Neuroscience And 4 Personality Subtypes (with Dr. Dario Nardi) | Podcast 0454

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In this podcast Joel and Antonia are joined by guest host Dr. Dario Nardi to talk about the 4 subtypes of each personality type.


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Showing 23 comments
  • Merwin

    What I got from this was interesting but I did find myself zoning out a lot. I think this is because Dr. Nardi probably uses Te, whereas as an INTP I use Ti. I loved how Antonia asked questions and tried to inject a logical frameworks around it, but it seemed Dr Nardi only wanted to talk about brain scans and scientific research, which I didn’t really care for. However, I do feel like I’m more of a creative INTP as I don’t resonate with the stereotypical explanation of INTP, but instead the function stack and car mode, and even John Beebee 8-function explained this issue better for me.

    I think for me this was a very scientific way to explain how each type can present itself in the real world and how we shouldn’t cling on to stereotypical versions of what we think each type looks like or will behave. Yes there are similarities but each person is different (like how identical twins can have two separate behaviors and preferences). Each function will have a baseline, but how each person of the same type uses it is going to be different because no two people are exactly alike.

    It all just made logical sense to me even though I gloss over all of the scientific research.

  • Immanuel

    Next Level. Empowering. Thank you. Great work Dario! You too Joel & Antonia

  • Marcy

    Harmonizing INFP here, thank you for this! This explains part of what took me a while to understand about the introverted versus extroverted functions, particularly Fi. I heard INFJs and ENFJs describe Fe as extremely empathic, almost absorbing other people’s emotions as though they’re your own, and then them and other NFPs saying that Fi is more a projection of your own emotions, making other people feel yours, and I was like, “….??! Noooo…” For a crazy minute there I even thought I was an ENFJ! Which is actually my shadow type! ? And I don’t think my confusion was because I’m so very developed and evolved. ? I mean, I’m 39, and I’ve gone through some hard things that have forced me to sink or grow, but still. Fi has been a constant, the driver I can’t help but use. I think the holistic version isn’t always *quite* as individualistic as Joel naturally makes it sound. Of course, since none of these exist in a silo, and simply switching the order of two functions can make a huge difference, I figured my concept of Fi and all the CONNECTIONS it covers mainly differed from his concept of Fi because a) using it as my driver, it covers more ground than his does as his copilot, but also b) Ne is also all about connections, and maybe because of the order that’s bleeding into my Fi ideas more than it does into his? It can be hard for me to isolate either one.

    I think there’s a little bit of truth to the idea that F is more holistic versus T as more analytic, if on… sort of a different axis than the holistic versus analytic subtypes?. I know, I know, but hear me out. You know how you guys describe the perceiving functions as being most interested in what’s in front of the curtain or behind the curtain? (LOVE this explanation, by the way!) So the intuitive functions can see what’s in front of the curtain, they just focus more on what’s behind it. I think this is a very similar polarity, one where everyone zooms in and zooms out, but different judging functions have different preferences and like to spend more time either zoomed in or zoomed out.

    I mean, Antonia, despite your harmonizing style, how often have you described Ti as “slicing and dicing” or “filleting out?” I think Ti likes to zoom in on the individual pieces to make sure they’re accurate. And the logical connections need to be sound too, sure, but it seems like it’s a more isolating function. (Isolating idea elements, not isolating the person using the function.)

    Whereas, to me at least, Fi is all about the connections and relationships and context. And context and connections in the internal world equals — STORY! And I see how my story is connected to other people’s stories, but I do focus in on one individual story at a time, generally — it’s like the introverted versus extroverted functions are on yet another axis of holistic or zoomed out versus analytic or zoomed in. I don’t feel like I’m super individualistic, but I’d say where individualism does show up the most for me, probably, is in all the times I’d say, “It depends…” There are so many factors that shape us, and the more we learn in neuroscience, for example, the more we see that our emotions and reactions to things DO make sense — what might seem like an extreme and unreasonable reaction can be completely accounted for by the particular trauma someone has been through, for example. So yeah. I see F as looking at a bigger picture than T. ?

