The blackswan character analysis

Based on the work of Swiss Psychiatrist Carl J Jung, the blackswan character analysis has been designed to quickly construct an accurate and comprehensive personality profile, based on your answers to a series of 36 questions. It compares four different areas of personality:

  • Extravert versus Introvert
  • Sensing versus Intuitive
  • Thinking versus Feeling
  • Judging versus Perceiving

This allows a complete personality profile to be built. The process takes approximately 4-5 minutes to complete, after which you will be presented with an in-depth and detailed profile of your character type.

Jung's Theory of Psychological Types

Carl Jung"It is not the purpose of a psychological typology to classify human beings into categories - this in itself would be pretty pointless. Its purpose is...a critical tool...to reduce the chaotic profusion of individual experiences to any kind of order." CJ Jung

Cognition is a general term defining the processing of information and applying knowledge and the functions involved in synthesising information for example, perception (seeing, hearing, and so on), attention, memory, and reasoning. Its Latin root is 'cognoscere,' which means 'to know' or 'to recognise.'

In trying to make sense of the differences in approach and standpoints of his colleagues Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, Jung realised that they were focusing on different worlds. Whilst Freud was primarily focused in his approach to patients on their adjustment to the external world, Adler’s focus was more on the primacy of the patients' inner world in determining their behaviours. Once Jung had recognised this polarity, he defined the now well known, fundamental concepts of the extraverted and introverted attitudes. He realised that some people orient themselves primarily to the world outside themselves, drawing energy from their external environment of people and situations and are thus extraverted by nature. Other people however orient themselves more readily to the internal world within themselves and are therefore introverted by nature and so draw their energies from within their internal environment and thus energised by more solitary, reflective activities.

Functions and cognitive processes

Jung realised, using the concept of extraversion and introversion to observe people, that it wasn't just an orientation to the inner world or outer world that made people different from each other, but just as important were the mental activities they were engaging in when they were inhabiting these worlds. He called these mental activities functions, based on the 'function' being performed, and these are now often referred to as mental or cognitive processes. Jung described four cognitive processes and said that every mental act consists of using at least one of these four cognitive processes. Furthermore, these cognitive processes are used in either an extraverted or introverted way. He also noticed that there are two major kinds of mental processes and so he classified the functions into two primary groups:

Perception and Judging.

Perception

This is the process involved in becoming aware of something, ie how we take information in, process and access it. Jung called this an irrational process since the awareness simply comes to us. He further identified two kinds of perception: Sensation and Intuition. Sensing is a taking in information in a tangible, concrete way, focusing, according to Jung, "...on the perception of actualities...These
are the fact-minded men, in whom intellectual judgement, feeling, and intuition are driven into the background by the paramount importance of actual facts." Intuiting is a process of taking in information in concepts and visually, around future possibilities and where, according to Jung, "...actual reality counts only in so far as it seems to harbour possibilities which then become the supreme motivating force, regardless of the way things actually are in the present." Sensing and intuiting can both be undertaken in either the outer, extraverted world or in the inner, introverted world.

Judgment

The other kind of mental process identified by Jung is judgment, a process of organising and evaluating information, and coming to conclusions. Using the judging process, some sort of evaluation is made and Jung identified two kinds of judgment: Thinking and Feeling, both of which can be used in either the outer, extraverted world or in the inner, introverted world. Thinking judgments are based on objective criteria or principles, as Jung describes, "...judgement is reserved as to what significance should be attached to the facts in question. And on this significance will depend the way in which the individual deals with the facts." Feeling judgments are based on personal, interpersonal, or universal values as Jung describes, "...adaptation will depend entirely on the feeling value he attributes to them."

To let Jung himself sum up: "The essential function of sensation is to establish that something exists, thinking tells us what it means, feeling what its value is, and intuition surmises whence it comes and
whither it goes." Psychological Types, CW 6, pars 1-7

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