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MBTI: Dimensions

The Four Dimensions of Myers and Jung

( That is --- What do all those letters mean and where do they come from?)

Excerpted from Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey 
Copyrighted 1998, all rights reserved

Extroversion (E) and Introversion (I)

Intuition (N) and Sensing (S)

Thinking (T) and Feeling (F)

Judgement (J) and Perception (P)

Function Types vs Intelligence Types

What follows shows the great contrast of Jung's and Myers's four function types and their variants with my four intelligence types and their skilled action roles. In considering the contrasts please bear in mind that Jung and Myers were trying to figure out what the different types have in mind, while I am trying to figure out what they can do well under varying circumstances.  

Function Types

Intelligence Types

Thinking Types

NT Rationals

ESTJ -- ENTJ  [Extraverted Thinking]  
ISTP -- INTP [Introverted Thinking] 

ENTJ -- INTJ [Coordinator]  
ENTP -- INTP  [Engineer] 

Intuitive Types 

NF Idealists

ENTP-- ENFP  [Extraverted Intuiting]  
INFJ -- INTJ [Introverted Intuiting]

ENFJ -- INFJ [Mentor]  
ENFP -- INFP [Advocate]

Feeling Types

SP Artisans

ESFJ -- ENFJ  [Extraverted Feeling]  
ISFP -- INFP  [Introverted Feeling] 

ESTP -- ISTP  [Expeditor]  
ESFP -- ISFP  [Improviser] 

Sensory Types

SJ Guardians

ESTP -- ESFP  [Extraverted Sensing]  
ISFJ -- ISTJ [Introverted Sensing]

ESTJ -- ISTJ [Administrator]  
ESFJ -- ISFJ [Conservator]

The first great difference between the two schemes lies in the way function typology and intelligence typology see the ESTJs and the ENTJs. Jung and Myers call both ESTJs and ENTJs "Extraverted Thinking" types, and thus nearly identical in attitude and action. I, however, see them as light years apart. All NT Rationals, including ENTJ Coordinators, are abstract in communicating messages and utilitarian in using tools to implement their goals, while all SJ Guardians, including ESTJ Administrators, are concrete in communicating messages and cooperative in using tools.

The second major difference lies in the two typologies' view of the ISFP and the INFP. Myers and Jung put them in the same category -- the "Introverted Feeling" type -- very much alike and very little different, while I consider them just as far apart as the ENTJ and ESTJ. After all, the INFP Advocate is an NF Idealist, abstract in thought and speech and cooperative in selecting and using tools, hence diametrically opposite to the ISFP Improviser, a concrete utilitarian SP Artisan.

The third great difference between the intelligence and function typologies is the way the two see the INTP and the ISTP. Myers and Jung see them as nearly identical, both "Introverted Thinking" types, with a few minor differences. I, however, see them as far more different. While they are both utilitarian in choosing and using tools, the INTP is an Engineer Rational, steadfastly abstract in thought and speech, and the ISTP is an Expeditor Artisan, just as steadfastly concrete in thought and speech.

The fourth great difference is in the two views of the ENFJ. Function typology sees the ENFJ as very little different from the ESFJ, while intelligence typology sees a much greater difference. The two have in common a cooperative attitude about ways and means of pursuing goals, but the ENFJ, a Mentor Idealist, is unmistakably abstract in thought and speech, and the ESFJ, a Conservator Guardian, is unmistakably concrete.

The other differences are great, but less important in comparison to the ones I have just discussed. Thus function theory has the INFJ quite similar to the INTJ, while intelligence theory has the INFJ a Mentor Idealist, the INTJ a Coordinator Rational, the two miles apart in what they do and what they want. And function theory sees the ENFP as much like the ENTP, while intelligence theory sees the ENFP as an Advocate Idealist, the ENTP as an Engineer Rational, the two, again, very different in their behavior and corresponding attitudes. Admittedly ENFPs and ENTPs can be hard to tell apart, at least on short acquaintance, but watch for any length of time and their differences show up one by one until it is abundantly clear that the resemblance is at best superficial.