MOTM June 2010
Function-Attitudes Applied In Differing Scenarios
We tend to discuss function-attitude usage in theory, but I am unsure why we have not posted how they actually work in application. Below are examples taken from her booklet, “Dynamics of Personality Type: Understanding and Applying Jung’s Cognitive Processes”, where Linda Berens gives some examples of how the functions work. Granted the scenarios may be hokey to some, but I know her examples were very helpful for me in determining my auxiliary preference.
The first example is how each function-attitude may react to encountering an apple tree:
Se - You might look at the apple tree and notice the contrast of the ruby red apples and the deep green leaves, the rich brown-gray of the trunk and branches, and how the sunlight plays across the yard. You go to the tree and pick an apple, and bite into it with a crunch, savoring the tree ripened sweetness and the aroma of a really fresh apple. Sitting down on the ground you feel the coolness under you and the warmth of the sun.
Si – You look at the apple tree and immediately recall an image of an apple tree you’ve seen before and you were then become aware of the feel of autumn in the air and remember being in an apple orchard picking apples.
Ne – You might wonder why the former owner of your house planted an apple tree and why this kind of apple tree. Then you might consider why this kind of apple tree grows well in this climate but not in others. Or maybe it occurs to you that your life is like this apple tree in so many ways. Then you might be curious if apples represent the same ideas in other cultures and so on. Or you may even wonder, “What if the apple tree did not exist?”
Ni – If you did not even notice the apple tree this there, but instead go a sense that the orchards around will soon be cut down and replaced with a housing development, you have experienced Ni.
Te – You notice the fruit was starting to fall off the tree and make a mental note to get several containers to put the apples in. You would have a trashcan handy for the rotten ones and a basket for the ripe ones to wash and put on the table. You would also have a plastic pan for the ones that are bruised, but not rotten, to cut up for applesauce.
Ti – You might notice that the leaves are falling off early. You would analyze the situation and try to figure out what is wrong with the tree. You might use the principles of good gardening, or you might reference the scientific principles of plant disease
Fe – You might think about removing the tree because of the mess the apples make on the ground, but then remember that your family really likes having that old apple tree around. So you decide not to remove it. Besides you might think, Aunt Mary really likes apple pie made with those apples and make a mental note to bake an apple pie for her. In deciding what to do with the tree, the likes and dislikes of others are considered and adjusted to.
Fi – You might reflect on how much you really like that tree and the apples it yields. You might even consider the importance of having a fruit tree for the children to learn from.
The second example is a little different since it actually allows us to the differing function- attitudes used in the same person looking for a dog:
Se - Lenore was beside herself with joy as she played with the puppies in the pet store. She seemed to enjoy just being with them, petting them, making them jump.
Si - Lenore’s sister kept saying how much the standard poodle looked like the one they had as children. She said it reminded her of being at home and being young again.
Ne - During their conversation, Lenore suddenly recognized that the real reason her sister wanted a dog was because she was trying to replace the affection from her late husband.
Ni - Lenore was thinking about the dog she and her sister were going to get when she got a flash of a dog barking and crying. The she “knew” they needed to get a dog that didn’t mind being alone.
Te - Lenore listed criteria she and her sister needed to match in selecting a dog. She wanted to be sure the dog didn’t need a lot of attention since they were not home during the day. They lived in an apartment, so it was only logical it should be a small dog that didn’t bark much.
Ti - On the way home, Lenore went into the pet store with her checklist. She looked at a cocker spaniel and a standard poodle and found out how big each one grew and if it barked a lot. She decided the standard poodle didn’t meet her criteria but wasn’t sure about the cocker spaniel, she thought maybe she should consider a dachshund.
Fe - Lenore thought about what kind of dog her sister would want. She knew her sister would be disappointed if they couldn’t get a standard poodle, so she decided to not even mention that one in the pet store was still there.
Fi - Lenore’s sister came home with a stranded poodle. When Lenore asked her why, her sister said, “We’ve always wanted a standard poodle like we used to have. This one was so cute and was going to be sent to the pound, so I just had to bring it home.”