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Overview of type dynamics

Type dynamics – An overview

Each of the types has a preferred way of taking in information (a perceiving function) and this is either a preference for sensing or intuition. Each type also has a preferred way of making decisions (a judging function) and this is either thinking or feeling. Each types preference for perceiving and judging is shown in the middle two letters of the profile. E.g. ISTJ, ISFP, ENTJ, ENFJ.

In each type, one of these two mental functions is “dominant”. In other words, it is the favourite, most used process. Think of the dominant as the “default setting” – the mental function which our brain is wired to use most. Eg ISTJ, ENFP.

The second favourite process – or “auxiliary” – is the other letter in the middle of the type profile. This means that an ISTJ’s auxiliary is thinking as their dominant is sensing.

The way each type uses its dominant depends on whether there is a preference for extraversion or introversion. Extravert types prefer to use their dominant function in the outer, extravert, word. Introvert types prefer to use their dominant function in their interior, introvert, world.

Each type tends to use its auxiliary, or helping, process in the other world. For example, an ISTJ uses their dominant sensing in the interior world and then engages with the world mainly through thinking. An ENTP prefers to use their dominant intution in the external world and their auxiliary thinking in their interior world.

Each type still uses the functions they do not prefer. For example, an ISTJ still uses feeling and intuition some of the time. The least favourite function (the one which a type finds the most challenging to use) is called “the inferior function”. The third favourite function is called “the tertiary”. The order of functions for each of the types is outline in the summary page accompanying the type portraits.


© Carol Craig

MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries; OPP Ltd. has exclusive rights to these trademarks in the U.K.

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