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Discussion Starter #1
I'm struggling getting a lock on my MBTI type. If I just read the I/E, S/N, etc. I always come up with INTJ. If I read the type descriptions, INFJ seems most like me. If I take the cognitive tests, it always comes up INFP.

What does it all mean? Which method is most accurate?
 

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When this happens, I like to look at all the different methods and see what they offer as well as where they coincide.

Personally, at the end of the day I go by the dichotomies. But if something's not lining up (you get some different result depending on which approach you take) you can try studying the dimensions a little more closely. What is the real difference between T and F? J and P?

It also helps having a few dimensions you are certain of. Looks to be I and N from your smattering of test results, and that does narrow it down considerably.

I think the cognitive functions are useful but try not getting too locked into them. You're never going to score Ni Te Fi Se or Fi Ne Si Te in that order no matter how many tests you take. You're going to score something like Ni Fi Ti Te Fe Si Se, and wonder how the hell it correlates to any MBTI type. The problem might lie with the tests themselves, as what they are accessing are the results of what you do, rather than what they are trying to measure: the processes. So don't go too heavily by your "cognitive function preference order" according to the tests.

You can start looking for clues, though. So, both INFPs and INTJs are said to do Fi and Te. And Ni is the dominate function of INTJs and INFJs. If you have a general figure that Ni is the strongest function, you can reasonably suspect that those two are possible best fits. Likewise, if Ne is strongest, or near strongest, perhaps that suggests INTP, ENTP, INFP, ENFP. If there's no way you're an extrovert, then you've narrowed it down to the introverted types that have heavy use of Ne: INTP and INFP. Back to the dichotomies: is J or is P a better fit? If J is a better fit, but you're scoring high on Ne use, I wouldn't worry about it too much. N types are likely to score higher on both Ni and Ne, just as F types are likely to score higher on both Fi and Fe...etc. There are differences between the introverted and extroverted functions and you may find a definite preference of, say, Fi over Fe, but generally speaking it's normal to appear to prefer both (for instance, I definitely do Ni over Ne, but when taking the CF tests seem to favor Ti and Te equally). It's when you figure that you're an INTJ but score highest on Si and Fe that I would start questioning, lol.

So then, when you've figured out a best possible type or two...and you read the descriptions, and really resonate with INFJ the most, I'd say that's probably your best fit. Because when it comes down to it, the descriptions are the most qualitative (as opposed to quantitative test results) presentation you're going to get, and if it matches, I think that's your best clue.

Other things you can do to confirm your type: try hanging out around the INTJ and INFJ subforums (or INFP and any other types you may be considering) and see how well you mesh with the topics, the posters, the general feel of the place. Read those "you know you're X type when..." threads and see if you resonate with what the people are saying. It's a great way to confirm or deny your best fit type when you find yourself connecting well (or not connecting well) with other people of your type.

Have you tried taking the Big 5/SLOAN? Your score from that will give you further clues because 4 of their 5 dimensions coincide with MBTI.

One last thing to rest your mind about your CF tests suggesting INFP: My CF tests all suggested INTP for me, when I'm very clearly a J, on the basis of high Ti. But that's what I mean; if you are a feeler, chances are you're going to read both Fi and Fe and think, hey, that sounds like me! It might be a thin bit of difference until you really look closely. So if it suggests INFP as a best probable fit because you score too high on Ne or Fi to be INTJ or INFJ, I wouldn't take that too seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow! What a great answer. Thank you, Ballast. This is a tremendous help.
 

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What do these results tell you?

I'm a O47-C30-E15-A44-N66
Hmm...I haven't seen them presented that way before, I'd have to see something for comparison. (For instance, not sure if your E score is saying you're only 15% extroverted which means largely introverted, or 15% over the line towards the extroversion side.) Did you get a score like RCOAI or RCOAN or something?
 

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I touched on my personal experience with dimension (or "dichotomy") tests vs. function tests in this post, if you're interested.

On a less personal note, psychologists (including MBTI practitioners and researchers) have collected decades of data indicating that human personality tendencies are governed by about 5 or so independent, central factors that exist in the population along continuous dimensions. In contrast, almost all attempts at finding objective evidence for function based personality models end up showing no support or actually showing that function models are specifically worse than dimension based models.

This information tells us that a function model, which is composed of a) discrete parts that b) are combined in an interactive way (inflecting the I/E dimension on the N/S dimension: "Ne", for example) rather than in an additive way (I+N+F+P, for example) is likely to have difficulties capturing the wider, fuller range of personality traits and expressions than a dimension model.

Related to this, assuming that you are reasonably aware of your own preferences and that your preferences are reasonably strong, a dimension or "dichotomy" based test is more likely to help you pinpoint your type than a function test (which nearly always produces confusing, hard to interpret, contradictory results that often do not match any MBTI type).

For more reading on functions vs. dimensions or "dichotomies", you could also read this insightful post by @reckful.

If you're interested in some extended reading/dialogue about the F/T dichotomy and related issues (including INFJ vs. INTJ), I suggest reading this post and many of the posts in this thread. If you want some input about P/J, check this post out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Teybo,
I started reading through the thread you mentioned (the one touching on your personal experience). It seems similar to what I've been seeing. I will take the big 5 over the next day or two and see how that lines up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmm...I haven't seen them presented that way before, I'd have to see something for comparison. (For instance, not sure if your E score is saying you're only 15% extroverted which means largely introverted, or 15% over the line towards the extroversion side.) Did you get a score like RCOAI or RCOAN or something?
Ballast, now that I think I understand it better, I believe these initial results would represent RLOEI.

