Podcast – Episode 0148 – Why We Need Introverted Thinking In Today’s World

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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about why we need Introverted Thinking in our modern world of misinformation and confusing logic.


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • When you look at MBTI, we see 16 patterns of people as they show up down thru history.
  • Macrocosms – social manifestations
  • Certain characteristics are more or less favored by society.
  • In the US, there has been emphasis placed on Judger qualities – Si, Ni, Te, Fe
  • Lots of time and effort poured into infrastructure. Emphasis on conformity. Collective ideal.
  • We can see a shift to more of a perceiving style.
  • Preferences of whole societies can shift over time. We as individuals can’t change types, but societies can.
  • Henry Ford is famous for saying, “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.”
  • Burger King is famous for saying, “Have it your way.”
  • We went from a one-size-fits-all society to one that enjoys unlimited choices.
  • The message in the middle part of 20th century was one of conformity – Graves level 4
  • In the 80s a lot of people started graduating to Graves Level 5. Things started becoming more individualistic.
  • When done poorly, Introverted Thinking (Ti) is a dull blade, and it hurts. When done well it is a sharp sword.
  • As a society, we aren’t using Ti well, but we want to be.
  • Modern media is reinforcing this idea that Ti is becoming more popular.
  • John Oliver
  • John Stewart
  • Adam Ruins Everything
  • Trump likely uses Ti as a copilot. He’s not using it well.
  • People want to rest into truth, no matter how unpopular
  • What the internet did for people was give them the ability to see how much contradictory info is out there.
  • People lose faith in the experts. We have to be the final determiners of good/bad info.
  • Facebook has announced it is going to start censoring misleading news sources, which is going to remove people’s ability to vet their news sources.
  • Common Core teaches kids how to think. How to vet info.
  • Most people are terrible with logic. It’s not because people don’t have the ability to be analytical, it’s that they aren’t taught formal logic.
  • Consumer technology has outpaced us socially. We are now required to use formal logic.
  • Are we able to develop this process fast enough to meet the challenges demanded of us?
  • Youtube comments
  • If you have even a hair’s breath of emotion fueling your evaluation or assessment, you are not using Ti. Ti is the best when completely emotionally neutral.
  • Bias lives in the emotional expression of want. You want to believe something.
  • If you are getting emotionally triggered and you can’t hold it at bay, you aren’t using Ti.
  • That requires a level of rigor that even people who have it as a strength take time to perfect
  • If you get emotionally triggered, you cannot look at a piece of data with clarity. Clarity requires an emotionally neutral stance.
  • This is tough. Society as a whole is crappy at this. Everything is triggering.
  • For society to get better at this everybody has to stop being so triggered. They have to stop being so emotional.
  • Snopes.com
  • Politifact.com
  • Julian Assange probably a Ti user.
  • Most people aren’t that concerned with facts. They are concerned with what they want.
  • Teaching children how to think is vital.
  • Don’t assume you are good at logic when you aren’t.
  • People believe everything they think. So it must be true. It must be rational. Why doesn’t everyone else see it?
  • Righteous indignation – If you say something that bothers me, you have to be set right.
  • Unskilled Ti hurts people.
  • Build skill with it.
  • Stop using it as a weapon. It is better not to use it at all than to use it poorly.
  • Don’t dismiss information when it comes your way just because it runs contrary to what you want to believe.
  • If Ti is your strength, make sure you are using it well. Make sure people can rest into your data.
  • The ideal world is where all TPs are rooting out their biases, and the world welcomes their data.
  • Bernie Sanders also uses Ti.
  • Non-triggered truth-telling.
  • There is no such things as empirical truth. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t truths that are closer to empirical truths than others. Not a toggle switch, more of a sliding scale.
  • Show up with clean data.
  • The most damaging emotion right now is righteous indignation.
  • Introverted Feeling (Fi) needs to be tempered with Ti or we will lose our way.
  • Fi idealism can become its weakness if it tries to foist that off on others.
  • Extreme social shame if someone isn’t on the same level.
  • Muscle people into the right behavior.
  • Ti won’t do that. It’s not sustainable. Ti is seeking the sustainable truth. Muscling someone with social censure is not a viable tool. That’s more like Fe gone wrong.
  • Ti is showing us a more accurate perception of where we are in the stream of time.
  • Dial back that indignation. Get more precise collectively
  • Car Model

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Showing 24 comments
  • V

    I listened to this podcast last night, but it came back to mind today as I was reading Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind. Chapter 4 of his book argues that the purpose of moral reasoning is to preserve our social reputation. While people sometimes think of moral reasoning as a means of getting to the truth of a matter, things are actually a lot messier when bugs such as confirmation bias cloud us from accurately viewing different perspectives of the same issue. Thus, that discussion reminded me of the concept of some people not knowing how to Ti well.

