The Myers-Briggs personality test is popular with Human Resources departments in the U.S. Extrapolated from the thinking of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, everybody gets lumped into one of 16 personalities based on four dichotomies:
|Extraversion (E) –||(I) Introversion|
|Sensing (S) –||(N) Intuition|
|Thinking (T) –||(F) Feeling|
|Judging (J) –||(P) Perception|
I never really got the Sensing v. Intuition dichotomy, but now I've finally understood why. Here's Wikipedia's explanation:
Sensing and intuition are the information-gathering (perceiving) functions. They describe how new information is understood and interpreted. Individuals who prefer sensing are more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible, and concrete: that is, information that can be understood by the five senses. They tend to distrust hunches, which seem to come "out of nowhere".:2 They prefer to look for details and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data. On the other hand, those who prefer intuition tend to trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, that can be associated with other information (either remembered or discovered by seeking a wider context or pattern). They may be more interested in future possibilities. For them, the meaning is in the underlying theory and principles which are manifested in the data.
It finally occurs to me that I couldn't grasp this distinction before because I like all that stuff: tangible information, hunches, theories, details, facts, abstractions, wider contexts, pattern recognition, analogies, intuition ... it's all good.
But, that's also why I drive a lot of people into rages. They are at one end or the other of this scale, and they like being wherever they are. Somebody at the opposite end of the scale isn't really relevant to them. But I like both ends and flipping back and forth.
Jung tended to see hunches in rather mysty, murky terms: archetypes, collective unconscious, synchronicity, and so forth: a lattice of coincidence. I tend to see my hunches as just facts I have known but have semi-forgotten or facts I've only semi-learned. Jung didn't have Google and Wikipedia to look things up, but I do, so why not use everything at my disposal?
Anyway, even though Myers-Briggs is probably not an ideal framework, most frameworks do have uses.