After Sensation and Intuition, the second biggest discrepancy in worldview is seen in the difference between Perceivers and Judgers. This is another approximate 50/50 split in population with perhaps slightly more people favoring Judging. The chasm between the two types, however, is vast.

When it comes right down to it, the difference between the two is this: Perceivers organize their inner world to have outer world freedom, and Judgers organize their outer world to have inner world freedom.

Okay, so what does that mean? It means this: when Judgers think, they like to “wander the garden of their minds,” so to speak. Ideas and thoughts come to them the same way fish swim around in a koi pond and it requires calm and peace to really focus or even see them clearly. If Judgers are deep in thought and are disrupted, it’s like the disturbing the waters of that koi pond – the little idea swims away and they may or may not ever be able to get it back.

Therefore, to have enough inner peace to watch those ideas, their outer world – or, the environment they’re in – they must have at least a measure of control over potential disruption.

What starts out as a simple need to ‘be able to think’ grows into an all-encompassing need to have order in their environment. Judgers repeatedly report that they think better when their house is organized and they have no visual clutter. Therefore, it’s just easier to the keep the house tidy. Ditto for the car, their work desk, their private room, etc…

On the flip side, Perceivers are the exact opposite. Thoughts are well organized, and if you interrupt a Perceiver in the middle of a thought, the mind tags and files it for later. Recalling it is simply a matter of finding the right subject, category, ‘mental file cabinet’ to retrieve it. (However, most Perceivers are less aware of this process than Judgers are, probably due to the frustration Judgers experience due to losing their thought.)

This ability allows Perceivers to engage in their number one favorite activity: improvisation. For Perceivers, having complete freedom to act in the outer world is extremely satisfying. But the only way to effectively improvise – or, ‘turn on a dime’ – requires one to make decisions and choices extremely quickly. This is best illustrated in baseball batters, anticipating the moment when the pitcher throws the ball. They have to be able to respond extremely quickly, making the executive decision when exactly to swing the bat. Having quick, immediate access to information like the effect of the wind, the curve of the ball, the weight required behind the hit… gives the batter far more precision to effectively hit the ball in a controlled direction.

This can also be seen by Perceivers while driving, dancing, and in conversation. While Judgers can be quick-witted, it is usually Perceivers who are the best improv comedians. However, it also means they aren’t usually all that concerned about disruptions, and so household organization usually gets put on the backburner. It’s almost always a Perceiver who throws their clothes around negligently, ending up with a “floordrobe.”

As with all the dichotomies, understanding the differences goes a long way to understanding motive and thought process. It helps us collaborate and pool our strengths, as opposed to squandering them to judgment.


  • Jamian Reed
    • Jamian Reed
    • June 14, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Correction – I’ve been found to be INFJ

  • Miswired
    • Miswired
    • May 16, 2018 at 1:55 am

    I like your explanation of judging vs perceiving, although I do not believe that this dichotomy is useful for determining type. It is the most easily confused and difficult to define of the dichotomies. Very few people are totally judgers or totally perceivers, either internally or externally. For example, I know people who simply must have everything planned out in advance, and cannot be spontaneous, yet their personal space looks like a hurricane passed through. I know others who are far more comfortable with change, spontenaity, and improvisation, but who simply MUST have their things organized.
    I ALWAYS tested as a perceiver and thought of myself as a perceiver until recent years when I began studying cognitive functions and realized that I am clearly Ni-Fe-Si-Te. Which makes me a “judger” according to the MBTI dichotomies. I relate to your description of judging… I do like to have my external world organized in order to think. I run on autopilot. If my husband puts something in the wrong place, I wander around for hours trying to remember what it was that I was even going to do (slight exaggeration). But in spite of my efforts, I am far from organized, structured, or punctual. And every MBTI personality test reflects this and calls me a P. I don’t mind being a P, but I am neither a thinker or a feeler, but something in the middle. I could never figure it out until I understood cognitive functions, then the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. I would have never gotten it had I focused on J vs P. It displays too differently in different people. It might be useful for personal growth, in order to understand our quirks, but I firmly believe that it should not be used in determining type, especially with introverts.

  • Jenny Gump
    • Jenny Gump
    • October 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I loved how you classified “improvisation” as the Perceiver’s favorite activity. I laughed aloud, because I could hear my mother’s voice saying this to anyone and everyone who would listen. “She’s my ‘free spirit’ child.” (LOLOL) As I get older (I am mid-forties) I find that my P/J is much more balanced than it was, say 10 years ago. I need to have more order and organization in my life simply because I have many more responsibilities and requirements. Plus, I hate stress (of any kind) and have found that when my outer world is somewhat organized, my internal stress level decreases. I am able to do more on the spur of the moment, jump headlong into whatever tickles my fancy at the time and just relax when I know I don’t have laundry waiting to be done, the house to be cleaned or errands to be handled. So, the girl who used to never concern herself with the mundane tasks of household maintenance now has scheduled days for completing these tasks…usually during the work week-because those weekends need to be wide open for whatever might pop up! I’m still not much for the finer details of these tasks (um, I admit to leaving the clean, folded laundry in the basked for days until it’s time to do laundry again…it’s a horrible habit, but it works for me) but the minimal planning of these mundane, boring, mind-numbing tasks and their consequent completion frees me up, and that’s how I’ve seen this balance most in my life. I’d love to be able to go back to having a “floordrobe” and eating off paper plates with restaurant plastic ware, but alas…the very thought of not being able to find my best black pumps early in the morning on the day of a major business meeting now sets me on edge. Sigh…oh to be young again! (LOLOL)

  • Cody flies
    • Cody flies
    • April 28, 2017 at 4:05 am

    What are some good books or videos to watch for perceivers specifically entp to get better organized and be more efficient while remaining in flow?

  • Who am I ?
    • Who am I ?
    • March 17, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Lol Jessi?

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.