The PersonAbilities Neuro Types

Dan McKinley

Head of Innovation

April 15, 2021

Understanding Neuro Types allows us to have incredible insights into mental health, psychotherapy, depth psychology, morality, ethics, and even sociology. Neuro Types are the nexus between neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy.

What exactly is a Neurological Type (Neuro Type)? There are over 100 billion neurons in the brain that transmit information across our mind. Our brain is made up of several distinct parts. Many people have heard of the right and left side of the brain: the left brain deals more with organization, computation, math, language, and rationality while the right brain deals more with creativity, visualization, intuition, feelings, and abstractions. Some have heard of the triune or tripartite brain model: an ancient reptilian brain governing our basic instincts (cerebellum and brain stem), an emotional mammalian brain that connects us with other people (limbic system), and an evolved rational brain that helps us think rationally and make logical decisions (neocortex). In actuality there are dozens of sections and regions of the brain. There are multiple ways you can categorize our neurology. Neurology deals with different forms of consciousness across different markers in our mind. 

Our brain isn’t even the only organ that is intelligent. Neurology is the study of our nervous system and that includes neural pathways throughout our entire body. Recent research has shown that our gut is intelligent. At least 90% of our serotonin is produced in our digestive tract. Serotonin is the happy hormone that helps us with our social interactions, organizational skills, and helps boost our emotional intelligence. That ‘gut’ feeling is actually our second brain giving us real information. Other neurotransmitters and hormones are also produced in various organs of our bodies. There is research that suggests that even our hearts are intelligent. The heart creates a magnetic vibrational field that extends up to 10 feet from our physical bodies. Emotions aren’t just subjective observances from our heads, humans literally feel them vibrating electrically. It’s picked up by our hearts and is transmitted by our nervous system. Our neurology gives us specific information directly from our nervous system. 

Neuro Types

Neuro Types are the general instinctive patterns, psychological functions, and human observations that we digest from our environment. Simply put it’s how we digest information. It’s how we observe the world. Neuro Types are our logic trains of thought. Neuro Types can show our base fears, intrinsic motivations, and patterns of the mind. Neuro Types are the different hardware types of the mind. Intelligence Types deal with specific intellectual capabilities, Culture Types deal with the mind’s software, and Temperament Types deal with our outside behavior. Neuro Types are focused on the inner psychology and operating style of what’s going on inside – the impressions, templates, and forms that others won’t normally see. 

Understanding Neuro Types allows us to have incredible insights into mental health, psychotherapy, depth psychology, morality, ethics, and even sociology. Neuro Types are the nexus between neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy. Knowing another’s Neuro Type gives us a strong understanding of one’s Theory of Mind. Having a solid Theory of Mind for another allows us to attribute the mental state and emotions of another person. It’s the ability to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. The ability to see another’s worldview and live another’s experience is paramount to the human experience. Transformational relationships are built on exchanging personal adventures, trials, and ordeals. Intimacy is the experience to know another person on a deeper level. This is at the heart of knowing one’s Neuro Type. 

Neuro Theories

Theories of Human consciousness have been promoted for hundreds if not thousands of years. Descartes is quoted with saying “I think therefore I am.” He described a dualistic metaphysical system of matter and spirit. Subsequent philosophers described this as a ghost within a machine. Freud described three part model of a generally conscious ‘ego’ making logical observations and rationalization, a mostly unconscious ‘id’ that governs our natural instincts and responses, and a totally unconscious superego that reflects our cultural programming. Jung described a similar phenomenon with a conscious mind with a dominant personality, a personal unconscious with a shadow or hidden self, and a collective unconscious filled with archetypes that are common to the human experience.

He also described 12 different types of people and eight different psychological functions. Materialists have rejected many of these abstract and non-observable theories and have maintained that consciousness forms solely from the synapses (neural communication points) in our brain. Either way, neurology is still an extremely young science and researchers still lack concrete answers on the origin and function of consciousness. However, PersonAbilities has gathered powerful information that gives robust applications to understanding how we think. 

The Neuro Types system uses terminology as defined by Carl Jung. His ideas weren’t based in current neuroscience, but his nomenclature is widely used among psychologists the world over. His heuristics are actually helpful in understanding complex neuro-psychological concepts in a clear, concise, and simplified way.

