Personality Types and Temperaments Including A Brief Introduction to Personality Typing; A Shortcut to Typewatching: The Four Temperaments; and Brief Sketches of the Sixteen MBTI Personality Types

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Personality Types and Temperaments


A Brief Introduction to Personality Typing;

A Shortcut to Typewatching: The Four Temper
ments; and

Brief Sketches of the Sixteen MBTI Personality Types

The information in this collection about personality types
is taken almost verbatim (yes, plagiarized!) from
the books
Please Understand Me
, by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates;
Type Talk

Type Talk at Work,

Otto Kroeger and Janet Theusen;
Influencing People Using Myers Briggs,

by Steven Myers;
People Types &

Tiger Stripes
, by Gordon Lawrence;
Psychological Type: An Introduction,

by Alan W. Brownsword;
Typology in Perspective,

by Angelo Spoto;
Are You My Type? Or Why Aren’t You More Like Me?

by Claudine
G. Wirths and Mary Bowman
Kruhm; and
The Type Repo

edited by Susan Scanlon. Some information is
also from the TypeWorks web site:

The brief sketches of each of the sixteen MBTI types are taken from

, by Sandra Hirsh & Jean
Influencing People Using Myers B
Isabel Briggs
Meyer’s type descriptions;
People Types &
Tiger Stripes;

Type Talk at Work
I’m Not Crazy I’m Just Not You,

by Roger R. Pearman & Sarah C. Albri
ton; and
The Type Reporter.

For help in determining your MBTI letters, see the test at the

end of this document or

take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, an online personality test at


This Collection of MBTI Personality Type Inf
ormation Was Prepared by

Carolyne J. Butler

May 1998


The great Swiss physician
psychologist, C. G. Jung, developed one of the most comprehensive of
current theories to explain human personality. Where other observers saw peopl
e’s behavior as
random, Jung saw patterns. What he called “psychological types” are patterns in the way people
prefer to perceive and make judgments.

In Jung’s theory, all conscious mental activity can be classified into four mental processes or

The two perception processes (that is, awareness, taking in data) are Sensing (S) and
Intuition (N). The two judgment processes (that is, making decisions about what has come into
awareness) are Thinking (T) and Feeling (F). What one perceives, that is, w
hat comes into co
sciousness, moment by moment, comes either through the senses or through intuition. To remain
in consciousness, sensing or intuitive perceptions must be used

sorted, weighed, analyzed,

by the judgment processes, thinking and fee

Perception (S and N) and Judgment (T and F) are truly basic in the human condition. Our
troubles come from faulty perception and poor judgment, and our progress certainly comes from
clear perception and sound judgment. We may not think about it often
, but the quality of any
human activity

caring for a child, building a house, fighting a fire, running a business, playing
tennis, preparing a meal, etc.

depends on the quality of perception and judgment that goes into
them. Jung saw that the ways we go ab
out perceiving and judging differ, and the differences
come in patterns. Understanding the patterns is what Personality Typing is all about.


Not if you understand it. An understanding of type frees you in several ways.

It gives y
ou confidence in your own direction of development

the areas in which you can
become excellent with the most ease and pleasure.

It can also reduce the guilt many people feel at not being able to do everything in life equally

Acknowledging your own pr
eferences opens the possibility of finding constructive values
instead of conflicts in the differences you encounter with someone whose preferences are o
posite yours.

As Isabel Myers puts it: “For most people, really understanding their own type in partic
and other people’s types in general, is a releasing experience rather than a restricting one. It sets
one free to recognize one’s own natural bent and to trust one’s own potential for growth and e
cellence, with no obligation to copy anyone else, how
ever admirable that person may be in his or
her own different way.”


The MBTI (Myers
Briggs Type Indicator) is one of the most widely used personality tests given
today. It has four scales corresponding to the four dimensions of type

theory. The MBTI uses a
shorthand designation for eight personality characteristics: E for Extraversion and I for Introve
sion; S for Sensing and N for Intuition; T for Thinking and F for Feeling; J for Judgment and P
for Perception. The combinations of o

allow for sixteen basic personality types.

Refer to the literature on personality types for in
depth descriptions of each of the sixteen types.
For more details about what characteristics each of the eight MBTI letters encompass, see the
hort test at the end of this doc


Extraversion and Introversion.

Does your interest flow mainly to .



(E) the outer world of actions, objects, and persons?

(I) the inner world of concepts and ideas?

Perceptive Process:

Sensing and Int

Do you prefer to perceive .



(S) the immediate, real, practical facts of experience and life?

(N) the possibilities, relationships, and meanings of experiences?

Judging Process:

Thinking and Feeling.

Do you prefer to make judgments or decisi
ons .



(T) objectively, impersonally, considering causes of events and where decisions may

(F) subjectively and personally, weighing values of choices and how they matter to ot

style Orientation:

Judging and Perceiving.

Do you prefer

mostly to live .



(J) in a decisive, planned, and orderly way, aiming to regulate and control events?

(P) in a spontaneous, flexible way, aiming to understand life and adapt to it?


The four processes or functions

nsing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling

are gifts that all
people are born with. The processes are at each person’s disposal to develop and use in dealing
with the present and shaping the future. It is up to each person to recognize his or her true prefe

between Sensing and Intuition, between Thinking and Feeling, and so on. The most pr
ferred function is called the Dominant (or sometimes Superior) function, the second most pr
ferred is called the Auxiliary, the third is called the Tertiary, and the l
east preferred is called the

Full development of type involves getting to be expertly skilled with one of the four pro
es, the Dominant process, which actually bosses the other three processes and sets the major
goals in life. Type development

also depends on skilled use of the Auxiliary process, which is
vital for balance, because it supplies judgment if the dominant is perceptive, or perception if the
dominant is judging. Finally, full type development requires learning to use the two less
and less
developed processes (Tertiary and Inferior functions) appropriately.

Even though one might have a preference for one process over the other, when people rea
ize that Sensing works better than Intuition for gathering facts, but Intuition is
better for seeing
possibilities, or that Thinking is better suited to organizing work, but Feeling is better in human
relations, they have the key to more effective use of
all their gifts,

each in its own field.


Sensing and Intuition

Sensing and Intuition are called the functions of perception. They are the mental processes we
use to collect and generate information.

Sensing (S) is the term used for perception of the observable by way of the senses. Sen
ing is the direct perception of
realities through sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Intuition (N) is the term used for the indirect perception of things beyond the reach of the
senses, such as meanings, relationships, and possibilities by way of insight.

SENSING (S) types use bot
h Sensing and Intuition, but

and therefore develop, Sensing.
With good type development, the expertise in Sensing can lead to a differentiated awareness of
present experience, acute powers of observation, a memory for facts and detail, and a capaci
ty for
realism, for seeing the world as it is. Traits characteristically developed as a consequence of a
preference for sensing include a reliance on experience rather than theory, a trust of the conve
tional and customary way of doing things, a preference

for beginning with what is known and
real, and then moving systematically, step by step, tying each new fact to past experience and
testing it for its relevance in practical use. To most Sensing types, “real intelligence” is chara
ized as soundness, ac
curacy, and common sense.

Sensing is needed for pursuing or even casually observing hard facts; it is equally essential
to enjoying the moment of a sunrise, the crash of surf on a beach, the exhilaration of speed, and
the smooth working of one’s body.

ing types are attracted to careers and settings where skillful application of well
knowledge is more important than developing new solutions, where working with tangibles is
more important than using theory and insight, and where dealing with the i
mmediate situation
and using sound, conventional wisdom is more important than making bold breakthroughs. If
people prefer Sensing, they use it more and become expert at noticing and remembering all the
observable facts. Because of their ever
growing fund
of experience and knowledge of reality,
Sensing types tend to become realistic, practical, observant, fun
loving, and good at working
with a great number of facts.

