Friday, July 09, 2010

Personality Theory

Jungian Personality-Type theory -

4 spheres of personality -
1st - how you think, how you "recharge" yourself - ENERGY
2nd - how you get information - INFO
3rd - how you make decisions - DECISIONS
4th - how you schedule your time/interact with others - TIME

Are you more comfortable with:

atomized world as created by language and symbols --- Sustained by the drive to share in society, to obey society's rules, to fit in, to conform
continually flowing world of senses and concepts --- sustained by the drive to experiment, to experience all possible variations, to fully know everything around you.
Extrovert ENERGY Introvert
Sensing INFO iNtuition
Thinking DECISIONS Feeling
Judging TIME Perceiving

For more info on specific types, I really liked the descriptions on this site Plenty of good ones out there though, (others have free tests)

Consciousness arises from these two competing energies. They go by many names. Music theory calls it Repetition vs. Variation; literary critics - Society vs. Nature; Ayn Rand referred to it as Integration vs. Differentiation; also, stoicism vs. hedonism; conformity vs. independence; words vs. instinct.

Although market capitalism encourages people to follow their immediate self-interest, everyone's first experience with society comes from profoundly un-self-interested acts--the sharing of language. It is a lesson the child's mind is quite eager to learn. We want society's affirmation--we want to be seen as good by those who are important to us. We quickly learn that to share, there are rules we must learn and follow. We must learn certain words, and learn when to say them, and in what tone to speak. We must learn the standards of modesty, we must conform. But the other force, the biological energy within us, encourages experience rather than obedience. This drive tells us to seek out all possible variations, to know and experience a thing to its bottom. Animals too experiment. They will try an action again and again and again until they master it to an exceptional degree. To this, humans add language, rules and constraints. The strain of our biological drive to experiment against our social desire to share and fit in, is what creates our consciousness.

How do these energies play out in our lives? My theory is that left to ourselves, we are all non-conformist INFPs, but upon first feeling part of a group that we want to be a part of, all start out as ESTJs. The change from INFP to ESTJ is often (but not always) seen in children around the age 5-7, as kids go from being curious about everything and largely self-centered, to being strict enforcers of rules and focused more on pleasing others (friends or authorities).

Life in society then is a (not necessarily linear) journey starting from the conforming side of the conforming-independent spectrum, then learning to think for oneself (analogous to leaving Plato's cave and seeing the sunlight), and then possibly returning to society in an effort to implement a certain insight, (going back into the cave). In this interpretation then, there would be not 16, but potentially (3^4) 81 personality types. The INFP letters would all be the same, but each ESTJ letter could be either a "starting" E (or S or T or J) - meaning an extrovert who has not yet learned introspection - or a "returning" E (one who has).

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