Personality Cafe banner

Spock: INTJ, INTP, or ISTJ?

  • Spock is an INTJ

    Votes: 27 36.5%
  • Spock is an INTP

    Votes: 16 21.6%
  • Spock is an ISTJ

    Votes: 17 23.0%
  • What's a Spock?

    Votes: 3 4.1%
  • I don't watch Star Trek

    Votes: 2 2.7%
  • So help me.............................noob

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Yoda

    Votes: 3 4.1%
  • Ron Paul

    Votes: 3 4.1%
  • PC Load Letter

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • $300.00...less if I'm drunk

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • INTJcentric

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    74
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
*Triple Thanks*
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Spock: INTJ or INTP?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,619 Posts
TV character.

Also, wrong forum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stephen

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
He is ISTJ. Although Spock is better with conceptual thinking than many other Vulcans (who in most instances throughout Star Trek are obsessed with all that is concrete) he is still mostly Sensing-inclined.

The only glaring flaw in this common analysis of Spock is that he is somewhat idealistic. He hides it, but has expressed such views in the movies somewhat and especially in the episode "The Way to Eden".

In addition to his overwhelmingly factually-based problem solving ability, please also note his extreme devotion to duty and also his great respect for Vulcan tradition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
He is ISTJ. Although Spock is better with conceptual thinking than many other Vulcans (who in most instances throughout Star Trek are obsessed with all that is concrete) he is still mostly Sensing-inclined.

The only glaring flaw in this common analysis of Spock is that he is somewhat idealistic. He hides it, but has expressed such views in the movies somewhat and especially in the episode "The Way to Eden".

In addition to his overwhelmingly factually-based problem solving ability, please also note his extreme devotion to duty and also his great respect for Vulcan tradition.
I think we can't account all of Spocks qualities to his personality, as culture plays a large part of his identity.
How I see Spocks character as intuitive is how he takes in data and then looks for the big picture in it and makes predictions based on possible scenarios providing Kirk options to go by. He often goes against the regulations albeit unwillingly and does not revere authority that is not established to him. In fact he rather rebels authority that he disagrees with and assumes control if other options are not available.

And Spock indeed is an idealist, like many INTJ's he sees how system can be improved and what the good aspect of it are, but chooses to support the current system as long as it suffices as a functional one. Spock, who by culture is taught to respect command line and authority has a visible struggle to stop his need to challenge it and often he chooses to go against the ruling members suggestions following his own vision over the choice he is expected to do as a member of his society.

Spock also is a judger, he is very organized and enforces the order in theory and in practice. He establishes his own order when one is lacking instead of going by any system he has seen functional before. And alike all INTJ's to him individual performance of each person is much more important than their theoretical potential. He uses a lot of time planning contingencies and preparing for scenarios, which makes him often the first response to threat that others were not expecting. McCoy is more of a ISTJ and can not stand the intuitive behaviour of Spock, who often prefers the most efficient path to solution rather than the one that follows through each step that takes everything into account including the feelings of crew members and the proper protocol of courtesy.

The strong Ni in Spock also is demonstrated in his ability to see that something bothers people around him, he is not blind to the influence he has to others, he is well aware of it and chooses to ignore it for the sake of objective and efficacy, but never will he overstep the boundaries and cause outright rebellion in his subordinates unless they are already irrationally behaving and under temperament tantrum. Spock is much more empathetic then first appears and it is also seen in his reactions to danger against his crew. He steps in as the first target of enemy fire, in order to protect the order of those of weaker constitution.

His tertiary is clearly Fi, as you see him often conflicting with his needs to blame himself for the flaws in the overall performance and how he is not one to enforce his point of view to others, rather he offers his ideas as obvious statements hoping that others will see them in similar light. You see it often in his lines when he backs up his statements as logical and "clearly our first choice is..." or something similar. He does not go the Fe way to seek validation or assurance from others, he has the assurance from within and only offers what he has already figured out to people to use.

And his introversion is of course obvious.