INTUITIVE (N) types use both Sensing and Intuition, but

and therefore develop, Intu
tion. With good type development, Intuition provides insight into complexity, an ability to see
abstract, symbolic, and theoretical relationships, and a capacity to see future possibilities, often
creative ones. Attitudes characteristically developed as a
result of a preference for Intuition i
clude a reliance on inspiration rather than on past experience, an interest in the new and untried,
and a preference for learning new materials through an intuitive grasp of meanings and relatio
ships. To most Intuiti
ve types, “real intelligence” is shown by insight in grasping complexities,
and by flashes of imagination or creativity.

Intuition translates words into meaning and meaning into words whenever people read,
write, talk, or listen; people use Intuition when
they invite the unknown into their conscious
minds or wait expectantly for a possibility, a solution, or an inspiration. Intuition works best for
seeing how situations might be handled. A thought that starts “I wonder if” is probably Intuition.
The declara
tion “I see!” is a flash of Intuition, and the thought “Aha!” indicates that Intuition has
brought to mind something enlightening and delightful.

Intuitive types are attracted to careers and settings where it is more important to find the pa
tern in comple
x systems than it is to deal with practical details, where creating new know
edge is
more important than applying existing knowledge, where working with theory and imag
nation is
more important than dealing with tangibles, and where intellectual challenge
is more important
than the enjoyment of the pleasures of everyday events. People who prefer Intuition tend to b
come skilled at seeing possibilities. They learn that a possibility will come to them if they conf
dently seek it. Valuing imagination and inspi
rations, Intuitive types become good at new ideas,
projects, and problem


Thinking and Feeling

Thinking and Feeling are called the functions of judgment. They are the mental processes we use
to make decisions and form judgments.

Thinking (T) is the term used for a logical decision
making process, aimed at an impe
sonal finding. Thinking analyzes in terms of cause and effect, and it distinguishes b
tween true and false.

Feeling (F) is a term for a process of appreciation, making j
udgments in terms of a system
of subjective, personal values. Feeling is intentionally personal and is based on personal
values. It distinguishes between valued and not valued and between more valued and less
valued, and it guards whatever the feeling type

values most.

Both Thinking and Feeling are considered rational processes because they use

arrive at conclusions or decisions. Do not confuse the judgment process of Thinking with the
mental act of using intelligence, and do not confuse the ju
dgment process of Feeling with having
emotions. All types who use Thinking in their decision
making process also feel emotions. All
types who use Feeling in their decision
making process also use their intelligence.

THINKING (T) types use both Thinking and

Feeling but

to use Thinking for making
judgments. With good type development, expertise in Thinking leads to powers of analysis and
an ability to weigh facts objectively, including consequences, unintended as well as intended. A
titudes typically d
eveloped from a preference for Thinking include objectivity, impartiality, a
sense of fairness and justice, and skill in applying logical analysis. They are inclined to make d
cisions by analyzing and weighing the facts, including the unpleasant ones. Thin
king types are
attracted to areas where tough
mindedness and technical skills are needed. (Note: More males
than females prefer Thinking judgment.)

FEELING (F) types use Thinking and Feeling but

to reach judgments through Feeling.
With good type dev
elopment, Feeling leads to development of values and standards, and a
knowledge of what matters most to themselves and other people. Attitudes typically resulting
from a preference for Feeling include an understanding of people and a wish to affiliate with

them, a desire for harmony, and a capacity for warmth, empathy, and compassion. Feeling types
are attracted to areas where understanding and communication with people are needed, and find
the interpersonal skills more interesting than the technical skills
. (Note: More females than males
prefer Feeling judgment.)

THE THIRD DIMENSION: Extraversion and Introversion

Jung identified a third dimension of personality structure: Extraversion
Introversion. He invented
these terms. Extraverting means outward

and Introverting means inward
turning. We all
do both regularly, every day. We turn outside of ourselves to act in the world, and we turn into
ourselves to reflect. Of course, action without reflection is blind and may be fruitless; and refle
tion that do
es not lead to action may be futile. Both Extraverting
action and Introverting
reflection are essential. However, each person is not equally “at home” in action and reflection.
Those who prefer Extraverting often say, “When in doubt, act.” Those who prefer

are more likely to say, “When in doubt, reflect on the matter more deeply.”

To Extravert is to think out loud, to reveal half
thought ideas, to process one’s experiences
outwardly, as a means of doing one’s best mental work. To Introvert is t
o keep ideas inside,
where the best mental work goes on, and polish the ideas until they are ready to be exposed. So
people who prefer Extraverting, whom we call Extraverts, are seen as more outgoing, and those
who prefer inner processing, whom we call Int
roverts, are seen as reserved. Extraverting means
looking outward for interests, values, and stimulation. Introverting means looking inward for

Extraverting and Introverting also refer to how the dominant process

S, N, T, or F

used. A person whos
e preference is for Extraversion most often uses the dominant mental pr
ess outwardly, where it is visible to others. A person whose preference is for Introversion most
often uses the dominant process inwardly, privately. It is no surprise that people who

prefer E
traverting are easier to get to know; they show their dominant process most readily. It takes lon
er to get to know the ones who favor Introverting, who reserve their dominant for the inner life.

THE FOURTH DIMENSION: Judging and Perceiving

s and Myers elaborated Jung’s ideas of psychological type and showed a fourth dimension
that is present, but not highlighted in the descriptions already given. The fourth dimension is the
attitude taken toward the outer world.

When a judgment process (T or

F) is used in running one’s

life, the natural drive is to
have things decided, judged, settled, planned, organized, and managed according to plan. In this
personality pattern, the drive is always toward closure, toward having a settled system in pla
This is the Judging attitude toward the outer world, represented by the letter J as the fourth letter
of the type designation, for example ESFJ or INTJ.

When a perception process (S or N) is used to run one’s

life, the natural drive is t
ward kee
ping things open to new perceptions. The person wants to stay flexible, so as to adapt to
changing circumstances, and to experience life as widely as possible. In this personality pattern,
the drive is always toward keeping plans and organization to a nece
ssary minimum so that one
can respond to new perceptions and adapt flexibly to new circumstances. This is the Perceiving
attitude toward the outer world, represented by the letter P as the fourth letter of the type desi
tion, for example ESFP or INTP.

us the fourth letter of the type designation is J or P. As we get to know a person, the J
aspect of his or her type is often the first to be noticed. A person’s planful or spontaneous nature
is quickly apparent.

Directing one’s outer life in a planful wa
y, as Js do, seems readily understandable. What is
the P way? Being receptive and spontaneous do not appear to be ways of directing one’s life.
They appear reactive and not proactive. Aren’t the P types proactive? The analogy of steering a
sailboat may fit

here. This activity requires many adjustments in a short span of time, actions that
appear spontaneous and impulsive rather than based on judgment. Actually, many judgments are
happening very quickly. And each adjustment, the steering required, quickly ta
kes into account
the changing conditions and how they interact with the steerer’s intentions. There are good re
sons to believe that the Perceiving types tend toward occupations that require this kind of stee
ing, adjusting to changing events; occupations
such as fine artist, artisan, journalist, craftsman,
laborer, actor, and psychologist.


In good type development, one of the four functions (either Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, or Fee
ing) will become the dominant function in on
e’s personality. The dominant function is the fun
tion in charge of a person’s conscious mental life, the central theme around which a person o
ganizes consciousness. The remaining three functions are the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior,
and they operate

in cooperation with (although sometimes in opposition to) the Dominant fun
tion. For good type development to take place, each function must be used and refined throug
out a person’s lifetime.

Dominant Sensing:

Those who have Sensing as their dominant fu
nction are above all else pra
tical people. Their close attention to data provided by the senses makes them well attuned to i
mediate experiences, the literal facts at hand, the concrete realities. Characteristics associated
with the Sensing function inclu
de looking at information in terms of facts and details; focusing
more on the here and now rather than possibilities for the future; feeling comfortable in areas of
proven experience; taking a realistic approach.

People with Extraverted or Introverted Sens
ing both concentrate on data from the five senses
and pay attention to tangible things and factual data; however, they use that data very differently.
People with Introverted Sensing (Si) as their dominant (or auxiliary) trust their previous exper
ence. Th
ey consistently compare present conditions to the past and see no reason to change what
has worked before. But people with Extraverted Sensing (Se) are totally in the here and now.
They trust what can be experienced right now and resist analyzing (or learn
ing from) the past,
preferring to move ahead right away.

