Jungian Functions at a Glance

In this post we are going to flesh out the difference between the directional Jungian Functions (i.e. ‘Extroverted Sensing’ vs. ‘Introverted Sensing’).

Below you will find some defining words about each of the eight functions.


Ne vs. Ni
Springy vs. Dogged
Cognizant vs. Visionary
Including vs. Excluding
Observing vs. Envisioning
Chromatic vs. Wraith-like
Ever-inquisitive vs. Inquisitive-then-satisfied
From the one to the many vs. From the many to the one
Connecting the dots vs. Filling in the blanks
Dominant in: ENTP, ENFP
Auxiliary in:
vs. Dominant in: INTJ, INFJ,
Auxiliary in:
Extroverted iNtuition (Ne)


Introverted iNtuition (Ni)



Te vs. Ti
No-nonsense vs. Belabored
Marshaling vs. Analytical
Organizing vs. Piercing
Expediency vs. Integrity
Dominance vs. Justice
Pursuing goals without reflecting vs. Reflecting without pursuing goals
Dominant in: ENTJ, ESTJ
Auxiliary in:
vs. Dominant in: INTP, ISTP,
Auxiliary in:
Extroverted Thinking (Te)


Introverted Thinking (Ti)



Se vs. Si
Promoting vs. Retaining
Intemperate vs. Temperate
Direct vs. Indirect
Photographic vs. Impressionistic
Expansive vs. Habitual
Noticing vs. Knowing
Awareness vs. Recall
Dominant in: ESTP, ESFP
Auxiliary in:
vs. Dominant in: ISTJ, ISFJ,
Auxiliary in:
Extroverted Sensing (Se)


Introverted Sensing (Si)



Fe vs. Fi
Soothing vs. Championing
Appropriate vs. Sincere
World-then-ego vs. Ego-then-world
Norms vs. Ideals
Harmonic vs. Certifying
Dominant in: ENFJ, ESFJ
Auxiliary in:
vs. Dominant in: INFP, ISFP,
Auxiliary in:
Extroverted Feeling (Fe)


Introverted Feeling (Fi)


  1. Thanks for the awesome page, I love the the image and text comparisons. I think that’s the most helpful J-functions explanation I’ve seen– it clicks! <3

  2. Thanks for this great information , if u can put more pictures and more comparison items it will be great and i will be happy more. can u tell me from where i could get more same information?? what source?? :)

  3. Thank you.
    We don’t believe that there is a shadow side, though. Jung’s concept of the shadow is not explicitly related to his typology. What do we then believe? Well we hope to make that clear in our upcoming book :-)

  4. OK. So I will ask it differently – assuming the above is for functional aspects of Jungian functions (excuse the pun). Can you do a posting on the dysfunctional aspects?

  5. The pathological aspect of personality is typically more on the functional, more superficial level than pertaining to type. That is why we use the typology of Theodore Millon on the site, e.g. “Unusually for XXXXs NN also has YYYY traits.”

  6. So once again, the ENFP is relegated to two meaningless pictures. A magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat and a crying baby. What exactly is that supposed to tell anybody?

  7. Well the same goes for INFPs then as well. Just these days we are researching and restructuring the ENFP page and we take pains to how their serious and pensive sides as well as opposed to some portraits that portray ENFPs as mindless happy puppies. We also uphold certain science popularizes and inventors, whom other people want to deem T “because they do science.”

    Could our functional portraits be better and longer? Yes.
    Are we shortchanging ENFPs on the site? We don’t think so, but if you think so, drop us an email.

    As for the functions, well:
    Crying Baby: Purity of values. Maintaining one’s self-respect even in the face of situations where other people expect you to act otherwise (Fe the set table).
    Magician: Seeing the unexpected, being “one step ahead” with regards to the possibilities of the external situation.

    We’re sorry we can’t write more about this now. We’ll cover the functions in our upcoming book. In the mean time, we are adding more content to the ENFP page as we speak.

  8. As an ENFP who’s been having a bit of an identity crisis lately (as in, coming to terms with who I am and no longer wishing I was some other type), I can understand feeling maligned by a picture of a goofy magician and a crying baby. Does the baby represent me or the way I think? It’s confusing. But I don’t want to split hairs, I really enjoy this site.

    I do identify very closely with the idea of being “one step ahead” and my favorite pastimes are those that allow me to do so in a competitive nature. A chessboard would give me that impression, but since most people would see it as only strategy rather than unraveling the thought process of your opponent, that would be incomplete as well. Maybe a picture like this would be more appropriate. IMAGE

  9. It sounds interesting that you were an ENFP who wanted to be some other type. Which other type(s) did you want to be, and what did you dislike about ENFP?

