As a method of organizing and classifying data, a typological approach is now explicit or implicit in many research areas. In the Social Sciences one need only look at Max Weber’s four category typology dealing with behavior within a framework of “Ideal Types”. More recently, David Riesman’s two category typology in The Lonely Crowd of “inner-directed” and “outer-directed” is used to help describe changing behavioral patterns in American society. Archaeology uses the tool of typology to classify its discoveries according to their characteristics. Anthropology uses it to organize cultures according to race. In Christian Theology it’s used to interpret characters and stories from the Old Testament as allegories foreshadowing the New Testament. In Linguistics, it’s used to classify world languages according to their common morphological structures. And in the last thirty years, typological models have been found useful in Architecture and Landscape Design.
And thenthere’s Psychology which we’ll get to presently. So, the need for a conceptual tool to deal with ever-increasing amounts of information is obvious. As Marshall McLuhan pointed out thirty years ago, survival in the age of information overload depends on pattern recognition.
Actually, the importance of pattern recognition had already been suggested a half century earlier by one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, C.G. Jung. In one of the most influential books to appear in the field of psychology, his seminal publication of Psychological Types introduced a typological model based, not on individual differences, but on typical differences. Pattern recognition by a different name. This is not the place to discuss Jung’s typological model. Authors in The Mandala Typology Of C.G. Jung And Its Literature do that in detail. It’s sufficient to say that it has likely been the single most influential model of typical differences in the psychology of individuals that has appeared since the medieval theorist Galen developed a typology based on the four humors of the Greeks.
And while the numbers of contemporary typologies increase by the year, the most important single test to determine one’s type is based on Jung’s typological model. In fact, the application of some version of Jung’s original typology is found in practically every area of our daily lives. In the Mandala Typology you’ll find a Jungian-based typology at work in practically any field you’d like to name. Each field has its own literature and with a click of a mouse button you can access a bibliography for each and with another click go to a commentary on the books or essays or articles which deal with your particular interest. It’s almost enough to suggest that we call our time the age of typology.
And, lest you should think that those who practice the application of some version of a behavioral or psychological typology are without a sense of humor, consider this sampling of MBTI prayers for several of the inventory’s 16 type profiles, author and publisher included, and so popular that they’re currently on three blogs:
|ENFP:||God, help me to keep my mind on one 'th -Look a bird- ing' at a time.|
|INTP:||Lord help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.|
|ISTP:||God help me to consider people's feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive.|
|ESTP:||God help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they're usually NOT my fault.|
|INTJ:||Lord keep me open to others' ideas, WRONG though they may be.|
See all 16 of Ellis N. Harsham’s MBTI Type Prayers
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