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Thompson’s “Lasagna” model explains whacked out function orders, appearance of X term

Thompson’s “Lasagna” model explains whacked out function orders,
Appearance of X term


Ok, I've been on hiatus for awhile, been reading a lot, and been doing some soul searching. I've been dissecting my past and present actions, and have finally settled on a type that I am fairly certain about (for the time being anyway). I'm not going to get into all the hairy details of my discovery process, but I wanted to share with the group some of my findings, and in doing that hopefully help some people who may be on the fence about their type, or just present another option to those who may not be familiar with Thomson's approach.

After reading Lenore Thompson’s book Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual, I discovered that she had a different view of the function orderings than what I have seen in other theories. Rather than ordering the functions as Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, Inferior, then shadow functions, she orders them as Dominant, Auxiliary, right (or left) brain alternatives, left (or right) brain double-agents, Tertiary, Inferior. See the orderings for each of the types here. To me, this makes a lot more sense, based on what I’ve seen in myself and others. How many people here would say for sure that their function orderings went exactly as they “should” (Dom, Aux, Tert, Inf, then shadow)? I certainly cannot. What I can verify based partially on cognitive functions tests, but more so my own self reflection, is that my functions do not line up as they are “supposed to”, and that they much more closely resemble Thompson’s.

Thompson’s model leaves a lot more room for variation—from what I gathered by reading her book—and to me that makes sense. It explains a lot of inter-type differences, and allows for a much more unique, fluid system, that grows and changes as we age and mature. I think age and/or maturity are going to be a big factors that determine whether your functions more closely resemble the typical model or Thompson’s.

She presents a useful analogy: your functions are workers on a ship. Your dominant function is the captain, your auxiliary function is your second in command. The other functions (besides your tert and inf) are simply working for your dominant function, but that they actually do a lot of the work. However, your tert and inf functions are sort of the rebels of the bunch, they, rather than working for the captain, work to prevent the captains aims. This causes mental dissonance, so they are relegated to a tiny boat behind our ship, held on by a single line of rope. Out of sight, out of mind. But they are still there behind you, paddling as hard as they can in the opposite direction. She says that in order to grow, we must take hold of our auxiliary function (not our tertiary or inferior functions) and use it wisely, and that that use will force us to consider the perspectives offered by our tert and inf functions. Dissonance is uncomfortable, but it is how we grow as a person. She offers several examples of (fictitious?) people’s struggles, and how they can be alleviated by using their auxiliary functions not just as a yes-man to the dominant function, but a function in its own right, with its own capacity for decision making (i.e. Riker saying “Picard! I think we should do it this way, not yours.”) . Parliament of Attitudes provides a really great explanation of Thomson's hierarchy of functions--comparing it to a Parliament, with a dominant party (your dom function) and 7 other minor parties (with tert and inf as insurgents on the fringes of consciousness). I highly recommend reading it.

I would like to see how you would rank your cognitive functions, especially if you are conflicted with your type, and would like to see how they might fit in with Thompson’s pattern of orderings. I’ll start.

My functions go roughly something like this:

Ne > Ti >= Ni > Se = Fi > Te > Fe > Si

Which… doesn’t really fit with any type perfectly (based on Myers-Briggs, Berens, and others). BUT. My dominant function is Ne. I am now fairly certain I am an extrovert. My next 2 functions are introverted Thinking and introverted iNtuition, followed closely by extroverted Sensation. Already, I know that I must be Ne dominant, so if we go by dominant function alone, that leaves me with only one feasible option: ENTP (Ne-Ti-Fe-Si). It might look like EXTP (and many newcomers to type may see their type as an X for one of the functions, before learning of the cognitive functions) or even ENXP or ESXP, but look at my rock bottom function in reference to the top function. The function that I am absolutely opposed to: Si. My next most resisted function is Fe, which is not too far away from Si. So the 2 functions I am resisting are Fe and Si, which match perfectly with ENTP’s tertiary and inferior functions. So, if we use Thompson’s model, my function ordering makes perfect sense (albeit the middle is a bit scrambled around). And, it could (and did) make me very confused about my type. To me, her model is much more realistic, and while she specifies the order of the middle layers of “type lasagna” from what I read, she doesn’t seem to refer to those orders as set in stone.

