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Discussion Starter #1
OK, so a fact of my human experience is that I do see *some* repeatable, observable, empirical trends in people of various types. I work with a lot of scientists/professors, many of whom are INTJ and, you know, they're all very good at what they do. How do I know some of them are INTJ, you ask? Well, because I have an idea of what Te is, and what Ni is (as described by Jung) and, well, these individuals are observably introverted, they are observably very intuitive, observably very detached and thinkerish, and on and on. I also know a few ESFJ's (mother, brother-in-law, etc.) and the INTJ's at work are, well, extremely different from the ESFJ's I know. So, it's fairly easy to observe the behavior and to have interactions with the scientists at work and to say, "Yeah, he's not an ESFJ like my mom. My mom is very different from that scientist. He's more...........how do I say it............INTJ-ish! Yeah that's it!"

But, here's my question - and I'm honestly curious here. On this website, anytime we say anything like, "Yeah, most INTJ's are scientifically inclined." Or, "Most INTP's aren't attentive to what their mates are feeling." Or, "Most ENTJ's are pretty adept at leading people." Or, "Most xSTP's have a high spatial intelligence"...........these kinds of "stereotypes" (are they really stereotypes?) seem to freak people out. You see people say, "Not all INTJ's are scientifically inclined! That's absurd! How could you possibly come to such a conclusion?" "Not all STP's have spatial intelligence! How shortsighted of you!"

So, if we can't make any kind of categorical observations of the similarities between people of the same type (i.e., if we can't say and be confident in the idea that most INTJ's are scientifically inclined), then well, the simple question that comes to my mind is: Why do we even bother discussing this stuff or visiting this website? I mean, if we can't see any similarities in INTJ's, and we can't make statements like, "Most of the INTJ's I know are scientifically inclined", "most of the STP's I know are spatially/mechanically inclined", then that basically means that all the INTJ's in the world (or all the STP's) have no commonalities - there is no overlapping in personality, tendencies of behavior, etc. If this is the case, then we could then state that INTJ, and the other 15 MBTI types, are totally false. If we can't make any statements at all about INTJ's or INTP's, that are *generally* true, then MBTI is stupid and a waste of time and this ridiculous website should be shut down tomorrow. We're all wasting our time discussing something that has zero merit in reality.

But, the fact is, people *do* see repeatable, observable, empirical trends of people of various types. Heck, I even see *some* similarity, some overlap between myself and other INTP's that I know (some of which have been tested). So as I observe those commonalities between myself and them, that lets me know that there *is* something to this man-created category that has been labeled "INTP". And, oh look, there *actually is* something observable to that category that we call INTJ, and ESTP, and ESFJ, etc, etc.

So, logically (because I'm an INTP! Oops, another stereotype!), we either (a) *can* see some overlap and commonalities between people of the same type (and therefore, INTP is a "valid" category within which we can observe some common, overlapping sets of behaviors/tendencies), or else (b) we *absolutely cannot* see any overlap and commonalities (in which case INTP is not a category at all and people should NEVER be referred to as INTP's ever again because it doesn't exist).

We cannot, in one thread say, "Not all INTJ's are the same! They will all be different and we cannot be so shallow as to group them and not treat them as individuals" and then in another thread, on another day say, "I know 3 INTJ's and they are all scientifically inclined. I definitely think INTJ's have a knack for science."

Yes, I'm talking to YOU! And YOU! And you, and you, and you! You've all done it. I've done it. One day we say, "No, INTJ's are all different. You cannot say that INTJ's are x and ESTP's are y! You just can't!" And then the next day we say, "Yeah, my INTJ friend and my INTJ dad - they're both really good at science. And my INTJ professor from college was too!" "Oh, and both ISTP's that I know are really good at working with their hands." "Oh, my INTP ex-boyfriend was not attentive to my needs and my INTP cousin is the same way!" It either *is* or it *isn't*. Can't be both.

Either INTJ's are all different and MBTI is fake, dumb, lame, and should be taken out with tomorrow's garbage (and we should stop conversing about it)...............or, there really are some observable things about INTJ's and MBTI has some level of legitimacy and we can describe INTJ's in certain ways. Which one is it? It can't be both can it?

What are all of your thoughts, my respected PerC colleagues? The sweet, innocent girl in my avatar is longing to hear your opinions.
 

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I think this quote from analyst Daryl Sharp helps answer this for you
Type tests concretize what is inherently variable, and thereby overlook the dynamic nature of the psyche.

Any system of typology is no more than a gross indicator of what people have in common and the differences between them. Jung’s model is no exception. It is distinguished solely by its parameters—the two attitudes and the four functions. What it does not and cannot show, nor does it pretend to, is the uniqueness of the individual. Also, no one is a pure type. It would be foolish to even try to reduce an individual personality to this or that, just one thing or another. Each of us is a conglomeration, an admixture of attitudes and functions that in their combination defy classification. All that is true, and emphatically acknowledged by Jung—One can never give a description of a type, no matter how complete, that would apply to more than one individual, despite the fact that in some ways it aptly characterizes thousands of others. Conformity is one side of a man, uniqueness is the other.13 —but it does not obviate the practical value of his model, particularly when one has run aground on the shoals of his or her own psychology.

Whether Jung’s model is “true” or not—objectively true—is a moot point. Indeed, is anything ever “objectively” true? The real truth is that Jung’s model of psychological types has all the advantages and disadvantages of any scientific model. Although lacking statistical verification, it is equally hard to disprove. But it accords with experiential reality. Moreover, since it is based on a fourfold— mandala like—way of looking at things that is archetypal, it is psychologically satisfying.