    Although Judith Polgar is ENFP and a chess champion, we don’t find chess to be a precise allegory of Ne. Chess has grids and rules and the possibility of doing the unexpected is somewhat limited and you have to stay on the board. But Ne wants to go beyond the board ;)

    Someone else read our article and suggested this image for Ne. Perhaps it is better.

  10. Is it me, or do people who have an Inferior function in a certain area start showing some traits from the Introverted/Extroverted version of that function?

    Because of my Inferior Te function, I find myself showing more of the Ti traits than Te traits such as favouring “Justice” and “Integrity” over “Dominance” and “Expediency”. And also, people with an Inferior Ni would cycle through several ideas like an Ne user would, and people with an Inferior Ne would have all the persistence with their ideas that you would see in an Ni user.

  11. That is a hard question to answer but it does seem that people’s dominant function can sometimes take on some of the modes of the parallel function Ti/Fi, Te/Fe, Ne/Se and so on. This is not described in the literature, just something we have informally noticed. Our best estimation is that since the dominant function is the most well-developed, it can mime its way through some of the same functional roles that are native to its domain (Ji / Je / Pi / Pe) since that is the person’s “ground zero.” These elements are still foreign, though, and not genuine in the manner that they would be if the person was of the opposite type. A case in point would be how Fi users can sometimes apply a faux Ti standard with regards to third-world problems or oppressed peoples in general. But though IFPs can well don the garbs of Ti rhetoric, and even calculations, the driving force is still a one-way street beneath it all. A good example seems to us to be Portia’s defense speech in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. She appeals to “justice” to get Antonio off. On the face of it, she is providing an argument for why it is just to let Antonio go, but at the heart of it her partiality and passion are driving the works.

  12. Hmmm… this would be a great topic for an article! It would explain why sometimes people get confused between two types sharing the same Auxiliary and Tertiary functions. I’d also like to bring up that the Tertiary function doesn’t work the same way as the Inferior one does. For instance, an ISTP would show Ni more prominently than Ne but would sometimes show more Fi than Fe despite having Fe as an Inferior function. Fi favours sincerity, and ISTP is known for being a type which doesn’t sugarcoat things. But then again, people do underestimate the power of the Tertiary function.

    Incidentally, I was also wondering we can expect an Orwell vs. Hitchens comparison? You guys probably have a tight schedule and lots of other articles to do, but I’d like to know if it’s in the pipeline.

  13. Re your response at June 18, 2013 at 3:36 am – that’s interesting and answers some questions I had about my own type and functions, because I am an INFP who often comes off as logical. In reality Fi is my decision maker but I tend to present it as Ti because Fi can’t always find a voice, especially in academic environments.

    Speaking of academic environments – you’ve talked elsewhere about a bias towards intuition/against sensing. Do you think there is a bias towards specifically Ne or Ni rather than just N in general? This is just an impression I have, but the academic environments I’ve been in seem to favour Ne(/Si) over Ni(/Se). Or maybe that’s just my own bias talking.

  14. Hi there,

    The bias against S is not even confined to the academic milieu.

    People want to be N types, and they want everyone they like to be an N type. Musicians, athletes, even ultimate fighters – everything they like must be N and everything they don’t like must be S. It really is quite tiresome.

    As for academic environments, we don’t think that the bias is a bias in favor of Ni or Ne specifically, although the painstaking attention to detail often found in Si users *does* tend to come in handy when it comes to making sure that one’s references are correct as well as not making errors of fact that are irrelevant to the main point but which nevertheless serve to establish credibility. (E.g. one presenter on Jungian typology recently said that Jung was Austrian. This error says nothing about his proficiency in applying Jungian typology, but it is an example of the kind of attention to detail that must be exercised in order to establish credibility.)

  15. I have just taken the quiz on this website and was named an ENFP, and I too am having a bit of identity issues. If possible would someone kindly be able to tell me the symbolism of each image as it pertains to the functions

  16. I’m ENFP but my Thinking is totally of the Introverted variety according to this. Is that possible? Feeling is Ni Intuition is Ne but I much more relate to the Ni picture. Sensing a mixture but I hate both pictures.

  17. Who’s the TJ who chose the picture for Introverted Feeling? A bit discriminatory, maybe?

  18. Well, you can’t doubt its sincerity ;)
    New icons for the functions are coming. Some (Ti, Ne, Ni) are already published in the member’s content.

