Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Jungian Mental Functions

Well, there's a bit of jungian synchronicity in the air today. While I was composing my morning email stating that I'd be describing the Jungian mental functions much later today, I get a Google alert to an excellent article doing just that, saving me the pressure of writing so much. But it still requires a bit of set-up:

So far, we have Perception and Judgment


Perception also contains its own dichotomy, and therefore exists in two flavors - Sensing and Intution. We can abbreviate Sensing with S, but we have to use N for iNtuition, because Introversion already uses I as its abbreviation.

Quickly, Sensing involves the five senses, the somatic senses (temperature and pain) and vestibular senses (orientation and balance) and visceral senses (bodily states), and the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Intuition involves the world of ideas, patterns, meaning, metaphor, insights, relationships and possibilities.


Judgment also contains a dichotomy, that between Thinking and Feeling. Thinking and Feeling are both rational functions. Feeling does not mean emotion or emotional.

Thinking is making decision using logic and is devoid of value. It is the gesellschaft. It's abbreviated as T.

Feeling is making decisions using values, either of the personal variety (liberties) or the societal (social mores). It is gemeinschaft. It's abbreviated as F.

I'll be describing much better these four mental functions later.

Below, we have another mandala figure, squaring the two poles:

These four functions all exist in Introverted and Extraverted versions, so you end up with 8 basic mental function-attitudes - a three dimensional matrix.

Extraverted/Introverted Sensing (Se, Si)
Extraverted/Introverted iNtuition (Ne, Ni)
Extraverted/Introverted Thinking (Te, Ti)
Extraverted/Introverted Feeling (Fe, Fi)

I'll be posting some tables comparing these functions later (and their applications to a communication system), but for now, we have some descriptions of all of these in the the article I mentioned in the context of a book review, written by a secondary school student:

"Fifth Business" – The Jungian Personality Types by Vaneet S.

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