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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished reading Keirsey's Please Understand Me II. He seems to feel that sensors can be divided into two distinct groups, SJ and SP, or Guardians and Artisans. But what I've experienced IRL is that it's never is clear cut as that.

For example, I know an SJ, or Guardian, who seems to have a large amount of SP traits. He's definitely SJ because his dominant motivation seems to be safety, security, conventionality, and aquisition of property. But some others of his traits are so very SP that it's rather confusing to me.

Another person I know is the same way. She has many SJ traits, including the extreme need for order and cleanliness at all times, and punctuality. But she also has many SP traits such as unconventionality, spontanaity, and a need for lots of fun and stimulation (but only after the housework is done!).

This has left me very confused. Has anyone else experienced something similar? How about you sensors, do you feel that what I've described is often true of you or other sensors that you know?
 

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The Doer King
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I just finished reading Keirsey's Please Understand Me II. He seems to feel that sensors can be divided into two distinct groups, SJ and SP, or Guardians and Artisans. But what I've experienced IRL is that it's never is clear cut as that.

For example, I know an SJ, or Guardian, who seems to have a large amount of SP traits. He's definitely SJ because his dominant motivation seems to be safety, security, conventionality, and aquisition of property. But some others of his traits are so very SP that it's rather confusing to me.

Another person I know is the same way. She has many SJ traits, including the extreme need for order and cleanliness at all times, and punctuality. But she also has many SP traits such as unconventionality, spontanaity, and a need for lots of fun and stimulation (but only after the housework is done!).

This has left me very confused. Has anyone else experienced something similar? How about you sensors, do you feel that what I've described is often true of you or other sensors that you know?
I haven't read Keirsey's books but I know I don't agree with his NF and NT dichotomy. SJ means they use Si as their primary or secondary function and SP means they use SP in the same way. Your issue is you are looking to far into the stereotypes of MBTI. Everyone is a bit P and J or N and S etc... Keirsey made generalized groups to explain some grouped similarities I believe (which is fine).
 

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MOTM Nov 2010
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My mom is SJ and my dad is SP. They are two VERY different individuals. I can see their differences clearly. However, neither one of them are into financial instability, being unmotivated, having lack of structure, or looking anything other than their best.

But then again, neither am I and I'm an NF. So perhaps those things are more cultural influences?

The biggest difference I see between my mom and dad is in how they view the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The biggest difference I see between my mom and dad is in how they view the world.
That seems to be the kicker, I agree. The two people I was describing are my mom and my husband. They are very similar in some ways, but the way they view the world is very different. I've been trying to determine whether my mom is ISFJ or ISFP, and I now believe that, although she has some very SJ qualities, that essentially she's SP. She has a much less conventional view of the world than my husband, and she's much more apt to take risks.

I don't agree with her NF and NT dichotomy.
I don't think I do either, not entirely anyway. Are you speaking of Isabel Meyer's or David Keirsey btw? In either case, I believe there's an enormous amount of overlap between the two types. But like pink said, it really comes down to a person's basic worldview. NTs and NFs are different in that respect. Keirsey's descriptions of them seemed pretty accurate, but sometimes grated on me. He seemed to assume too much about NFs and their supposed gullibility and flakeyness. I and a few other NFs I know happen to be very studious and somewhat skeptical. I think as we age, we tend to develop our inferior functions to a higher degree, especially if that is important to us.
 
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MOTM June 2010
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I just finished reading Keirsey's Please Understand Me II. He seems to feel that sensors can be divided into two distinct groups, SJ and SP, or Guardians and Artisans. But what I've experienced IRL is that it's never is clear cut as that.

For example, I know an SJ, or Guardian, who seems to have a large amount of SP traits. He's definitely SJ because his dominant motivation seems to be safety, security, conventionality, and aquisition of property. But some others of his traits are so very SP that it's rather confusing to me.

Another person I know is the same way. She has many SJ traits, including the extreme need for order and cleanliness at all times, and punctuality. But she also has many SP traits such as unconventionality, spontanaity, and a need for lots of fun and stimulation (but only after the housework is done!).

