By Ştefan Boros
Not everyone approaches the world in the same way.
While every individual is special in their own way and while everyone has their own unique gifts and flaws, people can be classified into 16 different personality types. Each personality type has a certain number of traits that will be present in everyone having that personality type. For example, if you take 10 people each of different personality types they might vary greatly in their traits and temperament but if you take 10 people each of the same personality type you’ll find out that, while having a good number unique traits that might separate them, they are all similar to each other in some key traits.
To understand the whole system of typology I am using we have to take a very brief look at the history of it. I will try to make it as short as possible so we can get to how the actual system works faster.
Carl G. Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, was the first person on earth to build the foundation of this system. He wrote his bookPsychological Types in 1921 where he defined the most important concept ever created in personality: Introversion and extraversion. These two terms are used in everyday language these days but unfortunately they kind of lost their original meaning. You might have heard that introverts are the kind of people that spend most time alone, rarely get out of the house, are quiet and reserved and calm and extroverts are the people-oriented kind of individuals who spend more time outside and are much more outgoing and energetic. That is quite a flawed definition, it IS often the case that this happens but there are of course exceptions. There are a lot of outgoing energetic introverts and a lot of reserved loner extroverts, it’s just that MOST (not all) introverts are reserved, prefer alone time, etc. and MOST (not all) extroverts are outgoing and energetic, etc.
To understand Jungian typology we have to understand introversion and extroversion properly, on which I will touch upon a little later, but we also need to understand something else: The two modes of perception: Sensing vs. Intuition and two modes of judging: Feeling vs. Thinking. Carl Jung wrote a little bit about those things in the last chapter of his book.
Fun fact: Jung regrets writing Psychological Types because it was severely misunderstood by most people.
Later, a lots touched upon his book. 1943, while World War II was making most males go on war leaving their jobs that had to be taken by females which were most housewives. Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers Briggs set up a questionnaire to help women in choosing their jobs. This questionnaire was named the “MBTI test” and you most likely have heard of it. It touched upon the mainstream culture and is the biggest misinterpretation of the system due to the creation of stereotypes and several misunderstandings. This is not Brigg’s fault however. They wanted to make an efficient and useful system, not an accurate and true one. People have to remember that. Nowadays when you google “MBTI” you’ll most likely find a culture using a combination of several western typology systems, including Briggs theory and some other newer ones.
As I mentioned, several systems developed later, this time for accuracy, not efficiency. Psychologists/Sociologists such as John Beebe, Aushra Augusta, Gregory Reinin, Victor Gulenko and many others contributed amazingly at this system.
Most of what you will read in my articles will be a product of my subjective understanding of the system based of reading “a little bit from everything” and choosing what makes sense to me. Basically what I am doing here is describing my understanding of the system of personality mostly called “MBTI”. Some call it MBTI, some call it Socionics, I will call it Jungian typology for now to avoid confusion.
Some of us care more about the reality of type than discussing theory for the sake of theory. When discussing a real phenomenon there’s no point in treating different models as dogma, they need to be all compared with each other and with reality.
This post doesn’t attempt to describe socionics or MBTI or anything else, it describes my understanding of the real phenomenon of type.
There are several rules about the types:
People do not change from one basic personality type to another.
The descriptions of the personality types are universal and apply equally to males and females, since no type is inherently masculine or feminine.
No type is inherently better or worse than any other. While all the personality types have unique assets and liabilities, some types are often considered to be more desirable than others in any given culture or group. Furthermore, for one reason or another, you may not be happy being a particular type. You may feel that your type is “handicapped” in some way. As you learn more about all the types, you will see that just as each has unique capacities, each has different limitations. If some types are more esteemed in Western society than others, it is because of the qualities that society rewards, not because of any superior value of those types. The ideal is to become your best self, not to imitate the assets of another type.
Jungian typology works primarily on a system based on dichotomies. A dichotomy, for short, is (here) a way to split a group of entities into 2 equal parts. This applies to the 16 types (8 on each side) and other typology concepts such as functions, function positions(roles), and even dichotomies themselves (dichotomy-ception!)
The first and most important dichotomy that exists (which splits the types but can also be applied to a few other concepts) isINTROVERSION VS EXTRAVERSION.
Keep in mind this is a very complex topic since Jung devoted almost an entire book defining such a concept, but I will try to narrow it down to a few paragraphs:
While extraverts define their internal world by external criteria, and, as a result, are oriented by objective, external information, introverts define the external world by internal/personal, subjective criteria, and, as a result are oriented by subjective information.
Introversion is an inwards-turning of energy. It’s an orientation that expresses the supremacy of subjective part of life; one’s inner thoughts, feelings, personal experiences. This does not mean that introverts are always introspective – instead, their relation to the outside world is colored by their subjective view in such a way that their perceptions and judgments hinge more on their private inner reality than on the shared reality of the objective world; everything must be post-processed inside. Because their energy moves away from the object (and towards the subject), they tend to be relatively reserved, inscrutable, and shy, but that’s not always the case. What I would say is almost always the case is that they are “distant”, they distance themselves from the outer world all the time, like they’re scared of it or they want to defend themselves from it. This distancing can be mistaken for shyness or social anxiety but it’s not a must.
Extroversion is an outwards-turning of energy. Here the objective part of life is the most important. Extroverts think and act in a way that corresponds more directly to external conditions. They aren’t necessarily perfectly adjusted – extroversion is no guarantee of good social skills, and furthermore, neglecting their inner life often results in grief for the extrovert. However, they are constantly impelled to relate to the outer world in some way, and in turn to be affected by it, whether that means they’re on good terms with everybody, or that they pick fights with everybody. In general they are relatively open, sociable, jovial, or at least friendly and approachable, but, again, that’s not always the case. In comparison to the defensive distanced introvert, the extrovert is going against the external world instead of distancing themselves from it, like attackers instead of defenders.
Introverts, in a nutshell, are defenders while extraverts are attackers.
This is just one of the dozens of dichotomies in typology. Myers then came with three more: Sensors vs iNtuitives, Thinkers vs Feelers and Perceivers vs Judgers. A. Augusta defined T/F and S/N too but instead of perceivers and judgers she approached rationals vs irrationals. Then Dr. Gregory Reinin added 10 more dichotomies, making a total of 15 ways you can split the 16 types into 2 groups.
As I said, dichotomies don’t stop at a type level. As you learn more and more you will find out they are splitting functions, roles and intertype relationships (you can’t split relationships into 2 EQUAL groups, therefore there aren’t intertype relationship dichotomies) into 2 groups as well.
Jungian typology defined 4 main ways of thinking: Sensing and iNtuition (being opposites) and Thinking vs Feeling.
Thinking and Feeling are rational processes (Also called judging) which are used to process, distort, modify and ultimately understand information. Sensing and iNtuition are irrational processes (Also called perceiving) which are focused on absorbing information, simply taking it as it is for later use by judging functions.
A good more in depth analysis of judgment vs perception is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aV79vYnXH6s
Combined with Introversion vs Extroversion, you get 8 cognitive functions:
-Introverted Thinking (Ti for short)
-Extroverted Thinking (Te for short)
-Introverted Feeling (Fi)
-Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
-Introverted Sensing (Si)
-Extroverted Sensing (Se)
-Introverted iNtuition (Ni)
-Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)
Fi and Ti would then be introverted rational functions, Fe and Te would be extraverted rational functions, Ni and Si would be introverted irrational functions and Ne and Se would be extraverted irrational functions.
For short, sensing tells us if something is there, thinking tells us what it is, intuition tells us what it could be and feeling tells us how good or evil it is.
Every person on the world, regardless of personality type, uses all of those 8 cognitive functions.
Every person also has the same 8 cognitive roles (also called function positions and a few other names). It’s a place in your mind that is filled by either one of the 8 cognitive functions, the spot that one of the cognitive functions go so to speak.
Note: There is no physical place in the brain that corresponds to each cognitive role. Instead, our diagrams of function position are simply a shorthand which allow us to describe how each type uses each function. I used “place” as a metaphor, it’s just a certain task that is done by each cognitive function, that is the cognitive role.
What differentiates each type of all 16 is what cognitive function goes into what cognitive role. Some of you may noticed that not every combination is possible because there aren’t 64 (8×8) personality types. That’s because there are some rules.
To understand the system you must learn what each of the 8 cognitive functions are, what each of the 8 cognitive roles are and how each function manifests in each position/role.
In my previous paragraphs I briefly described the difference between Introverts and Extraverts (types) but not introversion vs extraversion regarding the 8 functions, which I HAVE TO describe briefly for proper understanding of the system. Introverts are just people who have more confidence and strength in their 4 cognitive functions (Ti Fi Ni Si) while extraverts are the other way around.
NOTE: As I mentioned in my previous article, dichotomies don’t only separate types, but also functions. We already decided that the two most important function dichotomies are introverted (Ti, Fi, Si, Ni) versus extraverted (Te, Fe, Se, Ne) functions and judging (Ti, Fi, Te, Fe) versus perceiving (Ni, Si, Ne, Se) functions. In advanced typology there are other dichotomies separating the 8 functions into 2 equal groups such as static/dynamic, internal/external, abstract/involved(aka detached/attached) but we do not need to get that deep into theory yet.
