Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology/Chapter 11

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CHAPTER XI

A CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES[1]


It is well known that in their general physiognomy Hysteria and Dementia Praecox present a striking contrast, which is seen particularly in the attitude of the sufferers towards the external world. The reactions provoked in the hysteric surpass the normal level of intensity of feeling, whilst this level is not reached at all by the precocious dement. The picture presented by these contrasted illnesses is one of exaggerated emotivity in the one, and extreme apathy in the other, with regard to the environment. In their personal relations this difference is very marked. Abstraction creates some exceptions here, for we remain in affective rapport with our hysterical patients, which is not the case in dementia praecox.

The opposition between these two nosological types is also seen in the rest of their symptomatology. From the intellectual point of view the products of hysterical imagination may be accounted for in a very natural and human way in each individual case by the antecedents and individual history of the patient; while the inventions of the precocious dement, on the contrary, are more nearly related to dreams than to normal consciousness, and they display moreover an incontestably archaic tendency, wherein mythological creations of primitive imagination are more in evidence than the personal memories of the patient. From the physical point of view we do not find in dementia praecox those symptoms so common in the hysteric, which simulate well known or severe organic affections.

All this clearly indicates that hysteria is characterised by a centrifugal tendency of the libido,[2] whilst in dementia præcox its tendency is centripetal. The reverse occurs, however, where the illness has fully established its compensatory effects. In the hysteric the libido is always hampered in its movements of expansion and forced to regress upon itself; one observes that such individuals cease to partake in the common life, are wrapped up in their phantasies, keep their beds, or are unable to live outside their sick-rooms, etc. The precocious dement, on the contrary, during the incubation of his illness turns away from the outer world in order to withdraw into himself; but when the period of morbid compensation arrives, he seems constrained to draw attention to himself, and to force himself upon the notice of those around him, by his extravagant, insupportable, or directly aggressive conduct.

I propose to use the terms “Extraversion” and “Introversion” to describe these two opposite directions of the libido, further qualifying them, however, as “regressive” in morbid cases where phantasies, fictions, or phantastic interpretations, inspired by emotivity, falsify the perceptions of the subject about things, or about himself. We say that he is extraverted when he gives his fundamental interest to the outer or objective world, and attributes an all-important and essential value to it: he is introverted, on the contrary, when the objective world suffers a sort of depreciation, or want of consideration, for the sake of the exaltation of the individual himself, who then monopolising all the interest, grows to believe no one but himself worthy of consideration. I will call “regressive extraversion” the phenomenon which Freud calls “transference” (Übertragung), by which the hysteric projects into the objective world the illusions, or subjective values of his feelings. In the same way I shall call “regressive introversion,” the opposite pathological phenomenon which we find in dementia praecox, where the subject himself suffers these phantastical transfigurations.

It is obvious that these two contrary movements of the libido, as simple psychic mechanisms, may play a part alternately in the same individual, since after all they serve the same purpose by different methods—namely, to minister to his well-being. Freud has taught us that in the mechanism of hysterical transference the individual aims at getting rid of disagreeable memories or impressions, in order to free himself from painful complexes, by a process of “repression.” Conversely in the mechanism of introversion, the personality tends to concentrate itself upon its complexes, and with them, to isolate itself from external reality, by a process which is not properly speaking “repression,” but which would be better rendered perhaps by the term “depreciation” (Entwertung) of the objective world.

The existence of two mental affections so opposite in character as hysteria and dementia praecox, in which the contrast rests on the almost exclusive supremacy of extraversion or introversion, suggests that these two psychological types may exist equally well in normal persons, who may be characterised by the relative predominance of one or other of the two mechanisms. Psychiatrists know very well that before either illness is fully declared, patients already present the characteristic type, traces of which are to be found from the earliest years of life. As Binet pointed out so well, the neurotic only accentuates and shews in relief the characteristic traits of his personality. One knows, of course, that the hysterical character is not simply the product of the illness, but pre-existed it in a measure. And Hoch has shown by his researches into the histories of his dementia praecox patients, that this is also the case with them; dissociations or eccentricities were present before the onset of the illness. If this is so, one may certainly expect to meet the same contrast between psychological temperaments outside the sphere of pathology. It is moreover easy to cull from literature numerous examples which bear witness to the actual existence of these two opposite types of mentality. Without pretending to exhaust the subject, I will give a few striking examples.

In my opinion, we owe the best observations on this subject to the philosophy of William James.[3] He lays down the principle that no matter what may be the temperament of a “professional philosopher,” it is this temperament which he feels himself forced to express and to justify in his philosophy. And starting from this idea, which is altogether in accord with the spirit of psychoanalysis, divides philosophers into two classes: the “Tender-minded,” who are only interested in the inner life and spiritual things; and the “Tough-minded,” who lay most stress on material things and objective reality. We see that these two classes are actuated by exactly opposite tendencies of the libido: the “tender-minded” represent introversion, the “tough-minded” extraversion.

