8 Jungian Cognitive Functions- And the Best Careers for Them

8 Jungian Cognitive Functions

The eight Jungian cognitive functions, named after the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, are metal processes that are constantly present within a person’s psyche, regardless of recurrent happenings or environment. According to Wikipedia, Carl Jung’s theory of personality types have these eight cognitive functions as one of their foundations. In his book, Psychological Types, he grouped the eight cognitive functions into four main categories, namely: Feeling, Intuition, Sensation, and Thinking. Under each, the functions are further divided into extraverted or introverted tendencies, which he called attitudes. Extraverted tendencies are externally focused while introverted tendencies are internally focused. In this article, we are going to look at each of the 8 Jungian Cognitive Functions and the best careers for them.

As listed earlier, the eight Jungian Cognitive Functions are grouped into four, which are then divided into extraverted or introverted attitudes. The four groupings in a bit more detail are:

  1. Feeling. The first thought when coming across this word for most of us is any regarding a person’s emotions. And this is true. Individuals with the feeling cognitive function trust their guts and follow their hearts over their brains. They are kind, compassionate, and empathetic, with most of their verdicts tending to be based on the feelings of others. They care a lot about others, from family to strangers! The feeling cognitive function is further divided into two: 
  • Extraverted Feeling
  • Introverted Feeling
  1. Intuition. Intuitive individuals are full of faith; their hunches and “visions” provide alternative means of perceptions to sensations. Intuitive individuals rely on past happenings that built patterns to make a forecast of the likelihood of certain things to happen in the future. Individuals with the intuitive cognitive function like to discuss philosophical ideas that bring about different views and opinions. They are also quite imaginative and constantly seek new ideas and probabilities. The feeling cognitive function is further divided into:
  • Extraverted Feeling
  • Introverted Feeling
  1. Sensation. Individuals with the sensation (also referred to as sensing) cognitive function are all about what is happening in the now. What they can see and feel, what is tangible and what is a fact. They are simple individuals who do not fancy complexity, although they can also be quite imaginative. They are focused and practical and only at times dwell on the past or future if it affects or relates to their present circumstances. As with all the other main groups of cognitive functions, the sensing cognitive function is further divided into two:
  • Extraverted Sensing
  • Introverted Sensing
  1. Thinking. Individuals with the thinking cognitive function are intellectuals who deeply value knowledge, logic, and reason. They would rather trust their brains over their hearts, logic trumping emotion most times. They love a challenge; they could challenge themselves with simple things such as brain teasers or complicated things such as work that requires a lot of research and analysis. They probably seem like robots, but at times they will pick the emotional choice over the logical one, but this is rare. They deal with the people they’re in relationships with by employing fairness and effectiveness. The thinking cognitive function is further divided into two:
  • Extraverted Thinking
  • Introverted Thinking

The careers most suitable for each cognitive type will primarily depend on their strengths. Individuals with the Feeling cognitive function for example could make better counselors or therapists as opposed to individuals with the Thinking cognitive function. Let us now take a deep dive into the careers suitable for individuals with each cognitive function. 

Feeling Cognitive Function

Extraverted Feeling

Individuals with the extraverted feeling cognitive function are harmonious with their external environments. They “go with the flow”; they would rather go along with the consensus of the group. They mostly put their own needs above their own and with all this in mind, here are some of the careers best-suited for individuals with the extraverted feeling cognitive function:

  • Public Relations Officers
  • Actors
  • Television Hosts
  • Singers
  • Dance Therapists

1. Why Individuals With the Extraverted Feeling Cognitive Function Would Make Be a Great Fit for These Roles

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

Public Relations officers need to be creative, have excellent written and oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills. Actors need to be full of charisma. They should be charming, delightful, appealing, and enchanting to the audience. Just like with acting, a television host has to capture and keep the attention of their audience. Apart from the obvious qualities of a singer, that is, talent and confidence, singers also need to know how to create content that their audience will love, be entertained by, and cherish. Dance therapists need to have an excellent physique and be talented in dancing. Moreover, they need stability and resilience to work with persons that have mental health issues. Apart from having all these traits, the fact that individuals with the extroverted feeling cognitive function are well attuned with others and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills will largely help with all these roles. Since they also value the feelings and well-being of others, they will be able to build lasting relationships which are also crucial for each role.

