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Trans-contextual thinking is the ability to create connections in the mind between things or ideas that aren’t typically associated with each other in a particular context.

This is a special talent of types who use Extraverted iNtuition, particularly ENFP and ENTP, but also INFP and INTP.

Dr. Dario Nardi at UCLA studies the neurology of personality type through the use of EEG technology. Here’s an excerpt from his book “The Neuroscience of Personality“:

Regardless what kind of stimulus enters the brain – be it sight, sound, smell sensation- the brain responds by rapidly processing that stimulus in multiple regions, including regions seemingly not applicable to the stimulus. – Dario Nardi

As an example of how this is used, if most people are given the task of coming up with connections between say a platypus and a Christmas tree then it would pretty tough. For someone with the natural genius of trans-contextual thinking it may spontaneously produce a whole flood of interesting possible connections.

One of my favorite examples of trans-contextual thinking in music is Tom Waits’ (ENTP) “The Piano Has Been Drinking”.

Lyrical Excerpt from ‘The Piano Has Been Drinking’

“The piano has been drinking
my necktie is asleep
and the combo went back to New York
the jukebox has to take a leak
and the carpet needs a haircut
and the spotlight looks like a prison break
cause the telephone’s out of cigarettes
and the balcony’s on the make”

Can you think of any songs that employ trans-contextual thinking?

Scott James

Author Scott James

Scott James is a Musician & Personality Profiler in Los Angeles, California. Read more: About Scott James

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