Unifying the Big 5 Aspect Scales with Jung, Myers-Briggs and Keirsey

This is part 2 of my attempt to unpack the information contained in my mindmap into a vaguely useful form.

Right Hemisphere

Plasticity (ENFP)

(Withrdrawal – inverted Extraversion)


Agreeableness (NF)

Compassion (NFP)

Openness (NT)

Creativity (NTP)
Intellect (NTJ)
Left Hemisphere

Stability (ISTJ)

(Volatility – inverted Introversion)


Surgency (SP)

Enthusiasm (SFP)
Assertiveness (STP)

Conscientiousness (SJ)

Orderliness (SFJ)
Industriousness (STJ)

A link to the aspect scales of the Big 5 can be found here.

Basically, any intelligence must be aware of at least four things. An intelligence must know the distinction between what is and what is not, and must thus have a means of determining what is true and what is false. An intelligence must also have be able to conceptualise ‘yes’ and ‘no’, and must thus have a means of determining what is good and what is bad, for no intelligence would be able to make any decisions about any particular trueness or falseness without this.

This begs the question: How does any intelligence create reliable negative proofs in a Universe where all signals are necessarily positive? Any information processing structure with a finite information processing capacity (i.e. brain) can only be aware of a thing it actively looks at, but to look at any given thing means creating an internal representation of it. It is fundamentally necessary that whatever part of the brain is supposed to retain an awareness of what is really false must generate positive signals to represent this falseness, and by necessary implication that this part of the brain has to be distinct from the part of the brain that generates positive signals to represent a trueness for the sake of preserving coherent internal communication. Since it is impossible to generate a true negative proof under these circumstances, the only reasonable thing is instead to attempt to create a system that can simultaneously attempt to remain aware of all possibilities. This is especially true from an evolutionary perspective. Positivists might have a fetish about only relying on positive proof for anything, but their entire system is built on the assumption that the Universe isn’t trying to deceive them. That’s a rather luxurious assumption only afforded to apex predators; the reality for most forms of life is that the place is filled with things that are trying to eat them *and* are willing to use deception in aid of that goal. Absence of evidence equals evidence of absence is a great motto to have if you want to be what’s on today’s lunch menu of whatever hides in the bushes.

I simply cannot see a more elegant explanation for the symmetrical yet asymmetrical nature of the brains of bilaterians than this. Brain tissue is the most energetically expensive tissue there is; it stands to reason that there is a strong evolutionary pressure to make sure that this tissue is used as effectively as possible. Given that the rest of the internal organs of bilaterians have had no real difficulty in evolving to become significantly asymmetrical, the brain’s repeated two-of-everything model must be doing *something* useful to be so universally conserved even when it comes to memory, emotional and other higher-order cognitive functions.

As soon as one assumes that any given brain must spend at least as much time trying to look at what is as it spends trying to look at what is not, the need to give everything a second glance becomes obvious. And since there are only two hemispheres, combining yes with true and no with false leaves you with one hemisphere fixated on making things it likes true, and one hemisphere fixated on keeping things it doesn’t like false while being forced to think of falsenesses in terms of spectra of possibilities. As far as I can tell, that pretty much lines up with every piece of literature on asymmetry that draws a distinction between the function of the two hemispheres. The left hemisphere goes about life thinking its a predator looking for prey, and the right hemisphere goes about life thinking its prey on the lookout for predators. Each hemisphere has its own beliefs, attitudes and functional processes necessary to maximise its functional effectiveness.

Fundamentally, this makes the left hemisphere’s intelligence active and the right hemisphere’s intelligence reactive, and it also means that each hemisphere’s behaviour will manifest observable and predicable differences in the way it approaches reality. The letters ISTJ and ENFP thus correspond to which of the hemispheres has dominance in terms of any particular aspect of reality given that they both have to see the same thing in different ways. Each approach has its own relative strengths and weaknesses, but as a social species individual humans gain social value by contributing in ways in which they are strong in exchange for assistance in the areas where they are weak. In this way, specialisation of attention becomes the optimal survival strategy for the individual and the group.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s