• The 4 Jungian Dichotomies

    The 4 Jungian Dichotomies

    See also:
    Reinin Dichotomies
    Dichotomies (Wikisocion)
    The 4 Dichotomies (Socionics.us)
    Function Dichotomies (Wikisocion)

    The following information is taken from original material written by Rick DeLong, originally from "The 4 Dichotomies" article and relevant links from Socionics.us - Socionics in the West.


    extraverts have an extraverted function as their leading function (, , , ), while introverts have an introverted one (, , , ).

    Extraversion Extraverts (or 'extratims'):
    external; outer world; perception of world as objects outside of self
    • Perceives world as objects. Extrapolates ties between objects from characteristics of objects. Influences relationships between objects to better reflect the objects' inherent characteristics.
    Introversion Introverts (or 'introtims'):
    internal; inner world; perception of world as part of self (through the subject)
    • Perceives world as ties between objects perceived through self. Extrapolates characteristics of objects from ties between them. Influences characteristics of objects based on the relationships that need to be between them.

    • focused on demands and objective nature of outside world rather than on one's subjective ties with outside world
    • perceive world as objects that can be taken apart, studied, known, and compared to each other; extrapolate ties between objects from objects' characteristics
    • qualities of objects are taken for granted, while interrelationships between objects are seen as being malleable; change interaction of objects to better fit qualities of objects
    • feel responsible for events and situations that form around them and others
    • focused on one's ties with and subjective perception of outside world rather than outside world itself
    • perceive world as ties or interrelationships between objects; extrapolate qualities of objects from their interrelationships with other objects
    • interrelationships are taken for granted, while qualities of object are seen as being malleable; adapt qualities of objects to better fit their interrelationships
    • feel responsible for quality of their own and others' psychological 'field' (nature of interaction between subject and outside world)
    • focused on expending energy; need to expend energy and attention to reach state of complete equilibrium
    • generally have higher optimal level of arousal
    • on average more commanding, assertive voice
    • tend to gesticulate from the shoulder down
    • focused on conserving energy; need to be given energy and attention to reach state of complete equilibrium
    • slightly lower optimal level of arousal
    • on average slightly less commanding voice
    • tend to gesticulate from the elbow down
    • socionic extraversion does NOT equal outgoingness
    • liven up in unfamiliar settings or when they have someone to give their energy and attention to
    • like to involve others and don't appreciate others trying to involve them
    • socionic introversion does NOT equal unsocialibility or shyness
    • liven up in familiar settings or when someone is giving them energy and attention
    • like to be involved by others and don't appreciate others who expect them to involve them
    intellectual qualities
    • wider and more superficial interests; interested in things that don't apply to them
    • need greater stream of external stimuli to avoid boredom
    • attention and thought tend to be focused on present and near future
    • need to speak their thoughts out loud to know what they think
    • narrower but deeper interests; clearer sense of what applies to them and what doesn't
    • get more absorbed in situations than extraverts
    • attention and thought tend to be focused on present and recent past
    • know what they think without having to express their thoughts out loud
    • starting from scratch
    • comparing people's traits and skills objectively
    • respecting people's individual traits and values without trying to change them
    • enjoy taking on new responsibilities
    • increasing the scale of tasks
    • creating and directing situations
    • forming new ties between people
    • creating finished products
    • usually better listeners and supporters
    • not interfering in others' relationships
    • enjoy limiting their responsibilities
    • scaling back tasks
    • developing new qualities and values in people
    • adjusting to situations and existing ties between people
    typical talents
    • making contacts
    • expanding organizations' activities
    • promoting others
    • working with regular partners and organizations' internal affairs
    • perfecting organization's internal structure
    • mismanaging their inner world; trying to make sense of and find themselves
    • overdoing things; wasting energy and spreading themselves too thin
    • can become slaves to outside world and lose sense of self from constantly serving external causes
    • can become drifty and keep changing their external situation without changing their attitudes and inner world
    • handling complex situations involving strangers
    • underdoing things in the outside world; avoidance of showing 'too much' initiative
    • can disappear into an imaginary world that has little to do with reality
    • get stuck more easily in undesirable external situations and may not realize that they can change situation or simply get out rather than endlessly adapting
    typical doubts
    • often unsure of what ties actually exist between them and others
    • often afraid of losing control of their inner world (feelings, reactions to external stimuli)
    • often unsure of how they (their traits, skills, etc.) compare to other people
    • often afraid of being unnoticed and unneeded in outside world
    behavior in relationships
    • continual expansion; forgetting what ground has been covered
    • keep widening relationship by adding new material or activities
    • develop and look after partners' external life (activities, interests, circle of friends, useful opportunities)
    • manage inner life of relationship
    • accepting of partners' initiative
    • develop and look after partners' inner life (feelings, sentiments, inner needs, subjective perception of reality)