James says that the tender-minded are characterised by rationalism; they are men of principles and of systems, they aspire to dominate experience and to transcend it by abstract reasoning, by their logical deductions, and purely rational conceptions. They care little for facts, and the multiplicity of phenomena hardly embarrasses them at all: they forcibly fit data into their ideal constructions, and reduce everything to their a priori premises. This was the method of Hegel in settling beforehand the number of the planets. In the domain of mental pathology we again meet this kind of philosopher in paranoiacs, who, without being disquieted by the flat contradictions presented by experience, impose their delirious conceptions on the universe, and find means of interpreting everything, and according to Adler “arranging” everything, in conformity with their morbidly preconceived system.

The other traits which James depicts in this type follow naturally from its fundamental character. The tender-minded man, he says, is intellectual, idealist, optimist, religious, partisan of free-will, a monist, and a dogmatist. All these qualities betray the almost exclusive concentration of the libido upon the intellectual life. This concentration upon the inner world of thought is nothing else than introversion. In so far as experience plays a rôle with these philosophers, it serves only as an allurement or fillip to abstraction, in response to the imperative need to fit forcibly all the chaos of the universe within well-defined limits, which are, in the last resort, the creation of a spirit obedient to its subjective values.

The tough-minded man is positivist and empiricist. He regards only matters of fact. Experience is his master, his exclusive guide and inspiration. It is only empirical phenomena demonstrable in the outside world which count. Thought is merely a reaction to external experience. In the eyes of these philosophers principles are never of such value as facts; they can only reflect and describe the sequence of phenomena and cannot construct a system. Thus their theories are exposed to contradiction under the overwhelming accumulation of empirical material. Psychic reality for the positivist limits itself to the observation and experience of pleasure and pain; he does not go beyond that, nor does he recognise the rights of philosophical thought. Remaining on the ever-changing surface of the phenomenal world, he partakes himself of its instability; carried away in the chaotic tumult of the universe, he sees all its aspects, all its theoretical and practical possibilities, but he never arrives at the unity or the fixity of a settled system, which alone could satisfy the idealist or tender-minded. The positivist depreciates all values in reducing them to elements lower than themselves; he explains the higher by the lower, and dethrones it, by showing that it is “nothing but such another thing,” which has no value in itself.

From these general characteristics, the others which James points out logically follow. The positivist is a sensualist, giving greater value to the specific realm of the senses than to reflection which transcends it. He is a materialist and a pessimist, for he knows only too well the hopeless uncertainty of the course of things. He is irreligious, not being in a state to hold firmly to the realities of the inner world as opposed to the pressure of external facts; he is a determinist and fatalist, only able to show resignation; a pluralist, incapable of all synthesis; and finally a sceptic, as a last and inevitable consequence of all the rest.

The expressions, therefore, used by James, show clearly that the diversity of types is the result of a different localisation of the libido; this libido is the magic power in the depth of our being, which, following the personality, carries it sometimes towards internal life, and sometimes towards the objective world. James compares, for example, the religious subjectivism of the idealist, and the quasi-religious attitude of the contemporary empiricist: “Our esteem for facts has not neutralised in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.”[4]

A second parallel is furnished by Wilhelm Ostwald,[5] who divides “savants” and men of genius into classics and romantics. The latter are distinguished by their rapid reactions, their extremely prompt and abundant production of ideas and projects, some of which are badly digested and of doubtful value. They are admirable and brilliant masters, loving to teach, of a contagious ardour and enthusiasm, which attracts many pupils, and makes them founders of schools, exercising great personal influence. Herein our type of extraversion is easily recognised. The classics of Ostwald are, on the contrary, slow to react; they produce with much difficulty, are little capable of teaching or of exercising direct personal influence, and lacking enthusiasm are paralysed by their own severe criticism, living apart and absorbed in themselves, making scarcely any disciples, but producing works of finished perfection which often bring them posthumous fame. All these characteristics correspond to introversion.

We find a further very valuable example in the aesthetic theory of Warringer. Borrowing from A. Riegl his expression “Volonté d’art absolue” to express the internal force which inspires the artist, he distinguishes two forms, viz. sympathy (Einfühlung) and abstraction; and the term which he employs indicates that here, too, we witness the activity of the push of the libido, the stirring of the élan vital. “In the same way,” says Warringer, “as the sympathetic impulse finds its satisfaction in organic beauty, so abstract impulse discovers beauty in the inorganic, which is the negation of all life, in crystallised forms, and in a general manner wherever the severity of abstract law reigns.” Whilst sympathy represents the warmth of passion which carries it into the presence of the object in order to assimilate it and penetrate it with emotional values; abstraction, on the other hand, despoils the object of all that could recall life, and grasps it by purely intellectual thought, crystallised and fixed into the rigid forms of law,—the universal, the typical. Bergson also makes use of these images of crystallisation, solidification, etc., to illustrate the essence of intellectual abstraction.

