Understanding the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Part 2/4): The Dichotomy of Learning

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Yesterday we covered the basics of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the first dichotomous pair—Extroversion and Introversion, the dichotomy of energy.

The dichotomy of learning

The second MBTI pair, Sensing and iNtuition, focuses on how we take in and process information.

S for Sensing
Sensors love their facts. You concentrate on the here and now and what needs to be done. Highly practical, you are much more at ease with solid evidence than theory. You place more value on what you can physically sense (hence the name “Sensing”) over abstract ideas. There is always a bottom line with you. Sometimes you might concentrate so much on what the next step will be that you miss the big picture, but your pragmatism is appreciated by the iNtuitives who have problems translating their big ideas into reality.

N for iNtuition
(Note: Since I is already used for Introversion, the MBTI uses N to denote Intuition) iNtuitives live in a world of big ideas and daydreams. You get caught up easily in what “could be,” which means you can be highly unprepared for reality. You are much more likely to trust your “vibes” of a situation over what actually is happening. Always open to new possibilities and ideas, you are drawn to the metaphorical over the factual. You sometimes get so caught up in your big plans that you never do anything about making them happen, but your imagination and skill at picking up on patterns makes you invaluable when working with Sensors.

This dichotomy often makes itself known in academic and group work settings. The iNtutitives will often craft the “big picture” and what exactly they want the end result of a project to be, but the Sensors will be the ones who will figure out how to get to that end.

And just like with Extroversion and Introversion, there are no “pure” Sensors or iNtuitives. It simply indicates your preference in the majority of life circumstances.

Tomorrow: Thinking and Feeling, the dichotomy of decision making

For more information, please visit the Myers-Briggs Foundation. To take an online “MBTI-lite” assessment, you may refer to HumanMetrics or SimilarMinds.

Photo by: Jackie Long