    On a side note, as an INFP, I can attest to many INFP resources developing communities within their respective comment sections. I think it’s cute, and found Antonia’s observation of how that happened on your INFP video interesting c:

  • Steve

    Sam Harris is the ultimate ideal of an INTP in my opinion. He communicates the well reasoned truth as he sees it and brings no emotion or ulterior motives to the table. Still he attacked on all sides by social justice warriors and other ideologues.

    I would love to see a discussion with him regarding MBTI and the role of personality type in many of the conflicts we see in this arena. Maybe you can be guests on the Waking Up podcast!

  • fall

    Hi to all, I’ve been listening to you for a while now and I found your podcast the most helpful tool for Ti-ing.
    ( 🙂 )
    I’m an INFJ, (often typed as INTJ due to the fact that my F – T metrics are too close and might overlap). Besides of feeling confortable using the Ti 3-year-old function and living in a Ti time, I would like to use it in a healthier way, so in the podcast Antonia mentioned that there are disciplines that help to be good at it / improve the Ti in a healthy way, could you guys please give some examples?

    • Antonia Dodge

      Formal logic, the principles of radical honesty and higher math are all great Ti disciplines.


  • Leeann

    FYI I live on the East Coast now. To clarify, I did not see this type of behavior where I’m from in a Illinois.

  • Leeann

    First off, interesting podcast! I liked the ideas discussed and found it to be good food for thought. I was thinking about Joel’s comment about how people on the east coast don’t properly utilize the left lane and this is such a huge pet peeve of mine I had to comment on it! But I also wanted to mention that I’m from the Midwest, outside of Chicago and it is much better there, but I believe because we are instructed to drive that way and there are even signs in the Midwest that say “Left lane is a passing lane.” So maybe it’s just a matter of lack of communication to the driving public. Also different parts of the US are different culturally, which we discovered in this election! While the heavily populated cities and areas may take on a more “p” persona (DC, NYC, LA, SAN FRAN etc.), I do wonder if elsewhere in the US they are still j centric as well. 🙂

  • Jonathan Hardin

    the main reason I keep listening to Personality Hacker is the same reason I learn new languages. I already communicate with each of the 16 types regularly, I should spend time and money to excel at communicating with each of the types. I’ve begun making a diagram of every person in my personal sphere who has indirectly been served by Personality Hacker in a positive way. It reveals that your effect is larger and more impactful than you know! I’m grateful for Personality Hacker.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the feedback, Jonathan! We appreciate you. 🙂

  • Justin Digney

    Hi guys,

    I am in awe of the insight in this podcast very iNtuitive! Thanks.

    As you may know I am a professional engineer, so I focused all of my early and middle life studying and understanding the physical world.

    But all of my being has ditched that pursuit (perhaps out of boredom), but I believe it is the realisation that our western society is broken. The majority of my interests now are on psychology (positive psychology) and neuroscience.

    I observed at an early age that the school system was broken, and it has only gotten worse (at least here in Australia), although I am interested in learning more about ‘common core’. But their are an amazing amount of “individuals” doing great work in this area.

    I would love to be able to follow your advice and be the ‘best’ introverted Thinker I can, and believe I have done a lot of work in this area, but I would really appreciate some practical advice on ‘HOW’.

    I found a big blind spot of my own and possible all Ti Ne users is the lack of understanding other types. Clearly if Ti could identify and present the “truth” in ways that appeal to other types “particularly F users who base their decisions on the impact to people, etc. being able to show an accurate ‘picture’ of how this data translates to people they care about would certainly afford a lot more buy in than simply presenting the most accurate ‘data’.

    In my own experience I have personally felt the effects of the old “expert” model of the universe, where my insight is ignored or down right rejected because I am not a ‘perceived’, expert in the specific field I am addressing.

