Sunday, February 24, 2008

Myer-Briggs and the Candidates: Obama another Lincoln? Jefferson? Eisenhower?

Slate blogress Emily Yoffe does an MBTI [Myer-Briggs personality type] piece and got my attention, along with many readers in a n online Q&A follow-up:

You have to read the entire piece, but I can attest from my days in the corporate stratosphere at Amoco, at least, that the MBTI is taken mighty seriously by people who can boost or deflate your career tire-pressure.

Yoffe says that Hillary is a "Guardian Supervisor" according to the David Keirsey Corollaries to the MBTI, which sort out the Jungian personality types the Myer-Briggs typology derive from a further declension.

According to Keirsey, 85% of Americans are either Guardians [Hillary] or Artisans [McCain], while a tiny fragment are Idealists [Obama]. But the 15% "Rational/Idealist" slice of the presidential pie has yielded two Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, and Eisenhower. Or as Yoffe notes:
Chicago: Have there ever been a Rational president? Why do you think there have been so few?

Emily Yoffe: Yes, according to the book, Presidential Temperament by Ray Choiniere and David Keirsey, there have been a few: John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Eisenhower. For one thing, there aren't very many Rationals in the general population. Eighty-five percent of people are either Artisans or Guardians according to Keirsey. For another, rationals are more abstract thinkers, so they can be kind of a baffling type to more concrete thinkers.

Interestingly, the MBTI has 16 "types" and the ESTP that McCain has is shared by Teddy R. & FDR, JFK, GWB, and Winston Churchill, just off the top of the deck. Again, the MBTI has about 60% of all leaders in the USA [other countries and cultures have vastly different configurations] in the tiny 4% of the population who are INTJ or ENTJ. The USA is lucky to have so many Guardians and Artisans, but the Rational Idealists like Obama are the "out of the box" types who dream dreams---only in exceptional circumstances do they rise the top:
Taking the ESTJ example above:

* Extraverted function is a Judging function (T-F) because of the overall J preference
* Extraverted function is dominant because of overall E preference
* Dominant function is therefore extraverted Thinking (Te)
* Auxiliary function will be the less dominant Perceiving function - intraverted Sensing (Si)
* Tertiary function is the opposite preference to the Auxiliary - Intuition (N)
* Inferior function is the opposite preference and attitude to the Dominant - intraverted Feeling (Fi)

The dynamics of the ESTJ {Hillary, par excellence] then, are founded in the primary tension between the extraverted Thinking dominant and introverted Feeling inferior: The dominant tendency to order the ESTJ's environment, to set clear boundaries, to clarify roles and timetables, and to direct the activities around them, is underscored by an attraction to the sentimental, the heartwarming, and the precious. ESTJs, for instance, may enjoy making memory scrapbooks or other such personal crafts. Though the ESTJ can seem insensitive to the feelings of others in their normal activities, under tremendous stress, they can suddenly express feelings of being unappreciated or wounded by insensitivity.

Looking at the diametrically opposite four-letter Type, INFP:

* Extraverted function is a Perceiving function because of the overall P preference
* Introverted function is dominant because of the overall I preference
* Dominant function is therefore introverted Feeling (Fi)
* Auxiliary function is extraverted Intuition (Ne)
* Tertiary function is the opposite of the Auxiliary, Sensing (S)
* Inferior function is the opposite of the Dominant, extraverted Thinking (Te)

The dynamics of the INFP rest on exactly the same fundamental tension of introverted Feeling and extraverted Thinking, though in reverse. The dominant tendency of the INFP is toward building a rich internal framework of values and toward championing human rights, often devoting themselves to causes such as saving the environment or civil rights. However, because of their tendency to avoid the limelight, their inclination to not rush into decisions, and to maintain a reserved posture, they rarely are found in executive director type positions of the organizations that serve those causes. Normally, the INFP dislikes being "in charge" of things. When not under stress, the INFP exudes a personal warmth that is unspoken and sympathetic, but under extreme stress, they can suddenly become rigid and directive, exerting their extraverted Thinking erratically.

Hillary is the Field Marshal Supervisor [ESTJ or ESTP], Obama is almost the dynamically opposite ENFP, an INFP with pizzazz.

No wonder Obama's success is driving Hillary nutso bananas!

Check out the multiple links, which are fascinating in their different takes. And the "cognitive psychology" moonbats are in a tizzy to be sure!

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