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Type and Emotion: A Preliminary Investigation into Meaning and Relationship

type and emotion

We are excited to publish our first article on the new AusAPT website blog today. Over the next months, as we head towards the AusAPT National Conference in November in Melbourne, we will be featuring articles and thought pieces from our speakers. The AusAPT blog is a place for new and featured articles on type and its applications. We hope you will bookmark our website and return to read, learn and share articles on psychological type.

Our first featured article is by Peter Geyer. Custodian of the AusAPT Type Research and Practice Collection and AusAPT Life Member, Peter will present at our 2019  Conference on ‘A Dispassionate Look at Psychological Type and Emotion‘: Psychological type and emotions are not merely topics for questionnaires; they represent particular aspects of personality within a range of interpretations, especially for emotions. These differences for both type and emotion are explained in this session, as well as how emotions can play out in a type context.

Peter provides this article on ‘Type and Emotion: A Preliminary Investigation into Meaning and Relationship’ as an introduction to the subject and as background for his presentation in Melbourne in November. 

Type and Emotion


Peter Geyer

There was a long line of cars in front of me

I came as soon as I could

left without paying

A suitcase under my arm….

….The lift stops between two floors

You start to walk towards the station

I walk towards the bus

You’ll have to wait at the station

Leave the parcel

On the top deck……..

John Cale and Brian Eno (1990)

I About Emotion 

Perhaps one of the most conventional or everyday ways of experiencing emotion (as commonly understood) is to listen to music; the lyrics of a song , for instance, or the notes of the music itself.

Or both.

John Cale and Brian Eno have well‹deserved and separate reputations in the field of music in general for taking a specific interest in emotions. While Eno (the inventor of ambient music and sampling), can be seen, somewhat deceptively, as subtly benign in his approach to sound, Cale has always set out to disturb the listener through word, sound or public performance, notwithstanding his often reserved but intense persona, which is perhaps characteristic of an INTP, at least from this listener’s observations. The lyrics selected and reproduced above are a particular example of this interest of Cale’s. The accompanying music, naturally unable to be reproduced in this paper, sets up an underlying tension, already implicit in the words, and seeks an emotional response out of that tension.

What’s intriguing about the stimulus for this response, however, is that the words for this song, Cordoba, are simply phrases taken at random from a Spanish‹English phrase book by the composers and subsequently arranged at whim. So there is no story as such, simply one implied and then completed by the listener, with the help of singing and accompaniment which is intended to provoke such an emotional response. In this sense, an individual’s mind makes links which aren’t really there in order to respond emotionally to this piece of music.

In writing so far, I have left any definition of “emotion” to the reader, presuming (whether correct or not) that he or she will know what I’m talking about. My rationale for this is similar to that of the philosopher Aaron Ben‹Ze’ev, who rightly points out, in my view, that:

“emotions play a central role in our lives and are of interest to everyone”. So emotion is a common term, and people expect and are expected to understand what is meant. Equally correct, however, is his observation that: “although emotions punctuate almost all the significant events in our lives, the nature, causes and consequences of the emotions are among the least understood aspects of human experience” (Ben Ze‹ev, 2000).

To emphasise this point, Kurt Danziger, in reporting on his investigation of the development of psychological terms and concepts, observes that: “psychologists did not invent the concept of “emotion”…to account for certain empirical findings; they obtained certain empirical findings because of their desire to investigate a set of events which their culture had taught them to distinguish as “emotional”.” (Danziger, 1997).

This is somewhat like the often-presented position that IQ is what IQ tests measure. Such a statement actually tells us nothing about whether IQ is in any way real, meaningful, or useful, for that matter. It’s not surprising, therefore, that Ben Ze’ev can spend 35 pages discussing what an emotion is, yet come up with no clear definition that can cover all that he has discussed.

Donald Calne avoids all the complexities inherent in the above by stating that: “the essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to actions, while reason leads to conclusions” (Calne, 2000). While this is a fairly clear statement, it’s by no means a universally held position.

