Friday, June 13, 2008

House M.D.

Character Analysis: What happens when you profile an all doctor cast? Time to delve into the cast of House and see what patterns we can find.


Meet the Characters

Dr. Gregory House - Best Guess: INTP; possibly ENTP - House is possibly the most insensitive character on television. He only cares about results, just slightly ahead of himself. Though being extremely confrontational, a pot stirrer, and verbally aggressive (often E traits), he struggles to maintain any deep friendships (outside of Dr. Wilson), and seems to have the need to "recharge" after such encounters. This is often an introverted trait. Being completely innovative and having absolutely no use for normal practicing traditions, he is a solid NT. I believe he is a P because he often spontaneously prescribes a medical condition and/or treatment on his patients. Then in the end, he goes back and continues to refine his theories. It is a very open ended and impulsive attitude. He seems more comfortable and sure of himself when he is brain storming as opposed to when he comes to a judgment. Strongest Letter(s): NT

Dr. Lisa Cuddy - Best Guess: ESFJ - Cuddy is quick to balance House's strong T and open-ended ways with a more grounded and judicious--but ultimately emotional--element (FJ). As the supervisor of the staff, she follows (and enforces) the rules accordingly (SJ). It is no wonder, that though she is a gifted doctor she has rose to an administrative position. She does not hesitate to confront House on any matter that is questionable (E) and she is one of the few who will not let him walk all over her authority. She is a quick guardian of the patients anytime she sees House acting inconsiderately and is quick to act on behalf of their feelings. Strongest Letter(s): FJ

Dr. James Wilson - Best Guess: INFJ; occasionally leans ISFJ - Wilson is House's only friend. Part of the reason that Wilson can coexist with House is because he seems to view House as a project that can be fixed., a trait that can often be identified with an INFJ. He always wants to encourage him in the "right ways"--seemingly an SJ lean. But it is more out of principle, (NF) than traditional (SJ). Wilson can be puzzling because he is conservative and tends to shy away from House's rebellious attitudes. But ultimately, Wilson wants what is best for his friend and will do what needs to be done in order to help him. When House was under investigation for his over-the-counter drug addictions, Wilson is the only one who agrees to help the officer. He felt this was the best course of action. Strongest Letter(s): IF

The Old Team

Dr. Eric Foreman - Best Guess: INTJ - Foreman is a character that has fluctuated from beginning to end. He has shown he is more apt to choose the safer and planned way in doing things (J); he often disagrees with House's more reckless P tactics. Foreman is a thinker (I) and he never acts impulsively until all aspects of the problem are looked at (J). Although many times, he does seem very empathetic towards the patients, in an almost F-like manner, I believe ultimately he is a T. If he feels the right away to accomplish something goes against the patients will, he will do it regardless. Displaying a classic T attitude, he usually chooses to be honest rather than catering to the feelings of someone else. He once told Cameron straight forwarded that they will never be friends and she is nothing more than a colleague to him. The most telling aspect of Foreman's character is when he left House's staff and sought employment elsewhere. He was unable to hold down a job because he had adopted House's NT utilitarian traits. While he was not being reckless, he did what was necessary regardless what the general rules allowed. Strongest Letter(s): IT

Dr. Allison Cameron
- Best Guess: ENFP - Cameron is easily the most impulsive (P) and sensitive member on the team (F). She is quick to make (or deny) medical judgements based on her feelings. Though not extremely extroverted, she is usually the one initialing conversations (E). She tends to be very idealistic (NF) in her outlook--not only with the patients--but even with the other doctors. House, who is notoriously rude and insensitive, does not phase Cameron. She has always had a (small) romantic interest in him and tends to idealize him for what he does (a brilliant doctor) than for what he is (obnoxious). If there is one doctor who would do something out of her own goodwill and beliefs, it is Cameron. She did step outside of her normal character briefly with her casual "flings" with Dr. Chase. While he became emotionally vested, she did not in a very curious T-like move. However, she may have been fooling herself as the couple did get together later on. Strongest Letter(s): NF

Dr. Robert Chase - Best Guess: ISTP - The Australian, Dr. Chase, like Dr. Cameron is of a very impulsive nature (P). He is quick to argue in what he believes in and often times it involves a very SP utilitarian manner in that--like the rest of the staff--innovative thinking takes precedence over established guidelines. Like many STP's, he occasionally can become emotionally fired up over some situations. However, it usually stems out of frustration when things are not going his way or to his liking. When he was initially let go of by House, he became fairly hardened to the situation once the initial feelings wore off (T). Strongest Letter(s): P

The New Team

Dr. Chris Taub - Best Guess: ENTP; possibly ESTP - Taub, although being new to House's team, will not hesitate to go against him. The rules do not always apply to Taub if there is a better way. And if there is an innovative way to do things (to resist House, to treat a patient, etc.), Taub will find a way. Although "only" being a plastic surgeon he is able to succeed in a more intensive environment with his creative problem solving. Strongest Letter(s): TP

Dr. Lawrence Kutner - Best Guess: ESFP- Kutner is easily the most enthusiastic member on this new team. Or even the old one for that matter. And he does not hesitate to do whatever House wants him to do (often times against the rules). He has that SFP feel in that he seems to radiate a fun and pleasant attitude. He is easily distracted and likes to take things with a a casual attitude. Strongest Letter(s): FP