Introverted Feeling

Persons with the introverted feeling cognitive function are not all that easy to describe, since this attribute is almost exclusively expressed inward. These people are usually the silent types who are quite difficult to assess. They are deeply personal and always consider what is right and what is wrong. They have high standing morals and strong beliefs. The best careers for individuals with this trait include:

  • Artists (various forms)
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Narrative Designers
  • Peace Studies Teachers
  • Poets

Why Individuals With the Extraverted Feeling Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

The commonality between all these roles is the need to be vulnerable, knowledgeable, empathetic, and truly know oneself. On top of this, their inward focus aids with them being creative and truly exploring the depths of their minds, which will help in being an artist, narrative designer, and poet specifically. They are deeply personal and intense and like to dig deep to the core of the human condition; this will aid extremely with being a mental health counselor.

Intuition Cognitive Function

Extraverted Intuition

Individuals with the extraverted intuition cognitive function share their ideas with the world; they like to think outside the box, brainstorming from one through to another, out loud. They introspect many possibilities for certain situations, so it’s quite accurate to say that they are open-minded individuals. They might seem jumpy, irrational, and quite random to others. Careers that will help individuals with the extraverted intuition cognitive function truly excel include:

  • Content Writing/Creation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Film Making
  • Video Production
  • Workshop Facilitation

Why Individuals With the Extraverted Feeling Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

Content writers and creators, filmmakers, video producers, entrepreneurs, and workshop facilitators all need that extra edge when it comes to creativity. They need to be able to let their ideas flow almost effortlessly and they should always be willing to take risks. They should be creative, think outside the box, and be open-minded to many possible outcomes. Individuals with extraverted intuition will excel at these roles for they possess all these traits and their randomness might help the work seem more exciting to them.

Introverted Intuition

Persons with introverted intuition cognitive functions are the opposites of their counterparts. They would rather keep their thoughts to themselves and fancy inward analysis of events, their thoughts, and things in general. You could say they can “predict the future” since their analysis of past patterns gives them hunches that are almost always accurate. They like solving puzzles and finding solutions to problems. The careers best suited for individuals with the introverted intuition cognitive function are:

  • Consultants
  • Detectives or Private Investigators
  • Economic Analysts
  • Forensic Scientists
  • Engineering Psychologists

Why Individuals With the Introverted Intuition Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

All these careers require analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, accuracy, patience, and attention to detail. These careers require multiple hours of deep thinking, and this is something people with the introverted intuition cognitive function are particularly good at. Since they particularly enjoy solving puzzles and problems, the inquisitive and investigative natures of these roles will always be having them looking forward to a day in the office, ready to tackle the big question of the day.

Sensation/Sensing Cognitive Function

Extroverted Sensation/Sensing

Individuals with the extroverted sensing type have a source of reward from feeling external phenomena; be it the taste of great food, the sound of great music, the feeling of the warm sun against their skin. They fully utilize all of the five senses. They live in the present moment and often make irrational decisions. This nature can be an advantage in times of crisis, for they can be able to quickly think on their feet and make haste choices. They are excellent under pressure. The careers most suited for individuals with the extroverted sensing cognitive function are:

  • Archeologist
  • Emergency Response Personnel
  • Firefighter
  • Massage Therapist
  • Stunt Driver

Why Individuals With the Extroverted Sensation/Sensing Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

Being a firefighter, emergency response personnel, and stunt driver require people who are in tune with their environments, can make haste decisions, and are flexible and adaptable. Individuals with extroverted sensation/sensing cognitive functions possess all these traits. The fact that they fully utilize the five senses will make them excellent massage therapists and archeologists, being able to use their hands and the sense of touch to effectively ease the tensions of the body and accurately distinguish between the different types of artifacts respectively.