From another perspective, and particularly relevant to examining the relationship between psychological type and emotions, the Jungian, Verena Kast, points out the “language problem” inherent in talking about the subject of emotions, thus, by definition, pointing out differences in the meanings of the words of Jung, and many o who use his typology. She writes: ” When I speak of the psychology of emotions, I include myself in the tradition of Jaspers, Bollnow and von Uslar, according to which emotions, moods, feelings and affects belong to a common genre. In the German Psychological literature, emotion is often equated with affect, but in the American literature, emotion always means feeling. It is very confusing.” (Kast, 1991)

So it seems that we can know instinctively what an emotion us, until we investigate it and see the variety of opinions and assertions.

That’s a lifetime of investigation in itself, but the purpose of this paper is to try and make some basic sense of the term “emotion” in order to relate it meaningfully to C.G.Jung’s theory of psychological types. This is a preliminary investigation for an ongoing project, mostly because the many definitions and uses of emotion (in some cases no definition at all) are found in a broad and often complex range of literature, as well as in the more simplistic  forms of self-help and business.

II  Some Approaches to Emotion

The neurologists Antonio Damasio (1998, 1999) and Joseph LeDoux (1998) have reported on their separate researches into activities of the brain which they call emotions, utilising in some instances relevant ideas of Freud (although it seems to this writer the archetypal ideas of Jung may be more enlightening, or appropriate for their work).

Disorders of emotions are a focus here, and although some investigations in this field lead to outcomes like both Barondes’ (1999) and Whybrow’s (1998) somewhat moody and non- personal descriptions of mania, depression and so forth. Damasio and LeDoux are less depressing in both approach and writing style than the latter authors.

In the public sphere, the journalist Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (1995), the contemporary version in some ways of T–groups, has spawned, in typical American style, a mini-industry of books and workshops that encourage people, particularly in the business world, to be in touch with and use their emotions, as defined. Notwithstanding the obvious utility of his idea, I find Goleman unsatisfactory in that his language is rather loose, sometimes negative towards particular ways of living that deserve some respect (something type does by definition in extending the range of normal behaviours) His forays into non- scientific areas such as history are also fairly uninformed, to say the least. For me, this diminishes appreciation of the idea itself, which is not his in any case.

Goleman’s particular version of “emotion” seems to MBTI author Gordon Lawrence to be associated with expression of the feeling function (1999).

Although less “scientific” in approach, Susie Orbach’s Towards Emotional Literacy(1999) is about similar issues from an English perspective, although without providing a definition of “emotional issues”. Obviously Orbach is presuming that the reader will know what she means, a version of self-help in itself.

Also in similar vein, but with both a deeper focus and from a Freudian base, the late Australian political scientist Graham Little has written about the public expression of emotions, appropriate and otherwise, by both the public at large and contemporary political “leaders” (1999). Given, at least in my country, the over-representation of various types in the political and public sphere, and notwithstanding his animosity towards Jung, Little’s work informs us about the differences within type, possibly from an archetypal perspective, as well as the cultural need for expressing particular emotions, as apart from the emotions themselves.

At any rate, Goleman’s success with Emotional Intelligence has highlighted the longstanding preoccupation in organisations and those involved with them with emotions and their expression.

Arlie Hochschild’s The Managed Heart (1983) is a classic text in this field, while Carole Tavris (1984/1989) and Peter N. Stearns (1988) have each written cogently about the management of anger in workplaces, in both cases as an imposed middle-class value, not necessarily shared by workers as a whole. Interestingly, in Tavris’ case, she depicts anger as a necessary emotion, but one that is all too often confused with aggression, and her book provides examples of the difference between these two emotions as she sees it. Being “nice”, something extremely ambivalent in its expression, is perhaps an outcome of this misreading of anger.

Customer service is regularly an area where content-free niceness can provoke anger when the customer seeks knowledge and a solution, a reasonable presupposition not often met. Those who have participated in or observed “discussions” where the main aim is to make the other person angry and thus “win” the argument has experienced an unsavoury outcome of this process. All the examples given above provide instances or arguments that relate to either social interaction or responses to external stimuli of some sort.

