The 4 Perceiving Functions - In a Box

The 4 Perceiving Functions - In a Box

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This is a discussion on The 4 Perceiving Functions - In a Box within the Articles forums, part of the Announcements category; I have been thinking about this since the time I've read about Ne being "outside the box" and Ni being ...

  1. #1

    The 4 Perceiving Functions - In a Box

    I have been thinking about this since the time I've read about Ne being "outside the box" and Ni being "about the box". I think it is a fairly accurate idea and it matches my understanding of the 2 functions. I have also added here the 2 sensing functions and tried to lay them out in the hypothetical box. The examples that I will use to illustrate are based on how people looks at interpersonal relationships, in order to add an F flair (though of course, I may have a bias towards Fe) to the functions, instead of the usual T bias that comes when a thinker explains the functions.

    Let us first define the box as the set of all "normal" human relationships. So here it goes:

    1. Si

    Si starts with an exact single point in the box. Everything that is later encountered must be defined in relation to this original point. When evaluating a new point in the box, there must be something in it that can be defined according to the original point.
    It will stay out of weird possibilities (outside the box) that cannot be comprehended realistically in relation to the points inside the box. This makes Si very hard to change as it must redefine its whole preconceived system of points when it encounters unfamiliar situations.

    Thus, if Si were to be represented graphically, it would look like a set of points all inside the box, all connected by individual lines leading to the origin.

    Our young ISFJ

    When our young ISFJ sees that his mother always prepares his bath towel in order to prepare him for bathing, he takes note of such fact. He notes that his mother likes vanilla ice cream with rice sprinkles on top. He is aware that she likes to watch Latino telenovelas. He also notices that she gets mad when he plays with his toys up to 10 pm. And so on.. This set of facts make up his view on how his mother acts, and therefore helps him to deal with her. All of his actions in relation to his mother are all calculated based on whether he wants to please his mother or annoy her a bit.

    When the ISFJ meets other people, say, a neighbor, he will operate on the same lens as he viewed his mother before. What sort of shows that she watches regularly? What is her favorite ice cream flavor? Will she also get angry if I stay up late? And so on...This body of facts will also be automatically stored as the "right things to do when I'm with X neighbor"

    The ISFJ is a bit cautious about change, because every person must be defined meticulously from the ground up. All of the facts must be encountered and stored again in order for it to be effective. But once it does, be ready to be amazed by its "precision, accuracy, and consistency"

    2. Ni


    Ni does not single out on one single point as Si does, but chooses to see "about the box"--its edges and corners that define the whole box. It believes that in doing so, all there is to know will be understood. It does not concern itself with a single point because "it's just like any point out there, so it's all the same, it's also bounded by the same boundaries in the box, so the same rule applies". It is also fearful of change like Si, but in a different way. It fears not when it encounters new points but when the whole box itself changes. Because, if it does change, then it has to remodel a whole worldview to integrate not only the previous box, but the new set of points added or removed by the change.

    Our young INFJ
    (I will be using myself as an example) When I was a child, I was not that much aware of the little details that make my mom happy or sad as the ISFJ in the first example. But I knew that everything that she does for me all comes from the fact that she genuinely cares for me. Therefore, being young and naive, I casually assumed that every mother cares for her child genuinely. Therefore I faced the world with optimism and zest, believing that everyone out there is good. All human relationships are beneficial, and that I must go out there to experience and benefit from them. I don't have to know that this person likes this game or not...All I was guided by was with this optimistic idea about humankind.

    But later I hear of moms abusing their kids, teenage bitches who abort, etc... I was depressed and could not stand it. Therefore, now I assumed that all mothers cannot be all good, there are still some rotten kind thrown in there somewhere. And I extended it to humanity in general--that there really are good and bad people amongst us. Thus I became more cynical and now try to hold back myself when I know that there are bad people out there trying to take advantage of me.

    When I reached about 9 or 10, I don't know, something in me said that there really is no good or evil. Every act, which might be mistaken as really good or really evil, are all the same, that they are the result of the individual wills trying to live a life in this world. Everyone has his own sense or idea of how he can live his life. What distinguishes good from evil? Nothing, I said. Then why is stealing deemed bad? Because it stems from innate fear of losing our possessions. So everybody must "play fair" and not steal from anyone. That is, all the acts that we deem bad can really be traced to our fears, not because of them being "evil" purely per se.

    I am busy for the day and I have to go, so I'm cutting it right here. Probably later in the afternoon (GMT+8), I would continue on Se and Ne, or maybe tomorrow. Feel free to comment though
    OrangeAppled, hornet, ENTPreneur and 71 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Great start so far. You've managed to describe some really insightful and practical examples for the functions, and the post is very well written and easy to understand.