‘Thinking’ is defined as the ability to make conceptual connections throughs laws, logic, and data. ‘Feeling’ is a conscious process that determines whether we accept or reject something based on human values. ‘Intuiting’ is the ability to transmit perceptions from our subconscious to our conscious mind – seeing or knowing things that cannot be physically perceived. ‘Sensing’ is the transmission of information or perception through physical stimulus. ‘Objectivity’ refers to consciously seeing things from an outside point of view that is accepted by others and with specific, application based results. Objective traits were referred to Jung as being extraverted and judgment focused. ‘Subjectivity’ refers to an inner point of view that is held only by the subject – the object or concept from the external world isn’t as important as what’s in the internal world. Jung referred to subjective traits as being introverted and perceptive. Finally Jung described these traits as being either ‘Abstract’ or ‘Concrete’ in nature. Abstract traits deal with life beyond the here and now (fantasy, theory, philosophy, metaphysics, etc.) and concrete traits deal with life as it is currently constituted (material things, everyday life, routine concerns, observable issues, etc.).

Jung also believed that we made judgments through thinking and feeling and made perceptions through intuition and sensing. However, these definitions should be interpreted with a large degree of fluidity and nuance. They are only a tool to understand the intricate phenomenon of Neuro Types. 

Quadrants & Bearings

Neuro Types are organized into 12 different types with four different quadrants and three different bearings. Furthermore, each type has two different subtypes. The four different Neuro Type quadrants are the Discerners, Idealists, Analyzers, and Rationalists. Many different systems have attributed personality to four different base types. Like other PersonAbilities systems, Neuro Types follows a similar model. Discerners are the abstract thinkers. They care about objectivity and making accurate judgments. They attempt to make general conclusions about society and the world at large. Idealists are the abstract feelers. They use their perceptive abilities to understand the emotions of those around them. They create deeply held values for themselves and others. Analyzers are the concrete thinkers. They think about tangible things and use their senses to explore the material world around them. They use their perception to gather new information for others to organize. Realists are the concrete feelers. They understand the values of those around them and adapt to them to suit their personal goals. They organize, simplify, and codify rules, procedures, and principles. They value their sound judgment on the world.  

Each of the 12 Neuro Types belongs to one of three different bearings. The three different bearings include the Major Bearing, the Neutral Bearing, and the Minor Bearing. Bearings relate to the flow of mental energy that a person exudes. Freud and Jung described this mental energy as ‘the libido’. It’s necessarily related to sexuality, but a psychic state, desired outcome, or chemical impulse that impacts the surrounding world. The Major Bearing denotes active psychological functioning. It’s deliberate, strong-willed, and intentional. It is associated with more objective or extraverted forms of thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting. The Neutral Bearing denotes balanced or even psychological functioning. It’s abstract, perceptive, and intuitive. It views things from an outside lens. It’s smooth, adaptable, and impartial. It combines both objective and subjective lines of thought and manifests in more ambiverted forms of thinking. The Minor Bearing represents an inward focus of the libido. Internal psychological energy is maintained to one’s self and thoughts are drawn to personal values or rationales. This bearing focuses more on introverted or subjective thought patterns. 

Every Neuro Type has two different Subtypes. There is the Material Subtype and the Immaterial Subtype. The neurological subtypes relate to how individuals process the flow of information and how humans form their internal beliefs. It directly relates to the formation of political and religious beliefs as well. The Material Subtype is drawn to generally accepted scientific research, empirical claims of evidence, and a materialist understanding of reality. This Subtype focuses on rational proof, measurable data, and literal explanations. Material thinkers are less likely to have strong beliefs in religious, supernatural, or folkloric claims. The Immaterial Subtype is the exact opposite. It is drawn to finding meaning, spiritual claims, allegories, and having more of an energy-based conception of reality (as opposed to material). Immaterial thinkers strongly believe there is something more; consciousness doesn’t reside in the mind and that there is life after death. These traits are in fact based in both genetics and brain chemistry. This spectrum of neurological processing also strongly relates to different areas of ethics, social behavior, mental health, and conceptions of self.  

