What is a “Judger,” and What is a “Perceiver?”
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.