Edit:

Now I forgot to go over his culture and such all together.
Vulcan culture is very ISTJ dominant in nature. It is strict on hierarchy and utility, revolving around strong sense of conformity and rules, traditions and control. Spock in a sense is very proud of his culture, but as INTJ and an individualist type he again goes against the grain and joins starfleet, causing disapproval and friction with his parents and peers. Only later in his life he establishes his own usefulness as "odd one out" and becomes ambassador, proving his utility and regaining his reverence as a pioneer to inter-relations. Which further illustrates his INTJ qualities.

As Spock comes from ISTJ culture his conflict of what is proper and what is his primary function is the root of his very character, giving him the depth and appeal as a personality who is stuck between need of conformity and the drive to be himself. How he makes friends with his few bridge officer peers also is very intuitive and relies more on establishing strong connection with long term prospects that allow him to invest more effort and actual emotion to his relationships. Even then he hides it for the most times, but as it is Fi, it forces its way through and makes him eager to demonstrate his affection through actions as well as support for his friends despite the most glaring differences between them. He allows so much more for Kirk and McCoy than anyone else around him in terms of inappropriate and disorderly behaviour.

This all has convinced me that Spock is INTJ coming from ISTJ culture thanks to having likely a human ENFJ mother, inheriting the softer values of intuitive types and more strategic than tactical approach to life than his ISTX peers who always make the "optimal choice" over the challenging one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
747 Posts
McCoy is more of a ISTJ and can not stand the intuitive behaviour of Spock, who often prefers the most efficient path to solution rather than the one that follows through each step that takes everything into account including the feelings of crew members and the proper protocol of courtesy.
I thought of Spock as an ISTJ, but comparing him to McCoy has me wondering now.
I think the key to figuring out Spock's type is to figure out McCoy's. Hmm....

Whatever Spock happens to be, it's ultimately IXTJ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
I thought of Spock as an ISTJ, but comparing him to McCoy has me wondering now.
I think the key to figuring out Spock's type is to figure out McCoy's. Hmm....

Whatever Spock happens to be, it's ultimately IXTJ.
As I illustrated, there's tons of indicators of Ni being his primary function.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
747 Posts
As I illustrated, there's tons of indicators of Ni being his primary function.
You did, which has me doubting my ISTJ idea of him now.

And you also pointed out that we have to look beyond his immediate personality, which is his role as a vulcan constructed by his culture. There were always hints (both subtle and obvious) that Spock rigidly guarded aspects of himself.
And then there's McCoy, who's so obviously 'S'....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
He is ISTJ. Although Spock is better with conceptual thinking than many other Vulcans (who in most instances throughout Star Trek are obsessed with all that is concrete) he is still mostly Sensing-inclined.

The only glaring flaw in this common analysis of Spock is that he is somewhat idealistic. He hides it, but has expressed such views in the movies somewhat and especially in the episode "The Way to Eden".

In addition to his overwhelmingly factually-based problem solving ability, please also note his extreme devotion to duty and also his great respect for Vulcan tradition.
OOOH novel perspective.. I like your thinking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sela

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
@Sanskrit

Point taken that Spock does well with identifying possible outcomes. However, he rarely seems to express their implications. As he puts it, his modus operandi is to collect all relevant facts, then eliminate those possibilities based on whichever ones violate the given data. After allthosehave been exhausted, then he must logically turn to "the impossible" to reach an end. But this always seemed like the limit of his reasoning—the conclusion that there was missing data that would otherwise allow for a coherent solution. This form of troubleshooting is clear Si/Te to me.

I'm not sold on the Ni-related awareness. He does not give me the impression that he forms any sort of pattern in his mind. He is cognizant of the impact he has on others' and the differences between their priorities, but only because they beat him over the head with it, only to be dismissed as illogical (see episode "The Galileo Seven"). Many of his actions he took over the course of the series, including his most notable sacrifice, were strongly implied to be acts of generosity. However, he is always quick to point out that his decisions are basically rooted in numbers ("The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."). Whether or not he is being somewhat coy is open to interpretation and I won't berate it.