With regard to culture and emotions, Paul Griffiths (1998) critiques the notion that there are specific emotions associated with specific cultures by pointing out that different social and cultural contexts will produce different emotional phenomena from individuals both in terms of expression and acceptability. This seems to me to be much the same as what type theory would claim about the use and expression of preferences across cultures.

Given the earlier discussion about definitions, what sort of emotions are there? This is a more complex question than is at first apparent, although obviously if there is no agreed definition then the types of emotion will vary as well. In support of this conclusion, Jon Elster (1990) suggests, as do Griffiths and others, that “emotion” is not particularly useful as a term, but is rather an “unruly category”, as there are many quite different definitions. Furthermore, he says: “this is paralleled by lack of agreement on what emotions there are. There are many  lists of emotions proposed, but curiously, they don’t seem to overlap.”

As an example, in reporting on one particular set of 14 lists (produced by Ortony, Clore and Collin), Elster observes that “taking account of linguistic variations, anger and fear occur in all but two of the lists, joy in all but six, sadness and disgust in six, shame and love in three” (1990) [italics added]. From the layman’s point of view, this is both surprising and unhelpful. One would expect more consistency, or at least some sort of linguistic agreement as to what things are emotions, as well as what emotions are in the scientific sense.

III  C.G.Jung and his Typology

When C.G. Jung was developing his psychological typology in the early part of last century, it was not considered an extraordinary thing to do, notwithstanding the almost parallel development of behaviourism and its associated experimental methods by J.B. Watson and others in the United States.

In Psychological Types (1923/1946), Jung referred to a number of typologies, produced over some centuries. Those of the Germans Spranger and Kretschmer were also produced in a similar time period to that of Jung, as well as a version of his own typology published almost in parallel by the American Beatrice Hinkle (1923/1949).

One of the things that was notably different about Jung’s typology, was his attribution of rationality to a subjective decision‹making process based on values, which he called Feeling. In an interview in 1957, he recalled: “It took me quite a long time to discover that there is another type than the thinking type … There are other people who decide the things I have to decide, but in an entirely different way…they have entirely different values…feeling types.” (1978)

Jung consistently and continually insisted that feeling, as he described it, had nothing to do with emotion, which he called affect, similar to Verena Kast at a later time, as would be expected, given the similarity in cultural backgrounds. In his seminars in the 1920s and 1930s he reinforced this view in quick comments to his audiences, who were often aligning feeling with emotion. For example: “You must never mix up feeling with love. That is due to a miserable shortcoming of language.” (1930)

Given the earlier lack of agreement on what emotions are, I emphasise here that Jung is implying that love is an emotion. Other comments in his seminars point to emotion as archetypal, relating to the unconscious. It’s important to note here also, that Jung spoke these Seminars in English, in which he was particularly fluent.

There are many reasons that explain the lack of acceptance of Jung’s typology by the international psychological community in general (Geyer, 1995). One of them is the language associated with “feeling”. This is related in particular to Jung’s claim that feeling, as judgement, is a rational process and also in his lack of complete identification of feeling with emotions. Once again, Kast’s comment quoted earlier highlights this difference, at least for American culture.

While Jung, in my view, makes it clear what he is talking or not talking about, literature critically evaluating both his work and that associated with the Myers‹Briggs Type Indicator has tended to ignore the language distinctions made at the same time as writers from either the Jungian or MBTI perspective are clarifying their terms.

Gordon Lawrence explains the difference between feeling judgement and emotion in this way: “It is important to remember that feeling judgment is not the same as emotional reaction. An emotional reaction can decide things, but that is not reasoning. Thinking types and feeling types alike can settle things on the basis of emotional response, but they are not being rational when they do” (1997

Indeed, in much of American literature on emotion, or in therapeutic processes associated with the expression of emotion, but described as feelings, ignores the judging component of feeling identified by Jung. This perhaps accounts for the popularity of cognitive behaviour therapy, based as it seems to be on traditional modes of thinking, aligned with Jung’s idea of extraverted thinking. Introverted thinking is quite different.