    I agree with your definitions. Despite having Ne, I can definitely see your description of Ni working with my ENFJ friend.
    Unicorntopia, run.away.unicorn and HopeisLand thanked this post.

  3. #3

    I can totally relate to that model.
    Whenever I encounter a point outside the box I immediately expand the box to fit it inside.
    Personally I've made a universe box, makes things so much simpler. :)

  4. #4

    So far, so very good.... Cant wait to read about Se and Ne... :-)
    Kharyzmatiq thanked this post.

  5. #5

    Good stuff. Keep it up.

  6. #6

    Before I continue with Ne and Se, let us first summarize Si and Ni, taken as a group, for us to be able to compare it with Ne and Se later on. (I have to refrain from using the box in this intervening section)

    Aside from the obvious fact that they are of opposing orientations, ie. introvert-extravert counterparts of each other, Ni and Si are dom/aux functions for the J's as Ne and Se are for the P's.

    Si and Ni views the world as incredibly complex. Thus, both functions tend to simplify things around in order to deal with the situation properly. To be able to do this, they both sift data meticulously in order to arrive at one particular conclusion, and after that, make a decision and act accordingly. Once goals are decided and the best possible course of action is articulated, then it would be very hard to change the mind of a J. This makes them naturally decisive about things. Introverted perception is very hard to persuade by mere outside evidence alone. Both functions devalue the outside object and look for what really is going on and focus on how the object releases visions on the inside, and not on how the object looks like on the outside. I can speak here for Ni, as it constantly reinterprets things encountered on the outside and deem them as something else other than what they purport to be. Like music is nothing else but a series of tones that have "agreeably pleasant" tones, that the same tones can be found both in a noisy setting, such as traffic noise in a busy downtown area and a wonderful orchestra, only with the tones rearranged in order to form these "agreeably pleasant" music.

    We can also notice that both deal with the world on a linear, one-by-one basis. Si, as mentioned in the ISFJ example has to build systems from the ground up, adding details one at a time to have a feel of the whole. Ni converges seemingly contrasting interpretations into one meta-perspective. Both functions do this, again, to keep things simple. They don't explore the surroundings for an answer.They already have it inside their heads (again, Si and Ni being introverted perception functions) after much deliberation, and all that is left is to act on those convictions on the outside world through Te or Fe. J's, when faced with a situation that they know contrasts with what they think should be, act through Te and Fe and reorder the world to match what their Si or Ni tells them. This is why J's are said to be directive and controlling.

    For Si and Ni, there is only one truth. And in an ideal situation for them, where there's no change, the truth itself must not change. Everything that is encountered is measured in relation to this one truth through Te or Fe. Te, for instance, when it has decided that a particular juice product must have x% of juice concentrate, then the determination that any given juice product has passed quality standards in a factory will be simple. Less or more than x%, reject. Within an acceptable limit from x%, accept. It becomes simple also because there is one truth--acceptable juice only comes in x% of concentrate, nothing more, nothing less.


    I'm not busy this night, I just want to lay back and rest. I guess I would have to procrastinate on this one and put off the remaining 2 for tomorrow. Sorry, please don't hate me for the chopped-up discussion.
    OrangeAppled, ENTPreneur, Zero11 and 22 others thanked this post.

  7. #7

    You know.... I understand I will be rolled in tar and feather for this, but this "simplification" of the world - as you so elegantly and from my experience correctly state amongst Js - in my "P"-book comes very close to being a bit narrowminded and... well.... almost a bit more stupid than the open mindedness of a P.

    Then again, what is intelligence, right? And from what perspective do I state this...? As a Ne-dom I find narrow-mindedness incredibly frustrating and stupid; almost the basis of most evil in the world, and all prejudice. At the same time, Js are doers too, and their somewhat simplified world image make decision-making easier.... passing Judgement... more Black or White so to speak.

    The more POV you can hold in your head, the harder it is to pass Judgement, and this easily leads to Procrastination - the P disease.

    Also: If you read "Blink" by Gladwell (I GUESS he is ENTP), he salutes Ne (or N) and elegantly points out the value of knowing WHAT info is relevant to a situation compared to amassing maximum info (SJ way) to make decisions. This is a form of simplification... and it involves subconscious "judgement" of what data is relevant and not. This is heavy ENTP stuff too.... I guess that that is what INTJs/INFJs do, but they seem unable to hold as many POVs in the head at the same time, and darn near uneasy when it comes to seeing the infinite web of Possibilities that the different POVs evaluate and judge differently. THIS inability to do what us Ne-users comfortably handle daily is what seem ... a bit crippling mentally.