In addition, I do not agree that a tendency for iNtuition is what causes the friction between him and Bones (among other people). McCoy always struck me as a particularly flagrant xSFJ... his problem is with logical thinking itself. Even now I can hear him angrily chastising Spock for his "damned logic". Everything to him must be a compassionate action, or it is completely unworthy of consideration, aside from maybe slapping a few pregnant women here and there.

With all this said, it wouldn't be fair for me to leave this out: I am in agreement about the notion that his Vulcan origin is misleading in terms of fair Jungian assessment. In the past 24 hours in fact I was making a similar argument on this same forum concerning Troi from TNG and how her empathic ability clouds the true nature of her personality. Spock definitely has iNtuitive tendencies, and I would not call him a typical ISTJ. But by consideration of this added variable, I can consider INTJ at least as valid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
@Sanskrit

Point taken that Spock does well with identifying possible outcomes. However, he rarely seems to express their implications. As he puts it, his modus operandi is to collect all relevant facts, then eliminate those possibilities based on whichever ones violate the given data. After allthosehave been exhausted, then he must logically turn to "the impossible" to reach an end. But this always seemed like the limit of his reasoning—the conclusion that there was missing data that would otherwise allow for a coherent solution. This form of troubleshooting is clear Si/Te to me.

I'm not sold on the Ni-related awareness. He does not give me the impression that he forms any sort of pattern in his mind. He is cognizant of the impact he has on others' and the differences between their priorities, but only because they beat him over the head with it, only to be dismissed as illogical (see episode "The Galileo Seven"). Many of his actions he took over the course of the series, including his most notable sacrifice, were strongly implied to be acts of generosity. However, he is always quick to point out that his decisions are basically rooted in numbers ("The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."). Whether or not he is being somewhat coy is open to interpretation and I won't berate it.

In addition, I do not agree that a tendency for iNtuition is what causes the friction between him and Bones (among other people). McCoy always struck me as a particularly flagrant xSFJ... his problem is with logical thinking itself. Even now I can hear him angrily chastising Spock for his "damned logic". Everything to him must be a compassionate action, or it is completely unworthy of consideration, aside from maybe slapping a few pregnant women here and there.

With all this said, it wouldn't be fair for me to leave this out: I am in agreement about the notion that his Vulcan origin is misleading in terms of fair Jungian assessment. In the past 24 hours in fact I was making a similar argument on this same forum concerning Troi from TNG and how her empathic ability clouds the true nature of her personality. Spock definitely has iNtuitive tendencies, and I would not call him a typical ISTJ. But by consideration of this added variable, I can consider INTJ at least as valid.
I mostly identify with his appeal to logic and the "needs of the many..." reasons as a way to avoid spotlight and protect his true motives in order to remain as a good representative of his people. constantly keeping in mind that any sign of warmth might lead to generalizations among humans and lead them to misunderstand full fledged Vulcans as much as it is his excuse to make sentimental things. I use the very same veil of logic to my kindness and protect the distance I have to people around me.

As far as his need to gather as much data as available, it goes with the Ni being thirsty for confirmation of his suspicions rather than him just going by the clues. He follows a clear path to his conclusions, while addressing other "less important" data only after he has confirmed his first assessment as likely option, then he reluctantly offers his first option to the more impatient members of the crew and then returns to his data confirmations. Also something I could assign more to Ni than Si or even Se.

Actually the whole him being coy about his true nature is very obviously written to the story, many times his mask slipping here and there, leaving no mistake that he is actually being intuitively invested into the environment in which he operates. His affection for the enterprise and his friends will not hinder him, but it is there, and it is strong. Where proper ISTJ would be more imposing and strict about emotional behaviour, Spock often is seen intentionally toning down his harshness and trying to ease people back in order instead of going staff sergeant on them, this speaks for some Ni-Fi going on in his head. He instead of pushing operation onward ruthlessly tries to work more as a lubricant and provides the entire system smoother operations, while keeping up his authoritative appearance which he understands to be necessary from the second in command.

