Mastering Personality Psychology: A Neojungian Typology Introduction
Published: 05-07-2015 Edited: 05-08-2015
- Introduction to Neojungian Typology
Welcome to Neojungian Typology. We’re the first ever neuroscience based personality metric. We’ve rethought the entire way we look at personality and personality types by building on the research taken forward by neuroscientists. We’ve had great fun putting together and learning new things about personality type – dispelling a lot of old myths, as well as exploring topics previously untouched by personality psychology.
We understand personality types in ways that are more holistic than old models, looking at a type as an indicator of which kinds of behavior will put you in a healthy, productive mindset, compared to which forms of behavior you may experience anxiously or at a high energy price, and we study how a personality type changes between four states, depending on the situation you are in, and how it affects you.
Unlike the Big5, personality type is not regarded as a matter of competence or quantitative ability, which is something that can be trained and developed over time. And unlike the MBTI, a Neojungian personality type is not the result of Carl Jungs or Isabella Briggs conceptual experience of the people they've met throughout their life, although interesting. Our goal is reaching objective knowledge about personality types by correlating personality types to science. By observing and testing people’s tendency towards brain functions, and then observing how these functions manifest in their behavior. Changes in science will cause changes in our model, meaning our resources and skills will only continue to improve as science develops a stronger understanding of the various cognitive functions. Read more about our methodology here.
Here are the primary concepts used in our tool. Feel free to read through our concepts and test how well you relate to them, and feel free to question and feedback anything you find hard to understand. We appreciate any form of feedback.
(E)XECUTION VS (P)ROCESSING
Execution and processing is related to the phenomena of stress, flow, and procrastination behavior, and both processes work as a control mechanism to manage and balance energy and productivity.
Execution Types rely on a combination of processes, namely, proactive control, and top-down processing. Top-down processing refers to an execution type’s high working memory. Execution types always have an innate bias, information or values that somehow shape their future behavior. Execution negatively affects your ability to take in new information, studying the world from a filter of how you believe it looks, rather than through a clean window. Although this may sound negative, this is an important personality trait for people in leadership positions.
Positively, execution types are more easily able to hold on to information when facing pressure from the environment, and a lot of the time, this means they can push themselves by motivating themselves and the group towards a long-term goal. For this, they need proactive control, which is involved in directing, ordering others, and arranging external information according to your goals. When successful in this effort, execution types enter a state of flow. Flow manifests as a sense of high consciousness and a higher explicit awareness.
Processing types engage in bottom-up processing and reactive control. Using bottom-up processing, they are able to quickly gather new information, and combining it with reactive control, they can organize new information, arranging it in the right way, and finding good ways to respond to the new information. Processing types enter a state of flow by being able to solve new problems quickly, and by being able to understand and find good responses to changes. Processing types are also positively triggered by critiquing and evaluating new information. For processing types, autopilot is experienced as they either engage in proactive control or top-down processing. As a defensive mechanism, they may for example begin to exhibiting procrastination behavior, where they are unable to engage in the state unless forced to by a strict deadline or an authority figure, or with maturity, they can train away this mechanism by using a lot of their internal resources to push themselves into this state.
Execution types on the other hand, respond to processing implicitly, experiencing a tendency to zoom out and enter autopilot and mind-wandering when they are responding to information which is outside their working memory’s defined scope of interests. Their procrastination behavior most often manifests in a tendency to let their mind wander to more interesting topics, damaging their listening and attention skills. But with maturity, both types can expend their energy and take control in these situations, at the cost of some degree of stress.
E(V)ALUATION VS E(X)PLORATIVENESS
In neuroscience, there is no such thing as an introverted or extroverted process. The concepts called evaluativeness and explorativeness appear to be the result of a person’s access to striatal dopamine. Striatal dopamine is correlated to a person’s reaction-time to new information, as well as their ability to respond to changes. A low amount of striatal dopamine on the other hand, should result in a high ability towards behavior inhibition. And interestingly, an evaluative person, who experiences a rush of striatal dopamine, will experience this as going outside of their comfort zone. Because they are adapted to low-stimulation, the high stimulation causes them to respond with anxiety. Long-term explorative behavior for an evaluative personality type should result in neurotic behavior, and long-term evaluative behavior for an explorative personality type appears to result in anxious evaluative behavior.
There appears to be some degree of truth to Carl Jung’s old saying that the introvert appears to respond anxiously to social stimulation, while extroverts find themselves de-energized in under stimulating environments. There are many consequences of this. Evaluative types may for example underestimate their own performance, because they want time to prepare before a performance, while Explorative types may exaggerate their performance, because they are curious to try a new task as quickly as possible. Evaluative types may also be less prone to causing conflict, because they will want to analyze and understand a situation before entering a conflict, while Explorative types may be more prone to starting conflicts as soon as a problem arises. Evaluative types will want a five minute warning before a change, while Explorative types don’t mind fast-paced environments with unanticipated changes.