This is my modified theory of Thompson’s model: I would imagine that heavily intuitive people are probably going to use both Ne and Ni to a bigger extent than both Se and Si, which heavily sensor-oriented people are going to use both Se and Si more than both Ne and Ni. Those that are a little more wishy washy on the intuitive/sensor preference will probably have a reasonably high preference for one of the sensing (or intuition) functions in addition to their main intuition (or sensing) function. Same thing for the F/T dichotomy. So what I’m saying is, I think the center section of functions are going to vary more between individual people, and may depend on many factors (such as environment, parental involvement or lack thereof, parent-forced activities, etc). Since they (the center functions) are really just “slaves” to the dominant function’s wishes anyway, they aren’t ultimately as important (especially if we are considering self-growth) as the tertiary or inferior functions, although those may be furthest away from our consciousness at times. That doesn't mean that tert/inf functions can't have a huge influence on our decisions and actions, it's just that we aren't going to notice them or recognize their hold over us until we start to experience that dissonance.

At some point, I'm going to write something up about the functions (which, as Thomson calls them, function-attitudes), because I was greatly mislead about what the functions actually are and what they do. Briefly, I want to just mention that they should be thought more of "attitudes" that color the way we see things and what importance we place on certain modes of operation, not so much as a "function", for instance, in a mathematical sense (I do X frequently, therefore I am using f(x) function). Be on the lookout for another post from me on this topic (if anyone is interested). Don't worry, I won't use math notation. :crazy:

Cheers.

-Photo
 

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I've read a small part of Lenore's book on Google books(forgive me lol), and her model of the functions didn't really make much sense to me with what I've read in other places. I basically just took what I could in the way of understanding the individual functions.
But I came across some articles on socionics recently. I really didn't read her book in much depth, but it seems as if her model and explanations of the different function roles are very similar to the ideas in socionics.

I agree that it seems as if many people have personal function orders that veer from the ...John Beebe model? But I have a certain understanding of the cognitive functions and how they work together that I can't really mesh with the socionics model...

I'm only quoting this because I think it might be interesting since her model is the same as the socionics model. And also, that page has more information, if you're interested.
This is what I found on a page about socionics:

Nature of functions

* Function 1 - leading, program, primary, base, or dominant function. This is the strongest conscious function, and the most utilized function of the psyche. A person's outlook and role in life is largely determined by the nature of this function. One is generally very confident in the use of this function, and may defend it when challenged.
* Function 2 - creative or secondary function, is second in influence only to the dominant function. It assists the dominant function in achieving its goal. One may be somewhat less confident with the use of this function than with his dominant function. As a result, the creative function is sometimes less instrumental when a person is challenged or threatened.
* Function 3 - role function, is a weak but conscious function. One generally tries to be at least adequate in areas where use of the role function is necessary. However, generally one has very little control or confidence over the role function, and criticism is painfully acknowledged with respect to it. Tactful assistance is required from one's dual-seeking function to overcome the problems associated with the role function.
* Function 4 - place of least resistance or the painful function, is a weak and conscious function, in addition to being the weakest function of the psyche. One painfully perceives his complete inability to use this function, and reacts negatively to its imposition upon him. Tactful assistance is required from one's hidden agenda to overcome the problems associated with this function.
* Function 5 - suggestive, or inspired function, is a weak and unconscious function which is largely lacked. One requires assistance from somebody confident in this function in order to overcome the difficulties it presents.
* Function 6 - actualization, the hidden agenda or estimative function. This is a weak and unconscious function which one often understands poorly. Nonetheless, this function has a strong influence over one's activities, and one requires assistance from someone who uses it confidently in order to understand it.
* Function 7 - observant function, the function of personal knowledge. This is a strong but unconscious function. One generally has a good grasp of this function, but attempts to limit its use considerably. Arguments calling for restraint are often used to overlook this function.
* Function 8 - demonstrative function. This is the strongest of the unconscious functions. As a result, it is so deeply rooted into the psyche that one is usually not even aware of its existence or utilization.
From: Socionics: Encyclopedia of Urban Ministry | ChristianVolunteering.org: Find Christian volunteer opportunities, mission trips

