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And of course, this is really unscientific, but...

Wednesday June 13, 2018

INTJs can be really, really uncomfortable when it comes to the realm of scientific thought. We are alternately excited by it and agitated by it. Let me explain what I mean:

On the one hand, we generally love science and think more science should be done. By science, we usually refer to measurement. When something does a measurable good, or when a measuring group (scientists) identify a measurable good, that excites us. We hope to label it: Scientific, evidence-based.

On the other hand, when there’s a possibility that the idea or theory in question no longer measures up to current standards, we can be amazingly quick to trash the idea or theory, with this weird extra emphasis on top. This is even true when we have no idea what the actual situation is, or who the actual people are who took the measurements, or how they took the measurements. We practically jump out of our chairs to label it: Unscientific, unfalsifiable, etc.

I watched a Youtube video recently in which the INTJ video creator excused himself for referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, calling it “good old crappy 1960s garbage psychology.” The creator of the video went on to show how the hierarchy concept actually helped him navigate a difficult period in his life. So why call it garbage?

This kind of self-excusing is familiar to me—I’ve seen it before in INTJs who anticipate difficult feedback from other smart people, for example. But Maslow’s hierarchy is an extremely useful model in any number of situations. There’s really no reason to call it garbage, and I say that even after reading through remarks by its critics.

But, the thinking goes like this: It’s old, and maybe it’s garbage, so here we go—just in case someone thinks I’m not scientific, which would be the ultimate caught-pants-down situation, let’s label it “garbage psychology.”

We INTJs can benefit by being aware of this kind of thinking; it’s immature, as is most any perception-judgment process that results in such black and white terms. Those who have a more mature view of science seem to recognize it as more of a yin-yang of subjectivity & objectivity than some kind of “someone else’s thinking might be more right than my own, and I’d hate that” measuring contest.

We also have much bigger blind spots to worry about, one example being extraverted feeling, the blind spot most of us would rather ignore.

(And of course, this post may be unscientific…but is that really a problem?)

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