MBTI: Elizabeth Shaw- INFP


While any type is capable of going further than they should in whatever situation, there’s few types that question themselves about it and then keep going. The two that would seem to be most prone to the ethics of their own situation only to continue would be INTP and INFP.

While the two can hardly be confused, there’s still their conviction and determination toward a question that may never be answered that could allow one to mistake one for another. Fox Mulder may be the closest call but Prometheus‘ Dr. Shaw has her moments where obsession and progress meet to blur the lines of what is being done, and what should be done.

INFPs are so deep like, I can’t even take it.pro2

Upon meeting Shaw, we’re introduced to a researcher that loves her work which isn’t a surprise. In Scotland, a star map, or a way to read the stars in such a way that would lead them to…something.

As we know, this all ends violently like all Alien or Alien-like movies do, but our protagonists don’t know that, they just think they may have found the Holy Grail of archeological findings. Other than the Holy Grail of course, and I think that comparison may have actually been in the movie.

"After this, are you guys up to raid a lost ark?"

“After this, are you guys up to raid a lost ark or something?”

Either way, we’re given insight into Shaw and her boyfriend/fellow archeologist Charlie Holloway’s characters and why they even do what they do. Holloway is into their work it seems, for the freedom it allows, all while possibly making history; it all seems to be for the hell of it, as made clear by his conversation with David the android (best performance in the film goes to Fassbender).

Although Holloway is a bit drunk and disappointed, overall his character is one of selfishness and of arrogance. “We made you ’cause we could.” Although David isn’t human, Holloway’s answer could have had a bit more thought put into it yet he doesn’t have to care about David or how he speaks to him, so he doesn’t. The same with his research. He doesn’t have to care why, he’s just doing it. Have we got an Artisan here…?

Contrast to Shaw, whose research and work are all a culmination of her childhood, her beliefs, her idealism (no pun), and the hope to find a greater purpose; the reason she’s invested herself in this particular career to begin with.

Pictured above: Not an INFP job.

Pictured above: Not an INFP job.

INFPs are nothing if not convicted. You know why you’ve never met an INFP that was without conviction? Suicide. OHHHHHH…. Don’t be offended, INFP that just read that.

But really, the need for purpose is the driving force behind the INFP. Their leading Fi backed by Ne gives them a motivation for purpose no other type really matches on the whole. The INTP becomes obsessed with their work but can get lost in the world of theory and idea.

INFPs hold a similar stance but due to Fi, their purpose is deeply concerned with the human condition and how people are affected. Shaw’s need to know where humanity stemmed from isn’t for conceited reasons or vain intent but rather the true reasons for humanity’s existence. You’re unlikely to find an INFP that doesn’t have deeply rooted spiritual beliefs or at least have major reasons for their lack of spirituality.

Her father is shown to impact Shaw’s beliefs at a young age. While other types may have forgotten this memory or written it off long ago, Shaw literally dreams of it. Her refusal to let go of it even after David the android taunts her for it is also much like the INFP’s will to believe in something more than what they can see.

Like Hollow Man! But not a scummy rapist.

Like Hollow Man! But not a scummy rapist.

When the careless Holloway mentions that creating life is no big deal because “anybody can do it,” Shaw responds with tears in her eyes that she can’t create life and rather than letting Holloway’s thoughtless words slide off of her back, she can’t help but be affected by them. INFPs and their sensitivity often subjects everyone in the room in a way nobody thought would occur seconds before it happened.

ESTP- Man, that cake was good but not as good as mom used to make! Nothing can beat Mom’s!

INFP- Uh- I made that cake.

ESTP- Oh, really? It’s good!

INFP- You said your mom’s was better than mine. Why would you say that? I’m standing right here!

ESTP- I was just joking, I didn’t mean that yours was b-

INFP- I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID and it was VERY rude and disrespectful!

"I have not yet BEGUN to disrespect your cake-making abilities!"

“I have not yet BEGUN to disrespect your cake-making abilities!”

This isn’t to downplay an INFP’s feelings per se, but the ways they can be offended seem so varied that it can be tough to know what you’re going to say that will mesh with their own thoughts…and what won’t. Their Extraverted Intuition has them foreseeing multiple possibilities everywhere. Normally it’s used to help them see multiple sides and being able to understand all walks of life and why they would think differently- it can also make them argumentative. Which is funny, because they hate arguing.

Their perfectionist attitude can often lead them to correct others when they feel someone has said something that goes against what’s right, morally. If an argument doesn’t ensue, they may clam up and refuse to say what’s wrong while simultaneously creating another problem in the process.

