Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Judging vs. Perceiving

I have recovered from the week of finals and study and, having collected my grades, am now enjoying a bit of repose with my family before starting work for the summer. (Research in heat transfer, pressures, temperatures, heat fluxes, etc.)
So 'tis high time for the last dichotomy of the MBTI dichotomies.

This dichotomy concerns how people interact with the outside world, with external factors. The judging and perceiving words can be most misleading to a lot of people. I think these may be the ones most widely different from their usual meanings (though the introvert/extrovert may be most misunderstood).

A judger tends prefers order and organization. They may like to write lists. In a group setting, they will probably attempt to form some type of structure for the group and will schedule as many things as they can.

A perceiver prefers to leave things more open-ended. They can find too much structure to be stifling.

As with all the others, just because one has a preference does not mean that person cannot act in one of the other preferences. Judgers can deal with spontaneity and even be spontaneous at times, they just tend to prefer more scheduling. Some people think judgers are more competent than perceivers, i.e. they will get more work done sooner and better. But this is not true. Perceivers may not organize things in ways that managers of groups like, but they can still be extremely competent.

I had the most experience with conflicts in groups caused by this differences in preference of this particular dichotomy. This past semester I was in a design group of seven people. Five had perceiving preferences and two had judging preferences. The entire group as a whole worked more as perceivers. We scheduled things as little as possible, set up no leadership, and generally let people work on the pieces of our design as they wished. Whenever we met for a meeting outside of class (which only occurred when we had reports and presentations due), the judgers organized the pieces for everyone to do and we sat and did them. The perceivers were mostly happy with the arrangement, but the judgers felt the project could have been done faster with more scheduling. But we did get the project done and turned in on time.


Carla said...

How would someone like me be classified? I usually prefer having structure and organization, but end up doing a lot of stuff on the fly because it takes too much energy and time to plan.

Anonymous said...

All the traits are scalar- and you likely scale somewhere near the middle, giving you traits from both camps.