Jungs Theory Concerning Personality Types And Relationship Philosophy Essay


The following essay looks at Jung’s different personality types and their relationship with psychological disturbances. The personality types as well as psychological disturbances will be discussed. The essay will firstly lay out the introverted and extraverted personality types. It will then define each of the four functions of thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensation, and it will give definition of psychological disturbances. It will finally discuss Jung’s eight personality types and their relationship to psychological disturbances before concluding.

Psychological Types

When working in a Swiss hospital with schizophrenic patients’ community, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) took a closer look at the mysterious depths of the human psyche. He found out that besides many individual differences in human psychology there exist also typical distinctions: Two types especially became clear to him, which he termed Introverted and Extraverted types. He believed that each individual possesses both mechanisms- extraversion as well as introversion, and only the relative predominance of the one or the other determines the type. Therefore we all swerve rather more towards one side than the other; we are, as such disposed to understand everything in the sense of our own type (C. G. Jung, 1923, PP 9-10).

"The complicated external conditions under which we live, as well as the presumably even more complex conditions of our individual psychic disposition seldom permit a completely undisturbed flow of psychic activity. Outer circumstances and inner disposition frequently favour the one mechanism and restrict or hinder the other; whereby a predominance of one mechanism naturally arises". "If this condition becomes in any way chronic a TYPE is produced, namely a habitual attitude, in which the one mechanism permanently dominates; not of course that the other can ever be completely suppressed, in as much as it is also an integral factor in psychic activity". "Hence, there can never be a pure type in the sense that he is entirely an extravert with a complete atrophy of being also an introvert" (C.G. Jung, 1923, P 13).

General description of the types:

The Extraverted Type/Extraversion:

Extraversion means ‘outward thinking’. This specific definition varies somewhat from the popular usage of the word. The extravert’s flow of energy is directed outwards towards people and objects. Extraverts draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive their motivation tends to decline. "When the orientation to the object and to objective facts is so predominant that the most frequent and essential decisions and actions are determined not by subjective values but by objective relations, one speaks of an extraverted attitude, when this is habitual, one speaks of an extraverted type". If a man so thinks, feels, and acts, in a word so lives as to correspond directly with objective conditions and their claims whether in a good sense or ill, he is extraverted. He never expects to find any absolute factors in his own inner life, since the only ones he knows are outside himself. His inner life succumbs to the external necessity, not of course without a struggle; which, however, always ends in favour of the objective determinant. His actions are governed by the influence of persons and things. His moral laws, which govern his actions, coincide with the corresponding claims of society, i.e. with the generally valid moral view–point (C.G. Jung, 1923, P 417).

The Introverted Type/ Introversion:

According to Jung, the introverted individual is governed by subjective factors. "Introvert interposes a subjective view between the perception of the object and his own action, which prevents the action from assuming a character that corresponds with the objective situation". For introvert the world exists not merely in itself, but also as it appears to him. An introvert principally relies upon that which the outer impression constellates in the subject. If the subjective factor was ignored it would mean a complete denial of the absolute cognition. Therefore, Introversion means a turning inwards of the libido whereby a negative relation of subject to object is expressed. Every one whose attitude is introverted thinks, feels, and acts in a way that clearly demonstrates that the subject is the chief factor of motivation while the object at most receives only a secondary value. Introversion may possess either a more intellectual or more emotional character (C.G. Jung, 1923, PP 471- 472). When introversion is habitual one speaks of an introverted type.

Jung has termed the extraverted and introverted types as ‘general attitude type’ because they are distinguished by the direction of general interest or libido movement. The general attitude types are differentiated by their particular attitude to the object. The introverts’ attitude to the object is an abstracting one. He always withdraws his energy from the object. The extravert, on the other hand, maintains a positive relation to the object. The object is so important to him that his subjective attitude is continually being orientated by, and related to the object.

Jung’s further study into individual’s psyche tried to determine where the differences of individuals belonging to a definite group lie. He found that individuals can generally become differentiated not only by the universal differences of extraversion and introversion but also according to individuals’ basic psychological functions. These basic functions are essentially and genuinely differentiated from each other. These functions are thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. If one of these functions prevails, a corresponding type results (C.G. Jung, 1923, P 14). He believed that every one of these functions can be introverted or extraverted according to his relation to the object, i.e. external things, persons, or circumstances. Once again, for Jung individuals’ characters are or can be a mixture of these functions, and we can only refer to an individual being of a certain type when one function plays the principle role in that individual’s adaptation or orientation to life.


