“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Jung’s Theory

Carl Jung’s Typology

Carl Jung’s Psychological Types, published in 1920, identified four psychological functions—thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition—that can be experienced in an introverted or extraverted way. According to Jung, one of these functions is dominant in each person, producing a distinctive personality or type of consciousness: Introverted Sensing (Si), Extraverted Sensing (Se), Introverted Intuition (Ni), Extraverted Intuition (Ne), Introverted Thinking (Ti), Extraverted Thinking (Te), Introverted Feeling (Fi), Extraverted Feeling (Fe). Jung’s work describes how each type has a particular worldview that can blind it to some aspects of reality, and how each type can easily be misconstrued by others.

Psychological Types was born out of the Swiss psychiatrist’s struggle with his own unconscious in the years following his break with Freud in 1913. An example of their differences that relates to typology concerns introversion: Freud believed that introversion was pathological, whereas Jung felt that introversion was a component of every psyche and a potential source of creativity. According to Jungian analyst Angelo Spoto, Jung’s typology is deeply concerned with the problem of opposites, specifically, the opposition of the conscious and the unconscious. Jung believed that the introversion/extraversion opposition “reflects typological differences that cross all ranks of society, are gender neutral, and transcend cultural-historical conditions” (Spoto, Jung’s Typology in Perspective, p. 29).

While Jung believed himself to be an Introverted Thinking dominant person (INTP), some contemporary Jungian analysts (John Beebe, Angelo Spoto) believe his dominant function was Introverted Intuition (INTJ).


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