version was recommended to me awhile ago (person recommended keeping the long version as well). I've also had a few people whose reading style is skimming have trouble with the current version. I'm more of a start to finish reader, so constructing something that works well for a skimming style may take a few tries. Not sure what balance to strike between the mechanical portion and explaining the why for said mechanics.

Bumped up on the to do list a bit.

There is some letter switching at the start, but it gets more involved after the early bit. Starting from the base type (say ISTP), the next functional stack would be from swapping J, for ISTJ. Overall, it serves as a background support. From there, would be the types that share a dominant or auxiliary with those two types (dom or aux focus seem to be the two variations, so far).

So next would be INTP, which shares a Ti dominant with ISTP.

After that would be ISFJ, as it shares a Si dominant with ISTJ.

Next is ISFP, sharing the same auxiliary as ISTP.

After that would be INTJ - same auxiliary as ISTJ of course.

For an auxiliary focused person, they would've done ISFP/INTJ before the dominant related types.

That sixth type (INTJ, in this case) is a significant hurdle. Most mature adults would've reached that point, though no guarantees. The dominant is Ni-Te of course, but the related functions in the second 'shadow' functional stack is Ne-Ti. Looking at ISTP, the bottom two in that second functional stack is Ne and Fi. Those two functions are generally the hurdle for developing a new functional stack.

As such, though the problem may seem like an inability to connect the Te auxiliary to Ni, the actual issue is related to Ne-Ti (and the two functions are in the reverse order of the third type, INTP in this case). Being that ISTP uses Ti-Se, and the shadow functional stack of ISTJ has Se-Ti at the top, using Ne-Ti is a vast departure from the tried and true methods. Having previously made use of the third type to strengthen the use of the function (Ne, in this case) would be key.

After that there's a bit of jostling, connected to maintaining a T/F/S/N balance, as the E version of the first/second functional stacks (so ESTP and ESTJ) get put into place while activating the remaining two I functional stacks.

Then the dom/aux preference for developing functional stacks is used again on E pairing for the four related types, followed by the final type that only shares the J/P preference with the initial, core type (ENFP in this case). Starting this second group of five can also be challenging, and is more or less a test of how well the other initially weak function (so Fi used in ESFP, as Ne was the hurdle at INTJ) has been embraced/used or if a person went back to relying on 'tried and true.'

Always alternates between developing a J and P functional stack.
Past the first two types, all four main preferences (N, S, F, T) are represented every two types.

Hope that's a bit simpler, even if it does skip pretty much all of the 'why' reasoning.

There's an attempt at a revised function list with definitions that I tried to make adaptable enough for use by any type, at any function position, in any situation. Formatting of all eight in a row stands out, so should be easy to locate. A little below it is a rough attempt to describe how the functions interact within a functional stack as well.

Functions also operate both ways, in that something like Ti/Te can both put stuff together or take it apart (aka, analysis).

You're not making adequate use of the ISTP's notorious ability to cut to the heart of the matter. I would also hope an ISTP could describe things in more pragmatic terms, and not surrounded by so much fluff.
The needless verbosity can be either the sign of the INTJ chipping down his Ni into a million Te nuggets (which would be natural) or a an ISTjs PoLR function (Ne - socionics) going out of control and overriding mostly everything else for the sake of materializing what started out as a simplistic Ni (a la tertiary).
Maybe I'll dissect this more properly, maybe I won't. It's just very exasperating to read.
It's probably a bit too far to one side of trying to over explain things, as I often see numerous concepts all joined to one point and thus try to mention a lot of them. Missing certain details can change the entire picture at times, so I tried to include as many as I could. Being too brief can often not get a message across and lead to miscommunication. It's like saying A to B to C so.... L. I understand all the parts in between C and L in my head, but have to back up and cover each step because people can't read my mind. Erred on the (overly) safe side.

Years of forum usage have developed my wall of text skill a bit too much, most likely. Condensing things without losing important information can be challenging, but is a skill worth working on.

A starting point might be checking if other type descriptions sound significantly applicable to you, beyond your actual type description. Can be useful for determining that third type. I like the 'strengths' bullet points on 16personalities for a relatively quick check (check the two that share a dom and aux), though the list for some types is more adaptable than others (such as some F types are described in very human/others terms).

Thank for the interest/feedback.
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It's probably a bit too far to one side of trying to over explain things, as I often see numerous concepts all joined to one point and thus try to mention a lot of them. Missing certain details can change the entire picture at times, so I tried to include as many as I could. Being too brief can often not get a message across and lead to miscommunication. It's like saying A to B to C so.... L. I understand all the parts in between C and L in my head, but have to back up and cover each step because people can't read my mind. Erred on the (overly) safe side.
Now this explanation right here leads me to think that you're an INTP (entertaining your hypothesis, at least as your dominant expression) because while Ni does see a complex body of information and captures its essence, it tends to not see that essence in explicit terms (I sometimes like to say that Ni is like an unconscious Ti where only the results are abstractly communicated to the conscious mind, which means that if the Ni becomes too complex in the ISTP they will have to reverse engineer it to even make use of it. INxJs on the other hand are like miners who chip out Te/Fe principles from its bedrock.)
It sounds like you're starting from a Ti principle you've latched on to, and uses Ne to extrapolate all the relevant incarnations of that principle. This is exactly the INTP thinking style.
Ni is a bit more of an art. Like you rightly say, people can't read your mind (regardless of type) so examples and details are warranted. However, Ni-users (whether It's dom, aux or tert) have a native skill and sense of how to condense the central points that they need to communicate as succinctly as possible.
Bottom line is, if your Ni was more active when you wrote the OP, it would be much easier to follow. But Ne is a different mode of mind, what many of us will see as the chore of chipping away at all this surrounding stuff to maybe eventually get to the point, an Ne-user will see as a fun mental exercise in discovering the environment of the principle. But all things need a balance, so there's always going too far.
Ni wants to be reminded of the point and have everything constantly converging towards it. You can probably tell I use Ni from the fact that I'm bolding and emphasizing everything (I like to organize my points, It's really satisfying lol.)

It's cool that you are trying to create something new. I appreciate the spirit. But my advice for now is that you take a step back and try to isolate the most tangible and clear manifestations of your hypothesis, and define it more rigorously. Look for and connect this to existing systems as much as you can; find the bottom lines, and explain to yourself and write down what the holes are in existing systems which suggest that your hypothesis is wanting.

If you are currently in the INTP profile, this might prove challenging. Se is the PoLR (most difficult according to socionics) function for INTPs, yet it keeps your mind realistically tuned: "what is the tangible embodiment of this model?"
Te might also be relevant, depending on how much you know about Typology and different Typological theories, as well as misc. I strongly believe that we depend on our so called 'shadow functions' to even use our preferred function well. Procrastinating, mind-in-the-clouds IxTPs turn into hard-working and frenzied researchers of all relevant information once their Te unleashes all that bottled up Ti.

That's more than I intended to write tonight. Happy theorycrafting mayne. :wink:
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So you posit that, for example, a Ne Dom ENFP would go to ENFJ, ENTP, ESFJ, ESFP and then ENTJ? That seems interesting, particularly the ENTJ bit.

It is true, unless I am reading fiction, I am more of a skimmer than a law-abiding reader. This is probably due to a combination of natural impatience and Ne-domhood. If you are interested in reaching someone like me, you don't really have condense the wall of text, if you feel that the message is as pithy as it can possibly be. But you should provide an apparent structure that can be played with at any point, even if the undercurrent sequential story might not be appreciated. If there are new concepts/jargon that are needed to be understood to grasp the ideas of the text, provide them at the beginning and mark them under IMPORTANT: (bring along with your towel.) Also don't make the trudge through the whole thing to make understand the basis of how the types are changed. You could provide this information in a conclusion that reads like a diagram. That way, I (the impatient internet-spoiled reader) look at it and wonder "huh? that's interesting, I wonder how he got to that conclusion..." Then I am ready to read your life story. But before that, I am interested in how this applies to me and the people around me (no offense, I am sure you are a great guy.)

In conclusion: give me places to "land" around your Saga, make more of your text readily enjoyable and rewarding on its own, without having to read the whole thing. And, for the love of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, make diagrams/simplifications of the conclusive logic if you are going to write so much text.

My advice, as you know, you can take it, leave it to be eaten/raised by the forest animals.
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Now this explanation right here leads me to think that you're an INTP

However, Ni-users (whether It's dom, aux or tert) have a native skill and sense of how to condense the central points that they need to communicate as succinctly as possible.

It's cool that you are trying to create something new. I appreciate the spirit. But my advice for now is that you take a step back and try to isolate the most tangible and clear manifestations of your hypothesis, and define it more rigorously. Look for and connect this to existing systems as much as you can; find the bottom lines, and explain to yourself and write down what the holes are in existing systems which suggest that your hypothesis is wanting.
Clear manifestation? You (and a few others) think I'm an INTP. :tongue:

You might be right of course, but I examined back into my teenager days, pre-teen years, and a whole host of other factors to determine if I was INTP, ISTJ, or ISTP - the three type descriptions that resonated with me when I found MBTI. That discrepancy (three types instead of one, as professionals state) is eventually what catalyzed this whole thing. Self-diagnosis at the end of the day that I might've gotten wrong and all that (did bounce it off some friends), but I tried to examine it from every angle I could beyond just my current surface behavior. I often test as INTP in online quizzes, though I rarely use them. I spoke with an INTP who often gets ISTP as his result.

I've also gotten some positive 'ISTP' feedback here on PerC, for the record. Including some ISTPs occasionally echoing/affirming my thoughts when others ask about our type in that forum.

So you posit that, for example, a Ne Dom ENFP would go to ENFJ, ENTP, ESFJ, ESFP and then ENTJ? That seems interesting, particularly the ENTJ bit.

If you are interested in reaching someone like me, you could provide this information in a conclusion that reads like a diagram. That way, I (the impatient internet-spoiled reader) look at it and wonder "huh? that's interesting, I wonder how he got to that conclusion..."

In conclusion: give me places to "land" around your Saga, make more of your text readily enjoyable and rewarding on its own, without having to read the whole thing.
I greatly appreciate that both of you are willing to provide feedback, as the lack of it has been the biggest issue so far. I've written a preliminary 'abridged' version that's a little under 3000 words long (as opposed to the current 20000 - most of the original will remain inside a spoiler). I placed the current abridged version below in a spoiler if you're interested.