Jung described the function of thinking "as the psychological function which brings given presentations into conceptual connection". "It is a perceptive activity and as such must be differentiated into active and passive thought activity. Active thinking is an act of will; passive thinking is an act of occurrence". In Jung’s view "the term thinking should be confined to the linking up of representation by means of a concept, where, in other words, an act of judgment prevails, whether such act be the product of one’s intention or not". He termed the active thinking as intellect and the passive thinking as intellectual intuition (C.G. Jung, 1923, P 611).


Jung counted feeling among the four psychological functions, and regarded it as an independent function. "Feeling is primarily a process that takes place between the ego and a given content, and imparts to the content a definite value in the sense of acceptance or rejection (likes, or dislike). Feeling is an entirely subjective process, which may be in every respect independent of external stimuli. Feeling is therefore a kind of judging, differing, however, from intellectual judgment, in that it does not aim at establishing an intellectual connection but is solely concerned with the setting up of a subjective criterion of acceptance or rejection". Although feeling is an independent function, it may lapse into a state of dependence upon another function, upon thinking, for instance; whereby a feeling is produced which is merely kept as an accompaniment to thinking (C.G. Jung, 1923, PP 543-544).


According to Jung intuition is a basic psychological function. "It is that psychological function, which transmits perceptions in an unconscious way. Everything can be the object of this perception, whether outer or inner objects or their association. Intuition is neither sensation, nor feeling, nor intellectual conclusion, although it may appear in any of these forms. Intuition is a kind of instinctive apprehension, irrespective of the nature of its contents. According to Jung "Contents of intuition like those of sensation have the character of being given, in contrast to the ‘derived’ or ‘deduced’ character of feeling and thinking contents". Intuition appears either in a ‘subjective’ or an ‘objective’ form. The former is a perception of unconscious psychic facts whose origin is essentially subjective; the latter is perception of facts, which depends upon unconscious perception of the object and upon the thoughts and feelings occasioned thereby". Intuition can be distinguished as being concrete or abstract. Concrete intuition carries perceptions, which are concerned with the actuality of things, while abstract intuition transmits the perception of cognitive association. The introverted and extraverted intuition types can be differentiated according to the manner in which intuition is employed, whether directed inwards in the service of cognition and inner perception or outward in the service of action and accomplishment (C.G. Jung, 1923, PP568-569).


According to Jung "Sensation is that psychological function that transmits a physical stimulus to perception. It is therefore, identical with perception. Sensation must be distinguished from feeling but may be associated with it. Sensation is not only related to outer stimuli but also to the inner, i.e. to changes in the internal organs. It is, therefore, perception transmitted via the sense organs and bodily senses. A distinction must be made between concrete and abstract sensation. Concrete sensation never appears as pure sensation, but is always mixed up with presentations, feelings, and thoughts. Abstract sensation, on the contrary, follows its own principle and is detached from every other mixture of perceived object, feeling and thoughts. According to Jung, sensation always predominates over thinking and feeling, though not necessarily over intuition. He regarded sensation as conscious, and intuition as unconscious perception. For Jung, sensation is not subject to the laws of reason. He, therefore, termed it irrational function. A man whose whole attitude is orientated by the principal of sensation belongs to the sensation type (C.G. Jung, 1923, P 586).

Psychological illnesses

Psychosis and Neurosis

Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state involving the loss of contact with reality, causing the deterioration of normal social functioning. The term was first used by Ernst Von Reuchtersleben as an alternative for the term insanity and mania. Psychosis is not a clinical diagnosis of itself but a symptom common to several other mental illness categories. There are three primary causes of psychosis and these are caused by 1- psychological or mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, 2- organic conditions stemming from medical non-psychological conditions, such as brain tumors, and 3- Alcohol and psychoactive drugs such as amphetamines, and hallucinogens. Psychosis is not necessarily permanent, and occurs in both the chronically mentally ill and otherwise healthy individuals. Psychosis can be treated by the prescription of anti-psychotic medications, psychotherapy and periods of hospitalization.

Neurosis is a general term referring to mental distress that unlike psychosis does not prevent rational thought or daily functioning. Neurosis is not categorized as a mental illness. Disorders associated with the term include obsessive- compulsive disorder, depression, chronic anxiety, phobias and pyromania. Neurosis affects most of us in some mild form or the other. The problem lies in neurotic thoughts and behaviours that significantly impair, but do not altogether prevent, normal daily living.