    The world does not understand how dominant Ti works and healthy Auxillary Ti for that matter. While we may lack experience Ti users can and do become experts in any field that interests them enough. In fact I would go as far to say that a motivated Ti user can overcome and in many ways exceed the knowledge of very experienced non Ti users because they lack a great deal of many limiting beliefs caused by confirmation bios, building their foundations in outdated or superseded knowledge or models etc, which gives them a unique ability to have “fresh eyes/insight”.

    I would like to understand more about how and why Ti users purpose ‘finding transperancy and truth’ is so distant to other types.

    Is it because others see the value of interpersonal relationships that are built upon mutual benefit and maintaining at least a perception of favorable treatment is benificial to building and maintaining such structures, although the psyche identifies the possible negative impacts of this discriminatory system of possibly ‘not being in the in crowd’, the ego believes it is fundamentally worthy of being treated favourably compared to the average? and doing x, y, z will display or atleast provide the illusion of worthiness? Or an ego that allows the individual to believe they really are “all that” and deserving more than many/all others.

    And if that is true, why and how does Ti remove those ‘apparent’ superiority beliefs? Can it be that Ti provides a fundamental understanding that ‘truth’ is elusive, subjective and time limited or transperancy of data is are fundamental to the search for truth, that the psyche needs transparency (atleast internally) for this work to be done, and for dominant Ti users the inside world is the “real world” therefore they truly need to live in an outwardly transparent world for healthy function.

    I have indeed been subject to a total and at least massively dissatvantaged because my transparency is often mistaken for grandios or even being straight out misleading because the level of openness and transparency I can and do offer (not to be confused with vulnerability) is so lacking/unusual in society.

    I know your podcast is amazing and covers a great deal, but is there any advice you can offer on how a Ti user or the general public can work around these fundamental “trust” issues related to “radical honesty” and unusual levels of transparency?

    Kindest Regards

  • NA

    You mentioned you were looking for a time period where Ti was dominant. What do you think about 1917’s Russia / USSR during the Bolshevik revolution? I think that might be Ti because

    1. They pushed for an economic policy based on their own internal logic instead of what’s effective
    2. Wide control and regulation of social norms based on logic (religion, culture, etc..)

  • Isidora Burgos (INTJ)

    I have too many troubles understanding the diffrences between Ti and Te. I understand that Te users try to make systems and Ti users try to find incongruences… but I just don’t get the way that Ti users do that.
    Someone told me once that Ti users have a mind full of data, they use that data to make their own conclusions, and they live by those conclusions no matter what other people think…
    If that is true… how Te users Work? Do they use Data to make their opinions? or they take the data and use it to built something without reasoning?…
    I probably get it all wrong… or maybe not, please help

    • Jing Zhe

      Ti users usually try to find incongruence in people’s logic. Having accurate data will be important for analysis. The whole point is analysis without emotions.

      Dominant Te users focuses more on efficiency in making decisions. The focus here is ‘efficiency in making decisions’s, thus they are usually result-oriented. Ti users are usually process-oriented people in which they often try to make sure their analysis is not biased.

      By the way, this website is great! I’m from Singapore, I/ESTP (Long story). It’s usually hard to find S people to be interested in MBTI, thus the majority of replies are often Ns.

  • Char

    I have a few questions, thoughts, etc.

    I’m an INTJ. At first I was listening, I was thinking of myself as an introverted thinker, but then I checked and INTJs are extraverted thinkers. But I didn’t feel like a lot of what was said about extraverted thinkers was true to me. But then, INTJs are full of contradictions.

    I have assumed for a very long time that logic was innate. A few years ago, my mom (INFP) told me that she had to take a logic class in college and she hated it. I couldn’t believe there was a class to teach logic! To me, that was like a class teaching how to breathe. I couldn’t comprehend how anyone would move throughout the world without logic! Haha. I have strongly believed for a long time that people will make the right decisions if they know the truth/facts. Sadly, I’m reassured everyday that many people don’t care about facts.

    I find it hard to believe Trnmp is an introverted thinker. Or a thinker at all. His actions seem emotionally haphazard and sporadic to me. For example, you said that data shouldn’t trigger emotions when using introverted thinking. He is emotionally triggered all. The. Time. If facts dispute his narrative, he simply disregards them. For example, he said he can’t show his taxes because he’s being audited. But the IRS explicitly said that doesn’t prohibit him from releasing them. Regardless, he says he can’t release them because he’s being audited. There is no logic, truth, or fact there. But maybe he is a type that uses Ti poorly, like a dull sword.

