What does it mean?

Do you have a personality?  If so, what's it like?  Do you know what causes you to have the kind of personality you do?  The terms "Dominant iNtroverted Intuiting," "INTJ," and "INFJ" are all related to systems of personality profiling.


At the beginning of the 20th century, the psychologist Carl Jung developed a theory of Personality Types. He postulated that humans can be sorted into classifications according to some common characteristics. Around the same time, psychologists Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers were developing a scoring instrument to sort people according to personality in the U.S. When Jung's works were translated into English, Myers and Briggs discovered commonality in their respective approaches and incorporated many of Jung's concepts into their system.

In the late 1940s, psychologist David Keirsey approached the same task, but using classic systems of personality categories, starting with Hippocrates' "four humours" and drawing on sources such as the work of 19th-century researchers Spranger and Kretschmer. Keirsey soon discovered his "Temperament" system had overlaps with the Myers-Briggs system, and he incorporated some of their notation into his theory.

The "Myers-Briggs Type Indicator" and "Keirsey Temperament Sorter" are now commonly accepted in organizations worldwide to introduce these ideas about personalities. They can play a role in such diverse areas as career counselling, team-building, relationship counselling, personal growth, and education. (Use of these instruments is restricted to people who have passed the relevant accreditation examinations, which both Robin and Vicky Jo have achieved. They employ these instruments in various ways -- Robin for team building and education; Vicky Jo for life coaching and personal growth.)

The Four Letters

The meanings of these letters are explained below, but please note -- this is a highly-abbreviated summary of a very complex, multi-faceted system.

First Letter:
Indicates the Attitude a person has toward the outside world:
"I" = Introversion -- energized by internal reflection
"E" = Extraversion -- energized by interaction with others

Second Letter:
Indicates which Function a person prefers using to gain information (called the "Perceiving" Function):
"N" = iNtuition -- gathers information by inference (second letter used because "I" is already taken)
"S" = Sensing -- gathers information through the 5 senses

Third Letter:
Indicates which Function a person prefers using to make decisions (called the "Judging" Function):
"T" = Thinking -- objective decisions based on logic
"F" = Feeling -- subjective decisions based on values

Fourth Letter:
Indicates the Attitude a person prefers using when dealing with the outside world -- i.e., which Function type is seen by others:
"J" = Judging -- prefers to use Thinking or Feeling externally
"P" = Perceiving -- prefers to use iNtuiting or Sensing externally

Dominant Introverted iNtuition

Taking Vicky Jo and Robin's letter combinations (INFJ and INTJ), the last letter indicates that both prefer to operate in the outside world with their Judging Functions -- Thinking and Feeling respectively. But their first letter is "I," so their first preference is to operate internally. Therefore, their iNtuiting takes precedence. Ergo, their shared Dominant Function is iNtuiting, used in an Introverted Attitude. A shorthand way of expressing this feature is "Dominant Introverted iNtuiting," hence the heading on their website stating they both indulge in "Dominant Introverted iNtuiting." This can be abbreviated further, as DomNi (their domain name).

...and the animals?

The owl and dolphin symbols used throughout their web pages refer to Keirsey's use of "animal totems" to represent Temperament. Vicky Jo [INFJ] is classified as an Idealist, with the dolphin as her totem. Robin [INTJ] is classified as a Rational, with the owl as his totem.