  19. Here’s how I interpret the images:

    Ne – Infinite possibilities pulled from a black hole.
    Ni – Many doors inside one building.

    Te – We’re making great time!
    Ti – Did you just feel a bump?

    Se – Feel the wave. Be the wave.
    Si – Collect data on surfing fatalities and shake head at surfer.

    Fe – Elbows off the table, please.
    Fi – Flips over table.

    As funny as the Fi image is, I don’t relate to it (as an INFP) because I rarely scream when I’m angry. If you’re alluding to Fi being more sincere, perhaps showing a mask thrown into the garbage might convey that better. That, too, might even be false since I do care what others think, though not nearly as much as SFJs do.

  20. Some questions that have come up for me:

    Do countries have types?

    Do intertype relations follow patterns?

    Do F types who excel in technical fields use their T functions to do so?

  21. This is great…but after spending forever trying to figure out what the definition of “chromatic” and “wraithlike” are as they applies to people, I came no closer to understanding what you were trying to contrast. =/

  22. Thank you soooooo much for the pictures. They helped enormously with understanding the concepts. I didn’t get it for *years*. A few seconds with your pictures, and I get it!!!!!

  23. I found this so interesting. Its funny though I can’t seem to get my life going in the right direction. It feels that my feelings get in the way of anything that will improve my living standards. I get the impression that others don’t want me as I am.

  24. My understanding of one difference between Se and Si is that Se adapts to the physical environment whereas Si has the physical environment adapt to it. So an example of Si, that relates to the Se surfer photo, would be someone at the beach wearing a hat and sunglasses, sitting on a beach chair with a book, a drink, snacks, extra snacks for others, and so on, in an attempt to duplicate the comforts of the home (the familiar) as much as possible.

  25. Ne vs. Ni
    Chromatic vs. Wraith-like

    What is meant by these? I’ve seen them a few times in descriptions of personality and/or functions and don’t have the faintest what they’re trying to get at.

  26. Also, I’m amused at all the Fi users complaining about the crying baby. I find it an amusing distillation of the function’s unwavering tenacity and lack of tact. A wonderful reminder for all us Fi users about what we need to work on ^^

  27. I’ve been a type admirer for a few years now, and after repeatedly reading post after post, and a book or two, I am now more confused about type than ever. Grasping the gist of the 8 cognitive functions seems to ever elude me. I guess it’s not uncommon for people to identify all 8 functions within themselves, even though in reality an individual will use 4 more adeptly. But I cannot seem to decide whether I’m an INFJ or an ENFP. I understand that INFJ is rather rare, which leads me to believe that statistically speaking, I’m probably an ENFP. I’m also highly distractible and have broad interests, while reevaluating my values and goals often, discarding those which don’t serve anymore for those that might. (Sounds ENFP.) I also had a heck of a time deciding a college major and took an inordinate amount of time to graduate. (Not very INFJ-sounding). But I consistently test as an INFJ. So too, I’m obviously looking for answers in order to be satisfied (at least when it comes to type!), which sounds more INFJ than ENFP. I ordered “Psychological Types” and look forward to reading it, though I understand it’s a daunting read. Any insight anyone can offer me to understand the difference between the functions better? Thanks.

  28. Maybe it also helps to mention that, when I look back on my childhood, I think I may have been an ESTP. I know you guys don’t give much credence to “shadow” functions, but I think it’s interesting that (for people who do attend to the idea of “shadow” functions) mine could have been the “shadow” of INFJ. Perhaps my strict childhood turned me from an ESTP to an INFJ? Perhaps being a female also makes it difficult to fully actualize a burgeoning ESTP personality, especially in a repressive environment during the formative years? Anyway, i know no one can type another person, especially over a message board, but if there have been any tricks or devices anyone has used to really help them glean what personality they truly have (when test results seem dubious), I’m all ears (or eyes.) Thanks for all the great material here!

  29. Do you have any published psychological reports to back up this method of dividing people into specific personality types?

  30. So let’s say I get typed as an S. S may be the trait I rely on but I surely exhibit some N.
    Are there any articles on what happens when more than one trait is strongly pronounced and what the effects of that might be?
    I too feel like I exhibit more Ti than Te, although the test says that I should be Te. Is there any research on whether it’s possible to have dormant traits?

