Based on Carl G. Jung’s typology [Jung, 1921], people can be classified using four mental functions sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling together with the attitude (extraversion-introversion). An extrovert deals more with the objective whereas an introvert relies more with the subjective – C.G. Jung is quite clear that both the objective and the subjective represent facts and reality. The direction points to the source of energy that feeds the dominant mental function. An extrovert’s source of energy is mainly found in the outside world, whereas an Introvert’s source of energy is mainly found in his or her inner world. C. G. Jung’s classification scheme has been used quite successfully from individuals as well in the workplace.
By observation or asking certain questions it is possible to determine whether the organization of what type an individual’s nervous system results in thinking, feelings, response and behavior predominantly is. In that respect, most of Carl G. Jung’s concepts can even be applied to a group (like a team) or an organisation (like a company) or even a society. I recall a team analysis, using this method, which gave the rational for a yelling team, one of the best I ever worked with. An additional parameter in the Myer Briggs Indicator scheme, which is derived from but modified C.Jung’s system, helps to determine the dominant function. Its usefulness is in dispute as I come up in all type table derivates as having two opposite main and auxiliary function and what should you do with this – moderate introvert, distinctive intuitive, distinctive thinker, slightly judging). On the funny side, my numbers puts me in context of Isaac Newton, Niels Bohr, -and- C. G. Jung. So this article tries to explore it more from the C.G. Jung elaborate point of view.
Jung’s Introversion and extraversion Attitudes
The first of Jung’s general psychological types was the general attitude type. An attitude, according to Jung, is a person’s predisposition to behave in a particular way. There are two opposing attitudes: introversion and extraversion. The two attitudes work as opposing, yet complementary forces and are often depicted as the classing yin and yang symbol. Starting with the basic disposition or criteria, key differences between introverts and extroverts include:
- Introverts direct themselves inward toward concepts and ideas while Extroverts direct themselves outward toward people and objects
- Introverts are thought-oriented while extroverts are action-oriented
- Introverts want depth; while extroverts seek breadth.
The introvert is most aware of his or her inner world. While the external world is still perceived, it is not pondered as seriously as inward movement of psychic energy. The introverted attitude is more concerned with subjective appraisal and often gives more consideration to fantasies and dreams.
The extrovert, by contrast, is characterized by the outward movement of psychic energy. This attitude places more importance on objectivity and gains more influence from the surrounding environment than by inner cognitive processes
Jung’s Four Functions of Personality
For Carl Jung, there were four functions that, when combined with one of his two attitudes, formed the eight different personality types.
Carl Jung introduced also a hierarchy of mental functions in two mental bipolar dimensions (dichotomies) in his approach to personality. These are Sensing-Intuition (SN) and Thinking-Feeling(TF). He used the terms dominant, auxiliary, and inferior. Please note that Extraversion/introversion is an attitude , whereas Judging/Perceiving more of a clustering.
The first dichotomy, TF (T stands for Thinking and F – for Feeling), refers to how an individual processes the information. The function — feeling — is the method by which a person qualifies the value of conscious activity. The function — thinking — allows a person to understand the meanings of things. This process relies on logic and careful mental activity. According to C.G. Jung thinking and feeling are called “rational” function, because it typical for mental activity that consciously operates with, judges (good or bad feeling) or analyzes received information. People with predominantly “rational” function perceive the world as an ordered structure that follows a set of rules.
Sensing and iNtuition (SN)
The second dichotomy, SN (S stands for Sensing and N – for iNtuition), represents the way in which an individual receives information. According to C.G. Jung sensing and intuition are called “irrational” functions. These functions may seem very similar, but there is an important distinction. The first irrational function – sensation- refers to the means by which a person knows something exists, derived by our senses. The other irrational function -intuition- is knowing about something without conscious understanding of where that knowledge comes from. The “irrational” function, according to Jung, is typical for mental and perceptual activity that predominantly (and, for the most part, unconsciously) operates with opportunities, i.e. various possible outcomes and sensations result from some premises and sensations, mostly driven by unconscious processes. People with predominantly “irrational” thinking see the world as a structure that can take various forms and outcomes.
Hierarchy of Personality Types
A person is not usually defined by only one of the eight personality types. Instead, the different functions exist in a hierarchy. One function will be dominant and another will have a auxiliary effect. It is only the person who achieves self-realization that has completely developed all four functions. Usually, according to Jung, a person only makes significant use of two functions. The lesser two take inferior positions and is the individuation process who tries to develop all functions over a lifetime, although according to L v. Franz the fourth function (most inferior) will always remain in the unconsciousness. One of the poles of the two dichotomies predominates over the rest of the poles. This pole defines the dominant function.
