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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I've had a bit of a revelation.

So, just the other day I was with my friends and we got onto the subject of personality types. I did a fairly good job getting into the functions in themselves... until I realized they were mistaking something rather important. That being, functions versus not-really-functions.

I think one of the hardest parts about learning the cognitive functions is actually being able to point out the differences. But it's not just the differences between the functions themselves, I've figured out. It's the real difference between cognitive functions as we know them and just being human. You know - the qualities we all possess. Lol. ^^

For instance, many people mix up Si with memory.

I actually think it is this aspect which makes cognitive functions so hard to wrap your mind around. I think that's where many misconceptions stem from. For instance, there's the people who describe Thinking versus Feeling as, "Oh, one's logical, and the other one follows their heart." I always knew that wasn't a good way of describing it, but I didn't realize how misleading these descriptions actually are.

I'm beginning to realize, oh hey! This is where all these nasty stereotypes are coming from!

After you set those lines, it is easier to wrap your mind around the differences between the functions themselves.

Trying to explain all this verbally to people who knew nothing about any of this made me see the holes I have in my knowledge, as well as the many holes in common descriptions. Mind you, I already knew they were there, but I didn't see exactly how... erm, disgustingly inaccurate they really were until I began trying to explain it all.

I think for somebody getting into cognitive functions and personality theory, this can be one of the hardest obstacles to get over.

So, how do you draw the lines between "This is a function, and this is just part of being human"? Because I've just realized I still have a hard time with this one sometimes as well.
 

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For me personally i stay away from MBTI and functions in my reality. Aside from typing people on my own, having people test for me, i leave it alone. Nothing worse than trying to explain a function to those who don't have any understanding. They won't grasp even the smallest detail of your knowledge. I think people have to do their own research first before trying to get a grasp from other people. It hasn't been really effective for me in any way to bring up things with friends who aren't interested. If they're interested they will probably do their own research, that way you both have something to compare or work with. When i sign out of PerC all the functions and types stay here on the forum, i don't include or make any decisions about my friendships based on MBTI. If i think i have a better understanding of what makes them tick and so on because of MBTI, i smile, use what i know in order to make the people i'm close with more comfortable.
 

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Yes and no. I don't always believe all people are being typist intentionally, more that they just havn't properly done their research regarding functions. We all get things wrong sometimes and therefore it is okay to correct that person about the misunderstanding of their knowledge. I don't think its always down to nastiness just ignorance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For me personally i stay away from MBTI and functions in my reality. Aside from typing people on my own, having people test for me, i leave it alone. Nothing worse than trying to explain a function to those who don't have any understanding. They won't grasp even the smallest detail of your knowledge. I think people have to do their own research first before trying to get a grasp from other people. It hasn't been really effective for me in any way to bring up things with friends who aren't interested. If they're interested they will probably do their own research, that way you both have something to compare or work with. When i sign out of PerC all the functions and types stay here on the forum, i don't include or make any decisions about my friendships based on MBTI. If i think i have a better understanding of what makes them tick and so on because of MBTI, i smile, use what i know in order to make the people i'm close with more comfortable.
It wasn't really me wanting to type them (although I am curious), but it was because they were actually interested. Now they actually want to start getting into all this. XD And I don't want them to run into any misinformation.

Also I myself am asking the question about the differences between function versus not-really-a-function, because I'm seeing holes in my own understanding. >.<

@mushr00m - Oh, I think pretty much 99.999% of the time it's not nastiness, simply ignorance. I'm just saying I think a lot of the ignorance is coming from people mistaking functions for actual aspects of being human we all share. For instance, memory. That's not Si.
 

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MOTM January 2013
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@mushr00m - Oh, I think pretty much 99.999% of the time it's not nastiness, simply ignorance. I'm just saying I think a lot of the ignorance is coming from people mistaking functions for actual aspects of being human we all share. For instance, memory. That's not Si.
Sure, I agree. There is way too much of the overlapping of functions and normal regular behaviour. People should probably learn how to approach functions before actually going into a greater depth. Then again, people have different learning styles. Soz for bordering off there.
 

