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Myers-Briggs Part 3 : How Do You Process Information?

I hope you have been enjoying my series on the Myers-Briggs Personality Types as much as I have! If you haven't seen the other posts yet, you can read Part I: the Introduction HERE. You can read Part 2:  How do you find your energy HERE.
Myers-Briggs Part 3: How do you process information? This, the 3rd in a series, discusses the two ways in which people take in information. Some take in details, others are "whole picture" people.

A couple of very important points to remember about Myers-Briggs:
  1. Each preference is a scale. People tend to lean toward one side or the other, the place where they are naturally more comfortable. We do, however, have parts of both sides within us.  
  2. Both sides of each scale are essential in our society. No one preference is better than the other. Both sides keep each other in balance. Since I learned to recognize the qualities of each side of each scale, I have learned to cherish the differences in people, and appreciate those who don't have the same preferences as myself. 
Today I wanted to share one of the aspects of Myers-Briggs that's very important to teachers: How do we take in information?  

There are two ends to this scale.

Sensing Types (S) take information through their senses.
  • They are about the "here and now" and are concerned with facts.  
  • They are very aware of things in their immediate environment. 
  • They organize,  categorize, and focus on reality.  
  • These people are practical and all about the details.  
  • Sensing types prefer to learn in a sequenced, step by step progression. 
  • Interestingly, Sensing types make up about 75% of the population.

Intuitive Types (N) are about the future and possibilities.
  • They are imaginative, inventive, and idealistic. 
  • They see the big picture before the facts and details.
  • Intuitive types often jump from topic to topic.
  • About 25% of our learners are Intuitives.  
  • The Intuitive Types are the forest, and the Sensing Types are the trees. Sensing types would see the trees, but not the forest, Intuitive Types see the forest, but not the trees. 

I still remember an experiment we did in my master's program where we studied the different types. All the Sensing types sat on one side of the room, while the Intuitives sat on the other side. We were shown a poster and directed to write down what we see while we looked at the poster.

The poster had something to do with music.

 After some time, we shared what we had. We Sensing types proudly shared all the details about the poster we had scribbled.  We did most of the sharing for a while. Then one of the Intuitives spoke up about something we never noticed: the poster was in the shape of a grand piano. All the sensing types stopped and looked at each other: none of us had noticed that! We all had to see the poster again, and sure enough, it was in the shape of a grand piano. We were so focused on the details, we missed the big picture!  (Literally!)

Have you been thinking about your own type? How about your students?

Here are a few more books if you'd like to learn more!  The first one (People Types and Tiger Stripes) is one of the first books I've read on the Myers-Briggs personality types, and it's still one of my favorites.  This is the revised version.

Here are links to the other posts about the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator

 Myers-Briggs Part 3: How do you process information? This, the 3rd in a series, discusses the two ways in which people take in information. Some take in details, others are "whole picture" people.


  1. If you look at Krathwohl and Anderson's updated Bloom's taxonomy, sensors enjoy entering concept understanding from the bottom up, while intuitives prefer to work from the top down. If you're having challenges engaging intuitives in your class, trying "flipping the lesson" in this sense. :)


  2. Hey Sally, if you haven't already seen it, you might want to check out this book. Specifically written for teachers, it helped me understand better how my personality type had the potential to make things difficult for certain students in my class who hade substantially different personality types, and also why parents might react in different ways as well. It's also easy to read and practical, especially in a world that requires both differentiation and integration.



    1. Sorry I couldn't work out how to put a picture with and hyperlink in my comment but if you copy and paste the above address it goes to the book's page on Amazon.

  3. Personality is a matter of mind.It raise own self.It comes from the deep of ones mind.But by taking some step,we can make it and practice to our own also.In the working a nice parts and equipments help us to make it,So we should use this Briggs Parts.


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