An ENFP friend of mine has recently offered to be an editor/proofreader, and I'll run it through her filter as well before bugging an admin to edit the OP yet again. Her current MBTI knowledge is at a pre-functions level, so could be a decent barometer as to whether or not she can grasp what I'm saying, though I've talked to her about it before as well. Seem to recall Michio Kaku saying that a good editor knows very little about the field you're writing about, because if they can't understand what you're talking about then what hope does the average reader have? I'll also be using her as an example in the abridged version - including a part that seems to resemble the ENTJ hurdle for her.

The original was written over several months, with constant additions and revisions as I went along and discovered new things. You probably don't want to see the first draft version - it has several lengthy, rambling personal stories that tried to illustrate each type transition I went through (eventually decided it was too subjective to use), and it basically ended at type five with a vague 'there's further development up to 15.' Very messy. It was probably shorter though, if we want to get all technical.

For the abridged version, I decided to skip most of the 'why multiple functional stacks is beneficial and what it provides at each stage' explanations, as that's probably the biggest place where I engaged in massive (massive) overkill. I also likely overestimated how much people would need to be eased into a concept that varies/expands from current theory. Part of that is also due to uncovering the early parts before the later portion, rather than everything all at once, so it's also a bit of a collection of my thought process as I went along and configured new pieces of the puzzle. Also lined up with the timing that Ti-Ne felt like it started operating at full power, rather than the relatively sluggish pattern recognition mode of the previous year or two, so that's a contributing factor as well to the all over the place status.

Another piece of feedback I got recently was having some illustration of the concept - which is one part of what identifying relatively famous people is for. I figured the 'you only have one type' vs 'many people identify with more than one' was obvious right in the intro (first few people I showed it to already had that rough conclusion about their own life), but apparently not. Hard to gauge a decent level for that, as from my view the whole thing seems so blatantly illustrated all over society. Piercie's comment prompted me to add a paragraph near the start to clearly state that conflict with current theory. Also reproduced the 15 type representation functional stack, which'll hopefully help on the 'diagram illustration' front.

Core Concept

The major expansion from current MBTI that I'm proposing would be that although a person has one type, which I refer to as the core personality type, the psyche is capable of learning to use more than one functional stack - the particular arrangement of functions associated with each of the 16 types.

One of the biggest issues this will help resolve is many people identifying with numerous types, some even believing that they have 'changed types' over the course of their life. This is in conflict with the professional stance that a person has one type that they're born with, and that it cannot be changed.

For ease of use, I'll refer to additional functional stacks by the type name that they're connected to.

There is a particular order and structure to the development of additional functional stacks, which serve to reinforce and expand the usage of each function.

The most noticeable influence on a person's behavior and actions will be the four types that differ from the core type by one letter. This doesn't mean that it'll be exactly like those other types, but some common points can be observed. Taking ISTP as an example:

1. ISTP: Core type a person is born with, which development is based upon. Those familiar with MBTI will already be aware of this.

2. ISTJ: Reversal of J/P. I refer to this as the 'backbone' type, as it eventually serves a major support role much like the backbone of a skeletal structure. The middle letters (ST) are the same as the core, and thus the dominant/auxiliary are from the same preferences as the core type, though in reverse order. ISTP has Ti-Se in the dominant/auxiliary position while ISTJ has Si-Te in those positions.

3. INTP: This third type shares the same dominant function as the core type. I view it as an 'expansion' of the core's abilities. It will eventually be used relatively seamlessly alongside the core type, though the extent varies from person to person and also depends on their development state. It can be a common source of typing confusion, as it can be difficult to determine whether a person is this type or the core type when considering MBTI from a single functional stack perspective. Especially if only considered at a glance, looking at surface behavior. A likely cause for many who believe/report that their type has changed over the years.

4. ISFP: The fourth type shares the same auxiliary function as the core type. I see it as a stabilizing 'anchor' for the psyche. The Fi dominant helps provide a balancing perspective so that the Ti dominant of the core doesn't get too carried away or lopsided. A balance against too much 'cold, hard logic' as it were, in this example, which ultimately leads to a better usage of the core's abilities.

5. ESTP: The 'capstone' of the most noticeable and influential types, helping to bring all the various areas together, and first foray across the E/I axis. It is currently quite rare for most people to reach this stage, though a number of influential people throughout history would've likely reached this stage, if not further. Further below, I've identified a few famous people who I believe made it past this point, to serve as potential illustrations.

Here's a link to a cheat sheet listing the functional stack for each personality type.

The backbone (ISTJ for this example) also has a types 3-5 using the same dom/aux reinforcement principle, which develop alongside the core's 3-5, further strengthening the support structure in the background.

There are a few patterns that are followed as additional functional stacks are developed, in order to maintain a balanced progression.

1. From start to finish, it alternates between J or P for every new type.
2. After the first two types, the four main preferences (S, N, T, and F) are represented every two types.
3. There are loose pairings that combine to represent all eight functions, such as types 1 and 2, or types 3 and 4.

Broken into a grouping of 6, 4, and 5, here is how the progression would look for the ISTP example.


The core and backbone, along with their respective third/fourth (expansion/anchor) types.


The capstone types of the core and backbone, and the two remaining introverted types, as per the above three patterns.


The third/fourth types of the capstone and its backbone type, along with the final type. MBTI and Socionics are different systems that approach the psyche from different angles (currently with no consistent conversion method between the two - I've tried), but this final type would generally be considered the 'Dual' of the core in Socionics - the two types only sharing the final letter of their type name in common.

