Cracking the 4-Letter Type Code*

*Adapted from Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi, Understanding Yourself and Others: An Introduction to the Personality Type Code (Used with permission)

 


It is important to remember that the four-letter type code is more than the sum of four letters.

It results from how we answer questions along four dichotomies, Extraversion-Introversion, Sensing-iNtuiting, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving.

While on the surface each of these dichotomies can be described generally, they are not separate parts or traits. In the development of the MBTI, it was assumed that reporting preferences for one over the other of each dichotomy would give us an idea of the pattern of cognitive processes of the personality and thus reveal Jung's psychological type patterns.

Use the following diagram to remind you of the kinds of processes and what the letters mean.

One can "crack the code" in a mechanical fashion and for some people this is necessary for them to understand how the processes are in a hierarchy.

What follows is a step-by-step process for converting the MBTI code to the pattern of processes represented by that code.

1) Look at the last letter of the code. It tells you which one of the two middle letters is extraverted

--If it is J, then that tells you that the T or F in the code is used in the external world. TJ in the code indicates extraverted Thinking is the preferred process of judgment for that type pattern.

--FJ in the code indicates extraverted Feeling is the preferred process of judgment for that type pattern.

Some people say that J "points to" the letter just next to it.

If it is P, then that tells you that the S or N in the code is used in the external world.

--S_P in the code indicates extraverted Sensing is the preferred process of perception for that type pattern.

--N_P in the code indicates extraverted iNtuiting is the preferred process of perception for that type pattern.

Some people say that P "points to" the previous letter.

 

2) Now that you have determined which process is extraverted, know that the remaining middle letter in the code is introverted.

 

3) Now look at the first letter in the code.

--If it is an E, then the extraverted process identified in step one is the leading role process (dominant).

--If it is an I, then the introverted process identified in step two is the leading role process (dominant).

 

4) The other middle letter is the supporting role process (auxiliary).

 

5) The dichotomous opposite of the supporting role process will be the relief role process (tertiary).

 

6) The dichotomous opposite of the leading role process will be the aspirational role process (inferior).

 

7) To get the shadow processes, just take the hierarchical sequence of the primary processes and reverse the attitude (extraverted or introverted) of the process.

 

E/I
S/N
T/F
J/P
Perception
Ways of accessing information
Judgment
Ways of evaluating
Two Kinds of Perception
Two Kinds of Judgment
Sensing
Perceptions of
the tangible
experiences of life
iNtuiting
Perceptions of
the conceptual
aspects of life
Thinking
Judgments based
on criteria
and principles
Feeling
Judgments based
on appropriateness
and values
Two Kinds of
Sensing
Two Kinds of
iNtuiting
Two Kinds of
Thinking
Two Kinds of
Feeling
Extraverted
Sensing
(Se)
Introverted
Sensing
(Si)
Extraverted
iNtuiting
(Ne)
Introverted
iNtuiting
(Ni)
Extraverted
Thinking
(Te)
Introverted
Thinking
(Ti)
Extraverted
Feeling
(Fe)
Introverted
Feeling
(Fi)

*Adapted from Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi, Understanding Yourself and Others: An Introduction to the Personality Type Code (Used with permission)

 


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