Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

The Four Dichotomies of the MBTI

March 17, 2017

In the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, there are four pairs of opposites which sort personalities into sixteen different types. These four pairs of opposites are:

  • Extroversion vs. Introversion (E, I)
  • Sensing vs. Intuition (S, N)
  • Thinking vs. Feeling (T, F)
  • Judging vs. Perceiving (J, P)

The codes for these sixteen types are formed by listing one choice per opposite (E,I), (S,N), (T,F), and (J,P), written ESTJ, for example. Interestingly, four special subsets xNTx, xNFx, xSxJ, xSxP, (usually written NT, NF, SJ, SP), are aligned to the four personality temperaments by David Keirsey.

Sensing vs. Intuition and Thinking vs. Feeling are quite similar to the fourfold of Jung’s Psychological Types: Sensation, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling. Also in Jung’s theory Intuition and Sensation are considered Perceiving, and Thinking and Feeling and considered Judging. However, there are significant differences in the two theories.

Further Reading:

Images for MBTI Dichotomies:

[*9.228, *9.229]


Robert Plutchik’s Emotions

March 8, 2017

Robert Plutchik devised a schema for eight basic emotions, divided into four pairs of opposites. Each of these also has a weaker and a stronger version (but not shown here).

  • Trust vs. Disgust
  • Joy vs. Sadness
  • Fear vs. Anger
  • Surprise vs. Anticipation

In addition, emotions called dyads can be built by non-opposed combinations of the basic emotions, and each of these twelve dyads has a reverse or opposite emotion, making 24 total. Between any two opposite pairs, two dyads may be considered covariant, and the other two may be considered contravariant. So for the two pairs of opposites A + A’ and B + B’, we have covariant A*B and A’*B’, which are opposite, say C and C’, and contravariant A*B’ and A’*B, which are also opposite, say D and D’. These four dyads are labeled in the diagram as C:C’::D:D’, which I hope is not too confusing.

  • [L:R] Love (Joy * Trust) : Remorse (Sadness * Disgust)
  • [S:M] Sentimentality (Trust * Sadness) : Morbidness (Joy * Disgust)
  • [G:E] Guilt (Joy * Fear) : Envy (Sadness * Anger)
  • [D:Pr] Despair (Fear * Sadness) : Pride (Joy * Anger)
  • [C:C] Curiosity (Trust * Surprise) : Cynicism (Disgust * Anticipation)
  • [U:H] Unbelief (Surprise * Disgust) : Hope (Trust * Anticipation)
  • [A:A] Awe (Fear * Surprise) : Aggression (Anger * Anticipation)
  • [O:A] Outrage (Surprise * Anger) : Anxiety (Fear * Anticipation)
  • [D:P] Delight (Joy * Surprise) : Pessimism (Sadness * Anticipation)
  • [D:O] Disappointment (Surprise * Sadness) : Optimism (Joy * Anticipation)
  • [S:C] Submission (Trust * Fear) : Contempt (Disgust * Anger)
  • [S:D] Shame (Fear * Disgust) : Dominance (Trust * Anger)

Further Reading:

[*9.224, *9.225, *9.230, *9.231]


The Fourfold Self

May 28, 2016

sq_fourfold_selfA recent post by Sandeep Gautam synthesizes several distinctions of the human being as self to come up with a nice fourfold model. These are the Materialistic (or perhaps Substantive), the Experiential or Experienced, the Remembered (or perhaps Visualized), and the Prospective or Anticipatory (or perhaps Envisioned). These can also be neatly labeled as “having”, “doing”, “being”, and “becoming”.

I have talked about Gautam before in my post The Fundamental Four of Sandeep Gautam. The fourfold discussed then was developed from evolutionary problems and drives but reminds me somewhat of this new fourfold, where Food/Foes -> Materialistic Self, Family/Friends -> Experiential Self, Focus/Frame -> Remembered Self, and Flourishing/Fun -> Anticipatory Self.

