sensing versus intuition, a different take

sensing versus intuition, a different take

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This is a discussion on sensing versus intuition, a different take within the Cognitive Functions forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; so everybody basically agrees that sensors take in the world via their five senses and memory and intuitives take in ...

  1. #1
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    sensing versus intuition, a different take

    so everybody basically agrees that sensors take in the world via their five senses and memory and intuitives take in the world via their internal process of connection and intuition. okay great, i pretty much agree with that too. except i am starting to notice something in the way i see and do things. i am a sensor. i am probably as SENSOR as you can get, complete with flashing lights. but yet i notice that i often get insights of intuition. the biggest example is if i am talking to someone. i can instinctively know there is something wrong with them, and i might even know why, without them ever telling me. i constantly get feelings from various things around me in my environment impressions and so on, i can know if a person is good or bad. the problem comes because i don't rely on it. at all.

    i don't trust those feelings because naturally, as a sensor, i rely on the concrete. and yet i cannot deny that many of my actions are based on what i can instinctively feel, i am constantly pushing for external clarification of what my mind vaguely hints at. i am starting to believe that this whole idea that sensors cannot have any intuition at all is bullshit. i think that we do have intuition. the issue is that we don't trust it. it isn't something we rely on. we always need specifics, we always need clarification, because we don't trust that something is accurate unless we know it is concrete and real.

    and that may be an explanation for why sensors are so concrete and demanding and external, because we are constantly seeking physical understanding of our little tiny mental impulses. unlike an infj who would get those little mental impulses and immediately rely on them, immediately act on them, immediately know they are real. sensors just can't do that, it is a difference in our ability to prioritize what we instinctively feel. it is important, but it is not as important as finding out if it is actually accurate.

    i think the differences in our cognitive functioning are not so much that we can't intuit our environment, but that we don't rely on that assessment of our surroundings to sustain us.


  2. #2
    Unknown Personality

    Well, I'm an INFJ and I'm pretty much just how described us. I always trust my intuiton. The only times I ever question it is when I'm under a lot of stress or pressure, which then leads to a bad decision that makes me want to kick myself for not going with my gut.

    I like your take on the matter. I personally don't see the giant sensor/intuitor divide that others see, but everyone else in my family is a sensor and I can definately say that I'm the only one who really trusts their intuition over fact sometimes. I don't really trust fact or reality unless I get a good vibe from them. I hope that doesn't make me sound like a crazy person or a hippy(lol). I just really trust my gut feelings on things. And sometimes its really nice to have sensors around who can tell me when I need to just take things at face value.

  3. #3
    ISFP - The Artists

    I don't think that's it. My ESFJ ex trusts some of his tertiary Ne insights, in fact so much that he used to ask me why I "second guess" myself. Of course, an unhealthy ESFJ can get in a narcissistic Fe/Ne loop, and I do think this is sometimes the case with him. He also projects his presence really well and I could sometimes feel him coming around a corner, even if my back was turned.

    I've also noticed a bit of an intuitive connection to an ISFJ I know that I can't quite explain.

    In this regard I think "intuition" as we think of it in the mystical or spiritual sense is something entirely different from MBTI Intuition. Getting gut hunches or even feeling an intuitive connection to another person is not necessarily an N thing, but I have speculated that it may be a strong feeler thing.

    I really think S vs. N is prioritizing detail vs. big picture thinking. People with lots of Si are great with detail and memory, and people with lots of Se notice things others miss and can react more quickly and accurately. People with lots of Ne are great at making big picture external connections, and people with lots of Ni have a knack for interpreting underlying meaning.
    MuChApArAdOx, Sybyll and Filigeedreamer thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ISFP - The Artists

    I'd also like to point out that my exes SJ mom was also fond of saying she got "feelings" about things. Often she was just being paranoid, but sometimes she was sot on...again, this is more like "woman's intution" or having a connection to other people rather than MBTI intuition.

    I can't stress this enough that believing in metaphysics or psychic phenomenon is not an MBTI thing. If that were true there wouldn't be any religious Sensors, either, and there wouldn't be NTs who are so fond of pure science and facts.

    Detail vs. Big Picture, Hands On vs. Theory.

    I do not believe that trusting your instincts or whatever makes you an Intuitive.
    ItsAlwaysSunny, Sybyll and OrangeAppled thanked this post.

  5. #5
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I think your intuitions maybe come from your Fe, Chaerian, rather than using an intuitive function. Not to say that you don't, of course, we all know that type is about preferences, not the sole use of certain functions.
    ItsAlwaysSunny thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by fourtines View Post
    and there wouldn't be NTs who are so fond of pure science and facts.
    This. I'm NT (Ne), and I use intuition a lot, but I don't rely on it, because I'm aware it can have imperfections and be faulty. I tend to think of it more as what you use/notice first, though I'm not sure how accurate that impression is outside of myself. Personally, I will always pick up on an intuitive perception first thing, and then figure out how I can use facts to prove it. And if I can't, I will discard the intuition, or at least set it aside until it can be proven right or wrong.
    fourtines, ItsAlwaysSunny, Sybyll and 2 others thanked this post.