The main difference between an introverted and an extroverted function is the relation between the subject (me, myself, the user, internal world, subjective opinion) and the object (everyone else, objects and human beings, external forces, external world, objective opinion). Introverted functions value the subjective factor of information, the one that is different from person to person, from individual to individual, “what is different for everyone”. Introversion deals with SUBJECTIVE THINKING. Extraversion is the other way, it is external, it is OBJECTIVE. In a nutshell, introversion means defining the external world by internal (subjective) criteria while extraversion means defining the internal world by external, objective criteria.
There are certain key characteristic that differentiate I vs E functions:
-Introversion focuses on how the subject is affected by the object while extraversion focuses on how the object is affected by the subject
-Introversion is defining the object by subjective criteria while extraversion is defining the subject by objective criteria (as I mentioned earlier)
-Introverted functions are focused on depth while extraverted functions are focused on breadth/application
-Introverted functions are much more “in time” (future/past) while extraverted functions are much more “out there in the moment” (present)
-Introverted functions measure intensity (the distance between the subject and the object) to reach that sweet perfect spot (quality over quantity) while extraverted functions seek to increase stimulation, more and more (quantity over quality)
I believe you have to first understand the system as a whole to understand each of the 8 functions deeply, so I will first get you in how the 16 personalities are formed and all that and then take each section of typology and discuss it in-depth.
Below are some very VERY EXTREMELY short descriptions of each of the 8 cognitive functions. Their domain (what the function basically does) and certain things the function is adept at or inclined to do when used for longer periods of time. To have a proper understanding of them, read my in-depth article of each cognitive function.
(Extraverted Thinking) Te = factual information, which means anything that you can express directly in language. So it can apply to what’s happening here and now just as well as any other time or place, “facts” and concrete logic, (logic = valid/invalid, true/false etc.). All Te systems are universal because of all being in the same big context (the universe), thus it is the most objective information available. How one can affect something rationally (usefulness)
Te deals with information that is about: Facts, research statistics, benefit, efficiency, method, mechanism, act, work, the “how” of things over the why, reason, technology, expediency, economy, goal oriented behavior, “what can I do with this”, orderliness and structure in environment, organizing information in the outside world, desire to be a leader of an organization, consistency between input and output (if I flip this switch the bulb will light up), numbers, statistics, proof/evidence, cost, comparing costs, getting good deals, expense, waste, money, time, business; “something is useful or not”, “the continuous incoming stream of objective facts about the world”.
(Extraverted Feeling) Fe = information conveyed about the state of the entities communicating at the time and place of communication, which is inherently local (specific) and cannot be conveyed reliably (specific/contextual version of Te). How one can affect others emotionally.
Fe works with information that is about: Emotion/mood, empathy, communication, teaching/explanation, avoidance of controversy, going with the crowd (or leading it), “I’ll understand myself through understanding others”, group harmony (people getting along), society, community, camaraderie, stereotyping, responsiveness to external stimuli, expression of emotions or thoughts, happy/sad (or any moods), mannerisms (tone, facial expression, …), social involvement, interaction, and participation, emotional atmosphere, trends and what is fashionable or popular, small talk; “someone is happy or sad”, “the continuous excitations in people’s psychological states”.
(Introverted Feeling) Fi = information about something or someone’s relationship (“closeness”) to a particular person, place, object or situation (thing), subjective version of Fe. How someone is affected emotionally.
Fi works with information about: Relationships, understanding human interaction, psychological distance, like/dislike, morals, humanism, attraction/repulsion, sympathy, compassion, human or animal individual rights, measuring worth/importance “what does it mean to me?” “do I value this/find this important? What is important to me?”, empathetic and humanistic approaches to people (most of the time), nostalgia, “I’ll understand others through understanding myself”, sensitivity, sentiments/feelings, bonding, trust, admiration, character judgment, virtue and vice; “Person X relates well to Person Y or does not”, “discrete types of interpersonal relationships, such as “friend” or “enemy””.
(Introverted Thinking) Ti = information about how things relate to each other in a distributed system that includes many entities. Abstracting/generalization of information on a subjective understanding of reality, having set “rules” of how things work. Subjective version of Te. How something is affected rationally (accuracy).
Ti works with information about: Analysis, consistency of facts, math (not necessarily the subject of study, but understanding of reality through a Ti lens is like mathematics), classification, understanding, system, all propositions in a system must be consistent to all be true (“can those two facts be both true at the same time?”), “It makes sense to me”, correctness and incorrectness, logical relationships like (in)consistency, implication, contradiction; impersonal detached analysis, independent reasoning, iconoclastic logic “I use my own instruction manual”, justice, putting things into categories; “Statement X follows logically from Statement Y or does not”, “discrete logical and structural dependencies between states of affairs”.
(Extraverted Sensing) Se = what is, concrete exact and objective perception of reality through the 5 senses with no further post-processing, how someone or something can influence/affect the external world physically (strength).
