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In the spirit of John Gray's book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (which I have not read, the title says it all), I am offering some insights on the differences between MBTI Thinkers and Feelers, which I have observed over the years. This is not about men and women, because many of the men I meet are Feelers or Feeler-wannabes; and I suspect there are a comparable number of Thinker women, although I don't meet very many of them.

Although item 6 quotes from a humorous list, this analysis is not intended to be understood as a joke.

1. The labels "Thinker" and "Feeler" are not descriptive of what those people do. Thinkers are not smarter than Feelers, nor are Feelers more sensitive. Thinkers have feelings, and Feelers are able to reason logically. The fundamental difference is the values they hold in highest esteem: Thinkers give priority to Truth and Justice; Feelers give priority to Relationships and affirmation. That's the only difference, and it only applies when truth and affirmation are at odds, which tends to be more often than some people would like to admit. I would consider the labels unfortunate, except that any labels would soon develop the same or similar problems (see #5 below).

2. Thinkers are able to honestly recognize Feeler values in other people and adjust their actions accordingly. Given sufficient motivation (such as preserving a relationship that depends on it, or keeping one's job), Feelers are willing to put aside their distaste for disaffirmation to deal with uncomfortable truths. In neither case is that their respective preference.

3. Science and technology require an absolutely honest understanding of nature and physics, for which Thinker values work best. Educational institutions and the arts are more successful using Feeler values. Competitive activities like sports are more successful with an honest assessment of the competition and the factors that lead to excellence, which again favors Thinker values. Modern business is highly competitive, which dominates any relationship issues they might have with their employees and customers. Some customers will favor good business relationships (Feeler values), but most of them favor quality and price (driven by Thinker values). Democratic governments are sustained by good relationships with other politicians and voters; while the election process is often highly competitive, the relationship issues (Feeler values) tend to dominate political activity. This may not be the case in autocratic regimes, but I don't live under one, so I can't tell.

4. The global and American economy is driven by science and technology and modern business methods -- in other words, by Thinker values. Political and artistic considerations are not as significant as financial and technological issues for achieving wealth and power. This tends to give Thinkers a higher prestige status than Feelers in the public perception.

5. To describe a Thinker as a Thinker is both honest and affirming (because of #4 above), but to describe a Feeler as a Feeler is often felt to be disaffirming or demeaning, for the same reason. Feelers therefore wish to imagine themselves Thinkers, regardless of the facts. Just as there is only one answer to the question, "Are you lying?" (No), regardless of whether the respondent is telling the truth or lying, so also everybody wants to tell you they are a Thinker: the actual Thinkers follow their own values by telling the truth, and the Feelers also affirm their own values in lying about it -- but in doing so they violate the values they falsely claim of themselves.

6. Feelers tend to see an insult in every remark except those that are clearly complimentary -- and in some of those too. Thinkers tend to find truth in every remark except those that are clearly lies -- and in some of those too. There is a half-serious anonymous list of "The Guy's Rules" going around, one of which reads

If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of them makes you sad or angry, then we meant the other one.
This is a good insight.
7. The American church (including the churches under its influence worldwide) is run by and for the exclusive benefit of Feelers. Thinkers are invited, but only if they agree to pretend to be Feelers. Some Thinkers succeed at the charade, most just stay away. Truth is, after all, their highest value. The Bible is more balanced, giving a slight preference to Thinker values, but an overwhelming preference to Truth over "relationship". The church power structure mostly ignores the Bible when promoting their Feeler values as "Christian".

8. Feelers believe it is important to say they love you, and to hear you say it to them, because that is affirming; Thinkers prefer to do loving things, and to see correspondence between the words and the deeds, because correspondence to reality is the test of truth.


Tom Pittman
1st draft 2007 March 24
Rev. 08 Feb 9, 09 Apr 30
Thinker-Feeler Differences
 

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I actually love justice and support the death penalty. I love sports and was a very in-your-face competitor when I played in basketball leagues. I also don't need words of support constantly; I prefer actions.

My favorite way to differentiate between thinkers and feelers (having an INTJ mom and INTP fiance) is that thinkers prefer operating in the inanimate realm, whereas feelers are more interested in persons. I admit that science, math, and tech do not come as easily for me as they do for the thinkers. If I can't apply something from the inanimate realm directly to people in some way, it's harder for me to maintain interest in analyzing it.
 

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What if you're horrible with math and technological things but aren't that interested in people issues (like politics) either? What if you're good with musical instruments (inanimate objects) but not techy things? What if you find yourself feeling compassion (Feeling) for inanimate objects, such as cars left in a junkyard?

