Jung Typology Explained | INFJ Forum

  1. Simplified & Original Jung Typology (SOJT): In this article/post I am going to finally explain Jung typology in a clear way with a concise interpretation. I do argue why my interpretation has more value than the average interpretation with more depth at the end of the post (mainly because I mirror Jung typing somebody, there are few to no additions, my interpretation holds in most if not all passages, the "is the auxiliary function i or e?' issue is solved). I am very true to Jung in this whole explanation! I am going to explain here the theory and the concepts and explain how Jung used to type others, I won't describe the types or the meaning of some specific words (what means the terms intuition, sensation, etc..).

    Jung typology can be more easily understood as processes and steps. By that I mean that we basically start ‘shallow’ and slowly we get more and more deep. In the very beginning of Jung typology, a person ‘starts out’ as being undifferentiated. What means to be undifferentiated? Before I put Jung words, that are more complicated, I would like to explain it using components of two enneagram types. An undifferentiated type can be partially translated to someone being a type 6 and secondarily a type 9, if we get the right components of both types, so I can introduce the undifferentiated type with a more friendly and simpler wording before getting to Jung less friendly text.

    An undifferentiated type is basically a type that does not have a touch with the inner guidance and nor have a strong sense of identity. An undifferentiated type is constantly shuttling back and forth between whatever influence is hitting the hardest in any given moment, and is also a person who does not assert her/himself against the society and community, but instead follows what a society and community wants at the given moment. This concept goes a little beyond tests if we pay completely attention, but an undifferentiated type on cognitive function tests is conceptually a person which the cognitive function standard deviation is low. I had estimated that about 10-30% of global population are undifferentiated, depending on which point you consider differentiated.

    This is the simple explanation of what an undifferentiated type means and this is the starting point of Jung typology. But, of course, I need to put Jung quotations anyway and Jung gets a little deeper, so here is the Jung explanation of undifferentiation:

    This is Jung on Chapter XI of Psychological Type book, which is a definition chapter. Here is Jung on the start of the book:

    Or, in enneagram and easier words, the undifferentiated type is constantly looking for a support on society and is willing to sacrifice its own individuality and give it up to the community, and always use the community as a guidance for their own decisions. Thus, they are loyal to the community. The undifferentiated types just do what they are expected to do.

    Then we get to the second part: The differentiation happening in Jung terms. First differentiation means a rise of a differentiation on E/I and/or a rise of a preferred function. The differentiation of E/I and the rise of a preferred function are separated things from each other. First paragraph of chapter X:

    The attitude-types are only two: Extravert and Introvert.
    The function-types are four: Feeler, Thinker, Intuitive, Sensing.
    Keep these in mind.

    It is actually easier to understand Jung typology by seeing Jung typing other people. Yup, Jung did typed a person on his book based mostly on letters (I am talking about old mail stuff) – Jung a 100 years ago typed a person based on letters from about 220 years ago (yup, such old).

    The process of Jung typing is actually simple once you get it. Jung first evaluates the attitude type of Schiller: If he is an introvert or extrovert, and he does on a “dichotomy way” (E vs I). Then, Jung moves to determinate the function-type of Schiller (Sensing, Intuition, Feeling or Thinking), he says it gets harder and he have doubts between thinking or intuition. He decides for thinking, and then types Schiller as an introverted thinking type (aka Ti-dom) with intuitive tendencies. The differentiation process happens in two fronts: On the attitude type (where ambiverts are undifferentiated) and on the function-types. The combination of the attitude type with the function type gives rise to the 8 main types of Jung typology (where Introverted Thinker, aka Ti, is one of them).
    After evaluating the function types and the attitude types, we now we move to more depth getting into the auxiliary function – and I have a shocking news before getting into this: I had put the word ‘cognitive’ to search the whole book of psychological types. Zero matches. Exactly, zero matches, the word cognitive was never ever used on psychological types, so what we call ‘cognitive functions’ does not have the name ‘cognitive’ on them – and that actually changes a lot of things. Basically, Jung never made direct assumptions on cognition on his main typology book – that is why cognition in 21th century basically does not have any Jungian concepts on it. If you search on Google about “cognition” and go to the Wikipedia result, there won’t be any mention to Jung. The cognitive functions are not Ni, Ne, Fi, etc... but actually Inductive/Deductive/Abductive reasoning, working memory, etc... Jung defines the meaning of the word ‘function’ directly on Chapter XI of definitions, here:

