The MBTI and the eight functions
Sometimes known as the cognitive functions, mental functions or psychometrics, the eight functions have been around before the Myers-Briggs existed. In fact, Isabella Myers-Briggs created the four preferences of the MBTI based on the eight functions described in Carl Jung’s “Psychological Types.”
The eight functions can be difficult to understand at first and will be even more difficult to remember. But the payoff is major, and well worth your attention.
The eight functions are: extraverted intuition, introverted intuition, extraverted sensing, introverted sensing, extraverted feeling, introverted feeling, extraverted thinking, introverted thinking.
The Functional Layout of Each Type:
Each type consist of 4 main functions that comprise most of their personality. They are as follows:
Dominant Function - This is the function that most strongly governs the personality. It holds the strongest influence and is the function that one is most comfortable using.
Auxiliary Function - This is the second strongest preference and helps assist and balance the dominant function.
Tertiary Function - This function can be a handicap early in life, but as one grows will develop into a helpful and eye-opening asset.
Inferior Function - This function is a point of weakness. It is mostly unconscious and often the cause of misunderstanding and stress.
There a total of eight MBTI functions. They are listed below, along with the types that share them as their dominant function. Please explore the links for each (for members only) for further clarification and explanation of the eight functions and how they are used. Make sure you pay special attention to your 4 functions.
Extraverted Intuition (Ne) ENFP and ENTP - Looks at possibilities and meanings behind things.
Free sample profile:
Introverted Intuition (Ni) INFJ and INTJ - Attempts to conceive the future, possible contingences, and significance of things.
Extraverted Sensing (Se) ESFP and ESTP - Being aware of one's immediate surroundings and using the five senses to immediately react to them.
Introverted Sensing (Si) ISFJ and ISTJ - Looks at past and current concrete situations and data.
Extraverted Feeling (Fe) ESFJ and ENFJ - Concerned with finding harmony and abiding by social structures based on subjective beliefs and experiences.
Introverted Feeling (Fi) ISFP and INFP - Based on strongly held personal values and raw emotion associated with an individual’s human experience.
Extraverted Thinking (Te) ESTJ and ENTJ - Ordered, deductive logic based on objective criteria and hierarchies.
Introverted Thinking (Ti) ISTP and INTP - Ongoing analysis, searching for definitive principles and mismatches thereof.
As you see, the eight functions are more exact in showing how the different types react to and display the middle two preferences.
How the Eight Functions are derived:
It is important to take into account our basic knowledge of the four preferences when grasping the eight functions. It helps in your understanding of the eight functions if you have an understanding of them.
As you can see by looking at the eight functions, each function is either introverted or extraverted and uses either sensing or intuition. The four main functions of each type are decided by the following:
First rule of thumb - The dominant function for Introverts will be an introverted function. The dominant function for extraverts will be an extraverted function.
2nd rule of thumb - The Thinking or Feeling function will always be extraverted for J’s and introverted for P’s. This is because J’s prefer to control their external environment, while P’s are flexible with their outer environment but judging of their internal values.
3rd rule of the thumb - The inferior function is always the opposite of the dominant function. This will always be the opposite expression of one’s dominant preference (extraverted for introverts, and introverted for extraverts; S for those with an N preference, and N for those with an S preference.)
4th rule of thumb - The tertiary function will always be the opposite of the auxiliary function.
With this information in mind, we see that the functional layout for each type is as follows, in order from dominant to inferior function:
Ne - I want to design the fence.
Ni - Why do they want to do this and what is the deal with fences anyway? Is this necessary?
Se - I want to decorate the fence and make sure that it looks stylish and appealing
Si - I’ll take care of looking at the instructions and making sure that we follow the established guidlines.
Te - Is doing this cost effective? Will it be useful?
Ti - I want to analyze the structure and placement of the fence.
Fe - How will it affect the neighborhood, and what will the neighbors think?
Fi - I want it to be my own special fence that I can share with others over time
Learn more about Carl Jung's eight function types, along with the function types that make up numerous famous people and celebrities. It is the interplay of the eight functions which makes the magic of the myers-briggs come alive.