Carefree vs Farsighted
The Yielding/Obstinate dichotomy is determined by the threshold for excitation in the Rational functions (T and F) of a type. The explanation for this dichotomy is mainly derived from Model T, which is the result of Victor Talanov’s research into neural thresholds.
A threshold is the minimum level at which a stimulus can be detected by a function. A weak stimulus will be detected by a function with a low threshold but invisible to a function with a high threshold. The “bandwidth” of a function is, however, finite: there is also a terminal threshold determining the maximum intensity at which a signal can be detected. As the terminal threshold is fixed at a certain level above the minimum threshold, a function with a low threshold doesn’t have the ability to detect high intensity signals.
Excitation refers to a function’s response to a stimulus. An excited function will produce a signal matching in intensity the incoming stimulus. A stimulus outside a function’s excitation threshold interval will not produce a matching outgoing signal. Lack of excitation leads to boredom, so functions tend to move toward signals that match their excitation interval.
A function with a Low Excitation Threshold is stimulated by even the weakest signals, so they maintain focus and engagement in relatively “quiet” environments. These functions get bored and generally ignore high intensity stimuli, however. The output of these functions are, likewise, low intensity signals. These functions are highly sensitive and excel in areas requiring finesse and precision. They are, however, prone to false positives (partial hallucinations, unnecessary stimulation) and get easily overwhelmed in urgent and intense situation. An important thing to note is that the excitation caused by a stimulus decreases with repetition: the function builds a tolerance for that specific stimulus. As a result, these functions become more interested and engaged the more a stimulus is repeated: repetition brings the intensity down to their threshold.
A function with a High Excitation Threshold seeks excitement and strong stimulation but gets quickly bored in mundane or repetitive situations. These functions have poor attention to detail as well as direct, “brute force” approaches to problem solving, but they respond quickly and show great interest in unusual, exciting, or dangerous situations. They exhibit thrill-seeking behavior combined with a general indifference toward small inconveniences and obstacles. These functions get quickly bored in repetitive or monotonous situations, searching instead for a constant stream of novel input.
In the example below you can see the excitation thresholds for ENFJ and ISTJ.
The excitation threshold corresponds to the attitude (Introversion vs. Extraversion) of each function’s evaluatory pole in model A. A function is Evaluatory when it’s 1d or 4d. A low threshold corresponds to introversion ,while a high threshold indicates extraversion. Below is an example of an INTP’s evaluatory functions, along with their corresponding excitation thresholds.
Connection with other models
This section is only relevant to those looking to integrate Model T with already established models. If you’re unfamiliar with model A you can safely skip this section without affecting your understanding of Model T.
The excitation threshold corresponds to the attitude of each function’s evaluatory pole in model A. A low threshold correspond to introversion while a high threshold indicates extraversion. Bellow is an example of an INTPs evaluatory functions along with their corresponding excitation thresholds.
Note on Notation
Model T takes it’s function order from Model A. The functions are numbered 1 to 4 after the corresponding Mental functions of Model A. However due to the unfamiliarity of most western readers with this style of numbering we opted instead for the better known Gant-Beebe convention. Model T is a purely extarverted model so it doesn’t address interactions between the functions, just the behavior of the factions themselves. As a result the order of the functions is purely conventional and this change won’t have any effect on the fundamental structure of the model.
To convert between Talanov’s preferred ordering and the one used in this article simply switch the positions of functions 3 and 4.
Carefree vs Farsighted
Looking at the excitation thresholds we can see that when the Sensing function has a Low Threshold iNtuition has a High Threshold, and when the Sensing function has a High Threshold iNtuition has a Low Threshold for excitation. Based on this we can split the types in two categories.
iNtuition: High Excitation Threshold
Sensing: Low Excitation Threshold
Types: ENTP , ISFJ, ENFJ, ISTP, ENTJ, ISFP, ENFP, ISTJ
- Love exciting ideas and situations, to be engaged they need their imagination stimulated
- Attracted to adventure and high risk situations
- Attracted to themes of adventure and discovery in fiction, enjoy twists in stories, dislike single climatic moments, prefer multiple unexpected and diverse challenges instead
- They enjoy surprises and evaluate a situation more positively when it’s unexpected
- Rarely experience anxiety over hypothetical risks and situations
- Expect a good outcome out of uncertain situations
- Poor ability to foresee complications in the future, high faith in personal ability to deal with problems “as they come”
- Develop skills based on interest and sense of excitement not on anticipating a need for the skill
- Quickly get bored when having to work or invested for a future outcome, need immediate results to stay motivated
- Attention is fleeting in the intellectual sphere, need to switch topics frequently or they get bored
- In conversation is easy to draw their attention towards new topic but they will quickly get bored of discussing it and want to switch topics again or end the conversation. Prefer to consider subjects briefly and move on.
- Easily understand “big” or challenging concepts, have little problem performing radical shifts in their world view based on new evidence or understanding
- Poor ability to understand subtle concepts, nuance and small differences
- Experience sudden breakthroughs in which they change their mind about a particular subject or modify their worldview as a whole
- Motivated by strong compliments regrading their ideas and plans for future ventures
- Poor ability to estimate time, will usually vastly underestimate the necessary time for a task or activity, however they are good at making the most of time and not wasting it on un-impactful activities
- Underestimate intuitive stimuli but won’t perceive any false signals in this area: will understate risks and potential bad outcomes
- Easily get bored with mundane situation and won’t be able to remain happy even in the absence of problems.