Jung called the mental activity characterized by predominantly rational function judging, and the mental and perceptual activity characterized by predominantly irrational function perceiving. More recently, typologists e.g. Moore have introduced theoretical systems in which all people possess eight functions—equivalent to the four functions as defined by Jung but in each of the two possible attitudes—with the four in the opposite attitude (+/-) known as bipolar “shadow functions”, residing largely in the unconscious.
All possible permutations of the two mental bipolar dimensions with the two major types of introverts and extroverts above define 8 different personality types. Each type can be assigned a name (personality type formula), as an acronym of the combination of the 4 dimensions that defines the Personality Type.
- extrovert thinking orients itself strongly at objective and outside conditions and often is, but not always to objective (concrete and material) facts. This type may be opinionated and have high demand to themselves and others. They act often uncompromisingly, according to the slogan „The end justifies the means “ with little regard to feelings of themselves or others. Jung theorized that people understand the world through a mix of concrete ideas and abstract ones, but the abstract concepts are ones passed down from other people. Extroverted thinkers are often found working in the research sciences and mathematics.
- extrovert feeling is altruistic, a convention oriented like no other function. With too much object influence this type appears coldly, inauthentic and purpose-oriented and can in frequent changes of the point of view give an unreliable appearance. This type is most susceptible to hysteria. These people judge the value of things based on objective fact. Comfortable in social situations, they form their opinions based on socially accepted values and majority beliefs. They are often found working in business and politics.
- extrovert sensing is a vital function with the strongest life impulse. This type appears realistic and often also benefit-oriented. With to strong object influence their unscrupulous side shows up. In neuroses they develop of all kinds phobias with strong symptoms. These people perceive the world as it really exists. Their perceptions are not colored by any pre-existing beliefs. Jobs that require objective review, like accountants and administrators, are best filled by extroverted sensing people.
- extrovert intuition strives for discovery of possibilities and sacrifices selves possibly for them. This type gives often only small consideration to the environment. and can be diverted easily. These people prefer to understand the meanings of things through subliminally perceived objective fact rather than incoming sensory information. They rely on hunches and often disregard what they perceive directly from their senses. Inventors that come upon their invention via a stroke of insight and some religious reformers are characterized by the extraverted intuitive type.
- introvert thinking creates theory for the sake of the theory and is a little practically oriented. Danger exists that they isolate themselves.These individuals interpret stimuli in the environment through a subjective and creative way. The interpretations are informed by internal knowledge and understanding. Philosophers and theoretical scientists are often introverted thinking-oriented people.
- introvert feeling is with difficulty accessible and often hidden behind a mask. These humans are inconspicuous and show few emotions; Emotions are not external but internal with them. In a neurosis the cruel side shows up. These people make judgments based on subjective ideas and on internally established beliefs. Oftentimes they ignore prevailing attitudes and defy social norms of thinking. Introverted feeling people thrive in careers as art critics.
- introvert sensing leads to character-conditioned expression difficulties. The persons are often calm and passive. Their artistic expression ability is strong. They move in a mythic world and are sometimes easy believers. These individuals interpret the world through the lens of subjective attitudes and rarely see something for only what it is. They make sense of the environment by giving it meaning based on internal reflection. Introverted sensing people often turn to fine arts.
- introvert intuition occurs with humans, who are interested in the background procedures of consciousness. They try to integrate their visions into its own life. In case of a neurosis they are inclined to the obsessions with hypochondriac appearance. The famous example of C.G. Jung im an interview is the “lady with a snake in the abdomen” who lived in a private brothel without noticing it.These individuals, Jung thought, are profoundly influenced by their internal motivations even though they do not completely understand them. They find meaning through unconscious, subjective ideas about the world. Introverted intuitive people comprise a significant portion of mystics, surrealistic artists, and religious fanatics. Pretty often they are mystic dreamers or shamans or seers.
- 1st – Hero/Heroine
- 2nd – Good Parent
- 3rd – Puer/Puella
- 4th – Anima/Animus
- 5th – Opposing Personality
- 6th – Senex/Witch
- 7th – Trickster
- 8th – Daemon
Lenore Thomson as well as Linda Berens offers yet another model of type tables, terminology and ordering of cognitive processes.
Adding the dichotomy
The widely used Myers-Briggs personality type system was derived by Isabel Myers and her Mother from above described Jung’s scheme. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) analyzes four preferences, resulting in sixteen possible combinations. If you look closely, the fourth letter J (for judging) or P (for perceiving) seems superfluids or at least auxiliary – adding just Jung’s dichotomy as a (not derived) preference or function.
Isabel Myers, however, created the original type table. In her table, diametrically opposite personality types (that is, those with no traits in common among the dichotomies) are separated by one block along diagonals.
