The MBTI Cognitive Functions (A complete guide)

In this article, we will explore the 8 MBTI cognitive functions in detail. This article will also explore the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior cognitive functions of each Myers Briggs personality type.

The 8 MBTI functions

The Judging Functions (Ti, Te, Fi, Fe)

The judging functions are Thinking (Ti, Te) and Feeling (Fi, Fe).

The judging functions help us make judgments and reach conclusions relying on the knowledge we have acquired. They are linked to an ability to consciously alter, influence, anticipate, or direct the sequence of events. In our ability to move toward a response, judgement, or goal, we often shut ourselves off to fresh knowledge (we don’t use the Perceiving function) by utilising our Judging function.

The Perceiving Functions (Si, Se, Ni, Ne)

The perceiving functions are Sensing (Si, Se) and Intuition (Ni, Ne).

The Perceiving functions are in charge of absorbing and extracting information. Perceiving activities include things like watching butterflies, smelling roses, reading books, and remembering things from memory. Unlike the Judging functions, the Perceiving functions are associated with processing life and knowledge rather than consciously influencing or manipulating it.

Introverted Functions (Si, Ni, Ti, Fi)

Introverted Sensing (Si) builds on previous firsthand knowledge, the “tried and tested,” eliminating the need to search out novel or diverse experiences on a regular basis.

Introverted intuition (Ni) recognises and understands the concepts, trends, and insights that come from within. INJs may feel less inclined to read heavily because their source of N content is extracted from the inside and divined from within.

Introverted Thinking (Ti) is associated with personal efficiency and internal logic. Its approaches are more personalised and, as a result, less universal than Te’s.

Internal harmony is the subject of Introverted Feeling (Fi). Fi is intrapersonal, while Fe is concerned with interpersonal affairs. It focuses on the individual’s beliefs, desires, and emotions.

Extraverted Functions (Se, Ne, Te, Fe)

Extraverted Sensing (Se) pursues external stimuli in the form of unfamiliar views, smells, flavors, and experiences.

Extraverted Intuition (Ne) is a form of intuition that seeks out fresh insights, trends, and opportunities in the external world. As Ne builds on established ideas and hypotheses, Ne types commonly read widely to gain a deep or complex awareness.

Extraverted Thinking (Te) aims to improve the efficiency and rationality of external activities. Its “systematic” techniques can be used to make almost every company or organisation more realistic.

Extraverted Feeling (Fe) examines a wide range of human emotions. Its aim is to promote harmonious interpersonal relationship amongst individuals.

Extroverted Sensing (Se)

Extroverted sensing is the process of absorbing information in the actual world through the senses of taste, touch, scent, vibration, motion, and vision. These people are keen observers, picking up on information that some overlook, and some even have flashbulb memories. They enjoy a sense of adventure, playfulness, novel adventures, and material possessions.

Introverted Sensing (Si)

Introverted sensing is the process of trying to understand the environment based on prior knowledge and experience. Routine, custom, organisation, and laws are beneficial to introverted sensors. They are always in touch with their bodies and have unique ways of doing tasks that help them get the task done. They are trustworthy, vigilant, and accountable.

They become enamoured of established ways of doing things, which drives them to preserve and uphold customs and norms. Si can be found more abstract and less tangible than Se due to their consideration and reverence for the recalled history.

Extroverted Thinking (Te)

Extroverted thinking is the act of expressing one’s thoughts to another by reasoning, rationale, and interpretation. Extroverted thinkers are straightforward, simple, and unaffected by emotions. They are often accomplished orators and authors of well-considered, well-researched theories and hypotheses. Extroverted thinkers enjoy persuading others of their viewpoints and putting novel theories into action.

Te is more positivistic and forward-thinking, seeking to develop concepts, strategies, programs, designations, processes, and so on, while Ti is still going backwards to challenge and explain underlying theories and conclusions. It meticulously explains how to get from here to there, no matter how many charts, markers, and directions as are needed.

Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Introverted thinking is a cognitive function that aims to comprehend personal thoughts through the use of a well-defined context. Introverted thinkers are continually digging their inner thoughts in an effort to be logical and realistic, gradually leaving out all possibilities before arriving at their own definitive conclusions (which they are frequently hesitant to share).