There are several other fourfold models of the self that are readily found. There is the ancient “Modes of Consciousness” from the Upanishads: Physical, Emotional, Intuitional, and Absolute. There is the anthroposophical model of Rudolf Steiner: Physical, Life/Etheric, Astral/Feeling, and Ego/“I”. There is the one by Friedrich Nietzsche: Deepest, Ego/“I”, Ideal/Higher, and True. And there is the religious or new age model: Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit.

The problem with most of these older models of the self is the lack of consensus on the meaning and existence of the terms used in their construction, much less a way to know if the set is complete or not. Thus the fourfolds seem to be rather diverse and vague. I favor a more pragmatic and psychological approach in choice of models, plus those that can be easily mapped into Aristotle’s Four Causes, both attributes of which I see in Gautam’s models.

The comparison and contrast of these models to come up with a synthesis might still be a worthwhile future effort. There are also several fourfold models of the brain itself that could be entered in to the mix.

References and Links:

To Have or to Do? To Be or to Become?

[*9.130, *9.132]


Invention and Discovery

April 15, 2016

sq_learning2What are the differences between invention and discovery? Ever since my post Propositions as Types I’ve been trying to determine what they are. Some say that mathematics and logic are completely human inventions and they have no correspondence to the natural world. Others say that mathematics already exists in some “Platonic” realm just waiting for our discovery. Similar to convergent evolution, the parallel invention or discovery of similar notions in mathematics lends credence to the idea that there is something “out there” just waiting for us to find it, although one could also argue that it’s merely the cultural climate along with some innate functioning of the brain. For example there is the parallel development of calculus by Newton and Leibniz. The notion of effective computability in the “Propositions as Types” paradigm also has several concurrent developments.

Modern science is based on mathematics so as one goes so goes the other. Physicist Eugene Wigner wrote a famous article on the “Unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences” which has inspired a host of similarly titled articles about the “unreasonable effectiveness” of one thing for another. But the key point is that we really don’t understand the origins of mathematical thinking, or why it is so useful in helping us understand the natural world. Its value and utility seems, in fact, unreasonable.

But let’s return to the differences between invention and discovery. If something is invented, it means that it is new, freshly created. If something is discovered, it means that it already exists and it’s just waiting for us to find it. Thus the difference is between the natural and artificial, or between what exists and what didn’t exist before humans created it. Some believe the natural world itself is socially constructed, so in some sense it didn’t exist before humans saw it, or will disappear when humans stop perceiving it. This is about is arrogant as believing that the world didn’t exist before a person was born or after they die; a solipsistic view if ever there was one.

Once something is discovered, one can learn about it. Once something is invented, one can make it. Thus learning and making are tied to discovering and inventing, respectively. Inventing and discovering are required for making and learning. Of course one can also learn about an invention or how something is made, or one can learn facts about a discovery.

This fourfold of inventing, discovering, learning, and making is also related to other fourfolds. The Four Hats of Creativity seem to utilize each of these special actions for each livelihood: inventing (or creating) for the artist, discovery for the scientist, and making for the engineer (but less well learning for the designer). In addition, the Psychological Types of Jung appear to emphasize a type for each special action: intuition for invention, sensation for discovering, and cognition for learning (but less clear emotion for making).

Please compare this with a related analysis on the methods of active learning at the Tetrast (link below), where the key faculties are struggle for invention, practice for discovery, value for making, and discipline for learning.




The Johari Window

October 30, 2015


As I considered my last post, I wondered if the intersecting centers of all my diagrams represented a “blind spot”, a fifth thing that I have been consistently overlooking. Searching on Google for the topic (besides finding the new television show of the same name), I stumbled on the Johari Window.

The Johari Window is a simple four-fold table that considers what an individual knows and doesn’t know about herself, versus what everyone else knows or doesn’t know.