Sorted by the number of letters they differ from the core, all fifteen can be presented in functional stack format, with types further down having a less noticeable impact on average behavior:

Dominant: ISTP

I currently believe that there may be subtypes, similar to the concept that exists in some areas of Socionics. Rather than label them by one of the eight functions, I find that it is more efficient to think of MBTI subtypes as being a dominant or auxiliary subtype. The difference would be what order types three and four are developed, as an auxiliary subtype above would develop ISFP and INTJ as the expansion types of the core/backbone while INTP and ISFJ would serve as the anchor types. This dominant/auxiliary preference would continue on the capstone side of development, and is one reason why I broke the above up into three groups.

The average person will generally have between 1 and 5 types active, with a higher number being more likely with age though there is no guarantee.

Further Additions

To discuss the most likely trigger of a new functional stack, it is necessary to expand the current MBTI functional stack model from depicting four functions to include all eight. I'll use a term MBTI has sitting around and call the other functions 'shadow' functions which are part of the shadow functional stack. This second functional stack is ordered using the same preference order as the first functional stack.

Continuing the previous ISTP example, we would get this:

Dominant: Ti
Auxiliary: Se
Tertiary: Ni
Inferior: Fe

Shadow Dominant: Te
Shadow Auxiliary: Si
Shadow Tertiary: Ne
Shadow Inferior: Fi

A more collapsed version could be expressed thusly:

D: Ti -- Te
A: Se -- Si
T: Ni -- Ne
I: Fe -- Fi

The shadow tertiary and inferior, Ne and Fi in this case, will generally be the key point in activating any new functional stack because their starting state is the weakest of all eight functions. They are likely related to a person's 'hot button,' whether that be temper issues, major internal uncertainty and worry, or other weak areas. Viewing a type from that angle may also help narrow down what a person's core type might be.

The position of one or both functions in the new type, whether main or shadow functional stack, is likely to be the point that a person has trouble making a connection at. The largest hurdle is at the sixth type - the backbone's fourth type. From our above example, it would be INTJ. The shadow dominant/auxiliary is Ne-Ti. This is a large departure from the tried and true way of doing things. In type one, there was Ti-Se. In type two, Se-Ti in the shadow functional stack. In type three Ti-Ne serves to expand the natural Ti abilities. Ne taking the lead and Ti serving the auxiliary role is a very large hurdle to overcome. Without knowing to look in the shadow functional stack, the inability to connect the main Ni-Te pair may be all that is perceived.

In contrast, Fi serves as the tertiary of INTJ next to a Se inferior - a pairing that matches the dom/aux of ISFP. This makes Fi a significantly less likely cause of trouble when activating INTJ.

This essentially serves as a test of how well a person has made use of their 'expansion' in pursuit of being balanced, rather than relying on just their base strengths. A second major test for how much the other weak function (Fi, in this case) has been embraced comes when starting the third grouping - activating the capstone's type three.

This necessitates a few extra things. First is a definition list of the eight functions that can be used by any type, in any functional stack, in any situation. The biggest thing to note is that the F functions are not necessarily related only to emotions as commonly depicted, and are used even during logical problem solving. The reverse is also true, of course. Here's the current list that I've put together. It is by no means set in stone or some gold standard.

Si - what has occurred/worked previously - endurance - precedents
Se - immediate surroundings - whole environments - situations
Ni - what might work/be required in the future - possible improvements
Ne - details - specific parts of a whole - patterns
Ti - determine how to join multiple pieces together - efficiency
Te - constructs: order - structure - systems - planning
Fi - determine causes of positive and negative responses - provides vigor
Fe - harmony - smooth conveyance - minimizing conflict - provides warmth

Functions can go both ways, as suggested in the Fi positive/negative description. For example, Ti/Te can both put something together or disassemble it (such as when breaking something down to analyze it). Given the above needs of being fairly universal, I've tried to use rather adaptable terms.

The second need is a description of how the functional stack works - of how the functions interact with each other. My view is that they interact in pairs over the course of a few steps. The first member of the pair considers 'multiple' possibilities, which then culminate in a 'single' result in the second function. The process starts at the inferior and proceeds to the dominant. Along with the inferior > tertiary and auxiliary > dominant pairs, I believe that there may also be an auxiliary > tertiary pairing, as this third pairing helps smooth out the process.

There may be a few variations on this in regards to the shadow functional stack, which is a bit harder to determine. One would be that the process starts at the shadow inferior, goes up to the shadow dominant, then to the inferior before finally reaching the dominant of the main functional stack. A second would be that processing starts at both inferiors and proceeds up at the same time. A third would include a relation between the regular and shadow function of each position - a mixture of the two being used depending on the given situation being considered. There may be more than one correct answer. My intent is to provide information for others to consider that is as accurate and useful as I can make it, rather than provide a conclusive answer that precludes any alternatives.

Example to Illustrate

An ENFP in my circle of friends is known for possessing several characteristics - two of those are luck and superstition. Years ago, when playing video games, we all noticed that she had a tendency to have beneficial items spawn right on top of her. She tried to tell us that she could sometimes sense a pattern to when and where they'd spawn, which we mostly ignored as implausible. We eventually attributed this continuing trend to her above average luck, for lack of a better explanation. One manifestation of her 'superstitions' is that when rolling dice she'll often stop to decide whether to use the right or left hand, or attempt to roll it in a specific way.