1 Understand that no one preference is better than another, and no single personality type is superior to another. The MBTI seeks to identify natural preferences, not abilities. When determining your type, look at it from the perspective of what you tend to do, not what you think you should do. Recognizing your own preferences is a useful tool in self-development.
2 Determine if you are introverted or extroverted. This preference is not so much about how social you are (which is what these terms are often associated with), as much as it deals with your tendency to act. Are you more likely to act, and then reflect? Or do you prefer to think things through before you act? Someone who acts first tends to feel motivated and energized in doing so and is typically extroverted in MTBI terms. But if you’re the kind of person who needs a break in order to introspect and re-energize, you’re probably introverted.
3 Think about how you gather information: through sensing or through intuition? Sensors see the trees, intuitives see the forest. Sensors prefer concrete detail and facts. They’re more likely to say “I won’t believe it till I see it.” They tend to distrust hunches or guesses when they’re not rooted in logic, observation or facts. Intuitives, on the other hand, feel more comfortable with abstract information and theories. They are spontaneous and more imaginative than sensors and enjoy exploring beyond the here and now, especially when thinking about the possibilities of the future. Their thoughts revolve around patterns, connections, and flashes of insights.
4 Look at how you make decisions. Once you gather your information, whether by sensing or intuitively, how do you arrive at a decision? Do you tend to try and look it it from the perspective of everyone involved in an attempt to find the most balanced, harmonious solution (e.g. reach a consensus)? If so, your preference is probably for feeling. But if instead, you tend to look for the most logical and consistent solution, perhaps measuring it up against a set of rules or assumptions, then your decision-making preference is likely to be thinking. Feeling types tend to be very uncomfortable with the presence of conflict, while thinking types usually accept and expect it as part and parcel of dealing with others. Some people assume that the feeling preference implies an emotional person, while the thinking preference is tied to a more rational person, but this is not the case. Both are rational approaches, and people with either preference can be emotional.
5 Think about how you relate to the outside world. Do you tend to communicate judgments or perceptions to others? If you have a judging preference, you’re more likely to explain to people how you make decisions and like to have matters settled – case closed. You like to make plans, check things off of a to-do list, and get things done ahead of deadlines. On the other hand, if you’re the perceiving type, you’ll tend to share your observations with the world, leaving matters open. You also prefer to do things “on the fly”, mix work with play, and wait until the last minute before making a decision or commitment.
6 Determine your personality type, which is a combination of four letters (e.g. INTJ, ENFP):
- The first letter is either I (for introverted) or E (for extroverted).
- The second letter is either S (for sensing) or N (for intuitive).
- The third letter is either T (for thinking) or F (for feeling).
- The fourth letter is either J (for judging) or P (for perceiving).
Type ISITEJ ISIFEJ INIFEJ INITEJ Dominant or first Introverted Sensing Introverted Sensing Introverted Intuition Introverted Intuition Auxiliary or second Extraverted Thinking Extraverted Feeling Extraverted Feeling Extraverted Thinking Tertiary or third Introverted Feeling Introverted Thinking Introverted Thinking Introverted Feeling Inferior or fourth Extraverted Intuition Extraverted Intuition Extraverted Sensing Extraverted Sensing Type ISETIP ISEFIP INEFIP INETIP Dominant or first Introverted Thinking Introverted Feeling Introverted Feeling Introverted Thinking Auxiliary or second Extraverted Sensing Extraverted Sensing Extraverted Intuition Extraverted Intuition Tertiary or third Introverted Intuition Introverted Intuition Introverted Sensing Introverted Sensing Inferior or fourth Extraverted Feeling Extraverted Thinking Extraverted Thinking Extraverted Feeling Type ESETIP ESEFIP ENEFIP ENETIP Dominant or first Extraverted Sensing Extraverted Sensing Extraverted Intuition Extraverted Intuition Auxiliary or second Introverted Thinking Introverted Feeling Introverted Feeling Introverted Thinking Tertiary or third Extraverted Feeling Extraverted Thinking Extraverted Thinking Extraverted Feeling Inferior or fourth Introverted Intuition Introverted Intuition Introverted Sensing Introverted Sensing Type ESITEJ ESIFEJ ENIFEJ ENITEJ Dominant or first Extraverted Thinking Extraverted Feeling Extraverted Feeling Extraverted Thinking Auxiliary or second Introverted Sensing Introverted Sensing Introverted Intuition Introverted Intuition Tertiary or third Extraverted Intuition Extraverted Intuition Extraverted Sensing Extraverted Sensing Inferior or fourth Introverted Feeling Introverted Thinking Introverted Thinking Introverted Feeling