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Personality is like the Colour Spectrum

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This is just my personal thoughts & musings on personality theory.

This bar of colour represents all the personalities and people in the world as they are. What are these colours? We're not blind (well not everyone)... there's obviously differences between them. How many colours do you see? Maybe we should give them names. If you can't tell that there's a difference between red and green then maybe you're colour blind - or personality blind or whatever.
Colorfulness Rectangle Electric blue Tints and shades Magenta


Personality typing is trying to give names and mapping out this spectrum of personalities. Apparently there;s 7 types of colours!
Colorfulness Rectangle Yellow Font Parallel


Then someone comes along with an alternative way to map out the personalities and draw lines in different places. (is there 6 now?)
Rectangle Font Technology Gas Parallel


Then are super simple systems... 2 types, 4 types... etc.. I can go on (primary colours, secondary, complementary etc) we can talk very deeply about personalities here can't we? (CMYK/RGB Colour breakups)... and it can get super, super heavy once you reach colour profiles for the super colour nerds.
Rectangle Yellow Font Parallel Electric blue


Then there's debates over which colour system is best or accurate.

There are the archetypes who fall neatly in the middle of the spectrum divides, but there are people on the edges of the personality types... neither red, orange… Neither blood orange nor mango... that throws off everyone. There are some that are like… You must be either a red or an orange. There are some that are like, "If I'm not red or orange or even blood orange, If I'm #FF8D00, then what am I?" Then the answer is, well, you're a mix of red and blood orange? You're definitely a warm type though. You're 42% Red and 43.543% Blood Orange.

Then there are those that are like "Well F* giving names to colours! I'm out! Everyone here is toxic! Just sticking to hexadecimal! It's more accurate!" - Then there are those that still see the value in giving colours names. Then we have to keep giving disclaimers like "The primary colour system is just a tool to help you understand where you are on the spectrum, or which area. It doesn't tell you your exact hexadecimal, or your colour exact CMYK/RGBbreakup."

So what's the value of knowing your colour/personality type? Apart from appreciating that there are different colours & personalities and valuing what they bring to the spectrum, I think it's to help you be more self-aware of things you maybe unaware about, so that you can consider improving it, rather than playing out your tendencies - "Well, it's who I am... it's my tribe, no changing me." as if your type gives you permission to act poorly in your particular way - whether it's being overly aloof, impractical, selfish, people pleasing, an A*hole, stuck up, callous, cold, obnoxious, narrow-minded, inconsiderate - whatever.

And guess what... there's actually more ways to self improve than through personality typing alone. Personality typing doesn't cover everything. Like attachment theories, neurology, ethics, skills, beliefs, philosophy, behavioural psychology, parenting styles, psychology. psychiatry... etc.
But out of all these, personality seems to be one of the most fun and colourful ones to talk about :).


TL;DR / MAIN POINT
There have been many personality models that attempt to map out human personality by grouping people with similar traits together. However, in attempting to do so, there are inevitably people who aren't sure which group they belong to because they share traits of both groups fairly evenly which can frustrate those on the fringes of an archetype.
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Terrific! When red light and green light are displayed together, you get more light (more wavelengths) and hence the "lighter" yellow? The rainbow display is not combining.
It shows individual separate colors and adjacent displays are like paint combinations. When paint is combined you get one smoosh which obliterates what the separate colors were.

I don't know if this works, but consider 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. Those are like the rainbow, gradual changes, but individual. But if you combine 2 and 8, the average is 5. You can also combine 3 and 7 and get the same 5 as average. Not quite the same, but that is yet to be figured.

Hold on. When you smoosh red and green paint, you get brown, same as smooshing some other pairs. Brown can be considered dark orange which is near the middle of the rainbow except darker.

If you can get brown paint, how would you get black? Black for light is no light at all. A yellow lemon in light is black without light. For paint, I had to look this up:
You mix blue, magenta, and yellow to get black. How so? Maybe it is like brown except the yellow cancels the blue and the magenta-blue are so dark they wipe the yellow. I haven't tried that. Give me a paint pallet!

Next is to see what personality can do.:unsure:
Ok please consider writing a nonfiction in the self help section. With visual illustrations on every other page.
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My entire point was that it is NOT in fact a mere over simplification. Even if we follow what's being encouraged and not mind the details and focus on the core idea, even so the core idea it attempts to communicate is something that hinges on an assumption hidden behind the mechanics of the metaphor. That being that personality lies on a continuous spectrum. There may very well be discrete types, with variation among them.

What you actually seem to be doing is assume that a continuous spectrum is the only way it can be because people don't fit archetypes (and because of the rest of empirical evidence you attached about your experience). However as said, that is absolutely not true and there can very easily still be discrete types without making people 100% archetypal, by simply making the categories looser. If only a few fundamental traits are what define a type, then all other possible human traits that we can conceive of become free parameters that shall introduce internal variation. Let's even look at such an example of a psychological trait, gender (left or right handedness is also of course still relevant as a common mental categorization that has evolved to be discrete but this should be even more relevant). 97% of people are clearly heterosexual, so it is pretty much concrete (either M or F). Obviously all females or all males do not belong to an archetype, as we'd wanted from a discrete categorization (though they certainly exist for a reason), but still the distinction is very much discrete.

Correct, my illustration was an over simplification of personality. If you push an illustration too far, beyond what it was meant to illustrate, then it won't work.

My illustration wasn't meant to explain or teach personality theory, but highlight cases where a person doesn't fit their archetype perfectly. I don't think anyone - after reading their personality type profile could say "Wow... 100% correct. Not one thing was untrue!" but maybe many would say "That explains everything" - some people still can't decide which type they are. If you gather a thousand of any type into a room, you're guaranteed that they're not all the same, but they'll be quite similar in some way.
And so, I assume your point is that good system & theories (like string theory) with general and simple principles on a fundamental level, should be able to explain how different parts interact and function together in a complex system? Personality and the human brain are highly complex systems. A linear colour spectrum obviously doesn't explain its complexity.
No, I delineated my motive to include that in the beginning itself, that is to explain my definition of what is a system, which wasn't even able to be communicated. Nevermind it I suppose, it really did just confuse things further as I feared. What is to be gathered from it though, is that you might want to pay more attention to my wording because now its confirmed that either my way of thinking or communicating is not fully compatible with yours. My style of talking is more on the 'mathematical'/pedantic side so everything I say is carefully chosen (so basically, use your Ti is what I'm saying; +verbal IQ>visuospatial IQ).

Not all types will "ALWAYS" do what their type inclinations supposes that they'd do. There are those who are rather borderline on certain traits and for them, it's genuinely hard to distinguish exactly which category they belong to. Sometimes I'm nice and considerate, sometimes, I'm actually quite inconsiderate and obnoxious. Another INFJ labelled me as an INFP once and was merely observing that I was saying a few things that seemed typical of an INFP. Some think I'm an INTJ. Some think I'm an archetypal INFJ. I feel akin with INTPs and ENFP. I know INTPs who are quite mature and considerate of others' feelings.
I understand the immediate reaction to distance from saying "always" in a discussion about personality, but if we word our principles correctly and keep them general enough we can do so. In particular, if the statement that is claimed to be always true is itself a probabilistic statement. Here first of all many of the examples you gave were of specific behaviours.
For the second, let's consider you being nice sometimes and inconsiderate at other. Now why was that so? It is intellectually disingenuous to leave it as just a quirk of behaviour, an inherent randomness attached to everything we do. Things only ever seem random because we do not fully understand the underlying mechanics, either that or lack information about prior states, that is it (well, except and except only quantum mechanics, that too only for now).

We do cost/benefit analyses every time we act; when you were less considerate perhaps you were thinking that the logical problem here is too glaring to ignore, or perhaps you didn't care about the person as much. Since the processes are subconscious, it seems random to you. We also have personal principles that we build upon through Ti or Fi that may conclude, through their respective logical or value judging processes conclusions stereotypical of the other side. So the result you see is that INTPs are being mature but really they are following a 'theorem' that they derived using their logical process itself, that theorem just happens to say something different. Other than this, there can be external factors that affect us, like say I just watched a movie about spreading love or something and now I'm in an emotional mood which makes me temporarily more considerate before I return to my default. But those are, as said, external factors. So yeah we will need to change the wording a little to "I will always prioritize logic, given all else being equal, or given no external influence is acting upon me" but that's it. Now it's quite impossible to have truly no external influence at any one point, so perhaps this is the source of the apparently inherent (but reduced due to the cost/benefit + personal principle thing explaining a lot of it) randomness. But now that we have identified the source, we can separate the two atleast mentally and see the general underlying principle.
So that explains randomness, but how does the universal behaviour principle come about? For T>F people like me, we've to always logic our way through things (and vice versa for F>T), like every time I would be about to act on Fe my Ti would definitely do a does this make sense check before letting my Fe through (if I'm not stressed) and if it's not it will internally resist. It's just too omnipresent to not.

