Intuiting and Sensing represent two very different strategies for dealing with the world. Both strategies have very real advantages over the other, depending on the situation.

Sensing vs intuition – trying to compare the two is kind of like trying to compare two different kinds of athletes, for example a sprinter and a marathoner. Which one is the better runner? Obviously, if you only compare the two over short distance runs, then the sprinter is going to look superior. If you only look at long distance runs, the marathoner is going to look superior. If you look at the big picture, you’ll see that both are skilled in different areas, and comparing them isn’t as easy as it seems.

Trying to compare Sensing vs intuition is similar

They both think of intelligence differently, and shine in different situations. Intuitives tend to define intelligence as ‘quickness of understanding’. They build up skills related to mental speed, which gives them an advantage on things like IQ tests (which are generally designed by intuitive types, and unintentionally biased in their favor). Such speed has a cost, however. It requires a person to continually make mental ‘leaps of faith’, to reach conclusions based on instinct instead of careful reasoning. Sensors are uncomfortable with anything (including thought) that isn’t concrete and reliable. They tend to define intelligence as ‘soundness of understanding’. Instead of making mental leaps, they will often double or even triple check a conclusion before moving on and will only use facts that are verified and can be relied upon. This gives them a disadvantage in some things (like IQ tests), but a distinct advantage in many aspects of the real world. Sensing vs intuition – which definition of intelligence is better? Neither. It depends entirely upon the context.

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  • Sav
    • Sav
    • August 26, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    This is wrong.
    There is an intelligence difference. Even things that as reflex tests shows that people with higher IQ are faster. Brain imaging even shows that higher IQ people use less of their brain but get better results, indicating higher efficiency.

  • Charis Branson
    • Charis Branson
    • October 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    As an INFJ myself, profound mental connections are very important to me. More so than physical. I can’t speak for every INFJ, but if I can’t talk clearly and profoundly with someone I typically don’t waste my time. Because communication and deep connection is so hard for INFJs it becomes an emotional drain when its a struggle to connect.

    That said, there are INFJs who have enjoyed long marriages with Sensors. I would definitely encourage you to explore your priorities and what matters to you most in a relationship. It’s always better to make such choices while you have the freedom to do so.

  • Kaylee
    • Kaylee
    • October 18, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I love your website and studying personalities! I am an INFJ who is currently in a relationship with an ESFJ. This article has helped me understand the N and S relationship better. Unfortunately, I do not think the gap can be bridged. I tend to want a strong understanding connection with my romantic partner. Is this common for INFJ? I love S types, my mom is one, but sometimes it is too much difference…

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