    Common misconceptions about extraversion and introversion:
    After studying the table above, it should be clear that socionics defines these terms differently than they are understood in modern psychology. After Jung the terms "extraversion" and "introversion" gradually took on a concrete meaning — extraverts are sociable individuals who are enjoy group activities and socializing, while introverts like to spend large amounts of time by themselves. Based on these definitions, it was found that 75% of Americans are extraverts, and 25% introverts. American culture values extraverted qualities more, and people often feel like they've been given the 'short end of the stick' after receiving their results on extraversion/introversion tests. Using socionic definitions of these terms, however, my experience has shown that the numbers are practically equal — not only in the U.S., but also in Ukraine, Russia, Spain, and other countries I have visited. With such differing results, it is obvious that socionic extraversion and introversion only somewhat overlap with modern psychological (and popular) definitions of the terms.


    intuiters have intuition* ( or ) as their first or second function, while sensers have sensing ( or ).

    Intuition Intuitive types or "intuiters":
    intangible parameters; understanding of reality through concepts

    • Prefers to base decisions on, and gives more attention to think about, study, and work with hidden, unseen, and intangible things rather than what is visible and tangible.
    • categories such as intentions, values, expectations, patterns, and mental constructs
    • Continuously consciously receptive to and quick to react to changes in intuitive world around him (abstract situations, timing, hidden motives, changes in strategy, information). Dulled, delayed reactions to changes in sensing world (comfort and discomfort, physical surroundings, aesthetics, sensations, what people are wearing and doing).
    Sensing Sensing types or "sensers":
    tangible characteristics; understanding of reality through experience
    • Prefers to think about, study, and work with visible, quantifiable, and tangible things rather than what is invisible and intangible.
    • Prefers to think in terms of tangible qualities such as desires, appearance, physiological processes,
    • Continuously consciously receptive to and quick to react to changes in sensing world around him. Dulled, delayed reactions to changes in intuitive world.

    • concentration focused more on generalizations of reality (i.e. abstract mental representations of reality) than on immediate sensory data
    • well-differentiated perception of abstract parameters of situations and processes (i.e. timing, potential, purpose, unseen factors, etc.)
    • duller perception of sensory data and physical sensations
    • concentration focused more on immediate sensory data (information registered through five senses and other sensations) than on generalizations of data
    • well-differentiated perception of sensory data (five senses, appearance, color, physical state and sensations, concrete motives, etc.)
    • duller perception of abstract parameters of situations and processes
    • more often have triangular face and wider forehead compared to jaw
    • movements less aware; concentration focused in mind
    • gaze usually not focused on any object; looks through object without seeing
    • more often have 'thin' voice
    • more often have rectangular face and heavier jaw
    • more deliberate movements and touch; concentration distributed throughout body
    • gaze usually steady and focused and moves from object to object
    • more often have 'melodic' voice
    • emotions seem more distant and are often tied to things happening in their mental representations of reality
    • typically do more punning and plays on words
    • emotions usually have to do with concrete things or imagining concrete things
    • hearty laughter
    intellectual qualities
    • intuition does NOT imply intelligence
    • inductive thinking: from whole to parts (seeing the forest); first understand the overall picture or system, then see concrete reality
    • need to see whole picture to make decisions
    • conceptual thinking
    • strategists
    • deductive thinking: from parts to whole (seeing the trees); always aware of details and less aware of overall system
    • can make decisions quickly in each specific situation with limited information
    • practical thinking
    • tacticians
    • keeping track of material objects and space around them
    • cultivating unseen potential in people and situations
    • strategic foresight; see prospects and dangers inherent in situations and processes
    • creating sense of meaning and strategic consistency
    • realizing potential; turning potential into material reality (i.e. things)
    • better at deriving sensory pleasure out of their activities
    • understand their own and others' physical needs and physiological sensations
    • assessing their physical attractiveness and taking advantage of it
    typical talents
    • guessing what the hidden problem is
    • handling large amounts of written data
    • keeping track of and cataloguing information
    • working with hands, cooking, handicrafts
    • tasks requiring extended concentration on objects (monitoring machinery or people, for example)
    • practical medicine
    • slow orientation in situations where things need to be done quickly
    • often don't know their own tastes and desires
    • doing housework and chores
    • impracticality
    • keep developing potential without materializing plans
    • without direct help and encouragement almost always lead aesthetically and physically bland life
    • can become slaves to information and future prospects and neglect physical reality and health
    • lack of sense of timing; tend to make hasty decisions
    • lack of foresight; doesn't see prospects or dangers looming around corner
    • lack of progress and development; keep materializing desires without developing strategic potential
    • can become hedonists – slaves to sensory pleasures
    • often lack sense of meaning and strategic consistency in life
    typical doubts
    • often unsure of their physical sensations and state of health
    • often unsure that their partner is really attracted to them
    • doubts about what will happen tomorrow
    behavior in relationships
    • manage the spiritual aspect
    • sense of meaning
    • acquire mental picture of partner that drives partner to become better person
    • manage the sensual aspect
    • sense of measure; pleasure
    • talk about their attraction easily
    • able to help partner relax and enjoy themselves
    • strive to physically acquire partner

