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13.3: Basic Concepts

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    In order to distinguish his own approach to psychology from others that had come before, Jung felt that he needed a unique name. Freud, of course, had chosen the term “psychoanalysis,” whereas Alfred Adler had chosen “individual psychology.” Since Jung admired both men and their theories, he chose a name intended to encompass not only their approaches, but others as well. Thus, he chose to call his approach analytical psychology (Jung, 1933).

    Analytical psychology, as presented by Jung, addresses the question of the psyche in an open-minded way. He laments the overly scientific approach of the late 1800s and efforts to explain away the psyche as a mere epiphenomenon of brain function. Curiously, that debate remains with us today, and is still unanswered in any definitive way. Jung did not accept the suggestion that the psyche must come from the activity of the brain. This allowed him to consider the possibility of a collective unconscious, and fit well with his acceptance of the wisdom of Eastern philosophers. Indeed, Jung suggests that psychology will find truth only when it accepts both Eastern and Western, as well as both scientific and spiritual, perspectives on the psyche (Jung, 1933).

    Dynamic Psychic Energy

    Jung believed in a dynamic interaction between the conscious and unconscious minds, in a manner quite similar to that proposed by Freud. However, as we will examine below, his concept of the psyche included elements of an unconscious mind that transcends the individual, and may be considered a combination of the spirit, or soul, and one’s thoughts and sensations. This inner psychic realm is capable of affecting the brain and its functions and, therefore, can influence one’s perception of external reality. In addition, Jung thought of the libido somewhat differently than Freud. Although Jung considered sexuality to be an important aspect of the libido, primarily he thought of libido as a more generalized life energy (Douglas, 1995; Jarvis, 2004). Jung believed that as the human species evolved, the nature of sexual (or survival) impulses transformed. For example, early in human evolution we needed, as do other species, to be able to attract mates for procreation. Over time, these attraction behaviors generalized to behaviors such as art or music. Thus, a Freudian might say that creating music is a sexual act, but according to Jung “it would be a poor, unaesthetic generalization if one were to include music in the category of sexuality” (Jung, 1916/1963).

    An important element of Jung’s conception of the psyche and libido is found in the nature of opposites. Indeed, all of nature is composed of opposites:

    …The concept of energy implies that of polarity, since a current of energy necessarily presupposes two different states, or poles, without which there can be no current. Every energic phenomenon…consists of pairs of opposites: beginning and end, above and below, hot and cold, earlier and later, cause and effect, etc. The inseparability of the energy concept from that of polarity also applies to the concept of libido. (pg. 202; Jung, 1971)

    …opposites are the ineradicable and indispensable preconditions of all psychic life… (pg. 170; Jung, 1970)

    In accordance with this view, Jung felt that the psyche sought balance, much like the concept of entropy from the field of physics. Entropy, in simple terms, is a thermodynamic principle that all energy within a system (including the universe) will eventually even out. Jung applied this principle to motivation, believing that we are driven forward through our lives in such a way that we might reduce the imbalance of psychic energy between opposing pairs of emotions (such as love and hate; Jarvis, 2004; Jung, 1971). Borrowing concepts from physics was certainly not a strange thing for Jung to do. As mentioned in Chapter 3, Freud’s theories were motivated in part by advancements in science and Darwin’s theory of evolution. Jung was personally acquainted with the Nobel Prize winning physicist Wolfgang Pauli, and the two published essays blending psychology and physics in a book entitled The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche (Jung & Pauli, 1955). However, entropy and motivation are focused forward in time. Such an orientation toward the future marks another distinction between the theories of Freud and Jung.