Warringer’s “Abstraction” represents the process which I have already remarked as a consequence of introversion, namely, the exaltation of the intellect, in the place of the depreciated reality of the external world. “Sympathy” corresponds in fact to extraversion, for, as Lipps has pointed out, “What I perceive sympathetically in an object is, in a general manner life, and life is power, internal work, effort, and execution. To live, in a word, is to act, and to act is to experience intimately the force which we give out; experience creates activity, which is essentially of a spontaneous character.” “Æsthetic enjoyment,” said Warringer, “is the enjoyment of one’s own self projected into the “object,” a formula which corresponds absolutely with our definition of transference. This aesthetic conception does not refer to the positivist in James’s sense; it is rather the attitude of the idealist for whom psychological reality only is interesting, and worthy of consideration. Warringer adds, “what is essential lies not in the gradation of the feeling, but pre-eminently in the feeling itself; that is to say, the inner movement, the intimate life, the unfolding of the Subject’s own activity; the value of a line or of a form, depends in our eyes on the biological value it holds for us; that which gives beauty is solely our own vital feeling, which we unconsciously project into it.” This view corresponds exactly with my own way of understanding the theory of the libido, in attempting to keep the true balance between the two psychological opposites of introversion and extraversion.

The polar opposite of sympathy is abstraction. The impulse of abstraction is conceived by Warringer “as the result of a great internal conflict of the human soul in the presence of the external world, and from the religious standpoint, it corresponds to a strong transcendental colouring of all the representations man has made to himself of reality.” We recognise clearly in this definition the primordial tendency to introversion. To the introverted type the universe does not appear beautiful and desirable, but disquieting, and even dangerous; it is a manifestation against which the subject puts himself on the defensive; he entrenches himself in his inner fastness, and fortifies himself therein by the invention of geometrical figures, full of repose, perfectly clear even in their minutest details, the primitive magic power of which assures him of domination over the surrounding world.

“The need of abstraction is the origin of all art,” says Warringer. Here is a great principle, which gains weighty confirmation from the fact that precocious dements reproduce forms and figures which present the closest analogy to those of primitive humanity, not only in their thoughts but also in their drawings.

We should recall that Schiller had already tried to formulate the same presentation in what he calls the Naive and Sentimental types. The latter is in quest of nature, whilst the former is itself “all nature.” Schiller also saw that these two types result from the predominance of psychological mechanisms which might be met with in one and the same individual. “It is not only in the same poet,” he said, “but even in the same work that these two types of mentality are found united. . . . The naïve poet pursues only nature and feeling in their simplicity, and all his effort is limited to the imitation and reproduction of reality. The sentimental poet, on the contrary, reflects the impression he receives from objects. The object here is allied to an idea, and the poetic power of the work depends on this alliance.” These quotations shew what types Schiller had in view, and one recognises their fundamental identity with those with which we are here dealing.

We find another instance in Nietzsche’s contrast between the minds of Apollo and of Dionysus. The example which Nietzsche uses to illustrate this contrast is instructive—namely, that between a dream and intoxication. In a dream the individual is shut up in himself, in intoxication, on the contrary, he forgets himself to the highest degree, and, set free from his self-consciousness, plunges into the multiplicity of the objective world. To depict Apollo, Nietzsche borrows the words of Schopenhauer, “As upon a tumultuous sea, which disgorges and swallows by turns, lost to view in the mountains of foaming waves, the mariner remains seated tranquilly on his plank, full of confidence in his frail barque; so individual man, in a world of troubles, lives passive and serene, relying with confidence on the principle of ‘individuation.’” “Yes,” continues Nietzsche, “we might say that the unshakeable confidence in this principle, and the calm security of those whom it has inspired, have found in Apollo their most sublime expression, and we may always recognise in him the most splendid and divine personification of the principle of making an individual.” The Apollien state, as Nietzsche conceives it, is consequently the withdrawal into oneself, that is, introversion. Conversely in the Dionysian state, psychic intoxication, indicates in his view the unloosening of a torrent of libido which expends itself upon things. “This is not only,” says Nietzsche, “the alliance of man with man, which finds itself confirmed afresh under the Dionysian enchantment; it is alienated Nature, hostile or enslaved, which also celebrates her reconciliation with her prodigal child,—man. Spontaneously Earth offers her gifts and the wild beasts from rock and desert draw near peacefully. The car of Dionysus is lost under flowers and garlands; panthers and tigers approach under his yoke.”

