FAQ – Frequently asked questions

I made this FAQ to discuss some common questions and misconceptions about Neojungian Typology. Enjoy!

How much do you take away from Jung and how much do you change in his works?

I treat Carl Jung’s works with the utmost respect. I make very few alterations to his base theory. Neojungian Typology however makes one addition to his works. Jung’s theory is primarily a descriptive theory. It describes the general traits and orientation of the psyche of various individuals. It is merely meant to explain how a person works.

For example, Jung is stating that introverts value the inner world, and the sensors are oriented by the physical world of the five senses. Neojungian theory is centred on the question of “why” this is the case. Why introverts value the inner world, and why sensors value the five senses.

Drawing upon lessons from neuroscience and modern psychology, Neojungian theory makes the argument that an introvert values the inner world, and a sensor the physical, because it provides neuro-chemical balance in the mind and because it helps reduce negative emotions while boosting positive emotions.

What is the key difference between Jungian and Neojungian typology?

The key difference is that Jungian typology makes the accurate statement that an introvert is going to value the inner world above the outer, and that Neojungian Typology makes the further addition that an introvert is going to value the inner world because it provides them with greater stability and makes them less affective.

Your personality type in Neojungian Typology maps out and describes who you are when in a state of flow. But neojungian typology can also map out who you are under stress, anxiety, inspiration, or in one of the key four subtype themes.

Why can’t you give more exact definitions of a cognitive function?

Researchers that study the human mind and that seek to formulate definitions of how we think and make decisions all run into the same problems: no human mind is the same as the other. All have developed differently. Like Howard Gardner argued in his works on different intelligences and ways of thinking and learning, definitions need to be general and need to offer individual swing-room.

A cognitive function definition needs to be simple enough to be meaningful and useful to an individual, without becoming stereotypical or overly simplistic. A cognitive function also definition needs to be complex enough to offer deeper lessons to the individual about themselves and others, without being so vague it becomes subject to “the forer effect.”.

How do you combat the forer effect?

When typologies describe stereotypes or fall prone to vague technical jargon, they leave in a high ambiguity, in which the person can read in a statement to be true. With a stereotype, anyone can relate to the statement, because we have all done or been that way in some situation or at some point of time.

A stereotype is simply too relateable. With vague jargon, we can all read in a statement to be true, because it is ambiguous enough for anyone to add any meaning they wish. When you can hit the mid-line, and give meaningful information about a person. For example, I can show what you can do to find more energy and inspiration, and how you can become more open-minded, by guiding you to become more in touch with your top four letters.

What do you think about the cognitive functions?

The MBTI has misinterpreted Carl Jung’s definitions and I believe they did a mistake in connecting Carl Jung’s eight cognitive functions to their own dichotomy: Judging and Perceiving. I believe it would have been better if we simply said that an introverted intuitive was an introvert and an intuitive type. (INXX)

Carl Jung’s definitions of the cognitive functions were different than the Myers Briggs reinterpretations. Only thanks to the MBTI did Extraversion and iNtuition come to be confused with creative behaviour, and Introversion and iNtuition with conceptualisation. This did not exist in Jung’s works, where introversion and intuition had to do with philosophical, theoretical, and unconscious pondering, and extraversion and intuition had to do with spotting patterns, identifying novelty, and intercepting change.

So how would you rather do it?

I would like to separate between the traditional Jungian definitions, stating that an ISFJ and an INFJ are introverted feeling types in Carl Jung’s definitions, and feeling and judging types in the MBTI. This means that we get the chance to study both similarities between INFJs and INFPs INF-preferences, and differences in their preference for NFJ and NFP. INFJs and ISFJs will henceforth be known as intense, deep feeling types, with a judging preference for organising and structuring their emotions and their response to social, cultural and ethical matters.

How does your subtype theory work?

The subtype theory borrows on the Big 5’s and DiSCs core dichotomies:

Emotional Stability / Steadiness : How in touch you are with your dominant introversion or extraversion preference.
Openness to experience: How in touch you are with your sensing or intuitive functions
Conscientiousness: How in touch you are with your feeling or thinking letter.
Outgoingness / Extraversion: How in touch you are with your introverted or your extraverted letter.

This means an introverted person who acts like an extravert will have lower emotional stability and will be more prone to neuroticism, and that an extravert who acts like an introvert, likewise, will become more prone to neuroticism and anxiousness. A sensor who is less in touch with their sensing will become less open to take in new information. A feeler less in touch with feeling will become less conscientious, and a judger who is in touch with their judging will become more outgoing.

Wait, extraversion in the Big 5 has nothing to do with extraversion in the MBTI?

Correct. The modern definitions of extraverts have nothing to do with Carl Jung’s definitions of extraversion.

Modern definitions: Confuse extraversion with low sensitivity, outgoingness, and need to be around people.
Jungian definition: Describe extraversion as an orientation to or by the outer world, what people say, what you see, imagine happening around you, observe, or think you hear, and introversion as an orientation to or by the inner world, what you’ve heard people say, what you remember seeing or noticing, what you’re thinking about, or imagine inside.

Outgoingness requires a proactive or aggressive trait, or an ability to assert yourself and to tell others you are here and that others should listen to you. This is more associated with your development. Sensitivity and HSP are more related to intuition than extraversion. How much you like people, well, that’s just a stereotype.

So what are the subtypes?

There’s the outgoing and conscientious green types – the steady and open yellow types, the conscientious and steady blue types, and the open and outgoing red types. They’re just general themes to orient this massive world of personas and archetypes. A starting point. Take the archetype test to dive deeper and to learn more. 🙂

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About Erik Thor

I am an INFJ and I want to combat the stereotypes and help promote personality psychology that doesn’t limit or mistype you.