Hey guys,

First off, Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and answer this. If there's anymore information I can include to make my question more clear, I'd be happy to add it if I can. I’m going to put all my questions in bold so it’s easier to pick them out from the context. 

I’m kind of confused about the difference between Intuitive and Sensing. I have taken personality test multiple times over the past few years and I usually come out as Intuitive, but once or twice I’ve come out as Sensing. I’ve read some articles attempting to explain the difference between the two traits and have found that I agree with parts of both (I’ve always been close on that spectrum when I take the tests) but I want to know which is my dominant function. But the problem with the articles was that they were not specific enough for me to tell which was dominant.

When I come out as Intuitive, it’s ENFJ and when I come out as Sensing, it’s ESFJ. I’m within 10% of the 50/50 line on all the traits except for Feeling (I’m usually 75% Feeling, 25% Thinking), so that’s the only solid one. But the thing is that I agree with both the type descriptions (at least the ones on the Myers Briggs website). I don’t think I’m that traditional, but most of my family are Sensors and they plan thanksgiving and my family hosts Christmas, and I like those things. Also I learn best visually, and my love languages are touch and quality time. Is that evidence that I am a Sensor? Are these learning styles and love languages evenly distributed between the types whether they’re Sensors or Intuitives?

What I've read about the difference between Sensing and Intuitive is that:

Intuitives focus on the future, the possibilities and the patterns that they see. They like to use their imaginations and enjoy abstract theories (for those of you who may not know, like I did, abstract theories are things that cannot be drawn out on paper, examples would be freedom, love, morality, etc. Some of which can be very mathematical and scientific.).

Sensors focus on the present, they use their five senses to process information, they like facts and are "concrete thinkers".

What confuses me about these, is the liking facts part of Sensing seems to overlap with Judging because Judgers like to know what they are going to do, they don't like to not know for sure if they're going to Aunt Sandy's house for dinner in two days. Also, Sensors are obviously not incapable of using their imaginations, though the fact-focused description somewhat implies that. And Sensors process things through their five senses, but we all use our eyes to see the world around us, to notice things, we all use our ears to hear.

The thing is, I use my imagination all the time. I love writing fictional stories, but I more often make them up and plan out parts than actually get to writing them down (though I plan to). When I should be focusing on school, before I fall asleep at night, in the time between waking up and getting out of bed, I make up stories. I make up alternate realities, alternate universes, and play with them, put characters in them, take my friends and put them in it and try to guess what they would say and do. I wouldn't say I plan out my entire future, but I do entertain the idea of "What if in ten or twenty years, me and my current friend group came back and visited? What might we be like? What might I be like? What would we be doing? What would we not talk about? What might we be hiding from our younger selves? What might we tell our younger selves, in our wisdom gained wisdom? What are the most likely lines that would have developed on our faces in that many years? What if we came back when we were 60?" I also make up stories using scenarios that I have lived through as the setting, say a class, and put some of the characters that I have made up for a world into it.

I also like to think about and discuss theology with friends and pastors at my church. Though it has been said that ESFJs (and I think ENFJs too, but I may have that wrong) are among the most likely type to believe in a "higher spiritual power". Though that has nothing to do with enjoying contemplating theological ideas.

I’m very interested in type and psychology, but I don’t have a lot of time to research it, so that I can talk about it better.  But it's something I would really want to do and dive into deaper this summer.

I don't know that I see patterns. Patterns in what? History? People and their behavior? Words and actions? If it’s talking about the last two, then yes, I think I do.

I don't have my future planned out exactly (I'm a junior in high school), my career is undecided right now, I don’t have college courses planned out for the next four semesters or anything like that. I’ve got a general idea for my life after that, but not very specific.

It’d be wonderful if someone could give me more specific examples of the differences so I can see how they apply to me. I’m sorry my questions are so disjointed. And again, if there any more information you might need to answer this, I’d be happy to provide it.


PathSeeker says...

"What confuses me about these, is the liking facts part of Sensing seems to overlap with Judging because Judgers like to know what they are going to do, they don't like to not know for sure if they're going to Aunt Sandy's house for dinner in two days. Also, Sensors are obviously not incapable of using their imaginations, though the fact-focused description somewhat implies that. And Sensors process things through their five senses, but we all use our eyes to see the world around us, to notice things, we all use our ears to hear."

I thought Judging had more to do with schedules and organizations, while Sensing would be related to liking traditions and using what they perceive and sense to maybe make decisions.

I just went to check Truity's short description of N/S, and they seem pretty abstract and not well-defined. I think I can understand N types as the ones who like to use their imagination and creativity to do things and try a lot of new ways to do stuff (and are always full of crazy and impractical but cool ideas), and S types... their description is kind of confusing, but from what I've read it looks like their hands-on, very practical people (_S_J types are probably what most parents are), and use information they can sense more than their imagination.

