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Clarifying the “Cognitive Processes” Simple Definitions

July 15, 2013

Thought it would be a good idea to clarify the simplified function definitions used by Berens/Nardi, on (and the Understanding Yourself and Others “Jung’s Cognitive Processes” booklet).
They can be good when kept in their conceptual contexts, which are easy to lose when tossing around the simple terms given (as I’ve seen some do). This can lead to “Forer effects” (behaviors any type can do used to define a specific type):

Sensing is pretty simple:

Se: Experiencing and noticing the physical world, scanning for visible reactions and relevant data
(acting in the immediate context)

-obviously, externally based, emergent, tangible experience

Si: Recalling past experiences, remembering detailed data and what it is linked to

-an internal storehouse of tangible data

It cannot be repeated too much that everyone does both of these things, but what makes them a specific functional perspective defining a particular type by its “preferred” status (or connecting with various complexes for other types) is being the primary means of taking in information.

The other functions are what need more clarification; sometimes as to what exactly makes them N, T or F, but especially what determines the i/e attitude:

Ne: Inferring relationships, noticing threads of meaning, scanning for what could be
(interpreting situations and picking up meanings and interconnections to other contexts)

-the external objects themselves are used to imply these relationships, meanings, and possibilities, or what “could be” as in could be done with the idea.
There is actually some hidden confusion with Se here, as Se will also deal with what “could be”. But it will be more tangible, where Ne will be more hypothetical. An example once given to me was a football player seeing an opening to run or pass to. (i.e. What ‘could be done’ in the emergent physical world).

Ni: Foreseeing implications, conceptualizing, and having images of the future or profound meaning (…transformations, likely effects)

-Should clarify what’s internal and thus distinct from Ne (and also intuitive and thus distinct from Si) about this:
This is from an internal blueprint of concepts used to gauge these implications and likely effects. Instead of a tangible (“concrete”) experience you store inside through memory, it’s a concept or non-tangible pattern you store inside to reference.
Si can actually be used for “foreseeing…likely effects”, because once you get a sense of how the tangible world works, you’ll know what’s likely to happen in a given situation. But this is still tangible or “concrete”. (And while everyone does this, SJ’s are simply those who focus on this perspective more than the others, while the other types are more open to more emergent and/or conceptual data).
Now, if you identify something like a particular archetype (a conceptual or symbolic model of the person or situation whose patterns can be used to gauge a possible outcome), then that would be an internal intuitive perception, that could tell you things mere memory of tangible experience or even the possibilities inherent in the object might not.

Te: Organizing , segmenting, sorting and applying logic and criteria

-the external impersonal objects themselves set the standard
However, the biggest problem in this one is that “applying logic” really needs to be qualified. Ti logic can be “applied” to things as well. What will distinguish it as internal is where its standard or “criteria” is located (object or subject), not where it’s “used”, as is sometimes portrayed. (Same error made with Fe/Fi). Judgments will often be applicable in the realm where their standards lie (like organizing something), but not necessarily.

Ti: Analyzing categorizing and figuring out how something works
(evaluating according to principles)

-Should clarify what is exactly internal about this: principles (frameworks, etc.) are extracted from the objects, and matched to the internal blueprints (then the introverted “abstracting” process begins, of eliminating what’s irrelevant) which then give a likely picture of how something being analyzed works.

Fe: Considering others and responding to them

-This assumes an objective standard for the judgment behind these behaviors. But it’s possible to do these things from an internal standard. Like knowing how you would like to be connected with and accommodated, and thus doing the same to others.

Fi: evaluating importance and maintaining congruence
(valuing and considering importance, beliefs and worth)

-These could just as well be describing T judgments. Like it’s important to not overspend beyond the budget. That’s a Te judgment, being impersonal (”if-then” logic of efficiency with objects), and externally focused (the best course of action is inherent in the object). So it’s doubly “objective”.
At this point, some may attribute this to Te working in tandem with Fi and claim the “importance” is coming from the latter. Only in an individual ego that prefers Te would this connection hold. In other words, to him is the personal/interpersonal value tied to a focus on maintaining a budget as particularly good for one’s overall happiness.
Ti judgments will also see “importance” in maintaining its principles, or the “integrity” of the frameworks (so Ti will deal with the integrity of impersonal things, while Fi will deal with the integrity of the personal entity). Like if my principle or framework in theory is a particular symmetry, it will be “important” that things match up with it.

“Congruence” is simply the parity of an inner judgment, whether personal or impersonal.
It can also be extended to external judgment, where the course of action must match the objective standard.
“Beliefs” can certainly be Ti. If I’ve judged something from an internal, impersonal criterion, it will form a “belief” about the situation.
This term and the others are from an assumption of a purely “humane” and personal definition of “value”, “importance” “congruence” and “beliefs”.

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