Some people prefer to make decisions based on objective principles and others prefer to make decisions based on how THEY think the decision affects people. The first way seeks to be universally applicable and objective (e.g. no sex on the first date) and the second way seeks to be based on a persons values (e.g. my date showed out to be a nice person so it´s OK). Here´s what John K DiTiberio and George H Jensen from Department of Education at St Lous University and Division of Developmental Studies at Georgia State University said in their 1989 book Personality and the Teaching of Composition:
Thinking types… prefer to formulate decisions on what transcends human vacillations, on the objectivity of “things” or ethical principles… Feeling Types…, value the “people issues” of decision making. Whereas thinking types base decisions on criteria and principles, which… can be applied to all people consistently, feeling types base decisions on personal values, which evolve from people and have meaning only as long as they are attached to people.
Communication style of Feelers and Thinkers
Beeing of a certain type means that we prefer to use a certain psychological function over another. How we use the psychological functions can be seen in everything from how we structure or lives, to how we prefer to learn a new skill or what words we use when describing our experience of the world. Let´s look at an text example from a blogpost about IKEA:
Fancy dress party at IKEA
IKEA is definitely nicer than my house… well, maybe not nicer, but definitely cleaner and more organized. So it makes total sense to have a party there, which is exactly what the people at Cockeyed did. Dinner at the buffet (why not? I could always go for their Swedish meatballs), then on to various dining tables and living rooms to play BananaGrams, Boggle and Catchphrase. Looks like a good time was had by all.
The text is dominated by words that have their root in subjective judgement such as “fancy”, “nice” and “good”. The exceptions are the words “cleaner” and “more organized” that are objectively rooted. Now let´s look at another text from another blog post.
A snapshot of how to discover new innovate business models
…where did the ideas behind the successful IKEA strategy in the furniture industry come about?
When Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA’s founder, tried to crack this market, he was shut out at every turn. Barred from selling directly at trade fairs, he resorted to taking orders there. When that was forbidden, he contacted customers directly … In every instance, the strategy was driven as much by necessity as it was choice . . . . In hindsight, IKEA’s positioning is indeed brilliant and is indeed a source of real and sustainable differentiation. The position, however, was as much a consequence of adaptability as it was of strategy. It was persistence — and experimentation under the strict discipline imposed by constrained resources — that allowed IKEA to build its furniture franchise.
This text is dominated by a totally different category of words as anyone can se. There are plenty of “dry” words such as “strategy”, “differentiation”, “position”, “experimentation” and “resources”. Both having a party at an IKEA ware house and contacting customers directly are about IKEA positioning (to use a dry word ;-) but in the first text the bloggers judgement is that it is “nice”. In the second text the bloggers judgement is that it is “a source of real and sustainable differentiation”. The word “brilliant” in this context, I believe, refers more to “succesfull” than the sensual perception of for instance in-store christmas decorations. ;-)
You can try for yourself to analyse texts at the Myers-Briggs Judging Function classifyer at uClassify.
Why this is good news for marketers and consumers alike
Contacting bloggers in the hope of them writing nicely about a brand or product have become popular. The trouble is that there are millions of blogs out there and they are not categorized in a very helpful way for, e.g. PR professionals. It´s HIGHLY likely that the first blogger would´t be at all interested in IKEA corporate strategy and that the second blogger couldn´t care less about an invitation to the next ware-house party. So by categorizing the blogosphere into different psychological types (psychographic profiling or segmentation for us thinkers out there) marketers can identify the people most probable to be interested in a relation or listening to what we have to say. I personally believe that would be a good thing since one of the greatest nuicenses of this day and age are the flood off irrelevant information and advertisment that we all are bombarded with.
So, thats my 10 cents on how this method could help this world be a better place for all of us! ;-)
Want to check the personality type of a blogger? Check out Typealyzer!