Article response

I have read this article several times and since tomorrow is our last class, and I’m a “P” I’m now ready to respond!  At first I was very confused by what Gordon Lawrence was trying to convey. I looked up the definitions for type and trait. Not helpful…but after letting this swim around in my brain for a few weeks, I feel like I’m gaining some understanding.  Types are patterns of mental processing. We filter and process our experiences in different ways. “Type becomes the mental framework to which can be attached a wide variety of traits.” This became very clear to me with the example of people with an extraverted mental framework. They may be more or less outgoing to others. Being outgoing is a skill that can be “hung” on an E or an I but,  it is likely more natural to an E.


Descriptions of frameworks (types) talk about values, priorities, and motivations rather than traits that one can possess more or less of.  Gordon Lawrence further states that changing a description to say INFPs are likely to be sensitive and caring to INFPs value sensitivity and caring changes how we understand this concept. The mental framework of an INFP has a built in priority for certain traits that may or may not be well developed.


In both the article and other handouts having the opposite types listed next to each other clearly shows me the contrast in their values. This helped a great deal in some behavior issues with a student who is the opposite type from me. She values directness, tough mindedness, results, doing, and acting. I value gentle respectful interactions, harmony, and, compassion. With her, I am now more objective and logical, appeal to her great leadership skills, and set clear and consistent limits. Things are getting much better!

One response to “Article response

  1. You have processed the exact reason I wanted to have participants in this course read this article: to make that distinction between type and trait. I believe that understanding the difference makes it so much easier to sort out behaviors that don’t seem to fit with a student’s (or anyone’s, for that matter) type.

    The very first time I looked at the whole eighth grade’s types, and organized the results into groups by type, this distinction jumped out at me, although I didn’t have words for it at the time. I could see a common denominator in ALL the students within each type — I could see that they had all the same way of being in the world. But since we don’t want to put people in boxes, or profile anyone (heaven forbid!), I pretty much kept quiet about my observation. But when I read this article, it was a huge Aha! for me.

    Looks like it will make a big difference for you, too. Thanks for your clear response.

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