Nov 8, 2007

"Openness" of the Mental Functions

If you look at the mental functions (1 through 4), there is a clear tendency for each function to be more restrictive than the previous one, with the 1st function most open to new information and the 4th function most closed.

The base function is open to new experience and is willing to consider pretty much any information that comes its way, even though this function forms opinions quickly and often categorically (and loves to exaggerate). The creative function has a considerably more restrictive view of reality and doesn't want to consider "useless" information corresponding to this aspect. The role function is more restrictive yet and "tries" to operate just enough to avoid major risks to one's well-being and social reputation. The vulnerable function barely tries to consider new information -- much less information that is clearly inapplicable to one's situation -- and only considers information that the individual has dealt with on a personal level.

Here are some scattered examples:

  • IEEs and SEEs believe that all relationships should be good and don't want to invest in or waste time with those that aren't ideal or don't go anywhere (restrictions on 2introverted ethics ). EIIs and ESIs do not shun "bad" relationships, but see them as an integral part of life that must be worked with and learned from (no limitations on 1introverted ethics ).
  • IEEs believe that people are the way they are and are worthy of study and understanding no matter what makes them tick (no limitations on 1extraverted intuition). EIIs believe that people should strive towards certain ideals (restrictions on 2extraverted intuition).
  • LSEs and ESEs find recreation, enjoyment, and comfort very important, but try to "perfect" these activities by ridding them of unpleasant sensations (restrictions on 2introverted sensing). SEIs and SLIs are more open to experimenting with new sensations, even if not all turn out to be positive.
  • ILIs and SLIs try to avoid doing any "useless" work and applying ineffective methods that don't bring any immediate returns (restrictions on 2extraverted logic). LIEs and LSEs are more open to experimenting with new methods to test their effectiveness, even if that means wasting energy and discovering dead ends.
  • IEIs and SEIs try to brighten up the emotional atmosphere and avoid "negative" emotions (restrictions on 2extraverted ethics). EIEs and ESEs are less likely to avoid or skirt heated negative emotional situations, because this is part of what life is about.
  • ILEs are likely to ignore logical systems and classifications that they see as pointless or lacking in insightfulness (restrictions on 2introverted logic), while LIIs are more open to considering any systems, perhaps to hone their logical thinking skills or to whet their mental appetite.
  • IEEs and EIIs both don't appreciate coercive or overbearing behavior (who does, really?), but IEEs believe they personally need to be capable of coping with it effectively, while EIIs believe it should be eradicated altogether (greater restriction on 4extraverted sensing than on 3extraverted sensing). Similarly, SEEs and SLEs have more open attitudes towards changeable, unpredictable, and finicky behavior in others and try to be prepared to deal with the unexpected in people and events, while ESIs and LSIs try to limit the possibility of unexpected changes in direction to a bare minimum (greater restrictions on 4extraverted intuition than on 3extraverted intuition)


Anonymous said...

REALLY damn good post. Bravo, Rick. This is ScarlettLux btw. I have never thought of the differences in base & creative in such a way before. Makes a lot more sense to me now and confirms that I am EIE.

Mark said...

Thank you for all the insight at this website!

It's very interesting that an IEE could consider all personalities worthy of study and understanding, yet also consider any relationship that isn't ideal a waste of time unworthy of further investment. Wow! At first this confused me but now I think I get it: IEE's love scouting for the maximum potential in human relationships but will quickly drop the futile relationship, believing that time wasted on that relationship could be spent finding and building upon the potential of another relationship that has more promise. Good stuff!

Rick said...

Thanks, both of you!:)

Anonymous said...

This is excellent and can be useful in type diagnosis. The further down the Model A one goes, then, the more rigid and less flexible the flow of information becomes, at least in the mental loop. Would this apply both to the way information is perceived and produced?

Rick said...

>> The further down the Model A one goes, then, the more rigid and less flexible the flow of information becomes, at least in the mental loop. Would this apply both to the way information is perceived and produced?

Yes, I think so.

icefusion said...

great insight. never thought that creative and base function had any difference.
how about the vital loop?

Anonymous said...

I think it would be interesting to correlate the different types with different psychological ailments like phobias etc... I've noticed that alot of the people with introverted sensing as a component in their personality either the dominant or the auxiliary tend to be afraid of water and associated textures. I know and isfj and an esfj (Myers Briggs types) and they both have an irrational dislike of jelly and gel of any type. And they are not good swimmers. Jelly water and so on probably being a symbol of femininity and introverted feeling. And they both have a fascination with masculine power structures.