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Many of us have either been told or been telling others to "go read up on the functions" to type one another and/or themselves. As if reading up the functions will magically solve all of your typing problems. Or that's how people make it sound at times. Sometimes I feel slightly guilty for telling others to 'read up', while I myself still haven't figured out my own type with certainty by 'reading up'.

I suppose I am a case of "answers lead to more questions". I may not be brilliant, but I am a critical thinker of sorts.

Anyways, I have some knowledge of the functions and the 4 letter code etc etc, and there's enough articles around on these forums to do some more reading, but what I'd like to know is if there are any methods to use one's knowledge of the functions to type her/himself?

I'm not interested in answers that come close to "read up and pick what you feel/think suits you best" - I know there's quite a risk at mistyping myself in this way. I'm sure I'm prone to confuse the things that "I am" for "I like" and "I'm attracted to".

I suspect myself of also inconsistently picking answers in questionnaires and tests that I (re)take because a) I'm not always consistently using the same memories and experiences when picking answers and b) the more I understand about functions etc, the more biased I (unintentionally) become in filling in these tests.

Having said that, please consider the following.

I've done quite a few tests, for type and cogs, I've taken them a couple of times every now and then. Guestimating, about half of the time I get INFP as a result.

But when I give it some thought and let go of the direct results that I get, the only certainty I have is the indirect conclusion that I must have N over S in my type (.N..): the personality tests give high percentages for my perceiving function, while my scores for I(/E) are about average and the percentages for my judging function and J/P are really on the border.

Cog tests give me results that are all over the place, in the sense that my scores for Ni/Ne/Fi/Fe/Ti/Te are usually grouped up with one of these scoring just a little noticeably higher, while Si/Se are relatively far behind. For example: http://personalitycafe.com/infj-forum-protectors/92282-hey-werent-you-infp-o-3.html#post2295249 (another result in post #40).

Thus what I 'know' about my type is that it's very likely .N.. .

Back to my question: how do I go from here? Are there any methods, strategies, systems etc to help me narrow my type down by myself?

For example, I'm thinking of the next options.

1) Assume N is dominant - figure out attitude through descriptions (Ni/Ne) - figure out aux & tert through descriptions (Fi/Fe/Ti/Te) -> leads to inferior
2) Assume N is dominant - figure out attitude through descriptions (Ni/Ne) - figure out inferior through descriptions (Si/Se) -> leads to aux and tert
3) Assume N is dominant - read up on all possible dom-tert loops with Ni/Ne as dom -> leads to type
3)
4) Figure out main preference in judgment function (F/T) - figure out preference between perceiving and judging (dom/aux) - figure out attitudes (XiYe/XeYi)-> leads to type
5) Figure out main preference in judgment function (F/T) - figure out attitudes (XiYe/XeYi) - figure out preference between perceiving and judging (dom/aux) -> leads to type

Heh, I just realized I may never be content with my type even if I figure it out by myself, since all these options *still* rely on me to read up on functions and have me judge what 'fits me best'. Thus there's still a risk of bias.

I already know I have trouble discerning my preference considering N's attitude. I have a basic understanding of Ni and Ne, but I still find that I almost equally relate/resonate/vibe with descriptions of both, even in the stereotypical observable behavior they may cause. And equally vice versa, there are things I just simply not relate/resonate/vibe with.

So yah, answers lead to more questions. This topic: http://personalitycafe.com/infj-forum-protectors/80685-hints-how-discriminate-between-infj-infp.html, as clear as it may make the difference between Ne and Ni as if they were night and day, it just doesn't bring me to any conclusions.

Very frustrating, to the point of feeling hopeless. I am also afraid that I may go through all descriptions of functions and types that I can find and never have that 'eureka' moment...

So... Any thoughts on this? Any more methods I could try? Any ideas how to overcome my personal bias?

Also, if you happen to know any interesting articles about the tert and inferior, generally and specifically (how to distinguish dom Si/Te/Fi/etc from tert and inferior Si/Te/Fi/etc, for example), please share. ^^

And last but not least, thanks. :)
 
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Okay, here's my advice to you from me, since I've worked long and hard at bypassing the biases on my own time (it was rough, but totally worth it) - only this year was I able to largely eliminate most of them, once I got down to the nitty gritty technicalities of Jung, rather than all of the MBTI persona stuff:

