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Sensing vs Intuition – How Do You Perceive Information?

Sensing vs Intuition – How Do You Perceive Information?Updated on March 11, 2021 | Published on October 23, 2019
Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD, Certified Psychiatrist

Sensing vs Intuition – How Do You Perceive Information?

All human beings are born with the same faculties. But who we are and how we experience the world is unique to every individual. While a group of us can be similar, we are never the same! That stands true even when it comes to processing information. So what is your personality type when it comes to sensing vs intuition?

Some of us make the best use of our five sensory organs. Whereas, some other process information based on the patterns that emerge from them. Every person can have a healthy combination of both. But everyone has a dominant preference in the way they process information.

Are you curious to find out which way you lean? Let’s find out by understanding more about sensing and intuition

Sensing vs Intuition – Personality Tests

Before diving into the “sensing vs intuition” discussion, here’s some background –

The psychological type theory was first introduced by Carl Jung in the 1920s. Most importantly, Carl Jung spoke about four cognitive functions. Namely- thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Pairing them with extroversion or introversion led to different personality types.

Consequently, Katharine Cooks Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. The intention was to make Jung’s theory more accessible to everyone.

The Myers Briggs personality test makes people aware of how they perceive. Be it people, things, happenings or ideas. Therefore, the result helps one understand why they behave how they behave. In addition, it also gives a good understanding of why not all people behave the same way. Hence, the test result produces insights into how others may perceive things in a different way.

The Myers Briggs test makes use of 8 functions leading to 16 personality types. For instance, sensing and intuition are two of the eight functions. These two functions shed light on how a person processes the received information.

Sensing Personality

The Sensing Personality Type
The Sensing Personality Type

Sensing is paying more attention to the reality that one can perceive physically. So, people with a sensing preference find themselves rooted in the present world. Therefore, they are practical, logical, methodical and action-oriented.

Sensors process information based on what they can see, touch, hear, smell and taste. Hence, the words “here and now” best describe the sensing type. Now let’s look into their main characteristics one by one  –

  • Present – A sensor lives in the current reality. As a result, they pay attention to what is actually happening around them.
  • Concrete – A sensor makes meaning based on concrete verifiable information. Therefore, they depend on their past experiences to chart the course of their future actions.
  • Factual – A sensor collects facts and remembers important details. And they use it to deduce and process the received information.
  • Practical – A person who belongs to the sensing types is practical and quite logical. Above all, they like to put their day to day learning into action to solve everyday problems.
  • Methodical – A sensor likes to pursue things in a step by step manner. And this makes them great assets, especially in work situations.
  • Detail-oriented –  A sensor enjoys paying attention to detail. Therefore, they are always ready to go to the depths of a problem. Especially, if it means achieving a clear and defined result.
  • Realistic – A sensor can face disappointment if they stumble into abstract situations. In other words, they do not like to deal with open-ended scenarios.

Intuitive Personality

The Intuitive Personality Type
The Intuitive Personality Type

Intuition involves paying attention to emerging patterns from the received information. Therefore, intuitive people are able to make sense of the abstract and read between the lines. Above all, they are imaginative, inspired, creative and always looking at the big picture.

Let’s take a look into the primary characteristics of an intuitive person –

  • Instinctive – An intuitive person relies on their instinct or what we also call gut feeling. So, they are able to make sense of facts that may seem disconnected to others.
  • Abstract – An intuitive person loves working with symbolism and abstract theories. Sometimes they do not grasp the concepts in a logical sense. But they are still able to use the knowledge to its full effect.
  • Futuristic – An intuitive person gets very excited about new things. As a result, they dwell in the future, rather than grounding in the present reality.
  • Inspirational – A person with intuition preference is always inspired by new and improved possibilities. Hence, they work towards bringing about a positive change in the world.
  • Creative – An intuitive person places immense value on imagination, creativity, and innovation. So they do not prefer tasks that involve repetition or monotonicity.
  • Idealistic – An intuitive person looks into the bigger picture. In other words, they do not like mundane activities that need attention to detail. Reading between the lines comes naturally to them.
  • Theoretical – An intuitive person solves problems through deep thinking. Therefore, they make great philosophers and thinkers. But they are usually not very keen on implementing the theory.

Sensing vs Intuition Test

Sensing vs Intuition
Sensing vs Intuition

Here are some tabulated statements. Prefix every sentence with “I”, and mark the statements as True or False. Take this quick test and analyze which column you fall under. This will help you understand which style of perception you lean towards!

Sensing Intuition
Depends on concrete facts. Looks at the abstract big picture.
Remembers every detail from an event. Captures my impression of the event.
Relies on actual experience and logical deduction. Reads between the lines and connect disconnected facts.
Solves problems by paying attention to all the available facts. Solves problems by thinking through different ideas and imagining endless possibilities.
Chooses to act. Be theoretical.
Lives in the current reality. Dwells in future possibilities.
Sensing vs Intuition

Take-home Message

To sum it up, the intention of understanding our personality type is not to compare. Moreover, the way we perceive information does not make us right or wrong. Firstly, awareness of “sensing vs intuition” perception can help us understand ourselves better. Secondly, it allows us to appreciate the differences we see in people. So may this knowledge help us to grow and celebrate the uniqueness of every individual.

Sensing vs Intuition FAQs

How to be more intuitive than sensing?

To develop your intuition vs sensing, you have to pay more attention to the big picture, rather than stick to details. You should be able to let go of the idea that meaning can be made only from logical sequential facts.

Are intuitives smarter than sensors?

There is no clear winner in the sensing vs intuition debate. Intuitives look at the big picture and are able to make sense of disconnected facts. Whereas sensors pay attention to detail and cannot make sense without tackling facts in a linear fashion.

How intuitives and sensors communicate?

If you observe sensing vs intuition test, sensors stick to the point and communicate only facts supporting the topic in hand. Whereas, intuitives may come off as ramblers, as they jump from one idea to another, which may seem incoherent to sensors.

What does intuitive mean in personality test?

Intuitive personality traits revealed in tests include strong instincts, ability to read between the lines and make connections between random facts. Intuitives prefer the abstract and theoretical and are always working to change the world.

What does sensing mean in personality test?

The sensing personality definition from tests suggests that sensors rely purely on the information they receive from their senses. They rely on their past experiences to determine future actions. They are practical, logical and active.