I also agree that the functions should be looked at more as attitudes. I think some of the confusion in finding your type can come in when you don't look at the functions as attitudes. That's why I like these links:
http://personalitycafe.com/myers-briggs-forum/24032-intro-function-theory-more-detailed-descriptions-each-function-attitude.html
Function Attitude

I think that the idea of a solid function order in any style can really confuse people. While I don't really have a strong grasp, here are my thoughts:
>>Each type has specific attitudes toward the world. I can somewhat see how Fe might play a part in the ENTP personality, but the confusion would set in when you read descriptions or general explanations of Fe that describe it as something that might seem foreign to you. I think that the manifestation of the Fe attitude would be somewhat different than how it would manifest itself in an ESTP or an INFJ. I think that the function tests, just like any MBTI tests, are only useful as tools to help narrow down your type. I think that determining your function order by self-examination is almost the same thing. I think that the only ones that might be easily identified in a person would be the dominant and auxiliary functions. Even then, I don't really like to look at them as having more of a precedence in one's personality, solely. I look at them as having a different manifestation in different types that all lend toward general attitudes of a specific type. But I think that if a certain order for each type was put out that took into account the idea of the attitudes having different attitude manifestations, there wouldn't be any variation from person to person. I also think that some functions might have a superficial resemblance to other functions, which may cause more confusion.
Is that confusing? :unsure:

I'm not too sure about that, though...
 

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Cool, I have not done much reading about socionics. I'll definitely check that out.

>>Each type has specific attitudes toward the world. I can somewhat see how Fe might play a part in the ENTP personality, but the confusion would set in when you read descriptions or general explanations of Fe that describe it as something that might seem foreign to you. I think that the manifestation of the Fe attitude would be somewhat different than how it would manifest itself in an ESTP or an INFJ. I think that the function tests, just like any MBTI tests, are only useful as tools to help narrow down your type. I think that determining your function order by self-examination is almost the same thing. I think that the only ones that might be easily identified in a person would be the dominant and auxiliary functions. Even then, I don't really like to look at them as having more of a precedence in one's personality, solely. I look at them as having a different manifestation in different types that all lend toward general attitudes of a specific type. But I think that if a certain order for each type was put out that took into account the idea of the attitudes having different attitude manifestations, there wouldn't be any variation from person to person. I also think that some functions might have a superficial resemblance to other functions, which may cause more confusion.
Is that confusing?
I agree completely. I have only kind of guessed at the order of my functions (about how conscious I am in them), to make a more clear cut example. Definitely realizing my top 2 functions is what ultimately lead me to my type decision, because I realize I am less able to see the other ones clearly. Once you start throwing all the functions in their, it starts getting out of hand. It seems (for me anyway) that it is easy to recognize my dominant and auxiliary functions, as well as the functions I am most opposed to. Maybe that would be a good way for someone to find their type--find the attitude they despise the most, and compare it to the one they prefer most. So then that's more likely their inferior than their shadow (at least by Thomson's theory).

Her book is very good, although it took several reads to really start to understand the different functions. It helped me see how the functions act when they are not dominant (those examples are mostly in the particular type's description). You definitely can't apply an EFJ's use of Fe to ENTP's Fe. Since a tert Fe user is going to see Fe more as an enemy (even if they may be subconsciously using that attitude for other purposes) than the leader. So yeah, I could never relate to Fe either (at least the way it relates to a dominant attitude).

I've been reading this website, and it has helped clear some things up, and it also raises some interesting questions and observations. I'd seen the site before, but it didn't make as much sense until after I read her book. It still has a lot of good information, though.

Now I need to get my hands on some of the other type theorists, and now socionics. Do you know of any good socionics books?
 

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I haven't read Lenore Thompson's book yet and maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying, but I don't think it's possible to have a functioning psyche with Ne, Ti, Ni and Se as your top 4 functions.

