Learning Styles Based on Jung's Theory of Personality

Jungian Learning Styles

Students learning
Sam Edwards / Caiaimage / Getty Images

Have you ever felt like you learn best in a particular way? These learning styles impact how well we learn under certain conditions. Some students learn best by hearing information while others learn best by seeing it. Some different theories have emerged to describe how students prefer to learn best.

One learning style theory is based on the work of analytical psychologist Carl Jung, who developed a theory of psychological types designed to categorize people in terms of various personality patterns.

Jung's Theory of Personality Types

Jung’s theory focuses on four basic psychological functions:

  1. Extraversion vs. Introversion
  2. Sensation vs. Intuition
  3. Thinking vs. Feeling
  4. Judging vs. Perceiving

This theory later led to the development of the now-famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

In addition to influencing personality assessment, Jung's dimensions can also be used to assess and describe various learning styles.

While each dimension represents a unique aspect of a learning style, it is important to remember that your individual learning style may include a combination of these dimensions. For example, your learning style might include elements of extraverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving learning styles.

Continue reading to learn more about each dimension in order to determine which combination best describes your unique style.

Extraverted Learning Style

Extroverted students
Tom Merton / Caiaimage / Getty Images

The first component of the Jungian learning style dimensions indicates how learners interact with the outside world. Extraverted learners enjoy generating energy and ideas from other people. They prefer socializing and working in groups.

Some of the learning activities that benefit extraverted learners include:

  • Teaching others how to solve a problem
  • Collaborative/group work
  • Problem-based learning

If you enjoy teaching others, participating in a group and learning by experience, you are probably an extraverted learner.

Number of Extraverted Learners

Approximately 60% of learners are extraverted learners.

Characteristics of Extravert Learners

  • Learns best through direct experience
  • Enjoys working with others in groups
  • Often gathers ideas from outside sources
  • Willing to lead, participate and offer opinions
  • Jumps right in without guidance from others

Introverted Learning Style

Smiling student with phone
Dan Schaffer / Caiaimage / Getty Images

While introverted learners are still sociable, they prefer to solve problems on their own. Introverted learners enjoy generating energy and ideas from internal sources, such as brainstorming, personal reflection, and theoretical exploration.

These learners prefer to think about things before attempting to try a new skill. If you enjoy solitary studying, individual work, and abstract ideas, you are probably an introverted learner.

Number of Introverted Learners

Approximately 40% of learners are introverted learners.

Characteristics of Introvert Learners

  • Prefers to work alone
  • Enjoys quiet, solitary work
  • Often generates ideas from internal sources
  • Prefers to listen, watch and reflect
  • Likes to observe others before attempting a new skill

Sensing Learning Style

Learning by experience
Matt Lincoln / Cultura Exclusive / Getty Images

Sensing learners are focused on aspects of the physical environment. Jung described these individuals as being interested in the external world. They tend to be realistic and practical, preferring to rely on information gained through experience. While people with a sensing learning style enjoy order and routine, they also tend to be very quick to adapt to changing environments and situations.

Number of Sensing Learners

Approximately 65% of learners have a sensing learning style.

Characteristics of Sensate Learners

  • Focuses on the present
  • Practical and reasonable
  • Utilizes experience and common sense to solve problems
  • Keenly observe the surrounding world

Intuitive Learning Style

Intuitive student
Tim Robberts / Taxi / Getty Images

Intuitive learners tend to focus more on the world of possibility. Unlike sensing learners who are interested in the here and now, intuitive learners enjoy considering ideas, possibilities, and potential outcomes. These learners like abstract thinking, daydreaming and imagining the future.

Number of Intuitive Learners

Approximately 35% of learners are intuitive learners.

Characteristics of Intuitive Learners

  • Prefers to work in short sessions, rather than finishing a task all at once
  • Enjoys new challenges, experiences, and situations
  • More likely to look at the big picture rather than the details
  • Like theories and abstract ideas

Thinking Learning Style

Perceptive student
Westend61 / Getty Images

Individuals with a thinking learning style tend to focus more on the structure and function of information and objects. Thinking learners utilize rationality and logic when dealing with problems and decisions. These learners often base decisions on personal ideas of right, wrong, fairness, and justice.

Number of Thinking Learners

Approximately 55% of males and 35% of females have a thinking learning style.

Characteristics of Thinking Learners

  • Interested in logic and patterns
  • Dislike basing decisions on emotions
  • Bases decisions on reason and logic

Feeling Learning Style

Smiling and studying
Tim Robberts / Taxi / Getty Images

People with a feeling style manage information based on the initial emotions and feelings it generates. Individuals with this learning style are interested in personal relationships, feelings, and social harmony. If you base decisions on emotions and dislike conflict, you might have a feeling learning style.

