Sensing vs Intuition: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Psychological Preferences

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Sensing vs Intuition

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assesses a number of psychological preferences to determine personality type. Two of these are Sensing and Intuition. While everyone engages their Sensing and Intuition faculties at different times, knowing which of these we use more instinctively can help individuals choose areas of study, academic settings, and a career path that may help them flourish.

What is Sensing?

Sensing types focus on information they receive through their senses. They perceive the world and make decisions based upon their experience of what is real and what exists in front of them. They tend to be quite practical, and learn via hands-on physical experience rather than cerebral concepts. Not surprisingly, they focus on facts, and sometimes miss out on an experience’s subjective or emotional qualities. They tend to have a good memory for their surroundings, and they are concerned with the present rather than the past or future.

With their visual and kinesthetic bend, sensing type individuals have the potential to thrive in physically focused careers producing tangible results. They may find themselves drawn to everything from construction to professional sports. Because of their linear, logical tendencies, they may also enjoy the more right-brained fields, such as mathematics and software, or professions in which the rules and expectations are clear, such as the military or police force. These suggestions are not prescriptive, or exhaustive, but rather illustrative of the types of careers that might be preferred by sensing types.

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What is Intuition?

Less focused on details and facts, and more on feelings and impressions, intuitive types are comfortable in the realm of abstract thinking. They prefer to solve problems by pondering them rather than engaging in hands-on experience. They connect to symbols and metaphors, and are more likely to remember the “big picture” of an event and the way it felt rather than the details that occurred. They’re the type of person who, upon arriving at a destination, realizes they didn’t notice any of the landmarks along the way, because she was caught up in an idea. Sometimes Intuitive types can be so focused on their world of dreams and ideas they fail to take action to turn those possibilities into realities. They may have a difficult time staying in the present, focusing instead on the future.

Intuitive types are often drawn to fields of study in which they can spend a great deal of time reflecting. They are also drawn to fields in which the answers are not “black and white”, but are arrived at by exercising the imagination and linking ideas and concepts. The humanities, such as English literature, and the social sciences, such as psychology and sociology, are some examples. They may pursue careers that enable them to engage their imagination, such as the performing arts and creative writing.

Both Sensing and Intuitive types have the potential to thrive in a wide variety of careers; the key for both involves ensuring much of their daily responsibilities engage their unique talents.

Information according to The Meyer-Briggs Foundation web page

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