Both of these behaviors are completely logical, when consider via the ENFP functional stack.

In the first case, she would've started with past (Si) cases when items have spawned while playing the game, based on the game's coding (Te - though mentally noting it is coded a certain way isn't needed). She would then note times when she did or didn't (Fi) get the item based on her actions (Te) in that circumstance. Finally, she would overlap multiple cases of when she did get an item (Fi) until they line up and a single answer/pattern (Ne) can be extracted. When she noticed this pattern occurring again, she could then walk over to the perceived point she believed an item would spawn at a given time and attempt to collect her loot.

The second case, of superstitions when rolling dice, is similar. It would start from recalling past (Si) attempts, depending on how she rolled it (Te). She'd separate the results she liked and disliked (Fi) to focus on the mechanical method she had used in the past - such as whether she more commonly rolled a beneficial result with her right or left hand (Te). She would choose which version to try reproducing, such as using the right or left hand, (Fi) then roll the die in a specific way aiming to get a particular result (Ne). Fortunately for our board game sessions, her success in these attempts was not as pronounced as in the video game example.

When I discussed it with her, she said it was the first time somebody could describe what goes on in her head. She may not always consciously perform every step of the process, and often simply acts on a feeling such as 'there might be loot if I go over there.' More or less reading from the ENFP functional stack produced a rather accurate depiction of her thought process, as well as an explanation for her actions that had previously appeared rather illogical or random.

To add to that, we recently discussed some of her writer's block problems. She mentioned that she'd often rewrite various stories several times and would often see a similar, yet slightly different pattern in each. Her current trouble was trying to find a single theme to move forward with. Knowing her past actions fairly well, and also certain points that might represent when she'd activated a new functional stack, it sounded to me that she was facing the ENTJ road block - type four of her ENFJ backbone. The two initially weakest functions for an ENFP are Se and Ti. The shadow dom/aux of ENTJ is Ti-Ne - representing a need to use her core's dominant Ne in a very different way than the Fi pairing she is used to using.

A note that might help is that the shadow functional stack of a type is the same as the main functional stack of the backbone's capstone of that type. In the case of ENTJ, it would be INTP.


Thus, a similar structure can be used to gain a rough idea of what the hurdle in development might look like for whatever point of development that a person might be at. The situation representing their personal road block will vary from person to person, as everyone is different. There is a likelihood that some of the 'life changing' moments, that many speakers and people talk about experiencing, is related to when they activated a new functional stack. A significant event that differs from the norm of some kind is generally required, so that the situation is not something easily/fully resolved by the currently available functional stacks. Hopefully having an idea of what to look for will lower the average stress level that seems to often accompany overcoming the larger hurdles.

Determining current progress is something that has to be done on an individual basis. The problem/situation that might represent their current mental hurdle will also vary from one person to the next. Eliciting help from another person can prove quite useful.

A (very) rough yet quick test that I sometimes employ uses the type descriptions of the 16personalities website. Particularly the 'strengths' of the 'strengths and weaknesses' page for a given type (full description can be useful as well). An honest assessment of how many of the listed strengths seem to fit a person can give a ballpark idea of their current progress, though it is relatively subjective and imprecise. Examining how the person has changed over the course of their life may yield a clearer picture. Early childhood behavior can serve as something useful to examine when determining a core type.

The truly tricky part is actually overcoming each hurdle in a healthy manner - there's a reason so few people overcome the hurdle of activating that sixth type in particular. Being that I'm basically just a conceptual grease monkey, the best steps I can point to as preparation is to actively embrace the third and fourth types. Doing activities that'll make use of those two weakest functions so that the psyche can learn to better integrate them. In my case, this largely occurred when I read a lot of manga. Some of them were emotional (Fi of ISFP) and I chose to continue reading from that genre rather than avoiding it. The sheer quantity and variety of genres that I went through caused me to start to notice common patterns and formulas in the story structure (Ne of INTP). Eventually I started making a list of the series that stood out and impressed me (little bit of everything), meaning that I was actively looking for these things.

Different things will work for different people, but the main point is to pursue balance and a wider range of experiences, rather than always staying in a comfort zone. puts it just shy of 3k, though I'll be reusing the intro and will put the 'Crash Course' at the front + use the 'Closing Thoughts' from the current version. Those added in will put it a little over 4k, which is still less than a quarter of the current size.
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I greatly appreciate that both of you are willing to provide feedback, as the lack of it has been the biggest issue so far. I've written a preliminary 'abridged' version that's a little under 3000 words long (as opposed to the current 20000 - most of the original will remain inside a spoiler). I placed the current abridged version below in a spoiler if you're interested.
I'll make sure to check it out!

Her current MBTI knowledge is at a pre-functions level, so could be a decent barometer as to whether or not she can grasp what I'm saying, though I've talked to her about it before as well. Seem to recall Michio Kaku saying that a good editor knows very little about the field you're writing about, because if they can't understand what you're talking about then what hope does the average reader have?
You have the right idea, but I can see there being one potential problem with giving it to someone unfamiliar with functions. The potential problem being that they don't understand how functions are supposed to work in the first place, so they don't know when you're violating rules or why.
That's what you have to understand when you're proposing a new system: the exact rules of the old system (whether they're correct or not in the end is irrelevant) and why you're breaking them. If you don't know, the reader could only know by accident, or falsely believe they understand something they don't. And if the reader doesn't know the original rules, breaking them becomes completely invisible.
That's why I and probably others here are hesitant to dive right in and voraciously eat up your hypothesis (besides our other objections) there are so many implied rules that may not be readily obvious, that are broken when you suggest to overthrow a system. Unless it gives indication of being aware of those rules and leaving a promise of explaining why they're broken, most people just won't gamble and give it a fair shot. I'll explain what I mean with implied rules in the spoiler below.

