Cognition – The Super Simple Series! | Part 4: Function-Combinations

Hey!  Welcome back!  How was your between-posts intermission?  Did you get everything you need?  Hydration?  Nourishment?  Bladder relief?  Well then, let’s move on. 🙂

Oh and of course, if you haven’t read Parts 1, 2 and 3 yet, then I love you but you really shouldn’t be here yet.  Go read those first and then come back.  Don’t worry, I’m patient. 😉

Alrighty, I’m really excited for this part too because there’s a lot about why Functions function the way that they do that I really haven’t gotten the opportunity to explain to the whole class, and they are really pretty frickn’ awesome!
A little bit of review, since the last post was long: (heehee, my fingers want to capitalize A Little Bit… I wonder why ;D)

Last time our intrepid heroes were reading Cognition – The Super Simple Series…

Our minds prioritize information according to what’s the most important to us, the information we love the most.  Likewise, our minds process that information with the functions that best fit for our underlying objectives for that Type of Information.


There are Four Types of Information and four functions.  Cognition Steps are each made up of one Type of Information and one function, and each cognitive type is a unique combination and order of four of those steps.

Remember we discussed that the Four Types of Information are what we think about, the functions are how we take in and use that information, Judging and Perceiving are when we prioritize each type of information, and Introversion and Extraversion are where we get information.

Now we’re going to play cognition step matchmaker with the 4Toi (Four Types of Information) and the four functions.  But the Four Types of Information are picky when it comes to being paired off, they won’t hook up with just any function or get information from just anywhere.  So let’s meet our lucky bachelors… or bachelorettes?  Eh, whatever, they’re inanimate and we all do all four. 


Here we have another double-dichotomy!  This double-dichotomy shows the four Function-Combination options; Introverted vs. Extraverted combined with Application Functions vs. Compilation Functions.  These are the four possible Function-Combination options and we all use each one once in our cognition process.

{And one thing you’ll find in common with most aLBoP’s double-dichotomies, this double-dichotomy correlates with the Four Types of Information, while not actually *being* the Four Types of Information.  This is because the 4Toi is made up of such basic, fundamental variables–being vs. doing (Information vs. Action) and zoomed-out vs. zoomed-in (Universal vs. Specific)–that you find the 4Toi correlating with patterns all throughout nature, as well as fractally throughout human intelligence… but that’s a topic for another day.}

Okay let’s take each of these options in turn and talk about what they really are and why each only gets matched up with certain Types of Information during the cognition process.

Remember, Compilation Functions compile massive quantities of information into universally applicable patterns that *always* apply, while Application Functions apply information to specific circumstances by deciding which information and choices best match with that function’s aim and purpose.

The two Compilation Functions are Sensing (experiences) and iNtuition (concepts).

The two Application Functions are Feeling (meaning) and Thinking (use).

And Extraversion turns outward for information while Introversion turns inward.

We like to use the analogy of a sonar for when a function is Extraverted; Extraversion uses sonar “pings” by poking people and the world to get a read on the things outside of it.

And when a function is Introverted, it’s like a HUD (heads-up display), constantly checking and aligning the information inside the mind.

When a Compilation Function is Extraverted, it “pings” the outside world to finds patterns by watching reactions to choices.   Those reactions create a database of possibilities, showing what an individual can do and be.  Also, people’s reactions demonstrate their universal, zoomed-out character; over time, Extraverted Compilation creates a database of an individual’s reactions to see the kind of person they are and if they can be relied on as a source of information and trusted.  It’s like a sonar to x-ray the shape of someone’s heart (cue the Backstreet Boys’ song in my head and suddenly I’m 14 again).


Since Extraverted Compilation is always about watching for patterns in people’s choices, it is always paired with Universal Action, aka Observation & Motivations.

So Extraverted Compilation… should we shorten it to EC?  (Incidentally, Ecee was my nickname growing up; oddly appropriate considering this is my mind’s favorite Function-Combination.)  But then again EC stands for other things.  And that would mean shortening Extraverted Application to EA… so let’s not. lol

So Extraverted Compilation can come either by way of Sensing, in the form of learning from hands-on experience of seeing how individuals and situations *have* reacted in the past, or it can come by way of iNtuition, in the form of concepts of how individuals and situations *could* react.  Both come in the form of large databases, but Extraverted Sensing (Se) finds patterns in what individuals have already done and Extraverted iNtuition (Ne) finds patterns in what individuals could potentially do.

So whenever you see Extraverted Sensing (Se) or Extraverted iNtuition (Ne), they are always Observation & Motivations, and therefore always Perceiving.  That’s why the little shorthand is useful, so don’t be scared of it.  🙂

When an Application Function is Introverted, it uses the information already compiled inside the mind, and filters it into bullet points of information, ready to apply to the specific situation.  It turns inside, zooms in on the information it already has on its HUD, and examines, “What do I already know, and what information am I missing?”  In other words, it determines what Data and Details it has at its disposal and makes situational conclusions based on those bullet points of data.  It asks questions and looks for specific informational flaws.