A significant aspect of Jung's theory of neurosis is how symptoms can vary by psychological type. The hierarchy of discriminating psychological functions gives each individual a dominant sensation, intuition, feeling, or thinking function preference with either an extroverted or introverted attitude. The dominant is quite under the control of the ego. But the inferior function remains a gateway for unconscious. This creates typical manifestations of inferior insight and behavior when extreme one-sidedness accompanies the neurosis.

All the basic psychological functions seldom or never have the same strength or grade of development in one individual. As a rule, one function predominates in both strength and development. When an individual’s attitude type converges with one of the functions then Jung’s eight personality types are created. We will now try to describe each of these types:

Extraverted Thinking Type

An extraverted thinking man brings his total life activities into relation with intellectual conclusions, which are orientated by objective data. When he make a decision is not merely for him alone but for the society as a whole. He would have reached a formula, either through an objective reality or objectively orientated cause. By this formula rights and wrongs are measured. As the extraverted thinking type subordinates himself to his formula he expects all around him to do the same. Whomever resists the formula is unreasonable, immoral, and without conscience (C.G. Jung, 1923, PP 435-445).

Extraverted Feeling Type

For the extravert, feeling is oriented to external factors, observed reality and accepted standards. Jung considered women to predominate among this type. All thinking that might disturb feeling is suppressed. It is considered possible for objects to become so important that constantly changing feeling states result in accordance with the changes in surroundings. The basic ego remains the same and is constantly at odds with these changing states, giving an appearance of mood changes. The thinking function, primarily unconscious in the extraverted feeling type, is infantile, archaic, and negative; when contradictory feeling states occur, the most negative thoughts released from the unconscious are directed toward the most valued objects of feeling. Hysteria is considered the principal form of neurosis for this type (Jung, 1971, PP 354-359).

Extraverted Sensation Type

Although the sensation function is dependent on both subject and object, in the extraverted type the subjective aspect is repressed. Those objects that excite the strongest sensations are decisive in orienting the individual's psychology, and they are always concrete objects. Intuition is considered to be the secondary function most repressed. Usually observed in men, this type appears easy going, rational, and if normal, well-adjusted to reality. If sensory bondage to the object is extreme, the unconscious intuitive function is forced out of its compensatory role and into open opposition. The repressed intuitive factor appears as projections; phobias and compulsion systems emerge from other repressed inferior functions. The resulting neurosis is considered hard to treat rationally, because reason is undifferentiated for the extraverted sensation type (Jung, 1971, PP 362-366).

Extraverted Intuitive Type

Extraverted intuitive type tries to see the widest range of possibilities in an objective situation. Stable conditions suffocate the intuitive extravert, and his concern for the welfare of others is weak. Both thinking and feeling are inferior functions for him, unable as he is to modify his vision with judgment. On the conscious level, intuition is an attitude of expectancy and vision; however, intuition is mainly an unconscious process transmitting perceptions of relations between things that could not be seen in any other way. Sensation, as the greatest hindrance to insight, is largely suppressed. When the intuitive dimension dominates, the undifferentiated repressed functions of thinking and feeling break out in projections and compulsions somewhat like those of the sensation type. Hypochondriacal ideas and inexplicable bodily sensations may result (Jung, 1971, PP 366-370).

Introverted Thinking Type

The introverted thinker is more interested in producing new views than new facts. With a tendency to force facts into the shape of his private images, the introvert can fall prey to mystical thinking. Kant is offered as an example of the normal introverted thinking type, strongly influenced by ideas having a subjective foundation. This type is found to be often impractical not only neglecting the object, but defending against it unnecessarily. However coherent the inner structure of his thought, the introvert does not clearly understand how to communicate it to the world of reality. In personal relations he is described as reserved, domineering and inconsiderate, appreciated only by his intimates. With more intense members of this type, convictions become more rigid, and they shut off outside influences completely. Up to a point, their thinking is positive and synthetic, producing ideas that reflect the primordial images; but when totally divorced from objective experience, the ideas become mythological and unintelligible to others (Jung, 1971, PP 380-387).