Introverted Sensation/Sensing

Individuals with introverted sensation/sensing cognitive function often compare phenomena to past sensations. They are deeply nostalgic and often reminiscent of past happenings. A specific sound, scent, or even touch can take them back to the very first moment they heard, smelt, or felt it. They have impressive memories and excel in trivia games and memorizing historical facts. Individuals with the introverted sensation/sensing cognitive function can truly excel in the following careers:

Why Individuals With the Introverted Sensation/Sensing Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

A great memory is ideal for all of these roles. The ability to store facts and data in their subconsciousness will make these individuals highly competent in these roles, and much more like them. Also, a love for knowledge and learning, and visualization will help them excel in these roles, more so in the library sciences and interior design careers

Thinking Cognitive Function

Extroverted Thinking

People with extroverted thinking cognitive functions are highly analytical. They are thoughtful, tactful, rational, and love perfecting the details of day-to-day life. They are highly methodological, value facts, and always assess the pros and cons before making major decisions. They love challenging their intellect and that of others, pay great attention to detail and appreciate routine and step-by-step strategies. The best careers for individuals with the extroverted thinking cognitive function include:

  • Accounting
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computer Programing 
  • Law
  • Natural Sciences

Why Individuals With the Extroverted Thinking Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

These roles require meticulous individuals who have a strong work ethic, are willing to learn, and are detail-oriented. Individuals with extroverted thinking cognitive functions would excel at these roles for they would get to show off their intellectual prowess and also challenge themselves with the complexities that come with these roles. Their willingness to learn will also ensure they keep up with the latest trends, information, and technology required to always be at the top of their game in these fields.

Introverted Thinking

Individuals with introverted thinking cognitive function are highly subjective. They are holistic and agile and love solving problems. They also love to learn, often finding them buried in a book. Unlike their counterparts, people with introverted thinking would rather gather up knowledge for themselves, not to teach others. Individuals with introverted thinking cognitive function can excel in these roles:

  • Cybersecurity Analysis
  • Data Analysis
  • Language Translation
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology

Why Individuals With the Extroverted Thinking Cognitive Function Would Be a Great Fit for These Roles

A successful cybersecurity analyst should be highly analytical and pay great attention to detail. The same goes for a data analyst and language translator. All these are skills individuals with the introverted thinking cognitive function possess. Also, said individuals are rational, critical, individualistic and these traits will immensely aid with being a philosopher and sociologist. 

Conclusion

There truly is a role for everyone out there. Focusing on your strengths will help you figure out the roles that best suit you, just as we have figured out the roles that best suit all the eight Jungian Cognitive Functions. Carl Jung was quite thorough with his analysis so much so that his findings are used in modern psychology today. To read about the Jungian Cognitive Functions in-depth, pick up Carl Jung’s book,  Psychological Types.

The Eight Jungian Cognitive Functions are grouped into four groups. Each group is then further divided into extroverted and introverted attributes. Although from the same group, a function being extroverted (tethered in the external world) and introverted (unfolded in the inner world) makes each of their strengths (at times) significantly different. This in turn results in each attitude from the same group being suited for different careers. It however should be noted that the two attitudes, extroversion and introversion, used in the same group do not end up making the two groups too contradictory, with their similarities outweighing their differences.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the Eight Jungian Cognitive Functions?