    Jung did not simply study symbolism, such as that in dreams, to uncover evidence of past repression. Jung believed that dreams could guide our future behavior, because of their profound relationship to the past, and their profound influence on our conscious mental life. Jung proposed that dreams can tell us something about the development and structure of the human psyche, and that dreams have evolved with our species throughout time. Since consciousness is limited by our present experience, dreams help to reveal much deeper and broader elements of our psyche than we can be aware of consciously. As such, dreams cannot easily be interpreted. Jung rejected the analysis of any single dream, believing that they belong within a series. He also rejected trying to learn dream analysis from a book. When done properly, however, dream analysis can provide unparalleled realism (see Jacobi & Hull, 1970; Jung, 1933):

    …I cannot prove in every case that dreams are meaningful, for there are dreams that neither doctor nor patient understands. But I must regard them as hypothetically meaningful in order to find courage to deal with them at all…We must never forget in dream-analysis, even for a moment, that we move on treacherous ground where nothing is certain but uncertainty…When we take up an obscure dream, our first task is not to understand and interpret it, but to establish the context with minute care. What I have in mind is not a boundless sweep of “free associations” starting from any and every image in the dream, but a careful and conscious illumination of those chains of associations that are directly connected with particular images. (pp. 11-12; Jung, 1933)

    In the final analysis, there is a particular challenge to understanding what dreams point to, and that is the situation under which a therapist typically learns of someone’s dreams: in therapy. Jung suggested that if therapists could continue to observe the journey of one’s dreams after therapy was successful, then the therapist, and possibly the client as well, might begin to more clearly understand the meaning and direction of the dreams. Still, dreams themselves are about both health and sickness, in keeping with Jung’s principle of opposites. As such, Jung wrote that “dreams are the natural reaction of the self-regulating psychic system.” The theory of entropy allows for an imbalance of energy in a closed-system. We may think of our conscious mind as just such a closed system. When we dream, however, the ongoing effort of our psyche to balance itself takes over, and the dreams counteract what we have done to imbalance our psychological selves. Thus, it is within the context of dreams, not the details, that meaning is to be found (Jung, 1959a, 1968).

    discussion question \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Jung believed that the source of our motivation was a psychological drive to achieve balance (the effect of entropy on the psyche). Have you ever felt that you were being pushed or pulled in the wrong direction, or in too many directions at once, and simply wanted to achieve some balance in your life? In contrast, have there been times that your life was unfulfilling, and you needed something more in order to feel whole?

    The Unconscious Mind

    Perhaps Jung’s most unique contribution to psychology is the distinction between a personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. The personal unconscious is not entirely different than that proposed by Freud, but is more extensive. In addition to repressed memories and impulses, the personal unconscious contains undeveloped aspects of the personality and material arising from the collective unconscious that is not yet ready for admission into conscious awareness. The personal unconscious is revealed through clusters of emotions, such as those resulting in a particular attitude toward one’s father or other father figures, which Jung referred to as a complex (Douglas, 1995; Jarvis, 2004). In this sense, a complex is not synonymous with a psychological problem, as the term is often used today, but rather any general state of mind common to certain situations. In this context, it is quite similar to the schemas discussed by cognitive theorists.

    Jung arrived at his theory of complexes as a result of his research into schizophrenia, under the direction of Dr. Bleuler. Bleuler had assigned Jung the task of studying the Word Association Test, a test in which a list of 100 words is read to the patient, and the therapist watches for evidence of emotional arousal, such as pauses, failures to respond, or physical acts. In addition, Jung noticed that even with schizophrenic patients, the patterns of word association were often centered on a particular theme. That theme could then be regarded as a complex (which, again, could be either positive or negative). Sometimes, complexes remain unresolved, such as one’s feelings about parents, if the parents have died. In relatively healthy individuals, these unresolved complexes could result in dreams, visions, or similar phenomena pertaining to the object(s) of the unresolved complex. These complexes might even become personified. In the extreme situation of personified complexes, such as in a person suffering from schizophrenia, the patient cannot distinguish the personification of the unresolved complex from the seeming reality of being another person. Hence, the schizophrenic “hears” voices in their head, “spoken” by someone else. As Jung further investigated the nature and themes of complexes in psychiatric patients, he found common themes that could not always be attributed to the patient’s personal history. And so, he began to form his concept of the collective unconscious (Douglas, 1995; Jarvis, 2004; Jung, 1959b, 1961; Storr, 1983).

