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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about using an understanding of your inferior cognitive function to figure out your best-fit personality type.

In this podcast you’ll find:

Not uncommon for a person to start doubting their personality type after learning about cognitive functions because they don’t think of their 3-year-old as a blind spot.

When a cognitive function is in the dominant or auxiliary (Driver/Copilot), we have an impetus to pursue it as far down the rabbit hole as it goes. But if it is tertiary or inferior (10 yr old/3 yr old) we are less interested in reaching the acme of those processes.

Car Model

Inferior (3-year-old) ability often comes up for people in situations where environment or context required them to go to 3-year-old a lot.

Each of us is a complex human being with an infinite amount of influencers. Nobody is identical to anybody else.

  • Examples of using Se at its best:
    • Michael Jackson had amazing control over his body. His body was his instrument.
    • Roger Bannister first to break 4-minute mile.
  • INTJ- Te process has them honoring Se more because they recognize their body as a finely tuned instrument that will perform most efficiently when it is kept fit. Because of this, some INTJs question being Se inferior.
  • INFJ – the Inferior process is Se – “Sensation.” Se strength is being in touch with their body wholly. Some INFJs may say they love dancing, yoga, or exercise because they like being in their body. But if you are using Se as a dominant or auxiliary you would have a sophistication with Se that would be far different than occasional use demonstrates.
  • Se at its height can appear super human.
    • The ability to pick up any instrument and play it naturally.
    • Or taste some spices and then know exactly how they should be used and what they pair best with.
    • Improvisation at a level that is unbelievable to those observing.
    • Se mastery doesn’t mean you are good at one of the above. It means you are good at all of the above.
    • Se mastery is transferable. Se inferior could show up as mastery with cooking OR dancing OR music, but rarely is does it span all areas without a large amount of practice and time.
    • Now ask yourself if you would be interested in becoming a master at all things Se.
  • Te “Effectiveness” (inferior for INFP/ISFP) – highly prized in most western civilizations.
    • Te Acme – extraordinary, mind-boggling feat of creating a super highway system with all its on-ramps and off-ramps and making sure it is sustainable for the foreseeable future. Delegating to the necessary skilled labor and getting it all done in the proper order and season.
    • Does that sound like something you would or could do? That is Te at its finest.
  • Fe “Harmony” (inferior for INTP/ISTP) – May seem like a simple cognitive function to master. Most people can tell when someone is emoting or sense the emotions in a room after a conflict has occurred.
    • Fe Acme – David Tutera is a wedding planner extraordinaire. Manages every detail of the wedding and creates the vision of bride and groom. Also, manages emotions of bride/groom and wedding party. Meeting their needs at an ascendant level.
    • The only time you notice Fe is when it isn’t happening. When mom forgets to make lunch.
    • Fe Connects people to a single vision or set of values. Would an IxTP even care about such things?
  • Ne “Exploration” (inferior of ISTJ/ISFJ) a certain level of creativity comes with Ne.
    • Ne Acme – Chris Guillebeau – Art of Nonconformity – officially traveled to every single country on the planet. He had to go to great lengths to design a life that supported this goal.
    • Robin Williams could improvise content for an extended period of time on stage. Skill development as well as natural talent.
    • The acme of Ne. Ability to deal well with novelty. Handle self expertly no matter what the novelty happens to be.
    • Natural talent, skill built, the desire to build that skill, reframe life to build that skill, and transfer that skill to all areas of life.
  • Si “Memory” (Inferior for ENTP/ENFP) – desire to build precedence and create procedures and maintain tradition. Some ENxPs may have built up the organizational procedures that make them believe they are not Si inferior. Joel Mark Witt has created numerous step-by-step procedures to help his business to function efficiently
    • Si Acme – Martha Stewart turned the ability to create memories into a huge business. Templates to replicate amazing experiences: holidays, home, meals, etc.
    • Would you want to archive the Library of Congress?
    • Si dominants like to reach out and create archives for others as well as selves.
  • Fi “Authenticity” (Inferior of ESTJ/ENTJ) – done well it is about being in touch with how things make you feel. Ethical considerations and artistic self-expression – languageless expressions. ExTJs who question type may be identifying with Fi due to a sense of conviction or art
    • Fi Acme – Anthony Robbins holds long multi-day workshops where he reads and manages emotions of hundreds/thousands of people at one time.
    • Artists who close themselves off from reality and create extraordinary works of art that speak to everyone.
    • Fi Acme can emotion map, hold space, and humanize for large amounts of people at once.
  • Ti “Accuracy” (Inferior of ENFJ/ESFJ) – usually described in basic terms around being good at math/science or being able to teach and be rational. Most people have that capacity.
    • Ti Acme – able to maintain and hold insane amounts of data and clean slice it.
    • See things as pure in a data sense.
    • Look at some of the greatest debaters of all time. The ability to remove all emotional attachment from the thing being debated.
    • Ability to separate own emotional attachments from the data. See data as-is.
  • Ni “Perspectives” (inferior for ESTP/ESFP) – When done well it is about shifting perspectives and seeing things into the distant future. Knowing how your mind and other’s work. Predicting patterns that will develop over time. ESxPs might have some awareness around things and some skill with prediction. ESxPs do have some ability to get into the minds of those they are close to. But the question is, can they translate that to everyone, including strangers on a bus.
    • Ni Acme – Long timelines, deep meanings, deep insight.
    • Can you predict how people in the future will be thinking? Isaac Asimov novels. The ability to get inside the minds of individuals so well that you can predict the kind of world they will be occupying in the future; or the world that they did occupy in the distant past.
  1. Do you feel like you have a natural talent?
  2. Do you feel like you have the skill developed?
  3. Would you change your entire life to develop the skill?
  4. Can you not only read it, but also write it?
  5. And are those skills transferable?