Quadrants

Discerner

The Discerner Quadrant is made up by individuals who prefer to see the world from a detached perspective. They focus on being uninfluenced by the intellectual norms of society. They see the world of not just what is currently happening, but also what has happened in the past and what may happen in the future or an alternative reality. Discerner’s are abstract judgers or organizers. They process information into ethereal categories and then make personal decisions on how to view themselves, others, and the world based on that input. Discerner’s use abstract intuition to uncover new truths that are not readily apparent to other people. Discerner’s are interested in discussing philosophy, understanding archetypes, and building new theories. Their psychological focuses and interests can be quite otherworldly at times. They live in the world of ideas and many of them follow intense intellectual pursuits. Discerner’s see things that others don’t and provide unique perspectives wherever they go. 

Idealist

The Idealist Quadrant is made up of individuals who process the world through the lens of their values and emotions. Their understanding of reality can be quite idealized, visionary, or romantic. They are dreamers; they feel what the world should be like and orient their lives according to those ideals. They are abstract feelers. They understand the values of other people before they even understand it themselves. Idealists are often drawn to psychology, counseling, acting, writing, and other mission driven pursuits. Idealists are people with a purpose. They are also abstract sensors. They pick up on energy, impressions, and vibes that other’s won’t. They always sense the general flow of their surroundings. Many idealists are drawn to the arts where they can use their senses to create beauty or thought provoking sounds or images. Idealists are perceptive gatherers of abstract information. They go into an environment and collect what they see is worthwhile to themselves and others. They keen minds are often open to new and innovative ideas that are generally ignored by others. They strive to see the value in something that could be discarded by another. They often have high emotional intelligence with an incredible Theory of Mind. 

Analyzer

The Analyzer Quadrant is formed by people who’re very connected to their instincts. They are sensory individuals who may prefer to gather information that relates to tangible reality. This quadrant focuses on concrete sensing and thinking. They are analyzing their environment in order to find solutions to current problems. Most Analyzers are good with quantitative data. They are very perceptive to whatever they choose to put their mental focus or psychological energy on. They’re analytical; this means that they easily break down into parts to understand the entire whole. They’re more likely to use the back end of the neocortex, cerebellum, and brain stem. This region of the brain deals with fine motor skills, memorizing information, visual-spatial thinking, and computational ability. In contrast Discerner’s spend more time in their front neocortex, Idealists rely more on their amygdala and right brain, and Realists use more of their hippocampus and left brain. Their distinct neurological makeup also relies on neurotransmitter dopamine. They often enjoy novel experiences and seek out variety either physically or intellectually. This chemical also fuels their ability to analyze different situations. Analyzers are invariably connected to their thoughts and real world experiences. 

Realist

The Realist Quadrant is formed by people who are directly linked to the world of everyday society. Their minds organize information to help them function to the best of their ability. They have concrete feeling and concrete intuition. Their feelings allow them to thoroughly mesh with the values of society. They understand what is considered worthwhile by other people and are often looked highly upon by their community. Their intuition gives them a strong sense of what is right and wrong. Ethical principles, standards, and laws are very important to most Realists. Many of them can be very down-to-earth. Most of them consider themselves to be very objective or rational people who see things clearly. Realists have more serotonin than types from the other quadrants. Serotonin is the hormone that is largely responsible for personal happiness. It also drives up social intelligence and encourages people to set goals, finish projects, and to make important achievements. They are the benchmark that other people will follow. They pride themselves in having excellent judgment wherever they are. Realists often have great leaderships and operational capabilities as well. They stabilize and bring clarity to every organization that they impact. 

Bearings

Major

The Major Bearing is focused on active psychological states. This energy makes things happen through a positive mental force. It relies on a very unconscious flow of energy. Major types are more likely to ask how someone can make something happen. Their functioning is more directive, assertive, and self-confident. This bearing is focused more on the individual’s tribe or community; how surrounding individuals think or feel about a particular issue. The Major Bearing focuses on using feedback from other people to make efficient and purposeful judgments. The Major Bearing is psychologically more ‘masculine’ or ‘yang’ than the other bearings (influenced more by testosterone based thinking). This means that there is more of a 'pushing' or 'blasting' psychic energy in motion. Major types are more opinionated and are more likely to speak up. They are more likely to care about objectivity, making sense, and ‘the truth’. The Major Bearing expresses itself by forcing itself onto the external world.  

