The Four Attitude Pairs

Attitude PairsTo go from learning about preferences individually to understanding the workings of whole types, it can be helpful to look at pairs or preferences, in lieu of trying to memorize descriptions of all 16 personality types. In a previous article, we looked at the four function pairs, which consist of the two middle letters of type (S or N and T or F) and are shown in the columns of the type table.

This article addresses the attitude pairs of type.  These consist of the first and last letter of type (E or I and J or P), and they are shown in the rows of the type table.  The attitude pairs are named as such because they are all about our attitudes to and interactions with the world.  These pairs indicate how we gain and lose energy, approach and complete work, and focus.  They are also important indicators in learning about type dynamics, as the combined information from the attitudes provides us with the order and direction of the four functions (S, N, T, and F) in each type*.  Below, you will find information on what the four attitude pairs look like in type.

IJsIPsEPsEJs
Gain energy by spending time alone. Gain energy by spending time alone.Gain energy by interacting with others.Gain energy by interacting with others.
Tend to be product oriented and begin with the end in mind.Tend to be process oriented and like to know how things work.Tend to be process oriented and take life as it comes.Tend to be product oriented and begin with the end in mind.
Usually enjoy knowing a few topics in depth.Usually enjoy knowing a few topics in depth.Usually enjoy having a some knowledge of a lot of topics.Usually enjoy having a some knowledge of a lot of topics.
In team work, like to work and focus alone on assigned tasks and bring back the finished product before the deadline.In team work, like to work and focus alone on assigned tasks and bring back the finished product when it is complete.In team work, like to go out in the world to gather resources (people, products, or info) to complete tasks and bring them back to the group.In team work, like to clarify group goals and organize or lead the group to the finish line of project completion.
Like to bring work to a certain point alone before sharing it with others.Like to bring work to a certain point alone before sharing it with others.Like to process ideas for work with others and/or in groups.Like to process ideas for work with others and/or in groups.
Show their Auxiliary function (T or F) to the outside world while keeping their Dominant function (S or N) inside.Show their Auxiliary function (S or N) to the outside world while keeping their Dominant function (T or F) inside.Show their Dominant function (S or N) to the outside world while keeping their Auxiliary function (T or F) inside.Show their Dominant function (T or F) to the outside world while keeping their Auxiliary function (S or N) inside.
May appear rigid unless and until they take time to process internal information and show more flexibility.May appear flexible and spontaneous until an internal principle or value is struck and then show a lack of flexibility.May appear flexible and spontaneous and as putting off decisions, until they utilize their decision making function (T or F).May appear rigid and be seen as making decisions too quickly, until they take the time to take in enough information.
Might struggle in environments with constant interaction with lots of people, or where deadlines are ignored or frequently changed.Might struggle in environments with constant interaction with lots of people, or where time is overly structured or strict.Might struggle in environments with little interaction and too much isolation, or where time is overly structured or strict.Might struggle in environments with little interaction and too much isolation, or where deadlines are ignored or frequently changed.

 

I hope this information provides you with another way to understand how type preferences interact with each other.  Combining this information with knowledge of the four function pairs will give you a good, basic working knowledge of type.  Of course, there are other preference pairs that are useful to look at, and these will be the topic of future articles.  I would love to hear about your experiences with or thoughts on attitude pairs, and I thank you for reading.

 

*If you would like to learn the type dynamics, or function orders and directions, for each type, check out the 16 type descriptions.  Each description lists the order and direction of all four functions for each type at the very top of the description.

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7 Comments

  1. Robyn Baker

    I loved reading this. I am an ISFJ and you hit the nail on the head for me. I would love to read more of your stuff.

    Reply
    1. Sadie (Post author)

      Thanks, Robin! If you want to read more articles, I hope you’ll check out the rest of the site. I also hope you will check back next week, as I usually post articles on Sunday. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Terri Watson

    I am just beginning to explore my personality type (ISTJ) and have been fascinated by how accurate much of the descriptions are…when I read the words “where deadlines are ignored or frequently changed” I actually felt my stomach clutch a little.

    Thank you,

    Terri

    Reply
    1. Sadie (Post author)

      Thanks, Terri! I am so glad you are finding the descriptions helpful. My husband is an ISTJ, and I believe that quote gets him too! If you have any questions about type or articles you’d like to see, feel free to let me know. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Niamh

    I am ISTP and this was incredibly accurate for me. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sadie (Post author)

      I am so glad you found it accurate, Niamh! Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Type Dynamics: Part 1 | Personality Playbook

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