Firstly, it doesn't satisfy the 4 priorities of Introverted Judgement, Extroverted Judgement, Introverted Perception and Extroverted Pereception or the 4 ways of processing information/making decisions - S/N and T/F (there is no Extroverted Judgement function or Feeling function in the top 4 functions you stated) that we all need to function effectively - take in information happening in the present (Pe), process information internally (Pi), interact with the outside world (Je) and weigh up new information internally (Ji).

Secondly, Ne and Se serve the same purpose in the psyche - extroverted perception - to take in external data happening in the now - one does it in literal details (Se) the other does it in patterns and impression (Ne) - I'm not sure how you can conciously use both.

Secondly, there would be no modulation or control of the functions or drain of energy from antagonistic relationships with dominant/inferior and secondary/tertiary functions i.e. Ne being modulated by Si and Ti being modulated by Fe (having no modulation of functions would be like only being able to flex your arm but not being able to extend it?).

The best way find out your type is by figuring out your dominant, most stimulating function from there you only have two options for your auxiliary process - once you know these two you have your type and you also know your tertiary and inferior functions as they are the reverse of your dominant and auxiliary - you obviously have to develop an understanding of the cognitive processes first.
 

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Xplosive, you're missing the point. And I think I haven't been completely clear. What I'm saying is that the tertiary and inferior functions are doing exactly as you said, but rather than thinking of them in terms of just below our dominant and auxiliary processes, that they are deeper in our subconcious than ALL the others, but that we really use them a good deal more than we think. Because we are (seemingly) so opposed to those inferior aims, we don't realize what a hold they have over us. And I'm thinking especially younger people, or people who haven't developed their secondary function as much are really not going to see themselves having anything to do with their ter/inf functions, even though they really do have a major impact on them (and cause strife, perhaps). Am I making sense? We're not really disagreeing, I am just looking at it a different way. I really suggest you read Thomson's book. I got it used on amazon for around $5. Or, you can look over the wiki site.
 

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OK, yes I agree we use our inferior and tertiary much more than we think - our 4 cognitive functions are in constant communication with each other at all times otherwise we wouldn't be able to function ...

I also do agree that many people will try and dissociate themselves from their inferior cognitive function in particular and this can be a useful in figuring out your type i.e. a Ni dom (INTJ or INFJ) will be most drained by using Se to take in the literal physical details of what is happening in the now ... but what I'm not sure is if you are saying that we have conscious use of the other 4 functions in between i.e. for an ENTP Se, Fi, Te, Ni?

...and yes I have ordered a copy of Lenore Thompson's Personality Type
 

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Well, going by Thomson's theory, you do use all of the functions, and you will be consciously using them (except the ter/inf ones, since they are basically complete opposites of your two preferred functions), BUT, they won't really ever win out over the aims of the dominant and auxiliary functions. I'm still not sure that I'm stating that correctly.

Parliament of Attitudes is the best summary I've seen.
 

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This is my modified theory of Thompson’s model: I would imagine that heavily intuitive people are probably going to use both Ne and Ni to a bigger extent than both Se and Si, which heavily sensor-oriented people are going to use both Se and Si more than both Ne and Ni. Those that are a little more wishy washy on the intuitive/sensor preference will probably have a reasonably high preference for one of the sensing (or intuition) functions in addition to their main intuition (or sensing) function. Same thing for the F/T dichotomy. So what I’m saying is, I think the center section of functions are going to vary more between individual people, and may depend on many factors (such as environment, parental involvement or lack thereof, parent-forced activities, etc). Since they (the center functions) are really just “slaves” to the dominant function’s wishes anyway, they aren’t ultimately as important (especially if we are considering self-growth) as the tertiary or inferior functions, although those may be furthest away from our consciousness at times. That doesn't mean that tert/inf functions can't have a huge influence on our decisions and actions, it's just that we aren't going to notice them or recognize their hold over us until we start to experience that dissonance.
I really cannot agree with this model. I actually use my tertiary Fi quite a lot, nearly as much as my secondary function, and I also consciously use my inferior Se. And there is no actual conflict, as all functions have a different task: Fi defines moral goals, Te decides what can be applied to reality, Ni builds a system based on Te and Fi and Se lets me experience the world.