If we change Beethoven’s “Hymn of Praise” into a picture, and giving rein to our imagination, contemplate the millions of beings prostrated and trembling in the dust, at such a moment the Dionysian intoxication will be near at hand. Then is the slave free; then all the rigid and hostile barriers which poverty and arbitrary or insolent custom have established between man and man are broken down. Now, by means of this gospel of universal harmony, each feels himself not only reunited, reconciled, fused with his neighbour, but actually identified with him, as if the veil of “Maïa was torn away, nothing remaining of it but a few shreds floating before the mystery of the Primordial Unity.”[6] It would be superfluous to add comment to these quotations.

In concluding this series of examples culled outside my own special domain, I will quote the linguistic hypothesis of Finck,[7] where we also see the duality in question. The structure of language, according to Finck, presents two principal types: in one the subject is generally conceived as active: “I see him,” “I strike him down;” in the other the subject experiences and feels, and it is the object which acts: “He appears to me,” “He succumbs to me.” The first type clearly shews the libido as going out of the subject,—this is a centrifugal movement; the second as coming out of the object,—this movement is centripetal. We meet with this latter introverted type especially in the primitive languages of the Esquimaux.

In the domain of Psychiatry also these two types have been described by Otto Gross,[8] who distinguishes two forms of mental debility: the one a diffuse and shallow consciousness, the other a concentrated and deep consciousness. The first is characterised by weakness of the consecutive function, the second by its excessive reinforcement. Gross has recognised that the consecutive function is in intimate relation with affectivity, from which we might infer that he is dealing once more with our two psychological types. The relation he establishes between maniac depressive insanity and the state of diffuse or extended and shallow mental disease shows that the latter represents the extraverted type; and the relation between the psychology of the paranoiac and repressed mentality, indicates the identity of the former with the introverted type.

After the foregoing considerations no one will be astonished to find that in the domain of psychoanalysis we also have to reckon with the existence of these two psychological types.

On the one side we meet with a theory which is essentially reductive, pluralist, causal and sensualist; this is Freud’s standpoint. This theory limits itself rigidly to empirical facts, and traces back complexes to their antecedents and their elemental factors. It regards the psychological life as being only an effect, a reaction to the environment, and accords the greatest rôle and the largest place to sensation. On the other side we have the diametrically opposed theory of Adler[9] which is an entirely philosophical and finalistic one. In it phenomena are not reducible to earlier and very primitive factors, but are conceived as “arrangements,” the outcome of intentions and of ends of an extremely complex nature. It is no longer the view of causality but of finality which dominates researches: the history of the patient and the concrete influences of the environment are of much less importance than the dominating principles, the “fictions directrices,” of the individual. It is not essential for him to depend upon the object, and to find in it his fill of subjective enjoyment, but to protect his own individuality and to guarantee it against the hostile influences of the environment. Whilst Freud’s psychology has for its predominant note the centrifugal tendency, which demands its happiness and satisfaction in the objective world, in that of Adler the chief rôle belongs to the centripetal movement, which tends to the supremacy of the subject, to his triumph and his liberty, as opposed to the overwhelming forces of existence. The expedient to which the type described by Freud has recourse is “infantile transference,” by means of which he projects phantasy into the object and finds a compensation for the difficulties of life in this transfiguration. In the type described by Adler what is characteristic is, on the contrary, the “virile protest,” personal resistance, the efficacious safeguard which the individual provides for himself, in affirming and stubbornly enclosing himself in his dominating ideas.

The difficult task of elaborating a psychology which should pay equal attention to the two types of mentality belongs to the future.


  1. Delivered at the Psychoanalytical Congress, Munich, 1913. Translated from Archives de Psychologie, by kind permission of the Editor, Dr. Claparède.
  2. In Freud’s writings the term “libido” has always a sexual meaning. But it is well known that Jung has restored to this term its classical meaning of desire or passion in general. He has pointed out recently that we might, following Claparède’s proposal, translate it by the word “interest.” We have preferred in the present translation to keep to the term “libido” to express the instinctive psychological effort, the élan vital, the joy of living, the fundamental interest of the individual, etc. See page 231.
  3. Pragmatism,” Chapter I.
  4. “Pragmatism,” ch. i., p. 14.
  5. W. Ostwald “Grosse Männer,” Leipzig, 1910 (11th Lecture, “Classics and Romanticists”). See also his contribution, “A propos de la Biologie du Savant,” Bibliothèque Universelle, Oct., 1910.
  6. Nietzsche, “The Birth of Tragedy,” trans. Wm. A. Haussmann.
  7. Finck, “Der deutsche Sprachbon als Aus druck, deutscher Weltanschauung.” Marburg, 1899.
  8. Gross, “Die zerebrale Sekundärfonktion.” Leipsig, 1902.
  9. Adler, “Über den nervösen Charakter.” Wiesbaden, 1912.