I came across an example of such a violation today chatting with someone. Now, MBTI has little special authority and we can throw around models as we want because It's not real science, but strictly according to the model, It's relevant. He told me he's an ISTJ with a focus on Ti & Fi. This idea is deeply problematic in the 'MBTI + functions paradigm':
Level 1 Problem) ISTJs prefer Te not Ti, so what does it mean to be an ISTJ that focuses on Ti? Fi makes some sense; It's similar to being an SLI-Si subtype in socionics, you have the Si and Fi emphasis. I guess MBTI doesn't have much to say about that, and soc supports the concept. But Ti? It appears to violate the idea that ISTJs prefer Te. You can explain it in some alternative way and find a way to make the model fit, beacuse It's not specific enough to completely prohibit that, but doing so just to ad hoc fit yourself into a profile in a world with so many mistypes and misuses of Typology, it immediately looks sketchy.
Level 2 Problem) If you're a bit deeper into the 'functions 201' or whatever, you'll understand the characteristics of the functions, their proper place in a type profile. Some are judging functions, some perceiving. The reasons there are different judging functions is because they employ different strategies for judging, and you won't find two judging functions in the same profile which are both introverted or both extraverted (Te and Fe or Ti and Fi) - because they would be processing each others' information. If you contemplate it deeper, you arrive at a point where you can see that all of these pieces have very strict places in the model, with little wiggle room.
So when someone says they prefer Ti and Fi, they look like they don't understand the model, because both are introverted judging functions. INFPs often look like INTPs in certain cases because the Ti and Fi are competing judging strategies, and their difference pretty much only amounts to which reference frame they use (Ti is in a impersonal frame and Fi in a interpersonal frame).
You don't hear explanations like this everywhere, which is precisely why so many people misjudge the depth the models really have.

I figured the 'you only have one type' vs 'many people identify with more than one' was obvious right in the intro (first few people I showed it to already had that rough conclusion about their own life), but apparently not. Hard to gauge a decent level for that, as from my view the whole thing seems so blatantly illustrated all over society. Piercie's comment prompted me to add a paragraph near the start to clearly state that conflict with current theory.
Going back to what I explained about violating the original model, the typological models are more intricate than they appear at first glance. "Many people identify with more than one" is not a good argument, because it assumes A) that these people have clear comprehension of each profile, including the right perspective to see it in (meaning the way the profile frames all the included elements, not just *having* the elements. Everyone has all functions, though some silly conservatives won't agree.) Asking the average person to identify their own personality is like asking them to identify the appropriate Gauge Boson in the Standard Model of particle physics. They know what being themselves feels like, just like how Hiroshima victims on the outskirts could feel the effects of the radioactive decay due to the W boson particle) but not how to most accurately model it in concepts and relationships. That's much more niche than so. And lest proper science give them a hand, relies in the case of Typology on what Howard Gardner termed Intrapersonal Intelligence, which I've personally found to be highly variant among people. Some people just simply can't make any sense whatsoever of what's going on inside of them, and some can explain themselves in-depth.
It also assumes B) that subjective experience alone overrides theoretical underpinnings. They don't in Science, and unless you're trying to start a religion, you should aspire to the same ideals. If you have good intrapersonal intelligence you might know what best describes yourself, but there's no way to make other people know that simply by assuming It's true (and appealing to the example of others is the bandwagon fallacy, and appealing to your own example is anecdotal fallacy; they cannot be a substitute for reason.)

I hope I've managed to convince you that this is not as easy as it looks. My aim is not to discourage you, but if you're gonna do something, you might as well do it right.
Sincerely, Piercie the destroyer of dreams
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I recommend that you check out this talk by the father of Quantum Computation. It's awesome.

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I'd watched the TED talk before, but did again for good measure. He mentioned in a slide that scientific knowledge is tested by observation, not derived from it. Useful distinction to make (that in all honesty is probably still not clear in my head), but he didn't suggest where it was derived from.

Nikola Tesla had a thought related to that, though of note is that his quote doesn't contain the word 'all':

Properly tuning our receiver is a lifelong process.

I can see there being one potential problem with giving it to someone unfamiliar with functions. they don't know when you're violating rules or why.

That's what you have to understand when you're proposing a new system: the exact rules of the old system (whether they're correct or not in the end is irrelevant) and why you're breaking them.
Hard to know how or when to break a rule if you don't know exactly what it is and when it works properly (or appears to do so).

MBTI has little special authority and we can throw around models as we want because It's not real science
What I'm proposing has turned into (it wasn't at the start) an attempt to push MBTI pretty close to being able to get a yay or nay on if it's an actual science, or at least establish a falsifiable connection to it, as I'll mention below. That's the biggest issue with much of typology - there's not a lot of ways to prove or disprove the ideas. Thus some parts of the actual scientific community looks down on psychology (one TED talk guy, don't think he's an actual scientist, once made a 'this is biology, not psychology' clarification). Heck, I look down on some parts of it because those portions sound like vague rubbish.