IV  Jung, the Types and Emotion

Jung didn’t discount the emotions from his typology; for one thing, it would seem that emotions are more attended to i.e. taken notice of by feeling judgement. Consciously pushing someone to anger is not what someone preferring feeling judgement would normally do. Unconsciously, of course that’s another matter. Jung located emotions as a component of the unconscious, placing them below what he called forgotten and repressed material. (Jacobi 1942/1944).

One of the reasons feelings are often referred to as “emotional” is that those describing them as such usually prefer some version of thinking judgement and so their feeling judgement is somewhat less under control, and so less conscious, according to Jung’s definition of the term. A primary principle of Jung’s typology is that it is the means by which an individual differentiates from the unconscious and becomes more conscious.

The functions in Jung’s typology: sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling, are ordered from dominant to inferior, with the dominant usually most in the conscious and the inferior least.

So the effective application of ideas like Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Literacy, from Jung’s view of emotion, is contingent on understanding people’s type preferences and therefore learning how best it is to teach them both the usefulness of emotionally related  ideas and the ways to practice them.

A person who feels inadequate, or in unfamiliar territory will manifest a different set of emotions than what might be desired, which doesn’t help anybody at all. Becoming more conscious in these terms means by definition being less driven by emotional experiences, in that conscious decisions can and are made about an individual’s life. One would also expect that as development continues, the individual is also more open to emotional experience, consistent with their preferences, but less likely to be overwhelmed by such experiences.

Emotions associated with each of the preferences would perhaps be expressed at a level of appropriateness consistent with the level of consciousness.

Whatever the definitions given, one would expect positive emotions to be more associated with the dominant and auxiliary functions, as they are considered a key part of the ego and perhaps also something like a flow experience. Positive emotions however can also be experienced in the completion of a task in unfamiliar psychological territory. Not everything we do is under our conscious control, of course. In fact I think Jung would suggest, with a lot of others, that not a lot is under our control at all. Body language, the slips of the tongue, and the involuntary sneer, all have an unconscious emotional component.

As far as the social emotions are concerned, successful training in them and expression of them, is contingent on a combination of type preference and experience. If an emotional skill is developed related to a non-preferred function that helps a person’s dominant function, that is more likely to be one expressed with facility.

Because for Jung the emotions are in the unconscious, it’s hard to construct a framework that can give some idea as to how they might operate in relation to type, or any other framework. However, the Jungian analyst Louis H Stewart has produced an archetypally or more unconsciously oriented chart to give some idea as to how this might work. Stewart provides the four major functions (identified as ego functions) and associates a range of emotions with each function and provides some insight into how emotions might relate with type. This is not suggested as a definitive model, simply one that has been developed to contend with the interaction between emotions and Jung’s broader theory, including that of the types. The chart created by Louis H Stewart has been reproduced below.

Relationships between Jung’s typology and the emotions are hard to clarify, mainly because of the thicket of different ideas of what an emotion is or might be.

It’s interesting to note that Damasio and LeDoux talk about the unconscious nature of the emotions they study in their neurological work as well as Damasio’s idea in particular of consciousness, and rationality arising out of that. While Jung’s typology was arrived at in another era to explain the differences between people, perhaps it has a similar role today as a useful interpreter of the results of modern science.


Samuel H. Barondes Mood Genes: hunting for origins of mania & depression (Penguin 1999)

Aaron Ben‹Ze’ev The Subtlety of Emotions (MIT Press 2000)

John Cale and Brian Eno: Cordoba Upala Music (Hamstein/John Cale Music Inc. BMI) from Eno/Cale

Wrong Way Up Opal CD 9 2641‹2 1990

Donald B. Calne Within Reason:Rationality and Human Behaviour (Vintage 2000) Antonio Damasio Descartes’ Error: emotion, reason and the human brain (Bard 1998) and The Feeling of What Happens (Harcourt Brace 1999)

Kurt Danziger Naming the Mind: How psychology found its language (Sage 1997)

Ronald de Sousa The Rationality of Emotion (MIT Press 1990)

Jon Elster Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions (Cambridge University Press 1990).

