16 Personalities Cognitive Functions Explained


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The 16 personalities are unique personality types based on 16 personalities’ cognitive functions. These include the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions, which describe how individuals perceive and process information.

Understanding these cognitive functions can help individuals appreciate their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of others, and improve social interactions.

By recognizing and valuing the unique perspective each personality type has, it can be easier for people to communicate and appreciate different opinions.

So, take a personality test to find out your personality type and let’s see what these cognitive functions are!


Sensing refers to the way individuals perceive and process information through their five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. People who rely on their senses tend to focus on concrete facts and details rather than abstract ideas and theories.

There are two types of sensing functions:

Extraverted Sensing (Se)

People who use extraverted sensing tend to be very present-focused and enjoy experiencing the world through their senses. They’re often spontaneous, adventurous, and enjoy taking risks. ESTP and ESFP personality types use extraverted sensing as their primary function.

Introverted Sensing (Si)

Individuals who use introverted sensing tend to be more reflective and introspective. They have a strong memory for past experiences and enjoy drawing on these memories to make their present decisions. ISFJ and ISTJ personality types use this type of sensing as their dominant function.


Intuition refers to the way individuals perceive and process information through abstract ideas and theories rather than concrete facts and details. People who rely on intuition tend to be more imaginative and future-oriented.

There are two types of intuition functions:

Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

People with extraverted intuition are, in general, very curious and open-minded. They enjoy exploring new possibilities and ideas. They’re quick to see connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. ENTP and ENFP personality types use extraverted intuition (Ne) as their primary function.

Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Individuals with introverted intuition are more focused and contemplative. They have a strong sense of vision or insight and can see the big picture, often making predictions about future events. INFJ and INTJ personality types use the Ni function as their dominant one.

It’s important to note that understanding the differences between extroverted and introverted intuition can help individuals identify their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and those of others.


Thinking is connected to the way individuals make decisions and solve problems based on logic and analysis rather than emotions or personal values. People who rely on thinking tend to be more objective and rational in their approach to life.

There are two types of thinking functions:

Extraverted Thinking (Te)

People who use extraverted thinking are usually very organized and efficient in their decision-making. They value clear communication and often excel in leadership roles. ENTJ and ESTJ personality types use this function (Te) as their primary one.

Introverted Thinking (Ti)

Introverted thinking is for individuals who tend to be more contemplative and analytical. They enjoy exploring complex ideas and theories and often have a strong sense of intellectual curiosity. INTP and ISTP personality types use introverted thinking as their dominant function.


Feeling is another important personality type function. It refers to the way individuals make decisions and judgments based on emotions and personal values rather than logic or analysis. People who rely on feelings tend to be more empathetic and compassionate in their approach to life.

There are two types of feeling functions:

Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

People with extraverted feelings (Fe) tend to be very attuned to the emotions and needs of others. They place a high value on social harmony and often prioritize the needs of the group over their individual needs. ESFJ and ENFJ personality types use this function as their primary one.

Introverted Feeling (Fi)

Individuals who use introverted feelings (Fi) are usually more introspective and self-aware. They have a strong sense of personal values and ethics and often prioritize authenticity and individuality over social conformity. ISFP and INFP personality types use introverted feelings as their dominant function.

Key Takeaways

Understanding the cognitive functions of the 16 personalities can help individuals gain insight into their own personality type and have more empathy for other types. By identifying their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, individuals can better navigate social interactions and make better decisions.

Each personality type brings unique strengths and perspectives to the table, whether relying on sensing, intuition, thinking, or feeling. By appreciating and understanding these differences, individuals can work together more effectively to achieve common goals and create a more harmonious environment.