The two types with Dominant Extraverted Sensing are ESTP and ESFP. Their contrib
Action in the moment.

Only the Extraverted Sensing types really enjoy the present
moment for what it is and get
everything they can out of it. They aren’t just

in the
present, they’re

in the present. (The two types with Extraverted Sensing as Auxi
ry are ISTP and ISFP.)

The two types with Dominant Introverted Sensing are ISTJ and ISFJ. Their contribut

If the “time” for Extraverted Sensing types is

the “time” for Introverted
Sensing types is

They have a nose for what is timeless in life, for what lasts, and
for what should not be changed. (The two types with Introverted Sens
ing as Auxiliary are

Dominant Intuition:

Those who have Intuition as their dominant function have their consciou
ness mainly focused on associations, abstractions, theories, and possibilities that do not depend
directly on the senses. Above

all else, they believe in intuitive insights and imagination to set
life’s directions. Characteristics associated with the Intuition function include looking at info
mation from a global viewpoint, spotting patterns and relationships that lead to an under
of the key issues; focusing more on possibilities for the future than the here
now; enjoying
change, challenge, and variety.

People with a preference for Intuition are often described as thinking in terms of possibilities
and what could be, us
ing their sixth sense to trust flashes of intuition. That description, however,
leaves out important aspects of Extraverted and Introverted Intuition. The person with Extr
ed Intuition (Ne) as a dominant (or auxiliary) function sees possibilities stimu
lated by the exte
nal world. These possibilities come from the conscious and are, therefore, easy for others to co
nect with.

Introverted Intuitives (Ni), on the other hand, receive their flashes from the unconscious,
creating possibilities from an inner v
ision that are more difficult for others to relate to. People
who expect to hear about possibilities from an Intuitive may be surprised when a person with I
troverted Intuition seems to be governed by an internal vision that is hard to articulate.

The two
types with Dominant Extraverted Intuition are ENTP and ENFP. Their contrib

When your progress is stopped by an intangible obstacle, like your

you can’t go any further; you should call in an Extraverted Intuitive. They’ll rearrange
our perceptions, or suggest something you hadn’t thought of, to get you going again
soon. (The two types with Extraverted Intuition as Auxiliary are INTP and INFP.)

The two types with Dominant Introverted Intuition are INTJ and INFJ. Their contribution:

If you want to peek into a crystal ball that works, talk to an Introverted Intu
tive. You’ll find that most of them spend a lot of time thinking about very big issues, cu
tural attitudes, or systems that seem wrong, and how they could be better. (
The two types
with Intr
verted Intuition as Auxiliary are ENTJ and ENFJ.)

Dominant Thinking:

Those who have Thinking judgment as their dominant mental process are
above all else logical, and have orderly, analytical minds. All experience must fit into logi
mental systems, or the systems must be reworked to accommodate perceptions that don’t fit.
Characteristics associated with the Thinking function include making decisions on the basis of
logic, using objective considerations; concern with the truth, pri
nciples, and justice; being an
ical and critical, tending to see the flaws in situations; taking an objective approach.

Thinking decisions avoid using the decision
maker’s values and reveal little about the pe
son’s values. Thinking decisions describe c
riteria as principles

as universal “truths” that stand
outside self. Thinking decisions set up syllogisms. (If A=B and B=C, then A=C.) Thinking dec
sions link things together by logic. Thinking decisions, once set up, can be given away to som
one else to m

Thinkers, while all influenced by objectivity and logic, differ in important ways. Those with
Extraverted Thinking (Te) focus their thinking on the outer world’s laws, rules, and regulations,
using an organizing framework evident to most people. Peopl
e with Introverted Thinking (Ti)
also create frameworks, but theirs are internal ones using principles and truth that may be totally
invisible to others. One Thinker trusts “internal logic” and the other “external logic.” This may
explain why some thinkers

seem directive while others seem content with their inside order and
seldom try to influence the outside world.

The two types with Dominant Extraverted Thinking are ESTJ and ENTJ. Their contrib

Extraverted Thinking types have the ability

to organize their thoughts
in the presence of other people, and express them immediately with a logic that everyone
can fo
low. (The two types with Extraverted Thinking as Auxiliary are ISTJ and INTJ.)

The two types with Dominant Introverted Thinking are
ISTP and INTP. Their contrib

Introverted Thinking types are people who are almost obsessed
with figuring out how something works, who keep asking “Why, why, why?” and who
can tune the world out and focus all their energy on finding the

answer. (The two types
with Introverted Thin
ing as Auxiliary are ESTP and ENTP.)

Dominant Feeling:

Those who have Feeling judgment as their dominant mental process direct
their lives toward human values and harmony, above all else. They weigh all experie
nce as being
harmonious or dissonant with the values and priorities of their own lives and the others they care
about. They are naturally attuned to the subjective world of feelings and values, and more alert to
the humane issues in any situation. Characte
ristics associated with the Feeling function include
making decisions on the basis of personal values; being appreciative and accepting of people;
enjoying company and seeking harmony; assessing the impact of decisions on others, being sy
pathetic or compa
ssionate; taking a personal approach.

Feeling decisions use the decision
maker’s values. Feeling decisions describe criteria as va

what “I want or don’t want,” or what “I like or dislike.” Feeling decisions clarify and apply
the values of the decision
maker. Feeling decisions arrange things according to their value to the
person making the decision and can only be made by the decision

Feelers are often described as seeking harmony. But that can be “harmony within” for those
with Introverted Feel
ing (Fi) or “harmony without” for those with Extraverted Feeling (Fe). The
Fe may meet the more common description of a Feeler, concerned with harmony among people,
the interpersonal climate, and what is acceptable in the culture. But Introverted Feelers s
trive for
harmony with their own values and ethics. They define for themselves

and then trust

principles and truths by which they want to run their lives.

Once again, one definition for both these functions can miss some key distinctions. People
h Introverted Feeling (Fi) may be confused about their type because, based on the generic de
inition, they expect themselves to be consistently concerned with how others are feeling in a sit

The two types with Dominant Extraverted Feeling are ESFJ a
nd ENFJ. Their contrib

Extraverted Feeling types are best at bringing people into cooperation,
agreement, mutual understanding, or simply, enjoyment of each other. They use their
judgment when they are with people, and see most clearly what

can do to make
their lives better. (The two types with Extraverted Feeling as Auxiliary are ISFJ and

The two types with Dominant Introverted Feeling are ISFP and INFP. Their contribution:

Introverted Feeling types become the true gu
ardians of morality in our culture
because they lead, not by persuasion, but by example. They use their judgment when they
are alone, so they see most clearly what

must do to make the world a better place.
(The two types with Introverted Feeling as Au
xiliary are ESFP and ENFP.)

A Note About Thinking and Feeling Judgments:

It is also important to keep in mind that we
often use both Thinking and Feeling at the same time. When we are doing this, the less dominant
one is a little unfocused, working in the
background where it may not be recognized. In much the
same way, complex decisions often involve both T and the F. We approach the decision with e
ther T or F first, but in establishing criteria, we may “dip over” into the other side, thus using the
te preference as a check on ourselves. A consideration to keep in mind when determining
whether a decision
making process is a Thinking or Feeling one: “Can the decision be given
away?” In other words, would someone else come to the same decision once you
established the
criteria? If so, it is a Thinking decision.

According to Alan Brownsword, both Thinking and Feeling preferences can sometimes lead
to what he calls “decision paralysis.” With those who prefer Thinking, it comes when logic pr
vides no clear

when the result is “six of one and half dozen of the other.” With those
who prefer Feeling, paralysis results when two powerful and opposing values are triggered by the
decision to be made. The Feeling person cannot decide which of the two values

should guide in
this situation. Brownsword says, “I have found it useful in situations like this to ask Thinkers if
they have a Feeling decision on the matter (and the opposite for Feelers) and if so, is there any
reason not to follow it.”


If people trusted and developed only one of the four mental processes their lives would be esse
tially one
dimensional. Unfortunately, we all know such people. There are some whose perce
tions are not focused or tempered by good judgment. What they

perceive from moment to m
ment, day to day, stirs their interest, and they flit from one interest to another without adequately
weighing the value of what they are doing or the logical consequences. They are unstable like a
sailboat with too much sail and

not enough keel. And we know others whose judgments are
locked so tightly that they remain unrenewed by fresh perception. They are like the sailboat with
a keel too heavy for its small sail, keeping a steady course but not making much progress. To
avoid s
uch one
sidedness, people must develop another of the mental processes to be a major,
reliable helper to the dominant. Jung called the second process the Auxiliary. It is needed to ba
ance the Dominant process, as balance is needed between sail and keel.

t is important to remember that if the Dominant process is Extraverted, the Auxiliary pr
ess must be Introverted in order to achieve balance in the personality. Likewise, if the Dominant
process in Introverted, the Auxiliary must be Extraverted in order t
o achieve balance in the pe

For discussion of the Tertiary and Inferior processes (the two lesser developed processes or
functions after the Dominant and Auxiliary) see the literature on type, which gives suggestions
on how one can also develop t
hese processes. For information on the Inferior function and how
to recognize and cope with it when “in the grip” of its immature development when one is under
stress, see Naomi Quenk’s book:

Beside Ourselves: Our Hidden Personality in Everyday Life.

ON LOWEN: Isabel Myers calls the Dominant function our “best process,” the “gover
ing force” that “dominates and unifies” our lives. We “enjoy, use, and trust it most.” She defines
the Auxiliary function as “supplementing” the Dominant, “not as a rival .


. but as a welcome
auxiliary.” On the other hand, Lowen does not view the Auxiliary function as merely a second in
command. He sees it as having an entirely different role from the Dominant. Using computer
terms, he says that the Auxiliary represents the
kind of

we prefer, and the Dominant repr
sents the kind of

we prefer. Where Myers believed that the Dominant was the most
conscious part of our personality, Lowen believes that the Auxiliary is the most conscious, in the
sense that it is us
ed most. Data collection, represented by the Auxiliary function, must take place
before we can process. And data collection goes on most of the time, while processing happens
less often. Therefore, the “data capacity,” as Lowen calls it, is the most
used p
art of our brains, it
contains the most memories, and is the most organized, or co

But even though the data capacity may be the most conscious part of our brains, we do not
define ourselves by it. Data collection goes on quietly. We don’t seem spec
ial, or gifted, while
we are taking in information. It’s when we process data into actions, products, and creations that
our unique abilities become apparent for all to see. We define ourselves by what we

Lowen is not saying that Myers was wrong in def
ining people by their Dominant function, or
what they do best. Certainly, her system works, as her profiles have struck a resonant chord in
millions of people. But by attempting to define the kind of data we prefer, Lowen adds a great
deal to our understan
ding of personality. After all, people are not just what they do, or say, or
make, or conceive. They are also all those quiet moments when they are listening, looking, touc
ing, and intuiting. Where Myers helped us understand what people give out, Lowen is

helping us
understand what people take in.

Myers called it the “Auxiliary function”; Lowen calls it the “data capacity,” or the kind of i
formation you are most interested in. Myers called it the “Dominate function”; Lowen calls it the
“processor capacity
,” or what you prefer to do with that information.

Lowen hypothesized that the four types who prefer THINKING data, that is, those who use
Thinking as their Auxiliary function (ESTP, ENTP, ISTJ, INTJ), probably prefer using the sense
. “Thinking” d
ata is best described as inanimate (even people are translated into roles)
and the eye is the best tool for understanding the inanimate world. Inanimate things do, after all,
sit still. It is not difficult to take them apart and look at their inner working
s. And inanimate
things do not have thoughts, which are largely hidden to the eye.

The four types who prefer FEELING data, that is, those who use Feeling as their Auxiliary
function (ESFP, ENFP, ISFJ, INFJ), probably prefer the sense of
. “Feeling”
data is best
described as animate, most often people, and people make sounds. Human thought and feelings
tend to be invisible to the eye and must be verbalized. When we use the words “human contact,”
we don’t mean touching each other as much as we mean spe
aking and listening to each other.

The four types who prefer SENSING data, that is, those who use Sensing as their Auxiliary
function (ESFJ, ESTJ, ISFP, ISTP), probably prefer the sense of touch. A “Sensing” kind of data
is best described as concrete, and

the concrete world must be experienced by contact with the

The four types who prefer INTUITIVE data, that is, those who use Intuition as their Auxi
ry (ENFJ, ENTJ, INFP, INTP), probably prefer the sense of smell, which detects atmosphere, and
ch Lowen found seems to be more important to Intuitives than Sensing types. (We som
use smell as a metaphor for the sixth sense, such as “Something’s in the wind” or “I smell tro
ble.”) But more likely, there really is such a thing as the sixth sense
. This sixth sense pe
all the reality not available to the five senses, or the invisible connections between things. For
example, there is the invisible connection between a thing and its symbol (language is an e
ple), or between what is and what
could be (possibilities), or between all things (the meaning or
structure of life). The sixth sense allows us to
connect in imagination

what we learn from sight,
hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Each sense opens up a different world:

SIGHT opens up the in
animate THINKING world

HEARING opens up the animate FEELING world

TOUCH opens up the concrete SENSING world

“SIXTH SENSE” opens up the abstract INTUITIVE world

People “take in” information most easily when it comes to them through their preferred
sense. Kn
owing this, we can consider these senses whenever we’re trying to understand or be u


ESTPs, ENTPs, ISTJs, and INTJs prefer input from the sense of sight. To
reach them, you need charts, graphs, and illustrations of all the important concep


ESFPs, ENFPs, ISFJs, and INFJs prefer the sense of hearing, so commun
cation to them should be mostly verbal. That doesn’t just mean that it have to be sp
ken out loud. The printed word can be “heard” if it is rich with the emphases, pauses,
xchanges, asides, and feeling intonations that accompany conversation.


ESFJs, ESTJs, ISFPs, and ISTPs prefer the sense of touch, which means
ply, they learn best by
They reach understanding by practice more than e
nation. However, lectu
res and reading can be made more interesting to them by i
cluding descriptions of a
tion, or prescriptions of action.

Sixth Sense
: ENFJs, ENTJs, INFPs, and INTPs prefer to take in information through
the sixth sense. That means they need to see how things
connect. Information cannot
be processed in isolation but must appear with appendages that link it to everything
else. You can catch their attention with metaphors, symbols, and by linking ideas to
other ideas.

Got a good idea? If we are trying to be under
stood, we can try to present material in ways
that appeal to sight, hearing, touch, and the “sixth sense.”

Say it

in clear, conversational language, interjecting quotes (for those who prefer

Make it visible

with drawings, charts, graphs, or films
(for those who prefer

Describe the action

that could result from your idea (for those who prefer

Link it

to other ideas, other fields, and if you can, to the universe and eternity (for
those who prefer the



The following discusses the combinations of the two middle MBTI letters, known as the function
pairs. Everyone uses both of the perceiving processes

Sensing and Intuition

and both of the
judging processes

Thinking and Feeling

t everyone

to use one of each pair over the
other. That makes four function or preference pairs: Sensing plus Thinking (ST), Sensing plus
Feeling (SF), Intuition plus Thinking (NT), and Intuition plus Feeling (NF). Myers called the ST
practical and matter
fact, the SF combination sympathetic and friendly, the NT
combination logical and ingenious, and the NF combination enthusiastic and insightful. Jung o
served that in each person’s preferred pair one of the processes (or functions)
is dominant. It has
the leadership in the personality, it serves as the centerpost, and the other processes are helpers in
the person’s mental framework.

If one of the mental processes were not dominant, that is, in charge of a person’s conscious
mental li
fe, the person would not have a central theme around which to organize consciousness.
The dominant serves to unify a person’s life.


(Sensing and Thinking) The Impersonal Realists:

STs like to learn and do things that are impersonal, specific, and practi
cal. They like
things that can be decided through logical analysis.


