intuitive sensor

Of the four dichotomies, the largest discrepancy lies in the difference between Sensors and Intuitives. Whereas there is an approximate 50/50 split in the population between the other preferences, a full 70% of the population prefers Sensing versus only 30% favoring Intuition.

When you distill it down, the difference between Sensors and Intuitives is this: Sensors prefer reliability of information, and Intuitives prefer speed and depth of insight. This ends up manifesting itself a couple of unique ways. First, Intuitives learn to trust pattern recognition to help them understand information quickly and see things that aren’t ‘there’. Basically, they extrapolate large amounts of information from only a few data points.

Sensors, of course, have this same ability. But they don’t trust it, and so they don’t hone it. Instead, they trust reliable information – things that can be verified in the Real World. Therefore, they become masters of historical information – their own history as well as other people’s. They also become fantastic at manipulating objects in real time. There is no need to question reality when it’s right there in front of you. Reality is reliable. Speculation isn’t.

Second, how they see information informs how both these preferences see time. If real, reliable, solid information is what you choose to focus upon, then the here-and-now context becomes far more important, as well as past information (which used to be the here-and-now context). Sensors can’t rely on what hasn’t happened yet, so the future becomes far less interesting. On the other hand, Intuitives are already comfortable seeing what ‘isn’t there’ – as in, they’re comfortable theorizing and speculating on what could be in both the here-and-now as well as into the future. The past doesn’t really hold their interest any more than a reference point for future predictions.

Third, these differences alter both values and basic interests. For Sensors, values surround things like family, tradition, getting into action, old friends, etc… these are all rooted in the known and knowable, and therefore can be trusted. For Intuitives, values focus more on the cerebral – possibilities, memes, paradigms, perspectives and concepts. Conversation will generally revolve around these things, with little interest in small talk.

Both Sensors and Intuitives have an important role. Sensors often “hold down the fort” – uphold infrastructures that keep us going as a society. Intuitives are generally the “trailblazers” – coming up with new ways of looking at and doing things which fashion new technologies and paradigms. It makes sense that fewer Intuitives would be needed – too much innovation and everything collapses. But without innovation, the world stagnates.

Understanding and appreciating these differences is how we cooperate to create both a stable system as well as pathways to whole new worlds.


  • Lily
    • Lily
    • November 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hmmm… I beg to differ on this, loads of people say that intuitives are rarer than sensors, but if you actually think about it, who would feel more alone in a conversation about philosophy, hmmm… probably sensors, and about trusting intuitions, well that really only encompasses NFs, NTs are notoriously agnostic, and SJs trust established authority, which is not real or concrete. I don’t think it’s about doubt, I think it is merely to do with how you naturally process information, adding your own interpretations (intuitives), or taking it at face-value (sensors), anyway that’s what I think:) By the way I really hate it when people say that sensors are inferior to intuitives, harboring a covert superiority but saying ’I’m so misunderstood’, my natural perceptions may be different to others, (I am an INFP), but I still love people who think differently, hey, if you want people to accept intuitives, you should start accepting sensors, sometimes the simple warmness of a sensor can really cheer you up when you are over-thinking your life into self-destruction, so yeah thats what I think:)

  • Mr. Kafar
    • Mr. Kafar
    • April 2, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Yeah, it really makes sense there are way less intuitives than sensors, but it’s kinda annoying nevertheless. I feel like I only get along with other intuitives and they’re harder to find among people. IMO sensors care too much about trivial shit I have absolutely no interest in, but still, I am glad they’re here since we do tend to never get shit done, don’t we?:) We’re too busy building our castles in clouds to care about eating and all that mundane boring stuff. So, thanks Mum for keeping me alive for all these years:)

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • November 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    And yet, without them, it would be the BEST SUMMER EVER until all the Intuitives died horribly that winter.

  • James Wedmore
    • James Wedmore
    • October 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    You forgot to add: “and intuitives cant stand sensors.”. ;-)

  • janet
    • janet
    • August 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    i did your test – found out i’m intuitive – always knew i saw the world differently -
    your explanation video was GREAT to hear - and listened to another one too -
    (don’t know if i already sent you this request, but)
    my boyfriend would like to do your ‘are you an intuitive’ test -(i can’t find it on
    your website) – i would like to find this out too – maybe then can both subscribe
    to your $197. thing which seems like it would be very helpful – for me anyways

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