If a complex system as personality and the human mind was as simple and linear as a colour spectrum, then enough systems could cover each others blind spots. I've tried to mapped out several systems to see where they overlap and find the closest equivalents (but don't fit perfectly). e.g. DISC, 4-Temperatments. Grouping the 16 personalities into those 4 quadrants. Then you have Enneagram etc. Big 5 and then NERIS that's trying to amalgamate MBTI & Big 5.
Of course, but any one particular feature, if it was like a continuous spectrum like the color spectrum, and there were two systems that categorized within that as shown, then really no blind spots would be left. No blind spots doesn't mean that you now have the ability to map the entirety of a personality, its a purely objectively definable statement. You can cut the slices as finely as you want and create as many middle spaces as you want, sure, but if you place like a lower bound on variation within a type depending upon how much phenotypical variation it creates in actual behaviour (which here would correspond to how left or right you can go with little to no perceived difference in the colour perceived by the brain) then it'll not be a problem.
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Your point is well-taken that the metaphor of the "personality spectrum" may not fully capture the complexity of human personality, and that there may be discrete types of personality rather than a continuous spectrum. However, it's important to note that the metaphor of the spectrum is often used as a way to convey the idea that personality traits can exist on a continuum and can vary in degree rather than being fixed and absolute. Additionally, the idea that there may be discrete types of personality does not necessarily negate the idea that there is also variation within those types. The concept of "fundamental traits" defining a type is also a valid perspective to consider in understanding human personality. It is also true that if a person is considered right-handed, that they may also have the capacity to do things with their left hand in varying degrees of competence; perfect ambidexterity would be in the middle of two discrete categories.

I understand your desire to explain your definition of a system and the potential challenges in communicating that idea. Your way of thinking and communicating may be more mathematical or pedantic, and that this may affect how you express yourself. Everyone has their own unique way of thinking and communicating, and that there may be some variation in how people understand or interpret information. In the future, I'll try to understand your perspective more fully. Would you care to elaborate what you were actually trying to communicate?

Yes, there are internal external factors. An individuals' behaviour that can be explained by their underlying principles and cognitive processes, which may be influenced by external factors. Even though people may not always act consistently, their actions can be understood and explained by their underlying principles and cognitive processes. People have cognitive functions, which guides their actions and decision-making, and this function is omnipresent and shapes the behaviour.

If a feature is continuous like a colour spectrum, and there are two systems that categorise within that spectrum, then it may be possible to minimise blind spots in the classification of that feature. However, this does not necessarily mean that one would have the ability to fully map an individual's personality, even if the classification system is very detailed and nuanced, it is still possible for there to be variation within a category that does not result in a significant difference in behaviour.

But bringing this discussion to a headpoint: What is that you fundamentally agree or disagree with?
My entire point was that it is NOT in fact a mere over simplification. Even if we follow what's being encouraged and not mind the details and focus on the core idea, even so the core idea it attempts to communicate is something that hinges on an assumption hidden behind the mechanics of the metaphor. That being that personality lies on a continuous spectrum. There may very well be discrete types, with variation among them.

What you actually seem to be doing is assume that a continuous spectrum is the only way it can be because people don't fit archetypes (and because of the rest of empirical evidence you attached about your experience). However as said, that is absolutely not true and there can very easily still be discrete types without making people 100% archetypal, by simply making the categories looser. If only a few fundamental traits are what define a type, then all other possible human traits that we can conceive of become free parameters that shall introduce internal variation. Let's even look at such an example of a psychological trait, gender (left or right handedness is also of course still relevant as a common mental categorization that has evolved to be discrete but this should be even more relevant). 97% of people are clearly heterosexual, so it is pretty much concrete (either M or F). Obviously all females or all males do not belong to an archetype, as we'd wanted from a discrete categorization (though they certainly exist for a reason), but still the distinction is very much discrete.