Se works with information about: “Live every day like it’s your last day” approach to life, living in the moment, indulging in sensorial pleasures (food, sex, drugs etc.), (extreme) sports/athleticism, external senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and maybe taste), influence, strength, willpower, impact, force, appearance, territory, “YOLO”, being active with your body (not opposite with laziness, just doing a lot of physical activities), image, social status (can be a way of influencing others), appearance (the visual impact/impressiveness of something or someone’s appearance), speaking/acting before thinking, getting what you want, the power one has to effect desired changes, opposition and obstacles and overcoming them; how to overcome them; persistence, risk-taking, adrenaline-seeking, playful violence/roughhousing; “one is aware of external properties of reality or not”, “discrete spatial boundaries that delineate territory and control”.
(Extraverted iNtuition) Ne = what could be, i.e. the total space of possibilities, in which “what is” is just one point among many.(alternate realities), how someone or something can influence/affect the external world metaphysically (potential, chance).
Ne works with information about: The new, exploration, originality, unconventionality, uncertainty, randomness, quirkiness, suddenness, chance, possibilities, “what if”, static possibilities (not developing over time, changing bruptly), ideas, possibility, skill/talent/ability(->that is potential for something), prospects, guessing, hypotheses, speculation, conjecture, and estimation, searching, trial and error (if I touch this what will it do? If I flip this switch what will happen?), opportunities, coincidences, luck, chance, serendipity, likelihood, surprise, analogies; “discrete temporal phases and sets of discrete alternatives”, “something has potential or does not”.
(Introverted Sensing) Si = how things directly affect each other, usually by direct contact and interaction, which is inherently local, how someone or something is influenced/affected by the external world physically (comfort).
Si works with information about: Harmony, pleasure, health, comfort, pleasantness, satisfaction, balance, stability, “settling down”, internal senses (hunger, thirst, pain, etc.), slight nostalgia (nostalgia is more Fi but a little Si too), conventionality, “the traditional method”, trust of life experience, simplicity, immediate needs(how well they are being fulfilled, how to fulfill them), tradition, health and hygiene, memory for detail (visual memory), “back in my day”; “Person X is comfortable with Condition Y or is not”, “one’s continuous physical exchanges with one’s environment”.
(Introverted iNtuition) Ni = how things are significant in the grand scheme of things, or how things affect each other in various hidden ways, how someone or something is influenced/affected by the external world metaphorically [(how something is affected over) time].
Ni works with information about: Development over time (processes), history(how one event lead to the other), roots, origins, planning, forecasting, measuring time needed to get something done, anything related to time, “How does this relate to everything I’ve ever experienced, felt, thought and imagined?”, learning by abstract information (abstractions which are subjective to the user), seeking the meaning behind things and “looking behind the words”, thinking before speaking/acting, being perfectionistic and focused on only one-two-three things all their life, having visions about the future, being drawn to symbolism, (certainty and?) uncertainty, consequences (of one’s actions, etc.), wisdom and depth of experience, irony, paradox, mental imagery, memory, visions, dreams, archetypes, reminiscence; “Course of events X will lead to Consequence Y or not”, “the continuous evolution of things over time”.
You could use these nicknames to memorize them faster (kind of just for fun though): Fi=authenticity, Ti=accuracy, Se=danger, Ne=exploration, Si=reliability, Ni=perspectives. (at Te I’m not decided between testing, profit and efficiency. At Fe I’m not sure but we could call it emotion.)
Now you might ask, you told me all of this blabber about the 8 cognitive functions but what the heck is really going on with the 16 types?
You have a main function out of all 8 that you prefer, this is your “main state of being”, the function most attached to your ego and personality. It is called the DOMINANT function. Because not any cognitive function can be in any cognitive role (so there are not 64 personality types) you’re the function in your dominant cognitive role also determines 3 other function-role relations. (or if you choose any place in the stack, 3 others will also be applied)
Now to not be retarded, you need a function that absorbs information and one that processes it. If your dominant function is a judging one, it needs a perceiving function to absorb all the information you need to process. If your dominant is a perceiving function, it needs a judging information to make sense of all the absorbed information. That is when your AUXILIARY function comes into play, if your dominant function is a judging one, your auxiliary will be a perceiving function, and if your dominant function is perceiving your auxiliary function will be a judging function. Also, if your dominant is introverted your auxiliary will be extroverted and vice-versa so we can have access to both worlds.
Example: If your dominant function is Introverted Thinking (Ti), your auxiliary will automatically be an extroverted function (since Ti is introverted) and a perceiving function (since Ti is judging). That would leave with Ti-Se [aka the TiS(ISTP in the Myers Brigss system, ISTj/LSI in socionics) personality type] or Ti-Ne [aka the TiN(INTP in Myers Briggs, INTj/LII in socionics) personality type].
