Theories of Personality: Carl Jung
Carl Jung was a psychologist who identified a series of eight patterns that determine how the mind works, by combining the opposing pairs of functions and attitudes. These patterns are the foundation of his theory, which states that the mind alternates between taking in information and making decisions in the internal and external worlds. In his publication, Psychological Types, he worked to describe the way individuals are characterized by the way their minds “habitually prefer one pattern over another.” The eight attitudes or states of behavior detailed in the publication are categorized into two opposing columns: introversion and extraversion. Jung defines extraversion as our energy moving towards the outer layer of the world, while introversion is our energy moving towards the inner layer of the world. The degree to which the mind is attuned in either way determines the “foundational aspect” of human personality.

Jung developed a second layer of classification known as perception to account for differences in behavior between individuals that exist despite the preference between the energy of either extraversion or introversion. Perception is divided into two groups: sensing perception, which includes collecting concrete, factual information utilizing the five senses, and intuitive perception, which includes connecting the meanings behind what the sensory perception tells us. Once the mind has collected its information, this inference is then divided into Jung’s two opposing categories of judgment: thinking and feeling. Thinking judgment is the way in which the mind evaluates information through the application of logical and objective criteria, while feeling judgment is the way in which the mind evaluates information through the consideration of what it believes to be important.

Individuals are predisposed to prefer one of the four judgments/perceptions over all others, and a therapist can work with a client to determine the specific combination that suits their mental preferences through type code hierarchy. The eight function-attitudes include extraverted sensing, introverted sensing, extraverted intuition, introverted intuition, extraverted thinking, introverted thinking, extraverted feeling, and introverted feeling. According to Jung, individuals have the potential to experience fatigue and/or depletion of energy when non-dominant mental functions are utilized for too great of a time.

As a whole, Jung’s theory of personality focuses on the way the mind adapts and orients itself to the surrounding world, as well as how individuals are pre-disposed to prefer one of the four judgments/perceptions over all others. Understanding the way in which individuals function and perceive the world is crucial in the development of effective therapies and interventions.

Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and Personality (2nd ed.). New York: Harper & Row Publishers.
Hall, C. S., & Lindzey, G. (1970). Theories of Personality. New York: Wiley.
MBIT Type Today. (n.d.). Carl Jung and Psychological Types. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Instrument. Retrieved August 26, 2016 from indicator/..
Allport, G. W. (1961). Pattern and growth in personality. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

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