I just cannot understand Fe and Ti, even though my parents are dominant Fe and Ti users, so it's not because I had no one to show me how to use it. I don't use Ne - I wish I could, because it's awesome - but even my mother, who has Ne only as her tertiary function, has way more creative ideas than me. In cognitive function tests, I usually score rather high on Ne - but I think that's because Ne behavior can look similar to Ni behavior, even though the functions themselves are different. (I'm not quite sure about Si, but I don't think I ever consciously use it.)

So what I'm trying to say is: the MBTI model works for me, Thompson's doesn't.
 

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Thompson’s model leaves a lot more room for variation—from what I gathered by reading her book—and to me that makes sense. It explains a lot of inter-type differences, and allows for a much more unique, fluid system, that grows and changes as we age and mature. I think age and/or maturity are going to be a big factors that determine whether your functions more closely resemble the typical model or Thompson’s.
I find a lot attractive about Thomson's model. It just plain makes sense from a point of view of the mechanics of the brain for one thing. It takes the intuitive namespace which Jung was able to devise through his analysis of behavior and interpretation of anecdote in symbolic terms and maps it to the neighborhoods of the brain based on emerging cognitive science. Jung's intuitive notions about the oppositional attitudes (what some call the directionality of the functions) turns out to have a biological basis in how the brain is wired.

Now she goes an extra step which is in keeping with his spirit. What might Jung have thought or said differently based on what we now know about the brain - and with the addition of abilities such as MRI and PET scanning?

I believe we are entering a time when the generalities of type will begin to make more sense and offer up opportunities for clarity. Especially for the layman. But the specifics, the real inner workings of the matter will continue to raise as many questions as they answer.
 

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I'd have to mirror the sentiment of Holunder's post: I use my tertiary function, Fi, a lot. It make my judgments about all things moral and ethical using Fi. I may even use it a lot more than my secondary function, since I've only really found Te to be useful for situations in which I need to be objective. I think I end up using a lot of Ne, but in a very negative way (I see all the possibilities of how everything could go wrong at once when I am under stress. ) Granted, I think I am Left-brained (that's the logical side, right?), and I do use some Fe and Ni in a positive manner, which might fit in with the theory a little (as I am an ISTJ and its says the ordering of functions is Si, Te, Ni, Fe, Fi, Ne for a left-brained person). But there's no way I could rule out Fi as a part of my personality, because it's huge.

I thought the inferior function mostly demonstrates itself in negative ways though, so we might not be able to recognize it.
 

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Perhaps because I've flopped back and forth between INTP and INFP, I've always found Thomson's model very attractive. I think it does make sense, but I can see the contention. A better way of explaining it is no, you don't really use the four sandwiched in between on purpose. An ISTJ would still use Si-Te and Fi-Ne, but the first and last two are still basically opposing personalities. If you find yourself using Fi alot, you might be using your INFP shadow personality more often than most, which you can do consciously, just like you can write with your non-dominant hand. The only thing is, it's tiring and unnatural.

I think what Thomson actually means to say is the unconscious "shadow" functionsdoin fact come out fairly often. They are the lower level of lasagna (that's where the theory gets its name)!

I suspect her ordering might be a little off, though. Since our dominant axis is, in certain ways, just one function (centered on one side of the brain, as Thomson thinks), I propose this probable order of functions for an INFP:

Fi Ne Ti Se Si Fe Ni Te

But you only have direct conscious control over the unbolded ones.

I think this (partly) explains why ENTP's are the most SP of the NT's (I mean, I know Ne is wacky and wild and all, I use it:tongue:, but with inferior sensing, how would that make sense?) and INTP's the most NF (how did the "nice nerd" stereotype come about when Fe is way down there?).

Again, I'm not married to this idea, but it does explain why the "devilish" function is sometimes ranked so high on cognitive function tests, very neatly...
 
