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Introverted complexity No. 47
17 July 2008

by Sergei Ganin

This article was initially intended to show a simple way of how to easily distinguish between Judging and Perceiving type of people. However during its preparation, the author came across an interesting material from the book entitled "The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® - A critical review and practical guide" by Rowan Bayne (Chapman & Hall 1995). The material was entitled "Introverted complexity No. 47". Here is the citation from the above mentioned book:

"...The title of this section is Kroeger's (undated) tongue-in-cheek title for an article on introverts. In the article, he develops an implication of the idea that introverts' dominant functions are introverted; he argues that there is inevitably a conflict between the demand of the external world and the time and space needed by the dominant, and that an overactive auxiliary and a neglected dominant may be the result. Moreover, everyone, including the introvert themselves, may believe that the auxiliary is actually the dominant, which would be another kind of false type development. Kroeger suggests two sets of diagnostic questions to try to prevent or at least recognize a neglected dominant. For IJs they are:
  1. Do you find yourself pushed to finish what you start?
  2. Do you have trouble setting yourself apart and relaxing?
  3. Would you rather do a job yourself than trust it to someone else?
  4. Would you rather schedule your private time rather than just let it happen?
  5. Would you rather take charge of an event and move it towards completion?
For IPs, Kroeger suggests the following questions:
  1. Do you find yourself following the moment?
  2. Is your day more 'starts' than follow-throughs?
  3. Is your life 'piles' of things to do someday?
  4. Do you have trouble finding time for yourself?
  5. Do you 'best laid plans often times go astray'?
He suggests that three or more 'yes' answers to the appropriate set of questions is a good indication that Introverted Complexity No. 47 is gaining on you - probably in an insidious way. It is easy to believe that the outside world is more important but introverts believe this at their peril and should not be 'led astray' - dominated - by their auxiliaries. Therefore IPs and those who know them benefit from their focusing on and finishing things most of the time (in a sense IPs are really Js) and IJs and those who know them benefit from their being unfocused and relaxed and not worrying about finishing things and schedules most of the time (in a sense IJs are really Ps).

No one has published research on this aspect of type dynamics yet. It would require a good measure of stress, a group of IJs and IPs and perhaps an interview about dominant and auxiliary. Another implication is that it would sometimes be 'cleaner' to do research on dominant functions with extraverts only..."


So the MBTI® J/P problem for introverts does "officially" exist too. In case you have not quite understood what this is all about - if a person scores as INTJ on MBTI, it is not known if the J means that their dominant function is Intuition (as in MBTI INTJ) or Thinking (as in MBTI INTP). So Kroeger proposed a set of questions in order to determine which one is which. If the person answers 'yes' to the first set of questions, then they most likely to be P rather than J.

There is an easier solution to either J/P problem, whether it is for the introverts or extroverts. It really is a significant breakthrough in understanding of the type, which came after many years of research into Socionics. The most important and vital difference between J and P people is in the way they handle two of the four major aspects of the life - physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. The table below summarises this:

Peculiarity Socionics MBTI
Often feel the need but find it rather difficult to maintain a steady balance between the physical and spiritual self. I . . j
E . . j
I . . P
E . . J
Often feel the need but find it rather difficult to maintain a steady balance between the emotional and intellectual self. I . . p
E . . p
I . . J
E . . P
Please note: this table is true only when comparing MBTI type dynamics with the Socionics modelling.

This principle has also been incorporated into the Socionics Type Assistant's "Decider" section as a last resort when automatic scoring was inconclusive, giving the user an opportunity to decide their J/P preference for themselves.
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