(Sensing and Feeling) The Service Providers

SFs like to learn and do things that deal with people in specific and concrete ways. They
like things that can be decided by identifying and
applying values.


(Intuition and Thinking) The Conceptualizers

NTs like to learn and do things that give them opportunities to logically analyze things
that are complex or abstract. They like to think big, to see possibilities, and establish new


(Intuition and Feeling) The People
possibility People

NFs like to learn and do things that involve working with human values and human p
tential. They enjoy being able to focus on long
range possibilities and situations requiring


The following discusses the effects of combining the second or third letter of the MBTI (the
tions) with the last letter of the MBTI, judging or perceiving. How others see us is powe
ly affected by
what we show the wor

our Perceiving or Judging preference combined with our
Extraverted function (Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, or Feeling).


(Sensing and Perceiving) The Active Experimenters

SPs solve problems by doing things. In doing, they learn what works and what doe
They are impatient with talking about problems and how to solve them. They are not i
terested in complicated conceptual problems that do not seem to lead to immediate, pra
tical action.


(Intuition and Perceiving) The Brainstormers

NPs like complex
, conceptual problems. They are quick to come up with possible


solutions. They are best at the brainstorming stage of problem solving. They
must resist coming to conclusions

the fun is in the exploring, not the following through.
They are n
ot generally interested in problems or issues that are routine or i
volve details.


(Thinking and Judging) The Executives

TJs like being in charge. They decide things impersonally and logically

often quickly.
In problem
solving situations, they want to g
et quickly through the data
gathering, brai
storming phases. They want to sort out the wheat from the chaff, decide what needs to be
done and follow through.


(Feeling and Judging) The Diplomats

FJs express their sensitivity to people. When problem
ng, they want to know how
people will be affected. They are quick to identify issues concerning morale. They want
things settled and move toward closure in firm, diplomatic, and tactful ways. They affirm
and compliment others easily and effectively.


The combinations of attitudes (Extraversion and Introversion) together with Judging or Percei
ing provide important insights into how people


(Extraversion and Judging) Open and Decisive

For EJs, to have a conclusion is to share

it. They move conversations to decisions or
judgments. They work things out as they talk. They can give the appearance of being
more decided than they really are.


(Extraversion and Perceiving) Persuasive and Spontaneous

Often sparkling conversationalis
ts, EPs enjoy repartee, often introducing an element of
competitiveness and debate into discussions. At their best in situations calling for e
ing data and options, EPs may resist coming to conclusions.


(Introversion and Judging) Reflective and Dete

In the early stages of discussion, IJs may be silent observers. They turn information over
in their minds, identifying other relevant data internally. When they do join the convers
tion, they move it to closure, sometimes with considerable stubbornn


(Introversion and Perceiving) Thoughtful and Intense

Often appearing “lost in thought” in the initial stages of discussions, IPs are forming
judgments internally. When they have internal clarity, they are likely to become more a
tively involved, of
ten intensely so. In situations calling for exploring information, they
may become more quickly and actively involved.



Two directions for the flow of energy

Extraversion (outward) and Introversion
(Inward). Typological
ly speaking, a fundamental or
a priori

orientation of the personality in
which libido either moves toward the object and away from the subject (extraversion) or is wit
drawn from the object and put back into the interests of the subject (introversion).


Four basic mental processes

sensation and intuition, which are referred to as
irrational or perceiving functions, and thinking and feeling, which are referred to as rational or
judging functions. Any function may be introverted or extraverted, depe
nding upon its orient
tion to the object.


The two functions or processes for perceiving

Sensing and Intuition.


The two functions or processes for decision

Thinking and Feeling.




The four Temperaments are a convenient shortcut to understanding the sixteen MBTI personality
types. Temperaments are useful because they afford the widest base of accurate behavioral pr
dictions. Even if we don’t understand how all four MBTI lette
rs fit together, each two
Temperament combination helps us to predict such things as how people teach, learn, lead ot
ers, entertain, manage money, and relate to others.

According to Keirsey and Bates, the S
N difference is the first key to determin
ing your Te
perament. The reason is that differences in how people gather information from the world are the
most basic of human differences. Without some understanding of “where someone is coming
from” (as far as information
gathering goes), communication

is extremely difficult, as each ind
vidual believes his or her own data are

data. If I see a tree and you see a forest, each of us b
lieves we’re right and distrusts the other’s information
gathering process. A tree is a tree is a tree
to a Sensor; fo
r an Intuitive, a tree is part of a system, an organic whole called a “forest.” The tree
therefore prompts images of the forest

when viewed by an Intuitive. Is a cup half empty or half
full? Sensors and Intuitives each see it differently: Intuitives, who s
ee possibilities in everything,
will be more optimistic about the glass’s contents; Sensors, who focus only on what’s actually
there, not on what could be there, are less inclined to see the potential. Before either type begins
to make a decision (Thinking

or Feeling), and regardless of whether it’s expressed internally or
externally (Introvert or Extravert), the data must first be gathered.

So the first letter of a Temperament is either S or N, the information
gathering function. The
second letter of a Tem
perament is determined in part by what the first letter is.


If you are a Sensor, your preference for gathering information is concrete and
tactile. The next most important preference is not how you evaluate the data but
what you do with
do you organize them (Judging), or do you continue to take them in, perhaps even seeking
more (Perceiving)? For Sensors, the two Temperament groups are



If you are an Intuitive, your preference for gathering data is abstract and c
ceptual. The second most important preference in reading your Temperament is not what you do
with them but
how you prefer to evaluate the data

you have gathered: objectively (Thinking) or
subjectively (Feeling). For Intuitives, the two basic Temperament
groups are


Each of the sixteen MBTI types falls into one of these four Temperaments, four types to
each Temperament. Learning these Temperament shortcuts will provide you with genuine i
sights and useful tools for developing Typewatching skills.

The following information gives an overview of each of the four Temperaments, followed by individual d
scriptions for the four MBTI types within each Temperament.



21.4 percent of US population





ing and Impacting.” The

means that you use your
enses of seeing,
hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling to take in facts and information. The

means that you use
erception in dealing with your world; that is, you like to scan the world around you in
an ong
ing search for information to help you choose what to do in your present situation. You prefer
keeping your options open rather than closing them off. The characteristics of this combination
make you an

who is action
oriented and focuses on what’
s happening

SPs’ data collection is practical and realistic (Sensing), to which they bring spontaneity and fle
ibility (Perceiving), which makes them the original “now” generation. Their Sensing grounds
them in the reality of the moment, and their Per
ceiving keeps them open for other ways of dea
ing with that reality. The only thing an SP can be sure of is the moment; a “long
range plan” is a
contradiction in terms. Their quest is for action, leading them to “act now, pay later.”

They are attracted to
careers that have immediate, tangible rewards: fire fighting, emergency
medicine, mechanics, farming, carpentry, and anything involving technical skills. Although they
are frequently misunderstood because of their somewhat hedonistic, live
now nature,
make excellent negotiators and troubleshooters.

SPs’ strengths (which, when maximized, become liabilities) include


adept problem
solving skills, particularly at hands
on tasks;


a special sense of immediate needs.


SP managers are geniuses at generating solutions. But they are not above inte
tionally creating crises to solve, just to give them a sense of purpose.


SP mates can be a thrill a minute and a surprise a minute, which can be intense to a

whose type demands predictability. Planning and structure are always low priorities.


SP parents’ proclivity for life in the here and now means that they may forget pro
ises made yesterday and neglect a vision for their child’s future

but delive
r very handsomely on
ate expectations.


SP teachers are best when teaching practical, hands
on skills, such as industrial arts,
technical skills, and elementary
school subjects, tending to shy away from areas that
are more theoret
ical or abstract. Lesson plans are the bane of their existence.


SP students often shun intellectual pursuits. They learn best those subjects that seem
practical and immediately rewarding.


