Credit: quotes & bullets borrowed from celebritytypes.com and expounded upon in an understandable format
If you haven’t already, read my Mistyping post for further input on what mistakes to avoid when typing people.
#1 “All scientists are NT types”
(and that all NT types are good at science)
Interestingly enough, some of my favourite scientists are xNFPs (Albert Einstein, for instance). People often assume that all NTs are extremely intelligent (not true), and that any F type is automatically less intelligent. On the contrary, intelligence spans both ways, as we discussed as my MBTI Types as Geniuses post.
INTJs to have the highest collective IQ, but that does not mean that people of other types can’t have high intelligence as well.
xNFP scientists are some of my favourite because they have such a different perspective on science –it’s passionate in a beautiful sort of way that doesn’t always show visibly in NTs.
There are a lot of S-type scientists out there too. Se-users are particularly good when it comes to observable data, and Si users are extremely detail oriented, so there.
“Like stupidity … [intelligence] is not a function, but a modality; the word tells us no more than how a function is working, not what is functioning.” – Jung: Psychological Types §949
#2 “Any creative or thoughtful person must be an N type”
It’s often assumed that if you have any creativity at all, you must be an N-type, and if you are an S-type, you must be un-introspective and un-creative. This assumption makes sense according to Tumblr logic, but it is undeniably false.
There are many extremely creative people who are sensors. I’ve known many very thoughtful artists in this realm, and many gifted and deep writers have mesmerized thousands of people with their S-type writing.
ISTPs often come up with brilliant out-of-the-box solutions for urgent problems, and this is what makes them so good at reacting in the moment. They’re not the only ones either.
Do you think the author of The Hunger Games was an N-type? How about the author of Forever War? Probably not. Are they creative artists? Absolutely.
I have known many wonderful xSFP artists, who each expressed their creative visions immaculately. I have also known many xxSJs with incredibly wide and beautiful imaginations.
“Jung attaches great importance to the creative activity of fantasy, which he even puts in a category of its own, because in his opinion it cannot be subordinated to any of the four basic functions, but partakes of them all. He rejects the usual notion that artistic inspiration is limited to the intuitive type. … Fantasy is indeed the source of all creative inspiration, but it is a gift that can come to any of the four types.” – Jolande Jacobi: The Psychology of C.G. Jung, 1942
#3 “Physical characteristics are relevant to Jungian typology”
I re-lose my faith in humanity every time I read any Tumblr post the assumes physical characteristics have anything to do with Jungian cognitive functions. People often try to judge a person’s personality type based on what they wear or what kind of face they have.
Some assume that anyone who wears a lot of black must be either an INTJ or an INFP. Don’t know where that logic came from….probably a misled Ti function.
Furthermore, they look at someone’s face and say, “Hmm…that person has a really honest looking face, so they couldn’t be a T-type.” Oh…I can’t tell you how much it hurts to hear that.
“Jung’s typology omits any reference to bodily characteristics and is confined to the classification of normal psychic data. This should be noted.” – E.A. Bennet: What Jung Really Said, 1967
#4 “Introspection (N) is the same as Introversion (I). Introverts are more introspective than Extroverts”
People often make the mistake of assuming that extraverts aren’t introspective, that they’re all shallow and loud and…well frankly, this is a poor estimation of reality.
“[In typology, there is an] error of confusing extraversion (E) with observation (S) and introversion (I) with introspection (N).” – David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II, 1998
This I believe, is the mistake that Charity (of funkymbtifiction) has done in her attempts to type Sherlock. Her current profile for him labels him as an ESTP simply because he’s observant, needing to constantly be doing something new, and not particularly introspective.
Then, there are the extraverts that believe they are introverts merely because society tells them they must be introverted if they introspect. My ESFP and ESTJ relations do this quite frequently, but this mentality is based on false generalizations.
“An extravert’s [introspection] is especially genuine and and especially pure and deep. Extraverts are often so proud of this that they boast loudly about what great introverts they are. They try to make it a feather in their cap – which is [again] quite extraverted.” – Marie-Louise von Franz: Lectures on Jung’s Typology, 1971
#5 “Cognitive preference dictates ability”
“All Thinking types are smart.” Wrong again.
Not all xSTPs are great with tools and mechanics, not all xNTJs are great entrepreneurs or strategists. Not all xNFPs work in creative fields.
The Jungian cognitive functions merely dictate how your thought process works. This doesn’t necessarily have an impact on the content of your thoughts, or the context in which you choose to apply that thought process.
