By Dr. A.J. Drenth
One of the most difficult, even confusing, elements of Myers-Briggs typology is the Judging-Perceiving dimension. Many people struggle to determine their designation as a Judging versus Perceiving type. The purpose of this post is to bring clarity to this personality dimension by exploring its theoretical basis in INJ (INTJ/INFJ) and INP (INTP/INFP) types.
The Judging-Perceiving dimension references outward (i.e., extraverted) behavior/demeanor. But contrary to the opinion of some, the J-P dimension is not a measure of tidiness or orderliness, especially for Introverts. While this may hold true for Extraverted types (most EJs I have encountered are fairly tidy and organized), I have found a great deal of inconsistency among Introverts in this regard.
In concert with many typologists, my preferred method of typing involves a direct assessment of an individual’s preferred Jungian functions (e.g., Ni, Ne) rather than a mere consideration of the Myers-Briggs preferences (e.g., E, I, S, N). What follows is a quick overview of the extraverted functions:
Extraverted Sensing (Se)/SP Types: Quick to notice and express their observations of the immediate environment, especially specific details. Action-oriented. Often concerned with appearances or aesthetics.
Extraverted Intuition (Ne)/NP Types: Quick to express curiosities, questions, or options. May appear scattered, distracted, absent-minded, and random. Can appear outwardly restless and keen on exploring new possibilities, whether physically or mentally.
Extraverted Thinking (Te)/TJ Types: Firmly, even bluntly, state opinions. May lack tact or social grace (most apparent in STJ types). May at times seem harsh, dogmatic, closed-minded, or insensitive.
Extraverted Feeling (Fe)/FJ Types: Work to maintain external harmony, ensuring that people are comfortable and cared for. Are generally warm and inviting. Can also be quick to express strong opinions.
Since IN types are Introverts, none of the above extraverted functions are dominant, but fall into the auxiliary and inferior positions of their functional stack:
Dominant: Introverted Perceiving (Ni)
Auxiliary: Extraverted Judging (Te/Fe)
Tertiary: Introverted Judging (Fi/Ti)
Inferior: Extraverted Perceiving (Se)
Dominant: Introverted Judging (Ti/Fi)
Auxiliary: Extraverted Perceiving (Ne)
Tertiary: Introverted Perceiving (Si)
Inferior: Extraverted Judging (Fe/Te)
Because INs’ dominant function is introverted, it can sometimes be tricky to discern their personality type. For instance, if an IP is introverting, she could appear more like a Judging type, since she would be less open to perceiving the environment. Nonetheless, we can still look for the evidence of the extraverted functions described when determining an Introvert’s type.