Amy Cuddy (Analysis)

TED Talk, showing a general overview of her ideas

Private Interview: (best for reading type)


Amy Cuddy is a TiNe Psychoanalyst; one who has invested a great deal of time decoding one element of human emotional dynamics. From this TED talk, we can see that although she is not directly advocating falseness of personal values or opinions – she is well aware of the results that can occur from an external feedback loop of emotion. And through this she suggests a maximization of personal expression and a better competence in the world. This displays a keen awareness, stemming from Ti, of the operations of external emotions — and the social (and personal) effects they can have.

She is at once triumphing over her polarity, and finding some point of reconciliation with its values. However, we also see that in her presentations she is battling to be present, while a far more withdrawn psychology sits underneath. There is a strong exertion of effort in her words and hands, both in large crowds and one-on-one interviews, which showcase her more natural state.


Using the second video above, one of the first things we notice (beginning at 0:20-0:40) is that Cuddy holds a rigid, withdrawn composure. But this rigidity stems further than a desire to appear collected. We quickly see Cuddy’s hands demonstrating meticulous, puppeteer hands (Ti) while she also pauses heavily and disengages her eyes downward, as seen in the following images:


Especially in the right-most image, we see both the very taut fingers of Ji as well as the eyes disengaging down while her entire posture freezes for the duration of the thought. During this moment, she is seeking internally to crystallize the language of her counter-point: “Y’know, I think it’s not the body language, as much as it is… (pauses) that everyone feels like an impostor at some point”. Next, right at the end of this pause, we see her transition into an Fe Warm Swell (0:39-0:40) as seen below:


This gesture is delivered gently alongside a very noticeable investment of energy. Her hands fold into herself first then come back out with a methodical push. This gesture also aligns perfectly with her words, which are speaking specifically about a moment of empathy “everyone feels like an impostor at some point”. This phrase itself points to a Ti>Fe priority in psychology, where there is awareness of social facades and protocols (Fe) from the detached view of Ti.

Moving along in this interview, we next see another similar scenario at 0:49-0:51. At 0:49 she pauses/freezes again, while at 0:51 she delivers a very empathetic push alongside the phrase “I feel like you were telling my story”. Then, immediately afterward at 0:53, she goes into a disengagement downward + neutralization. This again showcases the back-to-back signals of Ti & Fe, stemming from the dominance of this oscillation pairing.


This pattern repeats a multitude of times during the interview, such as at 2:43-2:48 where her hands return to a meticulous, delicate posture right as she is making a very meticulous conceptual distinction: “But, here’s the thing… (and it’s funny that you explained it that way because I think that when people think about body language…” We see it again at 3:12-3:19 and again at 7:00-7:06, combined with very heavy puppeteer hands and momentum halting.

Her perception functions are playing a far less visual role in her demeanor (as is typical of J-lead types), functioning primarily in how they inform her awareness of the present and give her data recollection. But we can still see very clear signs of Ne/Si, firstly in the quality of her eyes – which are relaxed around the eyes, naive and gently sitting in their sockets:


Like her eyes, her mental trajectory follows a very conceptual and semantic path of interpretation. Her attempts at explaining her positions border on philosophical and are presented in a way that is arising axomatically from the static datasets/studies, but which relate more abstractly to our ways of viewing people and ourselves. She becomes invested, in several occasions, in clarifying the conceptual distinctions between one idea and another, and elaborating on what this means to human beings and societies. This presents us with a very classic Ti/Fe + Ne/Si modality of reasoning.

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