SPs are the original high rollers, tending to win b
ig and lose big. Money, like almost
everything else, is something “of the moment.” Budgets and financial plans are therefore out of
the que

The SP must be free; he will not be tied or bound or confined or obligated. To do as he

he wishes,

that’s the ideal. To wait, to save, to store, to prepare, to live for tomo

that is not the way. For the SP, today must be enjoyed, for tomorrow never comes. A
tion’s the thing, and to understand the SP it is necessary to understand the kind of action
he i
sists upon. Action must be its own end

it cannot serve a purpose or be instrumental in achie
ing a goal. Although the SP does not object when his deeds contribute to ends held by others, that
cannot be his reason for doing what he does. He does things

because he has the urge, the whim.

SPs are, in essence, impulsive. They want to be impulsive. To be impulsive is to be really
alive. SPs covet their impulses, enjoy feeling them well up within; and they love discharging
them, like setting off an explosion
. SPs even feel guilty if they don’t have impulses! At one time
or another we all feel these sudden urges to do something, but most of us ignore them, looking
instead to more distant, more patient goals. We discipline this impulse to freedom in the name of

Duty, Powers, or Spirit, while the SP feels only bound and confined.

This is not to say the SP does not acquire goals and ties just like the rest of us. He does, of
course, only they are fewer and more tentatively held. If the ties become too numerous or
binding, then the SP is likely to become restless and perhaps experience the urge to take off for
“somewhere else.”

More than other temperaments the SP is subject to “function lust”: a hunger for action wit
out fetter or constraint, an exploratory acti
on without the necessity for rules or practice. The SP
thrives on situations where the outcome is not known, where there is freedom to test the limits.
Of all the styles, the SP works best in crises, and the deeper the crisis, the more apt he is to r

quickly and dramatically. If a situation with little variation occurs, the SP becomes disi
terested; as the range of possibilities and emergencies increases, the vigor with which the SP
takes on the task accelerates. In fact, when circumstances become too

dull and routine, the SP has
been known to

a crisis

just to liven things up a little.

SPs frequently are described by friends as “exciting, optimistic, cheerful, light
hearted, and
full of fun.” Socially, SPs tend to be charming and witty conversat
ionalists, often having an i
exhaustible repertoire of jokes and stories. Wherever they go, SPs (especially the extraverted
SPs) lend an electricity to the environment and the people in that environment. The SP brings to
work and to play a sense that somet
hing exciting is about to happen. The atmosphere takes on a
glow, seems brighter, more colorful

charged with adventure.

In fact, SPs can easily become bored with the status quo. They like to vary their work pa
terns each day; they are usually ready to take

time out for entertainment, trying out new foods,
new places to eat, and vacation spots. An SP is likely to enjoy randomness, varying the dinner
hour, wanting to eat whenever the impulse strikes. This tends to be disconcerting to the more o
derly personal
ities (the SJ for example), and can lead to difficulty when an SP marries. Yet SPs
do live life with a flourish, which others often envy and admire.

This penchant for acting on impulse contains a seeming paradox, for SPs, living only for
immediate action,
become the world’s great performing artists: the virtuosos of art, entertai
ment, and adventure. The great painters, instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers, sculptors, photogr
phers, athletes, hunters, racers, gamblers

all need the skills which come only fro
m excited co
centration on an activity for long periods. No other type can mobilize what virtuosity takes: u
told hours of continuous action. Once caught up in his action
hunger, the SP can persevere in that
action for hour after hour, continuing long afte
r other types would have abandoned the effort.
And it is this impulsive stamina that makes virtuosity possible. The SP seems to be the sole po
sessor of perfection in action, and yet he never practices in the sense that others do. The NT, for
example, seek
s perfection; yet perfection evades him. The SP is oblivious to the pursuit of pe
fection, does not practice in order to achieve it, and yet achieves it. The NT knowingly and deli
erately practices

by the clock, by the book. The SP simply and spontaneously

acts, endlessly,
tirelessly, caught up and possessed by the act itself, having no end beyond the doing. Performers
in the arts are apt to be SPs; but also the racer, the surfer, the soldier of fortune, the magician, the
card sharp, even the gunslinger of
the Old West.

The SP’s need to live more fully in the present than any other style sometimes irritates others
who expect to maintain the same level of intensity. The style is often subject to denigration. Pe
ple become fascinated and charmed by the SP’s wa
y of life, then disappointed when the SP does
not live up to the projections other types place on him.

SPs do not get very excited about complex problems of motivation. For them, whatever is,
is. That is sufficient for the SP to know what to think, what to

do, and what to believe. As s
realists, they do not require that their actions be governed by established policy, rules, or natural
laws, as do other styles. Because the SP often leaps before looking, he is more subject to acc
dents than other tempera
ments; he injures himself through inattention to possible sources of d
feat or accident, his optimism living on his abiding sense of luck.


Myers had SPs probing around their immediate surroundings in order to d
tect and exploit any favorabl
e options that came within reach. Having the freedom to act on the
spur of the moment, whenever or wherever an opportunity arises, is very important to SPs. No
chance is to be blown, no opening missed, no angle overlooked

whatever or whoever might
turn out

to be exciting, pleasurable, or useful is checked out for advantage. Though they may di
fer in their attitude toward tough
mindedness (T) and friendliness (F) in exploring for options,
and though some are socially expressive (E) and some reserved (I), all

of them make sure that
what they do is pract
cal and effective in getting what they want.

Consistent with this view Myers described SPs as “adaptable,” “artistic,” and “athletic”

as very
much “aware of reality and never fighting it”

as “open
minded” and e
ver “on the lookout for
workable compromises”

as knowing “what’s going on around them” and as able “to see the
needs of the moment”

as “storing up useful facts” and having “no use for theories”

as “eas
going,” “tolerant,” “unprejudiced,” and “persuasive”

s “gifted with machines and tools”

acting “with effortless economy”

as “sensitive to color, line, and texture”

as wanting “first
hand experiences” and in general “enjoying life.” So SPs, as seen by Myers, are very much like
one another and very much dif
ferent from the other types, the SJs, NFs, and NTs.

Brief sketches of the four MBTI types belonging to the SP Temperament:


Most pragmatic. “Ready to try anything once”

6.4 % Total in U.S. population

6.5% White

8.5% Afr. Amer.

0.0% Hispanic

8.7% Male

.3% Female

Dominant Introverted Thinking with Auxiliary Extraverted Sensing.

The Dominant function is the judging one of Thinking. Characteristics associated with this fun
tion include making decisions on the basis of logic, using objective considerations;

being co
cerned with truth, principles, and justice; being analytical and critical, tending to see the flaws in
situations; and taking an objective approach.

The judging Thinking function is introverted and used primarily to govern the inner world of
ghts and emotions. The ISTP will

spend time thinking analytically, organizing thoughts on a logical basis;

develop an understanding of the principles involved in a situation;

spontaneously feel critical of a person or situation, but not necessarily express

that crit

be inwardly decisive, but not communicate those decisions to others;

think mostly about impersonal issues, focusing more on concepts, truths, and systems rather
than individuals’ feelings.

The Sensing perception is used primarily to manage

the outer world of actions and spoken words.
This will modify the way that the Thinking is directed by

focusing the (inner world) Thinking on understanding practical or mechanical problems;

perceiving appropriate facts to support the logical analysis.

Ps are realists who apply expediency and reasoning as they manage and adapt to situations.
They are aware of what is going on in the environment and are able to respond quickly to the a
tual facts, making sure the odds of success are in their favor. They d
o not like to be tied down
and will feel hamstrung when they must operate within tight structures and schedules. They are
able to anticipate immediate, practical needs in situations and to present a logical, straightforward

plan for meeting those needs. Th
ey are at their best in situations that require immediate attention.

Cool onlookers

quiet, reserved, observing and analyzing life with detached curiosity and
unexpected flashes of original humor. Usually interested in cause and effect, how and why m
al things work, and organizing facts using logical principles. Excel at getting to the core of
a practical problem and finding the solution.