Thirteen - Best Guess: ISTP; possibly ISFP - The (for now) nameless "Thirteen" is an intensely private (I) doctor. She is often compared to Cameron as the young female doctor on the team--but they could not be more different. Whereas Cameron is emotional and quick to reveal what she is thinking, Thirteen only speaks when she needs to. She chooses not give away any private information about herself to the others. This strikes me as an oddly T trait. However, she does have a developed emotional side beneath her exterior as she seems naturally scared to find out the potential medical condition she may carry: Thus putting off the testings. While not being overly aggressive, she will do what she feels is right. Strongest Letter(s): I

So in the end, it seems House has hired on a very balanced team in both cases. NF, SP, SJ. And then SP, SP,NT. Of course, the team is only as smart as its leader. And this team has one very ornery, yet brilliant man leading them.

13 comments:

Philip said...

Best Guess: INTJ - Foreman is a character that has fluctuated from beginning to end. He has shown he is more apt to choose the safer and planned way in doing things (J); he often disagrees with House's more reckless P tactics. Foreman is a thinker (I)

I know I'm being picky here, but I believe you made a typo. That should be a (T) instead of an (I).

Kicking Lettuce said...

Thanks, but actually I did mean an I in this context. He is a "thinker" (I), not a "talker" (E). But it can easily be translated both ways.

Ender said...

Dr. Gregory House is definitely ENTP.
According interpersonal relationships his best friend can't be "conflicter" ISFJ. My best guess for Wilson is ISFP.

Dr. Eric Foreman is ESTJ /IMHO/. Dr. Allison Cameronis very typical (J)

Kicking Lettuce said...

Ender,

I strongly believe House and Foreman is an "I". Although House is strongly borderline and it can almost go either way. There is no way Wilson is a "P". Cameron, however, I can see your point with and I will examine that further as I watch the show.

Ender said...

Speaking frankly, almost all of the characters has different /non typical/ behaviour in some episodes. I believe because of different directors and writers...
Anyway I have a theory: "House M.D." is so interesting and realistic, because most of characters are bi-typical :)
e.g. Dr. Greg INTJ/ENTP;
Cameron ISFJ/INFJ;
and etc.

P.S. I insist on Wilson's (P)

Kicking Lettuce said...

Ultimately, these are not real people. Sometimes the writing is uneven or just unrealistic. So with many of them, they just can't be boxed into one category or temperament.

Mac said...

As a whole House's behavior is ENTP behavior.....ENTP's are the most introverted of all extroverts......what they mostly need people for is an audience, and crave having the audience to bounce ideas off of and display their brilliance to. Without an audience, House would lose his mind, even if he spends most of his time berating his audience. So he's definitely an E......the Intuition is a given, so the N is a no brainer........so is the T......now P versus J......I don't think that's much of a debate either. He's excited about complex problems, but bored by anything that isn't challenging, and does everything he can to avoid dealing with routine, delegating all routine and monotonous tasks to others.....clearly P. ENTP.

As for Wilson, he's shown himself to be an INFJ.

I agree with the INTJ assessment of Foreman.


It is a legitimate point that the characters are not always consistent, but the reality is that taken as a whole, the above is correct.

Anonymous said...

Actually it's widely accepted that Dr. House's cognitive functions are Ni-Te-Fi-Si.

I think you should try to improve your understanding of analytical psychology.

Also saying that somebody is an "I" or "E" and talking about "strongest letters" is very blurry and displays only a superficial knowledge of MBTI.

Anonymous said...

House, I think, is more of an S than an N. He likes facts. and sees things in details. he is adventurous and athletic (well before he became a cripple).

Anonymous said...

"Actually it's widely accepted that Dr. House's cognitive functions are Ni-Te-Fi-Si.

I think you should try to improve your understanding of analytical psychology.

Also saying that somebody is an "I" or "E" and talking about "strongest letters" is very blurry and displays only a superficial knowledge of MBTI."


Boy, you can say that again! This guy doesn't know what he is talking about. You can't just read kiersey's book, and think you have a well rounded knowledge of MBTI. Almost everything here is all wrong. You just cannot accurately assess someone's type without taking into account the functions, unless it's someone really easy, like Michael or Kelly.

Mamatiger said...

I am an ENTP. The reason I don't keep a lot of friends isn't because I have trouble doing so - it's because they are not really worth the upkeep. I have so little trouble making new friends who are attracted to my ideas that it's not really logical for me to keep "favorites". I in fact consider it almost unethical to keep a clique. People move in and out of my life and back again so frequently I don't feel "lost" to someone if I don't talk to them every year.

Rachel said...

Im an ENTP. I like sharing my ideas, reflecting upon my own thoughts and pondering upon them some more. It wont be obnoxious to say that i am mostly in love (if we even know what love is) with my own mind. Talking to people gives me a chance at just that. However much I like talking to people, I find most of them interestingly stupid. That is primarily why i dont have many 'friends' but rather guinea pigs i use to feed my curiosities.

Rachel said...
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