    Remember the division I had introduced back then: Attitude types and function types. Attitude types are E/I while function types are N, S, T or F. The cross of both gives origin to 8 main types – so, for example, the Introverted Intuitive type (what we call ‘Ni’) has an introverted attitude with the intuitive function. Basically, what we call ‘Ni’ is not a cognitive function in Jung sense because there is no cognitive term, and it is neither an actual function, but its rather a type. Intuition is a function, Ni is a type which mainly uses the intuitive function with an introverted attitude – not a function! Jung is very clear that the functions are 4, not 8 (he directly stated it). Just as a complement, here it is another complementary quote (from Psychological Types article):

    This changes how you interpret and read what comes next, which is the part that introduces the concept of the auxiliary function. So, don’t forget: N, S, F and T are the functions, E/I is an attitude, Ni/Si/Fi/Ti/Te/Fe/Se/Ne are types! So, getting back on the subject about the auxiliary function, here it is Jung about the auxiliary function:

    This chapter controversy is the old debate “If the primary function is Extroverted/Introverted, the auxiliary function is an Extravert or Introvert function?”, with people answering the i-i/e-e (for example, Ne pair should be either Fe or Te) or the most popular answer that is the i-e/e-i (for example, Ne pair should be either Fi or Ti). However, the problem relies with the question itself. Extroverted/Introverted is the attitude, while N, S, T and F are the functions; There is no Extraverted function or Introverted function, there is just a function combined with an introverted or extroverted attitude. In my own example, the problem of the question “If Ne as a primary function is Extroverted, the auxiliary function of Ne is introverted or extraverted?” is that it assumes that Ne is a function, while Ne is a type instead. Intuition is the function. “But what about the attitude (E/I) of the secondary function?” The secondary function is less differentiated, so it is under the influence of the undifferentiated ‘type’ and serves the primary function, and that means that the secondary function orientation will be related and influenced by the environment demands and will have ambivalent tendencies (that is the consequence of the less degree of differentiation – the secondary function start working more ‘a la ennea 6’ way) and will also be influenced by the demands of the primary function at the given time. For example, for a Ne type with auxiliary Thinking, Thinking will have an ambivalent characteristic due to less differentiation, meaning that thinking will have both a E and a I attitude, but whatever its inclination is more to the I side, to the E side, or none, will depend on the possibilites which the Ne type is engaged (because Thinking serves Intuition on the example) and it will depend on whatever the environment and society/community will demand and favour (in other words, reactive to the environment, because it is not fully differentiated).

    So, what about the tertiary function and the stack? First, there are 4 functions (N, S, T and F), not 8 (these are the main types), so “the stack” (the term stack actually does not exist in Jung terms – Jung never ever draw a stack) is made of 4 functions: Primary, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior (Jung does mention these but never use the term ‘stack’). There is no “stack” of 8 functions, since the functions are only 4. The primary function have a differentiation with positive qualities, i.e. the person has positive qualities related to it. The rise of the primary function is supposed to cause a suppression on its opposite function of the same nature (the opposite of N of the same nature is S and vice versa; While the opposite of F of the same nature is T and vice versa), and this creates the inferior function, which is a function that have a differentiation with negative qualities. The auxiliary has also a differentiation with positive qualities, yet this differentiation is partial and is limited by the primary function. What is left here is the tertiary, that is actually the least relevant of all the four. Its so much irrelevant that it is not even mentioned on Psychological Types book, but only books later with a quick and brief mention:

    Basically, the tertiary function works as a pair to the inferior function. So the tertiary function, as the inferior pair, must also have a differentiation of negative qualities as the inferior has, partially coming “down” by the same effect of suppression that the primary function does to the inferior, but instead this effect is created by the secondary. What I mean is that the auxiliary function is supposed to cause a repression of the tertiary function, so the positive qualities of one makes negative qualities of the other. The tertiary is still partially undifferentiated, so it will have some few aspects that are not inferior, but instead reactive and adaptable – even more reactive and adaptable than the secondary function.