    But then again, you Ni:sreally wish to find the Truth, the One way, and realize that. Us Ne:s, we are almost addicted and lost in these webs of possibilities and sits drooling and procrastinating....:-)

    What is smart and not is also a POV. I am cool with that. Just wanted to throw a match into the dry grass.... And judge the judgers a bit...:-)

  8. #8

    ^ yeah no.
    For myself, I find it questionable to call it simplifying, since that encourages that problematic kind of typism - instead I like the idea of shifting to an appropriate scale. Is the topic about forests? Well then, I won't talk about individual trees, I will talk about forests. Does it mean I cannot see trees? Of course not. Do I think all trees are identical? Of course not. If the topic shifts to trees, then I will look at trees. Until then I am interested in forests as an entity. It's not about blindness, but about focus. It's like physics - pretend the object is a sphere etc. A tactical decision to arrive at a perfectly adequate answer - indeed, rather necessary to arrive at an answer at all within a reasonable time frame. But everyone knows that it's not a sphere, so it's not blindness. And someone pointing out that it isn't a sphere is being irrelevant, patronising, or nit-picky. Someone thinking you don't know it isn't a sphere is really failing to understand. Someone who is more interested in mapping out exactly the miniscule differences the irregular shape causes - have fun, but I am not interested in doing that myself unless it is a topic I really care about and until I have mapped out the basic idea, though I might value the information for curiosity's sake - or if it ever actually is important enough to shift a decision.

    You know of the entire fractal, but you only use one scale at a time. Doesn't mean you cannot shift scales - or indeed, shift fractals. And it doesn't mean that once you lock into a scale, you are blinded to the others. But it's no longer a fractal if at each scale it is something different. Ni is completely about holding multiple POVs - but normally at the level of worldview, not attaching them to each little incident, small-scale. It is about manipulating them and shifting them - only big ones that remain consistent all the way down. But you can always find a different one that works at one scale if another doesn't. &c.
    Zero11, Agelaius, Catfish and 22 others thanked this post.

  9. #9

    In that case, using that open minded POV of yours would you therefore say that judgers are more likely to be the source of evil in their 'all or none' black & white thinking state? In other words, do you suspect a correlation between crime and the judging function?
    Quote Originally Posted by ENTPreneur View Post
    You know.... I understand I will be rolled in tar and feather for this, but this "simplification" of the world - as you so elegantly and from my experience correctly state amongst Js - in my "P"-book comes very close to being a bit narrowminded and... well.... almost a bit more stupid than the open mindedness of a P.

    Then again, what is intelligence, right? And from what perspective do I state this...? As a Ne-dom I find narrow-mindedness incredibly frustrating and stupid; almost the basis of most evil in the world, and all prejudice. At the same time, Js are doers too, and their somewhat simplified world image make decision-making easier.... passing Judgement... more Black or White so to speak.

    The more POV you can hold in your head, the harder it is to pass Judgement, and this easily leads to Procrastination - the P disease.

    Also: If you read "Blink" by Gladwell (I GUESS he is ENTP), he salutes Ne (or N) and elegantly points out the value of knowing WHAT info is relevant to a situation compared to amassing maximum info (SJ way) to make decisions. This is a form of simplification... and it involves subconscious "judgement" of what data is relevant and not. This is heavy ENTP stuff too.... I guess that that is what INTJs/INFJs do, but they seem unable to hold as many POVs in the head at the same time, and darn near uneasy when it comes to seeing the infinite web of Possibilities that the different POVs evaluate and judge differently. THIS inability to do what us Ne-users comfortably handle daily is what seem ... a bit crippling mentally.

    But then again, you Ni:sreally wish to find the Truth, the One way, and realize that. Us Ne:s, we are almost addicted and lost in these webs of possibilities and sits drooling and procrastinating....:-)

    What is smart and not is also a POV. I am cool with that. Just wanted to throw a match into the dry grass.... And judge the judgers a bit...:-)

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by purplevelvetmask View Post
    In that case, using that open minded POV of yours would you therefore say that judgers are more likely to be the source of evil in their 'all or none' black & white thinking state? In other words, do you suspect a correlation between crime and the judging function?
    Mmm. No, not really. And there is not always a correlation between crime and evil; motivation and intent is everything (needing food on thnetable etc). Evil does not even have to be criminal, unfortunately.

    When it comes to crime: SPs and NPs are perhaps more impulsive which would factor in (NPs marginally, SPs most). But when it comes to systematic "evil" like Abu Ghraib, the Holocaust and most "Us against Them", then Judgement is a key instrument to judge the other party not human, and THEN you can start doing nasty stuff.... Although of course no one is safe from Society-wide propaganda like the Nazis, Japanese (pre WWII), the USA (well...still not out of it really...Did I say FOX news...no?) perhaps even Israel I guess...

    Gosh I am in an argumentative mood today.... throwing sticks everywhere...:-) Dont mind me...


 

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