Personality Type and Political Party

Personality Type can explain political differences

There are so many studies that have quantified political party based on every minute factor imaginable. Personality type is no exception. Some have gone so far as to use brain imaging technology to predict what party you likely support.

Helen Fisher Quote: “There is more and more data indicating that there is a  biological basis to your political views.” (7 wallpapers) - Quotefancy

I want to take a look at political affiliation through the lens of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, but dive down into the cognitive functions and use them as archetypes for the parties. My sincere belief is that personality type is a key factors in understanding the differences between party ideologies, and has been sorely under-recognized for decades.

Cognitive Functions

Within typology, there exists what is known as cognitive functions, of which there are eight. They are:

• Ni – Introverted iNtuition (Vision)
• Ne – Extraverted iNtuition (Exploration)
• Ti – Introverted Thinking (Accuracy)
• Te – Extraverted Thinking (Action)
• Fi – Introverted Feeling (Values)
• Fe – Extraverted Feeling (Harmony)
• Si- Introverted Sensing (Memory)
• Se- Extraverted Sensing (Sensation)

Each of these cognitive functions represents a certain cognitive ability, along with distinguishable traits that are associated. With the help of Personality Hacker, I have added their labels to help characterize each of these cognitive functions in a way that makes it easily accessible to us.

Personality Hacker: Harness the Power of Your Personality Type to Transform  Your Work, Relationships, and Life - Kindle edition by Witt, Joel Mark,  Dodge, Antonia. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @

The two I want to focus on for this article are Extraverted Feeling (Fe) and Extraverted Thinking (Te). The Feeling (F) and Thinking (T) functions within the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator world are known as our judging functions. Think of these as the way we make decisions.

Very simply put, Extraverted Thinking (Te) is making decisions based on efficiency, allocation of resources, and return on investment (ROI). Extraverted Feeling (Fe) is making decisions based on the impact it will have on people, always considering the larger group.

Using Jung’s model, these two decision making processes are opposed to each other, as you would not be able to use them both at the same time. Consider that Fe is using subjective criteria, while Te is using objective criteria. It’s not possible to use them both equally at the same time.

The Political Parties

I want to make the point that the Democratic party is a party of Extraverted Feeling (Fe), while the Republican party is a party of Extraverted Thinking (Te). Of course, there is no right or wrong way to make a decision, but it helps to classify the political divide from a Jungian-Briggs point of view.

Reaching Across the Aisle - The Christian Post

When we speak of reaching “across the aisle,” what I think we should frame our mindset around is recognizing as much of the other side’s cognitive processes in our own decision making as possible. The common criticism of the “other side” is that they are either too soft or too callous. To me, these critiques scream of Extraverted Feeling being in opposition with Extraverted Thinking.

The Solution

In healthy Type Development, we first have to identify our blind spots, and be completely transparent with where we are underdeveloped. Only then, can we begin the process of taking any action. Once we define them, we can take action to develop ourselves.The point is to recognize our blind spots and work on having awareness when they pop up into our consciousness. When I work with clients, I lay out 30/60/90 day plans that include easy goals and stretch goals.

The advantage of having a curious mindset | The Padfield Partnership

In the same way that I would write out a plan for a client, I would write out a plan for the political parties to bridge the gap in understanding and decision-making.

The point I always make to groups or individuals is this: other Types are not stupid or purposely malicious when they misunderstand or have a different perspective than you do. They fundamentally view the world around them in a different way. As you learn more about your Type in relation to others, you acquire more patience and empathy for them.

This is the starting point for reducing political strife.


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Does your personality type change?

According to Jung’s theory, it does not, it merely evolves.

Does your personality type change? Well, some people think it does but, if we stick to the Jungian theory, it does not.

There are many ways where it can seem like one’s Type has changed throughout life, and there are circumstances which will cause a “mistyping.” I will enumerate those here, but the short answer is that Type does not change.

Theory of Type Development

By the time you’re around 16 years old, you’ve pretty much solidified your innate preferences. Innate meaning that you PREFER to do things a certain way. Life, your job, your childhood nurturing phase of development, all contribute to skewing your results on the MBTI assessment.