Number of Feeling Learners

Approximately 45% of males 65% of females are feeling learners.

Characteristics of Feeling Learners

  • Interested in people and their feelings
  • In tune with their own emotions and those of other people
  • Base decisions on immediate feelings
  • Generates excitement and enthusiasm in group settings

Judging Learning Style

Serious student in class
Peopleimages.com / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Judging learners tend to be very decisive. In some cases, these learners may actually make decisions too quickly before learning everything they need to know about a situation. These learners prefer order and structure, which is why they tend to plan out activities and schedules very carefully. If you are highly organized, detail-oriented, and have strong opinions, you might be a judging learner.

Number of Judging Learners

Approximately 45% of people are judging learners.

Characteristics of Judging Learners

  • Do not like ambiguity or mystery
  • Tend to be firm in their decisions
  • Very organized and structured
  • Strong opinions
  • Generally follows the rules

Perceiving Learning Style

Student looking at molecular model
Hill Street Studios / Blend Images / Getty Images

Perceiving learners tend to make decisions impulsively in response to new information and changing situations. However, these learners tend to focus more on indulging their curiosity rather than making decisions. Unlike judging learners who tend not to change their minds, perceiving learners prefer to keep their options open. If you tend to start many projects at once (often without finishing any of them), avoid strict schedules, and jump into projects first without planning, you might be a perceiving learner.

Number of Perceiving Learners

Approximately 55% of people are perceiving learners.

Characteristics of Perceiving Learners

  • Often make impulsive decisions
  • Change decisions based on new information
  • Dislike structure and organization
  • Tends to be very flexible and adaptable
  • Sometimes have trouble making decisions

A Word From Verywell

The learning styles based on Jung's theory of personality represent just one way of thinking about how people learn. While the concept of learning styles remains very popular today, research has found little evidence to support the idea that offering instruction based upon learning preferences leads to improved learning outcomes. Some other theories that attempt to categorize learning styles include the VARK learning style model and the Kolb learning style model.

Learning styles can still be a helpful way to start thinking about some of the ways that you enjoy learning the best. As you look at each style, think about which strategies appeal the most to you. In all likelihood, you will find that your own unique learning preferences may draw upon several of these learning styles.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Alcaro A, Carta S, Panksepp J. The Affective Core of the Self: A Neuro-Archetypical Perspective on the Foundations of Human (and Animal) SubjectivityFront Psychol. 2017;8:1424. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01424

  2. Yang C, Richard G, Durkin M. The association between Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Psychiatry as the specialty choiceInt J Med Educ. 2016;7:48–51. doi:10.5116/ijme.5698.e2cd

  3. Smythe WE. The Dialogical Jung: Otherness within the SelfBehav Sci (Basel). 2013;3(4):634–646. doi:10.3390/bs3040634

  4. Fishman I, Ng R, Bellugi U. Do extraverts process social stimuli differently from introvertsCogn Neurosci. 2011;2(2):67–73. doi:10.1080/17588928.2010.527434

  5. Wilt J, Noftle EE, Fleeson W, Spain JS. The dynamic role of personality states in mediating the relationship between extraversion and positive affectJ Pers. 2012;80(5):1205–1236. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00756.x

  6. Paulus PB, Baruah J, Kenworthy JB. Enhancing Collaborative Ideation in OrganizationsFront Psychol. 2018;9:2024. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02024

  7. Condon M, Ruth-Sahd L. Responding to introverted and shy students: Best practice guidelines for educators and advisorsOpen Journal of Nursing. 2013;03(07):503-515. doi:10.4236/ojn.2013.37069.

  8. Cabello R, Fernandez-Berrocal P. Under which conditions can introverts achieve happiness? Mediation and moderation effects of the quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability on happinessPeerJ. 2015;3:e1300. doi:10.7717/peerj.1300

  9. Persky AM, Henry T, Campbell A. An exploratory analysis of personality, attitudes, and study skills on the learning curve within a team-based learning environmentAm J Pharm Educ. 2015;79(2):20. doi:10.5688/ajpe79220

  10. Romanelli F, Bird E, Ryan M. Learning styles: a review of theory, application, and best practicesAm J Pharm Educ. 2009;73(1):9. doi:10.5688/aj730109

  11. Jia X, Li W, Cao L, et al. Effect of individual thinking styles on item selection during study time allocation. Int J Psychol. 2018;53(2):83-91. doi:10.1002/ijop.12267

  12. Drummond RJ, Stoddard AH. Learning style and personality type. Percept Mot Skills. 1992;75(1):99-104. doi:10.2466/pms.1992.75.1.99

  13. Newton PM, Miah M. Evidence-Based Higher Education - Is the Learning Styles 'Myth' ImportantFront Psychol. 2017;8:444. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00444