    And here we get to other questions like “INTJ and INTP does not share any functions”. Actually, in this frame all types use all the functions (the inferior is actually used as least as possible, but it is still used), so, basically, all types share all functions on their stack (all of them has N, S, T and F), each one with a different order. If this still looks awkward, it has to be this way specially to be consistent with this phrase: “No function can be entirely eliminated -- it can only be greatly distorted” (Jung on the Te type). May I repeat: No function can be entirely eliminated – only be greatly distorted, and that means that basically all types share the same 4 functions. Another observation is that when you reverse the functions you just got the opposite type, but only if you ignore Jung J/P, since the opposite of a rational type is also a rational type. But Jung J/P is not really much of a dichotomy anyway (different than MBTI), because a rational function does not suppress an irrational function and vice versa.

    “What about the trickster functions, the demon functions, shadow functions, etc...?” Part of these were pure inventions, and quite a bad ones since they either take a flawed interpretation. However, not all of them. At the same time that Jung did mentioned that the inferior function might appear in dreams as a monster, he in other parts of the books does the similar affirmation for the inferior function and demons. The inferior function might be seem by the person as demoniac in Jung experience, that is why it can also be known as a “demon function” and facing your inner demons might means facing something related to the inferior function. There is no trickster function, that is definitely a bad invention, although the trickster is a Jung archetype, but archetypes are another subject. There are other archetypes, such as The Hero, which is associated with the primary function, and it is the same story of the trickster: Exists as an archetype but was NEVER associated by Jung with a function (only the Demon and perhaps the Shadow were). Shadow is a little problematic, because Jung did not really had a strong concept of shadow in Psychological types as far as I could notice. I suspect that the shadow function is the inferior as well, or that there is no such thing as shadow function.

    “What about the loops?” There are no loops. Don’t belong to Jung, are completely post-Jung and are based on the flaw interpretation where Si, Se, etc... are cognitive functions instead of types – don’t use this to evaluate if you are healthy or unhealthy, Big 5 Neuroticism and Personality Disorders are, like, a 1000 times more functional. But there are notions of what is “healthy” and “unhealthy” on Jung and I will explain these latter.

    Although there is one more component of Jung typology that is important, these parts are enough for the basic Jung typology. So, let me do a resume and explain again how Jung types (and yeah, this is entirely based on how Jung himself types others): You first evaluate and give the person an attitude type, which are two types: The Extraverted Type and The Introverted Type (this is basically E vs I). The person can also have an undifferentiated attitude, that basically means that the person acts like an Introvert or an Extravert depending on the environment conditions, society demands and has ambivalent tendencies. Then you evaluate and give the person a function type, which are four types, one for each function: The Intuition Type (or Intuitive Type), The Sensation Type, The Feeling type, The Thinking type. A person can also be undifferentiated here, or of an undifferentiated type on the function type, meaning that the person will not have a dominant function and will use the functions according to the society’s expectation, environment demands, etc... After you decide the attitude type and the function type, you arrive in one of the eight basic types of the Jung typology – Jung has a description for each one of them on chapter X but also a description for a purely Introverted type (Introverted attitude with no function differentiation) and for a purely Extraverted type (Extraverted attitude with no function differentiation). This is the process that Jung’s use to type Schiller, so this is purely Jung with zero additives. I just explained it in my own words with more clarity (and yeah, I had some effort into deciphering this since Jung’s explanations lacks clarity). After this, there is the determination of the auxiliary function, and from there we must keep in mind that there are two ‘natures’ of functions: Rational, which are T and F, and irrational, N and S. Although there are no example in Jung’s, you determinate the auxiliary function by basically evaluating which rational function the person prefers if the person has an irrational primary function or which irrational function the person prefers if the person has a rational primary function. So, for example, if a person primary function is Sensing, then the secondary function can be either Thinking or Feeling, and you evaluate whatever the person has a higher preference for Thinking or Feeling (which predominates) or if the person simply does not have preference for any of these two (and in Jung terms, that means that the secondary function is undifferentiated), and also note that this is the secondary function: It is less differentiated, so the E/I attitude will be ambivalent and/or reactive to the environment and society expectations. After you get this process, typing others and yourself actually becomes way easier. So, for example, using the Schiller example, “Schiller attitude type is the introverted type because he is quite reflective and has more relation to ideas than to things [in Jung, abstraction and relation to ideas was tied to Introversion instead of Intuition; This was latter changed in MBTI with statistical justification]; Schiller function type is the Thinker type because he uses a lot of reasoning and is very analytical on his letters [actually, Jung did not justify why Schiller is a thinker for those of us who never read Schiller letters, so I made up a justification for the example]. Thus, Schiller is an Introverted Thinking type [‘thus approaching him also from the angle of the psychology of the introverted thinking type’]”. We also know that Jung was in doubt between Thinking and Intuition, and that means that Schiller has auxiliary Intuition. This is the basic Jung typology.

