Reply To: Current State of Typology

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Rua
Moderator
  • Type: NeTi
  • Development: ll-l
  • Attitude: Adaptive

I have a few thoughts on this. The first is that like many I was glad that personality psychology finally had something to cling to statistically in the Big Five, as psychology never can or will be valued as a science until it can speak without reference to the subjective (psychology must do more than this, but it must be able to exist in this objective domain as well). And while the internal consistency of the Big Five is undeniable, its applicability and possibilities for a further understanding of the mind always seemed very limited. I would also not be surprised to find its test-retest reliability has been overstated, and we could argue this from a CT system’s perspective I think.

If we assume the CT system to be true, and that an individual can change from a conscious manifestation of  double introversion, let’s say Fi-Ni (with their counterparts unconscious), to that same individual three years later manifesting conscious Te-Se (with their counterparts unconscious), then I suspect this individual would at the very least have markedly different scores on the Extraversion portion of their Big Five assessments. My point being that the Big Five is likely not the individually stable system of personality it has often been marketed as; its stability is likely the most strong at the population level and within time spans that are not truly reflective of the length of individual growth (years/decades) due to research restraints and practicality.

The reason why the CT system is more promising in my mind than the Big Five (or Socionics, though I admit my knowledge is very limited in that domain) is two-fold. The first and major advantage CT has is that its manifestations can be directly observed, and while the sophistication and precision of our measurements is currently lacking, that is not a systemic problem; greater precision and sophistication will inevitably arise with advancements in neuro-imaging and facial-cranial technology. So, this is its first and major strength, it is observable and it is falsifiable once the signals have been thoroughly scrubbed.

Its second major strength is its focus on process over content. Process vs content, and the ensuing muddled mess that becomes of most typologies, is extremely prevalent in the field. When you give someone the skeleton of a system and say “Trust me there’s organs in there”, they will fill in the meat of the project on their own, with widely subjective, unconsciously biased results that feed into the brain’s proclivity to overgeneralize in the absence of specifics. CT has avoided this by clearly delineating its processes and divorcing them from specific contents.

As a side note, the recent thread on the Fe Hero Myth has been quite interesting. I very much think Auburn is correct in the track he is taking here (I think the word “Hero” derailed things a bit). What I mean is that I think that what connects various individuals of the same type is not the similarities or differences in the specifics of their lives (though these could overlap to a large degree), but that the path they are following shares structural similarities to the paths of others of their type, and would be structurally dissimilar to that of another type (possibly correlating directly with how many functions are shared between the two). We might test this narratively across populations, and upon thinking of it this must partly be Auburn’s aim through the forum and Discord, to elicit these type narratives and see how they stack up. Types from widely different cultures and geographical regions having narrative similarity to each other when asked to describe “their life’s journey” [or something], while also having dissimilarity from the narratives exposited by other types would be the golden egg, but this would seem a very difficult goal to achieve in practice. Having recently read Robert Sapolsky’s Behave, which cites a fair amount of individualist vs. collectivist cultural differences, perhaps I am being too pessimistic here 🙂

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