    Overcoming the intuition bias in socionics:
    There is a slight bias towards intuition in socionics, with many dichotomy descriptions exhibiting an oversimplified view of sensing and an exaggerated view of intuition. This is due to the theoretical nature of socionics (created by Augusta, who was an ILE) and the dominant role of intuiters in the field. It is not uncommon to read that extraverted intuition () is "penetration into the essence of things," while its dual function — introverted sensing () — is "the ability to create comfort." In a society that values intellectual production and mental powers over aesthetic and physical harmony, most people would see extraverted intuition as a more desirable quality than introverted sensing (if described in the way shown above). This skews self-testing results, especially in the case of sensers who think of themselves as intellectuals. However, the proportion of intuiters to sensers in any society is roughly 50:50.

    It might be tempting to generalize and say that intuiters are "mental people," while sensers are "physical people." While this may be true in a certain narrow sense (read further), you will meet many people who can throw you off — heavy, endomorphic intuiters; thin, ectomorphic sensers; muscular intuitive athletes; sensing academicians and bookworms — and so on.

    Intuiters are "mental" in the sense of identifying readily with things that they cannot see or experience physically, but "see in their minds." Sensers are also able to envision things in their minds, but they identify with them less and eventually lose interest in things that cannot be turned into reality.

    Sensers are "physical" in the sense of identifying more with physical reality and less with things that they see in their minds but cannot materialize. Sensers also make generalizations, have philosophical insights, and are interested in overarching "invisible" principles. However, they are willing to take seriously only those abstract principles that are closely tied to reality. Intuiters are often prone to make "abstractions on abstractions" and accept them for reality itself.

    Although most often people are drawn to areas that align with their strengths, often the opposite occurs. Sensers can make breakthroughs in typically "intuitive" areas where intuiters have strayed too far from reality and have "missed the point." Intuiters can make breakthroughs in typically "sensing" areas where sensers have focused too much on traditional forms and have neglected unseen possiblities.

    Intellectual fields:
    When sensers are drawn to intellectual fields such as science, research, art criticism, etc. they tend to take a hands-on approach and prefer to research and discuss phenomena that they have personally observed or that others have observed using methods that they trust. Intuiters in the same intellectual fields tend to talk about ideas and speculative theories. Sometimes their speculative thought leads to actual breakthroughs, when new approaches and hitherto unseen possibilities are made. At other times it is a senser who makes the important discovery through his more hands-on approach. However, as a general rule, the more abstract and far removed from reality the field is, the higher the concentration of intuiters.

    Hopefully, these points will help correct the mistakes some people would otherwise make based on other descriptions of this dichotomy.


    Definition: logical types have logic ( or ) as their first or second function, while ethical types have ethics ( or ).

    Logic Logical types or "thinkers":
    material, inanimate, measurable world; deeds, words, systems, procedures; correct vs. incorrect
    • Continuously consciously receptive to and quick to react to changes in logical world around him (systems, procedures, rules, actions, content of words, algorithms being used).
    • Dulled, delayed reactions to changes in ethical world (people's feelings and emotions, psychological atmosphere, others' reactions).
    Ethics Ethical types or "feelers":
    human, social, subjective world; feelings, emotions; good vs. bad, nice vs. mean
    • Continuously consciously receptive to and quick to react to changes in ethical world around him.
    • Dulled, delayed reactions to changes in logical world.

