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Resources for this thread (see "Course Resources" thread for links)

1. Tracking the Elusive Human, Chapter One, section on Intuition and Sensation.

2. Living Together, Loving Together, Chapter 7 section on the Four Functions, Perceiving functions.

3. Slides 6 and 7 of the slideshow.


Jung's first publication on psychological types identified the two attitudes, E and I. As it's generally possible to recognize these in oneself and others, these distinctions seemed practical and even helpful. There really ARE differences in the ways E and I types relate and approach things; knowing that this was "natural" was good news for both E and I types, who sometimes tended view their opposites as flawed, in certain ways.

It soon became obvious, however, that the two attitudes were much too general a way to understand human types. Writing decades later about how he came to further elaborate his typology, Jung observed:
Extraversion and introversion are just two among many peculiarities of human behavior.l But they are often rather obvious and easily recognizable. If one studies extraverted individuals, for instance, one soon discovers that they differ in many ways from one another, and that being extraverted is therefore a superficial and too general criterion to be really characteristic. That is why, long ago, I tried to find some further basic peculiarities . . . that might serve the purpose of giving some order to the apparently limitless variations in human individuality.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. I was also surprised to find many intelligent and wide-awake people who lived (as far as one could make out) as if they had never learned to use their sense organs: They did not see the things before their eyes, hear the words sounding in their ears, or notice the things they touched or tasted. Some lived without being aware of the state of their own bodies.

There were others who seemed to live in a most curious condition of consciousness, as if the state they had arrived at today wwere final, with no possibility of change, or as if the world and the psyche were static and would remain so forever. They seemed devoid of all imagination, and they entirely and exclusively depended upon their sense-perception. Chances and possibilities did not exist in their world, and in "today" there was no real "tomorrow." The future was just the repetition of the past.

And so forth and so on . . . I think we can all relate to the kinds of observations he was making. He genius was in developing a system to help us understand these differences, and, having already identified the two attitudes, the next step was to describe what he called the Four Functions.

Slide Six does a good job of summarizing what we mean by the Four Functions. Basically, they pertain to how we perceive(P) and judge(J), with two possibilities for each. This lesson pertains to the two Perceiving functions, Sensation (S) and Intuition (N). Let's briefly examine what we mean by these.

First, Perceiving (P) concerns the information we attend to in our consciousness. Sensation (S) has to do with the information perceived by the senses; Intuition is imaginative. Everything begins with sensation, but N types have their imaginations fired by the slightest sensory stimulation (or none at all) and then give more attention to the workings of their imagination than to what's going on around them. Just the opposite is the case for S types. Hence, two distinct profiles emerge, here, which are presented in the resources cited above. Sites like this one provide a good summary, and this site (Russian, and sometimes hard to access), provides the following helpful information:
SENSING: Sensors look well groomed, their clothes are selected with taste, fingernails are in order. Women Sensors have perfect manicure and makeup. Their gaze is focused and attentive, as though scanning the collocutor's eyes or the surrounding space. Their interests in conversations are practical (career, money, purchasing a new TV, cottage, car etc.). Sensors like to often call their partners and ask about the progress in their common activities – this is because they, unlike Intuitives, cannot replenish missing information by their imagination, and so strive for being always up on what's going on, to keep the situation under their control. Their workplace is in satisfactory order, but sometimes contains things necessary only for “garnishing the place”. In general, the Sensory function provides a person with sound egocentrism, practical thinking and relation to the necessities of the real life – and respectively, presence of such traits allows us to conclude that the person's a Sensor.

INTUITIVE: they are keen on ideas rather than practical needs, not “here-and-now” but rather abstract concepts. Non-focused look (into infinity or somewhere above the partner, which is especially observable on photographic pictures) is characteristic to Intuitive types. An Intuitive perceives general, large-scale, but does not perceive details. In conversations tends to make generalizations. Very often Intuitives are negligent in dress, their rooms are disorderly. Their speech, compared with Sensors, is more associative-figurative, often with humor or irony, rich in adjectives and nouns, but poor in verbs.

Lots of good resources material!



1. Which P type do you most identify with? Consider your test results from Lesson One and what you've learned on this one. Remember self-obvservation is probably your best guide.