The way I love naming the types is by naming their dominant function and then specifying the auxiliary function without the orientation. For example the type with introverted thinking as dominant cognitive role and extraverted sensing as auxiliary cognitive role would beTiS.
The reason I didn’t say TiSe is because (1) you would basically write one letter more, you also will learn later that (2) the TiS also has very strong (But unvalued) introverted sensing (so both strong Se and Si) and the third reason (3) is that it matches Jung’s naming of the types much more accurately: He called the TiSe type “The introverted thinker with auxiliary sensing” not “The introverted thinker with auxiliary extraverted sensing”.
So that would leave us with 16 types: TiS, TiN, TeS, TeN, FiS, FiN, FeS, FeN, SiT, SiF, SeT, SeF, NiT, NiF, NeT, NeF.
The most common way of naming the types though is with the MBTI code that Myers Briggs decided upon. This divides the types using 4 dichotomies. One is the most important dichotomy in all typology, introverted vs extraverted. Half of types are introverted, the other 8 are extraverted. The other three are sensor vs intuitive, thinker vs feeler and perceiver vs judger.
E vs. I; Extraversion vs. Introversion: E types have their dominant function extroverted and their auxiliary function introverted. Introverts have their dominant function introverted and their auxiliary function extroverted. Extraverts define their internal world by external criteria. Introverts define the outside world through internal criteria. I went more in depth on this dichotomy at the beginning of this article.
The extraverted types are TeS, TeN, NeT, etc. (first cog function is extraverted) while the introverts are TiN, FiS, NiF, etc.
N vs. S: iNtuition vs. Sensing: N types have their first IRRATIONAL function (either 1st or 2nd) iNtuitive while their next irrational function (either 3rd or 4th) Sensing. Sensors are the other way around. This is the axis of absorbing information. The difference between the two dichotomies is that N types see what COULD be before what IS and S types see what IS before what COULD be. iNtuitive types draw their conclusion on their “what if” scenarios and visions/predictions about the future from noticing patterns of how things evolved through time and they tend to be more preoccupied with theories and ambiguous things like psychology, science, dreaming or philosophy. Sensing types see what IS exactly in front of them, trusting their five senses more than their iNtuition so they are preoccupied more with practical activities involving the physical world.
Sensor types are SiF, SiT, TiS, FeS, etc. (with an “s” in their name) while intuitives are TeN, NeF, NiF, FiN, etc… (with n in the name)
T vs. F: Thinking vs. Feeling: Thinkers have their first RATIONAL function (either 1st or 2nd) thinking and the next rational function (either 3rd or 4th) feeling. Feelers are the other way around. This is the axis of processing information. Thinking types prefer using logic before consulting the emotions while Feeling types prefer consulting the emotions before thinking about the logic of a situation. Also how we make decisions.
Thinker types are TiN, TeS, SiT (With a “t” in the name) while feeler types are FiN, FeN, SiF, etc. (with “F” in the name)
J vs. P: Judging vs. Perceiving: This is a rather tricky, but very important and often misunderstood one. J types have their first EXTROVERTED function (can be 1st or 2nd) judging while perceivers have their first EXTROVERTED function (again, can be 1st or 2nd) perceiving. Due to J types working their way in the external world through a judging function they are much more organized in the external world and prefer strict schedules and deadlines. They are introverted in the way of absorbing information as a result, relying on experience and similar stuff. Due to P types working their way on the external world through a perceiving function, they dislike strict schedules and organization, preferring to keep their options open and being more flexible. As a result, their introverted function is a judging one and that means that their internal world would be much more systematic and organized.
Perceiving types are: TiN, TiS, FiN, FiS, SeF, SeT, NeT, NeF while judgers are NiT, NiF, SiT, SiF, FeS, FeN, TeS, TeN.
NOTE: I prefer to call judgers dynamic types and perceivers static types to not confuse them with J-Doms vs P-Doms.
So we can learn how to transform the 4 letter code into the cognitive functions/roles and vice-versa:
Let’s say you have the code ENFP (extraverted intuitive feeler static): First we notice that it is an extravert therefore its first function will be extraverted. Then we know that it is a static (perceiver) so its first extraverted function is a perceiving function. Its first function is also extraverted so we know it leads with an extraverted perceiving function (Pe). To find the main perceiving function (S vs N) you look at the second letter: it’s an N therefore it the dominant function of our type is Ne. To decide on the auxiliary we look at the reminaing T/F: It’s F so our type is NeF.
Wanna try it again?
