Psychological Types HTML version

question of typical attitudes, with a universality far greater than a limited psychological
experience would at first assume. In reality, as the preceding chapters will have shown, it is a
question of a fundamental opposition; at times clear and at times obscure, but always emerging
whenever we are dealing with individuals whose personality is in any way pronounced. Such
men are found not only among the educated classes, but in every rank of society; with equal
distinctness, therefore, our types can be demonstrated among labourers and peasants as
among the most differentiated members of a nation. Furthermore, these types over-ride the
distinctions of sex, since one finds the same contrasts amongst women of all classes. Such a
universal distribution could hardly arise at the instigation of consciousness, ie. as the result of a
conscious and deliberate choice of attitude. If this were the case, a definite level of society,
linked together by a similar education and environment and, therefore, correspondingly
localized, would surely have a majority representation of such an attitude. But the actual facts
are just the reverse, for the types have, apparently, quite a random distribution. [p. 414] In the
same family one child is introverted, and another extraverted.
Since, in the light of these facts, the attitude-type regarded as a general phenomenon having
an apparent random distribution, can be no affair of conscious judgment or intention, its
existence must be due to some unconscious instinctive cause. The contrast of types, therefore,
as a, universal psychological. phenomenon, must in some way or other have its biological
The relation between subject and object, considered biologically, is always a relation of
adaptation, since every relation between subject and object presupposes mutually modifying
effects from either side. These modifications constitute the adaptation. The typical attitudes to
the object, therefore, are adaptation processes. Nature knows two fundamentally different ways
of adaptation, which determine the further existence of the living organism the one is by
increased fertility, accompanied by a relatively small degree of defensive power and individual
conservation; the other is by individual equipment of manifold means of self-protection, coupled
with a relatively insignificant fertility. This biological contrast seems not merely to be the
analogue, but also the general foundation of our two psychological modes of adaptation, At this
point a mere general indication must suffice; on the one hand, I need only point to the
peculiarity of the extravert, which constantly urges him to spend and propagate himself in every
way, and, on the other, to the tendency of the introvert to defend himself against external
claims, to conserve himself from any expenditure of energy directly related to the object, thus
consolidating for himself the most secure and impregnable position.
Blake's intuition did not err when he described the two forms as the "prolific" and the
"devouring" [1] As is [p. 415] shown by the general biological example, both forms are current
and successful after their kind ; this is equally true of the typical attitudes. What the one brings
about by a multiplicity of relations, the other gains by monopoly.
The fact that often in their earliest years children display an unmistakable typical attitude forces
us to assume that it cannot possibly be the struggle for existence, as it is generally understood,
which constitutes the compelling factor in favour of a definite attitude. We might, however,
demur, and indeed with cogency, that even the tiny infant, the very babe at the breast, has
already an unconscious psychological adaptation to perform, inasmuch as the special character
of the maternal influence leads to specific reactions in the child. This argument, though
appealing to incontestable facts, has none the less to yield before the equally unarguable fact
that two children of the same mother may at a very early age exhibit opposite types, without the
smallest accompanying change in the attitude of the mother. Although nothing would induce me
to underestimate the well-nigh incalculable importance of parental influence, this experience
compels me to conclude that the decisive factor must be looked for in the disposition of the
child. The fact that, in spite of the greatest possible similarity of external conditions, one child
will assume this type while another that, must, of course, in the last resort he ascribed to
individual disposition. Naturally in saying this I only refer to those cases which occur under
normal conditions. Under abnormal conditions, i.e. when there is an extreme and, therefore,
abnormal attitude in the mother, the children can also be coerced into a relatively similar
attitude; but this entails a violation of their individual disposition, which quite possibly would