    Finally, the last component of Jung typology that I did judged as essential is the intensity of the primary and the secondary functions. So far Jung typology isn’t actually that much different from MBTI as it is painted if we think of. But here the things might change a bit. MBTI is overly positive – like, people got gifts, you know? The type descriptions in Jung are significantly less optimistic. Although the undifferentiated type lacks a “real sense of” self/personality, it is quite adaptable. Differentiated types are by contrast way less adaptable. Overly differentiated types not only are actually the inverse of adaptable, but they can also have disorders. There is an intrinsic idea in Jung typology that an excessive differentiation might lead to Neurosis in types, which does actually connects to Personality Disorders. Some of what is inside the 8 basic types descriptions are traits related to excesses of that type – for example, Ni related excess is “But, since he tends to rely exclusively upon his vision, his moral effort becomes one-sided; he makes himself and his life symbolic, adapted, it is true, to the inner and eternal meaning of events, but unadapted to the actual present-day reality. Therewith he also deprives himself of any influence upon it, because he remains unintelligible. His language is not that which is commonly spoken -- it becomes too subjective. His argument lacks convincing reason. He can only confess or pronounce. His is the 'voice of one crying in the wilderness'”. These excesses are related with having a strong primary function and a “pronounced” attitude (quite strong I or quite strong E) – so, Jung’s on all descriptions describe the types in a “pronounced way”, and the 8 main types descriptions have disproportionately effaced individual features, meaning that their characteristics are distorted “in extremes” in order to make easier the type explanation, and these types are also disproportionately stressed so Jung can explain the neurosis related to them. [“They are, as it were, only Galtonesque family-portraits, which sum up in a cumulative image the common and therefore typical characters, stressing these disproportionately, while the individual features are just as disproportionately effaced ”]

    In this last part Im going to proper explain the bad effects of having a very pronounced type – which in MBTI that is theoretically so desirable. This is what the Chapter 6 is about, however Jung explain this on a scattered way for E/I. Chapter 6 name is ‘the type problem in psychopathology’. I at the beginning thought that it was about the typology of psychopaths. No, it happens that the wording psychopathology here has a different meaning – it seems to be more closer to personality disorders. Jung even describes things such as paranoia (Paranoid Personality Disorder). Although 21th century theory is definitely better and I do think that it is imminent that Jung actually had made mistakes on a few points, it has an important aspect of typology about the primary and secondary functions. Jung describes what happens when a person have a very strong preference for the first function – this is mentioned as a long primary function with a weak/short secondary function. In this case, the person has a very high preference in one of the attitude type or for one of the four functions. The other case is when a person has a very strong preference for the two functions – thus, highly differentiated – meaning that a person has a very pronounced type as I like to call.

    The core theory of this is... Sometimes problematic. There are not much statistics on this. Even my few modest ones are struggling.. So, Im going to tell more of what I think and is compatible with Jung that may or may not be true. People who are less differentiated are supposed to be more Extravert than people who are more introvert. E types are less differentiated because they are more prone to the environment and are more willing to switch functions to adapt to society expectations than introverts. This should be a tendency, even if Jung treat it as a law. So, the majority of people on the disorders mentioned on Chapter 6 are mostly introvert – in fact, for example, people with Paranoid disorder have tendencies of being Introverts on Big 5 (Low Warmth and Low Gregariousness).

    People who have a long primary function have a tendency to be more closed to experience (less Openness to Experience), unless that function is intuition. That can be somewhat said to to people who have a strong primary and secondary functions (unless one of them is intuition). When a person has a strong first function and a weak secondary one, the person has a tendency of being significantly less open minded (unless intuition), but that depends on which function is. For example, a person with a very high Feeling and introversion might just ‘get lost’ into her/his own feelings and only listens to their feelings, while not only have a very ignored thinking but also is a person which ignores sensation and intuition – only listens to Feeling. The process of thought of this person becomes enclosed, limited, more tight, because it uses a lot one function and not much of the others. The person becomes more one-sided.

