Se Vs Si : 7 key Differences!

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Se is the extraverted version of Si.

There you go, simple as that. End of article.

Bad humor.

In this article, we’re going to compare Se vs Si according to the Jungian cognitive functions, what types use them, and highlight 7 key differences between them. 

Confused about whether you’re a Se or Si user? then read along!

The Sensing Function

Both se and si are sensory functions that relate to how people perceive information. This means they gather information about the world by taking in external data but in fact, both functions do so in different ways.

  • Extroverted sensors gather data via their 5 senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Introverted sensors also take in data from their 5 senses but it is done more internally. Their internal sensory function, introverted sensing (Si), can be thought of as similar to memory or imagination since Si users often like to reflect on the past and imagine future possibilities.

What I mean by this is that introverted sensors never truly experience a sensory stimulus firsthand.

They may see, hear, touch, etc., but they will always process the sensory information internally before it reaches their conscious awareness.

While Se is more in tune with what is happening in real-time around them, Si is more in tune with how that data relates to past experiences.

You’ll understand better when I highlight the 7  key differences between and Si below.

Which personality types use Si / Se function?

Si is the dominant or auxiliary function for all “SJ” types:

  • Introverted  Feeling (Si) as Dominant Function: ISFJ, ISTJ
  • Introverted Feeling (Si) as Auxiliary Function:  ESFJ, ESTJ

Se is the dominant or auxiliary function for all “SP” types:

  • Extroverted  Feeling (Se) as Dominant Function:   ESTP, ESFP
  • Extroverted  Feeling (Se) as Auxiliary Function:  ISTP, ISFP

Introverted Sensing (Si) vs Extraverted Sensing (Se)

1 . How they gather information  about the world:

  • Si users Focus on past events Vs Se users Focus on the present events

Se types are more likely to be in tune with how things are happening right now around them, while si is more focused on how things have happened in the past or might happen in the future.

Se types tend to be aware of their surroundings because they take in sensory data from the present moment and process it. Si types tend to be more focused on thoughts associated with past experiences and imagination of future possibilities.

Introverted sensors process information that comes to their senses before they examine the world around them.

Se, on the other hand, takes in sensory stimuli first and then process it later (after it’s passed through their 5 senses).

2 . How they Process this information:

  • Si users Focus on internal sensory data Vs Se users Focusing on external sensory data

 Introverted sensors (Si) process sensory information internally before it reaches conscious awareness and then can decide how to deal with it.

Si users often like to reflect on past experiences, even the negative ones, because it helps them gain a better understanding of the information they received.

Se types, on the other hand, take in sensory data (from their 5 senses) before they process it internally. Instead of using their internal sensing function (introverted sensing), they prefer to process sensory data from the world around them and then store that information for later use.

3 . How they carry out their daily activities:

  • Si users Focus on past experiences Vs Se users Focus on present experiences

Si dominants (introverted sensing types) can be very nostalgic, and oftentimes don’t feel at home in the present moment.

Extroverted sensors, on the other hand, tend to live more at the moment than Si dominants.

Si types may not be as future-oriented as Se users, but they still think about the future and prepare for it in their own way.

Se types are generally less concerned with past experiences than Si types. Instead of thinking about past events, se dominants (extroverted sensing) often like to focus on the present moment.

4 . How they seek satisfaction:

  • Si works for delayed gratification vs Se seeks instant gratification

The Si user has no problem with delaying pleasure if it means they can enjoy a more fulfilling experience in the future.  For example, they may want to save their money for a trip instead of going on a shopping spree.

Se users are often looking for instant gratification, often because there is always something new and exciting to explore out in the world.

5 . How they view the world:

  • Si sees the world through their mind’s eyes Vs. Se sees the world for what it is

Introverted sensing types (Si) make up their view of the world through memories and sensory information that is already in the past, while extraverted sensing types (Se) prefer to focus on sensory information that is present in the outside world to judge.

For example:

  • A Si dom  (ISFJ) might say something like “I don’t like that song. It’s not my style.“- They categorize music based on past collective tastes.
  • Whereas a Se dom (ESTP) might say something like “I don’t like that song. It’s just noise.”- They categorize music based on actual present sensory experience.

6 . Their Interests :

  • Si enjoys arts and history Vs. Se enjoys sports and nature

Si users often seek out activities that involve the arts and history. They enjoy reading books, visiting museums, and appreciating artwork that is aesthetically pleasing.

Se users generally seek out activities that involve the 5 senses, such as sports and outdoor activities. They are oftentimes more active than Si users.

7 . How they pursue their goals

  • Si users are usually consistent Vs Se users find it hard to stick to the plan

Si users often have a clear set of goals that they want to achieve, and they work towards those goals in a consistent manner. Se users, on the other hand, are not usually willing to stick to a concrete plan.

For example:

  • A si dom (ISTJ) might set a goal to save $4,000 by the end of the year so they can travel next summer. They will likely be more than willing to save money each month, they’ll open a savings account just to facilitate the saving plan and they will commit to it for the entire year.
  • A Se dom (ESTP) might set a goal to travel to a new country every year. They will likely try to save money in the first month by they will likely be distracted by other pursuits that they fall behind their monthly saving goal.

This is because  Si doms are good at keeping consistent and careful planning.

Extroverted sensing users (Se) are good at taking a more hands-on approach to their goals.

They will set the goal, but they will prefer to act out their plan as they go along. This allows them to adjust to the world around them instead of trying to maintain a rigid plan.


Did you find this article helpful? I really hope this article gave you a thorough understanding of how Si and Se users are different.

Being aware of the differences between these two types can really help you understand yourself better as well as others.

If you are interested in learning more about other introverted functions, make sure to read my latest articles: understanding the si function, key differences between ni vs ne, and fe vs fi.

More articles about MBTI personality types and cognitive function here.

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Sarra is a behavioral science student and HS science teacher ( also a cat mom! ) who obsesses over typing people but can't seem to type her own self. Let's just say that for the time being, she's a cross between an INFJ and INFP!

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