Personality Cafe banner

Mathematical and/or Alphabet sequence/ordering deficiency (as in INFJ)?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • No

    Votes: 2 33.3%

  • Total voters
    6
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there

I am very curious about something; ever since I was a child I struggled very heavily with many of the simple "staple" tools we were taught such as basic Mathematics, the "Times Tables" (3x1, 3x2, 3x3 etc...) and the structure of the Alphabetical sequence.

Some examples; I do not know my times tables to this day (I could never muster enough interest to bother learning them at school, despite getting good grades in many other areas, particular English Literature and Language, Geography, Music, Media studies etc...) if someone were to jump out and ask me, "Whats 7x8?" I would be stumped for a few seconds at least. Having recently volunteered a local beer festival, having to work out change on the top of my head was almost guess-work!

Also when it comes to Alphabetical sequence, even to this day (I am nearly 27 years old) if say I am scrolling through some software, music library, folder on a computer etc... looking for a particular letter; say K, I have to mentally recite "A B C D E F G H I J K" until I reach that letter to know where to scroll or whatever.

Despite that I am pretty highly intelligent in my own opinion, and multi-talented in many creative disciplines, and have way more common sense/everyday problem solving ability than most I know. So I am wondering if this is just a peculiar defect of my own or if any other INFJ types also struggle with this absolutely basic and simple stuff?

Many thanks!


EDIT: Sorry, in the poll title I meant "as an INFJ" not "in".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
I was actually wondering about that some time ago but I never asked here..
I experience the same thing, I like to think that I'm intelligent and I think that people who know me would say the same, yet I'm not very good at maths/physics, probably because I never bothered to make an effort about it (as you said).. If I ever need a times table result now, I have to remember the logic that helped me learn it at school before I can say the result.
Same thing about the alphabet, I need to recite it in order to remember the order..

* I don't know if it has anything to do with your question, but I have a very poor sense of direction, and I'm not good at remembering dates or phone numbers unless I find a logic or a link that helps me memorize them..

Thank you..
 

·
Sharp Cutting Thing
Joined
·
9,675 Posts
What youse guys are describing are problems with rote approaches to learning. We learn our times tables and the alphabet mostly by rote; with the alphabet it's largely because there's no obvious internal structure ordering the characters (unlike in e.g. Hangul) so alphabetic societies have compensated by making the letter order iambic in speech. (Use of poetic language helps as a memory aid.)

I have to confess, I don't really know my "times tables" either. When I do multiplication in my head, I most definitely do not go about retrieving it from a 10x10 or 12x12 box of potential solutions. Instead, I go about using various heuristics, primarily the x5 and x10 tricks, in order to find the result I need, which feels more intuitive than trying to consult a half-forgotten rote box.

There are other things, such as binomial factoring, that are super rote and hard to do in your head. I have no idea how to even go about it! And it's pointless, too, when you approach math in terms of relations and see arithmetic (which is often dull, tedious, and rote, and is what is usually taught as "math" right up into calculus classes) simply as a means to extract numbers from the underlying relationships (which are simple, rational, and frankly legit beautiful). I strongly suspect this is the underlying problem we have in our math classes. And the worst part? It's utterly outmoded. We can automate arithmetic, but computers are still unable to prove a math theorem in its own right.
 
Joined
·
9,999 Posts
It probably happens, but I doubt it would be much more common for INFJs than for any other type... Can't say I can see why it would be. I remember from my time in the INFP subforum that maths, for example, is a subject that talented INFPs often dislike and/or struggle with.

Personally, my experience is very much the opposite: I have always had a very easy time with numbers and letters, and loved maths at school. I've always been good at memorising numbers and words, and tend to remember eg. phone numbers, WiFi passwords etc. after seeing them just once or twice. I have learned several alphabets without any problems (Roman, Cyrillic, Greek). For example, when I travel, I have no trouble converting between currencies on the fly, or between fahrenheit and celsius (F = [C x 1.8] + 32). I know I do well with any theoretical subject, and passed the UK Mensa entry test (Cattell) a few years ago (did not join). I'm no genius by any means, but I should not think that INFJs on average would do any worse with numbers or letters than any other type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Interesting stuff guys, thanks for the responses. Glad to see at least 3/4 of us here have similar issues haha!