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I order my functions not based on how "well" I use them, but how much of a role they have in my conscious life. My dominant function, Ne, I experience most often and in the most positive way. Ti comes next, followed by Fe. Si is fourth even though I associate it with negative parts of myself. It is still a large part of me; it is associated with a lot of my irrationality, and I am conscious of its effect on me. The number of conscious instances of my last four functions pales in comparison to the first four. They might as well fight over last place. Do I have a lot of the skills associated with these functions? Of course. But I achieve these through the use of my first four functions. I wouldn't consider myself as "using" my unconscious functions in these instances.

So I guess that means I prefer MBTI to Thompson's model.

>>Each type has specific attitudes toward the world. I can somewhat see how Fe might play a part in the ENTP personality, but the confusion would set in when you read descriptions or general explanations of Fe that describe it as something that might seem foreign to you. I think that the manifestation of the Fe attitude would be somewhat different than how it would manifest itself in an ESTP or an INFJ.
Definitely. Each type adds its own unique flavor to how the functions are used.

auriel said:
I think this (partly) explains why ENTP's are the most SP of the NT's (I mean, I know Ne is wacky and wild and all, I use it, but with inferior sensing, how would that make sense?) and INTP's the most NF (how did the "nice nerd" stereotype come about when Fe is way down there?).
Really? I feel very NF and not very SP :mellow:
 
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Maybe you all that recognize your usage of the inferior and tertiary functions are highly developed? The more mature we become in our type, the less important the 4 middle functions become. It is possible for us to use our tertiary and inferior functions in a healthy, non-negative way, at least according to Thomson. That would make sense then, for someone who is a very mature in their type, to see their tertiary and inferior functions rise up above the other 4. It's not that Thomson's model is that much different, she just organizes it in a way that makes more sense to me.

I've been going through a Ti phase for awhile now, and it's helping me to hone in my Ne in more stable ways than I have in the past. At least I think. So now I'm consciously noticing more of my Fe and Si crop up, so I'm looking at them in a less negative way. I still think I resist their objectives to an extent, but I think it's more healthy, since now I'm seeing what kind of hold they have on me. Thomson's book probably helped propelled me into thinking that way.
 

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Really? I feel very NF and not very SP :mellow:
Yup, that's very possible. Your mileage may vary...don't feel like I'm trying to pigeonhole you or anything! :happy: I've just heard people say this (I think it was a thread on Typology Central a while back). Plus, I've found ENTP's are usually quite engaged with the external world and concerned with reshaping it, like an Artisan would. Part of being "the inventor", I suppose.
 

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Maybe you all that recognize your usage of the inferior and tertiary functions are highly developed? The more mature we become in our type, the less important the 4 middle functions become. It is possible for us to use our tertiary and inferior functions in a healthy, non-negative way, at least according to Thomson. That would make sense then, for someone who is a very mature in their type, to see their tertiary and inferior functions rise up above the other 4. It's not that Thomson's model is that much different, she just organizes it in a way that makes more sense to me.

I've been going through a Ti phase for awhile now, and it's helping me to hone in my Ne in more stable ways than I have in the past. At least I think. So now I'm consciously noticing more of my Fe and Si crop up, so I'm looking at them in a less negative way. I still think I resist their objectives to an extent, but I think it's more healthy, since now I'm seeing what kind of hold they have on me. Thomson's book probably helped propelled me into thinking that way.
Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I used to think I was an INTP. I organized my functions something like this: Ti > Ne > Si > Ni > Te = Fe > Se > Fi. (With a very basic understanding of the functions) I'm not sure whether or not I relied on my unconscious functions during that time, though. My Fe use has grown in leaps and bounds over the past year, and I'm more cognizant of Si. With more careful study, I've come full circle and ended up with a "normal" ENTP function order by MBTI standards.

I guess the model you wish to follow is really a matter of preference, as they mean just about the same thing when explained differently.
 
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Lenore Thomson's order is not meant to contradict the more familiar order used by John Beebe, and neither are about strengths. In fact, she has since writing the book been talking more about Beebe's theory, as you can see both on the wiki, and on Personality Pathways.