    It is important foo me to tell that I did had a look on Personality Disorders and MBTI, but only indirectly (Personality disorders -> Big 5 -> MBTI). And, actually, there are indeed some indications that some disorders are connected with excessive preferences (or, long principal function & pronounced attitude type), and most of them are generally connected to two dichotomies (or, in Jung typology, either two functions or one function with a very specific E/I attitude), even though some connections are weak. The case I mention with a high Feeling with Introversion statistically has a weak relation to depressive disorder (remember: These statistics are actually quite indirect, there is nothing solid about this). The person with an excess Feeling and excess Introversion has a tendency to be more depressed – and Im not talking about the Big 5 facet depression but the depressive as a disorder and as a whole. There is a stereotype on this that might be correct (Fi types depressed). The excessive of Feeling with an Introversion orientation might lead to depression per se – or depression leads to high Introversion and Feeling, but that would go against the Chapter 6 theory. Every single function and attitude has a Personality Disorder related to its excess, even though a lot of them will only come out combined. I would not go far as Jung to say that only excess of preferences explains personality disorders, but core Jung theory does have this premise and perhaps long primary function can explain some of them.

    The other case Jung’s features is the case of a person with both a long secondary and primary. This is the case of a quite pronounced type in MBTI (on the T, F, N and S department). Jung gives some descriptions that are not much different than a long primary one. The person of a pronounced type might still be a little bit limited, but is a person of a specially pronounced ‘inferiority’ of the inferior function and not much of the tertiary.

    This is the final part of the evaluation: Long/short primary and secondary functions, and their unhealthy consequences. So, just revising, Jung typology zero point is the undifferentiated type, then there is a differentiation on E/I and then there is the first differentiation of a primary function that gives rises to the 8 main types. But this is still somewhat shallow. Then, there is a rise of the auxiliary function, that gives some depth of typology, and that indirectly generates 16 types, even though Jung is no longer counting. And then, there is the characteristic of a long/short primary and secondary functions, that relates to the, let’s say, ‘intensity’ of personality, together with differentiation, and if we count that there are many dozens of types (actually more than a 100, I counted a total of 141 types). There is one or another thing that I just had missed for the sake of basis, but this is the whole Jung typology process. We also need to notice that Jung, back then had an unproper association of Introversion and Intuition and Extraversion and Sensing. For example, he did consider being more towards the abstract as an Introversion trait instead of Intuition.

    Most explanation of this last part was done in my words, and on purpose because the chapter is way more complicated wording. But here I will left the quotes that explains what I did now in more complicated words and with a little bit more depth, since I sort of resumed it:

    A final thing that I must revise is about differentiation. There are actually 3 ‘fronts’ in Jung typology in terms of differentiation, 1 of them run independent of each other. First, there is the attitude types, which is E or I. Something like 30-60% of overall population are undifferentiated on the attitude – these are the ambiverts. Second, there is the function types, which in one turn is the differentiation of a primary function, and in second turn is the differentiation of the secondary function. I do estimate that 10-30% of population are undifferentiated in all of these criteria (by the functions – no specific primary and secondary functions), however how much of the population is differentiated simultaneously on these 3 (clear preference for E/I, a clear primary function and a clear secondary function)? Well, in general 20-40% of society should be fully differentiated. All these are my estimations with NOT rigorously statistics, but the real message here and my point is that the majority of people (likely 60-80%) are undifferentiated in at least one of these 3 points, being either an ambivert (30-60% of people), lacking a clear primary function (10-30%) or having a clear primary function but not a clear secondary function. Besides that, when a person has a weak primary function, the person is also less differentiated, but I did not take these cases on the count. This is why that it is important to understand the undifferentiated “type” (Jung does not consider undifferentiated type but I do for the sake of the explanation and inspired on enneagram, since more type 6 shares more than half of traits with the undifferentiated type), because most people are undifferentiated in one aspect, and it is true that most tests forces a clear type and do treat like everybody is very differentiated, and that generates a big mess where some people test sometimes as one type or another while relating to the description of multiple MBTI types because they have undifferentiated functions or undifferentiated E/I attitude – which makes everything confusing while this is completely natural to Jung typology and is properly described/conceptualized by it.