Bones chastises Spocks logic a lot yes but it is not the root cause of his issue with Spock. He is clearly more annoyed by the precision of his insight and how his logic is always so right. Unlike cold logic going by the numbers, which bones could easily defeat, he can not argue the logic of Ni as effectively due it having already covered most counter arguments. As you likely know how that goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Additionally, if anyone wants to take a crack at something else I thought of:

What are the implications of the idea that Spock struggles with how he fits into the big picture? I don't exclusively mean the fact that he often comes under scrutiny as a half-Vulcan on a ship full of illogical humans, but also a general confusion as to his purpose or ambition in life. Many episodes have him coming under fire for not showing much initiative, like how he does not really desire a command position. There is also his desire for a utopia, and the "Reunification" arc from TNG that shows him at the latest part in his life trying to settle the rift between Vulcan and Romulus.

Might be kind of taking the thread off track here, in which case I apologize, but I figure this is as good of a time to ask as any. We could relate these characteristics back to the original idea of what type of personality embodies these qualities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,646 Posts
Additionally, if anyone wants to take a crack at something else I thought of:

What are the implications of the idea that Spock struggles with how he fits into the big picture? I don't exclusively mean the fact that he often comes under scrutiny as a half-Vulcan on a ship full of illogical humans, but also a general confusion as to his purpose or ambition in life. Many episodes have him coming under fire for not showing much initiative, like how he does not really desire a command position. There is also his desire for a utopia, and the "Reunification" arc from TNG that shows him at the latest part in his life trying to settle the rift between Vulcan and Romulus.

Might be kind of taking the thread off track here, in which case I apologize, but I figure this is as good of a time to ask as any. We could relate these characteristics back to the original idea of what type of personality embodies these qualities.

This here is actually something I also wanted to issue, the combination of aimless idealist, who is constantly striving for utopia where everybody makes sense to each others through common understanding, and the Goal oriented visionary, performing as military personnel in position of authority.

Because this is what I see as the strongest indication of his nature versus nurture conflict. Spock is a Vulcan, he knows what is expected of Vulcan and finds himself in conflict against the S type message of his own heritage. Spock knows he should aim for highest possible rank, to become the utmost utility he can be, but same time his Fi keeps telling him that he better leave leading and aspirations to someone more competent or at least someone more interested in the minute details. He wants to chase after the big picture, desires even to materialize his own utopia through influence from the shadows. He studies humans passionately because he sees in humans the necessary path to utopia in how humans are more in touch with intuition, which to him as (potential) Ni dominant is the shit to make things happen. On his home culture he felt as an outsider not only due his family relations but due his intuitive nature which could be attributed to his mother showing him the "human way" of female intuition and empathy. This image of mother who always knew the right thing to say and always had compassion for difference gave him the feeling that if he finds a way to introduce the big picture to Vulcans and Romulans they might reach some sort of agreement and peace like human nations in the Star Trek world did.

Spock sees mankind as the necessary element missing from the Romulan and Vulcan societies, the lubricating element from the gears of politics between the two worlds. His own Ni makes him see the situation for what it is, a big deadlock between ESFX Romulans and ISTX Vulcans. Both being far more extreme ends of the same line than any intuitives could be. Difference is that Sensors read facts from their own perspective, and those facts then come together as black and white solutions. Ni is all about the gray zone.

This gray zone has driven Spock out of his home world where he could not fit his head into the small box the rest of his admirable, yet far too stubborn and strict people had boxed themselves with strict adherence to raw logic. Intuition is necessary for logic to function politically. Vulcans in general are a little threatened by humans, their gray minds intimidate the Vulcans and threaten their "perfect" logical world. Spock sees a lot of that human intuition and feeling in himself and is conflicted also because he knows that it is the cause of his own tragedy and discomfort, but same time he sees the importance it for altruism and politics that can reach for utopia.

