The theory of MBTI?


Does anyone know of a good essay, article, document that explains the theory of MBTI? In its orthodox understanding?

For example how how the functions relate to each other, and why they were designated this way in the first place?

Like why isn’t it possible to be a someone whose main perceiving function is Introverted Intuition and main judging function Introverted Feeling or Introverted Thought (say why isn’t Ni-Ti possible?)


I wrote a piece that more-or-less covers this topic in another thread:

It was my attempt to correlate the Jungian/MBTI model of 16 discrete types with current scientific knowledge of how the brain and nervous system develop in humans. Cognition in humans (and probably most other mammals) works by a system of complex neural networks (a set of neurons linked together by a network of connections) to carry out important sensory, instinctive and cognitive functions. The way these networks develop in any individual is an admixture of genetic potential and early life experiences (e.g. nurture vs. neglact or abuse).

The eight type functions actually describe eight different complex neural networks that allow the brain to:

a) Synthesise vast amounts of incoming signals in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment (perception).

b) Analyse and evaluate incoming perceptions to build up coherent and consistent “working models” of perceived reality. These models allow the brain to selectively filter and organise incoming data into generalised categories, which in turn allows the mind to formulate opinions or make decisions (judgment).


I read your post, but I still want to know what the standard orthodox reasoning is. What was Myers + Briggs original reasoning?

So say your dominant function develops first, (Se, Ni, or whatever), why must the auxiliary function be the inverse of what primary function is in terms of extraversion/introversion, i.e. why can’t a Ni-Ti, or a Se-Te exist?


Have you read Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Myers? It’s the only source I know of.

[details=Low res photos from book]


If you can’t read the photo, the gist is, she derives the aux function from Jung’s quote:

“For all the types appearing in practice, the principle holds good that besides the conscious main function there is a relatively unconscious, auxiliary function which is in every respect different from the nature of the main function” (1923, p.515)

and defines it by:

“The operative words are ‘in every respect.’ If the auxiliary process differs from the dominant process in every respect, it cannot be introverted where the dominant process is introverted”

There’s more details scattered in different chapters if I remember correctly. But I suck at taking pictures.


Nah, I haven’t read any books on MBTI theory. But I think I get it now. From what I’ve read of Jung he was pretty big on ‘cod-dialectics’, i.e. dichotomies, balance, ying yang, male female, and all that spiritualist stuff that was popular in Weimar Germany and later Hippie America.

So I get it form his logic now. The auxiliary is the ‘counter/reaction’ to the dominance of the dominant.

So it’s sorta like if all the ‘energy’ (or whatever it is) goes into one function, it leaves a vacuum elsewhere that causes a reaction to balance it out (homoeostasis, or some sort of balance / reactive logic).

So to balance the dominant function energy has to go to another function, which is distinct form the dominant one, hence why it has to be from the opposite P/J and I/E square.

So Ni-doms can’t be balanced out by Se because it’s still a Perceiving function, and it can’t be balanced out by Ti because it’s still an introverted function. So a Ni-dom can only be balanced out by Extraverted Thinking or Feeling.


The 3rd link is about Jung’s theory with astrology.
it’s similar to what Blake’s been talking about on this site.