Should I Laugh or Cry? Exploring the Impact of the fourth (‘inferior’) function with Andrew Mountford

Laugh or cry drama masks reflecting the inferior function

August 17 @ 1:30 pm 4:30 pm AEST

Should I Laugh or Cry? Exploring the Impact of the fourth (‘inferior’) mental function as expressed in an individual’s personality (psychological) type.

Carl Jung observed that an orderly progression emerges for most people in relation to four mental functions based on Perception and Judgement. Isabel Myers developed the MBTI® to implement Jung’s theory of type.

Perception is about ‘all the ways of becoming aware – things, people events or ideas. It involves information gathering, seeking sensation or inspiration – selecting which stimulus to pay attention to.’

Judgement means ‘all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. It includes evaluation, choice, analysis and the selection of a response after receiving the stimulus.’

Mary McCaulley, who worked intimately with Isabel Myers, noted that the purpose of the MBTI® was to make the theory of psychological types by C.G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives.

The theory goes that individual type development occurs in different ways for different types – but the stages of development follow a typical path. The first or ‘dominant’ preference emerges in childhood (6-12 years). The second or ‘auxiliary’ function appears in adolescence (13-20 years). The third or ‘tertiary’ function appears in early adulthood (20-35 years). The least developed or ‘inferior’ function makes its presence known in mid-life (35-50 years). And after that? Come to the session on 17 August to reflect and discuss. The session title offers a clue…

When we include the use of these functions in the extraverted and introverted ‘world’ we arrive at eight possible preference choices.

Roger Pearman reminds us to keep in mind that the goal is not to equally use all eight functions but to at least recognise their contribution to our lives. Equal use would not be desirable. This would be like eight voices talking at you at the same time and at the same volume. He suggests that ‘chaos of self’ would certainly result.

Andrew Mountford

About Andrew Mountford

Andrew Mountford served as Secretary and President of AusAPT between 2013 and 2022. He has recently retired from work outside the home after a consulting career spanning 40 years. He has worked as a trainer, coach and facilitator in Australia and internationally. Clients ranged from community groups to large corporates – in Australia and Europe. In 2020, as the Covid 19 pandemic arrived in Victoria, Andrew and his partner Liz moved down from Melbourne to live in the beautiful coastal town of Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula.

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