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The fourth function in the theory and application of psychological type

1 July 1985


The theory of personality type as originally developed by Jung and expanded upon by some early writers, including J. H. van der Hoop, a little known but important contributor to type theory, will be reviewed in chapter 1. I will also in this chapter consider some more recent developments in Jungian type theory, including the work of Marie-Louise von Franz on the inferior function. I will then review some recent work on psychological type, including that of David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates on temperament styles. Chapter 2 will focus on the development of the MBTI as a means to objectively assess personality type, examining both strengths and limitations. I will also compare it to two other instruments which purport to measure Jungian type, the Gray-Wheelwrights Type Survey and the Singer-Loomis Inventory. The relationship of the fourth function to these psychometric tools will be considered and recent challenges to Jung's basic assumption of attitude- and function-type bipolarity reviewed. Major applications of type theory and of the MBT! will be outlined, in chapter 3. I will explore here uses and limitations of type in diagnosis and in treatment. I will review research and clinically derived work which relates personality type to the success or failure of different treatment modalities, its uses in vocational and marital counseling, in Jungian analysis, and applications within an organizational setting. The role of the fourth or inferior function will again be considered, this time from an applied rather than theoretical or psychometric perspective. Finally, in chapter 4, I will explore a possible extension of type theory to include fuller use of the inferior function in understanding the structure and dynamics of personality. The issue of bipolarity will be explored further and a theoretical model incorporating the inferior function proposed and some applications of such a model for individual as well as group and organizational dynamics considered.


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