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Sensors and Intuitors

This article is part of an ad-hoc collection of pieces based on Myers-Briggs temperament typing. At some point I may try and tie them all together into something more coherent. All these articles are filed under Types

These two terms describe how a person takes in information from the world. In Jungian terms this is the “perceiving” function. In Myers-Briggs typing, this is the second letter of the four-letter type (Sensor or iNtuitor).

Sensors

as the name implies prefer the evidence of their own senses. They tend to focus on the here and now. They prefer concrete information taken in through their five senses. They prefer facts and figures to ideas and theories. They prefer descriptive language to metaphors or more abstract constructs. They are more likely to learn things one step at a time, from start to finish. They focus on the details sometimes losing the big picture. To understand something they start at the smallest level and work up.
Focus on: What is.
See: The trees (But what about the forest?).
Their brains are like: The phone book because they are, ordered, sequential, factual.
Motto: Just the facts, please.

Intuitors

don’t exactly ignore the evidences of their senses but they rely more heavily on hunches or their gut. They link the experience of their senses to other things via memory and imagination. They focus on the big picture. They more interested in theories than facts and figures. They tend to focus on the future and possibilities. They tend to prefer metaphors to highly descriptive language. To understand something they start at the highest level and try to break it down to the individual pieces.
Focus on: What might be.
See: The forest (Hey! Don’t forget those trees).
Their brains are like: The Internet because they are connected but random. One thing links to the other but not in sequence.
Motto: That’s fine in practice, but what about the theory.

Apples and Oranges

You can see how communication breakdowns might occur if one of you is a strong sensor and one is a strong N. The S will be wondering when the N will actually get to the point. The N will be drowning in all that rich S detail. Both may have a clear perception of the topic but are using different languages (concrete versus abstract/metaphorical).

Notes:

Obviously most of us will be a bit of both. However, we all tend to have a preference for one mode or the other.
About 70 to 75 percent of the population are Sensors.
About 25 to 30 percent of the population are iNtuitors.
The ad-hoc way I am organizing these articles should give you a clue as to which (Sensor or Intuitor) I am.
If that is not enough then the “Their brains are like” metaphor should make it more obvious.
[I can see strongly sensing types going “But how can my brain look like the Internet. What the hell does that mean?”]
If you still can’t guess then I need to re-write the article.

Comments (6) to “Sensors and Intuitors”

  1. […] Sensors and Intuitors I discussed how people take in information. In this article I discuss how they make decisions. In […]

  2. […] a person prefers to use their Judging function (Thinking or Feeling) or their Perceiving function (Sensing or iNtuition) in the outer world. More correctly, it defines which function a person prefers to use in its […]

  3. […] (almost exclusively) were introverted thinking types. Indeed large numbers came back as introverted iNtuitors (e.g., INTP, INTJ). Given that iNtuitors are only 25 percent of the population (and introverted […]

  4. […] previous entries of this series we discussed Extroversion and Introversion, Sensing and Intuition, Thinking and Feeling, and finally Judging and Perceiving. In this post, we bring those for […]

  5. You alluded to the fact that Ns weren’t necessarily sequencial. I’m an N but also a J. So my brain is very ordered. With this, I come to points very well – my mode of communication is logical. I think not coming to point is more of a P trait?

    The way I see the distinction between N and S (feel free to correct) is that S tends to focus on what is, what their eyes tell them. They are very present. Whereas Ns tend to focus on what is implied. Base this on their own interpretations. So not necessarily as straightforward, black and white as the S. They read into things.
    Comments welcome (:

  6. […] don’t know how accurate the statistics are, but it’s been suggested that sensors are a lot more common than intuitives. About 70-75% are sensors, and 25-30% are intuitives. Of the four pairs of preferences in the MBTI, […]

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