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Eight Step Intro to Type

August 2, 2012

My “super short” intro to type is here www.erictb.info/temperament2ss.html, but in my quest to come up with the simplest, most concise complete description of the type system (which I find is hard to get people to understand), I’ve come up with another way to introduce it, but don’t want to incorporate it into that page, as it will just make it longer. So I might as well use the blog here, for this alternate intro.


1) Type is formed from a dominant orientation (introversion/extraversion; yielding the first letter; I or E) and two functions; one dominant and the other, auxiliary.

2) The two preferred functions are the two middle letters of the four-letter type code.

3) Of the two functions, one is “perception” or “information” gathering (S, N), and the other is “judging” or for rational conclusion or decision-making (T, F).

4) The functional perspectives:
S (Sensing): tangible data that is seen, heard, etc.
N (iNtuition): conceptual data; what things mean or possibilities
T (Thinking): Impersonal evaluations, true or false regardless of affect
F (Feeling): Evaluations of what affects us as emotional beings; good or bad

5) Introverts (people with a dominant introverted orientation) are overstimulatable by the external environment, and thus turn inward, to the “subject”.
Extraverts (dominant extraverted orientation) are understimulatable and thus merge the subject with the external “object”.

6) The dominant function bears the dominant orientation (called “attitude”), and the auxiliary bears the opposite one.

7) Extraverted functions deal with the external environment, and the introverted functions deal with internalized data such as things memorized.
• This changes certain aspects of the four functions, generating eight different perspectives (Called “function-attitudes” or “processes”) that define type; (denoted by the capital function letter S, N, T or F followed by the lowercase e or i).
•All eight perspectives are implicit in every situation; (they are not skills within the person); we simply pay more or less attention to the different ones, beginning with the dominant and auxiliary.

8) The last letter, J or P, indicates which of the two preferred functions (denoted by its “judgment” or “perception” class) is externally oriented, which Myers determined would be significant in personal interaction. (This is called a “pointer variable“).
• So this factor changes the orientation of both functions when the middle two letters are kept the same; and what looks like a type that is similar from sharing the first three letters is actually very different, functionally.
It also has some meaning of its own as a standalone factor, as functions sharing the J/P attitude (extraverted Thinking or Feeling with introverted Sensing or iNtuition; or extraverted Sensing or iNtuition with introverted Thinking or Feeling) do have some things in common (even though the opposite functions with the same attitude and same functions with opposite attitude are radically different). This dichotomy has been generally been associated with “openness” (P) vs “closure” (J) and organizational skills, even though this cannot be generalized too much.

I might as well add this from the first part of the other intro, to make it complete:

There are thus sixteen possible combinations of function attitudes using these measures. This is by any combination of: E/I + S/N + T/F + J/P

Here are some reasonaly good descriptions of the 16 types:

Psychological Type Profiles at Type Logic

Type “conversations” at Best Fit Type

Here are the 16 types and their definitive dominant and auxiliary functions:

ISTJ: SiTe ISFJ: SiFe INFJ: NiFe INTJ: NiTe
ISTP: TiSe ISFP: FiSe INFP: FiNe INTP: TiNe
ESTP: SeTi ESFP: SeFi ENFP: NeFi ENTP: NeTi
ESTJ: TeSi ESFJ: FeSi ENFJ: FeNi ENTJ: TeNi
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7 Comments
  1. Finally got around to finishing this visual representation (half as many steps, because it’s not defining as much:

  2. Here is something I wrote as an introduction to type, using my type:

    Dominant orientation:
    Introversion (focused on the individual “subject”)
    Extraversion (focused on the environmental “object”)

    Perception functions (taking in information):
    Sensing (focuses on “tangible” data, “what IS”)
    iNtuition (focuses on intangible data such as hypothesis, meanings, etc, what “could” be)

    Judgment functions (decision-making):
    Thinking (impersonal, “true/false”, “correct/incorrect” regardless of affect, how objects work).
    Feeling ([inter]/personal, “good/bad”, “like/dislike”, not emotions, but may pay more attention to them)

    Externally focused function (affects our dealings with others):
    Judging: (decision-making [T/F] is determined by environmental standard. Information gathering is internally focused)
    Perception: (information gathering [S/N] is environmentally focused, decision making has internal standard).