Let’s say you have the code ISFJ (introverted sensor feeler dynamic): It’s an introverted therefore its dominant function is introverted. It’s also a dynamic type (judger) therefore its first extraverted function is a judging one which would mean its first introverted function is a perceiving one. That would mean this ISFJ type leads with a Pi function as dominant cognitive role. Looking at the S/N dichotomy we see it’s a sensor therefore that Pi function is a Si. To determine the auxiliary we look at the remaining one: F/T. It’s an F therefore it has auxiliary feeling. SiF.
We can do the reversed too: Let’s say you have the type NiT. To transform this into the 4 letter MBTI code is even easier: We see the dominant function (Ni) is introverted. The first letter is I. Then we see that the first perceiving function (which is also the first function) is intuitive so the second letter is N. Then we see that the first judging function (which is also the second function) is thinking, so the third letter is T. Then we look at the first extraverted function: We see it’s Te (Extraverted rational) therefore the type is a dynamic (or what they call a judger): INTJ.
Keep repeating these two processes and you’ll get them fast and easy.
The reason why I refuse to refer to J types as “judgers” and to P types as “perceivers” is because of the socionics code. In a nutshell, socionics is MBTI for Russians. They also had a 4 letter code, the first 3 dichotomies are the same as in MBTI but they changed the last one. Instead of choosing the P/J dichotomy as we know it: J is Pi-Je or Je-Pi while P is Ji-Pe or Pe-Ji, they referred to that as static/dynamic, excluded it from the 4 letter code and put it alongside 10 other advanced type dichotomies and added as the 4th letter the rational/irrational dichotomy which, to confuse people (not literally but it did confuse a lot of people) it was still noted as j/p but with low case letters. The rational irrational dichotomy (which they sometimes called judging perceiving too) refers to the dominant function if it’s a judging or perceiving, be it extroverted or introverted.
So while TiN would be a P in MBTI because their first EXTRAVERTED function is a perceiving one (Ne, even though it’s not the first one it’s the first EXTRAVERTED one) while in socionics the TiN is a j type because its dominant function is a judging one (Ti). That would mean the full code of the TiN type is INTPj or INTjP (INTP in MBTI and INTj in socionics) but it’s unnecessary to write all of those 5 letters because if they’re Ij they’re also P and if they’re IP they’re also j.
For extraverts the P/J dichotomy and the p/j is the same because their first extraverted function is also they’re first function. For example the NeF is ENFP and ENFp, full would be ENFPp.
In a nutshell, if you’re a J type (with capital letters) (what I call dynamic) you’re judger on the outside but perceiver on the inside. If you’re a P type (with capital letters) (what I call static) you’re a perceiver on the outside but a judger on the inside. If you’re a j type (without capital letters, what I call rational) you’re a judger at core. If you’re a p type (what I call irrational) you’re a perceiver at core. Extraverts have P/J same as p/j because how they are at core is exactly how they are on the outside too while for introverts it’s the other way around.
That’s why I prefer to use static for P types, dynamic for J types, irrational for p types and rational for j types: Judging can mean both j and J and perceiving can mean both p and P, and while for extraverts those two things are the same, for introverts P goes with j and J with p.
NOTE: On some socionics sites on the internet or in some books they will put “J/P” instead of “j/p” and instead of, for example, referring to the TiS personality type as “ISTj” they will call it “ISTJ” which in Myers Briggs is actually the SiT personality type (which is noted as ISTp in socionics which they also mistype as ISTP sometimes, etc.). You need to look at the cognitive functions, or if it’s sure a socionics-only site, the J/P will always mean actually j/p) so if you’re used to the Myers code but you’re on socionics sites/books just switch the last letter FOR INTROVERTS. (it remains the same for extroverts).
Before we go further we must know we need to know what functions work together, what functions don’t, what can’t and how. Most schools of taught would agree that what I like to call “opposite functions” cancel each other. Arguments could be made that you could reach a balance (so it’s either 78% one and 22% the other or 50/50 or 60/40 etc.) or that you can switch between them very fast though. These functions I call “opposite” are of the same attitude (both introverted or extraverted) and on the opposite end of their axis. A “fighting relationship” is between the two elements of the pairs, one struggles to take control of the other one. The relationship between them is one that works similarly, has the same starting point but reasons differently, thus coming to the conclusion that they have the same start point but opposite destinations. Having opposite destinations would mean you would have to choose one, you can’t use both at the same time completely and having the same “Start point” would make them fight for the same place in your cognition.
The pairs of opposite functions are as follows: Ti with Fi, Te with Fe, Si with Ni and Se with Ne.
As you can only use one of the two at a time, it would mean that you can have four basic “slots” a function goes, and only one of the two can be here.
We found out that every type chooses one of the two functions as preference, so between the two in a pair one will always take over the other one, the suppressed one coming in control in rare cases. The four functions that are in control MOST of the time are your MAIN STACK while the ones coming in control rarely are called your SHADOW FUNCTIONS.
We could define the four slots of function as follows:
-Ni and Si: Introverted perceiving functions (Pi for short): Internal stocking of information; memory and experience.
-Ne and Se: Extroverted perceiving functions (Pe for short): External taking of new information; observation.
-Ti and Fi: Introverted judging functions (Ji for short): Internal judgment and processing of information; subjectiveness.
-Te and Fe: Extroverted judging functions (Je for short): External judgment and processing of information; objectiveness.
So as a summary, in each type, only one Ji function is on at a time, only one Je one Pi and one Pe function. When one of the shadow functions gets turned on (no pun intended) the other gets turned off.
The types that prefer Si over Ni, Fe over Te, Ti over Fi and Ne over Se are called the “Alpha quadra”: TiN(INTP), NeT(ENTP), SiF(ISFJ), FeS(ESFJ).
The types that prefer Ni over Si, Fe over Te, Ti over Fi and Se over Ne are called the “Beta quadra”: NiF(INFJ), FeN(ENFJ), TiS(ISTP), SeT(ESTP).
The types that prefer Ni over Si, Te over Fe, Fi over Ti and Se over Ne are called the “Gamma quadra”: NiT(INTJ), TeN(ENTJ), FiS(ISFP), SeF(ESFP).
The types that prefer Si over Ni, Te over Fe, Fi over Ti and Ne over Se are called the “Delta quadra”: FiN (INFP), NeF(ENFP), SiT(ISTJ),TeS(ESTJ).
While dichotomies are a way of splitting the 16 types into 2 groups of 8 each, we later learn that concepts like quadras are called TETRACHOTOMIES where you split the 16 types into 4 “small groups”, each consisting of 4 types. In this example “quadra” is the tetrachotomy while Alpha, Beta, etc. are small groups.
A tetrachotomy consists of 3 dichotomies. If you take any 2 dichotomies to create a tetrachotomy a third dichotomy will be added automatically. Quadra consists of the SiNe(alpha, delta) vs NiSe(beta, gamma) dichotomy and the TiFe(alpha, beta) vs FiTe(gamma, delta) one, automatically also being separated by the aristocratic(beta, delta)/democratic(alpha, gamma) dichotomy which I will not get into now since this is considered somewhat advanced theory and I want to keep this article somewhat short.
Other basic tetrachotomies that we should note are: Clubs (NT, SF, ST, NF), Romance styles (NP, SP, NJ, SJ), Temperament (EPp, EJj, IPj, IJp), communication styles (ET, EF, IT, IF)and stimulus seeking (EN, ES, IN, IS).
NOTE: I didn’t include the third resulting dichotomy that’s not in the 5 I presented in this article because this is to introduce newbies to typology so if you are reading this you should not know those, and if you don’t know them why throw random names like that? The only time where I specified the third dichotomy is in the temperaments section, because I presented all 3 before: I/E, P/J and p/j.
While I defined the concept of opposite functions (Fi/Ti, Fe/Te, Ni/Si, Ne/Se) as functions that have the same start point and opposite ending points, thus canceling each other out; I define the pair of functions Ti/Te, Fi/Fe, Ni/Ne and Si/Se as REVERSED FUNCTIONS, which would have opposite starting points and same ending point. As a result, they won’t try to battle on the same place in your cognition, but because of the different starting points, they won’t be in harmony either. That said, you can use the reversed functions at the same time but one is always chosen as the winner, they won’t take full control of the user both at the same time, one being chosen as the “main driver” while the other one working in the area that the leading function of the two can’t cover. Reversed functions have the opposite orientation (one is introverted and one is extroverted) so while one function is your “start point” you can choose the other one starting somewhere else in the external world (if your winning function between the two is introverted) or in the internal world (if your winning function between the two is extroverted) to try to reach your “end point” faster which is common between the two.
!!! VERY IMPORTANT !!!: USING ONE OF THE FUNCTIONS MAKES YOUR REVERSED FUNCTION STRONGER, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT USING THE REVERSED FUNCTION AT ALL. (Ex: The more you use Ni the stronger your Ne gets even if you never used Ne at all).
Now, working with a dominant and an auxiliary is like living with your head and your torso intact without arms and legs. You can basically live, you can breathe, etc. but living is extremely difficult without arms and legs. This is the case for your cognitive functions too. The dominant function needs a function of the opposite attitude (introverted-extroverted) and of the opposite of its axis (thinking-feeling for J functions or sensing-intuition for P functions) to balance it out, creating overall harmony. That would be called your INFERIOR role, which if you develop as much as you can could bring you psychological wholeness and harmony.
For example let’s take a Ti dominant (IxTP/IxTj (TiN/TiS) types), if their inferior function was only extroverted but on the same part of the axis (extroverted thinking: Te) it would be its reversed function which would cause a lack of harmony since these functions are basically separate from each other, each one is doing its job in its world (Ti in internal world and Te in external world) but they have different starting points which would mean a function takes over, that being Ti of course since its dominant and Te would just be a tool for Ti to use in the external world.
If the inferior function was only on the opposite end of the axis but not on the opposite attitude, for Ti being Fi it would mean that the inferior would be your opposite function which would mean you can only use one at a time, which would mean they will fight for the Ji spot in your stack, and most of the time Ti would since it’s the dominant function, causing its feeling side to be constantly repressed, thus ignored.
At the same time, the auxiliary also has its balancing function (which has the same rules of balance as the dominant-inferior relationship) which is called the tertiary role. If your auxiliary function was Ti, your tertiary would be Fe. If your dominant was Ti, your inferior would be Fe. Ti and Fe balance each other out. Also Si and Ne, Ni and Se and Fi and Te balance each other out.
So if you’re a TiN type: Your dominant is Ti, your inferior would be Fe (because F is opposite of T and Extraversion is opposite to introversion therefore Ti and Fe are balancing functions). Then your auxiliary function is Ne which is balanced by tertiary Si.
This is called your MAIN STACK. For the TiN type (INTP/INTj) its main stack is Ti-Ne-Si-Fe. But wait, everyone has 8 functions right? The other 4 go into the 4 reminiang cognitive roles, the shadow functions, also called the unvalued function roles. The other 4 functions are in the same order as the first four regarding functions without their orientation (Ex: for the TiN it would be T-N-S-F) but the second letter “i/e” changes. So the full stack of a TiN would be Ti-Ne-Si-Fe-Te-Ni-Se-Fi.
The order is somewhat random/arbitrary but it’s the most commonly accepted order, by preference. Your 8th function is the opposite of your dominant which would cancel out, and that’s worse than your 5th, which cancels your 4th, get it?
To top it off, here is an EXTREMELY short description of each cognitive role too, but remember that you need to read my in-depth articles about it to understand how they work:
1st: Dominant function: Strongest function. The thing you can do perfectly even at 4AM standing upside down: Strongest function you are most confident in and is used in all areas of life. Indifferent to praise
2nd: Auxiliary function: Third strongest function. The helping function. Used to interact with others, you use it to help your dominant function, other people and yourself. It’s what we never take but always give to the world.
3rd: Tertiary function: Fifth strongest function. This is what you take from the world, but never give back. This is also what you are overconfident in which can cause problems and is something that “activates” you like fuel, but others have to activate it for you because it is very hard for the subject to produce it himself.
4th: Inferior function: 7th strongest function (2nd to weakest). Naturally repressed and very unvalued but at the same time what completes us. Love/hate relationship with it, people generally complain about it because they really need it (even though they deny it at first) but they can’t use it themselves.
5th: Ignoring function: Fourth strongest function. Area of stubbornness, irritating and tiring to use, is only used sparingly and when appropriate. Use by others is often seen as ‘missing the point’. We often notice it and study it deeply just to do the reversed of it. When we engage it we do it just so that we prove how bad it is.
6th: Demonstrative function: Second strongest function. Is often seen as boring or even ludicrous when used often by others, it is the function we exaggerate and fake the most just because we don’t find it important. Can also be used as ammunition against those weak at the function due to how mundane and simple the user finds it. Will often be a trait of the user others recognize in them, but they may deny this themselves.
7th: PoLR function (short for Point of Least Resistance): Weakest function. It is the process we ignore the most and we neglect the most. The area we use the least out of all 8. Use by others is often seen as “Do what you want with it but don’t make me use it”.
8th: Role function: This is the 6th strongest function (3rd to weakest). It is often the function we use on the first impression when meeting new people or when engaging in new experiences. Others may observe we have an “on off” switch on it, and it is true because it cancels out our dominant function. Sensitive to insults. What we are when we aren’t truly “us”.
So, as a summary of what we learnt today?
The history of Jungian typology and what is my approach to it.
There are 8 mental processes called cognitive functions which every uses: Ti, Fi, Te, Fe, Ni, Si, Ne, Se.
There are 8 different ways called cognitive roles in that people use the 8 cognitive functions: dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, inferior and the shadow functions: ignoring, demonstrative, PoLR, role.
There are 16 personality types, a personality type being the function-role correlation.
The Myers Briggs 4 letter code and how to use it.
Tetrachotomies and small groups.
How different cognitive functions interact with each other.
This is pretty much all you need to know for an introduction. To really get a grasp on typology you need to study the cognitive functions in depth and the cognitive roles in depth. This article only is not enough for you to get introduced to typology fully.