So, Data *is* the Specific Information inside your head, so is it any surprise that Introverted Application functions always serve as our Data & Details step?

Now the main reason I originally started using Data & Details instead of just saying Data, was because the word “Data” conveys more of the use, Thinking version of Data, but not as much the Feeling, meaning side of it.  Half the types use their Data to find the efficient use of specific situational information, but the other half uses their Data to understand the inherent meaning of situations and Details, holding close the intrinsic significance of moments.  Both use Specific Information to determine conclusions and ask questions, but Introverted Feeling (Fi) focuses on the meaning of Specific Information, while Introverted Thinking (Ti) focuses on its use.

So whenever you see Introverted Feeling (Fi) or Introverted Thinking (Ti), they are always Data & Details, and therefore always Perceiving.

Caveat: I should really say, whenever you see Fi, Ti, etc. on aLBoP, because nine times out of ten if you see function shorthands elsewhere on the internet and in books, they’ll have no real definitions beyond things like, “Well, it kind of makes you emotional and stuff…”  Which, besides not being especially useful in application, are usually ridiculously simplified and restricting.  All I’m gonna say atm.


Extraverted Compilation Functions = Observation & Motivations
Introverted Application Functions = Data & Details

Will you look at that?!  We have cognition patterns forming again! Now we have matching Function-Combinations for the entire Perceiving half of the cognition process!  And again like with our double-dichotomy in the last post, each half of the cognition process gets one of each variable; one Extraverted function, one Introverted, one Compilation Function, one Application Function.  And we can tell that that’s a pattern that’s going to continue into the Judging half, because the options left follow that same pattern.

But, remember from Part 3, the Judging half of the cognition process was where things went a little crazy, right?  Because Judgers think of Action like a map and Perceivers think of Action like a toolbox, ‘member?  Well this is where we’re going to see that dynamic play out in the functions, where the rubber hits the road.

When a Compilation Function is Introverted, the mind becomes a fantastic playground of information pattern-finding.  The great scenario generator, Introverted Compilation is always the most zoomed-out step, because inside the mind there are no borders to the information it can compile and find patterns in.  Introverted Compilation uses its HUD to sort through huge databases of compiled information in order to find the universal rules of what makes things work.

Now, here’s where Judgers and Perceivers differ.

Judgers use this vast internal playground to find patterns in how the world as a whole works, what Principles are universally true and how to predict world Trends, so their Actions will interact with said world correctly.

And Perceivers use the Compilation mind-playground to visualize scenarios of Action, find patterns and parallels in what makes a category of Action work and get desired Consequences when different world situations arise.

So Introverted Compilation is always a Judging step, which is good to remember, but for Judgers it’s always Principles & Trends, and for Perceivers it’s always Action & Consequences.

Like with all the variables, there are two ways to compile in your head.  Introverted Sensing (Si) finds patterns in past experiences to see what Principles (for Js) or Action (for Ps) have worked in the past, and to find the threads behind what consistently works.  Introverted iNtuition (Ni) finds patterns in the overall mental concepts of information to see how information always fits together as Principles (for Js) or Action (for Ps), which can be used in new ways and to find the core connections behind what always works.

Alright, so Introverted Sensing (Si) and Introverted iNtuition (Ni) are always the zoomed-out, compiling side of Judging, but for Judgers they’ll always be Principles & Trends, and for Perceivers they’ll always be Action & Consequences.

When an Application Function is Extraverted, it looks at the world to find current needs outside itself and see what’s required to make the outside circumstances meet the function’s objectives.  While Introverted Application looks for what information is missing inside the mind, Extraverted Application sonar “pings” the external road ahead to see what’s missing in order to achieve the outside objectives it desires.

Perhaps the Function-Combination that typifies the word “Judging” the most, Extraverted Application is all about weighing and applying judgment calls about what will be best, whether its job is to prioritize use or meaning, action or worldview.

And like Introverted Compilation, Extraverted Application is always a Judging step, whose use differs between Judgers and Perceivers.

Judgers use Extraverted Application to look outside themselves and decide both their goals and determine what Actions and choices will lead to the Consequences they desire.  They also interpret the effects of previous Actions to understand Consequences more accurately.  They use Extraverted Action to plot their map’s course and review where the paths they’ve already taken have led them.

Perceivers use Extraverted Application to look outside themselves and watch how the Trends of the world are going, checking for what it might need to match their objectives for it.  Their minds work in conjunction with their zoomed-out Action to see what tools the world needs from their toolbox.

So Extraverted Application is always a Judging step, but for Judgers it’s always Action & Consequences, and for Perceivers it’s always Principles & Trends.

Half of the cognition processes use Extraverted Feeling (Fe) as their Extraverted Application Function.

