The 16 Type Patterns
*Adapted from Linda
V. Berens and Dario Nardi, Understanding Yourself and Others:
An Introduction to the Personality Type Code (Used with permission)
There are 16 Personality Types. Each "Type" represents a unique predictable pattern of how the eight processes (functions) are used in everyday life.
The Roles of the Processes
In each of the sixteen types, each of the eight processes plays a different "role" in the personality.
The type code lets you know what role each process plays for each type. This is called "type dynamics."
It is also referred to as the "hierarchy of functions": Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior.
The roles are explained below to help you better understand the patterns. In most of what we do we rely on two of the processesâ€”a preferred way of accessing information and a preferred way of organizing and evaluating that information. As we look more closely we can see that one process takes a leading role and the other takes a supporting role.*
In truth, we have access to all eight cognitive processesâ€”the other six are often in the background, playing other kinds of roles. Each has a positive and a negative way of expressing itself. Each bears a different energy cost when we use it.
The Primary Processes
The primary processes are those used in the first four roles.
Each process tends to emerge and develop at different times in our lives. During these times we are drawn to activities that use these processes. Then, learning the content and the skills that engage these processes is often nearly effortless. We find our interest is drawn to them and our interest is pulled away from things we were drawn to before.
The Leading Role (Dominant)
(sometimes referred to as the 1st function)
The process that plays the leading role is the one that usually develops early in childhood. We tend to engage in this process first, trusting it to solve our problems and help us be successful.
Being the most trusted and most used, it usually has an adult, mature quality to it. While we are likely to engage in it rather automatically and effortlessly, we have much more conscious control over it.
The energy cost for using it is very low. Much like in the movies, the leading role has a heroic quality as using it can get us out of difficult situations.
However, we can sometimes "turn up the volume" on this process and become overbearing and domineering. Then it takes on a negative dominating quality.
The Supporting Role (Auxiliary)
(sometimes referred to as the 2nd function)
The supporting role is how we are helpful to others as well as supportive of ourselves.
Once we have developed some facility with our leading role process, we are more likely to feel comfortable engaging in our supporting role process.
In its most positive form, this can be quite like a nurturing parent. In its more negative aspect, it can be overprotective and stunting rather than helpful.
When the leading role process is an extraverted one, the supporting role process is introverted.
When the leading role process is an introverted one, the supporting role process is extraverted and may be quite active and visible as it provides a way of dealing with the outer world.
The Relief Role (Tertiary)
(sometimes referred to as the 3rd function)
The relief role gives us a way to energize and recharge ourselves. It serves as a backup to the supporting role and often works in tandem with it.
When we are younger, we might not engage in the process that plays this role very much unless our life circumstances require it or make it hard to use the supporting role process. Usually, in young adulthood we are attracted to activities that draw upon this process.
The relief role often is how we express our creativity. It is how we are playful and childlike. In its most negative expression, this is how we become childish. Then it has an unsettling quality, and we can use this process to distract ourselves and others, getting us off target.
The Aspirational Role (Inferior)
(sometimes referred to as the 4th function)
The aspirational role usually doesn't develop until around midlife.
We often experience it first in its negative aspect of projecting our "shoulds," fears, and negativities onto others.
The qualities of these fears reflect the process that plays this role, and we are more likely to look immature when we engage in the process that plays this role. There is often a fairly high energy cost for using itâ€”even when we acquire the skill to do so.
As we learn to trust it and develop it, the aspirational role process provides a bridge to balance in our lives. Often our sense of purpose, inspiration, and ideals have the qualities of the process that plays this role.
The other four cognitive processes operate
more on the boundaries of our awareness.
It is as if they are in the shadows and
only come forward under certain circumstances.
We usually experience these processes
in a negative way, yet when we are open
to them, they can be quite positive.
to as the 5th function)
The opposing role is often how we get
stubborn and argumentativerefusing
to play and join in whatever
is going on at the time.
It might be easy
for us to develop skill in the process
that plays this role, but we are likely
to be more narrow in our application of
this skill, and it will likely take more
energy to use it extensively.
In its positive
aspect, it provides a shadow or depth
to our leading role process, backing it
up and enabling us to be more persistent
in pursuit of our goals.
Critical Parent Role
referred to as the 6th function)
The critical parent role is how we find
weak spots and can immobilize and demoralize
We can also feel this way when
others use the process that plays this
It is often used sporadically and
emerges more often under stressful conditions
when something important is at risk. When
we engage it, we can go on and on.
access its positive side of discovery,
we must learn to appreciate and be open
to it. Then it has an almost magical quality
and can provide a profound sense of wisdom.
to as the 7th function)
The deceiving role fools us into thinking
something is important to do or pay attention
The process that fills this role is
often not trusted or seen as worthy of
attention, for when we do engage it, we
may make mistakes in perception or in
decision making. Then we feel double boundtrapped
between two bad options.
Yet this role
can have a positive side as it provides
comic relief. Then we can laugh at ourselves.
It can be refreshing and join with the
relief role as we recharge ourselves through
to as the 8th function)
The devilish role can be quite negative.
Using the process that plays this role,
we might become destructive of ourselves
Actions (or inactions) taken
when we engage in the process that plays
this role are often regretted later.
we are unaware of how to use the process
that fills this role and feel like it
just erupts and imposes itself rather
Yet when we are open to
the process that plays the devilish role,
it becomes transformative. It gives us
the impetus to create something newto
make lemonade out of lemons, rather than
lament their sourness.
Remember, we can use all the processes
and we can become skilled in that use.
Skill comes through practice. As we go
through life, we seem to be drawn to activities
that develop our primary processes. Sometimes
the environment doesn't allow or
foster that development or it can heighten
Thus, while the personality pattern
will be the same for each type, there
will be considerable variation among individuals
of the same type due to their varying
are more likely to identify and claim
those processes we are aware of, rather
than those we are unaware of.
If we are
competent in using a process yet unaware
of it, we will take it for granted. If
we are incompetent and unaware, we are
likely to project the negative aspects
of this process onto others and even deny
that it can have any value anywhere.
The pattern of the processes can be represented
by a stick figure.
At the head is the
process we lead with, commonly called
At the right hand is the
process we use in a supportive way, commonly
called the Auxiliary.
At the left hand
is the process we use in a relief-giving
way, commonly called the Tertiary.
at the feet is what we aspire to, commonly
called the Inferior.
Since this process
is what we aspire to be doing well, it
is often what makes our feet go
even when we are unaware of wanting to
go in that direction.
of the shadow processes as being situated
just behind the stick figure to show that
they are in the background. Just like
a shadow, they are always there, but we
are most often not actively using them.