This has left me very confused. Has anyone else experienced something similar? How about you sensors, do you feel that what I've described is often true of you or other sensors that you know?
I agree with Tree here, and to expound on it. We all use the varied temperaments since they represent different institutions. SJ will represent the corporate world and traditional things like parenting, banking, etc. NT represents academia, NF politics and non-profit and SP well..... I had written an article some time back that Se plays as a wild card wherein it's users can appear similar to Ne or Te giving them a very chameleon-like tendency. The point is we use all four temperaments and we can prefer one equally. What you claim to be observing could just as easily been a NF or NT type that is required to adapt to a SP or SJ environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What you claim to be observing could just as easily been a NF or NT type that is required to adapt to a SP or SJ environment.
That's true, and it's because I didn't describe everthing I know about them.

The point is we use all four temperaments and we can prefer one equally.
This really answers my central question I guess. It really seems as if many people do use some of the functions equally, which makes them very difficult to type. I still find typology useful, though, because it shows very clearly that different kinds of people really do have different motivations and aptitudes. This helps somewhat with interpersonal relations.
 

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The Doer King
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My boy Function always has his thoughts clearer than I.
 
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I had written an article some time back that Se plays as a wild card wherein it's users can appear similar to Ne or Te giving them a very chameleon-like tendency.
Where is that? I'd like to read it. I'm finding it difficult to comprehend the SPs in my life.
 

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This really answers my central question I guess. It really seems as if many people do use some of the functions equally, which makes them very difficult to type. I still find typology useful, though, because it shows very clearly that different kinds of people really do have different motivations and aptitudes. This helps somewhat with interpersonal relations.
No. We can't use functions equally. The dominant will always have to be the most prevalent function otherwise there is no need for function order. That means the opposite function will always be the lesser. The auxiliary function must always be present to discern between let's say an INTJ and INFJ, however there is nothing that says the tertiary function cannot be equal to the auxiliary function in the person has a strong introverted or extraverted attitude to begin with.
Where is that? I'd like to read it. I'm finding it difficult to comprehend the SPs in my life.
I wrote here as well I think, but here it is from another site:
The "Smartest Man..." thread made me start thinking on how SPs can be of two sets. Just to note that Keirsey seems to have painted a different picture of SPs (being hedonistic) than Myers-Briggs. "Gifts Differing" even starts her paragraph off by claiming those who use Se as the "ultimate realists". Linda V. Berens (a student of Keirsey’s) provides a viable theory by implying there are two sets of SP types surrounding the commonality of how Se works for the individual(s). In her booklet “Dynamics of Personality Type: Understanding and Applying Jung’s Cognitive Process”, Berens points to the fact that Se can be look like Ne:
Se and Ne are both simultaneous in nature and involve perception of many things at once. This can lead to random activity as the outer world is scanned for additional information. With Se, there is an emphasis on possibilities for actions to take. With Ne, there is an emphasis on possibilities to be considered for action.
This seems to infer that regardless of the comparison, SP types are more prone to making something happen like NJs than their intuitive cousins the NPs. But it becomes more obvious when you consider the second comparison. Berens provides another mistype of Se:
Se and Te are often used when there is a focus on facts and an empirical approach. Keep in mind that Se is a perceptive process and may consist of data gathering with questions, whereas Te is a judging process in which the purpose of question is to establish logic.
Taking this into consideration it is clear that at least the STPs will easily mistaken themselves for NTJs. In particularly if you combine a final mistype noted by Berens that:
Introverted Thinking (Ti)/Introverted Intuiting (Ni) – Ti and Ni are often accompanied by a sense of detachment and disconnection. With both there tends to be comfort with complexity. The difference is that when we are engaging in Ti, we usually have a clear sense of the principles or models something is judged against, whereas with Ni, an impressionistic image forms in the mind.
Clearly the SFPs would have an arduous time (but not impossible) in using the Te function since it conflicts with their dominant introverted feeling function. However since Se can play as a “wild card”, would it provide an appearance of Ni-Fe for Fi-Se (and vice-versa of the function combos)? When considering Berens’ interaction styles, the SFPs do not share the same with NFJs. However both STPs do share identical interaction styles as NTJs, which icings the look-alike appearance. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No. We can't use functions equally. The dominant will always have to be the most prevalent function otherwise there is no need for function order. That means the opposite function will always be the lesser. The auxiliary function must always be present to discern between let's say an INTJ and INFJ, however there is nothing that says the tertiary function cannot be equal to the auxiliary function in the person has a strong introverted or extraverted attitude to begin with.
Okay, I get it. So, for example, as INFJ my Ni will always be dominant, but my Ti can be be equal to my Fe?

