October 29, 2008

Understanding Personality Typology: Functions with Attitudes (part III)

Quick Review

This is where we move beyond the basics and begin to appreciate how these scales interact with each other. Let us first review the difference between introversion and extroversion. Introversion refers to directing one's energies toward oneself: understanding or shaping one's inner world. Extroversion refers to directing one's energies toward the world around you: understanding or shaping your surrounding world.

Also, let us remember that there are two scales which are called functions: the Perceiving Function and the Judging Function. I have also stated that the point of the Myers-Briggs description is not to identify your personality, but to explain how your personality functions. As one may surmise from this, it is the functions which are the central aspect of understanding this: your Perceiving Function explaining how you come to understand things, and your Judging Functions explaining how you shape things.

Directing Functions

I have said before that everybody has some introversion and some extroversion. Well, to be more specific, every person as an introverted function and an extroverted function. In other words, you have two functions, and one is directed toward the world around you, while the other is directed internally toward yourself. Which one is which is determined by the scale called Lifestyle. Lifestyle points to which function is focused externally.

Therefore, someone with P uses their Perceiving Function to understand/experience the world around them while using their Judging Function to determine their self-worth and then change what needs changing about themselves. Meanwhile, someone with J uses their Judging Function to improve the world around them and determine how the world is, while they use their Perceiving Function to accumulate data and understand their place in everything.

Let's take an example: ENTP. The Lifestyle in this personality profile is a P for Perceiving. Therefore the person is extrovertedly intuitive. That also means that the other function is introverted, so the person is introvertedly thinking. Now let us consider the opposite: ISFJ. Here, the lifestyle is a J for Judging. Therefore, the person is extroverted feeling, while introvertedly sensing. Simple?

I might also add that a function pointed internally is very different than one pointed externally, even if they are the same letter. Because of this, one's function isn't referred to by the letter on their profile, but instead is represented by that letter with an 'i' or 'e' subscript. For instance, someone with the ESTJ personality's Perceiving Function would not be S, but Se. Meanwhile someone with the ESTP personality's Perceiving Function would be Si.

The rest of this post will be comparing each function with its extroverted/introverted counterpart.

There is one personality trait that I won't mention below because it will be true throughout. What a person tends to be articulate about is that which pertains to their extroverted function. For instance, I am an Ne and a Ti. I am very good and explaining my views about the world to people, but I am terrible at explaining my reasons for those views.

  • Extroverted Sensing (Se): Extroverted Sensing means that the primary way one interacts with the world around them, and understands that world, is through taking in concrete data through one's senses. The result is that the person tends to desire to experience the world around them. Often they will experience things just for the sake of experiencing them.
    Extroverted Sensing also understand the world around them in the now. It is the present sense that represents reality. What they currently experience is what the world is. How they understand the world can shift dramatically from moment to moment, because the world is contained within the moment. Because of this, they also have the tendency to be spontaneous in the things they would like to do.

  • Introverted Sensing (Si): Introverted Sensing means that the primary way one appreciates and understands themselves is through reflecting on the concrete data they have stored in the past. The result is that the person has a vast repository of personal memories. These memories haven't necessarily been analyzed, but they are catalogued nonetheless.
    They therefore have a deep reliance on past personal experience. Their understanding of self is grounded in what has occurred to them in the past, and what they have done. These people have a very strong sense of the way things are, and are rather inflexible on that, being shocked whenever something goes against their former experiences. When something new happens, it is compared to what has happened before.


  • Extroverted Intuitive (Ne): Extroverted Intuitive means that the primary way one understands the world around them is by assessing the purposes and connections of the world around them. The result is that Nes are on a constant quest to understand the world around them. This may be compared Ses who are constantly trying to experience their world.
    Also like Ses, Nes are very "now" focused, constantly acting on their current idea of understanding of the world. They have a trust of flashes of ideas through which they either investigate, or comment on, or interact with the world around them. Indeed, whenever one gains new data, it is introduced to the framework, and new ideas immediately begin to explode from one's mind based off of these connections. The Ne then desires to immediately act on these new ideas, making them seem like they are often jumping from one thing to another.