    Facebook – one hand it is concerning that FB is censoring. On the other hand, I agree with Antonia that lots of people are terrible with logic and there isn’t time for people to catch up. Yes, people do need to learn these skills, but I don’t think FB is the place to do it. People on social media and FB in particular are usually in a bubble or an echo chamber. They are most like surrounded by people who share the same kinds of articles and will more likely support them than challenge them. And things on Facebook don’t stay there–people often talk about them in real life. So I don’t actually see people learning that way–if they were learning, it wouldn’t still be such an issue since this has been going for a while.

    While analyzing data without emotion is good for a lot of topics, I think emotion is helpful in other topics. As an INTJ, I was resistant when I first realized this. But I’ve been going to therapy for years and have learned to use my emotions in ways that bolster my thinking. While one style may be a great skill to have, is using that skill without any input from others actually using that skill to the best of its ability? I’d say no, not always. If I’m looking at information, and I find a data point particularly disturbing, I investigate why I feel that way. It could be pointing me to an underlying issue that is influencing the context of the events that have created this data. And then I can look at that more in-depth. I think this thinking-feeling combo is especially helpful when examining social issues. I haven’t always used my emotions well or at all, but I’ve been able to see new and exciting things since learning how to analyze them. It’d be interesting to hear about ways that others have used feeling to give their thinking an edge or vice versa.

    • Angie

      Thought I would jump in With regard to Trump. The theory is that he is a ESTP. As an ENTP I share the same copilot and 10 year old function with him. So even though our drivers are very different and therefore create very different motives and purposes I can totally see him being a Ti user. Here is why.

      1. Ti as a copilot is not the most comfortable place to sit. I much prefer my Ne. I have to intentially go there. The same with Trump. He obviously prefers his Se. And it has served his purposes in life so he hasn’t really developed his Ti as he should.

      2. Our Ti is used to support our driver functions. For me that means that Ne is my first choice and I take in all the information I can and use Ti to analyze and determine what makes the most sense. I don’t start with accuracy of information. The primary goal is just the information. Se is concerned with experiences. He isn’t primarily concerned with the accuracy or what makes sense in that experience.

      3. Fe as a ten year old can be SUPER manipulative when mixed with TI. I know that when I am in a crappy place emotionally or in relationships or just feeling contrary I will manipulate the heck out of the nearest person with my words. I will argue you into a corner using all the “logic” I have acquired on whatever situation I am in. And I am good at it. That doesn’t mean I am being truthful but I can convince you that I am. My mom has to remind me that I have a talent with words and logic that other people don’t have and that it gives me an unfair advantage that I use to bully them if I am not careful. Fe is also really defensive in this position. I know when personality hacker talks defensive they don’t necessarily mean defensive literally but that is is what happens when I feel attacked. I get emotionally manipulative toward people and can make you feel guilty. And even when I like you I can manipulate pretty well. even though I have an EQ that sucks when I want to I can make you think you are the most amazing thing on the entire planet if I want to.

      Wow, I sound like a horrible person! Just FYI these are the worst of Ti copilot Fe 10 year old characteristics. There are some really awesome things about this combo too. So my point is that Using Ti doesn’t mean we are proficient at it all the time. And it doesn’t mean we aren’t emotional. I would say trump is stuck in a Se/Fe loop and hasn’t really hacked his Ti very much. But you can see the vestiges of it.

  • Ben Potts

    INTP here, had a lot to love in this episode. I’m excited by the idea of the world moving in a Ti direction. I keep going back and forth on Facebook censorship… I mean, yes, I want people to learn a bit of Ti, but like you say most people really stink at it. What I’d rather have is people recognize their limits/biases in the area, and understand that when they allow emotion to influence their thinking they have conceded the analytical high ground. Y’all are right, emotion has no place in analysis.

    • Antonia Dodge

      I think the goal of the podcast wasn’t to say everyone needs to abandon their preferred cognitive functions in favor of Ti, but that it’s easy to assume you’re implementing it well when you have no reference point for how ‘done well’ looks. Moving people from, say, conscious incompetence (knowing how hard something is and respecting what it takes to be good at it) over unconscious incompetence (having no idea what goes into something and assuming being good at it is something everyone comes born with).

