Perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all the dichotomies, Feelers and Thinkers are often on two sides of an issue, looking at each other from different places of judgment.

That makes sense, as that is what we use Thinking and Feeling for – to judge, or determine the worth and value of something.

All Thinkers feel, and all Feelers think. If you’re a Thinker, this does not mean you are any more reasonable than a Feeler, and if you are a Feeler this does not mean you have an automatic entrance into the high E.Q. club.

The distilled difference between Thinkers and Feelers is this: Thinkers use impersonal metrics to determine the value of an object, idea or situation. Feelers use personal, human-based considerations when determine the value of an object, idea or situation.

Both Thinkers and Feelers (when determining value) use analytical, cerebral processes to come to their conclusion. Thinkers do not have a monopoly on analysis. At the same time, both Thinkers and Feelers use emotion-based considerations when deciding what criteria they’ll be using as values to begin with.

For a Thinker, there is emotion behind the decision that impersonal metrics are what they hold dear. This made obvious by how frustrated, upset and sometimes downright irate they become when people ignore what is accurate, effective, true or real. If their metrics aren’t upheld it can take quite an emotional toll on the Thinker.

On the other hand, Feelers regularly ignore their own emotions in order to maintain what they believe is right. Social considerations usually rank high on their list of values, and it’s not uncommon for a Feeler to put aside their feelings in order to keep harmony in an awkward situation.

It makes sense, however, that Thinkers would have data and metric on their mind far more often, and therefore be more comfortable in careers, relationships and other situations where high emotion isn’t present. Feelers, by the same token, would have people and human interests on their radar, and so they will feel more at home with displays of emotion and other entirely human experiences.

There is an approximately 50/50 split in the population between Thinkers and Feelers. However, when gender is taken into consideration, women slightly favor Feeling, and men slightly favor Thinking.

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  • E

    Thank you for spending some time on the thinking-feeling dichotomy. Somehow though I still find myself unsure as to whether I’m a thinker or feeler. For instance, I’m really interested in the field of mediation and am thinking of pursuing it as a career. But I find that when I’m mediating conflict with a group of people, I think about all of the different subjective viewpoints that people hold in the group in order to come up with the most logical solution for that group of people.

    So basically I come up with logical solutions based on the subjective beliefs of others, and not necessarily because I think that it’s more ‘pleasant’ for everyone to get along, but more because I think that systems simply work more effectively when there’s strong communication and compromise between people. Would this qualify as more of a thinking or feeling trait? Thanks for your insight!

  • MRahman

    The article says: “Feelers, by the same token, would have people and human interests on their radar, and so they will feel more at home with displays of emotion and other entirely human experiences.” Is this also true for Fi dominant types? Would they also primarily concern themselves with people, and feel more at home when interacting with people? Isn’t that more of an Fe trait?

    • Antonia Dodge

      The focus will be on how things strike them personally on an emotional level, and then that principle will apply to others. The phrase “the more personal an experience the more universal” is one that encapsulates this for an Fi user.


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