ISTPs are frequently described with the old cliches

“still water runs deep, “ or
“a man of few words”

nd they are difficult to read by others and slow to share in public. These
qualities (Introversion), coupled with perceptions that are hands
on, tangible, grounded, and very
much oriented in the present (Sensor), give the ISTP a somewhat cool demeanor. Dec
isions are
typically objective, impersonal, and analytically driven (Thinking). The ISTP’s daily lifestyle is
spontaneous, flexible, and spur
moment (Perceiving), so that no matter what person or
event comes along, the ISTP will be inclined to direc
t immediate attention, albeit privately, to the
new set of circumstances.

People with ISTP preferences use their thinking to look for principles underlying the sensory
information that comes into awareness. As a result, they are logical, analytical, and ob
critical. They are not likely to be convinced by anything but reasoning based on solid facts.

While they like to organize facts and data, they prefer not to organize situations or people
unless they must for the sake of their work. They can be in
tensely but quietly curious. Socially
they may be rather shy except with their best friends. They sometimes become so absorbed with
one of their interests that they can ignore or lose track of external circumstances.

LOWEN on “data capacity”: ISTPs “touch”

for “signs.” ISTP’s preferred method of gathering
data is through the sense of touch. A “Sensing” kind of data is best described as concrete, and the
concrete world must be experienced by contact with the body. ISTPs gather an intimate, exper
ential knowl
edge of how a thing works and remember it by seeing a “sign” of the thing. They are
the ones who never lose the child’s reckless, impulsive, natural, and voracious curiosity about the
properties of things, and how things work. They are the ones who seem to

have a “feel,” a knack,
for things. The Germans have a word,

or “knowledge in the fingers,” which
describes the kind of knowledge that ISTPs are most interested in.

LOWEN on “processor capacity”: ISTPs “feature” the “signs.” ISTPs are

best at deciding upon
the most direct and compact response to the physical world. Lowen calls this skill seeing the
“feature,” or the essential information. The ISTPs ability to zero in on what is most essential is
not only valuable in an emergency, but i
t allows ISTPs to find the most direct and compact r
sponse to many things. ISTPs are naturally suited for work where they can gather a lot of sensory,
or concrete, data (their data is “signs”), and then make decisions on the most efficient action to
next. They do this in emergency situations, but Lowen says that this is what artisans, scul
tors, and carpenters do every day, gathering information from touch as their hands run over the
surface of the work piece, and then deciding upon the most direct an
d compact response. But no
matter what kind of field they enter, because they have a good sense of the essential information,
ISTPs go about their work with quiet competence, and have a calming effect on the people
around them.

What ISTPs are really asking

when they ask questions: “Let me feel the

of its nature.”

CAREERS that are attractive to the ISTP

Carpenter, construction worker, dental h
ist, engineer, electrical technician or engineer, farmer, mechanic and repairer, military pe
probation officer, sculptor, steel worker, transportation operative, and other occupations that a
low ISTPs to use their ability to act expediently.

IN A NUTSHELL: Logical. Expedient. Practical. Realistic. Factual. Analytical. Applied. Ind
pendent. Adv
enturous. Spontaneous. Adaptable. Self

Practical ANALYZER; values exactness; more interested in organizing data than situations or
people; reflective, a cool and curious observer of life.

What most drives ISTPs: RISK

What most drives them wild:


TYPE PATTERNS IN DEVELOPED ADULT ISTPs: Logical, factual, focus on what is relevant
to here and now, constantly analyzing, often seen as detached, thorough, practical
minded pro
lem solvers, highly value independence.

See Keirsey:


Most artistic. “Sees much but shares little”

4.5 % Total in U.S. population

4.3% White

4.0% Afr. Amer.

7.4% Hispanic

2.3% Male

6.4% Female

Dominant Introverted Feeli
ng with Auxiliary Extraverted Sensing

The Dominant function is the judging one of Feeling. Characteristics associated with this fun
tion include making decisions on the basis of personal values; being appreciative and accepting
of people

enjoying company a
nd seeking harmony; assessing the impact of decisions on others,
being sympathetic or compassionate; and taking a personal approach.

The judging Feeling function is introverted and used primarily to govern the inner world of
thoughts and emotions. The ISFP


develop an inner emotional life that is often unseen by others, but is experienced as i

retain a strong sense of values, which are often not expressed;

emotionally accept or reject various aspects of life

for example, deciding whether praise o
criticism received is valid and, at extreme, ignoring whatever is unacceptable;

feel appreciation toward others, but not express it.

The Sensing perception is used primarily to manage the outer world of actions and spoken words.
This will modify the way
that the Feeling is directed by

focusing the (inner world) Feeling on current relationships and people, e.g. through one
one discussions and fact
based conversation;

seeking to enjoy the company of those they know, and being concerned for their well
and happiness;

helping people in practical ways.

ISFPs, in general, are gentle and compassionate, open and flexible. They are considerate of ot
ers and do not force their views and opinions on them. They often focus on meeting others’
needs, especially
those who are less fortunate. Having a quiet, modest, self
effacing style, ISFPs
avoid disagreements and seek harmony with people as well as with nature. They enjoy life’s pr
cious moments and often add a touch of beauty to the environments where they spen
d their time.
They are at their best ensuring others’ well

Retiring, quietly friendly, sensitive, kind, modest about their abilities. Shun disagreements;
do not force their opinions or values on others. Usually do not care to lead but are often loya
l fo
lowers. Often relaxed about getting things done because they enjoy the present moment and do
not want to spoil it by undue haste or exertion.


Each of the four preferences feed each other
in helping the ISFP relate to o
thers rather than invading their space. The ISFP begins by focusing
internally rather than externally (Introversion) and strives to be sure that his or her own internal
world is in order. Their principal goal is not to reshape others so much as to define t
heir own
needs and concerns. The world itself is very tactile, immediate, and grounded (Sensing), and this
is translated through the ISFP’s subjective decision
making process (Feeling). They have a low
need to come to closure about any of these things

oversion, Sensing, and Feeling

ring to stay open and experience all of it (Perceiving).

As a result it is this type more than any of the others whose style is to stand by another pe
son (or plant or animal), with no intention to influence it, critici
ze it, or change it

perhaps not
even to interact with it

only to be in its presence. Live and let live might be the motto of the

ISFPs are generally very easygoing, low
key types with little need to influence those around
them. They are so low key, i
n fact, that they can begin to question their own motivations, perhaps
even wondering why they’re not more given to controlling others and taking charge. Such que
tions can lead to large doses of self
doubt. Perceivers are generally prone to second
their decisions, often wondering such things as, “If we waited just a bit longer, would things have
turned out differently?” When you couple P with internal, here
now subjectivity (ISF), most
of life becomes a series of what
if, let
alone, maybe
different experiences
that leave the ISFP vulnerable to severe self

LOWEN on “data capacity”: ISFPs “touch” for “signals.” Their preferred method of gathering
data is through the sense of touch. A “Sensing” kind of data is best d
escribed as concrete, and the
concrete world must be experienced by contact with the body. ISFPs are best at gathering the d
ta called “signals.” “Signals” are our sensory reactions to the environment. A “signal” is how it
feels to look at red, to touch wh
iskers, to smell bread, scrape your foot, or miss lunch. Colors,
tastes, sounds, smells, textures, comforts, and discomforts make more of an impression on ISFPs
than any of the other types. In fact, you could say that ISFPs are the most sense
aware of the
Sensing types. “Signal” is the first capacity to develop in the brain of every child. It is where we
all began. It is a very simple, basic data. Although adult ISFPs develop their “signal” capacities
into sophisticated data banks of sensation memories that

may become the raw material for great
accomplishments, they never lose the quality of being, as Lowen calls them, “earth babies.”
ISFPs, more than the other types, need to live and work in natural, or aesthetic environments,
where there is much to please
their senses.

LOWEN on “processor capacity”: ISFPs “match” the “signals.” “To match the signals” means to
try to recreate exactly what you have touched, heard, seen, tasted, and smelled. It means to cel
brate the beauty of the physical world, and the sense
s that give us the ability to appreciate it.
People whose work is to “match” the physical world are realistic artists, craftspeople, chefs,
dancers, decorators, athletes, construction workers, heavy
equipment operators, and those who
tend to the immediate
needs of animals, plants, or people.