Neutral

The Neutral Bearing is focused on a symmetrical psychological state. It incorporates features of both the Major and Minor Bearings while striving to be more abstract and detached in its processing. The Neutral Bearing is at rest. It is balanced. People with this flow of psychological energy are self-confident and at ease with their ideas. There is no need to blast them out to the world or to obsessively consume new ideas either. The Neutral Bearing is not worried about thoughts or feelings of the community nor is overly concerned with their own personal issues. Neutral people tend to be ambiverted; they enjoy spending time with both others and also need time sleep over ideas on their own. They are strongly connected to their subconscious. Sleeping is a way to gather new insights for each coming day. These types often have a healthy mix of masculine and feminine traits and enjoy exploring different parts of their identity. Their steady psychological energy allows them to see powerful perspectives. 

Minor

The Minor Bearing is focused on passive psychological states. Jung described this as ‘intellectual intuition’ or undirected thinking. The Minor Bearing takes a longer amount of time to process sensory and intellectual perceptions. The functioning of the Minor Bearing is more accidental – it flows in many different directions. It doesn’t feel pressured, constrained, or forced. This minor energy is more submissive in that it accepts perceptions from senses and intuitions before it makes a judgment. Most of these people are inductive reasoners who prefer to see where the evidence leads. The Minor Bearing is predicated on an introverted state of ‘being’ as opposed to ‘acting’. It is an involuntary procession, a quiet void, or negative charge. This bearing is interested in psychological, physical, and emotional consumption. It takes things in and then takes its time to digest these stimuli. The Minor Bearing is psychologically more ‘feminine’ or ‘yin’ than the other bearings (influenced more by estrogen based thinking). It is a very receptive energy that is inherently non-directive. It is pulling, softening, and refining. This psychology helps people listen more than speak because it’s motivated by taking things in. People with this bearing are focused on more of their personal values and self-given reasons. It is conscious and concentrated on the internal world of the mind as well. 

What Does it All Mean?

It should be noted that all of these definitions and concepts are only general ideas that should be seen from a generic, fluid, or loose point of view. Idealists can still be very judgmental, Minors can still be very masculine, Analyzers can still be very abstract thinkers, and Majors can still be very much in their heads. Neurology and psychological theories behind this field of study require an extraordinarily nuanced understanding of these terms. The idea of a personality type being exclusively this trait or that trait is both methodologically flawed and unbacked by empirical data.  The quadrants and bearings combine together to create 12 different complex types that represent interesting archetypes or heuristics on how to understand people.

Each of the 12 types is a compelling archetype to understand ourselves and how we fit into society. Humans have long told stories with fascinating plots and character tropes and engaging plot twists. Neuro Types can be seen as different characters in the play of life. Each type has a role. The Substantial is like the ruler or the king. The Metaphysicist is like the wizard or magician. The Theorist is the great sage. The Harmonizer is the lover. The Intuitive is the Artist. The Authentic is like the innocent or young protagonist. The Systemizer shares similarities to the rebel. The Divergent is the explorer. The Experiencer can act as the comic relief. The Contender is our hero. The Pragmatist is the everyman. And the Standard is our caregiver. These types have been shared in mythologies the world over and have been expounded upon by Jung, Campbell, and other great thinkers. Understanding Neuro Types helps us understand the story of life.  

Understanding Neuro Types explains how two people could be so different. We all have different amounts of dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, estrogens, androgens, and even dimethyltryptamine. We are constituted differently. We experience life as fundamentally different people. What is enjoyable to one person could be hellish to another. Our brains are wired differently. We process our thoughts so differently that it would feel like a mystical occurrence, drug trip, or cinematic experience to fully immerse yourself in another’s consciousness. Just like one body is very different from another, one brain is also very distinct from another. However, comprehending these differences allows us to make influential connections with those we adore. Bridges of understanding can built. What was once a blank slate or an impenetrable mind can now be a source of love. We can create new bonds through our new mutual understanding. 


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