2. What's it like for you to use your weaker P function?

3. How do you get along with people who are the opposite P function?
Posts: 3958 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ever since I've learned about Sensation and Intuition, I've called myself the Sensate Queen. I'm very much into the here-and-now, and have my set routines that I don't like disrupted. But over the years I'm finding myself getting a lot more flexible at going with the flow of those who have more N in their psyches. Still, if left to my own devices, I'd be just as happy in my nice, here-and-now, ordered world, and I often find it shocking that my N friends can't be more organized and aware in their daily lives. Smiler
Posts: 28 | Location: Sacramento, CA | Registered: 23 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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HI PEg It's Cathy, It's strange reading your note. Iwas just the opposite. I was always the most flexilbe person. In fact In a way I really still am but at this point it is rather difficult to be too flexible. I have to be more structured due to the brain injury and I find it very difficult, as it was not part of my nature. I have become routineized in many ways due to necssity in order to function but I find it difficult and my brain goes into peroids of inertia if I don't have a plan and timetable . It is difficult yet challengeing and I tend to fight it rather than go with it. As I want to do things my own way and it doesn't work that way..... I'm an adult ADD who has learn to compensate and work around things all her life without knowing why it was so hard to pull it all together. Now add my extrovert strong introvert leanings....intuitive personanlity to all ttis and tell me what you have....I just tild God you made me now tell me how to deal w/ me......Typical Irish personality I tell it like it is...Psalmist at heart... What do you say Phil?
Posts: 49 | Location: Baldwinsville,New York | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I say you're OK, Cathy. Wink

I had to chuckle when reading how intuitives dress. So many times have I been told that my clothes didn't match, my shirt was wrinkled, etc. Then there's hardly noticing what people wear.

I'm a definite intuitive type, but I've worked through the years on developing my sensate side. I like bird-watching, coding web pages, cooking and gardening, for example. A little later in the series I'll share how we often like to recreate with your inferior/4th function; that's the sensate function for me.

I forgot to mention that Sensates outnumber Intuitives quite a bit in our culture. Later, we'll see a chart that has the percentages for each type laid out; it's on the slideshow already if you want to jump ahead.

Let's hear from others.
Posts: 3958 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had an interesting example of the difference between S and N just last night. I, as I've said, am the Sensate Queen. Our choir director, on the other hand, must be the Intuition King. The man is so scatterbrained, always losing his music and not knowing what to do when! Anyway, I'm going on vacation next week, and I figured I'd give him something in writing with the dates I won't be at rehearsal or Saturday evening Mass (Tuesday the 22nd, and Saturday the 26th). Wouldn't you know that when I went to choir rehearsal last night, he had written down that I wasn't going to be there this Saturday (the 19th) or next Saturday; I don't know if he had anything about Tuesday the 22nd. I, Sensate that I am, went and looked at the email I'd sent him when I got home, just to make sure I'd given him the right dates. They were perfectly right. I couldn't believe he hadn't taken a calendar, looked at it, then marked the dates! Then I remembered our current lesson, and that some people just aren't in tune with these kinds of details. So I went from being irritated to being amused and intrigued at something that's so foreign to me. What fun to see how different we all are!
Posts: 28 | Location: Sacramento, CA | Registered: 23 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are people ever in the middle? or is the idea that the opposite faculty is developed over times consciously. I would say im definitely more of a scatty one and artistically ideas come but then you need the sensate part to put them into a form. Has anyone seen the film Neverland, JM Barries played by Johnny Depp seems to be an N type while his wife in the film more of an S...
Posts: 5 | Registered: 17 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi "young" Rachel. Smiler (I remember when I thought that 26 was old).

Yes, it's quite possible that people have S and N more or less evenly developed. Same goes for T and F, which I'll be writing about shortly. This kind of balance is generally evident when the contrasting functions are the second and third preferences. More on this in a future lesson, so hold that thought . . . and also the one about marrying one's "opposite" type. All to come . . . Wink
Posts: 3958 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Many members of my family cannot fathom how, as an INTP, I am a natural born ascetic. This generally plays out, for example, in my being able to skip meals without any distress whatsoever. When we embark on family weight loss adventures, I am able to leave everybody in the dust (you know, sugar), losing weight almost at will, though I have learned to do so healthily. The downside is, of course, that what is really going on is my out-of-touchedness with my S. I am actively cultivating more S-awareness. I very much identify with what Richard Rohr describes in terms of excess of spirit, excess of soul, excess of body, inasmuch as I was always afflicted with the excess of spirit but also a deficit of body, of somatic awareness. It has been rewarding to get in touch with this aspect of my self, paying attention to all manner of creature comforts. I suppose the upside is that, when I am paying attention, I, perhaps, am more fully relishing the now moment and the bodily sensations, more fully attentive, even with nonreflective awareness, to the sensate gifts from the Creator to us creatures.

Posts: 100 | Registered: 30 January 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Being an ISFJ, introverted sensing is my primary function...and is it ever! Others have commented how amazed they are at my memory (when something happened, where it happened, what so-and-so was wearing, etc.). It's kind of strange because it isn't something I have to work at.

More recently, however, my sensate function hasn't been quite as keen. I am 44 years old, so perhaps my intuitive side is trying to come out. In the past I have not often trusted my intuition, but I have been encouraged to pay more attention to my intuition and to trust it.

Extroverted Intuition is my shadow or inferior function. I'd be open to anyone offering suggestions as to how to engage and further develop EN.
Posts: 23 | Registered: 01 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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