These pages constitute one perspective on type; now we want to hear what you think!
Your Tribe: "Tigers"
Tribemates: SP "Tigers"
ISTP, ESTP, ESFP
Complements: SJ "Elephants"
ISFJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, ESTJ
Neighbours: NT "Eagles"
ENTP, ENTJ, INTP, INTJ
Contrasts: NF "Dolphins"
INFJ, INFP, ENFP, ENFJ
Each type has a different way of "being" and tends to have a preferred way of communicating, relating and acting in the world. By understanding yourself better you can begin to identify your strengths and weaknesses. By understanding other types better you can begin to understand where differences and miscommunications can creep in and find ways to overcome them. Instead of getting into situations where one person has to be right or wrong, a success or a failure, you can begin to find ways to respect differences. By negotiating type you can arrive at outcomes where everyone feels valued and achieves their goals.
Of course you also have a personal background which makes you unique. Type comes from the word typical and only indicates preferences. It cannot always predict how a person will act in a set of circumstances. Other factors such as family relationships, life-stage, beliefs and the demands of a given situation mean that you are so much more than the result of a type.
The point is not that anyone is fixed at one pole or the other – e.g. totally extraverted or totally introverted. In fact we move between each pole all the time. However it is impossible to be in both modes at the same time, and usually one or other is the more comfortable, natural ‘fit’. What typology measures is not “Which one is your choice?” it is “Which one is your first choice?” – for example, do you naturally focus on the concrete details of a situation or look for patterns and the bigger picture.
Carl Jung developed the theory of Psychological Type to try to explain the normal differences in behaviour between typical, healthy people.
He inferred that people have inborn tendencies, which result in an outward expression of their behavior; different people have different tendencies, and therefore display different behavior!
Jung defined EIGHT different types of behavior and also explained in his theory how these differences develop. He considered two main mental activities:
a. The way people take in information (Perceiving) and
b. The way people use that information and arrive at conclusions (Judging)
He found through his observations that people perceive in two different ways: Sensing and Intuition and also Judge in two different ways: Thinking and Feeling.
This can be represented as follows:
Jung also identified two ways that people tend to focus their energies:
a. Some people tend to focus more on the external world and engage themselves with people, places and activities and are always looking forward to energizing themselves through experiential interactions (Extraversion).
b. Some people tend to focus more on their inner world of thoughts, ideas, emotions and introspection, energizing themselves by avoiding interaction and spending time with themselves (Introversion).
Depending on whether each of the processes of ‘Perceiving’ and ‘Judging’ is more focused towards the outer world or the inner world, each of the four mental processes: Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling results in its own specific preferences. Thus, a total of EIGHT fundamental kinds of behavior were described by Carl Jung.
Jung found that people have a natural preference for one of the eight kinds of behavior and that causes them to develop and manifest behavior and personality pattern akin to that kind or type.
As people use their preferred mental process and use it often, they tend to develop that behavior more than the others and predictable pattern of behavior evolves as the base for Psychological Types.
Jung observed that there is actually an order of preference that people possess for each of the eight functions; he termed them as follows:
a. The Dominant Function: The most preferred mental process
b. The Auxiliary Function: The second most preferred mental process
c. The Tertiary Function: The third preference
d. The Inferior Function: The fourth and the least preferred mental process
Briggs and Myers adapted the theories and did in depth studies on the ‘auxiliary’ function as described by Carl Jung and came out with 16 TYPES to form the MBTI® in 1962. The MBTI® attempts to identify why people think, act and react differently in the same situations and measures four different preferences. Each preference type has two poles with people naturally drawn to one end or the other.
The first of the four poles is how you source your energy – externally (Extraversion, ‘E’) or internally (Introversion, ‘I’). The second pole is how you take in information – by concrete, immediate facts (Sensing, ‘S) or more impressionistically by looking for patterns and the big picture (Intuition ‘N). The third pole considers how you prefer to process this information – analytically (Thinking ‘T) or by considering values and affiliations (Feeling ‘F’). The final pole is concerned with how you make decisions – by a linear, controlled process (Judgement ‘J) or by a fluid, adaptable process (Perception ‘P).
They designed four separate preference scales as follows:
a. Extraversion – Introversion
b. Sensing – Intuition
c. Thinking – Feeling
d. Judging – Perceiving
Each of us has our own preferences.
Do we all like the same kind of food items, or clothes or ways to spend our leisure time? The differences are quite apparent.
While some of us are comfortable using our right hand, others would prefer to use the left hand. Though we might be able to use either of our hands if the necessity arises, given an option, we would have a preference to use either the right hand or the left hand.
Of course, given enough time, we might be able to develop a competence to use both hands equally efficiently, but still we would have a natural preference to use one particular hand.
Similarly, we have a preference for one of the two opposites on each of the MBTI® preference scales. Remember that there is no right or wrong preference, each of the preferences identifies normal human behavior and helps us to improve our self awareness, as already discussed.
The combination of our four preferences on the four MBTI® preference scales with the environmental factors and our specific needs and choices results in a specific personality pattern called the Psychological Type. Each TYPE has strengths and areas for improvement, and we tend to develop behaviors, skills and attitudes related to our TYPE.
Type comes from the word typical and only indicates preferences. It cannot always predict how a person will act in a set of circumstances. Other factors such as family relationships, personal history, life-stage, your beliefs and the demands of a given situation mean that every person is unique with an individual psychology.
You shouldn’t feel stereotyped or ‘type-cast’ by your type – it is simply a way of understanding your preferred ways of thinking, acting and being and your natural strengths. It can help you address your personal weaknesses, develop your confidence, help you identify the most satisfying career for you and support you in your personal development. An understanding of others types can also help you to communicate and relate better, enhancing your relationships with family, friends and acquaintances.