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17 September, 2008

More about thoughts and feelings

Location: all in the mind
Mood: all in the mind

Do thinkers think too much? Do they (we) overanalyze to the point that all they're doing is integrating information and spitting out data? Do they (we) completely lack the capacity to simply close their (our) eyes, and allow things to "happen" as they may?

Do feelers not think enough? Do they run headlong into all sorts of perilous situations, because they're "following their heart"? Do they shoot first, ask questions later? Do they lack the capacity to rationally evaluate a situation, and then make a "selection" rather than acting impulsively, almost fatalistically, being steered through magical forces, into each new mess?

The problem with the Myers-Briggsian dichotomies is that nobody is all T or all F. We're all along a grayscale of variations, both situationally-dependent, as well as mood-dependent. And if you've got even a little bit of "the other" in you, then the textbook descriptions don't really work. If you were all T, you'd be like Commander Data. If you were all F... I don't know what you'd be! Maybe like Godzilla? It's harder to create a fictional character who is the complete opposite of "logical". And the reason, I think (thinker, that I am), is that we are thinking creatures.

So the difference between an archetypal T and an archetypal F may be that the F is less prone to governing their choices purely by logic and reason.

How much value is there in being able to identify someone's "type" anyway? Does it buy you much? It might help us to understand, but it might also lead us to stereotype.

4 comments:

  1. ...some of us are all T! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. on a slightly related topic...

    go take the moral foundations questionnaire here:

    http://www.yourmorals.org/

    and then watch this video:

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html

    i think you will at the very least find fodder for more blog posts after this exercise...

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a supposed F, I feel it my duty to say this: many supposed T's that I know are far more likely to create the "perilous situations" that are frequently attributed to F's. Many of them have, in fact, created much worse ones. Very illogical.

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Inman Wheelright18 September, 2008 07:31

    I used to ponder such questions, clearly betraying a proclivity towards being a 'T' myself, but then I learned to just go with the flow and do what feels good, and in so doing I found that I was able to avoid using fancy schmancy words like 'proclivity.'

    But then I lapsed. Excuse my recidivism...

    What's more, now I have kids and a house and I spend four hours commuting, plus the eight or so at work, so when I get home there's no time to be a 'T' or an 'F.' Now I am just a drone that gets home beat with a mountain of chores and little else awaiting.

    My point? If you fill up your days with things to do you won't have to ponder the subtleties of characteristic rubrics like black versus white, hate versus love, and other artificial categorization schemes...

    ReplyDelete