So, the quadrants are as follows:

Hidden self: Known by self but unknown by others (also called facade)

Public self: Known by self and known by others (also called open or free area, or arena)

Blind self: Unknown by self but known by others (also called blind spot)

Unknown self: Unknown by self and others (unknown but perhaps knowable, also unconscious)

The idea is that the public self can enlarge, and include things from all three of the other selves, and so diminish them. Because having more openness in our selves, as well as less hiddenness, blind-spotness, and unknownness, is a good thing.

And I’m glad the blind spot is really just one of the four things of the Johari Window, so I haven’t left anything out!


Images for Johari Window


Also remember “The Blind Spot: lectures on logic” by Jean-Yves Girard.



The Whole Brain Model of Ned Herrmann

October 20, 2015


Are four different kinds of thinking performed in four distinct areas of the brain?

Facts: logical, analytical, fact based, quantitative (left cerebral)

Forms: sequential, organized, detailed, planned (left limbic)

Feelings: interpersonal, feeling based, kinesthetic, emotional (right limbic)

Futures: holistic, intuitive, integrating, synthesizing (right cerebral)

I’ve arranged the quadrants differently than usual. Some might want to see the diagram rotated 180 degrees, so that Facts are at the top. However, there are several reasons that I prefer this arrangement, with organized at top, synthesizing at right, kinesthetic at left, and quantitative at bottom. Part of my confusion is that I ordinarily want to place both Facts and Forms at top, and Feelings and Futures at right.


Ned Herrmann / The Creative Brain

Ned Herrmann / The Whole Brain Business Book

Facts, Form, Feelings and Future in Museum Guiding


Images of Whole Brain Herrmann.

The images above remind one of the “Simon Says” toy! Blue, red, green, and yellow are often used in company logos. Three are pigment primary colors, and three are light primary colors. Do colors help one distinguish the quadrants?

Also see the following post, “A Story for Everyone”:

(Where my Who, How, Why, and What are arranged appropriately as Feelings, Forms, Futures, and Facts.)

[*6.120, *6.121, *8.92, *8.139]


On the Psychology of Cognition

June 11, 2015


Searching for “four primary relations” led me to the work of Rev. Robert Jardine (1840-1924, Canada). His most notable (and perhaps only major) work is “The Elements of the Psychology of Cognition”.

His first fourfold consists of the “four primary relations” of consciousness: difference, resemblance, simultaneity, and succession. Each of these are relations of perception that can be informed and conditioned by other members of these four relations, or at least that is what I think he’s saying. Note that difference and resemblance have to do with information (or space), and simultaneity and succession have to do with time.

His second fourfold consists of the double dual of Internal-External and Quantitative-Qualitative, and are the relations between objects in our thought. Thus these are:

  • Internal Quantitative:
    Relations of figure, size, shape, motion, number, and so on, of the constituent parts or elements of objects, classes or systems. These relations may be any of the four primary relations or any combination of them.
  • Internal Qualitative:
    Relations between the qualities of objects of our knowledge, or classes of objects, these qualities being made known to us by the sensations or ideas which they produce in our minds.
  • External Quantitative:
    Relations of any of the four primary kinds or any combinations of them between the figure, size, shape, motion, duration, number, and so on, of objects, classes or systems which are external to one another.
  • External Qualitative:
    Relations between external objects or systems with reference to qualities made known by sense, moral or aesthetical qualities, characters, habits, conditions and any other characteristics of objects of knowledge which may be appropriately called qualitative.

Quantities he relates to Forms, and Qualities to Sensations.

Some of the material seems interesting, but before running to read, consider the beginning of the review (of the 1st edition) from Nature, by Douglas A. Spalding:

MR. JARDINE has seemingly had some personal reason for writing this treatise; for in the preface he asks the critic to bear in mind “that the book has been written with considerable haste, in order to secure its publication within a certain limited time.” It would have been wiser to ignore the critic: for this unsympathetic personage is only too certain to meet this innocent confidence with the unfeeling remark that perhaps the interests of science would not have suffered had the author taken a little more time over his work.