Beebe's order she says is about ego development, and the lower archetypes really only manifest under special circumstances such as severe stress or individuation (when the ego is ready to integrate the unconscious).
The lasagna order is from a neurological perspective, of course. This also is usually under stress, and the ego switches the functions (keeping the attitudes) of its dominant and auxiliary.

Also, to correct an earlier statement; only the inferior is on a lifeboat pulling the ship the other way. The tertiary is on water skis, going the same direction as the captain (the tertiary is in the same orientation as the dominant, after all), but shouting insults, or something like that.

The way I'm looking at it now; the "shadows" both parallel and mirror the primary function. As parallel "shadows" cast by the primaries, a function degrades by switching its attitude. This yields 1->5, 2->6, 3->7, 4->8. The archetypes, when they manifest follow, with hero becoming "negative hero" (opposing personality), parent becoming critical parent, child becoming Trickster (bad child) and anima becoming "negative anima" (demon).
As a mirror image where everything is reversed, the attitude is kept, while the function is reversed. This yields 1->8, 2->7, 3->6, 4->5. If the archetypes manifest, hero is replaced by the demon, parent yields bad child, good child is compensated by critical parent, and anima is compensated by the opposing personality (likely why both are said to be the same gender, usually opposite of the person).
 

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Yup, that's very possible. Your mileage may vary...don't feel like I'm trying to pigeonhole you or anything! :happy: I've just heard people say this (I think it was a thread on Typology Central a while back). Plus, I've found ENTP's are usually quite engaged with the external world and concerned with reshaping it, like an Artisan would. Part of being "the inventor", I suppose.
I agree with this--I'm pretty SP myself. I wonder how much of this is related to skills we developed as children/adolescents? And how much emphasis was placed growing up on certain skills and attitudes. Environment plays a huge part in how we develop, so it would make sense that if certain attitudes were rewarded and others punished, that it would kind of build up our other functions, or downgrade others, even if they weren't necessarily "natural" for us. I think this is something I want to research in grad school. :)

For instance, both of my parents are very introverted. I thought I was an introvert for a long time, partly because my social skills were meh, because I wasn't around as many people as much as I would like to have been as an elementary school kid and earlier (because my parents were not very social, and didn't really like meeting the other parents and kids). That, and my parents always teased me for talking all the time, and scolded me for interrupting and jumping into conversations. Then, I was sort of socially awkward and pretty quirky, so I had trouble maintaining as many friendships as I wanted in middle/high school (kids thought I was weird or "trying to hard"). Now I'm seeing my natural social skills really start to come out (of course, after my confidence was returned to normal post-high school). So anyway, the point is, I think how you're raised can have a big affect on your personality (especially young people). I would imagine that as we grow older we grow into our more natural personality, and start developing our tert/inf functions (that's not a new theory, though).

Haha, I know introverts are usually the ones complaining that everyone is trying to make them and extrovert, but my experience has been the opposite.
 

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My functions go roughly something like this:

Ne > Ti >= Ni > Se = Fi > Te > Fe > Si
This is erroneous. Your perception of your own supposed use of shadow functions is really just another manifestation of your four standard functions--you misread them as shadows because you incorrectly equate functions with skill sets.

Even though Lenore is by far the best contemporary author on the subject, shadow function theory is the one area she really botches pretty badly.

For instance, how did you conclude that your Ti and Ni are equally proficient? You read some descriptions of each one and then decided that you were equally good at the skill sets associated with them, right?

The problem in your model here is that functions are overarching mindsets, not just skill sets. "I'm good at organizing stuff" doesn't equate with "I have strong Te." Te implies a complete mindset about the nature of external reality. Being good at some skill that Te users tend to be good at (like organizing, for instance) doesn't actually imply Te use.

The trouble here is that the shadow functions are so alien to our normal perspectives that we have no real method of identifying them in ourselves because we have no basis for comparison.

Think of each function as a pair of glasses, each with a different colored tint. If you've never actually seen the world through red glasses, then you don't really "know" what red is or what seeing through red glasses does to your perspective.

You can look at things that people tell you are red, but since your vision is tinted a different color you won't really get a clear picture of what red is--it'll always be biased by the color of your natural perspective.

