Friday, December 28, 2012

The 8 Cognitive Functions

Psychologist Carl Jung discovered that everyone has 8 functions, and these functions are displayed differently in each individual. Each personality type has a dominant function (our strongest and most natural function), and an auxiliary function (our second strongest function that supports our dominant function). The 3rd (tertiary) and 4th (inferior) functions are developed later in life, and represent areas where we are challenged.
The 8 Cognitive functions are very important to understand when learning about the 16 different personality types. Although it seems that the only difference between two different personality types can be just one letter, this one letter can completely change the order of a person's dominant functions and how they are presented in their personality.

Se: Extraverted Sensing          Si: Introverted Sensing

Ne: Extraverted iNtuiting          Ni: Introverted iNtuiting

Te: Extraverted Thinking          Ti: Introverted Thinking

Fe: Extraverted Feeling          Fi: Introverted Feeling

Cognitive Function Descriptions

Se: Extraverted Sensing

Extraverted Sensing is the strong awareness of the physical world. We enjoy the thrill of actions and impulses in the present moment. We act on our experiences immediately. We experience the sights, sounds and smells of the world around us to our fullest extent. 

Si: Introverted Sensing

Introverted Sensing is the storing of data and then the comparison of that data with other experiences. For example, when we see a movie that reminds us of another similar movie. Or when we see a person that reminds us of someone else. We also use past experiences to learn how to handle similar current situations. There is great attention to detail with Introverted Sensing.

Ne: Extraverted iNtuiting

Extraverted Intuiting involves seeing all possibilites of a subject and believing that each one has a possibility of being true. We can juggle many ideas at once, and find that this cognitive function makes it easy and enjoyable to brainstorm. Extraverted Intuiting involves coming to conclusions about ideas from one major idea. The idea implies relationships and smaller ideas.

Ni: Introverted iNtuiting

This function allows a person to gain a sense about the future by processing data through impressions and meanings. We find ourselves discovering how the future will be by signs, trends, and patterns. We will find relationships between many ideas, and find ideas similar to those ideas in order to look for a main idea that is made up of these smaller ideas. These ideas and similar ideas come to one main idea that will turn out to be true and give the sense of an "Aha!" moment.

Te: Extraverted Thinking

Extraverted thinking helps to create order out of chaos. They organize the environment through charts, graphs, outlines, etc. It allows us to pick out what is necessary and figures out the most efficient way to complete an objective. Extraverted Thinkers love a challenge because it attests to their skills. They will almost always follow through with a project.

Ti: Introverted Thinking

Introverted Thinking finds ways to express an idea that is to the point and concise. We analyze, categorize, and evaluate to figure out whether something fits into the larger framework. We figure out the precise problem of an idea or concept and then work to fix it. We often are checking for inconsistencies in the world, and we often take things apart to understand how it works. We use models to see how things should be, and look at both sides of issues to determine inconsistencies. 

Fe: Extraverted Feeling

Extraverted Feeling involves considering other peoples feelings to a great level. We often try to help everyone get along, and we may often disclose our own feelings and take on others' as our own. We like to determine what will work best for the group in order to honor and consider everyones values and feelings. We accomodate ourselves and others by deciding what is appropriate and acceptable in that setting. We often use social graces by being polite, considerate, and appropriate. We often respond to people's expressed or unexpressed wants or desires.

Fi: Introverted Feeling

Introverted Feeling acts as a filter- it often is considering the worth of something based on the truth in which it is based. We decide whether something is worth standing up for based on its truth and significance. We often have feelings of a persons essence and this helps us to determine if something is fake or true. Introverted Feeling is often expressed through actions and feelings rather than words.

This chart shows how often we use these cognitive functions depending on what type we are. The first and second are most important.

INTP = Ti > Ne > Si > Fe
ISTP Ti > Se > Ni > Fe 
ENTP = Ne > Ti > Fe > Si 
ENFP = Ne > Fi > Te > Si 
ISFP = Fi > Se > Ni > Te
INFP = Fi > Ne > Si > Te
INTJ = Ni > Te > Fi > Se
INFJ Ni Fe > Ti > Se
ESTJ = Te Si > Ne > Fi 
ENTJ Te > Ni > Se > Fi 
ESFJ = Fe > Si > Ne > Ti 
ENFJ = Fe > Ni > Se > Ti 
ISTJ = Si > Te > Fi > Ne 
ISFJ Si > Fe > Ti > Ne 
ESTP Se > Ti > Fe > Ni 
ESFP Se > Fi > Te > Ni


  1. Why are the ISFJ functions colored differently than the rest?

    1. oh dear jegus now I can't NOT notice that. That is going to bother me

    2. Probably to torture ISFJs.

    3. You should have changed the ESFP colors. They'd have loved that.

      That said, there are other slight color variations. ESFP and ESFJ both have different blues and greens than the others.

    4. Just a Thought, not a proven fact, yet.. So a hypothetical.

      The three types mentioned (ISFJ, ESFP, ESFJ) are noticeably the most caring (in my opinion caring could also be associated with "respecting tradition"). It is possible this "Higher" level of Feeling and Noticing has instilled in them a sense that they must use their various Functions for different purposes, possibly forcing them into a certain "mold".

