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Review: Personality Junkie “The 16 Personality Types” and “INTP”

April 19, 2014…-truth-meaning
(Author, A.J. Drenth)

These were written by a guy with a blog called “Personality Junkie”, where he does articles on different aspect of types and functions. I liked it so much, I joined. He eventually published so far, these two books.

Just finished them not too long ago, and they are pretty good. Felt I hadn’t had much time to compile points for a more full review, but when I sat down to make a topic for Typology Central’s new “book review” forum, I ended up writing enough to be considered a review.

The INTP book showed me some things I could identify with, but hadn’t really thought of before. Like how in relationships, “If we think a bit outside the box, we might view INTP relationships as having little, if anything, to do with love (at least in the traditional sense), and more to do with mutual exploration, sharing, struggling, and learning.”

I now realize this is part of why I craved a serious relationship, but then once I got one, I wasn’t into the more “lovey dovey” aspects of it.

Then, other descriptions such as “Generally speaking, Ti (along with Ne) finds it easier to identify inconsistencies or logical shortcomings—to assert what is not true—than to identify and confidently assert what is true.”
This I had always noticed. Like in politics. I can point out what is wrong in the right vs left wars, but not clarify what I think the solution to problems is.

Each type’s “function stack” consists of “the first four” only. (I once asked him about “the other four”, and he acknowledged they were “shadows”, but he doesn’t go into them).

He assigns his own “roles” for them:

Dominant Function: “The Captain.” The signature strength of the personality type.
Auxiliary Function: “The Helpful Sidekick.” The chief assistant to the dominant function.
Tertiary Function: “The Adolescent.” Relatively unconscious and undifferentiated.
Inferior Function: “The Child.” The least differentiated and conscious of the four functions.

In his descriptions of each type’s “development”, he’ll describe the first stage as dealing with the dominant, of course, but then the second stage will go into the inferior, which begins a “tug of war” with the dominant. Then, he’ll mention the auxiliary, which “is more like a natural sidekick to the dominant than a rival or opponent”, and then that the type may open up and further refine their auxiliary judgment or perception through the tertiary function.

Phase III is “Integration”, where we “are more aware of the tricks and temptations of the inferior function and the foolishness of indulging it”. We learn that “integrating the inferior function must somehow occur through the dominant (as well as through the other functions in the functional stack). What this means, in essence, is that integrating the less conscious functions occurs in a more indirect and passive fashion, rather than by directly indulging or attempting to develop them“.

N types: Integrate S through consistent & healthy use of N
S types: Integrate N through consistent & healthy use of S
T types: Integrate F through consistent & healthy use of T
F types: Integrate T through consistent & healthy use of F

He also goes into J/P and the EJ, IJ, EP, IP groups in the intro. He puts a big focus on the fact that IP’s are actually dominant “judgers”, and IJ’s are dominant “perceivers”, so he tends to treat them in a reverse J/P fashion (like Socionics), and thus having a lot in common with the E types with the opposite J/P (dominant function with opposite attitude; like ITP and ETJ).

Each type profile will describe the three stages of development, and then describe each of the four functions.

One question mark is sometimes treating functions in terms of behaviors (which we all do, as it’s hard to describe them otherwise). Like Se is associated with “novel physical pleasures, lavish surroundings, or material comforts”. So SJ’s and NP’s will be described as not being into those things, which I find not always accurate.

He does say:
“Extraverted Intuition (Ne) is a novelty-seeking function. At first glance, Se and Ne types may seem fairly similar (such conflation can be seen, for instance, in the Enneagram Seven), since both ESPs and ENPs can be outwardly active, energetic, and playful. Ne differs from Se, however, in that it is more concerned with ideas, connections, and possibilities than it is with novel sensations or material goods.”

Still, non-Se types can enjoy material comforts. I think that’s just natural for everyone. I guess I know I’m not particularly into “novel physical pleasures” and “lavish surroundings”, though, but I know SJ’s who would like lavishness. (My wife seems to have a high appreciation of things like that, and I had been comparing to see how well she fit his ESFJ description. Though I guess she does not press for these things as much as others might).

So it seemed like a very good introduction to typology. Sort of like the way many would recommend Lenore’s Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual. His presentation reminded me a little of that; only much shorter and more concise. Especially the way it goes back to the Jungian roots of focusing on the dominant for each function, and the new points, such as this “integration” concept.

  1. Wonderful understanding of Personality Type. Ive read several of your posts. As you are an INTP and with a Christian understanding, I believe you will “Get” my research at If God made man in his image, then surely the MBTI and cognitive theory should give us proof of this….. Also, if Man is truly made in this image… Can time be made in this image as well?

  2. He’s just published a new book:
    (includes excerpts)

    Sounds like it’s going to be good.
    It goes into the four dichotomies, and the eight function-attitudes. He even compares similar ones, which is a good way to understand what makes each one distinct.

    There is a chapter on EP, EJ, IP and IJ (one person on the TypoC review disagreed with his pairing of opposite E/I-J/P groups based on the dominant function, basically like Socionics does, but this was how Jung conceived his theory), but maybe this will present his case more clearly.

    They’re outlined as:
    EJs & IPs: “J-P-J” Types
    EPs & IJs: “P-J-P” Types

    Looks like he’s going to go into the order of information gathering and decision making.
    It also includes his own two-part assessment instrument (dichotomy preferences and then actual functions, and harmonizing both results should they come out different).

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