Psychological type is a theory of personality developed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung to explain the normal differences between healthy people. Based on his observations, Jung concluded that differences in behavior result from people’s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies, they develop patterns of behavior. Jung’s psychological type theory defines eight different patterns of normal behavior, or types, and gives an explanation of how types develop.
Components of Jung’s Picture of Personality
Jung observed that when people’s minds are active, they are involved in one of two mental activities:
- Taking in information, perceiving, or
- Organizing that information and coming to conclusions, judging
He identified two opposite ways that people perceive, which he called sensation and intuition, and two opposite ways that people judge, which he called thinking and feeling. Jung also observed that individuals tend to focus their energy and be energized more by the external world of people, experience, and activity or more by the internal world of ideas, memories, and emotions. He called these two orientations of energy extraversion (acting in the outer world) and introversion (reflecting in the inner world). While each of the four mental processes – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling – has its own predictable characteristics, each also takes on a different flavor depending on whether the process is focused more on the outer Extraverted world or on the inner Introverted world.
When we use our preferred methods, we are generally at our best and feel most competent, natural, and energetic.
- Where they prefer to focus their attention and get energy (Extraversion or Introversion)
- The way they prefer to take in information (Sensing or Intuition)
- The way they prefer to make decisions (Thinking or Feeling)
- How they orient themselves to the external world – with a Judging process or a Perceiving process (Judging or Perceiving)
Things to remember about temperament is that it does not explain everything. Human personality is much more complex. There is no right or wrong to these preferences. Each identifies normal and valuable behaviors. This post has been cited from the ‘Introduction to Type” workbook by Isabel Briggs Myers.