And where do plants and animals fit in this dichotomy, seeing as how they are neither people nor inanimate objects?
 

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It's one way, it's not a way that explains everything. The MBTI itself doesn't explain everything, let alone one way of differentiating between feelers and thinkers.

Anyway, to address issues point by point:

Politics is a mix anyway - most politicians spend hours going over impersonal details of bills, so even though the end results affect people, I don't consider politics one of the more feeler-friendly realms. Politicians also can't be very conflict-avoidant to be effective, which feelers tend to be (especially introverted ones).

The use of musical instruments is a means to personal expression, so I can see feelers having interest in those.

Compassion for objects is an interesting one. Compassion is stereotypically a feely thing, though, and if you have memories associated with a particular car, I can see wanting to keep it from the junkyard.

Animals, though not people, qualify for the animate realm. I should have stated animate realm more than inanimate realm, though again there are qualifications and exceptions here (as there are for many things in the MBTI, which is why so many people loathe the system and find it too vague). I am not sure how plants are usually assessed in the dichotomy.
 
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The fundamental difference is the values they hold in highest esteem: Thinkers give priority to Truth and Justice
Ewwww!! ehhm, can't agree with that one, justice is mainly a relative term, not an universal one, we can even argue that there isn't something as justice to begin with, this is one of another "quality values" that feelers have, not to be put with thinking types I think.

:tongue:
 

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Truth and Justice, sure... but didn't we leave out The American Way?

I work in law, and I find the idea of justice to be an interesting bird. It's something people invoke a lot when they don't know the law--or, more accurately, how much pursuing "justice" will cost. E.g., someone getting a divorce wants "justice" against their soon-to-be-former spouse: discovery, filing every motion that is possible in their situation, and then the full trial. But then they learn "justice" costs at least a mean $50K. If they're at all sane, they settle for something a bit less drastic than full "justice" at that point.

Then there's justice versus the law. E.g., the state constitution forbids gay marriage. I think that's unjust, but I've taken an oath to uphold that same constitution. The law as it exists is what controls. My personal opinions are just that: personal, and mere opinions.

Maybe there's a more universal form of justice, but that gets into the realms of philosophy and spirituality. I rather enjoy those realms, on a personal level, but the practicalities of day-to-day life don't always mesh with higher ideals. And sometimes they can't and shouldn't. There are more than a few laws out there that might not seem to make sense from one person's "justice" perspective, but that are actually amazingly fair from an objective perspective.
 

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Mind you no one is 100% one way or the other, but I believe the main difference between thinkers and feelers is that feelers are about values, emphasis, good and bad, more towards categorizing or placing value on the subjective. Thinkers are about facts, usefulness, right and wrong, working more with the objective side to things (or what they believe is Objective).
 

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7. The American church (including the churches under its influence worldwide) is run by and for the exclusive benefit of Feelers. Thinkers are invited, but only if they agree to pretend to be Feelers. Some Thinkers succeed at the charade, most just stay away. Truth is, after all, their highest value. The Bible is more balanced, giving a slight preference to Thinker values, but an overwhelming preference to Truth over "relationship". The church power structure mostly ignores the Bible when promoting their Feeler values as "Christian".
Actually, the fundies and denoms where conservative theologies dominate behavior are run by Thinkers -- STJ style of thinking. It doesn't matter how you feel about things, it doesn't matter what your personal values are, if your theology is not right, then you are operating from a false basis of faith and you need to fix your theology in order to be acceptable to God. "Right and Wrong" is applied as a derived rule system of universal truth, not as a personal-values system.

This is why some of these denoms can treat people with great disrespect and violate their autonomy and violate that person's identity and sense of self, and justify it as holy... because they are following their "religious theology" that was derived by Thinking types that tell people what they have to believe and what exactly they need to do in any particular situation.

Tangible rules governing behavior (i.e., religious protocol) have been derived, mysteries are cut and chopped off so that they can be fit into a definable box. Get into an apologetics debate with the conservative crowds and you'll quickly bump heads with Te-style thinking that has been over-applied to what should have been more iNtuitive or Feeling by nature.
 

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^^ Evangelical religion is the implementation of a specific regimen (strict rules) in order to attain a certain goal (eternal life), which is definitely Te. The manifestation of Si is that these rules tend to be common societal standards already in existence.

However, the difference is that in the end, the important part is not the experience of religious feeling, as it's only at rare points that this actually happens (since their feeling functions are decidedly Fe). Rather, it's that everything is going according to plan, or in their mind, "God's plan".