If only there was a page on N vs S. I can't find one here, but there are some on other personality websites.

whitehousea says...

INTP here, this is my understanding.

Intuitive suggests the connections between factual things whereas sensing is the actual thing.

Imagine you see a middle aged person driving a nice two seater car.

Sensing response: "That older guy is driving the car I drive! but it's red." (two pieces of factual information, both of which are in front of you and provable right away)
The person you see drives the same car but you've noticed the colour is different. This is what you think in your head.

Intuitive response: "Those cars cost quite a lot. He likely has a good job, and given his age he probably has a family, which means that it's not his only car."

Here, you're seeing a red car but you're drawing a connection to the knowledge that isnt being sensed (seen or heard). You've concluded something that is not provable by looking (He has more than one car) because your intuition tells you that
1. Older people in your area have families
2. That families usually need more than two seats for the kids
3. He probably has another car for them.

Often times you will switch between your S and N functions, because you dont have additional information with which to draw intuitive connections.

I'm N with 99% certainty according to truity, and if I see a nice car I'd likely make a joke about him stopping for gas because I probably have an idea of fuel consumption.
On the other hand, I don't know jack about animals so if I saw a bird, I would literally only be able to say "Look, a bird." I've got nothing to draw a connection with.

I'm 1% feeling so I'm not sure how helpful/accurate the following will be but I'd imagine in relationships with your friends or people at school, sometimes they will say something and you'll sorta wonder if they actually mean it.
like If someone says "You look nice today!"
Sensing tells you that they're paying you a compliment. Thats literally what those words mean. so you'd think "ooh thanks!"
but If this is a person who you're not really on great terms with, you might actually feel the opposite of what those words should make you feel.
Intuition: Is my hair okay? She never compliments me?

As I say, you'll probably switch between S and N a lot until you find yourself in a career where you'll use one more than another. Typically, when you're thinking about what's around you, you're sensing and when you're thinking about what could be, you're using intuition.

I hope that helps, try and pay attention to some of the stuff your friends say and maybe get them to do the tests too! My best friend is a ESTJ so after knowing that I noticed the differences between us a lot more.


Luke harrison (not verified) says...

Hi man I saw your question And the first thing I thought was how intuitive your question was. You must be a very smart, because I know when I was a junior in high school I was light years behind you in the fact that I could not simply put people into catagories and they were no different to me than movie characters in films. To me, the sensory world is a world where such an individual does not feel the need to dig deeper for different awnsers on such things like math sciences history ext. Because they know these things to be concrete and true.

Now listen,

The difference beetween being overtly sensory and or intuitive is simply how many times you HAVE to ask yourself  WHY. and if there's one thing I've learned (about myself at least)  is that what a man does not know he replaces with his imagination... When I did not fit in, I turned to movies and comics to show me the way on how to treat others. I probly took it a little too far, but that's a different story lol. Everyone on planet Earth expeiriences both sensory and intuitive thinking. Some people just have really bad ADHD and bi polar and don't like the sensory world they live in cause it feels like it gave them the finger. So I started asking why. And I got the knowledge I saught after. I just did it not through schooling on concrete subjects but on life lessons taught by only myself. 

Intuition is the ability to make real life connections based simply on a abstract thought.

Sensory thinking is a given to most humans through birth rite. 

Remember to use both in any desicion you make.

Think of it like a sword. What would a intuitive blade be with no sensory handle, nothing to grab onto and move around in the physical sensory world. Your sword starts off dull and is only sharpend through either using a 1000 grit obvious sensory whet stone, or the 2000 grit why Whet stone. 


There you go kid a perfect intuitive example. 

Sensory examples are pretty boring and easy just look around and start graphing shit it will all make sense eventually. Idk... Probly not... That would be cool though lol.

24 years of age ENFJ.

Mohamadreza Taheri (not verified) says...

dominant function: extroverted feeling (Fe)

auxiliary: Introverted iNtuition Ni

Tertiary: Extroverted Sensing Se

Inferior: Introverted Thinking Te

this must be it

because you have I ntuition as your auxiliary and sensation as tertiary, they're close together so you dont get which is dominant cause neither is DOMINANT. but your ENTJ. why? because you have shown so much interest in such a theoretical subject in an introverted manner. meaning, your iNtuition's focus is intensive and deep and focused on yourself. such as your quest in finding your personality type 

Giu7tf (not verified) says...


By definition from the 16personalities website. Energy (the second of the M Briggs letters) determines how one processes information. S speak from the five sense first (touch, smell, sight, taste, hear). N speak from 6th sense or ambiguous gut intuition first. Going on the 16personalities website you can determine by reading their definitions. Hope this helps.

Just ask yourself. Is my first instinct to speak from conclusions/infer/implied statements also includes speaking from gut, 6th senses. Or is my first instinct to speak from the beginning to understand those inferences/conclusions by using my 5 senses?

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