      Being an Artist I can also make a somewhat educated guess that the different tones in ISFJ and different shades of tone in the other two, ( possibly but after one minute I felt like I was looking to hard ha ) are actually representative of whatever functions are most commonly associated with.

      Off the top of my head "Feng shui" and without explaining since I don't want to Saturate my post in size. Feel Free to Ask if you make it to the end haha.
      Ocean / Calm Communication / Blue : Thinking
      Sun / Intellect / Yellow : Intuition
      Growing Natural / Fresh and New Things / Green : Sensing
      Fire / Bold and Daring / Red : Feeling.

      So feel free to ask me to explain anything I have written in limitless depth, which is why I am stopping now before I write an essay, also kind of want someone to guess my MBTI type since I left a clue :D

      After all its not a bad hypothetical.

    5. Because they are pulled from the Davesuperpowers youtube videos. I don't think he had a color scheme figured out when he created that one.

    6. Seriously can someone change that? How stupid can you be to color code it wrong?

    7. Thinking is colored differently too wtf?!

    8. Thinking is colored differently too wtf?!

    9. Seriously can someone change that? How stupid can you be to color code it wrong?

    10. Austin Baker, if anyone's intelligence need be questioned, it is those who publicly insult someone while asking a favor.

    11. because this was made by an intuitive person that doesn't pay attention to the details

    12. Does it really matter if it's correctly colour-coded, down to the tiniest change in shades? Just as long as the cognitive functions are explained well, it shouldn't matter too much. Of course, it will really annoy some people and I can't force anyone to just do the same as I, but that is just my opinion.

  2. Luke Cody - I am not the best at typing or cognitive processes, but my instinct said ISFP. You said you were an artist, and you pointed out the color differences and associated them with meanings which seems more about sensing and intuition than thinking per se. You used words like "kind of want", which isn't very direct, and "feel free" which is accommodating language. The ha's and smiley didn't strike me as very NT. While your post was well broken down.

    If I'm right about the ISFP type I came across this little article and it 'felt' like you:

  3. Is it possible that our function system is Ti-Si-Ni-Fi? How can it be explained (or denied) by the current theories of MBTI?

    1. Hello Le Tran, did you ever get an answer to your question? I would like to know as well.

    2. Ti, Si, Ni, Fi are all introverted functions so you would be 100% introverted if you only used these functions.. i would assume you would probably look something like a narcissist/sociopath since you would have nothing to motivate/reward you for participating in the external world, as well as a lack of motivation/reward for adhering to social constructs. The secondary function is opposite in orientation (introverted/extroverted) to the dominant function in order to maintain a healthy level of interest in our inner world as well as the outer world. Introverts can certainly become more introverted during times of stress, but i don't think it's a place where you would want to live.

    3. Keep in mind that we use all functions to some extent as it would be thermodynamically inefficient not to use some parts of the brain.

    4. This is a late response so I'm not sure about whether you've figured this out already, but having all introverted functions is impossible. Each person has 2 extroverted functions and 2 introverted functions. These extroverted and introverted functions are each divided into perceiving (Ne, Ni, Se, Si) and judging (Ti, Te, Fi, Fe) functions.

    5. Wow. I am late af but it's impossible to use ONLY these functions. The Myerrs Briggs personality indicator is actually incorrect to some extent, but it is physically impossible to only use intorverted functions. Like a pervious person said, you would probably be a narcissist or sociopath or something. You would literally have a personality disorder. Introverts and extroverts are not decided on a scale, it's just how you are. But I can clearly see your fisrt letter is T for Ti which doesn't even make sense to begin because you need to start with either an I or an E. So let's assume So is your first letter here.

      It would be denied as a genuine functional personality because there is nothing connecting you to the real world. Everyone connects to the real world but people with disorders. MBTI would invalidate it's genuity by playing the card of reward systems. If nothing rewards you then what are you living for? Lacking purpose and having no objective makes you a hollow shell. And hollow shells aren't exactly people....

      In addition, using only introverted functions would probably make you mentally unstable too. You would most likely get thrown into cognitive dissonance often because whether you like it or not the real world will come to you. That reality of things outside of the introverted world of abstract thought and inner reflection/feeling would constantly clash and you won't last long before something breaks.

  4. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post.


  5. My INTJ brain wants a formula to explain how to get from the type (XXXX) to the functions (Xx > Xx > Xx > Xx).

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. INTJ Example: (
      1. ‘e’ goes on P/J Function, per code => I N (Te)(J)
      2. Remaining P/J Function gets the ‘I’ => I (Ni) Te J
      3. Dominant = Function attitude matches MBTI E/I. => (I)(Ni)Te J
      4. Aux = The other Main function => => I Ni (Te) J
      5. Tertiary = Aux’s Polar opposite Ni -> Se
      6. Inferior = Dominant’s polar opposite Te -> Fi

  6. This is a place for marriage functions.

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  12. thanks a lot
    its very informative..
    my type is : INFP and your post help me a lot to understand it.

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