Misidentifying Fours and Fives


Fours and Fives can resemble each other in that both are withdrawn types (PT, 433-36), both can be individualistic and eccentric by mainstream cultural standards, and both can be highly creative. Of course, there is a greater risk of mistyping with 4w5s and 5w4s.

Fives are more likely to mistype as Fours than vice versa, primarily because of simplistic definitions of the types. Some Fives have learned that Fours are more feeling-oriented, and Fives are more intellectual, and seeing that they have deep feelings presume that they must be Fours. (This is especially true with female Fives.) Also, Fives are often portrayed as scientists or engineers while Fours are creative artists. In fact, it is true that Fours are less likely to be scientists than some other types, but there are as many Fives who are artists as Fours, although their styles are somewhat different.

Fours are self-absorbed and emotionally volatile–they express their feelings one way or another, and need people to respond to them in an emotional way. Their artistic work tends to be autobiographical, based on their families, on relationships, past or unrequited, and on the content of their subjective experience. Fives may have intense feelings but share them with few people. Their feelings tend to fuel their thoughts and their imagination, leading them to more abstract or fantastic forms of creative expression. Their work is less autobiographical, and more often portrays their vision of reality. ("I paint what I see!") Fives tend to be more experimental and outlandish in their artwork. Although both types can explore personal darkness more thoroughly than most, Fours tend to focus on their disappointments in love and with their childhoods and their attendant pain. Fives tend to focus on inner emptiness and feelings of meaninglessness. Fives are more driven to penetrate the surface of things to understand, Fours to get in touch with feelings and cathartically express them. Compare Fours Ingmar Bergman and Anne Rice with Fives David Lynch and Clive Barker.