Mind: Intuitive (N) vs. Observant (S) | 16Personalities (2024)

Thought at Every Scale

Our second personality scale includes the Intuitive (N) and Observant (S) styles. These traits describe what people are more likely to do with the information gathered from the world around them. Intuitive personality types rely on imagining the past and future potential of what they see. Those with the Observant style are more interested in observable facts and more straightforward outcomes. They prefer to avoid layering too much interpretation on what they see.

91% of those with the Intuitive trait say they like to discuss different views and theories of what the world could look like in the future, compared to 55% of those with the Observant trait.

Being Intuitive doesn’t mean someone can’t be practical, and being Observant doesn’t mean a lack of imagination. They both use their minds and their physical senses well. The difference is the spin they put on their experiences – it’s where their thinking goes after an encounter with their environment. If Intuitive personality types appreciate Observant types’ practicality, and Observant personality types appreciate Intuitive types’ imaginative perspective, they can complement each other in ways that make for unbeatable partnerships.

59% of those with the Observant trait say they prefer art that has a clear theme, message, or meaning over art that is vague and leaves too much to interpretation, compared to 38% of those with the Intuitive trait.

Intuitive (N) Personality

Eyes on the Horizon

People with the Intuitive trait prefer to exercise their imaginations as they seek new ideas and possibilities. They live their day-to-day lives just like any other personality type. But while that’s happening, their minds tend to point inward while at the same time gently focusing somewhere beyond the horizon. Their lives are ones of questioning, wondering, and connecting the dots in the “bigger picture,” and they love the theoretical. They often ask, “What if?” and ponder the possibilities the future might hold.

88% of those with the Intuitive trait say they spend a lot of time thinking about “What if?” scenarios, compared to 63% of those with the Observant trait.

But Intuitive people aren’t always the most practical, preferring instead to give things deeper meaning. There may be a long wait as these personality types allow their imaginations free rein. They may also leap in too quickly to more complex matters. An entire theory can come together in moments, leaving others confused. In either case, they can appear out of touch to the Observant individuals in their lives. For some Intuitive folk, there may be some truth to this observation.

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”

That said, when there’s a need for innovation or a different perspective, people with Intuitive personality types can usually step up and provide a new direction. Practicality can sometimes be overrated, especially when a situation calls for serious change and “coloring outside the lines.” This is where Intuitive people shine. They bring interesting dimensions to life beyond everyday ideas – and take those who decide to go along with them.

83% of those with the Intuitive trait say their minds often drift off during a conversation, compared to only 58% of those with the Observant trait.

Observant (S) Personality

Do What Works

The phrase “real-time” was created with Observant individuals in mind. They’re most in touch with what occurs in front of them, in the present. This doesn’t mean Observant personality typeshave no regard for the past and future. But they view both from the perspective of how each influences their present actions. This makes them focused and practical people. They mostly root their thinking in the actionable, tangible, and useful. But make no mistake, these personalities can be creative within that realm.

71% of those with the Observant trait say simplicity is more beautiful than complexity, compared with 52% of those with the Intuitive trait.

One challenge people with the Observant personality trait may face is a too-narrow perspective. They may reject far-reaching solutions in favor of something more obvious. By continuing something that appears practical at arm’s length but doesn’t fit the bigger picture, they might reduce their hard work to busywork.

These practical individuals are the ‘doers’ of society.

People with the Observant trait are often a steadying force that tends to get things done. Their energy is very “hands-on” in the sense of working on real things in real-time. While they’re often smart people, spending a lot of time sitting around and pondering possibilities doesn’t cut it for Observant personality types. They want thoughts and talk to lead to action.

Mind: Intuitive (N) vs. Observant (S) | 16Personalities (2024)


Mind: Intuitive (N) vs. Observant (S) | 16Personalities? ›

Intuitive personality types rely on imagining the past and future potential of what they see. Those with the Observant style are more interested in observable facts and more straightforward outcomes. They prefer to avoid layering too much interpretation on what they see.

Is it better to be intuitive or observant? ›

Neither of them are better than the other, just different. Some of us use our intuition and are unable to discern between helpful patterns and unhelpful patterns, these are actually sensing types not intuitive types.

