Reply To: Psychological Surveys

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Alexander the Less
  • Type: NeFi
  • Development: llll
  • Attitude: Unseelie

Survey Results with Note

Firstly, here are my results from my second, well-thought-out responses to the survey. The results are similar to my first go, so I don’t feel I skewed anything dramatically. However, I will happily post my old results upon request.

Alexander's Results of Energetics Survey


Perhaps it’s my long-windedness itching for space, but I feel compelled to make a quick comment on CT as a system and what this step with psychological surveys means (and of course, the introduction of Model 2), and of course, I would love to get more thoughts from both the community and Auburn on this topic.

Cognitive Type is, from my perspective, refreshing. It doesn’t concern itself with arbitrary, subjective self-evaluation to assign someone a type. I’m glad that the introduction of the psychological survey come as a separate element of typing, for as it is said on the site, “The survey results won’t be viewed by us until after we have done your visual analysis.” This eliminates my concern that CT could revise itself and too-highly prioritize self-evaluation, for I have approached and understood CT as something primarily concerned with vultology as the observable element of cognition (embodied cognition) and then collecting survey data to flesh out the correlations between vultology, behavior, and psychology. I would say the introduction of computational terms and the psychological survey is an incredibly comforting step in the right direction for keying in the research methodology of CT. I’ll end my quick reflections with this quote and my response:

The data collection thus far has been imperfect, and suffers from methodological shortcomings. The data has not been collected and processed through all the appropriate scientific practices, nor has there been any formal publications yet supporting this hypothesis. However, preparations are being made to formally test this hypothesis.

I find that last bit incredibly encouraging, and I think that further marching in this direction will add a level of academic rigor to CT that will give it the weight necessary to break the glass ceiling in academia that keeps independent researchers from publishing and making meaningful contributions to a given field.

Criticism and Suggestions

Alright, as the original disclaimer makes apparent, this survey is a work in progress. I’ll offer some comments and thoughts on the survey and the data collection.

First, something with the potential to be a huge problem; however, only Auburn can really confirm whether or not this is a problem. That problem is the definitions of the functions and how those definitions have come about. I’ll explain myself at the risk of coming off as pedantic.
As I said in the reflection section of this post, CT concerns itself with the observable element, vultology, as this is the only objective element of cognition (according to the hypothesis behind CT). Here’s where I see the potential problems with how functions (Ji, Je, Pe, and Pi. Excuse me if a better term exists, such as “energetics.” Just know I refer to these when I say “functions” in this post) are defined. This survey suggests that a firm definition and understanding of the functions exists; however, this is a relatively huge claim. I would argue that CT needs an enormous pool of data in order to distribute this survey and claim a match or mismatch. The survey presumes the correlation between anecdotal accounts of personal experience/behavior and vultological samples is vast and strong enough to give firm definitions of functions. Again, only Auburn can make the call that the data is sufficient to draw that correlation and offer definitions of the functions that are firm enough to implement metrics in this survey to measure their presence in an individual’s self-evaluated psychology/behavior. However, I will add, this research could still work by starting with a hypothesis of what each function is and adapting as correlations indicate something else (if indeed anything else is indicated, as there is always the possibility that the initial hypothesis falls through). In fact, I would say this is the approach CT is taking (which is more expedient and practical for independent research of this nature, as it offers enough meat for those first volunteers to cling to and invest in the project); however, I would say that persisting in this fashion could prove messy. What is worse, and prone to happen when a community forms around a project, is that the definitions of functions may careen into sentimental territory as subjects cling to definitions that were hypotheses that have since been deemed defunct, invalid, or even misleading.

Second, I turn my attention to the survey itself. I’m certainly not the ideal person to weigh in on this element, but I have designed a research survey for academic institutions as well as worked with individuals that have designed them. Here’s hoping what I have to say carries some value. I took some raw notes here that record my unfiltered thoughts as I worked through the survey, and those can be seen in this Google Doc. However, I prefer you ignore my messy thoughts for the purposes of actual criticism, but I do prefer those messy notes be used for the purpose of contributing to the corpus psychological/behavior data. That said, I’ll just knock this out with some bullet points that summarize my observations of shortcomings in the survey and personal experiences that caused me to view these things as short comings (please excuse me for not recording the question numbers. It slipped my mind while taking notes):

  • A few questions group together two premises that conflict.
    • Ex. Pairing the voluntary taking on responsibility and holding oneself to high standards as a single indicator of a psychological function.
      • Personal Experience: I do not find myself feeling fulfilled by taking on responsibility, but I do hold myself to higher standards…. However, that is only fulfilling if I manage to meet the higher standards I hold myself to. Holding myself to them in and of itself is not fulfilling without seeing myself live up to them. In some respects, I feel the same about responsibility… I just wouldn’t consciously seek it out.
    • Ex. Fixating on purity and struggling to act impurely.
      • Personal Experience: I fixate on purity; however, I find myself behaving impurely a great deal (perhaps due to those high standards I hold myself to). This is a source of stress for me, for I am fixated yet failing to align with my fixation. However, I admit, this question may be focused on how well the individual aligns with that fixation, i.e. the struggling to act against it. That I cannot comment on; however, I will comment that I found myself needing to choose what my answer prioritized: emphasizing my fixation or emphasizing my actions.
    • To avoid just chronicling examples, I will say this: I think questions that present two (or more) premises that could conflict ought to be presented as multiple questions in order to target more specific data. As an example: 1) Do you take on greater responsibility to seek personal fulfillment? 2) Do hold yourself to high standards? or 1) Do you often consider whether or not you are living/acting purely? 2) Do you succeed in meeting your standard of purity/righteousness?
  • Wording at times is troubling.
    • Ex. “I need my life to have…”
      • I’m hesitant to say I need anything. In fact, the word “need” is emphasized in my in my mind to the point that I am tempted to disagree despite the fact that I have a great desire for the mentioned conditions.
    • Ex. “Procedural thinking” and “economics and business.”
      • This could go in the last category, but I think it is primarily a wording issue. I word it better in my notes, as I had numerous concerns here: “How is procedural thinking understood in this question? Business and economics in this wording seem like the emphasis, and I have never invested any energy into either. Is success in economics and business supposed to be the emphasis or is that the concrete example to illustrate procedural thinking? My answer is either strongly agree or disagree depending on the emphasis.
    • I outline a few, such as “child-like humor” and so on. There’s just a good deal of interpretation that goes on with some wordings.
  • Asking what others think of the subject
    • Ex. “People describe me as a steady pillar in their lives.”
    • Ex. “People have told me that I can come across as pushy and bossy.”
    • Ex. “People come to me for the dependability of my perspective, in order to recieve [sic] stable and temperate advice.”
      • I’ve always found these questions terrible. It asks the subject to make an ultimately subjective recall of subjective comments others in their lives have made about them. It muddies the waters and causes the evaluation process for the subject to become needlessly convoluted.
      • These could be fixed by asking questions that focus on self-assessment. “Do you consider yourself a steady pillar in the lives of others?” “Would you are prone to treating others in a pushy or bossy manner?” “Do you consider yourself someone with a dependable perspective that allows you to give stable and temperate advice to others?”

Conclusion. Yes, I’m done…. Yes, that was a bit scattered…. But at least I’m done.

I believe that sufficiently lays out my thoughts and concerns spurred on by taking this survey. Perhaps some of my thoughts belong elsewhere; however, it’s this survey that brought it all to the forefront of my mind. By all means, I encourage everyone who feels compelled to maintain order to mention me in a reply in the appropriate thread.

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