A lasting impression Shaw’s character left on me is that instead of trying to go back home after having a hand in saving Earth, she chooses to head for the Engineer’s home planet. Fi backed by Ne can make a person exploring any and every possibility that crosses the user’s mind.

"Death may be the only way to TRULY save the earth. I'll get to work immediately!"

“Death may be the only way to TRULY save the earth. I’ll get to work immediately!”

Another type may have decided to go back home and live out the rest of Earth’s days (assuming the Engineer’s would attempt Earth’s destruction again) appreciating what they have. But the INFP wants to go further down the rabbit hole, knowing that she’s not going back home ever again.

The INTP says “In the name of science!” while the INFP screams “FOR HUMANITY!”

Lastly, in the Prometheus viral campaign, Dr. Shaw is shown to have sent multiple proposal videos in an effort to get funding for their journey to the distant Engineer planet. A testament to INFP will and candor.


4 Responses to “MBTI: Elizabeth Shaw- INFP”

  1. Finlander Says:

    Interesting, I think most of Noomi’s characters are that of INxx-type. And now thinking about Shaw it seems that she quite well goes as an INFP.

    Have you by the way thought about what type Noomi herself represents? Cos I strongly consider her as an ISFP. I have read and watched a lot of interviews of her and she seems to have that inward passion and stubborness of Fi. She says herself that she’s “obsessed with human psyche”. She relates to underdogs of society and she has always a clear vision what her charecter is like. Thus she is not afraid to clash with the director if she feels her views are not in line with the ones of director. And Se must be at least her auxiliary function because she is a physical person: she told that she was into martial arts and sports in her youth and she always will have physical preparation for her roles. Also she seems to have shit loads of clothes because she dresses differently every time she is in public. And fondness of beautiful clothing is kind of an Se trait. And if you watch her interviews you will see how bouncy person she is waving her arms and being very in-the-present. And even though one might consider her as an ESFP I don’t think so because she’s very serious person. Even if she might seem funny and laughing in interviews, her roles are quite serious and psychologically challenging. And she has said herself that she wouldn’t ever act in a comedy because she is too serious person. So she doens’t seem to possess that goofball-quality of an ESFP (which of course is a stereotype but MBTI eventually IS about typing, so…).

    I have also thought about her being an ISTP or an ESTP because she certainly has that Se in her top functions. And introverted thinking also would go in line with that kind of “finding my own way” and anti-authority attitude. But still both of those types seem to be too much techincally or task oriented. And both are extroverted feelers which to me doesn’t seem to be the case with Noomi (she isn’t too much interested in social rituals. Actually she has stated hating dishonest politness where main goal is to avoid confrontation at any cost. She values authenticity above all). Plus she seems to be much of an feeling type which means she would have also feeling in her top functions. Fi-Se makes most sense to me and Ni goes also there as tertiary because that function propably would have helped her to focus her passions and energy into acting.

    • Taylor Says:

      Whoa, somebody’s a fan! Yeah, you seem like you’ve looked into this. It seems a lot of actors/actresses choose roles based on characters they identify with and if you can find certain unifying themes to them, the actor themselves may not too far from that type.

      Ryan Gosling for example usually tends to play I–P characters and people often believe him to be ISFP also. I’ll check out some interviews for the heck of it but you seem like you did your research. Thanks for commenting, always appreciate it.

  2. Finlander Says:

    Yeah, you can definitely call me a fan. Since I have seen most of her movies I do have some grasp about her characters as a whole. Noomi Rapace is definitely one of the most talented and intense actresses out there. Not all her movies are great but at least it’s she who can bring something interesting to them. She’s an extraordinary person: very talented but down-to-earth.

    I just found your blog and must say that this is funny. I mean, in a good way. Actually I found this after searching if anybody had typed Noomi (seems that nobody hasn’t). MBTI is indeed interesting stuff and typing friends, celebrities or fictional characters like you do can serve as a pastime. Nothing to be taken too seriously.

    (Had to check if you had typed master Yoda. Well, as I excpected he’s an obvious INFJ.)

    • Taylor Says:

      Yeah it’s an interesting hobby. On one hand it’s just for fun, on the other hand, you can end up learning more about yourself and others around you in months than you did the rest of your life. Such is the case with me anyway.

      Funny you bring up Rapace anyway, as I’ve been watching Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lately. Specifically, The Girl the Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. She’s awesome in it.

      Yep, those Jedi and their NF-ness. Thanks for reading.


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