Understanding the 8 Jungian
Cognitive Processes (Functions)

Se: Extraverted Sensing Si: Introverted Sensing
Ne: Extraverted iNtuiting Ni: Introverted iNtuiting
Te: Extraverted Thinking Ti: Introverted Thinking
Fe: Extraverted Feeling Fi: Introverted Feeling
 

The History
In the 1920s, the idea of personality type was being explored by leading scientists and philosophers. A Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, wrote Psychological Types during that time, in which he gave a detailed description of what has now become one of the most widely used typologies in the world.

In the 1940s, Isabel Myers began developing a self-report questionnaire—the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument—that could help people find where they fit in Jung's theory. The use of this instrument has led to an almost universal understanding that there are sixteen basic personality types, each of which can be 'named' by a four-letter personality type code.

Two Worlds
Jung first noticed that people seemed fundamentally different in terms of whether they were more extraverted, oriented to the external world of people and experiences outside themselves, or introverted, oriented to their internal worlds of thoughts, ideas, feelings, and memories. Then he noticed more differences in terms of what people were doing in each of those worlds. These he called "functions." They are now thought of as cognitive processes.

Functions—Cognitive Processes
Using metaphors for names, Jung described two kinds of cognitive processes—perception and judgment. Sensation and Intuition were the two kinds of perception. Thinking and Feeling were the two kinds of judgment. He said that every mental act consists of using at least one of these four cognitive processes. Then he described eight personality types that were characterized by using one of the processes in either the extraverted or introverted world; extraverted Sensing types, introverted Sensing types, extraverted iNtuiting* types, introverted iNtuiting types, extraverted Thinking types, introverted Thinking types, extraverted Feeling types, and introverted Feeling types. He also suggested that these processes operate not just as the dominant process in a personality but also in other ways.

The Instrument
As Isabel Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, began to craft a self-report instrument, they faced several challenges. They had to take what Jung had seen as an integrated whole personality pattern and try to figure out how to ask questions to get at that whole. They chose to focus on Jung's notion of opposites and force choices between equally valuable psychological opposites. They also added a dichotomy to help reveal the type pattern. The result was sixteen types, each indicated by a four-letter code such as ENFP or ISTJ.

Type as a Whole Pattern, Not Just Four Letters
The purpose of this website is to help you understand how the type codes represent patterns of how we use the eight cognitive processes—extraverted Sensing, introverted Sensing, extraverted iNtuiting, introverted iNtuiting, extraverted Thinking, introverted Thinking, extraverted Feeling, and introverted Feeling.

*Adapted from Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi, Understanding Yourself and Others: An Introduction to the Personality Type Code (Used with permission)

INFORMATION-ACCESSING PROCESSES—Perception
Se Extraverted Sensing: Experiencing the immediate context; taking action in the physical world; noticing changes and opportunities for action; accumulating experiences; scanning for visible reactions and relevant data; recognizing "what is." Noticing what was available, trying on different items, and seeing how they look.
Si Introverted Sensing: Reviewing past experiences; "what is" evoking "what was"; seeking detailed information and links to what is known; recalling stored impressions; accumulating data; recognizing the way things have always been. Remembering the last time you wore a particular item or the last time you were at a similar event—maybe even remembering how you felt then.
Ne Extraverted iNtuiting: Interpreting situations and relationships; picking up meanings and interconnections; being drawn to change "what is" for "what could possibly be"; noticing what is not said and threads of meaning emerging across multiple contexts. Noticing the possible meanings of what you might wear: "Wearing this might communicate…"
Ni Introverted iNtuiting: Foreseeing implications and likely effects without external data; realizing "what will be"; conceptualizing new ways of seeing things; envisioning transformations; getting an image of profound meaning or far-reaching symbols. Envisioning yourself in an outfit or maybe envisioning yourself being a certain way.
ORGANIZING-EVALUATING PROCESSES—Judgment
Te Extraverted Thinking: Segmenting; organizing for efficiency; systematizing; applying logic; structuring; checking for consequences; monitoring for standards or specifications being met; setting boundaries, guidelines, and parameters; deciding if something is working or not. Sorting out different colors and styles; thinking about the consequences, as in "Since I have to stand all day…"
Ti Introverted Thinking: Analyzing; categorizing; evaluating according to principles and whether something fits the framework or model; figuring out the principles on which something works; checking for inconsistencies; clarifying definitions to get more precision. Analyzing your options using principles like comfort or "Red is a power color."
Fe Extraverted Feeling: Connecting; considering others and the group-organizing to meet their needs and honor their values and feelings; maintaining societal, organizational, or group values; adjusting to and accommodating others; deciding if something is appropriate or acceptable to others. Considering what would be appropriate for the situation: "One should or shouldn't wear…" or "People will think…"
Fi Introverted Feeling: Valuing; considering importance and worth; reviewing for incongruity; evaluating something based on the truths on which it is based; clarifying values to achieve accord; deciding if something is of significance and worth standing up for. Evaluating whether you like an outfit or not: "This outfit suits me and feels right."

 

 

 

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