I often hear, “Well, I was ENFJ when I was younger, but now I’m ENFP…” What Jung said, and what Isabel & Catherine Myers said, is basically that there are a couple things that would skew the results to the point that you would say you were a totally different person at 16 than you are now at 40. This is known as “Type Development.” As you experience life, certain parts of your personality develop that were previously hidden in earlier stages of life.

Why Would I Get Skewed MBTI Results?

Some factors that can cause a mistype are:

  • A traumatic or major life event
  • Job change, pregnancy, moving, etc
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Looking at yourself through the lens of your job or how you represent yourself at work

Anything that’s causing you a tremendous amount of stress to the point where you cannot think about yourself outside of the moment you are in while taking the assessment will likely skew results. MBTI is based on the assumption that the person taking the assessment is in a psychologically healthy state.

Administering the MBTI Assessment Correctly

When you administer the assessment as an MBTI Practitioner, the proper way to set expectations is to say “imagine taking this assessment with no one to report to… you’ve got no one standing over your shoulder judging your responses.”

Conclusion

Your Type DOES NOT change. Jung believed that there are 3 phases of development: Phase 1, 2 and 3. Phase 1 is from ages 0 to 30; Phase 2 is from ages 30 to 50; and Phase 3 is ages 50 +. As you go through the phases of life, you will start to develop parts of your personality that were previously unseen when you were younger. These developments can be misconstrued as “changing your type.”

I hope that answers any questions about whether or not type can change.

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On becoming MBTI Certified

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification is useful

Joe Arrigo MBTI Certified Practitioner


I have always been somebody that believed you didn’t need a certification if you already have the practical experience. After all, a certification is just a piece of paper that says you have the median level of competency as assessed by that accredited institution or vendor.

I had been studying MBTI for 2 years prior to getting my certification, so I really didn’t see the need to get it as I felt like I was very much ahead of the class. I had essentially read the entire library of MBTI literature from David Keirsey to Dario Nardi to John Beebe. In my mind, I theoretically had all the concepts locked down.

When I finally bit the bullet and registered for the class, I quickly realized there were many small details that I would not have known without the class. Some of the details are crucial to your professional presentation and administration.

Ethical and Legal

For example, I did not know about the ethical and legal aspects of MBTI, nor did I have the professional know-how to look competent as I was delivering and administering both the test and the subsequent walk-through. I had the theory, but I was missing that logistical administration piece that truly makes you a professional practitioner.

The language of how you give feedback to your client is very important. What tends to happen when you are in “enthusiast mode,” is that you tell people what their Type is, instead of telling them, “Well, you probably prefer introversion over Extraversion, but you have the ability to do both.” During my class, I learned there are specific ways of speaking that both lend credibility and authority to you as a practitioner.

On the practical side of becoming certified, there is the Human Resources box that needs to be checked. When looking to hire an MBTI practitioner for a workshop or coaching session, oftentimes a credentialed professional is required internally to be approved. This ensures that the accredited institution has validated your ability to use the tool and administer it effectively. No matter the fairness of this process, the reality is what it is. I resisted this notion for so long (part of my INTJ personality, no doubt!)

New to Myers-Briggs

Many in the class were part of a larger group that was essentially enrolled by their Director for professional use. This group was part of a career readiness and up-skilling program that was looking to use MBTI as a career guidance tool.

Within this group, some had never heard of MBTI until they took the assessment a week prior. In that case, I do believe the class may feel rigorous and overwhelming with information. Coming in green will probably feel like learning an entire new language that you have to learn in 4 days.

The Final Test

Throughout the course, the instructor highlighted slides that were “important to take notes on,” which is code word for “these will be on the final test.” I found that this was accurate and that paying attention to these throughout the 4 days led to success on the final exam. What is essential to the Myers Briggs Company and the Myers Briggs Foundation is that those who are representing them, do so in an ethical, professional, and formal manner. This criteria manifests itself throughout the final exam.

Conclusion

Overall, it was worth getting the certification to essentially cross my T’s and dot my I’s so there can be no question as to my competency in administering the MBTI assessment. I would recommend certification to those who are already experienced in Typology and for those who are simply enthusiasts.

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How to Figure out your MBTI Function Stack

Joe Arrigo attempts to easily explain this complicated formula

MBTI Function Stack

Video Transcript via Zubtitle:

The MBTI function stack is one of the more advanced concepts within personality and I’ve gotten some requests to explain this in a separate video.