What I'm getting from the article is that ESTPs and ISTPS, although both SPs, are quite different from ESFPs and ISFPs in that they can easily be mistaken for NTJs? And SFPs are more likely to be mistyped as NFJs? I hope I have that clear in my head. I don't yet have a very clear understanding of the hierarchy of functions and how they work for the different types, but I'm trying. Keirsey wasn't very helpful in that respect as he doesn't dwell on that as much as Meyer's. I still haven't read Gifts Differing, though I do have it.
 

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Okay, I get it. So, for example, as INFJ my Ni will always be dominant, but my Ti can be be equal to my Fe?
Correct granted that is only my hypothesis. If you have a strong propensity to the introversion attitude in general, you may alternate between your Ni and Ti. As an ISTP, I use my Ni more than I use my Se. It has been proposed that this is an imbalance, however Jung never said that which is why he says if he had to begin putting a number with the varied types that can result by functions combined he would have to start at 256 types (not 16) and move up, which is why he only described types using the dominant function.
What I'm getting from the article is that ESTPs and ISTPS, although both SPs, are quite different from ESFPs and ISFPs in that they can easily be mistaken for NTJs? And SFPs are more likely to be mistyped as NFJs? I hope I have that clear in my head. I don't yet have a very clear understanding of the hierarchy of functions and how they work for the different types, but I'm trying. Keirsey wasn't very helpful in that respect as he doesn't dwell on that as much as Meyer's. I still haven't read Gifts Differing, though I do have it.
Based on Linda V. Berens (prize pupil of Keirsey) and Dario Nardi's work, they claim that some functions are easily mistyped. I pasted those look a-like/differentiators here. These differences combined with a type having the same interaction style and similarities somewhere in temperament may result in some types such as ENTJ/ESTP, ISTP/INTJ and others looking a-like or mistyping as one another. There are some descriptions of these mistypes by Berens located here as well. This in my opinion is based on the litmus referenced above that they have dominant and auxiliary functions that may mistyped, having the same interaction styles (In Charge, Get Things Going, Chart the Course or Behind the Scenes) and sharing the utilitarian/cooperative, motive/structure or abstract/concrete component of temperament.
 

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I agree with Tree here, and to expound on it. We all use the varied temperaments since they represent different institutions. SJ will represent the corporate world and traditional things like parenting, banking, etc. NT represents academia, NF politics and non-profit and SP well..... I had written an article some time back that Se plays as a wild card wherein it's users can appear similar to Ne or Te giving them a very chameleon-like tendency. The point is we use all four temperaments and we can prefer one equally. What you claim to be observing could just as easily been a NF or NT type that is required to adapt to a SP or SJ environment.

He sort of put a priority list, and "strategies" for each temperament. I'd say the temperaments are a little "boxy" by saying that SJs can't have fun and NTs only like science. He also rejects cognitive functions, passing it off because ENTJ and ESTJ are different temperaments but share the same cognitive function.

Se and Te are planning oriented and responsive. Hell, I'd say Ne and Fe are too in different ways.
 