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These sort of thoughts have been floating around in the back of my head for a while... In particular the whole memory thing.
That said, there does seem to be a pretty dramatic difference in the way people with different functions think... or more accurately, prioritize thinking. Really hard to verbalize all the junk in my head on this atm.
Thread needs moar ideas in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
These sort of thoughts have been floating around in the back of my head for a while... In particular the whole memory thing.
That said, there does seem to be a pretty dramatic difference in the way people with different functions think... or more accurately, prioritize thinking. Really hard to verbalize all the junk in my head on this atm.
Thread needs moar ideas in it.
People definitely differ in how they think. People differ in how they perceive the world and how they weigh judgments. I'm having an easier time deciphering Thinking versus Feeling and then breaking that down to Te, Ti, Fe, and Fi. Feelings aren't emotions and Thinking isn't logic. Once you get your head around that, it's easier to get into those functions.

Still having trouble with those darn perceiving functions, though. x_X I'm awaiting other peoples' input as well.
 

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I think one of the hardest parts about learning the cognitive functions is actually being able to point out the differences. But it's not just the differences between the functions themselves, I've figured out. It's the real difference between cognitive functions as we know them and just being human. You know - the qualities we all possess. Lol. ^^

For instance, many people mix up Si with memory.

I actually think it is this aspect which makes cognitive functions so hard to wrap your mind around. I think that's where many misconceptions stem from. For instance, there's the people who describe Thinking versus Feeling as, "Oh, one's logical, and the other one follows their heart." I always knew that wasn't a good way of describing it, but I didn't realize how misleading these descriptions actually are.
This is one of the things that really grate on my nerves.
Especially the Si thing. I actually have a pretty decent memory, not so much for short-term things but I can remember certain events that have happened in my life, etcetera... I find more than a few people think, "Oh, you just told a story from years ago and actually have a memory, you must use Si somewhere." No, I don't use Si. If this was truly the case even in the "what is the weirdest thing you've heard during sex?" thread we could all accuse everyone that remembered something to contribute of using Si. In fact, if it was the true case, anyone that said anything on here could be accused of using Si. Pretty ridiculous right? My ENFJ mother can remember stories from her childhood, etcetera, and she doesn't use Si.

Also for the "T's are logical" and the "F's follow their heart" thing, this is why there is so much confusion as to whether or not someone uses thinking or feeling. This is also why people wonder if they are some form of "hybrid" because they "do both". Ay dios mio. I ponder why that sorry excuse for a description exists.
 

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One description of the temperaments I find valuable is not that you don't use the functions, but there is a function you kinda love to death. Everyone's logical, but not everyone finds a well written logical proof beautiful... Just as much as (I guess?) not everyone values the sheer volume of data and memory an Si dominant might?
 

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Perhaps this might help. This is from the keys to cognition site:
Perceiving—how we focus our attention and gather information

Cognitive Process Basic (Passive) Use Developed (Active) Use
extraverted Sensing (Se) Notice sensory data in the environment. Trust your instincts and take action relevant to the moment and current context.
introverted Sensing (Si) Recall tangible data and experiences. Stabilize a situation by comparing it to what is expected, known and reliable.
extraverted Intuiting (Ne) Notice abstract patterns as they emerge. Shift a situation's dynamics and explore imaginative potential possibilities.
introverted Intuiting (Ni) Receive "ah-ha" insights and realizations. Persue a greater level of awareness to transform who you are and how you think.

Judging—how we organize our experiences and make decisions

Cognitive Process Basic (Passive) Use Developed (Active) Use
extraverted Thinking (Te) Follow steps, points and time tables. Create structure, reason by measures and evidence, and implement complex plans.
introverted Thinking (Ti) Adhere to definitions and impersonal principles. Analyze a problem using a framework, and find an angle or leverage by which to solve it.
extraverted Feeling (Fe) Honor others' needs and preferences. Connect with people by sharing values and taking on their needs as yours.
introverted Feeling (Fi) Adhere to personal beliefs about what's important. Evalute situations and choose what you believe is congruent with your personal identity.
Pretty much every one has most of the basic, passive abilities, but then we each specialize by using only a few of the functions in a developed, active way. (I think I'm saying the same thing as the poster above me @Lucky AcidStar :) )

But yes, it seems like there are a lot of other things that are 'human" and general to all people, outside of MBTI. I'm not entirely sure what they all are myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Lucky AcidStar - I think that could be part of it.

