"THE FUNCTION OF THE FOUR PERSONALITY PREFERENCES"
by Carolyn K. Nytch, B.S.
I. Extraverted and Introverted Preferences
Whether we are oriented as an Extravert or Introvert
determines how we relate in the world and how we use the four personality
preferences. The Extravert’s direction of energy is
flowing or “facing” outward toward people and things. In fact he
is energized by interacting with the "outer world”. The "outer
world" is the Extravert's favorite world.
The Introvert’s direction of energy is flowing or “facing”
within toward concepts and ideas. He is energized by withdrawing
for a time from the crowd where he can be alone to reflect and “process”
internally the things that have been happening to him. Energy can
back out to the world around him. The "inner world" is the Introvert's favorite world.
II. J and P Preferences
Since both Extraverts and Introverts must deal with the outer
world of people and things, the J or P preference is the
indication of how you prefer to deal with this outer world. It sets
our attitudes. In other words it’s your preferred public face.
If you are a J, which is the judging preference,
you will prefer to deal with the outer world with one of the judging
processes which is descriptive of how you make decisions. It’s the
way in which we decide what to do with the information we receive through
our perceptions. The person who is a T (Thinking) will
make decisions objectively, based on laws, principles and facts, while
an F (Feeling) person makes decisions subjectively, based
on values and relationships. A J person likes to come
to closure relatively quickly making decisions according to his or her
or F preference. Having a plan and structure to his life is
paramount for a comfort level that is acceptable to a J.
If you are a P, which is the perceiving preference,
you will prefer to deal with the outer world with one of the perceiving
processes which is descriptive of becoming aware of and gathering
information. The person who is an S (Sensing) gathers
information through the physical senses. An N (or iNtuitive)
gathers information through intangible means, usually known as having a
"sixth sense". Ps are much more comfortable leaving things
open-ended and non-structured. They are always looking to gather
Your preference for using J or P outwardly depends on whether
you are extraverted or introverted with your favorite or Dominant
process. Since Es and Is have a different stance in
relating to the world because their energy flow is different, the preference
that they choose to use with the world will be different as well.
Given that the Extraverts' favorite world is the outer world,
they will use their favorite (dominant) preference in that world
as their public face. An Extravert whose Dominant
process is (F)Feeling will face the world as a J because
is one of the judging or decision making methods.
The Introvert, on the other hand, prefers to use his favorite
or Dominant process internally in his favorite world.
An Introvert whose Dominant process is Feeling
will not show that part of himself to the world but will reserve it for
the inner life. The public face for an Introvert will then
of necessity be his Auxiliary or secondary process.
Introverted Feeler would have as his Auxiliary
process one of the perceiving ones (either S or N)
and hence would face the world as a P.
III. Dominant and Auxiliary Processes
We all have an aspect of our personality which dominates or governs
us. It gives direction
to the personality and shapes our motives and goals. This is called the Dominant Process. There is an Auxiliary Process which should be the second in strength and is the necessary assistant to the Dominant ["...the auxiliary takes care of the extraversion of the introvert and the introversion of the extravert" Isabel Briggs-Myers.]. Two other processes which will be discussed briefly a little later on are the Tertiary Process and the Inferior Process. All four of these processes are found in the middle two pairs of preferences, that is, the perceiving preferences which are either Sensing or Intuition and the judging preferences which are either Thinking or Feeling.
If a person has a Dominant judging process, his Auxiliary
process will be one of the perceiving ones. Conversely, a
person with a Dominant perceiving process will have a judging
preference for his Auxiliary process.
The following chart shows the middle two pairs (in italics and underlined)
of preferences for each of the 16 types. It is to these two
pairs that we look to find the Dominant (governing) and Auxiliary
|I S||T P||E S||T P|
Showing the Dominant process reveals how it works:
Extraverted Feelers are J
Introverted Feelers are P
Extraverted Intuitives are P Introverted Intuitives are J
Extraverted Sensing types are P Introverted Sensing types are J
Extraverted Thinkers are J Introverted Thinkers are P
This same process may be applied to all the combinations.
IV. Tertiary and Inferior Processes
The Tertiary and the Inferior are the
less conscious mental processes of what is called the Shadow.
They are the opposites to your Dominant and Auxiliary
and hence do not show in your MBTI profile. The Tertiary
is the process opposite to the Auxiliary (T if you are an F and
so on). This should be the third strongest process and may be somewhat
used and developed though may also be still largely in the unconscious.
The Inferior is the warring opposite of your Dominant
process and is the most childish and primitive of the four processes.
Indeed some people have repressed it into non-usage completely. When
it does manifest itself in our behavior we deem it “bad” or “wrong”.
In fact, however, we can make friends with this neglected part of ourselves.
THE FOUR PERSONALITY PROCESSES
|extraverted feeling||introverted sensing||extraverted intuition||introverted thinking|
|introverted sensing||extraverted feeling||introverted thinking||extraverted intuition|
|extraverted thinking||introverted sensing||extraverted intuition||introverted feeling|
|introverted sensing||extraverted thinking||introverted feeling||extraverted intuition|
|extraverted feeling||introverted intuition||extraverted sensing||introverted thinking|
|introverted intuition||extraverted feeling||introverted thinking||extraverted sensing|
|extraverted thinking||introverted intuition||extraverted sensing||introverted feeling|
|introverted intuition||extraverted thinking||introverted feeling||extraverted sensing|
|extraverted sensing||introverted feeling||extraverted thinking||introverted intuition|
|introverted feeling||extraverted sensing||introverted intuition||extraverted thinking|
|extraverted sensing||introverted thinking||extraverted feeling||introverted intuition|
|introverted thinking||extraverted sensing||introverted intuition||extraverted feeling|
|extraverted intuition||introverted feeling||extraverted thinking||introverted sensing|
|introverted feeling||extraverted intuition||introverted sensing||extraverted thinking|
|extraverted intuition||introverted thinking||extraverted feeling||introverted sensing|
|introverted thinking||extraverted intuition||introverted sensing||extraverted feeling|
Balance Among the Processes
Whatever the type, it’s important that there be balance. The
and Auxiliary Processes work as a team and when a personality
is well integrated they function to keep the
J/P and E/I
preferences from becoming too one-sided. For instance, in order for
the J and P to balance there must be ability in both to gather
information and to reach a final decision which can then be acted upon.
Hence a P needs at least some proficiency in one of the judging
processes if he is ever to act on anything. On the other hand,
need not to shut out the information gathering process or they will come
to closure too quickly.
It is also important that the energy flow of the Auxiliary
Process is able to be directed in the opposite way from the Dominant
one. In other words, if the Dominant process is introverted,
the Auxiliary process should be extraverted and vice versa.
Since Introverts have to extravert with the world, albeit using their second
best preference, they are still compelled to do so. If they did not,
they would lose any external moorings. This is their public face.
Extraverts, on the other hand, may have more trouble going within themselves
with their Auxiliary process than Introverts have in being
out in the world. If Extraverts have not learned how to use
their Auxiliary process in an introverted way they will probably
have trouble defining who they are or being in touch with themselves.
“The Inferior can be a source of balance and creativity if cultivated and brought into view. Your Inferior is the way out of self. If teamed with the Tertiary, it becomes the source of much unpleasantness. Genius can come from the Inferior if befriended by the Dominant. When you are angry, jealous or confused, always look to see if someone is leaning on your Inferior. Reaction out of proportion to stimuli may also be a sign your Inferior has been hooked. It takes courage and moral effort to become conscious of the Shadow---to be honest. Problems and liabilities come from the neglect of the less preferred preference."