      I think we’re saying the same thing, and I think encouraging courses like philosophy and formal logic in high school as required courses (not electives) would help make that happen.


  • Austin INTJ

    Hello. Something that I thought of as I listened to this podcast. In relation to Joel’s comment that the backlash around Common Core is from a generation that wasn’t taught to use Ti. You also have to then apply that to the process of creating the Common Core method, as well as the data that was cited by the Elementary school teacher and the teacher themselves.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Generation would refer to the collective, not to individuals. There will always be people who pursue on their own things that aren’t necessarily instilled into the culture as a whole. I’ve run into a ton of teachers that loathe Common Core, some that immediately loved it and others that came to appreciate it over time.

      It’s a good sign it exists, but the backlash from teachers and parents indicate it’s counter-cultural for this time. But it won’t be for long. 😀


  • Jaime A.

    Just have a quick comment – listening to this podcast for the second time. With regard to Joel’s comment about Facebook censoring fake news – I’m all for it and here’s why: I would be grateful to not have to waste even seconds of my time looking at fake or false news. I also don’t think it would eliminate or limit anyone’s ability to critically think, especially as of now when that ability is crucial to survive in this society. I don’t think I would stop skeptically reviewing something just because Facebook “supposedly” censored fake news for me. Catch my drift?

    Thanks for having the most awesome podcast!!

    Jaime (ENFJ)

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for your comment Jaime! INFJ here. I agree with you. When I read some piece of inflammatory news, it gets my emotions riled. I feel anger and frustration at the world. When I find out the piece of info is false, it doesn’t mellow my emotion. Now I’m even angrier at whoever put that news out there, and whoever was stupid enough to share it without making sure it’s true. I have stopped most of my Facebook surfing because of this. I would prefer those news sources didn’t exist, and I can’t figure out why people see a need to create them. Except for money. NPR had a recent segment on this: http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

  • Adrian

    INTP here. I agree that having no emotions is a good test for when you are using Ti. This is especially the case for non-dominant Ti types.

    But for me, I can use it all the time even when I’m emotional. That’s because my Ti is very visual. I simply look at the visual structure in my mind’s eye. Being too emotional only affects its processing speed and but not its accuracy.

  • Taylor

    Thanks for the podcast, I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective so it gives me a lot to digest the next few days!

    I had thought about this, but from another angle. Obama wrote something very interesting in his book “The Audacity of Hope”, that also refers to the microcosm/macrocosm:

    “In every society (and in every individual), these twin strands – the individualistic and the communal, autonomy and solidarity – are in tension”

    I think to take it step further on what you said, I think every age is defined not just by one function, but function pairs. This tension that Obama was referring to.

    For example, the 18th century European society was focused on the scientific revolution and understanding the world through reason (Ti), but also the principles of fraternity, the unalienable rights of man, social cohesion and national identity (Fe). Right afterwards, the technological advances of the scientific revolution made it possible to industrialize Europe, and the 19th century focused on Te in society, and also moved away from the group feeling to individualism, romancitism, Fi values.

    I agree Donald Trump is probably an ESTP, but I see it more as his Se, the taking action in an age of indecision/stand still politics that people are thirsty for, and not the Ti. The fact that the word “post-truth” is popping up to me points to a more Te/Fi society that we are about to enter. Te is not so much concerned with factual truth than what gets the job done, and what is true on the macroscale (I kind of think of the dynamic between Ti/Te as being like quantum physics and newtonian mechanics….Ti is what is true on the microscale, Te is what is true concerning emergence).

    Just like how the findings during the scientific revolution led to widespread industrialization and systemization in the 19th century, I saw it as the last 80 years of our tech age discoveries are going to lead to a very systemized Te future. Also, the last 80 years was about joining together and working together in a global family (The EU, for example), and now we are seeing a trend towards countries being more isolationist, turning their focus on their own needs and away from global/international cooperation.

    I agree we definitley need Ti in this society….oh lordy. My question is though, is that just because we’re entering a Te/Fi colored world, and we notice Ti doesn’t really matter as much–we don’t care as much about what is factually true. We are actually exhausted of Ti, and want to shift towards building better systems.

  • Catherine

    Do you ever have transcripts of your Podcasts?

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Catherine for the question. We have it in the works. Probably coming next year.

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