Has there been a paradigm shift in the balance between Thinking and Feeling
Some believe Yes. In his recent book (The Parasitic Mind – How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.) Dr. Gad Saad maintains the Western world is suffering from a devastating pandemic of the mind, “. . . a collective malady that destroys people’s capacity to think rationally.” Lunacy abounds, a few examples:
- Students at universities must be provided “Safe Spaces” where nothing they hear spoken will cause discomfort.
- Persons can be charged with committing “micro-aggressions” – slanders that are so subtle those who utter them don’t even realize they are saying something objectionable.
- It used to be almost universally accepted that we judge people “on the content of their character, not the color of their skin” but now a person’s skin color and gender are vitally important in making all sorts of decisions.
- Equality of Opportunity used to be a hallmark of American life, now it is being cast aside in favor of Equality of Outcomes.
- Men who decide their minds are now female (but retain male bodies) can demand admission to women’s washrooms and the right to compete in women’s sporting competitions.
- An 8 year old can be granted the wisdom and rights of an adult in wanting to change his biological sex, but a 16 year old who commits murder must be charged in juvenile court because he lacks the judgment of an adult.
- Values and precepts of traditional religions of the Western world must be removed from public life to be replaced by the dogmas of the DIE (diversity, inclusion, equity) religion.
- The concept of logical reasoning, understood for millenniums, is being cast aside as an invalid white-centric way of discovering truths.
- The meaning of the “Science” has been twisted and used in a way to stifle inquiry and different points of view. It is treated as an Oracle who pronounces the absolute Truth about any phenomena. Lost is the understanding that “Science” is a Process that continually sifts, winnows, questions and tests in an attempt to Discover Truth. Science is rarely settled.
Saad identifies the American university as Patient Zero in this pandemic that has spread a constellation of mental viruses to “. . . all walks of life including politics, business, and popular culture.” The infection is so widespread that even in the sciences and legal professions where rationality and logical thinking are foundational, the cluster of idea pathogens that sustain this pandemic cloud clear Thinking and block the pursuit of truth and understanding.
Thinking, Feeling and Personality Type
So how do these infectious ideas relate to Personality Type and especially to the bipolar mental faculties of Thinking and Feeling derived from the theories of Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung?
Jung’s typology of personality was expanded by Isabel Myers who created the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instrument to objectively measure Jung’s personality types. Experience from millions of administrations of the MBTI has resulted in a richer understanding of the similarities and differences among the 16 personality types. Myers herself elaborated on these differences in her seminal book “Gifts Differing.” Her thesis confronted the concept of traditional psychological thought of there being a single benchmark of a normal personality. Rather she posited that there are 16 versions of normal personality development and that each of these variations have somewhat different but equally valuable gifts to offer humanity. Eight of the 16 personality types have Feeling as the primary mental judgment faculty and eight have Thinking as the primary judgment mechanism.
Thinking persons have a Feeling nature; Feeling persons have a Thinking nature.
Although an individual may be principally governed by one or the other, everyone possesses and uses both a Thinking and Feeling mentality. It is like handedness. One hand may be dominant and favored for the most important tasks, yet use of the non-dominant hand is also important. Sometimes people even learn to use the non-dominant hand in a very specialized and expert manner.
While it is natural for a person to have the most confidence and competence in their dominant nature, through practice and dedication confidence and competence can be developed in a specialized way in using ones opposite nature. So it stands to reason that a Feeling preference person could become even more competent and more comfortable using the Thinking side of one’s nature.
But what if the opposite was true? What if the social and work environment of a Feeling person discourages the development of one’s Thinking nature or more overtly acts to suppress using this nature? This would result in becoming less competent using the Thinking side of one’s nature? The clarity or objectivity of the Thinking process would be corrupted as it is employed only in a supportive role, to defend and justify the decision that one’s Feeling nature has determined. Thinking becomes, not a process to discover truth, but an architecture erected to support what is already believed to be True.
The Corruption and Suppression of Thinking
This relegation of Thinking to a dependency on Feeling judgment would occur in environments where Feeling persons increasingly occupy influential positions in society and organizations. Social and demographic changes that have powered such a change are Affirmative Action mandates and the rise of the Feminist Movement.