Introverted Feeling Type

Principally guided by subjective factors, introverted feeling can be inferred only indirectly, as it seldom appears on the surface. It aims to subordinate the object in order to realize underlying images. It is found that the introverted feeling type is usually a woman, silent, inaccessible and giving an impression of pleasing repose unless the object is too strong. In such cases the obvious turning of her feeling away from it would make her appear indifferent and cold. Unrestrained passion is taboo for her, although her feelings are intensive rather than extensive. Her passions may flow into her children, but are generally secretive. When the unconscious subject is identified with the ego, the individual becomes a despot and ultimately neurotic. In this type, unconscious thinking takes the form of archaic consciousness that helps compensate for the exaltation of the ego; however, if the ego assumes the subject, projection occurs; the power of the object is felt; and elaborate counterplots are produced by the ego as defenses. The neurosis is usually found to be neurasthenic, with severe physical complications (Jung, 1971, PP 387-391)

Introverted Sensation Type

Introverted sensation types dwell predominantly on the subjective aspects of perception so that the object becomes secondary to the excitation produced by it. A subjective perception is defined by the meaning associated with it rather than by the mere image of the object represented; this meaning is not consciously developed, but springs from a primordial psychic organization. Therefore, no proportional relation exists between object and sensation for the introverted sensation type, and such an individual may seem unpredictable and arbitrary. The intervention of the unconscious is seen to cause even a normal introverted sensation type to act according to an unconscious model and not the real environment; further, his lack of comparative judgment leaves him unaware of his alienation from reality. When extreme detachment for the object occurs, intuition is repressed into the unconscious and has an extraverted and archaic quality, producing compulsive ideas of the most perverse kind, and usually resulting in a compulsion neurosis (Jung, 1971. PP 393-398).

Introverted Intuitive Type

Introverted intuitive type excludes sensation and perceives the world by filtering sensory information through the background processes of consciousness, which consist of primordial archetypal images; these images take on the reality of things for the intuitive introvert. An artist is described as a typical representative of this type. Ordinarily there is little inclination to transmit these images to the world, but when there is, a different type of individual is produced, one who attempts to relate himself to his visions and find meaning in them while remaining unadapt to everyday reality. The psychological danger of this type is considered to result in the extreme suppression of sensation. Normally this serves to compensate the conscious introverted attitude; but if it cannot, the unconscious becomes excessively dependent on the object, causing a compulsion neurosis with hypochondriacal symptoms (Jung, 1971, PP 398-403).

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Despite criticisms of Jung’s psychology, his ideas have been enormously popular. Jungian typology has led to the development of highly accurate personality profiling, such as the Myers-Briggs Type indicator, and has contributed to the development of psychometric testing, the use of which is widespread in human resources departments for assessing the suitability of job employment.

It is important to realise that no-one fully knows the extent to which personality is determined by genetics and hereditary factors, compared to the effects of up-bringing, culture, environment and experience. Given that perhaps half our personality is determined by influences acting upon us after we are conceived and born, it's interesting and significant also that no-one actually knows the extent to which personality changes over time. Certainly childhood is highly influential in forming personality. Certainly major trauma at any stage of life can change a person's personality quite fundamentally. Certainly many people seem to mature emotionally with age and experience. Can we draw the line and say a personality is fixed and firm? The answer is that we can't.

Moreover, unless the therapist has seen a client for a very long time, it is an intricate task to put the client in one of the personality type categories. Is it practical for the hypno-Psychotherapists to use the Myers-Briggs type indicator to understand within which category their clients fit before starting the therapy? The answer is that it is not practical. It is, therefore, taxing for psychotherapists and hypnotherapists to realistically recognize their clients’ personality types, to make any kind of diagnosis, and to offer them subsequent treatment. By the time the practitioner understands their client’s personality and his type, the client expects to have received treatment. Although, Jung’s theories about personality are used widely in psychometrics and personality testing, unless a patient is treated as either an inpatient where the practitioner has abundance of time to assess him, or the patient is very wealthy that he does not mind to be assessed by a therapist for a considerable amount of time we cannot expect therapists to realistically use Jung’s personality type theories, as much as they could be valuable, to treat patients. Does Jung’s theory on personality type have a relationship with psychological illnesses? Jung believed that it does and he came to this conclusion after many years of working with people who were suffering from psychological illnesses. Can we use his theory and apply it in our every day treatment of our patients? The answer is that the practicality of its use by hypno-psychotherapists should be greeted with skepticism.