INFP (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving) is an acronym utilized to refer to one of the sixteen personality type preferences. These preferences are based on the work of the prominent psychologist Carl G. Jung. In his book Psychological Types, Jung proposed a psychological typology based on his theories of archetypes.
From his work, others developed psychological typologies. Well known personality tests and their developers are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey
According to Myers-Briggs, INFPs focus much of their energy on an inner world dominated by intense feeling and deeply held ethics. They seek an external life that is in keeping with these values. Loyal to the people and causes important to them, INFPs can quickly spot opportunities to implement their ideals. They are curious to understand those around them, and so are accepting and flexible except when their values are threatened.
Keirsey referred to individuals of this type as Healers, one of the four types having an Idealist (NF) temperament. Their tranquil, reserved exterior masks a passionate inner life: Healers care deeply about causes that interest them, and they often pursue those causes with selfless devotion.
Occurring in only about one percent of the population, Healers can easily feel isolated. They value harmony and integrity in human relationships, seeking unity of mind, body, and spirit. Yet they often find these values to be out of step with the more concrete pursuits of the rest of the world, and can wonder whether something is wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with them; they are merely different from most people around them. Those differences—an ethical nature, a devotion to ideals, a commitment to harmonious interaction—are in fact some of their greatest strengths.
The INFP Personality
- As Introverts, INFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, preferring to interact with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and expending energy in social situations (as opposed to Extraverts, who tend to gain energy in social situations).
- As Intuitives they tend to focus on the "big picture" rather than the details, and the future rather than the "here and now".
- As Feelers they tend to rely on a personal, internal sense of right and wrong rather than external, objective criteria. They tend to make decisions based on feelings and social considerations rather than logic.
- As Perceivers they tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.
MBTI cognitive functions
Isabel Myers (drawing upon Jungian theory) proposed a hierarchy of cognitive functions where each of the personality types possessed a dominant function (i.e. the function which most informs the individual's personality), and then three more functions (called "auxiliary", "tertiary", and "inferior") listed in descending order of strength and importance. For the INFP, the functions are:
Dominant: Introverted Feeling (Fi): INFPs live primarily in a rich inner world of emotion.</br> Auxiliary: Extroverted Intuition (Ne): INFPs engage the outside world primarily with intuition, adept at seeing the big picture, sensing patterns and the flow of existence from the past toward the future.</br> Tertiary: Introverted Sensing (Si): This function gives INFPs a natural inclination toward absent-mindedness, and makes them more easily distracted.</br> Inferior: Extroverted Thinking (Te): This function helps INFPs focus on external details, but being the inferior function requires the expenditure of energy, so it's not often used.
Later personality researchers have added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined, but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For the INFP, these shadow functions are (in order):
- Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
- Introverted Intuition (Ni)
- Extroverted Sensing (Se)
- Introverted Thinking (Ti)
- ↑ Type
- ↑ Preference
- ↑ Temperament
- ↑ http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp#INFP
- ↑ http://keirsey.com/
- ↑ Introvert
- ↑ Intuitive
- ↑ Feeler
- ↑ Perceiver
- ↑ Functions
- Keirsey Temperament Sorter
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- Personality psychology
- Basic Concepts in Sociology (book)
- An Online INFP Community
- Description from LifeExplorer
- Description from www.typelogic.com
- Description from typetango.com
- Description from keirsey.com
- Research on INFPs
- INFP - The Dreamer
- "The Happy Introvert" about INFPs
- INFP Introverts - The Blog
- INFP type
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