  31. Esyl, I tend to take the view that a function is just a pattern of operation that’s ingrained in us.

    A way that we’re drawn to do certain things. Although they’re often talked about as if they were spirits or something that possess us (because they do inform our behavior somewhat), they’re not straitjackets that force you to do something, nor do you need a function to do something that’s typically ascribed to users of that function – they’re users of that function because it’s their inclination to act that way, ie. them being users of Function Xy is just a description of that preference.

    I’m bad at symbolic logic because of the way I’m drawn to think when I think in a cold, impartial manner. A Ti type naturally thinks a bit differently and that pattern is naturally better suited to the exercise and they’ll find it far lighter work than I do, for example. Doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it just runs contrary to my first instincts on how to assess and solve things.

    The same way, some people are naturally concerned about how others feel about things and that a group they’re in has a good vibe. I’m not wired to pay attention to that stuff, but I can if I decide to. But it’s not ingrained in me the way it is in some other people.

    As far as Te v. Ti goes, one is often said to be inductive while the other deductive, but people (rightly) protest because both induction and deduction, facts and theory are needed for proper use of reason.

    The distinction I tend to draw nowadays – apart from the ones in the tables above – is that Te is state-oriented while Ti is model-oriented.

    What I mean by this is that Te’s thought focuses on the state whatever system they’re analyzing has settled into, the properties of different parts of that system, and overall the situation at hand. It likes theory, but for the Te type theory is a tool to transition from one state to the next or understand what the next state will be. It starts from an “island” of the current state of things, builds a bridge of theory to the next island, and settles there. The theory of the general case is interesting, but primarily as a way to maximize or understand the current situation at hand.

    Ti, in contrast, concentrates on the model. Not what is, but how the stuff works is what holds primacy in a Ti type’s (esp. INTP’s) mind. They have a model, and building the model is the goal. The states are more just input and output for the machinery they build and maintain in their heads – oftentimes not interesting in themselves at all, only the general case is lucrative.

  32. I have become increasingly fascinated with personality and my only advice to those wishing to learn or know more about the validity of Jungian functions is to educate yourself. There is a lot of information out there and scratching the surface does little to fully unpack how and why personality or FUNCTIONALITY has been such a fascinating enigma for humans. Why are we the way that we are?
    I think its interesting to bring up questions of flexibility here, and I enjoyed admin’s comments on the use of a type being able to make use of functions to adapt through habitual knowledge of THEIR FUNCTIONALITY and ensuing methods of adaption. I often think about how people relate to one another in this sense – why do some people make you feel depleted, even though you are a fun-loving, gregarious people-person? Why do certain events or experiences energise you, while others make you feel as though you have to try hard to ‘just be yourself’ or ‘have fun’. So, perhaps a knowledge of how to access functions of the Fi/Fe or Ne/Ni, etc may very likely be plausible for every person, the output of energy (and here I’m talking purely about enzymes) to revert away from dominant function into axillary, tertiary or otherwise may be depleting or perhaps even anxiety-inducing.
    I am currently reading a book on the human genome and it is fascinating to me the correlation between our DNA and our functionality. One of the most interesting things that has emerged from this book is that our genes are influenced by us – by us and our environments – of course, we have always known this, however the extent to which this creates variety is incredible. People are, all, different and unique. It can be incredibly difficult though, to delve into the depth that is your own self and to see yourself and others reflected back at you with both such horrifying simplicity and such inexplicable complexity. My advice would be to take a depth breath and leap, though.
    It brings up more questions than answers, but thats usually the best part of getting to know yourself:)
    lunar (INF/TP)

  33. I’m a Japanese, and I’m not so good at English,sorry.

    I think the new page (with illustration) is “not impartial” especially about Te-Ti and Fe-Fi.

    This page (with photogragh) is very “impartial”.

  34. Come è possibile leggere una risposta “in chiaro” senza ricorrere necessariamente a sigle o indicatori. Vorrei conoscere una maniera più semplice per leggere “una diagnosi” in risposta al test.

  35. Federico,

    Ciao , il mio italiano non è buono . :) Conosci l’inglese? Credo che più persone capiranno e rispondere alle vostre domande . :)

  36. The only thing ‘advanced’ about any of this are ALL of the obscure words…other than that no different than any other ‘lesson’

  37. It’s from 2011 and we can scarcely be blamed for all the epigonery. On the other hand, it’s true that we could still improve with regards to adopting a more plain format of expression. :)

  38. Lol @ describing such a trivialising, reductive article as “advanced” while using an internet meme pic to describe Fi. Do try harder.

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