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Published by: Nuur Lana on Mar 21, 2011
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Fiona RossThe Framework
The typing of personality assumes a classificatory framework within which one person’stype can be compared and contrasted with another. The framework for Jung’s typologyhas a mandala configuration, a squared circle divided into four with a cross radiating to orfrom the centre, carrying the promise of balance, union and the connection of opposites.For Jung the mandala was an expression of the psyche and a symbol of self-realisationand individuation. This configuration creates the diagram of a unitary and centralizedpsychological field in which a person is operating.
Historical Influences
Jung was continuing a long historical development of applying a classificatoryframework to human personality and temperament. Some of his acknowledged influenceswere:
Oriental Astrologers
who classified people according to zodiacal signs presiding overthe elements earth, air, fire and water. This system was depicted as a circle with centre,cross and opposites.
who established the belief in ancient Greece that the balance of body fluids,considered as two pairs of opposites, blood and phlegm, choler and bile, determinedcharacter.
Gnostic Philosophers
recognised three types corresponding to three of Jung’spsychological functions: thinking, feeling (which was regarded as inferior) and sensation.
In contrast,
upheld the principles of love and faith but kept knowledge(thinking) at a distance.The eighteenth century German poet and philosopher
wrote of a nucleus (e.g.poetry) that could be separated out into its opposites. For example, poetry could bedivided into Naïve poetry, dominated by sensations, in which the poet is pulled into theobject, and Sentimental poetry which is intuitive and characterised by the poet’sreflection on an inner impression of the object. Jung saw a congruence between Naïveand Extraversion and between Sentimental and Introversion.Jung drew on the work of the philosopher
and the psychologist
in postulating the opposing attitudinal types of Introversion and Extraversion.Nietzsche distinguished between the Apollonian impulse which was introspective,creating an inner vision, a state comparable to dreaming, and the Dionysian impulse of 
unbounded instinct gripped by barbaric nature. James characterised two temperaments,the Rationalist who believes in abstract and eternal principles and the factual Empiricist.He tabulated pairs of opposing qualities characterising the two types. Although notagreeing with James’ characteristics, Jung also believed in pairs of opposite qualities.
Attitudinal type
Jung understood theory as an expression of the personality type of the theorist. He sawFreud’s extraversion reflected in his predominantly centrifugal theory, emphasizing astriving for pleasure in the object combined with repression of unacceptable wishtendencies. This contrasted with Adler’s centripetal, or introverted, theory with its centralconcept of ego superiority, supremacy of the subject.Jung wanted to create a psychology which was equally fair to both types. In 1913 hepublished ‘A Contribution to the Study of Psychological Types’ which consolidated hisseparation from Freud and presented his first ideas on differing types of consciousness. Inthis paper Jung argued that there were two contrary movements of the libido;Extraversion, with interest given to the outer world, and Introversion, implying adevaluation of the object world. These represented two habitual orientational attitudestowards the world; an outward movement of interest towards the object or a movementaway from the object to the subject’s own psychological processes. Extravertedpsychopathology was associated with defences against depression, whereas introversionwas characterised by defences against emotional isolation.
Psychological Functions
Jung conceptualised consciousness as a self-regulating structure present at birth, centredin an ego that expressed its ability to orient the psyche through different attitudes andfunctions. The four functions were presented as two pairs of opposites, Thinking andFeeling, Intuition and Sensation, with an individual’s dominant mode of functioningbeing locatable somewhere on each continuum. Functions had a compensatory capacity,with the unconscious function primed to balance unhealthy one-sided consciousfunctioning. The under-developed attitude or function was an aspect of the shadow andconsequently very powerful.Consciousness was seen by Jung as a product of both rational and irrational processes of encountering and assessing reality. Sensation and Intuition are the irrational functions inthe sense of their being perceptive, data gathering modes. Thinking (objective) andFeeling (subjective) are the rational functions: they are ways of processing informationand making decisions. Sensation tells us that a thing is, Thinking tells us what the thing isand Feeling tells us what it is worth to us. Intuition is about trusting hunches. For Jungpsychological disturbance reflected psychic imbalance, with neurosis over-emphasizingthe characteristic traits of a personality. One of the major tasks of the first half of life wasto learn to express effectively one’s dominant function and attitude.
Jung identified eight main types:
A brief indication of each type follows.
Extraverted Thinking
Principled, idealistic, objective, rational.
Introverted Thinking
Influenced by ideas, independent, often fearful of intimacy.
Extraverted Feeling
Adaptive, relating well to the external.
Introverted Feeling
Sympathetic, pleases others, may be dependent, reserved.
Extraverted Sensation
Realistic, concrete, pleasant and friendly.
Introverted Sensation
Calm and passive, restrained, controlled and controlling.
Extraverted Intuition
Enterprising, outgoing, can be irresponsible.
Introverted Intuition
Mystical, dreamer and artist. Can be obsessive.Jung classified himself as an introverted thinker with intuition as his next strongestfunction.
Post-Jungian Developments and Possibilities
There is a question as to whether psychological types could be linked to other typologies.An association with body type, or somotype, was made by Kretschmer in ‘Physique andCharacter’ published in 1921, the same time as Jung’s Psychological Types. Arraj hasexplored the possibility of an integrated typology including physical and biochemicaltypes. This could form a valuable link with susceptibility to particular diseases. (Arraj1986).Beebe (2006) has deepened Jung’s theory by linking function-attitudes with archetypesand archetypal complexes. Mahlberg (1987) has broadened Jungian theory in associatingthe four functions with the concept of morphic resonance, propounded by the biochemistRupert Sheldrake, whose theory is one of formative causation whereby the forms of previous systems influence the morphogenesis of subsequent similar systems. Mahlberglinked Introverted Feeling with sensitivity to morphic resonance, and Extraverted Feelingwith the ability to transmit morphic resonance.

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