Jung, Myers, Keirsey, etc. on Freud’s Type

  • Jung identifies Freud as both EST and INFP
  • Myers identifies Freud as an extrovert.
  • Keirsey & son identify Freud as ESTP.
  • Von Franz identifies Freud as I-FP.
  • Van der Hoop identifies Freud as ENTP.
  • Freud identifies himself as having Compulsive and Histrionic traits.
  • Theodore Millon (professor of psychology and creator of the MCMI personality assessment system) identifies Freud as having Narcissistic traits.
  • V.W. Odajnyk (author of ‘Archetype and Character‘) identifies Freud as INFP (early life) and ISTP (later life)* and as having Histrionic traits.
  • James Graham Johnston (author of ‘Jung’s Compass of Psychological Types‘) identifies Freud as a type with Te.
  • Walter Kaufmann (professor of philosophy, and author of ‘Discovering the Mind’) identifies Freud as “more introverted” than Jung.
  • John Beebe (M.D., Jungian analyst and editor of ‘The Question of Psychological Types‘) identifies Freud as ISFP.
  • Paul J. Stern (author of ‘C.G. Jung – Haunted Prophet’) identifies Freud as having Masochistic traits.
  • Peter Homans (professor of psychology and author of ‘Jung in Context’) identifies Freud as having Narcissistic traits.
  • Horace Gray (M.D. and co-author of the Gray-Wheelright Type Indicator) identifies Freud as ESFP.
  • John M. Thorburn (author ofAnalytical Psychology and the Concept of Individuality’) identified Freud as a Sensation type, Jung as an Intuitive type.
  • E.A. Bennet (author of ‘What Jung Really Said’) writes that Jung identified Freud as E-FJ. (Which is in conflict with any written record of Jung’s on Freud’s type.)
  • Josepth Wheelright (M.D. and co-author of the Gray-Wheelright Type Indicator) identifies Freud as a “very marked Sensation type.”
  • Derry MacDiarmid (author of ‘Century of Insight – the 20th Century Enlightenment of the Mind’) identifies Freud as an introvert
  • CelebrityTypes Admin team identifies Freud as ISTJ.

* Though Odajnyk seems to say in his book that Freud was an ISFP (early life) and then an ISTJ (later life), this is actually an error in the editing process surrounding the publication of the book. Odajnyk’s true assessment of Freud is as we have listed above: As an INF type with F dominance (early life) and then as an IST type with T dominance later in life. Our source is personal correspondence with Odajnyk.

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Historiographical Note on Freud’s Type

Like our assessments of Aristotle (ENTJ) and Steve Jobs (ISTP) we are the first to suggest the type of ISTJ for Freud and also the first parties to argue that claim within the literature. As with our other assessments, our type-assessment of Freud is now starting to show up in copy-pasted forms in other places on the internet (rarely with credit or acknowledgement) but when we published in (ca. 2010) there were no other parties arguing the claim.

Of the scholarly assessments listed above, most of the Jungian writers are probably not voicing an independent opinion, but trying to echo Jung’s assessment of Freud as either an EST or Fi Type. Most of them knew that Jung thought Freud was either of these types, but Jung’s full, later assessment of Freud (Fi with N) was not a point of public knowledge, even to orthodox Jungians. Similarly, Myers probably echoed Jung’s assessment of Freud as EST when she wrote that Freud was an extrovert in Gifts Differing. But that time, ironically, Jung no longer believed that Freud was an extrovert, yet Jung never owned up to his mistake in public, and kept saying that Freud was an extrovert in interviews, even though his private letters (published posthumously) reveal that Jung had really come to think of Freud as an INFP.

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As you can see, the assessments of Freud’s type are all over the place. As we have previously said, Freud is a sort of psychological sphinx; a man who had both advanced knowledge of human psychology and purposefully tried to hide his true personality in his conduct and writings. As such, the most fitting statement on the wide deviations of opinion is the following, as made by Jung:

“Freud is a very neurotic character. … This makes it hard to determine his type.”

Or by the philosopher Karl Jaspers:

“[To the investigator] Freud himself remains an opaque personality.”

Or as the prominent Freud biographer Peter Gay would have it:

“As every biographer of Freud must ruefully acknowledge, that great unriddler of mysteries left behind some tantalizing private mysteries of his own.”

15 Comments

  1. Axel: Yes. When we were just starting out we tried to make sense of Jung’s assessments. Then, as we researched further, we changed our assessment. :)

  2. Since some ISTJs sometimes misidentify as INTJ, it would be really helpful if you could write an article comparing Freud to Nietzsche. I imagine that might help clarify the confusion.

