Introverted intuition (Ni) and extroverted intuition (ne) are two of the eight cognitive functions identified by Jungian psychology.
They are both ways of perceiving the world, but they differ in how that information is processed.
This article will explore the Ni vs Ne comparison, what personality types have ni/ne as their dominant and auxiliary function, and offers some real-life examples of people that demonstrate each function.
The Intuition Functions
First, it is important to note that these two functions are both ways of processing information about the world.
- Introverted intuition (Ni) is all about understanding how one thing leads to another in an interconnected, symbolic way.
- Extroverted intuition (Ne) is about understanding the possibilities within all of the information that comes in.
It’s not so much an understanding as it is an ability to work with the information.
When looking at their representation in cognitive processes:
- Ni is introverted/intuitive/visionary and is focused on developing an idea or building a system that makes sense within itself.
- Meanwhile, Ne is extraverted/intuitive/exploratory and focuses on understanding how ideas and systems relate to each other.
While both of these cognitive functions are similar in how they look at information, they are very different in how that information is processed.
Which Personality Types Use Ni / Ne Function?
Ni is the dominant or auxiliary function for all “NJ” types below. It can be useful to recognize that since it’s both an introverted and an intuitive function, this is a very rare combination.
In fact, it’s the least common of all 16 possible type combinations!
- Introverted Intuition (Ni) as Dominant Function: INTJ, INFJ
- Introverted Intuition (Ni) as Auxiliary Function: ENTJ, ENFJ
Ne, on the other hand, is not a particularly rare function.
It’s the dominant or auxiliary function for all “NP” types:
- Extroverted Intuition (Ne) as Dominant Function: ENTP, ENFP
- Extroverted Intuition (Ne) as Auxiliary Function: INTP, INFP
What is the difference between Ni and Ne?
1. How information is processed
- Focusing on connections in patterns vs. possibilities.
Introverted intuition (Ni) is about developing an idea or building a system that makes sense within itself, understanding how one thing leads to another.
Ni users work towards a singular goal that makes sense in their own mind, similar to how an artist is moved by the passion of creating something that will be uniquely theirs.
Extraverted intuition (Ne) is about understanding how ideas and systems relate to each other, seeing possibilities.
Ne users see their ideas as more of a tool, they are not necessarily attached to the workings of their ideas.
They see potential in everything.
2. How it is represented in the brain
- Focusing on the subjective factor vs. the objective factor
The Ni function is a subjective function, meaning it is colored by the perceiver’s own perspective.
For this reason, introverted intuition can be hard to explain, because it is not always apparent that this function is even taking place.
Extraverted intuition (ne) is an objective function, meaning it is unaffected by the individual’s surroundings or what the perceiver’s focused on.
It is more visible to the outside world, extroverted intuitives find it a lot easier to explain their intuition because they are more aware of how they are not biased by their unconscious perspective.
3. How concepts are formed:
- Focusing on meaning vs. communicating the outcome
Ni users view the world as a series of symbols or systems of symbols, intangible connections with meaning that can’t be explained through words or everyday experiences.
The intuitive is more concerned with the idea of something than the reality of it.
They focus on understanding the big picture or finding meaning rather than developing an idea that can be communicated through language.
Ne users focus on the outcome of ideas rather than the idea itself.
They have the drive to understand how something is going to work in the real world, and they enjoy generating ideas.
4. The frequency of perceiving the information:
- Consistent vs. scattered.
Ni users tend to be a lot more focused when perceiving information because they’re somewhat oblivious to the external world around them.
They perceive information in a consistent pattern, regardless of what they’re doing, whether it’s talking with people or reading something.
Ne users are more scattered when perceiving information – their attention is not consistently on one specific thing because they’re more aware of what’s going on around them.
Instead, their attention flits from one information to another, making it harder to get a clear idea of what the intuitive is trying to communicate.
5. How information is stored:
- Everything at once vs. in bits and pieces.
Ni users to see the whole picture right away. where Ne prefers to store information in bits and pieces.
Extraverted intuitives tend to store pieces of information in their mind and then bring them together to form a general idea.
Introverted intuitives tend to take everything in at once but then reflect on the information later after it’s processed.
This is why Ni users work more like a puzzle that can piece ideas together, whereas extroverted intuitives see each idea as a separate piece.
6. How it is applied in day to day life:
- Methodical vs. spontaneous
Introverted intuitives use intuition in a very methodical way – they prefer to follow set patterns and systems that make sense to them.
They don’t like spontaneity, but rather carefully plan everything in advance.
This is why introverted intuitives are often drawn to the arts since they require a lot of time spent on the little details.
Extraverted intuitives use intuition in a much more spontaneous way – they look at things from different angles and see how they can be applied in multiple ways.
They are more flexible than introverted intuitives, which is why extroverted intuitives are found in careers like marketing, sales, and law.
An Example of Ni vs Ne Demonstrated in a conversation
Let’s say there is a conversation between two people – one with a dominant Ni and the other with a dominant ne.
The person with ni will be more focused on the conversation and taking in all the information that is being said.
They will also be more likely to remember everything that was said, even the small details.
The person with ne, on the other hand, will be more interested in the outcome of the conversation – how it will work in the real world.
So the ni user will look for previous patterns to connect in the topic while the ne users will try to look for possible outcomes that the topic will bring
An ne will be more likely to come up with many ideas during the conversation and be less concerned with remembering everything that was said.
The person with ne will also be more likely to want to immediately shift the topic of the conversation once things click with them, which might bother the person with ni because for them the conversation just got more interesting and there’s definitely more meaning to what’s being discussed.
I hope this article has given you a better idea about how introverted intuitives and extroverted intuitives use intuition differently.
If you’re more interested in the comparison between other cognitive functions (si ve se, ti ve te, fi ve fe) and to have a better understanding of introverted personality types check out my other articles.
Thank you for reading!