  • Introverted Intuitive (Ni): Introverted Intuitive means that the primary way one appreciates and understands themselves is through developing an internal framework of understanding. The result is that complex internal network of thought, through which they seek consistency. Thus, when new data is encountered, the Ni seeks to make it consistent with the framework they have already developed.
    Like the Si, they have fantastic memory, and have a deep reliance on what has gone on before. Unlike the Si, they rely not on experiences, but on their understanding of those experiences. The Ni is more likely to catalogue the lesson learned than the event itself. Because of this, when they gain new data, it is compared to the overall framework. If it is inconsistent with it, it is rejected as false; if it is consistent, then it is entered. If it is inconsistent but known to be true, the the Ni has the very difficult task of attempting to reorganize their inner framework to compensate.


  • Extroverted Thinking (Te): Extroverted Thinking means that the primary way that you interact with the world around you is by assessing how the world measures up against your principles, and attempt to correct it where it errs. The result is someone who attempts to the make the world around them work. One sees the world by way of structures and systems, and attempts to make these structures and systems function as orderly as possible.
    Extroverted Thinking also has a strong concept for rules and laws, and expect such rules to be obeyed. When they are not, a Te is not afraid to enforce them. To them, rules and laws are not there to make the world happy, but to keep the world in order. Without them, society will crumble. Indeed, the stability of society, or just the world in general, is of extraordinary concern.

  • Introverted Thinking (Ti): Introverted Thinking means that the primary way one deals with one's self is to compare one's self to an established set of logical principle, and then attempt to calibrate one's self accordingly. The result is one who is constantly attempting to improve oneself. It is not a matter of making one a more moral person, but making one a more capable and worthy person. They are also concerned with doing the proper thing: that which will bring the most success to one's self, friends, and family.
    A Ti also strongly trusts his/her one way of reasoning. They won't except something as true unless it makes sense to them in a objectively logical way. They also don't care so much about whether the world around them is logical. They are more concerned with whether or not they are, so that they can respond to the world in a proper way. An inability to express their thoughts clearly may result in their conclusion sounding like absolute truths, though in reality, the Ti is very willing to rethink things.


  • Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Extroverted Feeling means that the way in which one primarily interacts with the world around them is by assessing how well the world measures up to one's morals, and then attempt to conform the world to a better way of living. The result is, like the Te, a Fe tries to make the world a better place to live in. Unlike the Te, the Fe's world is made up of people: of individuals, and how those individuals interact with one another. Therefore, they try to improve, or create, the relationships of the people in their lives.
    Extroverted Feeling also has a strong sense of social justice. When other's go against the very basic morals of society, the Extroverted Feeling is very quick to seek justice in the situation. Now this doesn't mean the Extroverted Thinking is not concerned with justice. The difference, is that the the Te sees justice as a means of maintaining order in a greater system, while the Fe is more concerned to see justice in particular circumstances. Te wants to see a decrease in murder, Fe wants to provent what happened to recently departed Timmy from happening to anyone else.

  • Introverted Feeling (Fi): Introverted Feeling means that the primary way one deals with one's self is to compare one's self to an established set of morals, and then attempt to match one's actions and thoughts in line with those. The result is someone who is very aware of their guilt and goodness. They are trying to be a good person. They are also concerned about doing the right thing: the good and moral deed, regardless of consequences. They only consequences they do care about is whether or not they hurt the people around them.
    A Fi also trusts their sense of goodness and righteousness. They can't except something as proper for them to do until they have determined the rightness of it in their mind (or as they would say, their heart). They can't proceed until they feel settled about it, or at least not willingly.

Source: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/understanding-mbti-type-dynamics/the-eight-function-attitudes.asp

1 comment:

bethyada said...

I may have to do a test, it could be easier.

I think I am Ni Ti. But may have to think harder.