This is contrasted to the truly "spiritual" people, who tend to be Fi users.
 

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5. To describe a Thinker as a Thinker is both honest and affirming (because of #4 above), but to describe a Feeler as a Feeler is often felt to be disaffirming or demeaning, for the same reason. Feelers therefore wish to imagine themselves Thinkers, regardless of the facts. Just as there is only one answer to the question, "Are you lying?" (No), regardless of whether the respondent is telling the truth or lying, so also everybody wants to tell you they are a Thinker: the actual Thinkers follow their own values by telling the truth, and the Feelers also affirm their own values in lying about it -- but in doing so they violate the values they falsely claim of themselves.


According to the interpretation below, the INTP has inferior extraverted feeling and will conform to social nicities as a means to be accepted. Conforming in such a way is not truth, it is giving in to an (dare I say?) emotion, then logically rationalizing why it is good to do so. There is a yin and yang quality of the functions, I find. One can not exist without the other. Thinkers lie to themselves (and others) just as much as feelers do. They may fool themselves into believing that they are telling an objective truth because they use logic to lie. The fallacy is in the fact that they are not being objective about their self and the way that they feel.

How do you differentiate between somebody who scores extremely high on cognitive tests in all Ti, Te, Fi and Fe??? Would it be fair to classify someone with such a score as a thinker if in the past when they were less healthy, appeared devoid of almost all emotion to others including themself?

For the full article, please check this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intp

Dominant: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency. [15] Ti is calm, articulate, and aware of the forces that bind reality together. As introverted Thinkers, INTPs spend the majority of their time and energy ordering the interior, logical world of principles and generalizations in an effort to understand.

Inferior: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others. [18] Fe drives the INTP to desire harmony in community. At their most relaxed, INTPs can be charming and outgoing among friends, or when they have a clearly defined role in the group. When under stress, however, INTPs can feel disconnected from the people around them, unable to use their extraverted Feeling to reach out to others. As their inferior function, Feeling can be a weak point; when threatened they will hide behind a wall of stoic logic. This can lead them to bottle up their emotions to preserve reason and harmony; but a failure to deal with these concealed emotions can lead to childish outbursts.
 

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These things always make me think I am T. I always test with a weak F.
But I have read many, many descriptions of INFJ and INTJ, and INFJ always describes me nearly perfectly. INTJ is almost always very far off.

I suppose my E-5 function could have something to do with this. It does contradict my F somewhat.
 

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That is an interesting point. Often the other parts of a personality go with the T or F though, like maybe since introverted feelers don't really share their feelings aloud as often as extroverted feelers do they then have the time to make their ideas come out more as T-like statements. Also from what I can gather about the intuitive side, it makes you more grey, so you're probably open to both sides, which could be why you come out as an F, but think you are a T?

Jobs relating to T vs. F also have a lot to do with the other letter as well. If you are an ST or SF your words are going to come out in a lot more detail that an NF or NT, and you probably think that way too. Like I know I really like reading and history because I'm good at remembering details, but I have a lot of NT friends who aren't as good at that because they always complain about so much information. Then again, they're a lot better at math then I am. Like I'm sure that SF's probably are good at the arts and NF's may be better at teaching or english? Not really sure, that just seems to be how my friends and family work out. It doesn't mean the others can't do it, just that it may not come as easily. But I still think that thinking and feeling aspects really combine with the other letters as well.
 

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a good friend of mine on here cleared it quite nicely for me:


FEELER:

subjective-
Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world. (Based on feelings)

THINKER:

objective-
Of or having to do with a material object. Having actual existence or reality. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. (Based on logic)
 

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a good friend of mine on here cleared it quite nicely for me:


FEELER:

subjective-
Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world. (Based on feelings)

THINKER:

objective-
Of or having to do with a material object. Having actual existence or reality. Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices. (Based on logic)

This doesn't account for Ti or Fe.
 

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hmmmmmmmm.........I will have to think on that.

So, based on that then........how do you think This doesn't account for Ti or Fe works?

It would still be subjective/objective however based on other circumstances????
 

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hmmmmmmmm.........I will have to think on that.

So, based on that then........how do you think This doesn't account for Ti or Fe works?

It would still be subjective/objective however based on other circumstances????
Well, based off of what I've read of Jung's descriptions of Ti and Fe, they do the opposite of what's implied by the explanation that you provided. Ti at it's root is subjective. It's an internal logical interpretation of the external world in relation to ones self. Fe is the creation of harmony in the environment. Rather than starting internally, it begins externally.
 
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