    • focus primarily on demands of material, nonhuman world, or world of “things” in one's environment
    • perceive things mainly in terms of correct vs. incorrect, logical vs. illogical (i.e. how objectively true words and deeds are)
    • in communication focus on and study what is done and said, content of speech
    • focus primarily on demands of subjective human world, or world of people and relationships
    • perceive things mainly in terms of right vs. wrong, ethical vs. unethical (i.e. how words and deeds will affect people and their relationships)
    • in communication focus on and study people's feelings and emotional state based on nonverbal signals and how things are said
    • less expressive face and body language
    • more expressive face and body language
    • less outward emotional range
    • have more stable and long-term feelings for others
    • nearly emotionless when communicating with other logical types but able to mirror emotions of ethical types
    • more emotional range and range of facial expression
    • more confident of and able to consciously control their feelings and emotions
    • adapt their emotional expression to those they interact with
    intellectual qualities
    • task-oriented
    • focused on not misleading a person and giving them correct information
    • convincing others using facts and arguments
    • people-oriented
    • focused on enhancing relationships; modifying content and form of speech to match or contradict what others expect to hear
    • use emotions and feelings to persuade
    • dealing with objective (nonhuman) world
    • countering others' flawed logic, actions, and procedures and explaining correct logic and procedures
    • making independent decisions in logical sphere
    • evaluating others' honesty and deeds
    • working with subjective (human) world
    • persuasion
    • adding an emotional, subjective dimension to social interaction
    • making independent decisions in human sphere
    • evaluating others' good will and positive or negative attitude
    • pleasing others and arousing emotions
    typical talents
    • working with inanimate objects and resources
    • technology, equipment, working with mechanisms
    • creating and understanding procedures and instructions
    • creating a good impression on the right people; public relations
    • helping others release emotional tension in individual interaction and social settings
    • being “the life of the party”
    norms or "rules of thumb"
    • try to strictly follow others' ethical norms and rules of thumb for demonstrating emotions and feelings
    • try to use formal logic in discussions and read up on scientific and/or technical literature to increase their self-confidence
    • ethics
    • often feel helpless when forced to deal with others' feelings, emotional reactions, and subjective factors
    • more subject to emotional manipulation and not recognizing others' true feelings and attitudes in time
    • evaluating how much work has been done and how much remains to do
    • opinions more easily influenced by others' logic and arguments
    • more subject to manipulation through dishonest, incorrect, or inconsistent information and deeds
    typical doubts
    • often are unsure of their right to have feelings for others and display emotions
    • often unsure that their partner really has feelings for them
    • often unsure of their ability to work and get things done or whether they have done enough work
    behavior in relationships
    • manage and diversify structure of relationship
    • show their feelings for partner by doing things for them
    • manage and diversify emotional aspects of relationship
    • show their feelings for partner directly through emotions


    Definition: rational types have logic or ethics as their leading function (, , , ), while irrational types have intuition or sensing (, , , ). In addition, all accepting functions of rationals are rational and all producing functions are irrational, and vice-versa for irrationals.

    Rationality Rational types:
    sequential, linear, one-directional; consistent
    • Movements, actions, words, and outward emotions are a direct reaction to others'. States of mind and body are the result of correct actions and emotions.
    Irrationality Irrational types:
    cyclical, multi-directional; flexible
    • Movements, actions, words, and outward emotions are the result of states of mind and body (feelings, sensations, and moods). Instead of reacting directly to actions of others, reacts to state of mind and body induced by these actions.

    • attention focused on correct actions and emotions (logic and ethics), which produce certain states of mind and body (intuition and sensing)
    • act according to their expectation of a situation; form an expectation or plan, then act
    • during communication attention is focused on words and speech
    • immediate reactions to words, actions, and emotions
    • are drawn to stable, reliable systems and situations
    • attention focused on correct states of mind and body (intuition and sensing), which produce certain actions and emotions (logic and ethics)
    • act according to their current state of mind (impulsiveness)
    • during communication attention is focused on mental images
    • react not to words, actions, and emotions but to changes in their inner state created by others' words, actions, and emotions
    • are drawn to systems and situations with uncertain outcomes
    • angular, discrete movements
    • internal tension (readiness)
    • straight lines and angles in face and body
    • linear biorhythms, actions, emotions, and moods
    • more stable psychic states
    • flourish in structured environments
    • smooth, unbroken body movements and gestures
    • internal relaxedness
    • gentle lines in face and body
    • cyclical biorhythm, actions, emotions, and moods
    • greater range of psychic states
    • flourish in unstructured environments
    • sharper, brighter emotions as immediate response to others' emotions, actions, and words
    • less moody, but moods last longer
    • 'softer' emotions that are adapted to situation
    • tend to be moodier with more impulsive emotions, but moods change more quickly
    • act decisively and keep correct course in stable circumstances
    • keeping things under order
    • completing one task before starting another
    • act decisively in unstable circumstances
    • improvisation; changing plans midstream
    • doing several tasks at once
    • easily disoriented when put in situations with quickly changing rules
    • often have difficulty relaxing after tasks are over
    • become passive and lose interest in unchanging environment
    • often have difficulty getting revved up sufficiently for task at hand until there is a crisis
    behavior in relationships
    • like to discuss their actions, emotions, attachments, and rules of relationship
    • sequential relationship development: “we're dating;” “we're together now;” “we're living together now;” etc.
    • emotional and physical closeness increases or decreases linearly
    • like to discuss their states of mind, sensations, understanding of themselves and each other
    • nonsequential relationship development; structure emerges only in hindsight
    • emotional and physical closeness evolves nonlinearly, in waves