    So, this is it, and this is completely “true to Jung”! For the main explanation, I am also writing notes clarifying some other details. But just answering a final question, “what makes this true to Jung and other interpretations I read about it are [extremely likely] not true to Jung?” Two reasons. First, because I explained in a way that completely mirrors the example where Jung actually types somebody else. Second, well, although, of course, I had to pick quotes, wherever you read Jung, independently from which part, what I explained here predominates, so there is no loose interpretation here. So, for example, Myers says that the secondary function is extraverted because Jung quotation said that the “auxiliary function which is in every respect different from the nature of the main function” thus the secondary function is Extroverted when the primary is Introverted and vice versa even though for some “odd” reason Jung “forgets” to mention this, while there are other passages that are about the great E/I divides that describe types that are very Extraverted – thus, leaving no room for a compensated I secondary function - and suggesting that the secondary function has the same attitude. However, “my” interpretation does explain why Jung did not specify any attitude for the secondary function (because the attitude is more ambivalent and reactive and that is because the secondary is less differentiated, and the ambivalence and reaction comes from less differentiation, and also because it serves the principal function) and also explains that there is specific a case (long primary, long secondary and pronounced E preference) where the secondary function is the same attitude of the primary, which is the case of the very Extraverted type. This is one is one example of a possible discussion where other interpretations becomes full of doubts and lacks clarity (the understanding depends on where you are reading Jung), while mine interpretation does clear the aspects, says why Jung did not mentioned a E/I divide for the secondary function without having any substantial addictions to Jung – there are other aspects that are not related to the E/I doubt, like the stacks, that also does are explained with clarity (even with me not being a native English speaker and making grammar mistakes all the time), without doubts and without any substantial additions of my own to Jung (while others add stacks in ways that Jung never ever drawn – for example, there was never ever a 7th function on the stack). There is one problem, though: I actually never figured the unconscious part in a clear way, so what I say here ignores the conscious and the unconscious divide, and is more related to types in general, specially when they are described on the general way without the conscious/unconscious divide. There are passages that seems to contradict what I say, for example, for the Ti type: “The counterbalancing functions of feeling, intuition, and sensation are comparatively unconscious and inferior, and therefore have a primitive extraverted character that accounts for all the troublesome influences from outside to which the introverted thinker is prone”. However, this quote is on an unconscious context. The same for this one: “When the mechanism of extraversion predominates... the most highly differentiated function has a constantly extraverted application, while the inferior functions are found in the service of introversion”. This quote appears to contradict what I said, however this is inside the unconscious description of the extraverted type (Extraverted Type description has: a) Conscious; b) Unconscious; c) Type description; This quote comes from b, it is related to the unconscious). I had only explained the general Jung typology without specifying a conscious or unconscious divide because Jung unconscious description is inconsistent, because it is impossible to integrate these two quotes:

    “The "inferior" function, on the other hand, is unconscious” (Jung on Individual Dream Symbolism book)
    “Thus in normal cases the inferior function remains conscious” (Jung on Psychological Types)

    They directly contradict each other: The earlier says the inferior is unconscious and the latter says it normally is conscious.

    Even if the conscious or unconscious description is something important on Jung typology and one might complain that I am ignoring an entirely different aspect and might try to use a conscious/unconscious divide to just to partially or totally come back with the stacks with 8 positions and with 8 “cognitive” functions, the conscious/unconscious divide was completely unused when Jung typed Schiller (he did not made conscious/unconscious evaluations) and can be partially replaced with the concept of differentiation and, thus, we can type without the conscious/unconscious divide (actually, in MBTI this is totally ignored, this divide does not shows up on tests, and most people on the net type others without considering any conscious/unconscious clear division) and there is indeed a Jung typology that is general without the conscious/unconscious divide and with proper clarity. So, in short, what I bring here is more true to Jung than popular interpretations related to Grant, Bebee, etc.. because I completely mirror the process of Jung typing another person and my interpretations are consistent along all the Jung text (if you discount the conscious/unconscious divide) without having any additional concepts that are weird, strange and foreign to Jung typology (like Trickster functions).


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!