So I want to lay it out as best I can. There are a couple different methods I’ve seen or ways to describe how you figure out the function stack.

Everyone understands when they start digging into MBTI, that there is a way that every type processes information and they all have a unique order, but most people don’t actually know how you figure that out.

And it’s fun to point out how to do it, it’s not necessarily important to know if you’re (just) an enthusiast, but it’s almost a cool party trick just to understand people at a level deeper than “oh, you’re an ENFP. That means you’re the cheerleader.”

Well, I want you to be able to figure out this formula and go, “Oh, they’re Extraverted iNtuition with Introverted Feeling” because you can figure it out using this formula in your head.

So, I’m going to share my screen and I’m going to draw it out as best. I can forgive me my hand writing is pretty terrible. But I’m going to go over a couple examples and we’re going to just start off with the ENTJ.

(Watch the video from this point)

I hope that this helps a little bit there are some activities and then some very good resources I can provide via YouTube and in books that will lay out the formula, but I appreciate you watching. Let me know if this clarifies things or if we’re all now more confused than ever.

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LinkedIn Poll: Where do you get your energy from?

My LinkedIn poll completely surprised me

LinkedIn poll results

I had a completely biased viewpoint going into this poll. My expectations were aligned with what David Keirsey, author of Please Understand Me, concluded was society’s breakdown of Introverts vs Extraverts, which was 75% Extravert, 25% Introvert. For those that didn’t see my intention, this was my attempt at figuring out which people in my network were I’s and E’s.

However, the results were completely mirrored from what Mr. Keirsey found to be true. 76% Introvert and 24% Extravert?!!

How did this happen?

Comments

Some excellent comments need to be highlighted which shed some light on the results, and my errors in the framing of the question.

“Could it be that because you are introverted, the people in your network are also introverted and the results are coming out that way for that reason?”

“I wanted a “both” option, because it depends on how the week went. Sometimes alone time is required, other times, I want to hang out and chat or have a beer.”

“I think it’s dependent on who the other person is. Some people are draining, take your energy without giving any back or they deflect it.

“It might be good to add another option for extroverts that aren’t social, as what fundamentally recharges them is stimulation that triggers the rewards center of the brain and generates dopamine, that can come from others, but it doesn’t necessarily have to either.”

I am BOTH. It depends on what type of recharge I need.”

“I am on the I/E bubble. I can recharge alone OR with a close family member/friend.”

It’s a pretty small sample size. That said, perhaps there’s a bias that more introverted people respond to such written surveys about such things.”

Option 3

Following in the Jungian spirit, my goal was to force an answer in order to get clear results and weed out the fence-sitters. What happened in reality was an overwhelming call for a 3rd option that centered around being “Both, depending on the situation.”

This reaction makes sense, in that nobody can be completely Introverted or Extraverted unless they are in a deep state of mental illness. What I find interesting about the results is the fact that so many respondents needed to clarify why they chose a certain answer, as if choosing a side was somehow limiting or putting them “in a box.”

(Possible) Errors in my poll

Here are some of the faults in my poll:

  • It’s not a representative sample size because my reach is limited to my network
  • 199 respondents is not a large enough data set to get an accurate measure on an entire population
  • Self-reporting is historically inaccurate
  • Introversion vs Extraversion is the hardest dichotomy to force a clear answer

Conclusion

Though this was not a scientifically validated poll, there are takeaways that should be considered relevant on an anecdotal level.

People are dynamic creatures that adapt and change in specific environments and to various stimuli. Thus, trying to force a binary response will be a mixed bag of results, especially when there is not a 3rd option that allows for a “Both, depending on the situation” type answer.

As I mention in my discussions around MBTI and personality, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your Type, and everyone has gifts to share that are highly individualized. Embrace them!


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Personality Tests are a Scam

You cannot improve yourself

Here’s what I know: personality tests are a scam.
Look, you are perfect as you exist right now.
There is no possible way you can improve. You cannot improve your communication with your spouse, or your colleagues, or your boss.
Everything right now is perfect.
So, if anybody comes to you and says,
“You know, if you take the MBTI assessment, you might fix some of the blind spots you have” that is a total scam. Don’t believe it!
Look, everything you’re doing right now cannot be improved.
You have reached the peak performance of your life.
So, don’t believe the hype around “personality tests.”