@listentothemountains - I think you're saying something a tiny bit different. I like that way of looking at it. And those are fairly good descriptions of the functions, so that helps. ^^

I've been thinking of this thread that had been posted about the differences between Sensing versus Intuition, and how you tend to trust your senses or trust what possibilities (divergent thinking) come about. I completely forgot about that when I was talking with my friends, so when I was trying to differentiate between the two as well as point out the different between simply "being human" and functions, I was struggling for words. I would have been able to say "We all do ______, however" and go on with that.

Oh well. XD
 

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I have trouble discerning between the active and passive uses of Ti, and whether what I really use is Ti or Te. I usually perceive Ti as systematic thinking and using frameworks to organize information in one's head, and it seems like something I'm good at. Besides that, I have a knack for playing chess and doing other logical activities in general, so that gets me thinking how much the Thinking functions influence them.

What I've been thinking lately is that the four functions in our line-up are the ones that primarily perceive the world and form our perspective; as opposed to the other ones which we use more as 'tools'. For example, Ti might be something I've learned to use fairly well at school and something I use in more intellectual things, but besides that, I normally see the world through my Fi, in terms of subjective values. An INTP, though, has probably used subjective logic as his primary filter his whole life; it's something more 'innate' to him. And in my case, my Fi is probably what values logic as a tool to be used when needed, but not something I mostly depend upon to make personal decisions.

So to me, our four basic functions aren't things we have to consciously decide to use, but the ones our mind naturally uses to perceive the world. The other ones are the ones we make an effort to use and only in certain situations.

As for Si, I think it's not memory per se, but how much it relates to our experience or how big of an impression it has on our perspective. Someone with Si as their dominant function probably relies mostly on their past experiences when processing new information and can realize how much of an impact they have on him. As my tertiary function, I think it's just starting to show up, in the way I can notice more how it 'feels' to act confident, to relax my mind, or to open my mind and can apply that to new situations.

Did anything I say make sense? :confused:
 

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I don't think Ti naturally makes one better at games like chess :S
But no, what you said makes sense :D especially:
So to me, our four basic functions aren't things we have to consciously decide to use, but the ones our mind naturally uses to perceive the world. The other ones are the ones we make an effort to use and only in certain situations.
This makes a lot of sense.
 

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to me, all descriptions of the functions either give one too much or too little information. when they give too much they've added in aspects that could exist alongside that function, but, those same aspects can also exist with others in which case it's easy to see too much similarity and hard to notice a distinction.

other times they give what amounts to a very vague notion of what it is, like Ni is "aha moments" and whatnot--to me, they've accomplished the same goal from the first paragraph by just approaching the subject in the opposite way: too little info=vague. (side note: so what's the point? i think it's to capture the interest of those reading so it has to be superficial and readily accessible to all)

i'd say if you're going to make it simple... well, there's really not a great way to make it simple without butchering it. you could start with "flows of energy", as in E-functions are taking/forming info/judgments from outside of themselves (the energy is coming from "out to in" or that it relies in a way on something that is external), and then delve into the differences between certain "ends of the same spectrum" such as Ni+Se, in how even though one function such as Ni can be introverted it still come to rely upon an external source, just that that source and info. coming from the outside (Se) may not be readily apparent to an Ni-dom. (that is, they may not be aware of the magnitude to which they do rely upon it because they may not be aware that they do rely upon it--wordy i know :p).

then, if you wanted to really get into it, you could attempt to map out a function. not in the sense that "it is this each and every time", but more of a "this function, when dominant in an individual, is generally tied to certain approaches or similar processes that all correlate with a certain mind-set". that would be interesting (maybe we should all stage an exercise on PerC where all participants would remain anonymous while given the opportunity to try to explain the experience of their dominant function in ordinary life, while studying, trying to attack a problem, trying to attack a problem they are good at/and bad at [stereotyping off their dominant function that is]).

... uh, hope some of that helped--there's many, many different ways to approach this, all that really matters is what you want out of it. :p
 
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