Type Dynamics
My MBTI® Personality Type

"It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences."
Isabel Briggs Myers

MBTI® type is more than simply the four basic preferences; it is a dynamic and complex interrelated system of personality. The different components of a person's psychological type work in an interrelated way to establish balance and effectiveness. Type is a lifelong developmental process, and many factors can affect the direction of type development.

  • The first and last letters in your type are called attitudes or orientations because they have to do with how you interact with the world.
  • The middle two letters are called your mental functions because they are the basis for much of your brain's work. The two letters together are called your function pair

The Attitudes or Orientations

In type language, attitudes (or orientations) reflect the ways in which you are energized and how you structure, or live, your life. Extraversion and Introversion, according to Jung, are complementary attitudes (or orientations) of energy.

  • Those who prefer Extraversion, direct energy outwardly and are energized by the outside world.
  • Those who prefer Introversion, direct energy inwardly and are energized by reflecting on their inner world.

The other two attitudes (or orientations), Judging and Perceiving, while implied in Jung's work, were constructed by Isabel Myers to further refine the applications of psychological type.

  • People who prefer the Judging attitude are likely to come to conclusions quickly and enjoy the structure provided by reaching closure.
  • People who prefer the Perceiving attitude are likely to take more time to gather information before comfortably coming to closure, enjoy the process, and are more comfortable being open-ended.

The Mental Functions

In type language, you have four mental functions: Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling. Everyone has and uses all four functions, even though only two of them are part of your type. In fact, you couldn't get through the day without using all of them to some degree!


Two of the mental functions are for gathering information—that is, they are used for perception:

  • Sensing (S) perception pays attention to details and current realities; Intuition (N) perception pays attention to meanings, patterns, and future possibilities.

Two of the mental functions are for organizing information and for making decisions—that is, they are used for judgment:

  • Thinking (T) chooses decisions based on principles and logical consequences. Feeling (F) chooses decisions based on values and consequences for people.

Although everyone has access to and uses all four mental functions, each type prefers to use these functions in a specific order. In type theory, the order in which we prefer these functions is considered to be inborn, although certainly this order can be changed when circumstances require us to make decisions or solve problems in an alternative manner than one we prefer.

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