Thinking

Logical intellectual activity that produces a chain of ideas is called thinking. The thinking type can be either extraverted or introverted, depending on a person's basic attitude.

Extroverted thinking people rely heavily on concrete thoughts, but they may also use abstract ideas if these ideas have been transmitted to them from without, for example, from parents or teachers. Mathematicians and engineers make frequent use of extraverted thinking in their work. Accountants, too, are extraverted thinking types because they must be objective and not subjective in then approach to numbers. Not all objective thinking, however, is productive. Without at least some individual interpretation, ideas are merely previously known facts with no originality or creativity (Jung, 1921/1971).

Introverted thinking people react to external stimuli, but then interpretation of an event is colored more by the internal meaning they bring with them than by the objective facts themselves. Inventors and philosophers are often introverted thinking types because they react to the external world in a highly subjective and creative manner, interpreting old data in new ways. When carried to an extreme, introverted thinking results in unproductive mystical thoughts that are so individualized that they are useless to any other person (Jung, 1921/1971).

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