Fotolia Com 4 Letters
Fotolia Com 4 Letters – , the parts of the theory – the four types of dichotomies are generally explained first … many people stop at this level of understanding. In doing so, they miss the broader implications and applications that are intrinsic to the dynamic nature of the MBTI®. MBTI® Manual, p. 23.
When it comes to personality tools, the MBTI® is a horse of a different color. Its unique place among reviews arises from its theoretical underpinnings – C.G. Jung’s psychological types. However, an explanation of Jung’s deeper theoretical foundations is mostly missing from MBTI® introductory sessions, internet quizzes, online questionnaires, and graduate courses on the subject. When we think of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Type, it is the “4 letters” of Type, the Type preference, that come to mind.
Fotolia Com 4 Letters
Understanding individual preferences of type is, for most people, the first step in learning about Type. Knowledge of Type’s 4 letters strengthens self-awareness and helps us to appreciate differences. But to fully understand what our own 4-letter Type means, we need to understand the theory on which it is based.
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Of personality approaches how we mentally process information – how we perceive (or take in information) and how we judge (evaluate that information).
(psychological meaning “of, affecting or arising in the mind”) about the differences he observed between people and what he considered to be the psychological drivers of those
. Jung’s theory is complex, but Katharine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, thought it was the best theory of human behavior they had come across. Sharing a passion for human development, they sought to simplify the theory to bring it to the public and make it useful in people’s lives.
The result of their efforts was the construction of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). The indicator, and the resulting 16 types, simplified Jung’s theory while still capturing the rich and more meaningful elements. Myers constructed her assessment on four dichotomous scales to mirror Jung’s fundamental principle that there are opposite ways of being in the world. She broke Jung’s theory into easy-to-understand parts by creating 4 preferences and 16 Type categories. The more complex Jungian principles were coded
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What is often overlooked in introductory MBTI® sessions is the integration of the “parts” back into the Jungian typological system. People get stuck in the parts. Unfortunately, we cannot get a complete picture of Jung’s theory by simply adding together MBTI® preferences. To get to the deeper levels of Type, we must discover what Myers implied in each type.
So, exactly how do these 4 letters of Type “interact” to reveal Jung’s theory? What are we missing if we view Type only from the perspective of our 4 letters?
For the first thirty or so years of observing human behavior, Jung mentioned and wrote about two opposites
Or ways of facing the world – Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I). It was not until the end of his treatise
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That Jung concluded that these two categories were too simple to explain “the tremendous differences between individuals.” To account for these differences, Jung categorized and named two Perceiving Functions (Sensing – S and Intuition – N) and two Judging Functions (Thinking – T and Feeling – F). The first three preferences in Myers’ 16 Types come directly from these aspects of Jung’s theory.
What we can’t see directly from our Type Code is Jung’s proposition that we deal with extraversion and introversion in different ways
. The energy Attitudes move the functions either to the outer world, or to the inner world, which results in eight different “Function-Types” (also called Eight Jungian Functions, Function-Attitude, Mental Functions, Mental Processes or Cognitive Processes). These eight functions are:
Jung’s Eight Functions take over the characteristics of the energy they carry and are therefore qualitatively different. When a Function is used in the outside world, it is objective and brings with it the quick and active energy of Extraversion. If a Function is engaged in the inner world, it is subjective, known only to the person using the Function, and may be equally slow, hesitant, or incomplete.
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The qualitative distinctions between a Function in its Extraverted and Introverted Attitudes give different perspectives and ways of looking at the world. For example, if Sensing is Extraverted, the focus is gathering information from the immediate environment; as the Introverted (Introverted Sensing – Si) the focus is on recalling past sensory experiences to compare and make sense of what is happening in the immediate environment.
These features in their attitude are the cornerstones of Jung’s Type theory. The function attitudes can be thought of as “mental perspectives”, “psychological resources” (Pearman, Roger) or “patterns of mental processing” (Lawrence, Gordon) to reflect their psychological nature. These eight perspectives define the predominant way we see and respond to the world.
Of the eight functions in a regular and consistent way – we favor either a perceiving function (Se, Si, Ne or Ni), or a judging function (Te, Ti, Fe or Fi). Our predominant function, or the dominant function, is our central focus and colors our behavior—we seek certain experiences and behave in certain ways (and reject others) based on our ingrained and habitual “habits of mind.” The dominant function is the mental process that is most conscious in the personality; it leads the way like the captain of a ship.
Jung also referred to the possible existence of a secondary or side function that was different in all respects from, but complementary to, the Dominant function. In addition, he spoke of an inferior Function that remained unconscious – not under our direct control.
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Based on Jung’s theory, Myers did her own extensive research. She concluded that the Auxiliary Function, which Jung only referred to, was essential for healthy and balanced psychological functioning. If our dominant function is a perceiving function, the auxiliary must provide balance through judgment, and vice versa. If our Dominant is an extraverted function, our Auxiliary must provide balance through Introversion and the reverse is true. We all need a way to take in information and evaluate information in both the inner and outer worlds, or we would be too one-sided – out of balance.
To capture the balanced nature of Type, Myers created a fourth dichotomy, the last letter of the Type Code (J/P). With the J/P dichotomy, Myers gave us a formula, called
For Jung’s functions in their attitude within the 16 types (the history and mechanics of Myers’ formula is beyond the scope of this article). Each of the 16 types has its own Function-Type pattern, from most to least conscious, starting with the Dominant and continuing in order through the Auxiliary, Tertiary and Inferior Functions.
, extraverted thinking, feeling (extraverted or introverted) and extraverted intuition. If we just stop our investigation of Type at the two codes, ISTJ and ESTP, we can think that these two Types see the world in a similar way, with one Type just being a little more outgoing (E vs. I) and maybe going a little more with the flow (P vs. J).
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There’s a lot more to the 4-letter Type Code than meets the eye, and this is just the beginning!
Our 4 letter type code is a door to understanding how we think, how we approach the world, what aspects of our lives we pay attention to and what is so unconscious that we tend to ignore it or to deny. When we select our 4-letter Type Code, we do much more than just select letters.
We tap into a formula that gives us insight into our dominant psychological perspectives. A keen understanding of our habitual habits of mind provides the opportunity to become more self-aware – to gain a better understanding of how we encounter the world and how that affects all aspects of our lives. Jung said, “…we tend to see everything in terms of our own type.” Think about the consequences of that statement! When we understand our underlying habits of mind, and the gifts and blind spots that come with operating from those perspectives, we have the choice to use other ways of thinking. This allows us to better understand where others are coming from, and be open to our own growth and development in a deeper and more profound way, than we could by simply looking at the 4 letters of our Type.
We have developed educational and training tools to help you and your clients discover the treasure of the 4-letter Type Code – the Eight Jungian Function Image Metaphor Cards.
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If you know your 4-letter Type Code, and want to understand your dominant and auxiliary features, or if you are unsure of your Type, our picture metaphor cards may be able to guide you.
If youareapractitionerandwouldliketointroduceTypeDynamicsandthedominantfunctionintoyourMBTIaa -680-2138 for more information on practitioner training to incorporate the Image Metaphor suite of products into your MBTI® workshops.