In well-documented studies of gender differences and type it has been established there are significant gender differences in preferences for Thinking and Feeling. About two-thirds of Women are Feeling personality types; about two-thirds of Men are Thinking personality types. This innate difference did work to establish norms of occupational and social roles based on gender. These norms certainly could discourage all women, including Thinking women, from pursuing male normative roles and occupations. This reality, an ill that ought to be corrected, rightfully gained traction. The problems began with the mechanisms that powered these changes.
Affirmative Action laws and codes, supported by Feminist Movement theology, set a standard of achieving 50% representation of women in any sphere of life where historically they had been under-represented (even if this were at least partially due to average inherent differences of the genders).
So more women became engineers, doctors, lawyers, journalists, business leaders, and politicians. Many more women went to college and graduated; many more became university professors and administrators; many more became executives in organizations. Over time many environments became much more amenable to women and to a Feeling manner of making decisions. Those changes brought many benefits, not only more needed oxygen given to a Feeling perspective on all manners of things but also allowing excellent contributions in many areas where the old norms had suppressed their participation.
But somewhere along this history of women’s progress, a tipping point was reached. Dr. Saad believes this first occurred in universities. Female majorities in the student body, more female university administrators, more female faculty members, and more females in university departments traditionally occupied by men all were powerful forces supported by Federal mandates on education to enroll and empower women. A rise in the power and influence of Feeling judgment was a natural by-product of this success.
Once the snowball of Feeling judgment got rolling in campus life it suppressed and distorted the natural balance of Thinking. Clear Thinking was put in a box. Free speech, once a hallmark of campus life, became quite regulated. Universities became ideological factories, able to shape the minds of young adults who were at an age where they are ripe for re-education in new values and priorities. With generous Federal tuition loans and a widely promoted meme that happiness is tied to obtaining a college degree, more and more properly indoctrinated people populated our adult society and institutions.
Solutions? Retard the advancement of Women? Trash the expression of Feeling?
Nothing should be done to thwart the advancement of women in education and other sectors of life. The environment in education, business, and social life should welcome people of all genders and gender identity.
What needs to stop is gender-based goals in college admissions, fields of study, and in occupations. Stop gender-based goals in organizations and professions. The old values of merit, fairness to all, and equal opportunity should prevail.
The perspectives and values that stem from the Feeling mental process add important balance to all sorts of decisions and plans. The danger comes from when they work to smoother and compromise the effectiveness of the Thinking process. A person becomes imbalanced and less effective, unable to draw upon the best that each part of their mental makeup has to offer. Likewise a society becomes imbalanced and a form of “civil war” brakes out between the Champions of Emotional Feeling and the Champions of Rational Thinking. We are now at that point.
Parting Words – What Can be Done?
In closing his book Dr. Saad offered the following:
For decades now, a set of idea pathogens, largely stemming from universities, has relentlessly assaulted science, reason, logic, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, individual liberty, and individual dignity. If we want our children and grandchildren to grow up in free societies as we have done, then we need to be assured in our principles and stand ready to defend them.Saad, G. (2020). “The Parasitic Mind – How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.” Washington, DC: Regenery Publishing.
For those who resonate with this call to action, Saad advises us to activate our “Inner Honey Badger.” Be fearless in the face of attacks. Don’t look the other way or fail to speak up. Or put another way, attributed to Edmund Burke “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”
Get Dr. Saad’s book on Amazon: The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense
Get Dr. Saad’s book on Amazon: The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense
Personality Type: Diversity, Political Opinion and Academic Environment – The Academic Echo Chamber and Free Speech.
Gender Gap and Personality Type – How Personality Type influences career choices in high technology.
Independence Day and Personal Empowerment – Being responsible for your own development. Becoming a Victor not a Victim.
What’s Your Personality Type? – Take our inventory to discover your own mbti personality type
Saad, G. (2020). “The Parasitic Mind – How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.” Washington, DC: Regenery Publishing.
CPP, Inc. Study of normative sample of 1267 adults
Journal of Psychological Type, Volume 37, 1996
Hammer, A. (1993). “Introduction to Type and Careers.” Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.
Martin, C. (1995). “Looking at Type and Careers.” Gainesville, FL: CAPT.
Myers, I.B., McCaulley, M., Quenk, N., and Hammer, A. (1998) “MBTI Manual – 3rd Edition” Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.