As mentioned earlier, one’s behavior can be quite misleading in determining typology. For instance, to enjoy being with other people is characteristic of the extraverted attitude, but this does not automatically mean that a person who enjoys lots of company is an extraverted type. Naturally, one’s activities will to some extent be determined by typology, but the interpretation of those activities in terms of typology depends on the value system behind the action. Where the subject—oneself—and a personal value system are the dominant motivating factors, there is by definition an introverted type, whether at a party or alone. Similarly, when one is predominantly oriented to the object—things and other people—there is an extraverted type, whether in a crowd or on one’s own. This is what makes Jung’s system primarily a model of personality rather than of behavior.

Everything psychic is relative. I cannot say, think or do anything that is not colored by my particular way of seeing the world, which in turn is a manifestation of both my typology and my complexes. This psychological rule is analogous to Einstein’s famous theory of relativity in physics, and equally as significant.

Being aware of the way I tend to function makes it possible for me to assess my attitudes and behavior in a given situation and ad- just them accordingly. It enables me both to compensate for my personal disposition and to be tolerant of someone who does not function as I do—someone who has, perhaps, a strength or facility I myself lack.

Typologically speaking, the important question is not whether one is innately introverted or extraverted, or which function is superior or inferior, but, more pragmatically: in this situation, with that person, how did I function and with what effect? Did my actions truly reflect my judgments (thinking and feeling) and perceptions (sensation and intuition)? And if not, why not? What complexes were activated in me? To what end? How and why did I mess things up? What does this say about my psychology? What can I do about it? What do I want to do about it? These are among the questions we must take to heart if we want to be psychologically conscious.
 

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You read way too much into MBTI. Of course all types will be different within their own type, it isn't possible we can all be exactly the same regardless of a few letters. There will be similarities also, although not everyone will be similar with the same experiences. We have to take into consideration our surroundings from birth, our upbringing, environment, education, our state of health, the health of our parents, even how we were treated by extended family members. Cognitive functions only explain how we filter and gather information, it doesn't say how we will ALL behave. When we see similarities within our type, it can derive from having processing information and data the same. That still in no way says we will come to the exact conclusion. PerC is a fun site, it can be informative and useful in order to help explain our thought process through the functions, other than that, don't take it so seriously. TOOL is the key word, not FACT.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you @LiquidLight for invoking @Daryl Sharp.

I get this. I understand what he is saying. I, for one, don't deny that every individual is unique. I'd be stupid to say otherwise. And it almost seems obvious to me - almost to the point that it doesn't need to be said - that the human psyche is incredibly complex and made up of all kinds of experiences and such.

This jives with what @Daryl Sharp says here:

It would be foolish to even try to reduce an individual personality to this or that, just one thing or another. Each of us is a conglomeration, an admixture of attitudes and functions that in their combination defy classification. All that is true, and emphatically acknowledged by Jung—One can never give a description of a type, no matter how complete, that would apply to more than one individual
I guess what I was getting at in my OP was the very next thing he says, which is this:
despite the fact that in some ways it aptly characterizes thousands of others. Conformity is one side of a man, uniqueness is the other.13 —but it does not obviate the practical value of his model, particularly when one has run aground on the shoals of his or her own psychology.

Whether Jung’s model is “true” or not—objectively true—is a moot point. Indeed, is anything ever “objectively” true? The real truth is that Jung’s model of psychological types has all the advantages and disadvantages of any scientific model. Although lacking statistical verification, it is equally hard to disprove. But it accords with experiential reality. Moreover, since it is based on a fourfold— mandala like—way of looking at things that is archetypal, it is psychologically satisfying.
Basically, while we cannot "unindividualize" an individual, these categories sort of *do* have a way of working, or of being observable. They "work" in a very *rough* way. And that's all I was trying to assert, or ask, in my OP.

So, I agree that we have ~7B *individuals* on earth, each with highly individualized psyches and experiences, yet I also agree that the very simplified, narrow "systems" of categorizing people (i.e., Jung, and MBTI, maybe even to a lesser extent than Jung) have some relevance for us. I think it's OK to say, "A lot of INTJ's are scientifically inclined" (because it's observable) - and like @Daryl Sharp says, while it can't be "proven", it's also difficult to disprove.

Thanks for the quote.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You read way too much into MBTI. Of course all types will be different within their own type, it isn't possible we can all be exactly the same regardless of a few letters. There will be similarities also, although not everyone will be similar with the same experiences. We have to take into consideration our surroundings from birth, our upbringing, environment, education, our state of health, the health of our parents, even how we were treated by extended family members. Cognitive functions only explain how we filter and gather information, it doesn't say how we will ALL behave. When we see similarities within our type, it can derive from having processing information and data the same. That still in no way says we will come to the exact conclusion. PerC is a fun site, it can be informative and useful in order to help explain our thought process through the functions, other than that, don't take it so seriously. TOOL is the key word, not FACT.
I don't disagree with you. I've never once thought that it means that we would all be exactly alike within a type. My views on MBTI are not nearly as extreme as you think. I'm simply saying that it does have some *rough* value.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haha, I was joking with the @DarylSharp thing, but I'm glad that we have an actual PerC member named Daryl that will be alerted to this thread now.
 

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All that is true, and emphatically acknowledged by Jung—One can never give a description of a type, no matter how complete, that would apply to more than one individual, despite the fact that in some ways it aptly characterizes thousands of others.
YES!! Quoted for truth (perhaps I'll add this to my signature!).
 
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