September 6th, 2006

eyes black and white

MBTI decoded

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  • SJ people, the vast majority, are "Guardians": they ensure the preservation of an order made of concrete actions. The argument they are most sensitive to is appeal to authority, if only the authority of history: does your proposal have an established track record?
  • NF people, the next most frequent (on the Internet at least), are "Idealists": they move the world according to abstract associations-dissociations. The argument they are most sensitive to is appeal to emotion: does your proposal promote good and repel evil?
  • SP people, the next most frequent, are "Artisans": they craft things together according to experience. The argument they are most sensitive to is demonstration by example: show me how your proposal works in practice.
  • NT people, the least frequent, are "Rationals": they try to understand the world in terms of abstract causes and consequences. The argument they are most sensitive to is a articulate reasoning: explain why your proposal works.

That doesn't mean that no SJ is sensitive to emotion, example or reason, or that no NT can see virtue in authority, example or emotion, etc. It means that each one has a strong gut feeling that ultimately boils down to the kind of argument one feels most empathy with, and will distrust other kinds of arguments when they conflict with one's gut feeling.

That also means that if you want to spread ideas on the large of a whole population, you need to combine all four kinds of arguments into a common discourse.

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