When Js use Extraverted Feeling (Fe), they look outside themselves to see what Actions would bring Consequences that are the most intrinsically significant, and decide which choices will lead to the most meaningful outcome.

When Ps use Extraverted Feeling (Fe), they look at the world outside themselves to discover what causes meaningful Trends, to determine Principles of what matters to them the most, and to find what the world needs to make it more meaningful.

The other half of the cognition processes use Extraverted Thinking (Te) as their Extraverted Application Function.

When Judgers use Extraverted Thinking (Te), they look outside themselves to see what Actions and choices would most efficiently produce the useful Consequences they need to achieve the most beneficial outcome.

When Perceivers use Extraverted Thinking (Te), they look at the world outside themselves to discover what causes useful Trends, to determine Principles of what tends to be the most effective, and to find what the world needs to make it more beneficial.

Okey doke, so Extraverted Feeling (Fe) and Extraverted Thinking (Te) are always the zoomed-in, applying side of Judging, but for Judgers they’ll always be Action & Consequences, and for Perceivers they’ll always be Principles & Trends.

And now we have the Judging half of the cognition process!  Tada!


Introverted Compilation Functions = Principles & Trends (for Js) OR Action & Consequences (for Ps)

Extraverted Application Functions = Action & Consequences (for Js) OR Principles & Trends (for Ps)

That is *all* the possible Function-Combinations!!  This means there’s three possible uses for each function: one Perceiving option, one Judging option for Js, and one Judging option for Ps.


When a Compilation Function (Sensing or iNtuition) is Extraverted (Se or Ne), it is always Observation— a pattern-finding database of individuals and their motives.

When a Compilation Function (Sensing or iNtuition) is Introverted (Si or Ni), it is either Principles (Js) or Action (Ps)–an internal playground of information pattern-finding.

When an Application Function (Feeling or Thinking) is Introverted (Fi or Ti), it is always Data–bullet points of information inside your head.

When an Application Function (Feeling or Thinking) is Extraverted (Fe or Te), it is either Action (Js) or Principles (Ps)–applying judgment calls to your external environment.

So the longer explanations were to help you understand *why* certain Types of Information only hook-up with certain Function-Combos, but really it’s as simple as these four statements above.  My hope will be that understanding why will help it be *easier* to understand, but if you forget, just reference these four statements.

And these four Function-Combinations are the four possible ways to start the cognition process!

So why is all this so important for understanding yourself, others, and the consistency of the human mind?  The reason I love Function-Combinations so much is because of the incredibly equal footing on which they place every cognition process.  So much junk-personality-typing tries to define the spectrum of humanity by separating them by narrow traits to the exclusion of all other traits, which limits and incapacitates people.

People tend to get so focused on if a person “is” F/T, S/N, E/I or J/P, or even Fe/Fi, Ni/Ne, etc.,–and sure, the letters are a good shorthand for what we prioritize first, and what is the most important to us–but so often, that focus makes us forget that each of the four functions is an integral part of *all* cognition processes.

I love how Function-Combinations just serve to demonstrate that life shouldn’t be a battle of opposing functions and viewpoints.  This isn’t some stupid war of S vs N or F vs T, and certainly not Fe vs Fi *eyeroll*.  Everyone needs to learn from experience (Sensing), concepts (iNtuition), meaning (Feeling) and use (Thinking), to function healthily.  (Functions to function! 😀 heehee)  Function-Combinations help to highlight that there are three very different ways to use experience, three ways to use concepts, etc.  And each of those beautiful variations leads to such a magnificent array of perspective and objective!

Okay, but here’s the thing: originally I’d planned to lay out everything about cognition steps, cognition order, Function-Combinations and putting it all back together, all in *one* post!  All of that was going to be rolled up into Part 3!  But then as I wrote it, I realized that, while I want to make this simple enough for anyone to understand, I really wanted to teach the *why* too!  So then keeping it super simple meant breaking it up into digestible pieces… so Part 3 became Parts 3 and 4, with Part 4 being Function-Combinations and putting the whole cognition process together!  But I realized when I was 85% of the way done with Part 4, that I was totally rushing putting all the pieces back together, which is kind of the point!  So Part 4 became Parts 4 and 5. -_-

My point is, hold that thought!  In Part 5 we’re going to use everything we’ve learned so far to assemble cognition steps, and use those to make sixteen completely unique cognition processes!!!  So stay tuned! <3

On the aLBoP Guided Tour?  Cognition – The Super Simple Series! | Part 5: Assembling the Cognition Process is up next!

1 Comment

  1. This series gets better and better. Understanding the “why” behind how cognition works definitely helps. Also, it is awesome that we all use all the Toi and all the functions because if we were missing any part of any of it, we would be in a lot of trouble. Understanding that, makes it really clear why the stereotypes are not only inaccurate, but also harmful. If someone tries so hard to be “T” (or what they think “T” is), for example, then they miss out on meaning. Or if someone tries hard to be what they think “N” is, they could ignore important lessons from experiences.

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