Carl Jung developed psychological types based on the four functions (Feeling, Thinking, iNtuition and Sensing) and the two attitudes (Extraversion and Introversion). These terms are easily confused with common English words. They don't necessarily mean what we expect them to mean:
E -- Extraverted: turned toward the outer world, of people and things. An extravert, or extraverted type, is one whose dominant function is focused in an external direction. Extraverts are inclined to express themselves, using their primary function, directly.
I -- Introverted: turned toward the inner world of symbols, ideals and forms. An introvert, or introverted type, is one whose dominant function is inwardly focused. Introverts are inclined to express themselves, using their primary function, indirectly, through inference and nuance.
N -- iNtuition: "Unconscious perceiving." Intuition involves the recognition of patterns, the perception of the abstract; it is a visionary sense. Extraverted intuition perceives the patterns and possibilities of life. Introverted intuition compares the "rightness" of real-world circumstances with that which is ideal. In Jung's typology, intuition is an irrational function. Intuition's opposite function is Sensing.
S -- Sensing: physiological perception; perceiving with the five natural senses. Extraverted sensors are attuned to the world of sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes. Introverted sensors are most aware of how those perceptions compare with their ideal internal standards. In Jung's typology, sensing is an irrational function. Sensing's opposite is iNtuition.
T -- Thinking: Making decisions impersonally. In Jung's typology, thinking is a rational function. Thinking's opposite is Feeling.
F -- Feeling: Making decisions from a personal perspective. In Jung's typology, feeling is a rational function. Feeling's opposite is Thinking.
What about P and J?
P stands for Perceiving, J for Judging. What they really represent is, again, complex. For the E (extraverted) types, it's simple enough - P means that the dominant function is a Perceiving function (iNtuition or Sensing); J means the dominant function is a deciding or Judging function.
For Introverts, it's just the opposite. P actually means that the extraverted function is a Perceiving (data-collecting, or irrational) function, but since the dominant function is introverted (by definition for Introverts), the I _ _ P types' first functions are Judging (deciding or rational) functions.
Confusing? All theory aside, just remember that J types show the world their decision-making Judging function and P types display the more open-ended perceiving, data-collecting function.
So these sixteen four-letter combinations represent something basic about one's personality. We call it psychological type. Type doesn't pretend to be a complete description of one's personality, but it does give some fascinating personal insights.
What are functions and attitudes?
Function: A psychic mechanism for receiving or interpreting data. Feeling, Thinking, iNtuition and Sensing are the four functions. Each person is predisposed to perceive and to respond to stimuli based on one of sixteen combinations of these four functions. The individual's primary function is called the dominant function, auxiliary is secondary, tertiary is third, and inferior fourth. (See the functional analysis page for more information.)
Attitude: The direction that a function focuses on, either Extraverted or Introverted (see above).
So how do I find out what my type is? Is there a test?
If you want to try your hand at self-analysis, there are numerous online tests listed on Google , including the Jung Typology Test at HumanMetrics, or Keirsey's Temperament Sorter II. (You might want to browse this message about personality assessment before drawing any conclusions about the results.)
We also suggest that you familiarize yourself with the type profiles as a means of determining your type. You might also want to take a look at our mousepad designs to get a "feel" for the types.
What is a suitemate (enigma, counterpart, ...)?
The number of type relationship pairs runs into three digits. Joe came up with sixteen descriptive names for similar pairs of relationships based on function patterns. Definitions of those relationship groups are here. Information about these groups can be found in A Functional Analysis: Relationships 2.5, one of our products.