So you form an idea in your head of what "red" is, but since everything you see is colored green by your preferred perspective, your idea of red will also be colored green. You may even learn to look at things from the perspective of your green-tinted idea of red, but you'll never really know firsthand what red is because you can't turn off your green-tinted perspective in the first place.

In reality, shadow functions represent value systems that conflict quite heavily with our preferred perspectives, to the point that we cannot ever truly understand them firsthand and can only get occasional glimpses of them during the rare moments that we're able to block out the ever-pervasive influence of our preferred functional attitudes.

You have a preferred attitude for each of your four functions S/N/F/T, and the opposing attitude so heavily contradicts everything about the worldview created by the ones you prefer that regular, routine use of shadow functions would result in tremendous cognitive dissonance and a lack of sense of personal identity.

In short, shadows are simply not compatible with your preferred perspective, and that's why your consciousness suppresses them. You don't use them routinely and they are not equal in strength or proficiency to any of your four preferred attitudes.


I order my functions not based on how "well" I use them, but how much of a role they have in my conscious life. My dominant function, Ne, I experience most often and in the most positive way. Ti comes next, followed by Fe. Si is fourth even though I associate it with negative parts of myself. It is still a large part of me; it is associated with a lot of my irrationality, and I am conscious of its effect on me. The number of conscious instances of my last four functions pales in comparison to the first four. They might as well fight over last place. Do I have a lot of the skills associated with these functions? Of course. But I achieve these through the use of my first four functions. I wouldn't consider myself as "using" my unconscious functions in these instances.
Brilliant! She definitely gets it. All too often people reason,"Well I'm good at stuff that Ni users do a lot, so therefore I must have good Ni," which is so so so wrong. Being good at skills that Ni users tend to be good at just means you've learned how to grasp those skills through the filter of your preferred functions. Functions = mindsets, not skill sets.
 

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If someone uses Ti to analyze theories like Jung-functions or the Enneagram, but only because they do not possess sufficient 'hard' evidence or couldn't be bothered to acquire it (and how much easier it would be if they did etc.), presumably they don't really have the Ti mindset, it's just a stand-in operator.

I don't take function-preference (or mindset-preference) ordering very seriously. It's all very speculative. I do appear to conform to the axis-pairing aspect (Fi/Te, Si/Ne), but certainly wouldn't make any assumptions about myself based on what a speculative model says must be true - that would have to be based on actual observation.
 

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But there's no way I could rule out Fi as a part of my personality, because it's huge.
Everyone has cognizance of the 4 functions - and in a Type there will be a natural tendency towards Directionality (which Thomson calls Function Attitude) along with ordering that is probably based on the sequence in the maturation process for an individual. Everybody is going to have "F". Unless you were lacking in empathy or any kind of social consciousness. F does not squarely equal emotion, although everybody is going to experience that as well.

I thought the inferior function mostly demonstrates itself in negative ways though, so we might not be able to recognize it.
The inferior function is tricksy but not necessarily negative. The darker functions for a person are the ones which are polarized in the same quadrant of the brain. The inferior is simply inferior - it isn't dark in the same way a shadow function is.

The reason that the tertiary and inferior are as they are is because there is no diagonal connectivity in the corpus callosum. If an INFJ like me starts with Ni which is in the back left of the brain (that is my most comfortable and leading function) and then moves on to Fe which is in the front left of the brain - it can be seen that my J quality follows. Because due to the hemispheric division of labor my leading two processes are left side Judging. Look at what happens though - my next cognitive preference of Ti is located at the rear of the right side of the brain. Since there is no diagonal connection my brain has limited choice;

* Filter back down through Fe to Ni and then over to Ti (creative subject-focused thought)
* Filter over through Se and down to Ti (creative object-focused thought)
* Ignore Ni entirely and start over from Ti to Se and Fe (This is the SP Wannabe side of an INFJ)

The remoteness of the processing for the tertiary position combined with the lack of diagonal plumbing makes it a biological certainty that the tertiary will be touch and go and the inferior will be the Jester if you happen to be playing with a full deck.

This is how I interpret Thomson so far. Subject to review and revision :)
 
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