  3. I agree with Freudian. Freud was most definitely an NTJ. The only element I am unsure of is whether or not he was introverted or extroverted. There are relatively contradicting accounts of Freud’s social behavior and it may very well have fluctuated over the years.

  4. Changed my opinion.Freud is ISTJ because Enneagram 6w5 and Obssesive Compulsive Disorder typical ISTJ.

  5. As soon as someone mentions Enneagram I instinctively think “Retard”. At least Astrology has pretty pictures of planets and fishes.

    And “Typical ISTJs” don’t have O.C.D.

  6. Freud is an ENTP-Ti in Socionics (In Jung’s orthodox system, Ne-Ti-Fi-Si). Freud’s absurdly strong grasp into dreams, allegories, symbols, images is such a blatantly obvious sign of intuition (and NT temperament) that to type him as a Sensing type is a bit naive. His whole obsession with sex is characterized by Jung in the Psychological Types as a typical neurosis of the Si Inferior Function. Freud’s well-structured systems of ideas are a clear evidence of his Ti – despite the strong tendency of Celebritytypes to classify many great psychologists and philosophers as Te users, 90% of them were actually Ti users, including Nietzsche, Hegel, Heidegger… So, basically: Freud is obviously an intuitive, obviously a Ti user – and not a Te user, and Jung has never been able to figure out Freud’s type. He came close: he correctly guessed Freud was an Extravert (concretistic), Intuitive (abstract) and his Thinking was not pure (Dominant), but it was a bit uncounscious, unstable, paired with Feeling: (Ti Auxiliary – Fe Tertiary). Just an extra to demonstrate why Freud used Ti, and not Te: “The extraordinary impoverishment of introverted thinking in relation to objective facts finds compensation in an abundance of unconscious facts.” What were Freud’s most significant findings that changed history? The unconscious facts he grasped… How the subconscious works. How objective is that? Despite the fact that Jung considered that “objective”, it is till this day not considered scientifical and was not proved. Why? Cause Freud found only unconscious facts (Ti), and not objective facts (Te)…

  7. re: “His whole obsession with sex is characterized by Jung in the Psychological Types as a typical neurosis of the Si Inferior Function.”

    Can you quote the passage?

  8. “The unconscious of the [extraverted] intuitive (…) comes to the surface in the form of intensive projections, which are just as absurd as those of the [extraverted] sensation-type, only to my mind they lack the other’s mystical character; they are chiefly concerned with quasi-actual things, in the nature of sexual, financial, and other hazards.” (Psychological Types – The Extraverted Intuitive type)

    This passage demonstrates two things: first, that Freud wasn’t a Se/Ni type, cause he didn’t have any signs of mystical streak. Second: it clearly shows how the Extraverted Intuitive’s neurosis is often associated with sexual obsessive thoughts. It was not coincidentally the first aspect mentioned by Jung. In other words, Freud’s whole obsession with sex is characterized bery clearly by Jung as a sign of uncounscious/unstable/Inferior Si, and definitely not of Dominant/conscious Si (as in the case of an ISTJ).

    Jung was 100% right in his early life when he typed Freud as an Extravert and Logical, and also later when typed him as type with Extraverted Intuition. But him diamectrically changing his typings from SeTi to FiNe (absolute opposites) is a sign that Freud’s type was a total enigma to Jung, in other words, highly likely that he was wrong in both assumptions. He couldn’t see Freud as a Dominant Extraverted Intuitive because Freud was too neurotic, too immersed in his unconscious that to type him was extremely hard – he was not a natural ENTP – however, if you search for videos of him you can see his energetic animated extraversion and impulsive gestures. He thing is: Freud’s introspectiveness/seriousness/harshness can seem ISTJ-ish, which misleads people. This is because he was immersed in his Inferior Si function – what people could call the “Shadow”. In other words, Freud was an unhealthy form of ISTJ according to Jung. That’s how the unhealthy ENTP looks like. But my any means Freud fits Jung’s portrait of an Si Dominant or Te Auxiliar as I explained. It’s curious how Jung has never typed Freud as a strong Si type, neither of a strong Te. He typed Freud as 1-SeTi and 2-FiNe, in other words, NeTi is a combination that fits Jung’s (incomplete) impression of Freud’s type. Jung TYPED Freud as a Ti auxiliar type and TYPED Freud as a strong Ne type. But never typed him as strong Si or Te type. (I believe that, at the time Jung’s theory was still in an early development and he hadn’t fully created methods or parameters to determine people’s types with precision)

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