No, I delineated my motive to include that in the beginning itself, that is to explain my definition of what is a system, which wasn't even able to be communicated. Nevermind it I suppose, it really did just confuse things further as I feared. What is to be gathered from it though, is that you might want to pay more attention to my wording because now its confirmed that either my way of thinking or communicating is not fully compatible with yours. My style of talking is more on the 'mathematical'/pedantic side so everything I say is carefully chosen (so basically, use your Ti is what I'm saying; +verbal IQ>visuospatial IQ).



I understand the immediate reaction to distance from saying "always" in a discussion about personality, but if we word our principles correctly and keep them general enough we can do so. In particular, if the statement that is claimed to be always true is itself a probabilistic statement. Here first of all many of the examples you gave were of specific behaviours.
For the second, let's consider you being nice sometimes and inconsiderate at other. Now why was that so? It is intellectually disingenuous to leave it as just a quirk of behaviour, an inherent randomness attached to everything we do. Things only ever seem random because we do not fully understand the underlying mechanics, either that or lack information about prior states, that is it (well, except and except only quantum mechanics, that too only for now).

We do cost/benefit analyses every time we act; when you were less considerate perhaps you were thinking that the logical problem here is too glaring to ignore, or perhaps you didn't care about the person as much. Since the processes are subconscious, it seems random to you. We also have personal principles that we build upon through Ti or Fi that may conclude, through their respective logical or value judging processes conclusions stereotypical of the other side. So the result you see is that INTPs are being mature but really they are following a 'theorem' that they derived using their logical process itself, that theorem just happens to say something different. Other than this, there can be external factors that affect us, like say I just watched a movie about spreading love or something and now I'm in an emotional mood which makes me temporarily more considerate before I return to my default. But those are, as said, external factors. So yeah we will need to change the wording a little to "I will always prioritize logic, given all else being equal, or given no external influence is acting upon me" but that's it. Now it's quite impossible to have truly no external influence at any one point, so perhaps this is the source of the apparently inherent (but reduced due to the cost/benefit + personal principle thing explaining a lot of it) randomness. But now that we have identified the source, we can separate the two atleast mentally and see the general underlying principle.
So that explains randomness, but how does the universal behaviour principle come about? For T>F people like me, we've to always logic our way through things (and vice versa for F>T), like every time I would be about to act on Fe my Ti would definitely do a does this make sense check before letting my Fe through (if I'm not stressed) and if it's not it will internally resist. It's just too omnipresent to not.



Of course, but any one particular feature, if it was like a continuous spectrum like the color spectrum, and there were two systems that categorized within that as shown, then really no blind spots would be left. No blind spots doesn't mean that you now have the ability to map the entirety of a personality, its a purely objectively definable statement. You can cut the slices as finely as you want and create as many middle spaces as you want, sure, but if you place like a lower bound on variation within a type depending upon how much phenotypical variation it creates in actual behaviour (which here would correspond to how left or right you can go with little to no perceived difference in the colour perceived by the brain) then it'll not be a problem.
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Several shades like Personality types and individuals within specific types.
Its understandable since the reply was extremely lengthy, but it seems you haven’t read the entire thing because I said the same things verbatim and subsequently elucidated upon them (bold face being the verbatim part) so I’ll highlight the relevant sections directly

However, it's important to note that the metaphor of the spectrum is often used as a way to convey the idea that personality traits can exist on a continuum and can vary in degree rather than being fixed and absolute. Additionally, the idea that there may be discrete types of personality does not necessarily negate the idea that there is also variation within those types.
“If only a few fundamental traits are what define a type, then all other possible human traits that we can conceive of become free parameters that shall introduce internal variation.”

See the following example of gender, as said obviously males and females both have internal variation and not all M/Fs are archetypal, but they are still very much discrete. So, the typing (if it’s discrete) will always be one or the other despite any amount of internal variation just as there is never any confusion over whether you are male or female (for vast majority).
For your following example of right handed people being able to do things left handed people can and vice versa, no matter what that will never change their fundamental handedness/personality type. It was decided the moment that particular sperm won the race. And talking about ambidextrous people (and likewise in the gender example, of non binaries) seems disingenuous to me because we all know that the vast majority of people can be neatly categorised. It only makes sense if you believe that’s the extent to which personality theories fail to categorise.


