A Less Biased Take On The Sensing Personality Types in the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator
Many personality descriptions online raise intuitives to be more highly educated, more intelligent, and more capable of complex and abstract reasoning. But is that really true? Let’s get down to the basic semantics. To me, iNtuition and Sensing can be defined as the following:
- iNtuition: Need for unfamiliar, different experiences, novelty
- Sensing: Need for familiarity, routine, stability
How does this manifest in real life?
You’d see the Sensing types as people that value working from what they already have. Focusing on their existing skills, hobbies, friendship circles, they think about how to add and improve from what they’ve already got. They can be highly creative and original when working from a clear starting position and within a set of clear constraints. They are good at maintaining, clarifying, and expanding. For example, they could run a cafe, and think about ways to improve the environment to be even more comfortable, or they could be a professional athlete, finding ways to keep breaking their own records. A Sensing type could enjoy philosophy, too, but would work from an existing theory or framework, and find ways to clarify it and improve on it’s ideas and principles, applying it to the real world.
On the other hand, you’ll see the iNtuitives as the people that keep trying new things, and putting themselves in new situations. Instead of perfecting a set hobby, they will move from hobby to hobby, becoming jack of all trades, rather than masters of a specific trade. They like to learn about new things, but can get bored easily if they have to stick within a familiar perspective. With effort, they can go to new situations and try out things nobody has ever done before, and find ways to create traditions and structures in these areas.
This statement disagrees with:
Ideas that Sensing types are more hedonistic, enjoy food and pleasure more, ideas that Sensors are less educated or less intelligent, ideas that Sensing types are more like jocks, and ideas that Sensors are politically more conservative, and most importantly, the idea that iNtuitives better handle complexity than Sensory types.
Why did I make these changes?
- A persons level of complexity and theory is a result of education background and intelligence, not personality type. The more we improve within a task or area, the more complexity we can handle and comprehend.
- Familiarity vs Unfamiliarity is a clear dimension and creates two distinct styles and motivations – do I want to improve on what I already have vs try something completely different?
- We all do and need everything, and I always write definitions to highlight that iNtuitives can use Sensing and Sensors can use iNtuition, further highlighting the difference in priority.
Implications for the Cognitive Functions
This creates implications for the definitions of Introverted iNtuition, Introverted Sensing, Extroverted Sensing and Extroverted iNtuition.
- Introverted iNtuition: Need for original ideas and reflection about unusual or different topics, slow change
- Extroverted iNtuition: Need for unusual sources of stimulation, different experiences, new activities, quick change
- Extroverted Sensing: Need for familiar experiences, a stimulating yet consistent hobby, active and fun traditions, quick action
- Introverted Sensing: Need to reflect on tradition, experiences, building and slowly expanding from what is
Here are some examples of how that could play out in different people:
The Introverted iNtuitive might want to find a more slow-paced and unusual sport or activity that focuses more on technique than intensity or action, and allows more experimentation with unusual techniques.
The Introverted Sensor might want to find a sport that allows steady progression and practice, a familiar and healthy routine.
The Extroverted Sensor might want an intensive and active sport that allows them to go out and constantly push their limits.
The Extroverted iNtuitive might want varied and diverse athletic activities where they can master a wide variety of techniques and play with different athletic forms.
The Introverted iNtuitive might want to entertain groundbreaking, original and unusual ideas, conspiracy theories.
The Introverted Sensing type might want to focus on clarifying ancient traditions and ideas and finding ways to apply theories and insights from the past in the modern day life.
The Extroverted Sensing type might, instead of working from a completely original or groundbreaking theory, starting with what they can see and touch in the moment, forming a common sense life philosophy based on their real experiences of life.
The Extroverted iNtuitive might study a diverse range of ideas and possibilities and experiment with combining different perspectives to find new and creative insights.
Do you agree or disagree and how would you define intuition and sensation in yourself?
Linguistic intelligence Test
Read this article
How To Win As An ENFP Myers Briggs Personality Type
Read this article