Article: Approaching Type - Personally vs Universally Nov 12, 2015 2:21:09 GMT -5 by Auburn
Post by Auburn on Nov 12, 2015 2:21:09 GMT -5
Approaching Type: Personally vs Universally
One of the largest misconceptions surrounding cognitive type is that CT is a theory of personality. However, CT does not measure personality, it measures a person’s underlying rhythm of processing — the way they construct their experience of reality and the way they differentiate, organize and recall elements of the environment around them. Personality then sits atop of this type.
But what is personality? – Personality is the byproduct of our nature and environment to create attitudes, opinions, conditioned responses, defense mechanisms, avoidances, affinities, habits, and all manner of aesthetic ideologies – whether they be about “beauty”, “truth”, “love” or similar topics. An example of a personality theory would be the Enneagram. These theories use behavioral traits to describe a person in minute detail. Personality theories are able to give people an uncanny feeling of resonance because they describe the specifics about their lifestyle, emotions and reactions. Here are some examples of statements of personality:
Loneliness, desire for mental connection, high intellect, perfectionistic tendencies — all of these are personality traits, true as they may be for some, and cannot denote Type. Cognitive Type does not offer such specificity into people’s unique traits as acquired through life. Type describes the broader, overall processing which a type uses — and the same processing algorithm can exist in people with very diverse personalities. Because of this, we shouldn’t measure Type based on whether a given profile description sounds “just like me”, since hundreds of personalities can emerge from the same type, and people may not always relate to the way their type is most typically described.
The Quest for Personal Identity
Cognitive Type cannot be learned by putting oneself front and center. This is because CT is not a model about you — and it doesn’t center around giving people a sense of identity. It’s about everyone and how psychologies compare to one another. A lot of people, quite understandably, approach typology for the purpose of discovering their place among everyone else. But what that approach does is lead the individual to select “who they are” based on what their internal journey feels about itself — not by any objective standard. If we start from this self-focus, we then branch outward and make sense of everyone else’s type by using ourselves as the reference point. We find people who appear the same type as us, but who instead simply possess the same personality traits. Finding such people is important, but it happens to not be the reality of cognitive type.
Vultology, although brand new, is a field of study where we can learn everything about types without needing to tie them subjectively back to oneself. What you do instead is you relate people to other people and see where the differences in processing lie.
For practitioners of vultology, the process involves reading dozens of people and differentiating them by what their functions and energetic qualities are. The results will show groups of types who have different personalities, but they deduce reality from the same place. However, having the same type does influence a person’s lifepath to some degree, causing individuals to form similar personalities when their environments have not been extreme. These personality types are what the CT book designates as subtypes, but such subtypes are meant only to offer some perspective as to how these psychologies manifest generally.
Examples of Fallacies in Reading
Anecdote: Cognitive Type makes itself open to incredibly thorough investigation. Assertions have multiple angles of confirmation or rejection available to them and can be disputed with a proper methodology. For example, if a person is typed as SeTi then there is a large amount of context from which to measure this assertion. The person asserting this typing can be asked why they suspect he is SeTi and not NeTi, and the typologist can rightly defend his claim by demonstrating what he believes an NeTi looks like (by presenting an example) and then contrasting the two.
Furthermore, in the case that this single NeTi contrast point is debated as an exception, the typologist has the opportunity to present multiple (say, 10) NeTi examples and another 10 SeTi examples and thus demonstrate that, given these examples, the subject in question more closely resembles the SeTi. From the opposite side of things, the skeptics also have ample opportunity to debunk typings that do not properly stand to such criticism and which are not emerging from a properly formed paradigm.
Before a vultologist can properly defend the legitimacy of any typing, such as NeTi, he or she must know what an SeTi is, what an SiFe is, and the same for all other types. A paradigm must exist which can put these types into context. This is what it means for CT to not be a “personal” theory, but one about the relationship between many people. A person is asserted to be a certain type by how he relates and measures against other people (of similar/different types).
Testing Anecdotal Assertions
Alex: “I don’t think Ne/Si sounds like me. I’m quite a realistic and practical person.”
Alex here has a notion about his own qualities as a person. This is a self-perception. However, since CT defines things in relation to others, we can test this notion for how true it may be in the grander scheme of things.
Jane: “You’re realistic, compared to who?”
Alex: “Well, my mother, my whole family in general…”
Jane: “Yes, I remember your family and your mother. We confirmed the other day that your mother is an FeSi with weakly developed Ti, remember? Could it be that in relation to her, who you interact with the most, you feel yourself to be quite realistic?”
Alex: “Well yes. How else am I supposed to gauge myself?”
Jane: “Well in CT theory, these attributes are given in relation to the whole of humanity.”
Jane: “Someone is considered to be practical, realistic, etc, in relation to other types.”
Jane: “In this case, the comparison is in relation to Se/Ni users.”
Here we see an example of how the “Personal” manifests. A person’s self-perception is usually centered around their own anecdotal experience. Thus, when the qualities and terminologies in CT are described to them, they won’t be relating them to the entire population. Alex, the NeTi, may consider himself realistic, practical and an observer of the plethora of detail around him. This may be true in his immediate environment, but he might change his opinion if he is asked to compare himself against many SeTi, NiTe or TeNi individuals — as well as other NeTi’s.
CT is about coming to understand your place in the world by understanding the overall human collective. We cannot get a more accurate account of where we fall, if not in relation to others. Our self-perceptions and self-assertions otherwise become myopic and biased. We fail to listen and observe the outside, and select what we think of ourselves based on what we wish to think or where we compare amidst a small sample size – not by what may be most true overall.
Properly contextualizing yourself in this way opens up a world of wisdom and empathy — but it does take a lot of effort and deliberation toward understanding others.