    So My preference is I N T P (introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)
    Prefer iNtuition (conceptual, “what could be”) and Thinking (“true/false”; impersonal)
    iNtuition is environmentally focused (“extraverted”, as per “P”), meaning I infer meanings from comparing with other patterns in the environment
    So Thinking is individually focused, meaning I tend to judge “true/false” based on my own understanding rather than convention or other objective criteria
    Thinking is therefore also  dominant, since it is the “introverted” function. iNtuition is therefore “auxiliary”.

    This means that my main outloook in the world is that things should make logical sense according to my individual understanding. I inform this (i.e. perceive) through hypothesis of how things “could be” by comparing with other patterns or hypotheses, how things could be changed, the “big picture”, etc.

    I run into problems in a society (including much of my family) that has largely a “Judging” (J) perspective, shaped largely by extraverted Thinking (logic is determined by convention, consensus, efficiency, etc), and introverted Sensing (“concrete reality” determined by familiarly known “fact”; often says “that’s life; it is what it is; just deal with it” rather than trying to look for ways to buck the status quo).

    The remaining six possible functions are reflections of these, and fit in the psyche through a series of complexes or “ego-states” which act them out.

    Tertiary (a childlike complex)= introverted Sensing. This leads to both joyful nostalgia, and endless ruminating of wounds, from the past (internalized tangible experience)
    “Inferior” (inferior complex, and the “anima” or sense of separated “completeness”)=  extraverted Feeling. Overly concerned with what others feel about me (good/bad determined by environment), yet don’t effectlvely do much to try to earn their admiration, as it runs counter to my dominant perspective. Also project this onto the opposite sex (women). Also deals with the unconscious, including internal “object relations”. Hence, the values (good/bad) expressed strongly by others tend to really affect me, even if I resist giving in. My father is the source of my main “internal object” that nags at me as I try to function in the world, and I find myself often fighting in my head, and projecting onto others.

    The remaining possible functions and complexes are “shadows” (repressed parallels) of the others. Collectively, this is considered part of the Jungian “Shadow”):
    5th function (extraverted Thinking) deals in feelings of obstruction (hence, what I mentioned above regarding that functional perspective in society)
    6th function (introverted iNtuition) deals with feelings of negation of the ego. I get internal “hunches” of negative meanings in things.
    7th Function (extraverted Sensing) deals with feelings of being double-bound and reversing this onto others (called the “Trickster”). I use current tangible “fact”.
    8th function (introverted Feeling) deals with feelings of the threat of destruction of the ego. I tend to be hard on myself (bad or universally unliked) at times. Also tend to put myself in the shoes of people or fictional characters I see being abused, which I project my own feelings of past experiences onto in a very negative way.

    Wife is E S F J (extraverted Feeling with introverted Sensing), which is diametric opposite in the four letters, but does share the same four primary functions, though in opposite order. This causes clashes, but we would ideally grow toward each other, as we develop our tertiary and inferior.

    Classic temperament theory:

    Factored as introversion vs extraversion and people vs task focus
    (people focus wants more interaction from others and allows them to define the relationship, while  task focus wants less interaction and tends to define the relationship):

    Sanguine: extraverted, people-focused
    Choleric: extraverted, task focused
    Melancholy: introverted, task focused
    Phlegmatic: originally deemed introverted and people-focused, but more recently deemed moderate in both dimensions
    Supine a new fifth temperament that is truly introverted and people focused.

    Three “areas of need” (derived from FIRO-B):

    Inclusion (surface social skills)
    Control (leadership and responsibilities)
    Affection (deep personal relationships)

    I’m Supine in Inclusion, Choleric in Control and Supine[Compulsive] in Affection

    This means I like people and want to be included (on a social and deep relationship level), but am shy and withdrawn, fearing rejection. Yet, once around people, I want to bear control over certain things, and tend to pragmatically take action, and want no interference. (Two diametrically opposite temperaments pulling the opposite ways).
    This can lead to trouble dealing with people, and knowing when to be aggressive and fight, or to give in.

    My main interest in personality was correlating the two systems together, and I find they fit as such:

    INTP:
    Supine in Inclusion (I[N]P)
    Choleric in Control (NT)

    Wife (ESFJ) is Sanguine in Inclusion (E[S]F), Melancholy in Control (SJ) and a more moderate Sanguine in Affection.
    This means she’s genuinely very friendly, sweet and affectionate in interpersonal relations, but has a very strong sense of “boundaries” [i.e. “control”] that she guards in a rather critical fashion (which is where a lot of clashes come from).
    She also doesn’t get her Inclusion and Affection needs met a lot, since I’m reserved in those areas.

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