Whether I'm using the methods correctly or not to provide something that is falsifiable is another matter.

He told me he's an ISTJ with a focus on Ti & Fi. This idea is deeply problematic in the 'MBTI + functions paradigm':
Level 1 Problem) ISTJs prefer Te not Ti, so what does it mean to be an ISTJ that focuses on Ti? Fi makes some sense; It's similar to being an SLI-Si subtype in socionics, you have the Si and Fi emphasis. I guess MBTI doesn't have much to say about that, and soc supports the concept. But Ti? It appears to violate the idea that ISTJs prefer Te. You can explain it in some alternative way and find a way to make the model fit, beacuse It's not specific enough to completely prohibit that, but doing so just to ad hoc fit yourself into a profile in a world with so many mistypes and misuses of Typology, it immediately looks sketchy.
Level 2 Problem) If you're a bit deeper into the 'functions 201' or whatever ... you arrive at a point where you can see that all of these pieces have very strict places in the model, with little wiggle room.
You don't hear explanations like this everywhere, which is precisely why so many people misjudge the depth the models really have.
Yes, I agree that the idea you were presented with is one that is different enough from the 'standard' definition that it warrants seeking further clarification rather than being accepted 'as-is.' What does he mean by Ti and Fi/how does he define them? Or even, what does he mean by having a 'focus' on them? How much focus, especially in relation to other functions? Is it in relation to the perceived focus of other ISTJs? And of course, how did he arrive at the conclusion that he's ISTJ? What factors were considered to establish that?

However, the question also presents itself: What if he is correct? He is an ISTJ and he does indeed have a 'focus' on Ti and Fi. How can that be explained? Does the current model have a method of doing so, or has something been observed that it cannot explain? Exceptions to the rule indicate there is more to learn, though of course we should also be sure there is even an actual exception.
So when someone says they prefer Ti and Fi, they look like they don't understand the model, because both are introverted judging functions. INFPs often look like INTPs in certain cases because the Ti and Fi are competing judging strategies, and their difference pretty much only amounts to which reference frame they use (Ti is in a impersonal frame and Fi in a interpersonal frame).
How does the model say that it must be one or the other? That you can't use both effectively? Maybe not simultaneously, but last I heard science clocked the speed of thought at a pretty brisk pace, so there should be plenty of time to swap between the two. There may be a preference for one function, and it might be the area that a type is -much- better at, but does it claim that the other function (such as Ti and Fi) cannot also be used quite effectively? That there can't be synergy? A bit like a swordsman using a stick to fight with - not the default option, but combined with skill and practice in numerous areas one can make a little do a lot.

To make a crude example, to go with your above mentioned types, is there anything that (for an actual INFP) would absolutely prohibit the Ti-Ne result from 'INTP' to use Ne as the intermediary to then be processed via Fi-Ne? Ti and Fi might not operate at the same time/place in a functional stack, but if all functions are being used it should be conceivable that information can flow back and forth and both 'judging strategies' can provide input on a matter.

For something like that to occur you'd likely need oh, I don't know, multiple functional stacks present? ;) Might represent an 'alternate' hypothesis route that science likes to use. Of course, proving their use or not sends us back to fairly subjective territory once again.

Asking the average person to identify their own personality is like asking them to identify the appropriate Gauge Boson in the Standard Model of particle physics. ... And lest proper science give them a hand, relies in the case of Typology on what Howard Gardner termed Intrapersonal Intelligence, which I've personally found to be highly variant among people. Some people just simply can't make any sense whatsoever of what's going on inside of them, and some can explain themselves in-depth.

It also assumes B) that subjective experience alone overrides theoretical underpinnings. They don't in Science, and unless you're trying to start a religion, you should aspire to the same ideals. If you have good intrapersonal intelligence you might know what best describes yourself, but there's no way to make other people know that simply by assuming It's true (and appealing to the example of others is the bandwagon fallacy, and appealing to your own example is anecdotal fallacy; they cannot be a substitute for reason.)

I hope I've managed to convince you that this is not as easy as it looks. My aim is not to discourage you, but if you're gonna do something, you might as well do it right.

Yes, aim to do it right. Otherwise you're just making more work for yourself (or others) in the future. The constructive criticism is appreciated. The model talk/explanation is helpful, as their rigidity is not something I naturally make extensive use of. If something is accurate though, it should be explainable in a variety of ways including inside the constraints of a model.

I've also seen that a few people report testing all over the place in terms of the preference letters/types they get, so I'd agree that simply using subjective measures to determine type is insufficient. In many cases, a well crafted test may either yield accurate or close to accurate results (get them in the ballpark), but it won't work for everybody 100% of the time. Something a bit more absolute would be needed, especially from an outside 'diagnosis' standpoint.

Here's a quote I've appended to the bottom section of that 'abridged' version since posting it. The concept was briefly mentioned in the original post, but I have since become quite convinced of it.

Windmill Slam said:
As an added thought, my observations up to this point have brought me to the conclusion that people of the same type share similarities in many physical characteristics in comparison to other types. Whether this be in facial structure (ears, nose, etc.) or overall body build, shape, and structure. I have even identified potential signs of remaining at a certain point (such as not being able to activate the sixth type, the backbone's anchor) for a prolonged period of time. To me, this correlation of type to physical attributes indicates that achieving a greater overall balance of the psyche may also have a positive health impact.