I could well adopt the last phrase as a tagline for my own blog! The review concludes with:

Another general criticism that must be made is, that there is not a sufficient wealth of concrete illustration, and that, though the writer has “endeavoured to express himself in as clear and simple language as possible,” his words are, nevertheless, often dark and difficult enough. What will readers “beginning their philosophical studies” make of such a sentence as this?—“It must be borne in mind that it is in their character as modes of the non-ego that objectified sensations are localised. The localising is, therefore, not so much an act of consciousness as a precept of consciousness and a form of the non-ego.”


References and Links:

Robert Jardine / The Logical Doctrine of the Proposition. The Calcutta Review, Vol 62, No 124 (1876), 307-323.

Rev. Robert Jardine / The Elements of the Psychology of Cognition, MacMillan & Co. (2nd edition 1885)

Review of 1st edition in The Calcutta Review, Vol 60, No 120 (1875), 280-322.

Review of 1st edition from Nature 11, 422-423 (01 April 1875) | doi:10.1038/011422a0

Book available online:



The Fundamental Four of Sandeep Gautam

March 22, 2015


I was excited to recently find the long running blogs of Sandeep Gautam. The one I’ve looked at so far (“The Mouse Trap”) is mainly about psychology and neurology, but he seems to have a penchant for fourfolds, and some of the entries in “The Mouse Trap” talk about the same topics as my blog. He has also developed many interesting models of psychological and mental organization.

Guatam is a software developer and psychology enthusiast, from his short bio on his Psychology Today blog “The Fundamental Four”. He also has a multitude of other blogs (where does he find the time?), gives TED talks, and is just about everywhere on social media. Entries on “The Mouse Trap” are appearing less frequently these days, but it has been going since 2006.

Above is a diagram of the four fundamental evolutionary problems of humans as per psychologist Theodore Millon (and each also associated with a duality): survival or existence (pain/pleasure), adaptation (passive/active), replication (self/other), and abstraction (broad/narrow). sq_fundamental_four2Gautam’s Fundamental Four are the four basic drives to overcome these problems, a “lens” through which he sees psychology: food/foe (survival), flourishing (adaptation), family/friends (replication), and focus/frame (abstraction). (I hope he doesn’t mind if I added “frame” to “focus”.)

I was not familiar with either Millon’s or Gautam’s work until now. I was thinking about updating my article on Aristotle’s Four Causes, and I chanced upon Gautam’s post on the subject because of images from it. I was soon very intrigued, because I see similarities in many of his formulations and mine! Also please compare these fourfolds to the Relational Models Theory.

Some of the more interesting blog entries of “The Mouse Trap”:
(See my Theory of Evolution)
(See my Reasons Things Happen)


[*8.146, *8.147]


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

February 11, 2015

sq_TMNTIt’s turtles all the way down!

— See Wikipedia.


Even the personalities of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can be put in correspondence with the Four Temperaments!





[*7.194, *8.127, *8.156]


The DISC Theory

November 21, 2014

sq_disc_theoryWilliam Moulton Marston, the creator of the DISC personality theory, has been in the media lately. The book “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” by Jill Lepore was released recently, and interestly enough, Marston created this super-hero as well as the psychological theory from which the DISC assessment was based. His life was indeed quite fascinating.

The basic four-fold of the DISC theory deals with an agent’s perception of her ability to act in relation to her enviroment. For the agent, she sees herself either more powerful or less powerful than the environment. For the environment, it is seen to be either favorable for her actions or unfavorable. Thus there are four combinations.

Inducement: More powerful than a favorable environment.
Dominance: More powerful than an unfavorable environment.
Submission: Less powerful than a favorable environment.
Compliance: Less powerful than an unfavorable environment.

sq_four_temperamentsIt is fascinating that many brain function, behavioral, personality, and psychological schemas are based on a four-fold distinction. I have already briefly mentioned the Four Temperaments, but I hope to look at several more in the near future.




Images of DISC theory.