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.

To book me for MBTI consultations–find my Calendly on the sidebar or here!

For more of my content, you know where to find me:

  1. Youtube
  2. LinkedIn
  3. Blog
  4. Etsy
  5. Thinkific

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