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I'd say the temperaments are a little "boxy" by saying that SJs can't have fun and NTs only like science.
That's kind of what I got from it. He was very emphatic about the supposed fact that, for example, all Guardians will have certain things in common, as will each of the other basic types, Artisan, Idealist, and Rational. He doesn't seem to feel that an Idealist may at times appear to be a Rational, or a Guardian an Aritisan. Or even that an Artisan may appear to be similar to a Rational, which I find to be true in some cases. I think Meyer's functions explain more of the overlap.
 

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What I'm getting from the article is that ESTPs and ISTPS, although both SPs, are quite different from ESFPs and ISFPs in that they can easily be mistaken for NTJs? And SFPs are more likely to be mistyped as NFJs? I hope I have that clear in my head.
I love this theory so much. I think it's helping explain several people to me... I have a coworker for example who I am pretty sure is ISFP, and she seems *very* similar to me, but not exactly.

I've also always thought that ESTPs and ISTPs seemed like NTs to outsiders.

I can't really describe how I enjoy this theory, but I do.

I also agree with the OP that SPs and SJs can seem similar on occasion. Really, it depends case to case. SJs are usually the more obvious of the two. Very structured, very organized, very set in opinions.
 

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I just finished reading Keirsey's Please Understand Me II. He seems to feel that sensors can be divided into two distinct groups, SJ and SP, or Guardians and Artisans. But what I've experienced IRL is that it's never is clear cut as that.

For example, I know an SJ, or Guardian, who seems to have a large amount of SP traits. He's definitely SJ because his dominant motivation seems to be safety, security, conventionality, and aquisition of property. But some others of his traits are so very SP that it's rather confusing to me.

Another person I know is the same way. She has many SJ traits, including the extreme need for order and cleanliness at all times, and punctuality. But she also has many SP traits such as unconventionality, spontanaity, and a need for lots of fun and stimulation (but only after the housework is done!).

This has left me very confused. Has anyone else experienced something similar? How about you sensors, do you feel that what I've described is often true of you or other sensors that you know?
Anyone who has seen my SP husband meticulously fold laundry, or saw how messy my SJ dad's car is, knows that there can be a fine line between P and J. lol
 

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Anyone who has seen my SP husband meticulously fold laundry, or saw how messy my SJ dad's car is, knows that there can be a fine line between P and J. lol
Oh, absolutely! My SJ husband is a very messy pack rat. He's also late and undependable. But like we were talking about earlier, his general orientation really has to be SJ because of the way he views and interacts with the world. On a very basic level, he really isn't the artistic, unconventional, sensation seeking, spendthrift, risk taking SP. He has very conventional viewpoints, to the point of getting kind of hysterical if anyone wants to rock the boat. He's very nostalgic and has tremendous respect for tradition and the old ways. He's rather anxious and very concerned about safety and security.

BTW, does anyone know if SJs are more prone to hoarding? My husband's entire family seems to be SJ, and they all tend to hoard to some extend.
 

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Oh, absolutely! My SJ husband is a very messy pack rat. He's also late and undependable. But like we were talking about earlier, his general orientation really has to be SJ because of the way he views and interacts with the world. On a very basic level, he really isn't the artistic, unconventional, sensation seeking, spendthrift, risk taking SP. He has very conventional viewpoints, to the point of getting kind of hysterical if anyone wants to rock the boat. He's very nostalgic and has tremendous respect for tradition and the old ways. He's rather anxious and very concerned about safety and security.

BTW, does anyone know if SJs are more prone to hoarding? My husband's entire family seems to be SJ, and they all tend to hoard to some extend.
Sounds like a good idea for a thread!

I am not clear where the hoarding tendency comes from. I know an INTJ (certified) that tends towards hoarding. And two SPs (ESFP, and ISFP).

I do not. I gather things for awhile, and then purge. gather, then purge. Usually I end up donating a lot to goodwill.

I know its a form of OCD, and a mental health condition... Have you seen the show on TV? It's kind of interesting to watch how they rationalize keeping things...
 

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Have you seen the show on TV? It's kind of interesting to watch how they rationalize keeping things...
I've seen something similar on Oprah. Yeah, I think I've heard some of those rationalizations. It can be maddening if you aren't a hoarder yourself.
 
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