    …from the standpoint of the psychology of the personality a twofold division ensures: an “extra-conscious” psyche whose contents are personal, and an “extra-conscious” psyche whose contents are impersonal and collective. The first group comprises contents which are integral components of the individual personality and could therefore just as well be conscious; the second group forms, as it were, an omnipresent, unchanging, and everywhere identical quality or substrate of the psyche per se. This is, of course, no more than a hypothesis. But we are driven to it by the peculiar nature of the empirical material…

    Whereas the contents of the personal unconscious are acquired during the individual’s lifetime, the contents of the collective unconscious are invariably archetypes that were present from the beginning. (pp. 7-8; Jung, 1959c)

    Thus, according to Jung, the collective unconscious is a reservoir of psychic resources common to all humans (something along the lines of psychological instinct). These psychic resources, known as archetypes, are passed down through the generations of a culture, but Jung considered them to be inherited, not learned. As generation after generation experienced similar phenomena, the archetypal images were formed. Despite cultural differences, the human experience has been similar in many ways throughout history. As such, there are certain archetypes common to all people. According to Jung, the most empirically valid archetypes, and therefore the most powerful, are the shadow, the anima, and the animus (Jung, 1959c).

    Jung described the shadow as “the inferior and less commendable part of a person,” and “a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality” (Jung, 1940, 1959c). It encompasses desires and feelings that are not acceptable to society or the conscious psyche. With effort the shadow can be somewhat assimilated into the conscious personality, but portions of it are highly resistant to moral control. As a result, we tend to project those thoughts, feelings, or emotions onto other people. When they have moved beyond one’s control, such as when we lose our temper, these projections isolate the individual from their environment, since they are no longer approaching situations realistically. Jung described the circumstance as tragic when people continue to ruin their lives, and the lives of others, because they cannot see through the illusion of how their shadow has been projected, and consequently interfered with their ability to live a healthy life (Jung, 1959c).

    The shadow is not, however, entirely evil. Rather, Jung described it as un-adapted and awkward, much like a child trying to function in the company of adults. Trying to entirely suppress the shadow is not the appropriate solution, since the shadow is driving us forward in our efforts to achieve balance between the unconscious and conscious realities. In other words, just as a child may act inappropriately while trying to grow up, the shadow may cause inappropriate behavior in opposition to the accepted rules of society. Nonetheless, it is important for us to have that driving force pushing us toward self-development (and the development of the human species), so that we don’t simply live a life of passivity and/or reaction to outside events. It is the shadow that pushes us forward (Jacobi & Hull, 1970; Jung, 1961).

    Although many people emphasize the differences between men and women, psychologically their common traits can readily be observed. Jung described the anima as the female aspect of the male psyche, and the animus as the male aspect of the female psyche. Jung intentionally addresses this difficult concept in mythological terms, but he also makes it clear that this is a natural phenomenon for each person, and not a substitute for one’s mother (in the case of the anima) or father (in the case of the animus). While the presence of a feminine aspect within the male psyche and the presence of a masculine aspect within the female psyche have some positive benefits, such as making it possible for men and women to relate to one another, the unfortunate reality is often the opposite. In 1959(c), Jung described the difficulties that men and women have relating to family and friends of the opposite sex, due to fundamental differences in style. Although men may contain the anima, they are still primarily masculine, whereas women, despite the animus, are still primarily feminine. As with the shadow, relationship problems can arise from the anima or animus when we allow our archetypal image to be projected onto others. As Jung himself noted, many men project a desired image onto a woman that would require her to be a sexually vivacious virgin, something of a contradiction in terms. Thus, over time, such a man’s relationships may suffer as a result of his learning more about the real life of his companion, even though she has done nothing but be herself (Jung, 1940, 1959c).