If anything, I think his idealistic ambitions speak a lot for INTJ personality that is trying to both fit into and break free from sensor society in order to remain both in connection to his people, as also to be able to teach them something.
I think entire reason for Spock to avoid command is that he wants to study humans in command and learn how they do the politics and negotiations with their softer values and intuition. He wants to observe humans and understand his own Ni that he possesses but never got to be in harmony with in his own society.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
I mostly identify with his appeal to logic and the "needs of the many..." reasons as a way to avoid spotlight and protect his true motives in order to remain as a good representative of his people. constantly keeping in mind that any sign of warmth might lead to generalizations among humans and lead them to misunderstand full fledged Vulcans as much as it is his excuse to make sentimental things. I use the very same veil of logic to my kindness and protect the distance I have to people around me.

As far as his need to gather as much data as available, it goes with the Ni being thirsty for confirmation of his suspicions rather than him just going by the clues. He follows a clear path to his conclusions, while addressing other "less important" data only after he has confirmed his first assessment as likely option, then he reluctantly offers his first option to the more impatient members of the crew and then returns to his data confirmations. Also something I could assign more to Ni than Si or even Se.

Actually the whole him being coy about his true nature is very obviously written to the story, many times his mask slipping here and there, leaving no mistake that he is actually being intuitively invested into the environment in which he operates. His affection for the enterprise and his friends will not hinder him, but it is there, and it is strong. Where proper ISTJ would be more imposing and strict about emotional behaviour, Spock often is seen intentionally toning down his harshness and trying to ease people back in order instead of going staff sergeant on them, this speaks for some Ni-Fi going on in his head. He instead of pushing operation onward ruthlessly tries to work more as a lubricant and provides the entire system smoother operations, while keeping up his authoritative appearance which he understands to be necessary from the second in command.

Bones chastises Spocks logic a lot yes but it is not the root cause of his issue with Spock. He is clearly more annoyed by the precision of his insight and how his logic is always so right. Unlike cold logic going by the numbers, which bones could easily defeat, he can not argue the logic of Ni as effectively due it having already covered most counter arguments. As you likely know how that goes.
That's an odd inference, although I see the basis. Spock does seem concerned with the human perception of Vulcans, but I saw it as less of a nationalistic tendency and more just compulsion to add clarity to all situations. This insight sort of works well with the other bit about masking his affections, which I just about wholly agree with, for the record. The foundation for a desire to represent his people seems a little shaky, though.

Similarly, concerning the parts about (1) his need to gather data and (2) the idea that McCoy takes exception to the precision itself, those theories are solid, but I'm having trouble applying them to instances of Spock. I'd like to elaborate, but I have to admit I hit a wall trying to think of any examples.

Unfortunately, it is fitting that this problem arises in a conversation between Ni-dominant individuals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
This here is actually something I also wanted to issue, the combination of aimless idealist, who is constantly striving for utopia where everybody makes sense to each others through common understanding, and the Goal oriented visionary, performing as military personnel in position of authority.

...
This post is quite striking analysis, and perfectly defines the border I have often pondered that exists between these principles. It is almost like being caught between two worlds, with less regard for the differences that exist and more a desire to see the balance between them under a unifying principle.

In the case of Spock, this is telling. He may never do more than approach his ideal, but his task was never really meant as such. On a more grounded note, it may be worth mentioning that this direction may not have been defined when Star Trek premiered, as is understandable. That can probably cause some confusion when viewing the whole of his journey.

Also, I wonder if the creators of Enterprise had this all in mind when they introduced the ongoing plot of Vulcans feeling initially threatened by what they term irresponsible human behavior.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,116 Posts
I love how this thread has become a full-blooded scientific dissertation in Star Trek typology.
I have difficulty understanding why you expected different.
 

·
*Triple Thanks*
Joined
·
3,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
So the combination of watching Star Trek VI tonight (and seeing obvious INTJ behavior over and over) and Sanskrit's detailed analysis, I've changed my view from INTP to INTJ. His vulcan upbringing seems to dispose him to a more INTP-like demeanor, but his judgments are clearly Te.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sela
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top