  • JG

    Interesting. As an Entp, after hitting some high water marks in my twenties and having life kick me in the face hard enough and eventually getting squeezed hard enough Si stuff (garnishing of accounts, loss of assets for nonpayment even when I had the money etc) and I started losing my kids in a brutal divorce, I found what I at the time considered a “goddesses in every woman” Hestia energy in myself (I’m male) and developed that a lot to become a warm and engaged father, sibling, and friend. now I shrink this has sort of morphed me from a more dominant Entp into a normalizing Entp over 10 years.

    Now I have an exceptionally high number of intimate, warm relationships at work and I’m regularly thanked by people at work for helping them work out things, even though I feel all I’m doing is trying to optimize my network lol. I don’t do any of it because I feel compelled to help them, but because I want to keep talented and creative people in my orbits (or I want to keep orbiting them).

    I’m also building a bookkeeping business for sex workers. I guess that kinda captures the normalizing Entp.

    • Jg

      I will note though that I have a tough time following dr Nardi. I do appreciate his efforts but my brain is looking for the framework which thankfully Antonia tried to get him to describe.

      Because of the way he explains stuff I’m left pretty skeptical that brain scans actually correlate in a real way to analytic/holistic preferences, or the four subtypes, or both.

      I’m not trying to tear stuff down, I just appreciate (Antonia) your asking the logical clarifying questions. Like, if it fits into a logical framework, it fits into a logical framework. If it’s doesn’t quite, it doesn’t quite. Doesn’t make it useless; but yeah It throws me off how often dr Nardi talks about stuff without reference to the logical framework but as though it conforms to the logical framework. Maybe the books are more clear organized.

  • Justine G

    Thanks Joal, Antonia & Dario

    I’ve read much of Dario’s online book and it is very interesting, though there are the usual limitations to this type of research, one of which is the skewed sample of people selected that is almost inevitable. It struck me for example that there was probably a lack of ‘neurotic’ or messed-up people in this data, which might explain why none of the INFP sub-types, with the possible exception of the ‘Dominant’ sub-type suggested any potential for neuroticism. I would have at least thought this was a possibility for the ‘Creative’ subtype – ‘tortured-artists’ for example, but instead they are depicted invariably as star-children-twinkly-pixies. I reckon there’ll be neurotic versions of pretty much all the sub-types actually.

    I liked the description of ISTJ ‘creative’ but don’t really know what it had to do with combining ‘analytic’ Si with ‘holistic’ Te, based on the (brief) descriptions of those. Especially since the former was described, like both versions of Si, as ‘traditional’ – that appears to contradict the stated ‘rebel’ bent of creative sub-types.

    Another thing I found difficult to get past was how all of the descriptions of the ‘2 favours of functions’ appeared to be based on their being in the dominant position. I’d say I related most to ‘holistic’ Fi, then ‘analytic’ Si, but not the ‘traditional’ bit except for being very nostalgic – I’d like to bring back some obsolete technology like electric typewriters. I actually related to ‘holistic’ Te more than either version of Ne, as described by Dario.

    • Justine G

      Sorry I meant ‘Joel’ and ‘2 flavours (US-spelling ‘flavors’) of functions’

    • Justine G

      I’ve just listened to Joyce Meng interview Dario Nardi on this topic, and find his verbal explanations of the different sides of each of the functions much better than those in his book, so would recommend:

  • J Robb Wilson

    I’m an old INTP. Great, even exceptional, podcast. Typical of my type, I must ponder these very complex (and new to me) concepts before I contribute my 2 cents worth. In any case, I’m becoming quite a fan of Personality Hacker. And of Dr. Dario Nardi.

    • Jeff

      Interesting podcast. As an Infj, if I take the content at face-value I would classify myself as a normalizing subtype.

      I can see myself fitting into this as a psychology undergraduate and a part-time traffic controller. I struggle sometimes to learn the more difficult parts.

