Psychological Type Dynamics and Behavioral Types

Carl Jung provided a framework, based on his observations of human patterns, for understanding human differences in a rational and constructive way.  Jung noted that the energy was distributed in both expressing and reflecting on life experience, which he called extraverting and introverting.  As he looked closer, Jung noticed that there were different kinds of extraverting and introverting which led him to his model of psychological types.

Jung noticed that human patterns revolved around eight kinds of energy patterns:

  • Critiquing and analyzing expressively about experience (Extraverted Thinking)
  • Empathizing and connecting with others actively (Extraverted Feeling)
  • Sharing linkages and expressing ideas (Extraverted Intuiting)
  • Focusing on details of the moment and expressing action now (Extraverted Sensing)
  • Logically organizing and prioritizing what is perceived (Introverted Thinking)
  • Ordering understanding by way of ideals and values (Introverted Feeling)
  • Imagining multiple scenarios and possibilities (Introverted Intuiting)
  • Verifying and validating information in concrete and systematic ways (Introverted Sensing)

It is of note that Jung took copious notes of what he saw (as in extraverted behavior) and what was shared by clients about their reflections (as in introverted behavior).  From the reflections, he noted that even those with an introverted system produced secondary behaviors.  This produced the further observation that human beings were constantly balancing their perceptions and judgments through their energy system.

Jung was providing a basis for understanding a psychological dynamic that is as natural as breathing.  Humans cannot at the exact same moment perceive and judge a stimuli.  Our brains–neurologists tell us–are wired as Jung suggested—some parts of the brain get excited through taking in stimuli and other parts of the brain makes sense of the stimuli.

What Jung proposed was that if you tend to orient you approach to daily experience with a perceiving lens (sch as Sensing or Intuiting that could be either more Extraverted or Introverted in focus), there were certain characteristics that would be evident that would be different if you had a primary approach that more energy into judging–organizing, prioritizing, categorizing– things.

And to Jung’s point, there is a “co-determining” influence that aided the primary approach that was a psychological partner to balance things out.  So if you first judged experience, then you were secondarily perceiving other aspects of the experience, etc.  This concept is pretty hard for people to keep in mind because it is so automatic and deeply ingrained in the wiring such that it is hard to “see”.

This dynamic produced these patterns—and for the ease of the MBTI(R) user, I’ve put the type codes in parens:

Extraverted Thinkers whose patterns were co-determined by either Sensing or Intuiting.  (MBTI: ESTJ, ENTJ)

Extraverted Feelers whose patterns were co-determined by either Sensing or Intuiting. (MBTI: ENFJ, ESFJ)

Extraverted Sensors whose patterns were co-determined by either Thinking or Feeling.  (MBTI: ESTP, ESFP)

Extraverted Intuitors whose patterns were co-determined by either Thinking or Feeling.  (MBTI: ENFP, ENFP)

Introverted Thinkers whose patterns were co-determined by either Sensing or Intuiting.  (MBTI: ISTP, INTP)

Introverted Feelers whose patterns were co-determined by either Sensing or Intuiting. (MBTI: INFP, ISFP)

Introverted Sensors whose patterns were co-determined by either Thinking or Feeling.  (MBTI: ISTJ, ISFJ)

Introverted Intuitors whose patterns were co-determined by either Thinking or Feeling.  (MBTI: INFJ, INFJ)

The consequence is profound.  From Jung’s proposition that our psychological energies have their own self-reinforcing system, the consequence is evident in our behavioral patterns.  By now, the evidence is ocean deep that personality patterns are persistent, evident from the earliest days of childhood throughout the lifespan. This doesn’t mean we don’t change–it just means that our psychological home base produces an automaticity of responses (which we can learn about and utilize).

Roger Pearman began researching with the MBTI® tool in the late 1970s and continues to do so today.  By accessing the database at the Center for Creative Leadership, Roger has collected multiple observational data sources and other self-report data.  He teamed up with Bob Eichinger and Mike Lombardo to review datasets collected from different lines of research that essentially produced the same results.  This led to the book, YOU: Being More Effective in Your MBTI® Type, and later to the team application, TEAMOSITY®.

Pearman and Eichinger have returned to the source of psychological type, reviewed extensive data sets—including researchers in the field of personality who have essentially settled on a parallel model called the “Big Five Factor”—to produce a framework called Behavioral Type.  Behavioral Type argues that patterns of behavior tell the story of the automatic way people approach life challenges and these patterns can be understood as Jung proposed.  For example, an individual  does not decide to be extraverted or introverted, it is in the wiring.  Pearman and Eichinger contend that if people see a pattern—whether or not it is a personal belief about how you are in the world—the behavioral pattern merits consideration and attention.

For some users of the MBTI®, this proposition is unsettling: a self reported “preference” is not necessarily a behavioral pattern.  And as important as it is to known your own mind, it is equally important to gain insight into the patterns of behavior that are demonstrated.  Pearman and Eichinger report that the vast majority of people who report their “preference” as one type or another in fact behave as that pattern would predict.  Some, however, believe themselves to “prefer” one type, while behaving in a pattern indicative of another type.  From the perspective of Pearman and Eichinger, such an individual needs to be aware of how he or she behaves and to reflect on how to square how they behave with what they report. (This is a very productive conversation usually leading to all kinds of self discoveries and insights, such as sources of stress and discomfort.)

While accentuating behavioral type patterns, Pearman and Eichinger do not in any way discount the fact that human beings can be agile and flex.  For example, and Extraverted Thinking may flex to demonstrate empathetic and engaging behaviors similar to that of an Extraverted Feeling type—however, such flexing doesn’t keep the individual from returning to his or her home base.

The MBTI® is based on the self-report of “preferences” while TEAMOSITY® is based on the demonstrated patterns of behavior that automatically control, direct, and limit a person’s approach t life challenges.  By owning one’s behavioral type, you can begin to understand the kinds of behavioral stretches that might be needed to work more effectively with others.  At the end of the day, people can’t read your minds, they can only respond to what they see and experience in your behavior, therein, is the focus and purpose of TEAMOSITY®.


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