Those are still simply observations, however. Extensive and rigorous analysis will need to be employed before a causation link between the psyche's balance and physical health can be verified or falsified. I'm not claiming it to be the sole factor. Humans are far more complex than that. Merely that the state of the psyche seems to be one of the variables that has an influence upon a person's health.
In short, type (and function balance) is related to physical appearance and even, to an extent, physical health. I may not be an expert on the scientific method, but I think that should give (my interpretation of) MBTI a relatively falsifiable method of being analyzed via the scientific method in comparison to what pretty much any typology system has offered up in the past.

There's been countless people that tried to link mental state to physical health, but at least I'm trying to point at a method that's a bit more specific and, dare I say, structured than something like 'think positive.' I also simply ended up at this conclusion during analysis, rather than starting with it or intentionally trying to find such a link.

Small example: I have observed that one of the subtypes of ISTJ (I think it's the Te/auxiliary one - still not great at determining which is which when it comes to subtypes) has noticeably larger/taller ears than the other subtype, and also compared to most other types in general. It's a bit subjective and there'll of course be the individual variance factor, but as I'm so naturally disinclined towards models it's a bit hard to know exactly what qualifies as a something that can be measured in scientific terms.

And it isn't intended as an "oh, this guy has larger ears, maybe he represents an instance of the subtype where that happened." It's a "this subtype will always have certain physical features and attributes, some of which depend on their stage of development" statement. Well, I suppose I should append that other factors (like ethnicity, genetics, blah blah) might impact it as my sample size is super small. However, all the combined MBTI aspects I've determined have held up and survived everything I can throw at them so far (author confirmation bias aside), and I tossed the kitchen sink quite awhile ago. So a similar, (sub)type based pattern should be evident even if other variables are changed (like gender). PerC is full of reference photos, though amount varies by type.

There's 16 types, two subtypes (that I've identified), and men and women are different. That's already up to 64 variations before you even throw in other factors like age, development status, time spent at a particular stage of development, and all the other possible variables outside of typology - many of which we're unaware of. I can't identify even close to all 64, but I'm familiar with some. I'm sure more subtypes will be discovered in the future (Jung got to 8 as I recall, and MBTI to 16) as there's still a few more billion human variations to account for beyond just 64, but let's try to nail down the basics first.

Since we're on the VI subject, I might as well throw out an even bolder claim - though I won't yet assert that this occurs 100% of the time. Too many other factors, but when it does occur I have generally found that it can be linked to MBTI concepts.

Crazy Town 2.0

Know those older guys you see with a spare tire around their stomach, but otherwise their body looks relatively fine? Potential ISTJ. Far more than one factor to consider with visually typing someone, but you've seen my previous attempt to explain multiple influencing factors, haha - does all go back to functions though. Other types have their own variations and body builds that'll be identifiable. Older ISTJs also vary from younger ISTJ appearances in some areas. The head shape seems to get a bit 'rounder' compared to a 20 something ISTJ.

Si-Te. They're literally constructing extra endurance due to their strong functions. Weak functions are Fe-Ni, which essentially represents how well the psyche can determine the rate to burn that endurance, how much might be needed, and how that amount might vary from previous amounts of endurance that were needed.

Next door reverse of that is Si-Fe (ISFJ). Strong idea of how much energy to burn, less skilled at knowing how much to stockpile, eventually trending towards a thin/frail figure. Extravert types flip function order, so ESTJs have a tendency to be the thinner ones while ESFJs plump up as time goes by.

So yes. I'm suggesting that MBTI can explain/point to a factor (not the only one!) that has an influence on weight gain/loss. How many stories have there been of sudden, dramatic weight loss (some televised, such as on Oprah) after years of struggling with the issue? "Eat right and exercise" doesn't seem to give the full explanation, even if they are important elements.

Also noticed some things that lead me to think that hair loss/male pattern baldness might also be connected, but that's more of an idea floating about that isn't super pinned down yet.

Those are simple connections. The really outlandish ones I need to keep under my hat until the more basic stuff can be verified/falsified. I did say that the function definition list needs to be adaptable to any situation.

Those outcomes aren't overnight events and can take years. Function strength/usage varies from person to person as well (past traumatic event preventing growth/certain function usage, blah blah), which then throws us in the direction of subjective land once again. Nor do we have a good method of measuring function strength in the first place.

Most of that is examples of people that are stuck partway through development at some point or another for an extended period of time (aka, damn near everybody). On the plus side, I've already identified someone that I believe to be a developed, balanced ISTJ for sake of comparison and contrast - Warren Buffett. At a glance, he looks like a Te/aux subtype. So INTJ 'expansion' and ISFJ 'anchor,' among other things of note.

There's a reason I'm not good with models. They have a tendency of just getting in the way, generally ceasing to be all that useful, spontaneously combusting, or exploding.

Also, second Tesla quote because he's that awesome. And ISTP bias/favoritism, as I currently believe him to have been a developed ISTP (Ti/dom) after considering every factor I can currently muster. I considered that he might've been NT at first, but process of elimination eventually suggested otherwise.

Knock knock.
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Wow, this is great !
thank you for posting :proud:
holy shit guy
dont share istp with normies
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