The Eight Jungian Cognitive Functions are grouped into four:

  • Feeling. Individuals with the feeling cognitive function trust their guts and follow their hearts over their brains. They are kind, compassionate, and empathetic, with most of their verdicts tending to be based on the feelings of others.
  • Intuition. Individuals with the intuitive cognitive function like to discuss philosophical ideas that bring about different views and opinions. They are also quite imaginative and constantly seek new ideas and probabilities.
  • Sensation/Sensing. Individuals with the sensation/sensing cognitive function are all about what is happening in the now. What they can see and feel, what is tangible and what is a fact. They are simple individuals who do not fancy complexity, although they can also be quite imaginative.
  • Thinking. Individuals with the thinking cognitive function are intellectuals who deeply value knowledge, logic, and reason. They would rather trust their brains over their hearts, logic trumping emotion most times. They love a challenge; they could challenge themselves with simple things such as brain teasers or complicated things such as work that requires a lot of research and analysis.

They are further broken down into two attitudes: introverted and extroverted attitudes, totaling the Jungian Cognitive Functions Into Eight. Namely:

  • Extroverted Feeling
  • Introverted Feeling
  • Extroverted Intuition
  • Introverted Intuition
  • Extroverted Sensation/Sensing
  • Introverted Sensation/Sensing’
  • Extroverted Thinking
  • Introverted Thinking
  • Who is Carl Jung?

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author who founded analytical psychology. Born Karl Gustav Jung, his work largely influenced psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology, and religious studies. His work was not only influential in the past, but also today. He created the eight Jungian Cognitive Functions which are some of the primary foundations in the science of building personality type tests. Carl Gustav Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer. Many of his works were not published until after his death. Some of his works are still in queue to be published today.

  • What are Extroversion and Introversion?

Extroversion is characterized by outside stimuli. Extroverted individuals like sharing their time with others; they are often the life of the party, are energetic, and are mostly positive. Extroverts seek out social interaction and get “fueled” by it. Extroverts engage with their environments and feed off stimuli from people and events around them. They often take initiative in a group setting and highly value external validation

Introversion is characterized by the tendency to be concerned with one’s thoughts and feelings. In contrast to extroverts, introverts do not value external stimuli. They value their own company and do not look for external validation. Introverts are reserved and often stereotyped as shy. They would rather listen than speak and this makes them fade into the background. They are introspective, deep, and sensitive to their environments, helping them to pick up cues more quickly and in turn, be quite good at reading situations. After a while of socializing, they need alone time to “recharge”.

  • How Can I Know Which Cognitive Functions I Possess?

The Eight Jungian Cognitive Functions are used today as one of the foundations for many personality tests, the most popular being the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test. The MBTI personality test was made by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. This American mother-daughter duo based their findings on Carl Jung’s book, Psychological Types. Their research led to an introspective self-report questionnaire differing psychological preferences in how people see the world and make choices. The MBTI personality test yields 16 personality types, each with a combination of a few of the eight Jungian Cognitive Functions. The 16 MBTI personality types are grouped into four:

  • Analysts. They primarily possess the Intuition and Thinking Jungian Cognitive Functions
  • Diplomats. They primarily possess the Intuition and Feeling Jungian Cognitive Functions
  • Explorers. They primarily possess the Sensation/Sensing (also known as observant) Jungian Cognitive Function. Their second primary cognitive function is the Perspective cognitive Function
  • Sentinels. They primarily possess the Sensation/Sensing (also known as observant) Jungian Cognitive Function. Their second primary cognitive function is the Judging cognitive Function

Under Analysts we have:

  • INTJ
  • INTP
  • ENTJ
  • ENTP

Under Diplomats we have:

  • INFJ
  • INFP
  • ENFJ
  • ENFP

Under Explorers we have:

  • ISTP
    ISFP
    ESTP
    ESFP

Under Sentinels we have:

  • ISTJ
  • ISFJ
  • ESTJ
  • ESFJ

To find out more about the 16 MBTI personality types, visit the 16Personalities website here. You will then be prompted to take a simple test with multiple-choice questions and soon after learn about your and other personality types.

8 Jungian Cognitive Functions- And the Best Careers for Them

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