- Will attempt to break monotony by creating exciting or unexpected situations
- Sensitive to physical sensations: pain, comfort, smell, noise, hunger etc.
- Attentive to their physical environment
- Uses the senses evenly, good sense of touch, smell and taste
- Tend to overestimate the likelihood of physical dangers in the immediate future (objects falling or breaking, people getting injured etc.)
- “Princess and the pea” syndrome: oversensitive to slight discomforts
- Dislike sudden shifts in the environment (loud sounds, flashes of light etc.)
- Easily startled
- Prone to psychosomatic afflictions
- Accurately assesses the source and meaning of sensory signals, especially good at determining the source of sounds an smells
- Predisposed towards feelings of envy and greed
- Find it difficult to feel satisfied with physical resources and sensations, they always want more of what they already have (as opposed to completely new things)
- Tend to overindulge in physically pleasurable sensations (food, drugs etc)
- Needs formed by habit, find scarcity painful after getting used to a having resource but don’t notice scarcity if they lacked the resource for a while
- Good precision and timing in movements (but not necessarily control which is determined by the strength of the Sensing function)
- Good sense of rhythm
- Avoid mixing sensory signals together (for example they will eat each kind of food separately)
- Refined ability to detect the characteristics of human voices and infer emotions and intentions from them
- To find a physical sensation pleasurable in needs to be repeated (or continuous) over a period of time: food, drugs, background music, massages, baths etc. Find it hard to focus in the absence of monotonous physical stimuli as they get easily distracted by minor sifts in their environment
iNtuition: Low Excitation Threshold
Sensing: High Excitation Threshold
Types: INTP , ESFJ, INFJ, ESTP, INTJ, ESFP, INFP, ESTJ
- Sensitive to possibilities and ideas, these types are trying to foresee and control the future
- Apprehensive to risky ventures and possibilities
- Attracted to planing and preparation in fiction, enjoy anticipation and build-ups, climatic moments deciding the success or failure of a plan, dislike deus ex machinas and character wining “unfairly”
- They generally dislike surprises and evaluate a situation more negatively when it’s unexpected
- Easily experience fear and anxiety over hypothetical risks ans future dangers
- Expect the worst out of uncertain situations and and attempt to prepare ahead of time to assure the best outcome
- Good ability to predict potential risks and complications in the future but poor ability to develop a solution on the spot when confronted with unexpected situations
- Develop skills with a specific goal in mind often in an attempt to prepare for a challenge
- Stimulated by work that feels like an invested for the future, patient and able to maintain motivation even if the work is repetitive and results are only expected far in the future
- Capable of maintaining focus on the same topic for a long time, don’t get bored by revisiting an idea, need a while to “warm up” to an idea but maintain interest for a long time afterwards
- In conversation is difficult to persuade them to approach a new topic but won’t get bored of discussing it once they focused their interest on the topic. Prefer to either consider a subject at length or not at all.
- Changes in understanding and worldview happens gradually, in almost imperceptible increments
- Easily distinguish between subtle differences between concepts and meanings
- Good ability to estimate time, good at managing time in tense or urgent situations
- Overestimate intuitive stimuli and can even perceive ones that don’t exist: will exaggerate risks and potential bad outcomes
- Prone to intrusive thoughts, hearing voices and over-associating meaning to sensory signals (e.g. interpreting the sound of water as voices)
- Will find something interesting even in mundane everyday life situations
- Easily detects changes and deviation from the usual picture of the world
- Inattentive to physical sensations: pain, comfort, smell, noise, hunger etc.
- Needs strong stimulation from their physical environment to stay engaged
- Relies predominantly on sight and sound to orient themselves with even these sense producing a gross and simplified picture of the world
- Tend to underestimate the likelihood of physical dangers in the immediate future (objects falling or breaking, people getting injured etc.)
- Resistant to discomfort an may not notice it until it starts causing lasting effects on their health
- Attracted to physical danger and surprises in their environment, find it hard to focus in monotonous work environments
- Hard to surprise and liable to miss physical cues and details in their environment
- Will often neglect preventative measure in regards to their health
- Poor ability to assess the source and meaning of sensory signals, tend to mix the signals together and confuse their origin
- Respond well to urgent and critical situation, don’t get overwhelmed
- Constant desire for new experiences and sensation that are completely different from what they are used to
- Can develop bad habits out of boredom and are prone to relapsing even after getting rid of one
- Don’t mind scarcity but can’t tolerate lack of diversity and excitement in the physical sphere
- Poor precision and timing in movements (but not necessarily control which is determined by the strength of the Sensing function)
- Will mix sensory signals together to increase their intensity
- Poor ability to regulate their own voice, might speak to loud or to quiet without realizing
Note that the name mainly describes the behavior of iNtuition. In therms of Sensing Carefree types are often picky and choosy (contradicting their name) while Farsighted types can behave reckless and carelessly (again, contrary to what the name can imply).