They believe that attempting to construct a system of thoughts on a shaky logical foundation is futile. This is particularly true of NTPs, who find it convenient to spot contradictions or rational flaws—in other words, to say what is false—than to recognise and boldly proclaim what is correct. Though their cynicism is often strong and radical, their positivist approach is traditional and minimalist.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

Extroverted intuition sometimes entails identifying themes, signs, and associations in the universe that most would miss. Extroverted intuitives thrive on the unknown, and they often articulate themselves in a tangled mess of thoughts or relentless outward brainstorming. They can talk about a lot of things they like doing, but they never do them. It’s just part of the process for them to arrive at the desired response.

Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The most enigmatic and mysterious of all the MBTI functions is Introverted Intuition. Those with this function seem to make inferences without having a clear understanding as to how they arrived at them. They are smart, convinced, and still have a strategy in mind to move toward a larger goal and to construct and appreciate dynamic structures.

Introverted intuition has been defined as understanding without understanding how and having thoughts without thinking.

Introverted intuitives are constantly thinking and often have lightbulb moments where ideas appear out of nowhere.

Since Ni does all of its work at a subconscious level, it is often thought to have a metaphysical or mystical nature. Ni, on the other hand, may not have to be regarded as magical or mythical in any way. 

The information given by NJs’ other functions, especially their Se, which gathers concrete data from the immediate environment that serves as raw material for their Ni, is used to produce Ni intuitions.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe)

Harmonious relationships, connecting people, and empathy are all things that the extroverted feeling functon is associated with. Extroverted feelers are excellent at detecting other people’s emotions; they are strong empathisers who soak up the emotions of those around them to the extent where they can’t tell which ones are their own. They are usually very social and can quickly help resolve disputes.

Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Introverted feeling is a function that is associated with individuality, authenticity, and ideals. Introverted feelers are confident in their beliefs, have a good sense of confidence, and can readily accept their own emotional experiences. They are frequently vocal advocates who enjoy supporting those who are in need.

MBTI Functions in The 16 Personality Types

Dominant function

The dominant function is the very first in the stack, and it is the most dominant one you use so frequently that you may not even notice it.

Auxiliary function

The auxiliary function, which aids the dominant function in expressing thoughts and is often quite potent in your personality, is the second function.

Tertiary function

The third function is the tertiary function, which is somewhat undeveloped at first but becomes more pronounced when you get older and more mature.

Inferior function

The fourth function is your inferior function, which is difficult to reach and therefore only surfaces when you are stressed.

The Types And Their Functions

Given below are the 16 personality types and their function stacks (in sequence; dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, inferior functions)

INTJ: Ni > Te > Fi > Se

INFJ:  Ni > Fe > Ti > Se

ENTJ: Te > Ni > Se > Fi

ENFJ:  Fe > Ni > Se > Ti

ENTP:  Ne > Ti > Fe > Si

INTP: Ti > Ne > Si > Fe

INFP:  Fi > Ne > Si > Te

ENFP: Ne > Fi > Te > Si

ESTP: Se > Ti > Fe > Ni

ESFP: Se > Fi > Te > Ni

ISTP: Ti > Se > Ni > Fe

ISFP: Fi > Se > Ni > Te

ISFJ:  Si > Fe > Ti > Ne

ESFJ:  Fe > Si > Ne > Ti

ESTJ:  Te > Si > Ne > Fi

ISTJ:  Si > Te > Fi > Ne


In this article, we explored the 8 MBTI cognitive functions in detail. This article also explored the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior cognitive functions of each Myers Briggs personality type.

Frequently Asked Questions: MBTI Cognitive Functions

How do MBTI cognitive functions work?

People use various cognitive functions to view the environment and make judgments, according to Jung. Observer and decider functions are the terms for these two types of functions. Any of these tasks may be extroverted or introverted in nature.

Which MBTI type has the highest IQ?

On IQ scales, all intuition dominants (INTJ, INFJ, ENTP, and ENFP) score extremely high. Guardians are likely to be less intellectual than rationals. Similarly, thinking dominants (INTP and ENTJ) outperform the average. The more intellectual you are, the more introverted you are likely to be.

What are the 4 cognitive functions?

Thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensation is the four fundamental functions. Jung also coined the terms introversion and extraversion, which he used in combination with the four functions.

What is the meaning of cognitive function?

Cognitive function is a general concept that encompasses mental functions such as knowledge acquisition, information manipulation, and reasoning. Perception, memory, learning, attention, decision-making, and linguistic skills are also examples of cognitive functions.


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