    Jung did not place a limit on the number of possible archetypes, and he described quite a few in his writings. It did not matter to Jung whether archetypes were, in fact, real. In a perspective quite similar to cognitive theorists, he wrote that “insofar as the archetypes act upon me, they are real and actual to me, even though I do not know what their real nature is” (Jung, 1961). One of the more important archetypes is the self, which represents the integration of the whole personality. Indeed, Jung described the self as the goal of all psychic development. A special type of image often associated with the self, and with Jung himself, is the mandala. A mandala is a geometric figure that represents wholeness, completeness, perfection (Jung, 1958). They also tend to be symmetrical, representing the natural balance of opposites. Although they typically have religious or spiritual significance, it is not required. Jung was very interested in mandalas, and from 1916 to 1918 he draw a new one every morning (Wehr, 1989). Mandalas can appear in dreams as an image of wholeness, or in times of stress they may appear as compensatory images (Douglas, 1995). Their potential healing ability stems from their connection between the uniqueness of our present consciousness and the depths of our primordial past:

    …The psyche is not of today; its ancestry goes back many millions of years. Individual consciousness is only the flower and the fruit of a season, sprung from the perennial rhizome beneath the earth; and it would find itself in better accord with the truth if it took the existence of the rhizome into its calculations. For the root matter is the mother of all things. (pg. xxiv; Jung, 1956)

    It is important to note that archetypal images are considered to be ancient. Although we talk about them as if they are still forming, and that may well be possible, the fact is that there were countless human generations long before recorded history. Jung has referred to archetypes as primordial images, “impressed upon the mind since of old” (Jung, 1940). Archetypes have been expressed as myths and fables, some of which are thousands of years old even within recorded history. As the eternal, symbolic images representing archetypes were developed, they naturally attracted and fascinated people. That, according to Jung, is why they have such profound impact, even today, in our seemingly advanced, knowledgeable, and scientific societies.

    Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Common Archetypes in Jung’s Theory of the Collective Unconscious*


    Integration and wholeness of the personality, the center of the totality of the psyche; symbolically represented by, e.g., the mandala, Christ, or by helpful animals (such as Rin Tin Tin and Lassie or the Hindu monkey god Hanuman)


    The dark, inferior, emotional, and immoral aspects of the psyche; symbolically represented by, e.g., the Devil (or an evil character such as Dracula), dragons, monsters (such as Godzilla)


    Strange, wraithlike image of an idealized women, yet contrary to the masculinity of the man, draws the man into feminine (as defined by gender roles) behavior, always a supernatural element; symbolically represented by, e.g., personifications of witches, the Greek Sirens, a femme fatale, or in more positive ways as the Virgin Mary, a romanticized beauty (such as Helen of Troy) or a cherished car


    A source of meaning and power for women, it can be opinionated, divisive, and create animosity toward men, but also creates a capacity for reflection, deliberation, and self-knowledge; symbolically represented by, e.g., death, murderers (such as the pirate Bluebeard, who killed all his wives), a band of outlaws, a bewitched prince (such as the beast in “Beauty and the Beast”) or a romantic actor (such as Rudolph Valentino)


    A protective cover, or mask, that we present to the world to make a specific impression and to conceal our inner self; symbolically represented by, e.g., a coat or mantle


    One who overcomes evil, destruction, and death, often has a miraculous but humble birth; symbolically represented by, e.g., angels, Christ the Redeemer, or a god-man (such as Hercules)

    Wise Old Man

    Typically a personification of the self, associated with saints, sages, and prophets; symbolically represented as, e.g., the magician Merlin or an Indian guru


    A childish character with pronounced physical appetites, seeks only gratification and can be cruel and unfeeling; symbolically represented by, e.g., animals (such as Brer Rabbit, Wile E. Coyote or, often, monkeys) or a mischievous god (such as the Norse god Loki)
    *For more information read The Integration of the Personality (Jung, 1940), Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self (Jung, 1959c), and Man and His Symbols (Jung, et al., 1964).
    discussion question\(\PageIndex{2}\)

    What is your impression of the concept of archetypes? Think about mythic heroes and gods, or concepts of motherhood or being a father. Can you identify commonalities between different cultures, now or throughout time, which seem to suggest themes that are common to all people?

