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Four different types

Posted Jan 23 2009 6:24pm
The Four different types

Once you understand personality getting along with people becomes easy. Some people are easier to read than others, but everyone belongs to one of the four types. Once you know a person's type you can start to predict a person's behaviour. Even though people may behave in lots of different ways, everyone has a preferred style or type that best reflects their inner self.

The differences between the Types

A group of people are walking down the street. A thief runs past, steals a mobile phone, and runs off down the road with it. The different personality types react differently.

The Robust Individual or the Warrior or Amazon, runs off after the thief. Without fear of the consequences, a Robust Individual is not about to let someone get away with that kind of behaviour. He or she is as good as the next man or woman, and no one steals their stuff.

The Sensitive Individual or Organiser reports the theft to the police. A Sensitive Individual does not want to get hurt or run off down the street after a thief. It makes more sense to get the police involved, put in a insurance claim and make sure you end up with a better phone.

The Sensitive Social or Woodlander is the most upset. The phone has their phone numbers on it. Everyone is supportive, the Woodlander tells their friends what has happened, everyone tells their friends, he or she gets their phone numbers back. And everyone looks out for the phone

The Robust Social or Optimist gets together a group of mates to tackle the thief. In the meantime, the thief is off down the road, so the Optimist and his mates retire to the pub, swearing revenge on phone thieves everywhere.


Matrix Psychology describes personality or intelligence in everyday terms:

People think in one of two ways
1) They are either Convergent and Divergent thinkers

Convergent thinking reflects the capacity to focus on a single problem and ignore distractions. People who can focus on tasks, and ignore distractions are Convergent thinkers.

Divergent thinkers are natural multitaskers, distractions are their lifeblood! Divergent thinkers connect things across a wide range of different areas.

2) The second major category of thought is whether a person is a Top- down or Bottom-up Thinker

Top-down thinkers need to understand the big picture before they can understand the details. They like the grand account, an overarching vision of how the plan fits together. They want to see the plans before they can start work. They want the underlying principles rather than worry about the tiny details.People who are Top-down thinkers have a Robust or extravert style.

Major events interest them, but not the details nor feelings, unless they are important to the outcome. Robust, or Top-down thinkers live in their heads, unbothered by the minor worries and minutiae of everyday life.

On the other hand,
Bottom-up thinkers need to understand the whole by working through the details. They need the details so they can get a "feel" for the subject. They understand the larger principles through the way it works on the ground.

Sensitive introvert types use Bottom-up thinking. They notice subtle changes in their environment, people mood and minor innuendos. They can be sensitive and intuitive and naturally understanding how they and people round them feel.


People can learn to do both types of thinking, Top-down and Bottom-up, Convergent and Divergent by developing a wide ‘range of behaviour’.

Nonetheless everyone tends to use one type of thinking more than another. People resort to their natural preferred method of thinking when problems threaten to overwhelm them and when they relax.

The four types of thinking lead to four approaches to problem solving which map on to the four types of personality

A) Convergent thinking + Top-down thinking = the Robust Individual, Warriors and AmazonsWarriors and Amazons focus on the task. They are independent, often detached from the emotional results of their decision, which makes them objective thinkers, able to reason well, structure an argument and judge quickly. They are natural decision makers and natural leaders.

They tend towards philosophy and thinking about the big questions of life. Equally they have a practical intelligence, which makes them ideal surgeons. Intelligent, competent and obedient to their own high standards.They are creative, they master big principles and can see the idea through to its natural conclusion, whether it is a bridge, a building, or sculpture


B) Convergent thinking + Bottom-up thinking = the Sensitive Individual - Organisers

These people are analytical, think deeply, are good at organising work and projects. They are in contact with their emotions but are more easily overwhelmed by events because of their sensitive nature than are their more Robust cousins.


C) Divergent thinking + Top-down thinking = the Robust Social – RoyalsThese people recognise patterns and principles across different fields. They multitask naturally, unphased by a dozen different agendas. They know people, they naturally recognise people's different strengths and abilities. They are at their best in recruitment agencies, organising parties and events. They are popular, lively and can talk their way around anyone.


D) Divergent thinking + Bottom-up thinking = the Sensitive Social – Woodlanders

These people are wary, kind and obliging. They are social if shy, and can be described as ‘People-focused Introverts’. Their style of thinking means they often have more details and a greater understanding of what is happening than many people above them. They have an uncanny knack of knowing what will happen next.


Although people can learn to think in different ways, and develop a wide range of behaviour, Matrix Psychology works with a person's innate style of thinking and their deeper personality.

When outside other influences on behaviour are similar, the differences between peoples' Personalities shows up most strongly.


People can learn to do both types of thinking, Top-down and Bottom-up, Convergent and Divergent by developing a wide ‘range of behaviour’. Nonetheless everyone tends to use one type of thinking more than another.

Under stress and when relaxed, people resort to their natural or preferred way of thinking. Matrix Psychology looks at peoples' natural or preferred way of thinking and behaving. It looks at a person’s deeper or core self, rather how they behave in the moment.


Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Miller
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