But the test is a little difficult. It feels like some of the questions are asking if I'm a saint or not. I'm not, but I I'm not the opposite either.

I'm going to retake the test and try to be a little more (or less) introspective.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've been trying to figure out who I am for most of my life. The fact that I'm pretty certain I'm INxJ now should be a relief. Now, if I can just figure out that pesky T/F. I wish there was a test just for thinker/feeler. It would probably help me figure out my enneagram also. 4w5 or 5w4.
 

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Both of your Big 5 results are consistent with an MBTI type of INXJ.

The F/T dimension is probably the messiest of all the MBTI dimensions, and Jung famously said that he had difficulties with it as well!

A pervasive finding in personality research is that the F/T dimension (or the correlative Big 5 dimension of "Accommodation") tends to be mixed up in some ways with gender and sex, in that males tend toward the T end of the spectrum while females tend toward the F end. This means that it's difficult in some ways to make really hard statements about F/T that will apply regardless of gender.

It's way more typical for a male on the border between F and T to end up finding that INFJ is a better fit than INTJ partly because of how gender influences male INFJs from being as strongly F as female F types.

At this point, the thing I'd recommend most is to read through @reckful 's series of posts at INTJforum about INFJ vs. INTJ as well as this post about the messiness of F/T and how to move forward and use the ideas of psychological type even if you feel like your preferences don't fall neatly into F or T.
 

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All current methods are much inaccurate when used by most typers. Avarage probability to be typed correctly by almost any single typer and any method today is <50%.

The best way is to study typology yourself and find your type yourself too. Other typers may help, because some type better than accidentaly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, Sol_,
I have been trying to study it. I started with the tests, but I've been really trying to understand the theories. At this point, I'm almost certain I'm an INFJ. I think the most confusing or challenging thing for me is that I'm an ACA (adult child of an alcoholic). As a result, I have a form of PTSD. This poses a few problems for me.

I am tempted to get in touch with my lost self. I don't want to type the broken me. I want to type the whole me. But that isn't so easy. I remember being a sensitive and creative child, but also naturally gifted with science and computers. I was a painter and poet (obviously not professional) into my twenties. For the past 15 years I have become more and more INTJ'ish. But I can't tell if that is a rediscovery of who I once was or a further departure from who I was meant to be. In other words, am I the poet who hardened into a scientist to protect myself or was I the scientist who retreated into poetry for safety and have been slowly rediscovering that broken child.

All of this makes typing myself confusing on top of the typical confusion one might experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Teybo and @reckful,
The links have been extremely helpful. I can relate to Mogura to a scary degree and reckful's breakdowns were fantastic.
 

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Understanding the 8 Jungian Cognitive Processes (8 Functions)

Use the functions, and your own judgment, and the forums for someone with more experienced judgment if you need to. As someone who types people a lot, I can say with confidence that those tests are almost never accurate, no matter which type of test you take.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I figured it out. I used a method that I haven't seen recommended before but I feel good about it. I basically listed all of the cognitive functions in a spreadsheet and sorted them by preference. I did it blindly. I just looked at the descriptions. I had several descriptions for each function which I took from multiple sources. The results were clearly INTP. I did the same sort of sorting again but tried to sort them against my memory--my development. It just so happens that I had previously journaled my life story in bullet points for the sake of remembering who I was. The results were the same. I am an INTP.

Is this a crazy method?
 

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If you're asking if this method is likely to produce a person's best fit type, and unlikely to produce types that do not better fit the person, my answer would be: no, not really. A dichotomy approach is more likely to be accurate.

Why? Well, two main reasons.

First of all, there is no consensus about how functions are configured (e.g. is your auxiliary the same or different as the dominant in terms of introversion/extraversion), and there is controversy about how MBTI types are supposed to map to function models (e.g. is an INTP an N dominant or a T dominant?). So even if you were reasonably confident that you were a Ti dominant, that doesn't settle whether you're an INTJ or an INTP, and it doesn't settle whether you are Ti-Ne or Ti-Ni, for example.

Second of all, function descriptions themselves are disputed, and the traits that are associated with each function are likewise disputed. So, for example, if you categorize yourself as a Ti dominant primarily because you identify with having a mental model of something and liking to work out how things fit together, well, you could just as easily say that those are characteristics of all IN types in general.
 

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@Teybo, with all due respect, which method is most accurate is incredibly personal and FYI. you typed me as an INFJ when I am clearly and unquestionably an INTJ and many others did the same mistake because that dichotomy approach is victim of the "this person focuses on people so s/he must be an F".

Also, even tho many disagree about the definitions about the functions on the internet, it doesn't mean that they aren't extremely obvious for those who are well read as it is about subjectivity vs objectivity which Jung says in his book "psychological types" and for those who have read it then they should know that simple distinction. There is however many BS descriptions around on the internet (I mean, HELLO! It's the internet, what do you expect?), just like there's BS descriptions of the dichotomies like Ns being creative and SJs being traditionalists and Ts cold etc.
@militantsparrow, some books I recommend:
Really Me
Psychological Types - Wikisocion
That should be enough for you to be fairly knowledgeable about MBTI by the time you're done.
 
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