      My auxiliary Fe function is analytic, and is supported by Ti, with Ni in the background.

  • Jessica Abrahams

    I resonate with INTJ and dominant, which seems consistent with the INTJ enneagram 1 that I also resonate with. I tend to step in and lead only when I don’t think anyone else will effectively do so. I have been told I am very definite and have a strong personality. I’m highly analytical.

    However, I think that’s a preference. I think we learn, over time, to take other things into account. I typically work in technology and also have some experience in Lead positions. I found I had a blind spot when it came to reading people well, and began learning some skills that resemble Harmonizing to make up for that and to learn to lead better. I believe you can’t lead well if you’re blind to the needs of those you lead, and while I see processes more easily, I’ve shifted towards valuing the people too. I highly value certain people, but only after I come to see them as people I really want to have around me. I’m very loyal to them, once I decide I want them in my life in some way. I can test as INTJ, ENTJ or INFJ for all of those reasons. I think it may be that while I am an INTJ with a primary Dominant preference, I think it’s possible for people to have a secondary preference, and that I might have a secondary Harmonizing preference.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Yes, in fact it’s recommended! One of the key insights of these subtypes is to notice which aspects of our preferred functions we’re not tapping into and developing them. Once I discovered that I’m Harmonizing (and why) I began doing work on the analytical flavors of our Ne and Ti. My goal is to be flexible enough between all four subtypes to bring them out contextually.


      • Job

        Hi Antonia,
        I’m actually curious on how you approach the work. I feel like I’m floating somewhere in between Normalizing and Harmonizing and have ENTP preferences too. I sure would like to have more assertiveness in my Ne.
        Seriously happy about this podcast by the way. I’ve always felt my Fe/Si upbringing was a big influence on my development, but could never put my finger on it.
        It might have something to do with doubling down on perceiving and judging cognitive functions that are prevalent in your upbringing. Resulting in Assertiveness in that particular function if you have it too and harmonization of your own function if you use a different one. (just a theory though)

        • Job

          Assertivenes => Analytical
          Harmonization => Holistic

          got the terms mixed up while thinking about it. My bad ^^’

  • Ryan INFP

    Analytic holistic Normalizing subtype i was sure i would be creative but maybe all INFPs feel creative i read Magic Diamond about a year ago loved it also read Victor Gulenko psychological type i do think they might be something in the way people move ISTJ robots.

  • Eric

    I saw Dario’s book when Antonia mentioned it on twitter a short while ago. I’m probably a mix of Normalizing and Harmonizing INTP. Assertiveness with Ne seems to be a weak spot IMO, it’s mostly a passive feeder into the “system” for me so to speak.

  • Ryan INFP

    I am confident that the holistic and analytical are very much developed very early in life.

  • Olga

    These 4 remind me of DISC types

  • Trevor (INTJ)

    I read “Magic Diamond” about 6 months ago. This podcast was a nice review on the topic. I think I need to go through the subtypes again. I think I’ve had shifts over my lifetime for the subtypes. So I need to do some reflecting. I’m wondering if a hybrid of the subtypes is possible. I’m also 49. So balancing out cognitive functions and flavors would be possible to avoid one-sidedness. Although, I will say I don’t think I’m there. So is a hybrid of the subtypes possible?

    Great podcast as always.

    • Antonia Dodge

      Definitely there are hybrids. In fact, I’d argue the value of learning subtypes (and holistic/analytic versions of the functions) is to be more flexible within them and show up the most advantageous version of one’s type for the context.


      • Lois

        Can you list some places where we can find more information in this? What a great episode that makes me say, “of course there have to be subtypes!” You’ve laid great foundation work and I want to know more. Thanks.

        • Joel Mark Witt

          The best place to follow along is Dr. Nardi’s Linkedin Profile. He is posting his research as he develops it on his feed. Eventually he will turn it into a book. But this is a great way to get early content around his findings.

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