“Psychological Type is nothing static – it changes in the course of life,” writes Carl Jung.
“We cannot safely assume that other people’s minds work on the same principles as our own. All too often, others with whom we come in contact do not reason as we reason, or do not value the things we value, or are not interested in what interests us,” writes Isabel Briggs Myers.
All of us humans have the same psychological equipment to perceive what happens inside us as well as outside us. We use four different kinds of building blocks to form ideas about our experiences and decide how to respond to events – sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition. Virtually every one of us is born with a preference for one of these four psychological functions in a descending order. We will use all four of these functions, but our preference will determine how much we will use sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition.
“Sensation tells us something exists; thinking tells you what it is; feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not; and intuition tells you (from where) whence it comes and where it is going,” writes Carl Jung.
Sensation is simple to explain – how one relates with material things in the world. When a person who prefers sensation type person enters a room, he evaluates the things in it. “There is a solid black table and wooden shelves. The walls are brick, and ceiling has exposed beams.”
The thinking function is rational, cool, and logical. One who prefers thinking will interpret events as they happen, working what it means. This rational psychological function is high valued and almost exclusively taught in North American schools. Our capacity to think is tested and an I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) labels us. Our place in the modern American world is almost exclusively determined by our ability to think, says Robert Johnson.
The feeling function is a way of judging using values. One who prefers feeling function responds to what happens with value judgment. “Awesome concert, Dude!” “This class bites!”
This name can be confusing, because the term “feeling” function is often confused with emotion or affect. Feeling, in this sense, is the capacity to place value on people, places, things, and events. For many, the feeling function is the orphan of these four and largely misunderstood and haphazardly named.
The person who prefers intuition is able to ‘see’ the whole picture, asserts Anthony Stevens. This is a mysterious process. Intuition is very hard to define. “It is an extraordinary and out of the world capacity of knowing without knowing how one knows,” says Robert Johnson.
These four functions are like radio stations, we can either use our thinking function or our feeling function at one time. Jung assumes that we are born with a preference for one of these. Due to this preference, we will often develop skills related to one of these functions. If we are not supported in our family and schools to develop our preferred functions, then we may have difficulty. For the psychological functions that we naturally prefer may be undeveloped. We are like a fish trying to fly. A fish needs to swim; this is what they are naturally inclined to do.
Balancing our brain helps us to use more of our mind. It is very helpful to learn over time to access all our psychological functions. Please consider watching this video on the importance of balancing your brain: