Each personality type has four Cognitive Functions. Functions put language to the way they process information and make decisions, and their order is based on personal preferences. Thinking and Feeling are used to make decisions, while iNtuition and Sensing are used to process information. Each type is referred to by their top two functions. Internal functions are the ones you use in your head, and external functions are the ones you use to interact with the world around you.
The SeTi's functions are:
1. Se - extroverted Sensing
Se is the main way SeTi’s take in information and their core function. This means they use their senses to understand the world around them and they handle solid, real world information better than vague hypotheticals. They live in the moment and need to constantly seek out adventure and fun, sensory experiences to keep Se happy.
2. Ti - introverted Thinking
Ti is what fuels their drive to understand the world, as well as their focus on mastering hands-on skills and talents. It comes second in their “functional stack”, and it operates mostly in their subconscious. It primarily does analysis on the ideas that their Se creates based on their experiences. It provides a logical framework and reference material to determine which ideas are logical and which are not, and to figure out how they might be implemented. Because Ti is serving Se, it primarily seeks knowledge as a “tool” that can be wielded to solve problems.
3. Fe - extroverted Feeling
Fe is third, and is where the SeTi’s humanitarian side originates. It is a major factor in their drive to use their problem-solving skills to help others and make the world a better place, rather than using them for purely selfish purposes. In social situations, it often combines with Se to make them huge jokers. Although they’re a more extroverted type, they often get into social situations where they just enjoy the company and don’t feel the need to say much. Because of their strong Se, they often choose to show affection for others through their actions as it tends to be the most comfortable for them.
4. Ni - introverted iNtuition
Ni is the SeTi’s last function and is often their achilles heel. It is inherently not as strong as their other functions because their highest priority and focus is on Se. Ni allows them to pull from every area in their brain to find valuable data, to look for patterns in the information they gather, or to skip ten steps ahead and predict what will happen in the future. Ni makes their internal world abstract and can involve jumping around on intuitive leaps. It can also give them the sense that it’s okay to not have everything figured out. Overuse of their Ni can be very draining, and may be unhealthy if it’s constantly given priority over other functions.
Dominant Function and Core of the External World:
Se is all about in-the-moment, tangible, concrete, real world experiences and perceptions, and how SeTi’s can connect their physical surroundings to their shifting, analytical inner world. It’s possible that those with strong Se are the only people who truly live “in the moment”, in a sense. They view the world as a solid force, and prefer to take in information in a concrete, solid way. Because they do not experience solidity within themselves, they seek that stability in the world around them.
SeTi’s especially feel that every moment would be best spent on something worthwhile and fun. When they are faced with a task they need to complete that they might find boring and arduous, such as folding laundry, or memorizing mathematical theorems for a test, they are likely to find ways of making it enjoyable for themselves. They may make the task of folding laundry into a sort of game, or they may start changing the lyrics of their favorite song to fit the theorem, or anything else that makes the task more interesting and enjoyable. They do what they can to make life fun, but they can still power through the tedious necessities. They are more productive when they can work in short increments, and are able to take breaks incrementally to have fun and move around.
SeTi’s have a strong need to be engaged in physical activity and DOING stuff in a tangible way, ideally being able to go as far as their physical limits allow and not having to interrupt the flow of the activity. For example, if an SeTi was a newspaper delivery person, they’d be likely to set themselves up in such a way as to deliver their papers by throwing them to each door step as they ride by, instead of having to stop at each house and walk up to the doorstep. It’s very frustrating for them to have to stop or wait around in the middle of doing things, like waiting around in line for two hours to be able to ride a roller coaster.
The ideal scenario for an SeTi is to engage in an activity where they get to do varied kinesthetic activities and add in new stuff as they go, without having to stop the activity before they decide they are done. Even if their work is very fulfilling and satisfying, if it is not engaging to them in a physical or pseudo-physical capacity (i.e. video games, or watching action-oriented movies), they are going to get bored quickly.
SeTi’s need a certain level of impulsiveness in life to be happy. While they don’t absolutely abhor schedules, it does get irritating for them when a schedule becomes more important than doing the things a schedule is supposed to allow time for. They also might break the rules from time to time, but not necessarily to rebel or make a point. They simply don’t think in terms of rules and procedures. Their focus is on actions that will accomplish specific things.
Rules typically restrict people to doing a certain thing in a certain limited way, and SeTi’s tend to just want results immediately, without being restricted to achieving their goals in a predetermined way. They have a hard time not moving to action right away. They aren’t likely to be against rules in principle, but when the rules become more important than the desired outcome, then rules start to seem really ridiculous and counterproductive them.
SeTi’s really enjoy doing things with people as a means of getting acquainted. They crave thrill and adventure. Exploring nature, getting involved in physical sports, or getting their hands dirty and doing things in the physical world is very cathartic for them. The Se side of an SeTi makes them value beauty very highly, and they are likely to seek out beautiful, serene surroundings, especially in nature. Their surroundings have a strong influence on them, and they are very aware of their physical environment.
Se is all about very tangible, 5-senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, sound) experiences, so creating art or making things with their hands (i.e. playing an instrument, painting, doing mechanical work, or various types of craftsmanship, etc.) is very gratifying to them when it’s something they like. In creating tangible things, they get to put their knowledge and skills to use by expressing meaning in real-world ways that other people can experience and enjoy.
When an SeTi does something to engage their senses, it drives them and gives them energy. Without beautiful, “5 senses” types of experiences, their energy and creativity flatlines and they may turn to unhealthy vices like binging on food, alcohol, television, or video games to try to fill this need for physical engagement. This need is better filled with exercise, exploration, and play.
SeTi’s are excited about the here and now of what is going on around them. They are very present, and might find it difficult to plan far into the future. They are so fully present in the moment that the current situation they find themselves in feels like it’s their whole world. If you were to ask an SeTi what their life is like, they may tell you about their current circumstances rather than the big picture.
However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t able to process things that aren’t immediately apparent to them. They are very interested in figuring things out on a deeper level - thinking about what “is”, and what makes it that way. The difference between an SeTi and similar, more introspective types, is that SeTi’s don’t want to have to stop and take their time to consider and analyze things, they prefer figuring things out in the midst of action, as they go. Sitting down to quietly study for a driving test is far less effective for this type than getting behind the wheel and actually practicing and figuring out how the car works as they go. They crave a hands-on approach.
Second Function and the Core of the Internal World:
SeTi’s use Ti for solving problems and finding answers. Ti best lends itself to in-depth logical analysis. SeTi’s are actually fairly balanced between their gut-feeling and objective logic sides, but sometimes they will shut out emotions in order to be more objective. They often do this when problem-solving, starting a new activity, or arguing.
Ti differs from Te (extroverted Thinking) in that those with Ti don’t easily make near-instantaneous executive decisions. They do much better when they have time to fully understand things and make decisions about them. SeTi’s appreciate being able to analyze a concept before coming to a conclusion about it, although they’re probably going to do their analyzations as they go, versus stopping to mull things over and over. As they have experiences in a certain areas, they gain huge stores of knowledge and continuously put the pieces together.
Their analyzation is best done and most enjoyable when they are in the midst of an activity already. They are great at thinking on their feet in the midst of action. Think about a stunt person driving an obstacle course, having to quickly and precisely calculate the exact speed and distance needed to safely get through all the obstacles. They have this story of experiences that their Ti has been analyzing in the background up until this moment, and now it’s able to feed it all to Se so that it can respond with the optimal in-the-moment response.
Ti is the part of them that is primarily concerned with learning. Not just gaining knowledge, but understanding complex things in a deep way. SeTi’s like to focus on real world problems and often have a strong appreciation for mastery and doing things with excellence and beauty. They don’t just want to learn, they want to be able to do something with it. Although they like having time to think about things, having Se first means they can take physical action when it’s clear and needed in the moment, rather than feeling a need to analyze every little thing to death before acting.
In preliminary neuroscience findings by Dario Nardi, Ph.D., strong Ti is correlated with being able to do multiple types of analysis at once. SeTi’s primarily use these three regions:
Deductive Analyst - The ability to “linearly derive solutions using verbal/symbolic reasoning. For example, if A=B, and B=C, then logically A=C. Using this region is like moving (and perhaps backtracking) along the branches of a tree.” SeTi’s use this region more than any other Ti type.
Expert Classifier - This allows them to “categorize and define concepts in a holistic way using a best-fit process. For example, it helps us determine whether a dolphin better fits in the mammal or fish category as it sorts many categories simultaneously.”
Odds Assessment - Holistically weighing numerous pros and cons of many uncertain or risky factors or opinions at once to arrive at a single result. For example, how are the odds when you play a particular betting game?
The SeTi mind shows a “tennis hop” pattern according to Nardi, where the brain easily maintains a state of momentum so that at any moment it’s ready to jump to action for a surprising, incoming task. They easily get in the zone when engaging in a crisis situation, and are able to quickly integrate sensory information in order to perform tactile, physical tasks, even when they’ve never done them before.
These types of analysis in combination with their action-seeking minds allow for skill in physically trying situations and problems with a high risk factor. SeTi’s often have a thrill-seeking side, and may enjoy sports, gambling, skydiving, bungee jumping, adventure travel or speeding down the highway in a sports car or on their motorcycle. SeTi’s are often perceived based on this side of them that loves adventure and needs thrilling new experiences, but what people often don’t see is the sharp mind behind it all. Because Se is external and therefore all about interacting with the real world, it’s obvious to others, while Ti is internal and hidden unless it’s intentionally brought out and shared.
SeTi’s love new experiences. They are always looking for something fresh to do or try. Because their brain is constantly on the lookout for tactical action, they are easily bored when they aren’t using their body at all for the task they’re working on. They need fresh challenges and problems to solve, and love picking things apart to understand how they work. SeTi’s need constant challenges and can also get bored if things are too easy. They may take risks just to keep things interesting at times.
They are most comfortable having expertise in something that involves hands-on or practical work. It’s best when their job and hobbies result in accomplishments that are clear and measureable in the real world. Although they enjoy mastery, they don’t like to be masters at predictable or routine things. They generally get tired of repetitive procedural work very quickly, although they are generally willing to power through such activities in order to get the job done. They will often find ways to make repetitive tasks into a game or enlist a friend who can help take their minds off the tedious work.
SeTi’s tend to enjoy careers in graphic design, user experience, sports, leading adventure trips, guiding people through outdoor activities, the sciences, mechanics, sales, engineering, personal training, etc. They can be effective leaders if they have an enthusiastic team and someone reliable to handle the minute details.
Third Function and Supporting Role in the External World:
SeTi’s are naturally diplomatic, and generally good with people. They can be very charming without even intending to be. Although other people’s feelings and values aren’t at the forefront of their minds all the time, they are usually loyal, caring, considerate individuals.
Fe differs from Fi, in that Fi is focused internally and constantly asks, “How do I feel about this?”, while Fe is focused externally and asks, “How does the group feel about this?” The main difference between Fe and Fi is that the person with Fi can naturally qualify and quantify their own picture of themselves as if they are looking directly into a mirror. For person with Fe, their metaphorical mirror is pointed outward. This means they may know how they feel inside, but they may not get a clear sense of what that actually means or looks like until they get feedback from others.
It is worth noting that when it comes to Feeling functions in type theory (Fe and Fi), Feeling does not equal emotions. Feeling functions, Fe in the case of SeTi’s, are about how a person determines their values. They don’t spend a ton of time thinking about their own values and ruminating over how they feel about every little thing. They prefer to go with the flow and deal with how they feel about certain issues as they come up in life. SeTi’s tend to value the thoughts and feelings of other people, and do their best to take these into account. They get frustrated with drama and petty conflict, and prefer that people learn to get along with each other and not “sweat the small stuff”, so to speak.
When it comes to social expectations of how they should act, or what they should say, SeTi’s might come off as a little irreverent. They’re not against social rules in principle, but they might see some rules as a little crazy or unnecessary, and generally feel that people should just learn to not be jerks and not be offended by stupid, trivial stuff. They’re not afraid to poke fun at their friends, or say things others might be thinking, but are afraid to say for fear of accidentally offending someone. They’re not too fond of doing things because of some arbitrary rule, although they’re not actually out to actually piss people off. They tend to see societal expectations of conduct such as, “Females should always behave like ladies”, or, “You shouldn’t talk about politics or religion in polite company” very pointless. If they can’t see a reason for acting a certain way, they’re probably not going to do so just to make other people happy.
But when it comes actually to treating other people how they want to be treated, SeTi’s are understanding and sympathetic. They will find subtle ways of helping achieve harmony among friends and family, whether that means diverting people’s attention towards something besides the conflict at hand, or simply being the person that calmly talks everyone off the proverbial ledge.
SeTi’s are generally good at picking up on other people’s emotions. They tend to use mirroring and general playfulness and humor to relate to people. It can be difficult for them to be around unexpressive people, and if they sense a lot of emotional stuff going on with someone just under the surface, it may make them uncomfortable. They’re unlikely to want to draw others out of their emotional shells unless they have a very close relationship to that person (i.e. spouse, best friend, etc). They like things that are apparent and obvious, so they may feel like deeper, unexpressed emotional stuff is either none of their business, or a manipulation tactic, and remain skeptical of people who hide their true feelings and intentions.
When it comes to dealing with others’ heavy emotional stuff, SeTi’s may default to trying to fix something tangible for the person who is upset, instead of just sitting down to listen. It can take some direct requests from others before the SeTi learns how to appropriately respond when people around them are in pain and just need a friendly ear.
Fourth Function and the Supporting Role of the Internal World:
Ni is the last process an SeTi uses. They are so focused on the here-and-now of what is going on around them that their intuition doesn’t always occur to them in blatant or obvious ways. They experience their inner world in a vaguely intuitive way. It is open and somewhat fluid, and in their search for meaning they are always evolving and shifting internally, though they see the outer world as very solid and unchangeable. When they consider various concepts or ideas, they tend to see them from multiple angles and points of view, which they bring together to form one coherent idea.
While SeTi’s can plan and make future-oriented goals, it’s not something they want to spend a great deal of time doing. If they need to make a big purchase or big decision, they’ll sit down and plan out the details, research, and consider the possible outcome of their choice, but in general they don’t rely on future predictions very heavily.
They might enjoy thinking about the future in a vague way, but they have the sense that focusing too much on what might be is pointless. They feel that if they focus on what is going on currently, and know how to adapt to things as they come up, the future is automatically going to be taken care of. If they do what they need to do now in a certain way (good or bad), they know their future is going to reflect those actions. Their intuition is subconscious, so while they are always calculating for the future, it might not always be obvious, even to them. But because their “right here, right now” actions are always focused on setting themselves up for the next step, they are aware of what the future will bring in a vague sense.
Depending on what stage of development the SeTi is in, they may have different levels of comfort with more theoretical subjects, but generally speaking, Ni can handle the abstract as long as Se can see a clear use for it in the real world. Typically, if the SeTi chooses to invest in something like abstract algebra, it’s because they have a particular goal in mind for it. They generally don’t enjoy speculation for its own sake. Rather, they see knowledge as tools of the mind, which enable them to be more capable at various tasks. Some SeTi’s find it useful to map out a general direction to make sure they actually get to where they want to go so that they don’t waste time learning things they can’t apply later on. While their Se side cares mostly about what is useful in the moment, Ni is able to provide balance by considering what might be needed in the future.
Ti is combined with Ni to make an interesting combination of abstract, objective analysis. Because much of the SeTi’s analysis is performed in their subconscious, it can be very tricky for them to eloquently describe their logic. This can also make it hard for others to see their intelligence. Their intuitive side is always seeking to understand things more deeply and wants to discover the core essence of things, but putting language to their abstract thought processes requires a lot of effort as they don’t naturally think in a verbal or linear fashion.
Everything in their inner world is linked through constantly shifting and evolving webs. They might have a gut instinct that something is going to happen, often right before that scenario plays out in front of them. It can even feel psychic, because their introverted iNtuition (Ni) is subconsciously trying to figure out what comes next.
They subconsciously calculate several possibilities based on what is happening around them in the moment. When it comes to the past, most of what they recall is the overall feeling of their experiences, rather than vivid details. Throughout their experience (whether of life in general, or in the story of a book or movie, etc), their mind naturally highlights themes and sees patterns of meaning within the overarching story. They will re-evaluate things, or think about certain questions from different angles. Their Ni side knows that it’s impossible to uncover the full truth in any area, and is like a comforting friend who pats their shoulder and says, “It’s okay. You don’t have to have everything figured out.”
SeTi’s may subconsciously see patterns and make connections in things with their Ni. For example, when read a complex theory, it might not immediately make sense, but after moving on to a new activity, their subconscious connects the dots. Everything will synthesize in their mind and they will have an “aha!” moment where everything becomes clear. Although these moments of clarity are nice, relying too much on them can be very draining. While they should learn to trust their instincts, over reliance on intuitive premonitions is likely to make them more paranoid than anything.
While SeTi’s can handle abstract ideas, concepts, and conversations, they can tire of this type of thought quickly if they see no practical, real world value for it. While endless speculation about every possibility under the sun will tire them, if you give them one abstract concept, they can run with it—building on it, and feeling out how to make it a tangible reality. Jumping from one abstract idea to another in rapid succession will get exhausting and is likely to make them lose interest in the conversation quickly.
SeTi’s are great at helping others in crisis mode, since they can prepare for what might come next based on what is going on in the moment. Because they are very in-the-moment, they probably won’t be thinking about every possibility for their own lives 5 years in the future. Their intuition reaches into the immediate future instead, so they know what to deal with next.
If their current situation feels turbulent, stressful, or overwhelming, they might have the sense that their life in general is now out of their control. If the way out is not immediately obvious, they might feel completely hopeless. It can seem that their circumstances are never going to change, and that their current reality will be their reality forever. SeTi’s in the midst of their own crises may need to enlist someone else who can help them out of their difficult situation and remind them that what’s happening right now won’t be their reality forever.