The only real way to get past any bias based on the persona you want to see yourself in is to really just observe your thought processes without really over-intellectualizing the whole deal. A ton of people I've noticed tend to way over-intellectualize the details rather than see it for what it is getting at fundamentally (and ironically, I noticed that it is mainly the N types who do this, not the S types, who seem to have an easier time just seeing it for what it is and not getting lost in the possibilities, unless the S types are trying to deliberately avoid being typed in typist ways that are so prevalently associated with S in MBTI, which I can empathize with). This takes time and care - typing your persona doesn't. I advise taking a very technical approach to this - starting with essentially the letters (although forget about J/P, since they are behavioral descriptors and flawed) and then deducing which cognitive function the letter may be, based on what you know about cognitive functions and whether or not you need to introvert or extrovert to engage in it. Starting with the inferior function is the most helpful way to know whether or not you're mistyped. Honestly, figuring out T vs. F is rather easy in my experiences, since these are clear judging functions, while figuring out how you perceive is a lot harder, just due to the irrational nature of perception. I was easily able to conclude that I downplay feelings as a source of making decisions (I went through life before MBTI just finding feelings stuff too subjective for me to seriously consider as a source of reasoning I'd prefer, so I basically just recalled my attitude about feelings over thinking and logic, the latter which I've always played up and taken more seriously in my persona). It actually helps to think about who you were before MBTI, because then, you weren't biased by the information you are now aware of - you just had preferential attitudes about things in the function arena - I've always found it rather obvious to tell who values feelings over thinking and thinking over feeling IRL before knowing anything about MBTI - the F types I knew of before I was able to identify them via MBTI were often the people who would have this attitude of "Eww...logic ruins moods/feelings/"good/bad" evaluations...boring" or something to that effect, or at least they would get offended easily if their feelings were framed logically or logically questioned - if not both of these, then they were often the people who very forward and confident about their feelings and would react weirdly if you're not the same way about feelings or not reacting to their feelings. So on this dichotomy, it pretty much just took me thinking about other people I know to have confidence in it, like "Oh yeah, I've seen those kinds of people before." I and E is good for starters, unless it isn't obvious enough which one you are - then, resorting to cognitive function attitudes comes in handy. I actually started with the very elementary method of just going by letters when typing myself and others and eventually discovered the cognitive functions and began to work with overlapping those onto the letters. It took me about 2 years to really make sense of this stuff in a satisfying way, and I've been going ever since. The meaning of the letters are like, highly built into the terms, "thinking," "feeling," "intuition," and "sensing," although the perception functions are much messier to deal with without going into their cognitive functions, honestly. I think when most people don't think of being a T type as being an intellectual, like the type descriptions make it out to be, as well as feelings as not being wishy-washy, like the type descriptions make them out to be, then, people seem to be able to easily admit their preference for one or the other. Heart vs. head pretty much covers the essentials of what F/T is getting at, unless it gets overanalyzed, like people thinking, "Oh, I "heart" using my head, so I guess I'm heart over head" or something to that effect. Once you know that feelings aren't emotions - they are the system of making value judgements about human experience, basically, then misconceptions like this should disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I want a brain scan that can tell me my type.
Mhm yeah. I say we find some specialists and have us built a scanner.

Okay, here's my advice to you from me, [...] they are the system of making value judgements about human experience, basically, then misconceptions like this should disappear.
Oh wow. I wouldn't have minded a few hard-enters in this wall of text, but I can tell you've put a lot of time and effort in getting where you are considering your knowledge. Very inspirational to me and some nice tips I can definitely use, thanks! I imagine it wasn't hard for you whether you were a T or an F, but how about figuring their attitude, and figuring out your perceiving function? Did it just 'click' for you once you understood the functions, like having an eureka moment? Did you run into any difficulties typing yourself?
 
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Thanks! Yeah, I could've edited it, but I'm currently multitasking between PerC and other things, so bear with me. This worked for me, because I started typing people before I really read up much on this stuff, and I didn't have the patience to wait until I did further reading, so from there, I just adapted it in a simplistic way to see and think about the results. I essentially approached typology in this gleefully Te process of elimination fashion, which worked out pretty well at the time, although it was still problematic (especially J/P). However, understanding the type dynamics and cognitive functions helped me out enormously - what matters most though, is not losing sight of the definitions of what it means to be a T/F/S/N, which tends to be a total mess on the internet, unfortunately. The most basic details of some of the type descriptions give a rough idea of types, although I don't condone the stereotypes as a method of typing at all. It is most helpful to be aware of the attitudes at play, as well as the basic function processes, such as, say in Se doms and Ne doms, the Ne doms tend to be the types who are primarily focused on possibilities outside of the present moment that might be conjured by a topic of interest - they tend to be speculative, random (since their ways can't be traced to being prompted by present experiences easily - for them, it would start with what something reminds them of, which would be Si, and then, they'll run with possibilities from this) and sort of have this creative approach, although that isn't to say that they are brilliantly original thinkers by default at all, which so many people run with with N/S. It's a huge part of their personality. Se doms, on the other hand, are the types who are very attuned to the present moment and action based on the conditions of the present moment - not prone to speculating and not interested in thinking about things that "might exist" outside of present experience - definitely not the types with the "anything is possible" mentality - this they would downplay big time. Why am I using Se and Ne? I dunno, I guess they're just easy enough to explain, heh.

As for figuring out T/F - I definitely was able to go off of this based on the greater amount of biases around F I had over T (I mean, I'm pretty sure I always had like almost no issues around the idea of T, so it was easy enough to do process of elimination here)- I've been able to appreciate it (F) in other people just fine, or find it annoying or especially difficult to deal with or make sense of, but I was just clearly aware that stuff in the F realm doesn't come nearly as easily for me than stuff in the T realm, which definitely constituted what my persona was built around. I've definitely had major issues about not valuing my own feelings enough or had issues being aware of them, I mean, definitely relative to thinking, which I've never downplayed, preferentially. The T side is the side of me I've always taken a lot more seriously. The attitude of my F function actually came to me with more immediacy than that of my T function, interestingly enough, actually based on a lot of comments I remember my family (at least the Fe types in my family) making over the years about how I tend to "hide" my feelings and whatnot - expressing them outwardly doesn't come naturally to me, and I just couldn't relate to much of anything I read about Fe. There's a lot more that's really personal in nature I could say, so I'm not getting into it. Figuring out my perceiving function - well, automatically, I knew I was an N - concrete reality clearly never appealed to me much, which makes sense, since that's my inferior function. I can honestly say that that is where I tend to have inferiority complexes around, which fits with it being the inferior. Identifying whether or not it was Ne or Ni was much harder - I mean, drawing from the fact that I was an introvert made me infer Ni, but I really didn't get the functional differences between the two and which I related to more until I studied up on them for a while (there are a ton of misunderstandings online also about these two) - much of my understanding of the functions just "clicked" for me over time thinking about them. For me, making sense of this stuff came a lot from just applying it to stuff I had become aware of about myself. Self honesty is the key here, and you really have to be invested in the self-discovery process to get a lot out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another question... How much can I trust the relationship between cognitive function and behavior to be sort of like 'cause-effect'?
 

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Another question... How much can I trust the relationship between cognitive function and behavior to be sort of like 'cause-effect'?
Dubious at best. Cognitive functions are basic ways of organizing thoughts. Behavior can be based on so much more than that. In truth, if we keep the Jungian parlance going, behavior is often the result of the nature of your complexes (emotionally charged ideas about a subject). People will often do something or avoid something based on how it charges them emotionally or their attachment to it. Someone, for example, who takes a job because their father stressed it growing up, isn't acting off their functions but rather probably off a Parental complex of some sort. The man who is always making snide, sarcastic, bitchy comments might have a negative Anima complex.

In truth I think the functions reveal themselves much more in listening to people talk or in their life philosophies, sometimes world views, etc than in behavior. I can usually tell intuitives just by listening to them talk (or sensation types) but not necessarily by watching them act (for example ENFP and ESFP might be confused, despite one being an Intuitive and the other a Sensation type, but when you realize where each is coming from it becomes very clear which is which). Because the purpose of cognitive function knowledge is to figure out how someone thinks.

Here's a quote from analyst Daryl Sharp
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.
 

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Ha, so flattered, LOL!:blushed: That might just work...I don't know about the title though, lol! :laughing: It's funny how I just got so into this stuff, and now, people are asking me to write a book...I never thought I'd see the day, haha (come to think of it, I definitely sucked so much more with this stuff in retrospect last year - it's weird to compare - being on this forum and just developing my thoughts outwardly has actually been really helpful (how Te is that!)). My obsession with MBTI and eventually Jung and my knowledge accumulation was highly accidental and motiveless, as in, I had no plans of getting anywhere in particular with this stuff, other than I wanted to understand it more to type people with (although there are some major ways I don't think it was either - at least, with time and introspection, I've more recently found that to be the case) - I can think of so many times (mainly before I joined this forum) when I thought to myself "Okay, I think I'm done with it now," but then, I would be laying in bed and still mulling its meanings over obsessively - oftentime, because the stereotypes were getting to me, and I wanted to defeat them. Some book on defeating MBTI stereotypes sounds like it would be a blast to write, anyhow, haha. XD
 
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