The mention of theory also reminds me, as a musician of over half my life, I have been entirely self-taught and reached a very high level of musicianship and improvisational ability by relying on my ear and feel alone, whereas many times people have tried to convince me that "music theory" is the only way to be a good musician!

So I guess a lot of it is the intuitive and "feeling" aspect of INFJ that makes learning theoretical knowledge largely obsolete because we are able to "cut to the chase" so to speak... I always had this analogy when it comes to feel vs theory in a music sense;

Feel = 1970s sports car, you put the accelerator down and fuel is thrown into the engine and is combusted and you shoot off immediately without any delay.

Theory = Modern sports car, you put the accelerator down, and a signal is sent to the computer chip, which decides whether to put fuel in, and how much to be injected into valves, then you shoot off, but with more of a delay and "effort" involved.


Theory is always great for explaining things to people, and describing "why" something works, but is not necessary in my mind. This definitely seems like something that fits with the overall description of INFJ's.

Thanks again, hope more people participate in the poll so we can get a better idea of how many INFJ's struggle with these sort of things, but it's been very illuminating so far.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
You will be surprised how far people get in life without ever learning these little things, everyone is capable but the root of the problem is the education system and people suffer because of it. First it is designed with extroverts in mind and good luck drilling everything into them and we introverts have our own problems, all in all the system sucks and it needs to be reformed or even replaced. College is crap in its own right, when the shackles of classroom pace are gone I can grind through entire semesters worth of material in just days.
 
Joined
·
9,999 Posts
You will be surprised how far people get in life without ever learning these little things, everyone is capable but the root of the problem is the education system and people suffer because of it. First it is designed with extroverts in mind and good luck drilling everything into them and we introverts have our own problems, all in all the system sucks and it needs to be reformed or even replaced. College is crap in its own right, when the shackles of classroom pace are gone I can grind through entire semesters worth of material in just days.
I understand that this is the experience of many, and that PerC is quite US-centric. Just to point out that this is not the case universally, I mostly attended small schools in Northern Scandinavia where introversion is not only accepted, but actively encouraged. The teachers I grew up with rewarded children who preferred to sit alone and read, at least if they did well in class. Often when I finished an assignment early, my teacher would ask me to read on, or bring more interesting books for me to read. Several of them went out of their way to provide me with extra reading that they felt I would be interested in. I can only remember one teacher I didn't like, and he was a PE teacher.

This happened in a traditional classroom setting in your average state-run school. I can't speak for everyone who grew up where I did, but I would say that INxx children are generally well-regarded and rewarded rather than told to be extroverted where I come from. Loud extroversion is certainly frowned upon, if not extroversion in and of itself. My ENTP brother did not do poorly, but certainly ran into a lot more trouble than I ever did. A bit too restless, a bit too rowdy, a bit too talkative.

 

In my case, it probably matters that I'm a 9w1. Type 9 children tend to be obedient, sometimes so excessively that it is to their own detriment (suppressed creativity for the sake of obedience), and I certainly was. Adults tend to like obedient children as they demand less attention and effort.

I also grew up on the countryside and the whole vibe where I grew up is a bit Ingalls-y.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I’m terrible at algebra and higher levels of math. Ever since highschool I did poorly in every math class I had, even in college I struggled with math. But ask me questions about the universe, theories, medical, human anatomy, philosophy, diet, history, the supernatural, quantum physics, biology etc and I’m an expert beacon of endless knowledge on godmode. And yes I always recite to singing the ABC’s song in my head like you lol.

It’s funny because I recently thought if it was an INFJ thing too but thought “nah” but hey you never know..
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top