This is however complicated by whether a person is Evaluative or Explorative about Abstract, Concrete, Organic or Mechanic information. The Introvert of Neojungian Typology is therefore someone who responds calmly when they are in low-stimulation environments, while the Extrovert of Neojungian Typology is someone who responds anxiously towards low-stimulation environments. This creates two distinct types
ASSOCIATION: ABSTRACT VS CONCRETE
The Abstract Type is believed to primarily rely on the Frontopolar network, using this network to engage in higher semantic tasks, and to solve complex new problems. Abstract types rely on associative memories to access creative thinking, making them more adept at studying connections between activities. Besides this, abstract types engage in metacognitive ability, meaning abstract types show a higher tendency to reflect on their own experience and situation from an outside perspective. The Concrete Type is in difference with the Abstract Type more skilled at conscious perception, as well as understanding nonverbal and concrete information. Instead of studying the connections between events, they are more skilled at identifying the differences and discrepancies between objects and activities. They appear to spot inconsistencies more easily, and show a higher ability to use known strategies to solve problems, compared to the abstract type’s tendency to try new strategies.
ENCODING: ORGANIC VS MECHANIC
The Mechanic Type is specifically adept at studying the mechanics of objects, as well as accessing procedural memories, consciously studying and applying formal rules to understand the workings of their environment and of various mechanisms. In difference with organic types, thinking about different perspectives and how people experience information differently, causes mechanic types to go into autopilot. Mechanic types go into a state of flow when they are able to accomplish achievements, for example solving a problem, or when completing various daily life tasks.The Organic Types engage most preferentially with tasks where they can understand information qualitatively, looking at how different people experience information, rather than how something works. To understand this, they store and access so called episodic memories, storing memories as experiences rather than as procedures, and they are more likely to engage in a task if a negative or positive experience motivates them towards it. Organic types tend to enter the auto-pilot when explicitly asked to do a task, and they tend to go into a flow by having positive experiences, for example meeting a friend or going travelling.
EMOTIONS AND NEEDS
Those who test towards Abstract, Mechanic, Organic or Concrete tend to diverge in which their primary emotional needs are. This results in big, observable differences between Abstract & Organic, Abstract & Mechanic, Concrete & Organic and Concrete & Mechanic types on an emotional level. In a relationship between people with slightly or largely different emotional needs, emotional balance is much more difficult (though the relationship may have other advantages).
AO’s: The Discovery Seekers
The tendency towards being intrinsically motivated often pairs with the tendency towards being motivated by experience, to create a personality preference focused on discovery. But this discovery doesn’t have to be crazy or adventurous, this discovery can be centered inwards, or it can be directed outwards. We can pursue discovery in relationships, by learning as much as possible about people and their various differences, or we can find discovery in travelling the world and experiencing various cultures. If you meet a person passionate about some kind of discovery, you can make a safe bet it’s because they have a preference towards this kind of information. Knowing that someone has this preference, means you can adapt how you motivate them. If you want to hire them, it might even be better to talk about how fun and stimulating your work environment is, than to mention the salary. AO's enjoy looking at existential, ethical as well as identity issues from a meta-perspective, thinking about how they want to be, contrasted with who they are right now.
AM’s: The Development Seekers
Motivated by problem solving? Check. Enjoy learning new skills? Check. Development types are focused on their performance, their skills and abilities, how many languages they know. Development-seeking types are common in academics, they actually dominate the bubble, because they can spend their days researching and working through various abstract problems. Development seekers express their intrinsic drive by being energized by discussing achievements from an abstract viewpoint, thinking about what makes you happy, and what makes you successful, questioning and looking at their standards of success from a meta-perspective.
CO’s: The Concession Seekers
Concession is manifested in not just a high need for social relationships, but also for beauty, design, fashion, and studying and living up to various social norms. The need for concession is expressed by finding a sense of a strong social identity, and firm social values. Concession seekers change their values more seldom than for example discovery types, because they’re less interested in testing and exploring other viewpoints. Instead, they pride themselves on having their beliefs for a long time, using and mastering social strategies that they know are important to show a relationship to the group and people around them.
CM’s: The Stability Seekers
The reason I call CM’s stability seekers is because of their extrinsic drive for achievement. This means looking to external criteria’s, instructions, handbooks, and laws when deciding how to behave and how to perform at a task. The end goal for stability seekers is to be able to succeed at the task, to show up on time, to be capable of living up to the instructions. CM’s can however also be interested in supervising and making sure others can handle these instructions, becoming instructors, or administering the laws and rules to make sure everyone lives up to the instructions.
NEOJUNGIAN PERSONALITY TYPES
These are four of the sixteen basic personality preferences as well as the four primary states their behavior will switch between. If you’ve already taken our personality test, you can correlate your type against these descriptions. First of all, you’ll notice that first-hand, everyone will engage in either execution or processing, and that evaluative and explorative behavior is only of secondary interest to us. We believe Processing and Execution on an overall level manifests much higher in our daily behavior and is of a much bigger interest than if a person is evaluative or explorative.
We track a person’s changes in their behavior by using states, also capturing the effect a particular state can have on a person’s health. It’s therefore helpful to after you’ve explored your top four letters, explore your personality states to understand your behavior more holistically.
AOE-CMP type variations
COE-AMP type variations
CME-AOP type variations:
AME-COP type variations: