Nature: Thinking vs. Feeling

The Nature scale determines how we make decisions and cope with emotions. While we all have feelings, there are significant differences in how we react to them and what role those feelings play in our lives. This then influences a number of other areas, mostly related to our interactions with other people.

People with the Thinking (T) trait seek logic and rational arguments, relying on their head rather than their heart. They do their best to safeguard their emotions, shielding them from the outside world and making sure that they are not clearly visible. “Whatever happens, you must always keep a cool head” – this is the motto of Thinking types. However, this does not mean that these types are cold-blooded and indifferent. People with the Thinking trait are often just as emotional as those with the Feeling trait – but they tend to subdue and override their feelings with their rational logic.

A good example here would be these groups’ attitudes toward charitable causes, which we analyzed in several of our studies. Thinking types are significantly less likely to give to charities or be touched by their emotional appeals – however, does this mean that they are unwilling to help? Not necessarily – it turns out that Thinking personalities simply do not believe that giving to charity is the best way to help. They may be just as willing to help other people, but they may look for a different way – such as investing in education for the disadvantaged, for instance.

In contrast, people with the Feeling (F) trait follow their hearts and emotions and care little about hiding them. From their perspective, we should not be afraid to listen to our innermost feelings and share them with the world – these individuals tend to be compassionate, sensitive and highly emotional. They would rather cooperate than compete, although it would be a big mistake to see Feeling types as naïve or easily swayed – quite the contrary, they are likely to fight tooth and nail for what they believe in. For many Feeling types, their principles and ideals are much more important than, say, professional success. Or, to put it another way, this is a different kind of logic, one rooted in assessments of the feelings of others – a decision that makes everyone happier is just as valid as a decision that gets the job done fastest.

1 year ago
Super true. Although I am willing to step down when I come to teamwork, well only if your useful, I think that absolute truth is necessary, even if it enrages others. My views can only be persuaded, or at least made neutral, from evidence and facts. Logic is much more important to me than silly feelings.
3 months ago
Darn so true!
1 year ago
This totally makes sense. It seems that I just can't seem to push myself to win in competitions, because I feel that others should have a chance. But, then other people ask me why I am not trying hard. They just do not seem to understand that this is who I am.
1 year ago
For some reason, I ended up getting T even though I think cooperation is important too. I believe in some cases, cooperation leads to efficiency (e.g. while working in a team, it is better to be cooperative by not insulting/arguing with group members for something unrelated to a group project because it is wasting time, cooperation is what keeps society stable, etc)
5 months ago
T types can be cooperative
2 years ago
So, basically, a perfect example of a Thinking type is Spock (Star Trek The Original Series). And Dr. McCoy and Kirk are Feeling types. I'd better stop before I go into full analysis mode (I'm an INTJ-A).
1 year ago
So... I read many, MANY (sorry that was redundant, but it may or may not get my point across) books, and this has shown me that book characters tend to be varying degrees of feeling personalities. This is proven mainly by the fact that they fight furiously for what they believe in. Also, nice reference to Star Trek. It's very true. No one could possibly phrase that better. ((INTP-T) in case anyone was wondering or actually cared)
1 year ago
Not necessarily. Spock doesn't feel, while Thinking types just hide their feelings.
1 year ago
Me too and I Spocking love this!
1 year ago
Yes, I agree. But a rushed emotional decision makes the story so much more interesting (and is upsetting, like the decision of people in horror movies to split up - great idea!) (INTP-A btw)
1 year ago
Not true by the way. Spock is half human so he does have feelings.
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