Based on Carl G. Jung's theory of psychological type [Jung, 1971], people can be characterized using two mental functions (sensing-intuition and thinking-feeling) and attitude (extraversion-introversion). Isabel Briggs Myers [Myers, 1980] emphasized that a fourth parameter, judging-perceiving, also influences personality type's characteristics. In other words, Carl G. Jung's and Isabel Briggs Myers' personality typology is based upon the following four dichotomies (bipolar dimensions where each pole represents an opposite preference):
- Extraversion - Introversion
- Sensing - Intuition
- Thinking - Feeling
- Judging - Perceiving
All possible permutations of the 4 criteria above define 16 different personality types. Each type can be assigned a name (personality type formula), as an acronym of the combination of the 4 dimensions that defines the personality type. For example:
- ISTJ stands for an Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging
- ENFP stands for an Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving
And so on.
Jung Typology Profiler for Workplace™ (JTPW™) instrument determines, among other things, personality type of an individual. However, it goes beyond the 4 Jungian dichotomies and measures several additional factors that make it possible to apply Jungian typology in order to effectively assess behavioral preferences of an individual in the context of workplace. JTPW™ instrument also provides personalized, dynamic descriptions of Jung's personality types, focused on workplace-related aspects such as preferred activities, decision making, problem solving, creativity, change management, conflict management, and interpersonal style.
Carl Jung's Psychological Type Concept
Carl Jung (1875-1961) introduced two mental bipolar dimensions (dichotomies) in his approach to personality. These are Sensing-Intuition (SN) and Thinking-Feeling (TF).
The first dichotomy, SN (S stands for Sensing and N - for iNtuition), represents the way in which an individual receives information. To people who fall into the Sensing category, information they receive through their senses directly is most important. People falling into the Intuition category mostly rely upon their conception about things, based on their perception of the world.
The second dichotomy, TF (T stands for Thinking and F - for Feeling), refers to how an individual processes the information. Thinking means the individual is less affected by emotions and makes decisions based on an unbiased reasoning. Feeling means that the individual's base for decisions is mainly feelings and emotions.
Carl Jung also introduced the notion about the extraverted or introverted direction of each of the mental functions [Jung, 1971]. The direction points to the source of energy that feeds the dominant mental function. An Extravert's source of energy is mainly found in the outside world, whereas an Introvert's source of energy is mainly found in his or her inner world.
Carl Jung introduced the idea of hierarchy of mental functions. According to Jung, in each individual one of the poles of the two dichotomies predominates over the rest of the poles. This pole defines the dominant function. One of the poles of the other dichotomy defines the auxiliary function.
Carl Jung called SN mental function "irrational" (or perceiving) and TF "rational" (or judging) [Jung, 1971].
The "rational" function, according to Jung, is typical for mental activity that results in thinking, feelings, response and behavior that consciously operates in line with some rules, principles or norms. People with predominantly "rational" function perceive the world as an ordered structure that follows a set of rules.
The "irrational" function, according to Jung, is typical for mental and perceptual activity that predominantly (and, for the most part, unconsciously) operates with opportunities, i.e. various possible outcomes and sensations result from some premises and sensations, mostly driven by unconscious processes. People with predominantly "irrational" thinking see the world as a structure that can take various forms and outcomes.
By observation or asking certain questions it is possible to determine whether the organization of an individual's nervous system results in thinking, feelings, response and behavior that is predominantly "rational" or "irrational". Jung called the mental activity characterized by predominantly rational function judging, and the mental and perceptual activity characterized by predominantly irrational function perceiving.
Applying Jungian Approach to the Workplace
The basic Jungian approach has some practical limitations when applied to workplace-related issues. It provides the same type descriptions for different individual realizations of the same Jungian personality type, and the descriptions only have a general focus, not a workplace-specific one. However, in order to effectively apply Jungian typology to the workplace, type descriptions must cover workplace-specific aspects and reveal the specifics of the realization of personality type in a particular individual. In other words, two individuals sharing the same Jungian personality type may reveal substantial differences in how this personality type is realized, and these differences directly affect work-related aspects. Further, there are several psychological traits which are particularly important in the understanding and assessing of the work-related behavioral characteristics in an individual, beyond the Jungian dichotomies.
Jung Typology Profiler for Workplace™ (JTPW™) effectively overcomes these limitations. It goes beyond the 4 Jungian dichotomies and measures several additional factors that make it possible to apply Jungian typology in order to effectively assess an individual's behavior in the context of the workplace and to reveal the important differences even within the same Jungian Personality Types. JTPW Personality Radar™ visually represents the strengths of key workplace-related behavioral qualities.
JTPW™ enables a deeper and more accurate understanding of an individual's behavior at work and extends the application of Jungian typology to workplace-related areas such as candidate selection, team building, leadership and career development.
For more in-depth information on using Jung Typology for workplace-related problems, please read the following articles and resources:
Effective Teaming, Team Building
Candidate Selection, Best Fit
- Jung, C. G. (1971). Psychological types (Collected works of C. G. Jung, volume 6, Chapter X)
- Myers, I. (1980, 1995) Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type.