Jungian Analysis: The Four Major Groups of Personality Patterns

Carl G. Jung, who was a well reputed Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, theorized about “psychological types,” which are people characterized according to their (1) preference of general attitude (extroverted vs. introverted), (2) functions of perception (sensing vs. intuition), and (3) functions of judging (thinking vs. feeling). Isabel Briggs Myers, a practitioner of Jung’s theory, proposed a fourth pattern: judging vs. perceiving. All these are part of the Jungian analysis, which is a psychological model that involves dichotomies or bipolar dimensions of a certain attitude.

Extroversion vs. Introversion. This personality pattern identifies the source and direction of an individual’s energy expression. An extrovert expresses his or her energy in the external world while an introvert does it in his or her own internal world.

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Sensing vs. Intuition. This dictates the way a person perceives information. Sensing draws conclusion from the five senses and direct experiences. Intuition, meanwhile, processes data more imaginatively, even anchoring it on trust, the subconscious, the “sixth sense,” or gut feel.

Thinking vs. Feeling. This criterion represents how a person processes information. The former relies on logic while the latter is based on emotion (such as what a person feels he or she should do).

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Judging vs. Perceiving. This reflects how a person implements the information he or she has processed. Judging requires an approach that is structured in nature, encouraging people to create strategic plans to achieve their goals. Perceiving, by contrast, has no limitations and recommends people to keep their choices open.

Paul Gabrinetti, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist on the faculty in the Analyst Training Program at C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. For more on his professional background, click here.