Peter Geyer Quantifying Jung:The Origin and Development of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MSc Thesis, University of Melbourne,1995)

Beatrice M.Hinkle The Re‹Creating of the Individual (Dodd, Mead & Co.1923/1949)

Arlie Hochschild The Managed Heart: commercialization of human feeling (University of California Press, 1983)

Jolan Jacobi The Psychology of C.G.Jung (Kegan Paul 1942/1944)

C.G.Jung Psychological Types (Pantheon Books 1923/1962) and Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928-30, [William McGuire (ed)] (Princeton 1984)

Verena Kast Joy, Inspiration, and Hope (Texas A & M University Press, 1991)

Ernst Kretschmer Physique and Character (Kegan Paul 1925/1936) Second Edition

Gordon Lawrence Looking at Type and Learning Styles (CAPT, 1997) and Emotional Intelligence (APT XIII Audio Presentation July 16, 1999)

Joseph LeDoux The Emotional Brain: the mysterious underpinnings of emotional life (Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1998)

Graham Little The Public Emotions: from mourning to hope (ABC Books 1999)

William McGuire and R.F.C. Hull (eds) C.G.Jung Speaking: essays and encounters (Thames and Hudson 1978)

Susie Orbach Towards Emotional Literacy (Virago, 1999)

Carol Z. Stearns and Peter N. Stearns (eds.) Emotion and Social Change: towards a new psychohistory (Holmes and Meier 1988)

Louis H. Stewart The Archetypal Affects in Donald L. Nathanson (ed.) Knowing and Feeling: affect, script and psychotherapy (W.W.Norton 1996)

Carol Tavris Anger:the misunderstood emotion (Touchstone 1989)

Peter C. Whybrow A Mood Apart: a thinker’s guide to emotion & its disorder (Picador 1998)

Note: Variants of this paper were presented at the 5th AusAPT National Conference, Melbourne, November, 2000, the Conference on Psychological Type and Culture, Honolulu, Hawaii USA in January 2001 and APT XIV International Conference Minneapolis Mn USA in July 2001. 

Below is a chart produced by Louis H Stewart on The Archetypal Affects.

The Archetypal Affects

From the Source (Primordial Self) toward the Goal (Realised Self)

The Realised Self

HIGHEST VALUESThe SacredThe BeautifulThe TrueThe GoodWholenessErosLogos
Ego FunctionsIntuitionSensationThinkingFeelingEgo ConsciousnessFantasyExploration
ApperceptionIntangibleTangibleQuantitative OrderQualitative OrderOrientationBeingBecoming
Symbolic Cultural AttitudesReligiousAestheticPhilosophicSocialSelf-reflective ConsciousnessImaginationMemory
Expressive DynamismRitualRhythmReasonRelationshipReflectionPlayCuriosity
Range of Intensity

From Mild to Extreme

Apprehension Anxiety

Fear Terror Panic

Distress Sadness Grief AnguishIrritation Annoyance Frustration Anger RageDisdain

Dislike Contempt Disgust

(rejection towards other)

Surprise Astonishment StartleEnjoyment Joy EcstasyInterest Excitement
    ******* Shyness Embarrassment Shame Humiliation

(rejection toward self)

The Innate AffectsFearDistressAngerContempt and Shame develop out of the primal affective reflex


Existential Life SituationThe UnknownLossRestriction of AutonomyRejectionThe UnexpectedThe FamiliarThe Novel

The Primordial Self

© Peter Geyer 2001; 2003. Taken from Louis H. Stewart The Archetypal Affects in Donald L. Nathanson (ed.) Knowing and Feeling: affect, script and psychotherapy (W.W.Norton 1996) p.275

About Peter Geyer: Peter researches, writes and (occasionally) speaks on psychological type and
personality. The Type Research and Practice Collection custodian, his interests include what Jung,
Myers et al said and did; and consciousness, personality, language and society. Peter is an APTi
lifetime member, an AusAPT life member, and a former type accreditor. Peter has preferences for