However, this does not necessarily mean that one would have the ability to fully map an individual's personality, even if the classification system is very detailed and nuanced, it is still possible for there to be variation within a category that does not result in a significant difference in behaviour.
“No blind spots doesn't mean that you now have the ability to map the entirety of a personality, its a purely objectively definable statement.”

Seems like a similar mistake to the first excerpt of yours I quoted in this reply. There can be internal variation among the type from all parameters other than the one the colour spectrum was categorising but it is still a solid typing system without/ with minimal ambiguity. That was my point here, that lack of ambiguity is the criteria to use for judging typing systems’ correctness.


But bringing this discussion to a headpoint: What is that you fundamentally agree or disagree with?
Well my fundamental point is still the metaphor and its validity, which is still being discussed (the first point in this reply is about that).
The other point also about the metaphor was minor (it being if the problem you meant to showcase by talking about the two classifications being incomplete was even true or not) but also still being discussed (last point in this reply).

Lastly the discussion about genetic bindings on our type and subsequently how consistent our behaviour is was a tangential one (and it seems you agree now anyway), but it also kind of is an argument for why I think MBTI types are discrete, since if behaviours is consistent within types on some fundamental level then thats the opposite of continuous variation). It has some value in supplementing the main point by showcasing how or why types may be discrete, thus making clear that the continuous spectrum is very much an unfounded and even probably incorrect assumption, without resorting to other examples like gender. I won’t try to convince you on that supposed supplemental value right now though, just a bonus.
Think of a variable and the number of them. The color spectrum has only the variation of wavelength and it is continuous at that, yet with pleasing points of rest. Personality, being slapped upon an organism has more than a singular variable ... many to cope with. And they interact with each other bringing about awkward discontinuous interference. What are those variables? Get picky with your choices. Try the Big 5 and then if that doesn't take your fancy, try something else.

Pick a variable out of the blue. While we're at it, why not take blue? Does blue make you light up like the sky in the early morning or does it bring you down like the blues of a jazz trombonist? There. You have a new personality theory based on a variable you just picked. Does it work as well as the well traveled introvert/ extrovert? Does it apply nicely to everyone so you can go one-to-one evenly with the person and that variable? If not, discard it.
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What color am I? I will decide if you are correct or not.
Aqua :)
What color am I? I will decide if you are correct or not.
Me too :)

What color bleeds through for me?
I do like aqua 🙃
Am I detecting Halloween Orange vibes??
Me too :)

What color bleeds through for me?
maybe Bubblegum Pink
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Am I detecting Halloween Orange vibes??
maybe Bubblegum Pink
Which is it? :sneaky: The bubblegum pink is very unexpected. Can you elaborate on that one a little? 🧠?
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Well since you hugged bubblegum pink I’m gonna assume it’s not that, knowing you, cuz you’re edgy like that. But the brain emoji suggests that I am correct based on it’s color, so I now am back on it. Yes, bubblegum gum pink for sure. My initial thoughts were you’re a girl who just wants to have fun, and the forming of the gum bubble could be Ne idea formation, though the popping could indicate Se. Wait, something else is coming to me.. yes, I’m sure of it, banana yellow 💯.
Which is it? :sneaky: The bubblegum pink is very unexpected. Can you elaborate on that one a little? 🧠?
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If anyone else wants their color professionally typed by yours truly do let me know.
I am not big on hugging. I prefer not to be touched by strangers. I like the thought of pink.
So sweet. :sneaky:
Well since you hugged bubblegum pink I’m gonna assume it’s not that, knowing you, cuz you’re edgy like that. But the brain emoji suggests that I am correct based on it’s color, so I now am back on it. Yes, bubblegum gum pink for sure. My initial thoughts were you’re a girl who just wants to have fun, and the forming of the gum bubble could be Ne idea formation, though the popping could indicate Se. Wait, something else is coming to me.. yes, I’m sure of it, banana yellow 💯.
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If anyone else wants their color professionally typed by yours truly do let me know.
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I am on the fence about this... Just to be noted. :geek:
If anyone else wants their color professionally typed by yours truly do let me know.
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