    Connections Across Cultures: Symbolism Throughout Time and Around the world

    Near the end of Jung’s life, he was asked to write a book that might make his theories more accessible to common readers. Jung initially refused, but then he had an interesting dream, receiving advice from his unconscious psyche that he should reconsider his refusal:

    …He dreamed that, instead of sitting in his study and talking to the great doctors and psychiatrists who used to call on him from all over the world, he was standing in a public place and addressing a multitude of people who were listening to him with rapt attention and understanding what he said… (pg. 10; John Freeman, in his introduction to Man and His Symbols, Jung et al., 1964)

    Jung then agreed to write the book that became known as Man and His Symbols, but only if he could hand-pick the co-authors who would help him. Jung supervised every aspect of the book, which was nearly finished when he died. Written purposefully to be easily understood by a wide audience, the book presents an astonishingly wide variety of symbolism from art, archaeology, myth, and analysis within the context of Jung’s theories. Many of the symbols were represented in dreams, and symbolic dreams are the primary means by which our unconscious psyche communicates with our conscious psyche, or ego. It is extraordinary to see how similar such symbolism has been throughout time and across cultures, even though each individual example is unique to the person having the dream or expressing themselves openly.

    Symbols, according to Jung, are terms, names, images, etc. that may be familiar in everyday life, but as symbols they come to represent something vague and unknown, they take on meaning that is hidden from us. More specifically, they represent something within our unconscious psyche that cannot ever be fully explained. Exploring the meaning will not unlock the secrets of the symbol, because its meaning is beyond reason. Jung suggests that this should not seem strange, since there is nothing that we perceive fully. Our eyesight is limited, as is our hearing. Even when we use tools to enhance our senses, we still only see better, or hear better. We don’t comprehend the true nature of visual objects or sounds, we only experience them differently, within our psychic realm as opposed to their physical reality. And yet, the symbols created by our unconscious psyche are very important, since the unconscious is at least half of our being, and it is infinitely broader than our conscious psyche (Jung et al., 1964).

    Jung believed that the symbols created in dreams have a deeper meaning than Freud recognized. Freud believed that dreams simply represent the unconscious aspects of one’s psyche. Jung believed, however, that dreams represent a psyche all their own, a vast and ancient psyche connected to the entire history of humanity (the collective unconscious). Therefore, dreams can tell a story of their own, such as Jung’s dream encouraging him to write a book for a common audience. Thus, his dream did not reflect some underlying neurosis connected to childhood trauma, but rather, his unconscious psyche was pushing him forward, toward a sort of wholeness of self by making his theories more readily accessible to those who are not sufficiently educated in the wide variety of complex topics that are typically found in Jung’s writings. By virtue of the same reasoning, Jung considered dreams to be quite personal. They could not be interpreted with dream manuals, since no object has any fixed symbolic meaning.

    What makes the symbolism within dreams, as well as in everyday life, most fascinating, however, is how common it is throughout the world, both in ancient times and today. In their examination of symbols and archetypes, Jung and his colleagues offer visual examples from: Egypt, England, Japan, the Congo, Tibet, Germany, Belgium, the United States, Bali, Haiti, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Cameroon, Java, France, Kenya, India, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Australia, China, Hungary, Malaysia, Borneo, Finland, the Netherlands, Rhodesia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Ireland, Brazil, Monaco, Burma, Bolivia, Cambodia, Denmark, Macedonia, and Peru, as well as from Mayan, Celtic, Babylonian, Persian, Navaho, and Haidu cultures. There are also many Biblical references. It would be safe to say that no one else in the history of psychology has so clearly demonstrated the cross-cultural reality of their theory as is the case with Carl Jung.

