Saturday, March 28, 2009

Clarification of the 8 Jungian Functions and why INTJ = Ti and INFJ = Fi

(Image: Goth Angel - Christian Art,

UPDATE: MBTI Angel - In his words re: Jung Function Theory posted Sunday, March 29, 2009.


This is amazing info! Anyone who's confused about the meaning, or the point, of the Myers Briggs (MBTI), and anyone who's struggled as I have in finding out whether they're INFJ or INTJ, or a cusp between any of the types, would find this European site enlightening. INTJ is Ti (Introverted Thinking) and INFJ is Fi (introverted feeling)! I know that conflicts with lots of other interpretations out there but give this site a chance to explain: The 8 personality types - A description of the 8 Jung functions

If for any reason you can't access the link, here are the MBTI types and their primary functions:
Ni (introverted intuition) = INTP, INFP
Ne (extraverted intuition) = ENTJ, ENFJ
Ti (introverted thinking) = INTJ, ISTJ
Te (extraverted thinking) = ENTP, ESTP
Fi (introverted feeling) = INFJ, ISFJ
Fe (extraverted feeling) = ENFP, ESFP
Si (introverted sensing) = ISTP, ISFP
Se (extraverted sensing) = ESTJ, ESFJ

MBTI preferential order, schmorder - the strength of the function is the primary function, the embodiment of the type.

The tests which measured my cognitive functions and assessed me as having strong Te were wrong! My strongest function is clearly Ti. We're being confused by the different interpretations of the functions depending on which site we use!

With so many interpretatons out there, it's no wonder my MBTI angel dude and I have been at odds in assessing my type as INFJ or INTJ. When he'd said he heard in me Ti, that was the correct assessment. Based on the descriptions of Ti (introverted thinking) and Te (extraverted thinking) on another Jungian functions site, it sounded like it was Te that I was using to come to logical conclusions, but according to this site I just discovered, what was described as Te seems to be their decription of the function of the Ti (introverted thinking = interpreting spatial thinking, making logical conclusions which are often causally directed, making just rational judgments with subjective interpretation, interpreting relations, observing changes in own way of thinking, awareness of the self). The description and interpretation of the functions on this site ring true to me, since I recognize myself, or my favored function, in the description of the Ti which I know I use to make decisions with. However, Ti being my favored function over Te doesn't make me an INFJ as you might think. According to this site, INTJ is the very embodiment of Ti.

Likewise, according to their interpretation, INFJ is the embodiment of Fi. Although many tests have proven me to score as INFJ, the crux of my argument is, I believe some tests predicting me to be INFJ are in fact saying I function as INTJ anyway, based on their assessment of my favoring the use of Ti over Te. Accordingly, INFJ isn't more Fe than Fi but clearly vice versa.

This makes total sense to me, as do the many other descptions of the other functions and their correlating MBTI types, at least based on my experience with the people I know and the kinds of relationships I've had with them. Granted, this conviction is in large part based on my subjective-rational Ti reasoning; you can take what you will from that. Although my understanding of the functions could still change if an even more convincing definition or argument comes my way, for now, I feel like I've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - what to me is sense, or coherence.

Now, I have no idea how all this correlates to the Enneagram and my supposed type which has been defined as Type 4w3 based on my third testing (Updated March 31, 2009: Enneagram 4w5: The Bohemian). I've read somewhere this correlates to the Socionics INFp (which is the same as an INFJ), but then, how does that tie into my self-assessment of being an INTJ? They probably don't connect anywhere, and the two systems of assessing personality are just measuring different things (Enneagram calculating motivation, not primary thought function as the MBTI is supposed to do). I thought it was interesting to note, however, that Type 4w3 is said to dress stylishly (or at least with originality and creativity), and even occasionally to have a Goth bend. I do love me some black clothes (though this may just be a New York thing).

Related link: INTP - August 11, 2010 Pink Manhattan