What is the difference between N and S in Myers Briggs personality test? ›

People who prefer Sensing (S) pay attention to details and current realities. People who prefer Intuition (N) pay attention to meanings, patterns, and future possibilities.

What is the rarest personality type? ›

  1. INFJ. INFJ, also known as the advocate, counselor, or idealist, is the rarest type of personality in the general population. ...
  2. ENTJ. The second least common personality type, ENTJ or commander, represents about 1.8% of the population. ...
  3. INTJ. ...
  4. ENFJ. ...
  5. ENTP.
Aug 26, 2023

What is the F in 16 Personalities? ›

Feeling (F) Personality

People with the Feeling (F) trait follow their hearts and emotions – sometimes without even realizing it. They may show it to different degrees and in different ways, but however they do it, Feeling personality types tend to be caring, compassionate, and warm.

Do intuitive people have high IQ? ›

Highly intelligent individuals often have unconventional thinking patterns and behaviors. Their intuition further amplifies this, as they tend to trust their gut feelings and instinctive responses, which might not always align with societal norms.

What is the rarest female personality type? ›

For women, however, the rarest personality type is INTJ and ENTJ. Just 1% of women type as INTJ and ENTJ respectively. Among women, INFJ is only the third rarest personality type with approximately 2% of women categorized as INFJ.

How to tell the difference between s and n? ›

Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N): People who prefer sensing are practical, detail-oriented, and prefer to focus on the present, while those who prefer intuition are imaginative, abstract, and prefer to focus on the future. Thinking (T) vs.

What personality type is the diplomat? ›

Diplomat personality types – Advocates (INFJ), Mediators (INFP), Protagonists (ENFJ), and Campaigners (ENFP) – care about helping and connecting with others. They prioritize being kind and generous, and in general, they'd rather cooperate than compete. Empathy seems to come naturally to these personalities.

What is the difference between S and N 16 personalities? ›

The second letter of the MBTI test, Sensing (S) and Intuition (N) is how you process information. Someone who is strong in sensing lives in the now and enjoys facts. While being Intuitive means you try and find the deeper meaning in things.

What is the kindest personality type? ›

1. ESFJ. People who fit the ESFJ personality type can usually be recognized by their big hearts and kindly manner. ESFJs are warm and welcoming and their love of tradition means they value good old-fashioned manners highly.

What is the hardest personality type to be? ›

The short answer: INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judgment) is the most complex Myers-Briggs Personality Type. Let's examine INFJs and why this personality type is so complicated.

What is the most intelligent personality type? ›

According to Comen, both INTJs and INTPs are among the smartest, adding that thinking is actually "the primary life goal" for INTPs, as opposed to the key tool.

What is the J type personality? ›

Judging (J) Personality

Preferring to consider their options ahead of time, personality types with this trait prefer clarity and closure, sticking with the plan rather than going with the flow. It's as if Judging types always keep a mental checklist.

What personality type is Adele? ›

Adele from the United Kingdom appears to be an Enneagram Type 4 - The Individualist. This manifests in her personality through her deep emotional intensity, introspection, and desire to be understood and unique. Her music often deals with themes of heartbreak, loss, and self-reflection, which are common for Type 4s.

Which MBTI type is the most charismatic? ›

ENTJ types are the most charismatic. They harness all of the intellectual and strategic weight of the others mentioned above but benefit from an extroverted personality, which allows them to connect more frequently and easily with the needs of others.

Is it good to be an intuitive person? ›

Intuition can transform your life by helping you make better decisions, develop more empathy, and choose the right path.

Is it good to be an observant person? ›

Improving your observation skills allows you to “listen” with more than just your ears and make better decisions. It brings a calmness to you, as you are no longer centered within yourself, but are selflessly involved in another person's world.

Are intuitive people rare? ›

Around 70% of people are Sensing types, which means that iNtuitive personality types are rare, making up about a third of the population. With that in mind, there's already an air of mystery surrounding iNtuitive types, but it isn't too complicated once you understand the differences between Sensors and Intuitives.

Is it better to be logical or intuitive? ›

Analytical thinking is beneficial for complex problems when logic is required. However, some situations have many unknown (or unknowable) variables and therefore require intuitive decisions. If there is an imbalance where we have strong 'Analytical' but low 'Intuition' we become 'Laser Logical'.

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