Don’t be my ESFP brother, who looks at his INTJ friend and says. “You should know! You’re an INTJ.” Realize that just because a person has a certain ability, does not mean they have a certain thought process. Likewise, just because a person has a certain cognitive function doesn’t mean they will have all the abilities canonically associated with that function.
#6 “Specific behaviour determines type”
“All control-freaks are Te-doms.”
“Anyone who does anything kind must be an F-type.”
“All INTJs want to take over the world.”
“All emo kids are xNFPs.”
“Anyone who can act crazy must be an extravert.”
As I’ve said before, one can never determine the contents of a man’s mind by merely witnessing his actions, nor can you determine the truth of a man’s soul by judging only his words. To know him, we must compare the falsehoods of his words to the falsehoods of his actions.
“One might consider an individual to be an extravert, because he displays in reactions and superficial character those qualities and tendencies which we associate with the extravert type. … [But sometimes] careful observation … will reveal … an unconsciously constructed disguise.” – Beatrice Hinkle, The Re-Creating of the Individual, 1923
“Since I am not a behaviourist, I take leave to suppose that you are still very far from the real man when you observe only his behaviour. I regard behaviour as a mere husk that conceals the living substance within.” – C.G. Jung: Civilization in Transition §967
“… while Se types will on average have a greater affinity for extreme sports, one cannot say that because a given person has an affinity for extreme sports, that then makes him an Se type. An affinity for extreme sports is a piece of mental contents. The process that led the person to take an interest in extreme sports is a mental process. When we set out to determine someone’s psychological type, we are trying to determine their mental processes [functions]. If we were simply relying on a static checklist of mental contents, then we would be employing a behavioristic approach. And Jungian typology is not behaviorism.” – CelebrityTypes Admin Team, Typings in King: ‘Jung’s Four and Some Philosphers,’ 2013
#7 “I can be a typology expert after two weeks of study”
I’ve said this before. Nobody can learn MBTI in a mere month. There are plenty of idiots out there who will claim otherwise, some of them even INTJs (immature ones). Never take someone’s word based on their type. Read what they write and make a calculated judgment about the accuracy of their perception before trusting them as a valid source of information.
I am an INTJ and will admit that it took me several months to fully understand the Meyers-Briggs theory. Sure, like those other immature folk out there, I understood the basics after a week, but I was also mature enough to recognize what I did not know.
Comprehending the big picture is not the same as understanding. To truly understand, we must understand both the big picture and the details.
“Temperament … is a very difficult subject which most psychologists are glad to leave alone.” – William MacDougal, Introduction to Social Psychology, 1921
“[Typing someone] requires a fine diagnostic sense.” – Beatrice Hinkle, The Re-Creating of the Individual, 1923
“[There are some who] desire to possess profound knowledge without profound effort in thinking.” – Cosma Shalizi, Review of Paul Krugman’s ‘Pop Internationalism,’ 1998
#8 “All great military commanders are N dominant”
One doesn’t have to be an INTJ to be great in warfare. In fact, I think most INTJs would prefer to avoid using their strategic abilities in war.
The guy who beat us British folk in the American Revolutionary war was an xSTJ (George Washington). They say the ISTJ is the ultimate soldier, but it isn’t only xSTJs who can make great military careers.
Napoleon Bonaparte was most definitely an S-type.
“There are men who, by their … make-up, create for themselves a complete picture built upon a single detail. Whatever … other good qualities they may have, nature has not marked them for the command of armies.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, The Military Maxims, 1827
“One outstanding member of the [ISJ] type is a two-star general. His well-balanced [Si] gives him … the shock-absorbing mental robustness, which is the first requirement for a general … the painstaking attention to administration and supply, … and the strict realism of sensing.” – Isabel Myers, Gifts Differing, 1980
#9 “Personality Disorders aren’t a Factor”
Some of you may have noticed that I always make a point to mention any mental illnesses or disorders that plague the characters I type. The Book Addict’s Guide to MBTI includes plenty of posts tagged with after-notes discussing PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder etc.
However, there are a large number of “expert” typers out there who fail to take such things into account when they set out to type characters. Disorders of the mood, or any disorder that causes a person to experience intense emotions of any kind tend to cause inexperienced typers to assume F-type. For example, they fail to point out Hamlet’s depression and so type him as an F-type, or they don’t recognize Katniss’s PTSD and type her as an ISFJ rather than an ISTJ.
Another common mistake is to assume that anyone with traits in line with Narcissistic Personality Disorder must be an Fi-user. Or assuming that characters with OCD traits must be an Si-user. Or that characters with traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder must be introverts.
In fact, the assumption is often that any character possessing traits of a mental illness must be an introvert (without a mental illness).