    Of course, as with dreams, many of these symbols are unique to the culture in which they have arisen. Therefore, it takes a great deal of training and experience for a psychotherapist to work with patients from different cultures. Nonetheless, the patterns represent the same basic concepts, such as self, shadow, anima, animus, hero, etc. Once recognized in their cultural context, the analyst would have a starting point from which to begin working with their patient, or the artist would understand how to influence their audience. One important type of art that relies heavily on cultural images and cues is advertising. Cultural differences can create problems for companies pursuing global marketing campaigns. Jung’s theory suggests that similarities in how we react to certain archetypal themes should be similar in different countries, but of course the images themselves must be recognizable, and we may still be a long way from understanding those fundamental images:

    …Our actual knowledge of the unconscious shows that it is a natural phenomenon and that, like Nature herself, it is at least neutral. It contains all aspects of human nature – light and dark, beautiful and ugly, good and evil, profound and silly. The study of individual, as well as of collective, symbolism is an enormous task, and one that has not yet been mastered. (pg. 103; Jung et al., 1964)

    Personality Types

    One of Jung’s most practical theories, and one that has been quite influential, is his work on personality types. Jung had conducted an extensive review of the available literature on personality types, including perspectives from ancient Brahmanic conceptions taken from the Indian Vedas (see below) and types described by the American psychologist William James. In keeping with one of Jung’s favorite themes, James had emphasized opposing pairs as the characteristics of his personality types, such as rationalism vs. empiricism, idealism vs. materialism, or optimism vs. pessimism (see Jung, 1971). Based on his research and clinical experience, Jung proposed a system of personality types based on attitude-types and function-types (more commonly referred to simply as attitudes and functions). Once again, the attitudes and functions are based on opposing ways of interacting with one’s environment.

    The two attitude-types are based on one’s orientation to external objects (which includes other people). The introvert is intent on withdrawing libido from objects, as if to ensure that the object can have no power over the person. In contrast, the extravert extends libido toward an object, establishing an active relationship. Jung considered introverts and extraverts to be common amongst all groups of people, from all walks of life. Today, most psychologists acknowledge that there is a clear genetic component to these temperaments (Kagan, 1984, 1994; Kagan, Kearsley, & Zelazo 1978), a suggestion proposed by Jung as well (Jung, 1971). Of course, one cannot have an orientation to objects without consciousness, and consciousness cannot exist without an ego. For Jung, the ego is a complex, so it is associated with both the conscious psyche and the personal unconscious. According to Jung, “it is always in the center of our attention and of our desires, and it is the absolutely indispensable centre of consciousness” (Jung, 1968).

    Jung’s four functions describe ways in which we orient ourselves to the external environment, given our basic tendency toward introversion or extraversion. The first opposing pair of functions is thinking vs. feeling. Thinking involves intellect, it tells you what a thing is, whereas feeling is values-based, it tells what a thing is worth to you. For example, if you are trying to choose classes for your next semester of college, perhaps you need to choose between a required general education course as opposed to a personally interesting course like Medical First Responder or Interior Design. If you are guided first by thinking, you will probably choose the course that fulfills a requirement, but if you are guided by feeling, you may choose the course that satisfies your more immediate interests. The second opposing pair of functions is sensing vs. intuition. Sensing describes paying attention to the reality of your external environment, it tells you that something is. In contrast, intuition incorporates a sense of time, and allows for hunches. Intuition may seem mysterious, and Jung freely acknowledges that he is particularly mystical, yet he offers an interesting perspective on this issue:

    …Intuition is a function by which you see round corners, which you really cannot do; yet the fellow will do it for you and you trust him. It is a function which normally you do not use if you live a regular life within four walls and do regular routine work. But if you are on the Stock Exchange or in Central Africa, you will use your hunches like anything. You cannot, for instance, calculate whether when you turn round a corner in the bush you will meet a rhinoceros or a tiger - but you get a hunch, and it will perhaps save your life… (pg. 14; Jung, 1968)

    The two attitudes and the four functions combine to form eight personality types. Jung described a so-called cross of the functions, with the ego in the center being influenced by the pairs of functions (Jung, 1968). Considering whether the ego’s attitude is primarily introverted or extraverted, one could also propose a parallel pair of crosses. Jung’s theory on personality types has proven quite influential, and led to the development of two well-known and very popular instruments used to measure one’s personality type, so that one might then make reasoned decisions about real-life choices.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Jung proposed a “cross of the functions,” in which the ego sits at the center of the opposing pairs of functions (Jung, 1968). When the attitudes of introversion and extraversion are included, one can represent Jung’s view as parallel crosses of the functions.