  7. #7
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    i think maybe i might have presented myself wrong because people are attempting to contradict my point by using my point as a counterargument? at least from my perspective. i know i have an issue with presentation but :( that was a rather huge leap. @fourtines basically that is what i was attempting to say, but with using an example of myself in order to highlight what i meant. that intuition and metaphysical phenomenon and lack of structure and internal thought and so on are not purely related to mbti or to intuitives alone.

    @alfreda i think in the past i was generally convinced that my intuition came from my primary functions. i have made several posts about the idea that a person with extremely high si (such as myself) could take such details from their environment and understand them that it could just seem like intuition because it could seem so complex that a person might not know where the conclusions were drawn from. but the way it manifests in myself in terms of fe/si is far different than the simple 'feelings' i get about situations which are extensive and unrelated to the details of the situation at all. i find i can relate to the stories of infjs who say they just 'knew' something was going to happen. but for me, as a sensor, instead of simply going with it, i ignored it and waited for the details of my internal realization to actually appear in my environment before acting on it.

    hm. so i guess the idea of preferences is the same, then, but it seems like a lot of people tend to believe that because sensors are so in tune with their environment that they are incapable of internal realization or of using intuition at all. which i find kind of ridiculous, citing my own personal examples. i think while mbti is related to preferences, people seem to take it to believe these preferences are in exclusion of the other option. i.e, intuition, over sensing, internalization over sensory experience, practicality over imaginary, etc. i just don't really think that is true. i am married to an infj who adores sensory experience, is constantly commenting about her environment and who gains happiness from being in her environment alone. at the same time that she needs to take time every day and just be by herself inside her own head. so there is some kind of processing inefficiency here, i think, with regards to the way a lot of people seem to deal with mbti.

    i don't know, i am getting the impression i have just stated the obvious to everybody but it kind of felt like it needed to be said, you know? because from around here it is like preferences are set in stone or something.

  8. #8

    I don't think anyone has ever said Sensors are not able to Intuit. Just that they are designed to consult Sensing first.

    Anyone can use any function in their consciousness, though usually not equally well. It's a matter of what you prefer.
    exquisitesolace and ItsAlwaysSunny thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    Quote Originally Posted by fourtines View Post
    again, this is more like "woman's intution" or having a connection to other people rather than MBTI intuition.
    Important distinction. The layman's usage of "intuition" is a bit different from iNtuition, just as feeling is from Feeling.

    One misconception is the idea that noting patterns in N. S types note patterns in concrete data, N types prefer to note them in abstractions, or intangible matters. So often, S types seem to get vibes, to know something not directly stated, it's because they've picked up on small concrete details that form a pattern, often a pattern that implies something in the tangible realm (ie. hence, the association with Se being one with a physical element, as mentally they easily predict its immediate future result of the object).

    Remember, P functions don't reason. They are irrational and amount to immediate comprehension of a conclusion of sortts. It's kind of like your mind is working in the background putting a puzzle together, but you only see the finished picture. S types may "see" a full picture with tangible detail, but N types don't really see anything identifiable in a concrete way, but they have an abstract vision of sorts. So an S type may have a sudden realization without any reasoning on the concrete data itself, and not until they choose to evaluate the perception may they make the connection, and they will seek to make it to something concrete (because, as the OP says, its what they prefer & trust). In a sense here, N is supporting S, not being wholly unused, but not the preferred process either. N types also use S functions to a degree, but usually in support of their N perceptions.

    This definition of intuition below is interesting because of the implied disconnect from what is known from the past or current context highlights a facet of iNtuition. There's a grasp of an "object" (possibly meaning an external thought, not necessarily physical object) completely foreign without any connection to something already known/experienced by the person. Things are grasped on a sort of conceptual/theoretical level. Sensing seems to make a connection to something known in the tangible realm, even if the conclusion via the perception does not immediately include those details. Again, these are not reasoning processes, but awarenesses that come over the mind.

    an immediate cognition of an object not inferred or determined by a previous cognition of the same object.
    Thalassa, nevermore, fourtines and 1 others thanked this post.

  10. #10
    ISFP - The Artists

    I have a question which I hope isn't off-topic:

    I am extraordinarily good at visualizing sensory things people say, to the point that I can become easily disgusted by descriptions of gross food or unwanted sex acts, sometimes to the point of feeling it in my body.

    I also have no problem meditating on, say, the sight, smell, and feel of an orange.

    I wonder if this is sensing supported by intuition, intuition supported by sensing, or neither.


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