What ISFPs are really asking when they ask questions: “Let me feel the sensory

CAREERS that are attractive to the ISFP

Athlete, bookkeeper, carpenter, clerical superv
sor and secretary, dancer, dental an
d medical staffers, food service worker, mechanic and r
er, nurse, mechanic, personal service worker, physical therapist, storekeeper and stock clerk, X
ray technician, and other occupations that allow ISFPs to provide gentle help to all living things.

IN A NUTSHELL: Caring. Gentle. Modest. Adaptable. Sensitive. Observant. Cooperative. Lo
al. Trusting. Spontaneous. Understanding. Harmonious.

Observant, loyal HELPER; reflective, realistic, empathic; patient with details, gentle and retiring;
shuns disagr
eements; enjoys the moment.

What most drives ISFPs: BEAUTY

What most drives them wild: INSENSITIVITY

control, seek affiliation, use
orderly ways to nurture others, careful about facts, reflective about
current situations, seen as
quiet and introspective, express commitment and appreciation in specific terms.

See Keirsey:


Most spontaneous. “The ultimate

4.8 % Total in U.S. population

4.0% White

10.2% Afr. Amer.

5.6% Hispanic

6.2% Male

3.6% Female

Dominant Extraverted Sensing with Auxiliary Introverted Thinking

The Dominant function is the perceptive one of Sensing. Characteristics asso
ciated with this
function include looking at information in terms of facts and details; focusing more on the here
and now rather than possibilities for the future; feeling comfortable in areas of proven exper
ence; and taking a realistic approach.

The perc
eptive Sensing function is extroverted and used to govern the outer world of actions and
ken words. The ESTP will

seek to experience and enjoy the world as it is;

be very responsive to current events, with life tending to be a succession of events;

be p
ragmatic in nature, constantly seeking to change the world to the way the ESTP wants it
to be;

observe in an objective way, valuing facts without necessarily putting an interpretation upon

The Thinking judgment is introverted and is used primarily to

manage the inner world of
thoughts and emotions. This will modify the way that the Sensing is directed by

focusing the (outer world) Sensing on impersonal facts and logical options;

enjoying action and events for themselves rather than for the company of

leading to enjoyment of material possessions.

ESTPs, in general, are action oriented, pragmatic, outgoing, and realistic people. In situations
that require resourcefulness, they use their quickness and flexibility to find the most efficient
route t
o accomplishing whatever needs to be done. They are lively, entertaining, and fun. They
like to be where the action is and participate fully in what is happening. Characteristically, they
are direct with their comments and mince no words. They are at their

best in situations that r
quire an orientation to the present and a direct, no
nonsense, pragmatic approach.

Good at on
spot problem solving. Like action, enjoy whatever comes along. Tend to like
mechanical things and sports, with friends on the side.

Adaptable, tolerant, pragmatic; focused on
getting results. Dislike long explanations. Are best with real things that can be worked, handled,
taken apart, or put together.


ESTP’s prefer to scan the external world of pe
things, and action (Extraversion). They perceive the world in a hands
on, grounded fashion
(Sensing), which they use as the basis for objective and impersonal cause
based dec
sions (Thinking). All of this is constantly and immediately translated

through a lifestyle that is
spontaneous, flexible, and responsive to whatever happens (Perceiving). As a result of being so
grounded and so Extraverted, ESTPs tend to be up
front and “out there” about life, capitalizing
on each moment

because that’s all o
ne can be sure of. You only go around once in life, the
ESTP believes, and it is incumbent on each individual to make the most of it.

The ESTP is a somewhat risk
taking, entrepreneurial, give
go person, a type with a real
flair for most things. The ES
TP has a fly
pants attitude and is pleased to have
everyone know about it. With a basic built
in restlessness, these are the hyperactive “doers,” who
like to keep their hands in a variety of pots, churning as much as they can to keep eve
ryone on
their toes and to keep life exciting.

LOWEN on “data capacity”: ESTPs “see” “features.” ESTPs prefer Thinking data and probably
prefer the sense of sight. “Thinking” data is best described as inanimate (even people are tran
lated into roles), and
the eye is the best tool for understanding the inanimate world, taking it apart
and looking at its inner workings. “Features” are the essential clues, or the bare outlines, that you
need to identify what it is you are seeing. Another way of saying that EST
Ps look for “features”
is to say they look for the irregularities in a picture. They tend to see what doesn’t fit, what’s i
portant, like a boy hiding behind a tree, a hole in the road up ahead, or a tiny tumor in a mass of
blood vessels. Because ESTPs kno
w what needs to be done so quickly, they are anxious to get on
with it.

LOWEN on “processor capacity”: ESTPs “sign” the “features.” ESTPs are best at reading the
“signs” of the physical world, at figuring out how to handle things, and move them around unti
they work. The data for ESTPs is “features” so they begin with a brief sketch, an outline of what
needs to be done. Then they go to work assembling, repairing, manipulating things to make them
work, using their uncanny ability to read the “signs” in a th
ing. ESTPs are naturally attracted to
careers where they can operate tools and machinery, and move things around with their hands.
But even when they go into more abstract or people
oriented fields, they deal with things very
concretely, reading the “signs
” in people’s facial expressions, for example, or feeling that as they
move data around a computer screen, they are really physically moving something around.

What ESTPs are really asking when they ask questions: “Show me the essential

hat are attractive to the ESTP

Auditor, carpenter, craft worker, farmer, l
borer, law enforcement officer and detective, machinist, manager and administrator, marketeer
and marketing personnel, retail sales person, sales representative, service w
orker, surgeon, tran
portation operative, and other occupations that allow ESTPs to use their action
oriented sense of

IN A NUTSHELL: Activity oriented. Adaptable. Fun loving. Versatile. Energetic. Alert. Spont
neous. Pragmatic. Easygoing. Pers
uasive. Outgoing. Quick.

REALISTIC ADAPTER in the world of material things; good natured, tolerant, easy going; or
ented to practical, first hand experience, highly observant of details of things.

What most drives ESTPs: EXCITEMENT

What most drives them wi

TYPE PATTERNS IN DEVELOPED ADULT ESTPs: Energetic seekers of experiences, get
caught in the moment, keep communication brief, decide by talking, outgoing, meet deadlines
just in time, seen as forceful and excitable.

See Keirsey:


Most generous. “You only go around once in life”

5.7% Total in U.S. population

5.4% White

7.3% Afr. Amer.

5.6% Hispanic

4.0% Male

7.2% Female

Dominant Extraverted Sensi
ng with Auxiliary Introverted Feeling

The Dominant function is the perceptive one of Sensing. Characteristics associated with this
function include looking at information in terms of facts and details; focusing more on the here
and now rather than possibil
ities for the future; feeling comfortable in areas of proven exper
ence; and taking a realistic approach.

The perceptive Sensing function is extroverted and used to govern the outer world of actions and
spoken words. The ESFP will

seek to experience and en
joy the world as it is;

be very responsive to current events, with life tending to be a succession of events;

be pragmatic in nature, constantly seeking to change the world to the way the ESFP wants it
to be;

observe in an objective way, valuing facts with
out necessarily putting an interpretation upon

The introverted Feeling judgment is used primarily to manage the inner world of thoughts and
emotions. This will modify the way the Sensing is directed by

focusing the (outer world) Sensing on relationsh
ips and facts concerning people;

tending to enjoy action and events for the company of others rather than the events the

leading to enjoyment of interaction with people.

ESFPs, in general, are friendly, outgoing, fun loving, and naturally drawn to
people. They are
quite enthusiastic and exuberant, and are usually well liked by others. They are good at meeting
people and helping them enjoy themselves. They are sympathetic toward people and generous
with their time and money. They want to be where the

action is, and they will often stir things up
in their own special way. At their best, they are able to realistically meet human and situational
needs in a fun and lively way.

Outgoing, accepting, friendly, enjoy everything and make things more fun for ot
hers by their
enjoyment. Like action and making things happen. Know what’s going on and join in eagerly.
Find remembering facts easier than mastering theories. Are best in situations that need sound
common sense and practical ability with people.