Dissecting Myers Briggs: Discovering Jung September 15, 2015 – Posted in: Consciousness – Tags: , ,

It all started when someone said I reminded them of House (tv series guy).  Since then I haphazardly came across the Myers Briggs personality type test and the mastermind behind it all, Myers-Briggs.

Carl Jung

I think it is always good to know oneself in order to become “better”.   I recommend taking a few tests and learning about the different personalities to properly identify your true thought patterns and personality.  Taking the test doesn’t always give the same answer every time but when you find the right one you will know.  Lots of this information came from Wiki and efforts to understand and dissect the information inside.  Here goes.

Myers–Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Dissecting Myers Briggs is a psychological tool that should actually have some practical application in the real world.

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Myers Briggs is based on an extrapolation from the typological theories proposed by Carl Jung’s 1921 book Psychological Types Jung theorized that there are four principal psychological functions by which humans experience the world – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking – and that one of these four functions is dominant most of the time and that the function most used depends on the individual. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is used by 89 of the Fortune 100 companies Dissecting Myers Briggs.

Jung’s type theory introduced a sequence of four cognitive functions (thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition), each having one of two orientations (extraversion or introversion), for a total of eight functions. The Myers–Briggs theory is based on these eight functions, although with some differences which will be explained in a second.

The Briggs Myers Method is not accepted by everyone in the field of psychology.  One doctor in the field of intelligence and personality, Ph.D. Eysenck, says: “Myers Briggs creates 16 personality types which are said to be similar to Jung’s theoretical concepts. I have always found difficulties with this identification, which omits one half of Jung’s theory (he had 32 types, by asserting that for every conscious combination of traits there was an opposite unconscious one). Obviously, the latter half of his theory does not admit of questionnaire measurement, but to leave it out and pretend that the scales measure Jungian concepts is hardly fair to Jung.”

Myers Briggs Concepts

Myers Briggs “is designed to implement a theory; therefore the theory must be understood to understand the MBTI Method.  Fundamental to the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is the theory of psychological type as originally developed by Carl Jung.Jung proposed the existence of two dichotomous pairs of cognitive functions Dissecting Myers Briggs:

  • The “rational” (judging) functions: thinking and feeling
  • The “irrational” (perceiving) functions:sensation and intuition

Jung believed that for every person each of the 4 functions is expressed primarily in either an introverted or extraverted form.

Jung theorized that the dominant function acts alone in its preferred world: exterior for the extraverts and interior for the introverts. The remaining three functions, he suggested, operate together in the opposite world. If the dominant cognitive function is introverted, the other functions are extraverted, and vice versa.  This acts to balance the individual in such a way as to allow extroverts to internalize thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition, judging, and perceiving without really communicating it.  As for the introverts, it allows them to externalize their thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition, judging, and perceiving when most of their personality is geared internally Dissecting Myers Briggs.

Differences between Myers Briggs and Jung 

The most notable addition of Myers and Briggs to Jung is their concept that a given type’s fourth letter (J or P) indicates a person’s preferred extraverted FUNCTION, which is the dominant function for extraverted types and the auxiliary function for the introverted types.  For example, if you are an introvert and you are judging as opposed to perceiving, then you may not always tell people your judgments unless you really have a personal push to do so.

Extravert Introvert

Myers and Briggs added another dimension to Jung’s typological model by identifying that people also have a preference for using either the judging function (thinking or feeling) or their perceiving function (sensing or intuition) when relating to the outside world (extraversion).

Myers and Briggs held that types with a preference for judging show the world their preferred judging function (thinking or feeling). So TJ(thinking judging) types tend to appear to the world as logical and FJ(feeling judging) types as empathetic. According to Myers, judging types like to “have matters settled”.

Thinking Vs Feeling Function

Those types who prefer perception show the world their preferred perceiving function (sensing or intuition). So SP(sensing perceiving) types tend to appear to the world as concrete and NP(intuition perceiving) types as abstract. According to Myers, perceptive types prefer to “keep decisions open”.

For extroverts, the J or P indicates their dominant function; for introverts, the J or P indicates their auxiliary function. Introverts tend to show their dominant function outwardly only in matters “important to their inner worlds”.

Dominant Function

According to Jung, people use all four cognitive functions. However, one function is generally used in a more conscious and confident way. This dominant function is supported by the secondary (auxiliary) function, and to a lesser degree the tertiary function. The fourth and least conscious function is always the OPPOSITE of the dominant function.


Note that for extroverts, the dominant function is the one most evident in the external world. For introverts, however, it is the auxiliary function that is most evident externally, as their dominant function relates to the interior world.

Problem with Myers Briggs

Jung 300x283

Point scores or (degrees) on each of the dichotomies can vary considerably from person to person, even among those with the same type. However, Isabel Myers considered the direction of the preference (for example, E vs. I) to be more important than the degree of the preference. The preferences interact through the interaction of two, three, or four preferences is known as type dynamics and type development.

Although type dynamics has received little or no empirical support to substantiate its viability as a scientific theory, Myers and Briggs asserted that for each of the 16 personality types, one function is the most dominant and is likely to be evident earliest in life. A secondary or auxiliary function typically becomes more evident (differentiated) during teenage years and provides balance to the dominant. In normal development, individuals tend to become more fluent with a third, tertiary function during mid-life, while the fourth, inferior function remains least consciously developed. The inferior function is often considered to be more associated with the unconscious, being most evident in situations such as high stress (sometimes referred to as being in the grip of the inferior function).

However, the use of type dynamics is disputed: in the conclusion of various studies on the subject of type dynamics, James H. Reynierse writes that “Type dynamics has persistent logical problems and is fundamentally based on a series of category mistakes; it provides, at best, a limited and incomplete account of type related phenomena”; and that “type dynamics relies on anecdotal evidence, fails most efficacy tests, and does not fit the empirical facts”. His studies gave the clear result that the descriptions and workings of type dynamics do not fit the real behavior of people. He suggests getting completely rid of type dynamics, because it does not help but hinders understanding of personality. The presumed order of functions 1 to 4 did only occur in one out of 540 test results.


Excluding type Dynamics and type development from the equation:
If we dismiss type Dynamics and type Development, we do not change the fact that 16 personalities do indeed exist as Jung discovered.  We know that on some substantial level, human beings do indeed have different ways of perceiving and relating to the world and that certain patterns exist within similar personality types Dissecting Myers Briggs.  Withing these personality types, different people have different degrees of the four aspects of their personalities and the four aspects interact in a very complex way that forms the individual’s manner of thought, communication, and learning.