In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about using an understanding of your inferior cognitive function to figure out your best-fit personality type. #podcast #MBTI

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  • Mary
    • Mary
    • April 9, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I know I’m coming across an old podcast here but I hope someone reads this comment. This was one of the most helpful podcast to me personally since I started studying cognitive functions more in depth. I’ve tested INTJ since I can remember and the type fits me pretty well, but I would say I have highly developed SE, to the point that I’ve been wondering if I’m a mistyped ISTP. I was an athlete from the time I was 2 all the way through college (gymnastics and track) and I still run. My main careers can be categorized as coaching, wilderness guiding, and music. I’m a professional musician, piano is my main instrument and I have aptitude for almost all the instruments (except singing…).

    I still feel the INTJ description fits me better, especially because I’m pretty sure Fe is nowhere in my concious stack, and while I enjoy study, I don’t have much patience with Ti when it gets rolling. I’ve also wondered if it’s possible for an inferior function to develop to the level of a parent function, giving me 2 parent functions (Te and Se).

    This is a topic I wish could be discussed more in depth. Obviously humans are all unique and no one fits a type perfectly. To bring it to a practical level of personal development, a deeper understanding of which skills to focus energy and time on would be helpful.

  • Erin
    • Erin
    • August 26, 2017 at 5:50 am

    How off could my test results be? I tested twice with your test as ENFP, but I don’t resonate with that typing at all. I think I could be a ISFP. Have you ever seen an ISFP test as an ENFP? Thank you for any insight on testing versus best fit. Despite constantly testing as ENFP, boy the Acme list for Se is like Breathing to me! I don’t even have to try to master that list, I live it and always have. hehe

  • Joel Mark Witt
    • Joel Mark Witt
    • September 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks Jeanice for the comment and the kind words. I’ve always guessed Anthony Robbins is an extravert (ENFP). That would make Fi his auxiliary (co-pilot) function.

  • Jeanice
    • Jeanice
    • September 14, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I am wondering how Anthony Robbins could have Fi dominant function if he’s an extravert? Is leading workshops really something an introvert would do, or even want to do? I am not trying to be difficult, I promise… I am just confused and trying to gain some clarity. Please help.

    I enjoyed this podcast SO much. I didn’t look at it in the light of inferior function, though. I am trying to figure out my dominant function. I’m really starting to believe it is introverted intuition. That is what really resonated with me. I consistently test out as an INFP, but INFJ just seems to fit me more. But I’m not really understanding why I keep testing as an INFP. If the introverted intuition is my dominant function, however, I guess I am INFJ.

    I don’t know what you think about it, or how much your are familiar with it, but I have also taken the Socionics test, and on that one I come up as INFp, but that is the equivalent of an INFJ on the MBTI test. So, that is something else that leads me to believe that I may be an INFJ instead of INFP.

    I really appreciate this site and all the work you guys have put in to it. I have always been completely fascinated with personality typology. The enneagram is another system that I think is extremely interesting. Take care!

  • Miles O'Brien
    • Miles O'Brien
    • August 17, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Great podcast! I am an ENTJ who draws comics and have developed heavily in the Se and somewhat highly in the Fi. Recently though I have been questioning this career as it’s not that fulfilling. And have been debating to myself what to do with this large amount of talent I have built up in art and stories. Listening to this has given me some closure as I now see that I’m not the only who has developed high skill in something they aren’t deeply interested in and that it’s ok to let this part of my life go.

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