July 11, 2014 by philipbullitthughes
Today I’d like to tackle that age old question that so often plagues the Myers Briggs community: the difference between iNtuitive and Sensing. But I’m not going to explain it so much as show a fun way to identify the difference.
Now, most of you may already know intellectually what the differences may be. Ns are abstract in their thinking, enjoying topics that can only be imagined, while Ss tend to enjoy discussing the concrete details of the world.
You must ask the right questions, of course.
Recently, at a 4th of July party, there was a gathering of a large amount of personalities. One my friends brought her new boyfriend to the party and demanded I identify his type (I say demanded because she’s an ENTJ.) The fellow had never even heard of Myers-Briggs and so, with the urging of my peers, I decided I would do my best to explain. Afterwards they wanted me to type him.
Through a series of questions we determined he was an Introvert, a Thinker, and a Perceiver. But the iNtuitive versus Sensing question had the majority of the room stumped. So I decided to throw out my favorite question to ask a room full of people: if you could own a pet dragon or pegasus, which would you choose?
The guy didn’t miss a beat. “Dragon,” he told me. Why? “Because it’s cooler.” That’s all? “That’s all.”
Instantly I knew what he was. I turned to my friend, a well known INTJ, and asked him what he would choose. “Well it depends. I might choose a dragon, but what would be its size? Can it breathe fire? Does it even like me?”
His father, an ENTP interrupted him. “You don’t want a dragon. Pegasus can create a Hippocrene. That’d be incredibly useful.” For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), according to the legend, wherever the winged horse’s hoofs strike the earth, a spring bursts forth.
After allowing the rest of the room to chime in, I told them my conclusion. Her boyfriend was a Sensor.
If you ask an N an abstract answer their curiosity will inevitably be piqued and they tend to go on and on with questions and reasons. When I asked him why he didn’t give me any other reasons besides, “It’s cooler,” he told me, “I mean, does it really matter? It’s fake.”
Sensors might play along, but the intensity and excitement over something fictional usually doesn’t hold their interests for long. If I had let the question linger, the Ns might have circled around dragons and pegasuses the entire night.
Is this method fool proof? Absolutely not. But it’s fairly accurate and adds some fun into the interrogation. That said my question for you is this: what would you prefer to own as a pet? A dragon or a pegasus? Your answer says more about you than you might realize.