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Notes on V.I.
22 March 2007

by Sergei Ganin

Quote: "...V.I. (Visual Identification) is the fastest and most reliable method of Type identification of today...". Apparently this particular statement appears to be largely misunderstood by sceptics. What this means is that in comparison with all other existing methods of Type identification, V.I. is the fastest and most reliable (in comparison!). And of course it is not 100% bullet proof. Even the experts can make mistakes using V.I. So imagine what the other methods are like in comparison - the Stone Age! But having said that, there is no way one can master V.I. on their own without mastering the Stone Age basics first.

Some narrow-minded people say that V.I. cannot be possible because looks are genetic. It is partially true (not that V.I. is impossible but that looks are genetic). However, ask two artists to paint the same portrait with the same palette. Even if the portraits end up looking identical, upon closer examination you should be able to notice different brush strokes, different techniques or different style. In V.I. one does not look at what is obvious: "Oh look, he has got no chin and she has got an upturned nose!" In V.I. one looks past the obvious. Once you are able to recognise what to look for then the rest becomes rather rudimentary. Some people are naturally observant and can grasp the essence of V.I. fairly quickly, some need more time and some are pretty useless.

Some people claim they can V.I. by a single photograph, which undoubtedly involves lots of guessing. A single photograph could be useful as it can give many clues as to which Type a person on the photo is, but it can not be definitive. Only in very rare cases might a single photograph be enough. Also, it is essential to know the handedness of a person. Without it the photo could be pretty useless. But because majority of people are genuinely right-handed, it almost works in majority of cases. Glasses, hats, makeup, plastic surgeries, photo manipulations can throw even the expert off course. This is why it is necessary to have more information about a person than a single photo. A video, for example, already contains tons and tons of useful information. Meeting someone in person is highly recommended.

V.I. is very intuitive method of Type identification. Imagine the equation with hundreds of variables. When everything falls into place - you just know. When something is not quite right - you just know. There is no way to explain this feeling, you have to experience it to understand. There is also no mystery in how intuition works. It relies on your memory and experience. Each variable in the equation is what you know about Type. The more you know the more accurate the prognosis will be. Intuition takes all the variables and processes them all at once. Bang!, and you get the answer in a form of gut-feeling. It is up to you then to verify the answer. This is why it is important that what you know about Type is quality data.

In conclusion, V.I. takes time to master. If you want to learn V.I. be prepared to admit you might be wrong. Only this way you can keep an open mind and maintain the right attitude towards this method.
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