    Discussion question\(\PageIndex{3}\)

    Jung described two attitudes (introversion-extraversion) and four functions (thinking-feeling, sensing-intuition) as the primary basis for psychological types. Think about yourself and/or some of your close friends and family members. Can you use the eight types described by Jung to get a reasonable impression of the people you know, or does Jung’s theory seem to fall short?

    In 1923, Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers learned of Jung’s personality types and became quite interested in his theory. After spending 20 years observing individuals of different types, they added one more pair of factors based on a person’s preference for either a more structured lifestyle, called judging, or a more flexible or adaptable lifestyle, called perceiving. There were now, according to Briggs and Myers, sixteen possible personality types. In the 1940s, Isabel Myers began developing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in order to help people learn about their personality type. To provide just one example of an MBTI profile, an individual who is extraverted and prefers sensing, thinking, and judging (identified by the initials ESTJ) would be described as: “Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive, quickly move to implement decisions. Organize projects and people to get things done…Forceful in implementing their plans” (Myers, 1993; Myers & McCaulley, 1985; see also the website for the Myers & Briggs Foundation, at While it is relatively easy to find shortcut tests or variations of the MBTI online, if one plans to make any meaningful decisions based on their personality type they should consult a trained MBTI administrator. What sort of decision might one make? The MBTI has become a popular tool for looking at career choices and workplace relationships. A number of popular books, such as Do What You Are (Tieger & Barron-Tieger, 2001) and Type Talk at Work (Kroeger, Thuesen, & Rutledge, 2002), are available that provide information intended to help people choose satisfying careers and be successful in complex work environments. In addition to its use in career counseling, the MBTI has been used in individual counseling, marriage counseling, and in educational settings (Myers, 1993; Myers & McCaulley, 1985; Myers & Myers, 1980). Another popular instrument, based once again on Jung’s theory and compared directly to the MBTI, is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. David Keirsey uses plain language in an effort to make personality types easy to comprehend. Setting aside introversion vs. extraversion, he has identified eight character portraits: mentors, organizers, monitors, operators, advocates, engineers, conservators, and players. When Keirsey adds extraversion and introversion back into the mixture, he can identify one’s personality type even more clearly: monitors become either supervisors (E) or inspectors (I), players become performers (E) or composers (I), engineers become inventors (E) or designers (I), etc. As with the MBTI, Keirsey provides concrete recommendations regarding how one might use the results of his temperament sorter to make decisions about one’s choices in life (Keirsey, 1987).

    Table \(\PageIndex{2}\): Jung’s Eight Personality Types*

    Introverted Thinking Focused on own internal thoughts and ideas, do not communicate well, can be highly conflicted and will lash out at critics, generally stubborn and do not get along well with others
    Introverted Feeling Tend to be silent, inaccessible, and melancholy, have deep emotions but hide them and appear cold and reserved on the surface, tend to be suspicious of others, most are women
    Introverted Sensing Guided by subjective impression of real-life objects, often express their sensations through artistic endeavors, the objective world may seem make-believe and comical
    Introverted Intuitive Tend to be peculiar and lack contact with reality, may be completely misunderstood even by those who are close to them, may seem like a mystical dreamer and seer on one hand but just a cranky person on the other, may have vision but lack convincing power of reason
    Extraverted Thinking Seek intellectual conclusions based on objective reality, seek to influence others, suppress emotion, can be rigid and dogmatic (tyrannical when others penetrate their power province)
    Extraverted Feeling Feelings harmonize with objective situations, can be highly emotional, will avoid thinking when it proves upsetting, most are women
    Extraverted Sensing Immersed in realism and seek new experiences, whole aim is concrete enjoyment, most are men
    Extraverted Intuitive Always seek new opportunities, may seize new opportunity with enthusiasm and just as quickly abandon it if not promising, has vision, often found among business tycoons and politicians, but have little regard for welfare of others
    *For more information read Psychological Types (Jung, 1971).

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