Have you ever wondered how the hell your mind works, and why it works the way it does? Thanks to Carl Jung’s cognitive functions and Howard Gardners intelligences, we have a rough idea on how the mind can be divided and understood. Thanks to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, we can also speculate on which personality types tend to prefer which processes in the mind. And thanks to neuroscience, we can begin to verify which areas in the mind are involved in which processes. We now know more about the human mind than ever before. So what do we know?
The Cognitive Functions
Together, the cognitive functions can be used to understand your mindmap. Four of these processes, two from each column, are particularly important in your process. For an ENTJ, the processes are “Patterns” (EN) and “Speculation” (NJ) as well as “Systems” (TJ) and “Actions” (ET). For an ISFP, the processes are “Lessons” (IS) and “Instincts” (SP) and “Resolutions” (IF) and finally “Interpretations” (FP). Are you left-brained (J) or right brained (P)? Are you front (extraversion) or back-brained (Introversion)? This will influence how you use the cognitive functions.
Depending on your choices and your development in life, you may develop certain functions more than others. A higher development of EN would for example improve your navigation skills and your ability to pick up on new patterns, where a higher creative intelligence (NP) will improve your brainstorming skills. Should you improve your “Definitions” cognitive function, you will be better at correct and precise definitions. And would you develop your EF, you will become more interpersonally intelligent. What do you want to become better at? Your cognitive functions determine your key abilities.
In the mind, the processes most involved in intuition are related to the frontopolar network. The frontopolar network is involved in complex, abstract, imaginative, and counter-factual, alternative thinking. Sensing types rather use the saliency network, which is involved in attention, sensory processing, and physical actions. Feeling types tend to have the highest use of the default-mode network, involved with daydreaming, storytelling, and aesthetic thinking. Finally, thinking types tend to be the most involved in using the task-positive network in the mind. The task-positive network has been found to be involved in procedures, logical thinking, step-by-step thinking and analytics.