How To Decode The MBTI

by Michael Kelly, M.A.

Here is a simple way to decode for the Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary and Inferior (Shadow) functions in a MBTI preference.

This “pointing method" can be applied to any of the types.

Keep in mind the dominant and auxiliary functions are the most obvious to find. The tertiary and inferior or shadow functions consist of the opposite of the first two.

Step 1: A Simple Reminder

Step 2: Begin With The Last Letter

Step 3: To Identify The Extroverted Functions

Step 4: Now The Introverted Functions

Step 5: Finally, Pointing To The Dominant



  • Dominant Function = Introverted Sensing
  • Auxiliary Function = Extroverted Thinking
  • Tertiary Function (the opposite of the Auxiliary function) = Introverted Feeling
  • Inferior or Shadow Function (the opposite of the Dominant function)= Extroverted Intuition


  • Dominant Function = Extroverted Intuition
  • Auxiliary Function = Introverted Feeling
  • Tertiary Function (the opposite of the Auxiliary) = Extroverted Thinking
  • Inferior or Shadow Function (the opposite of the dominant) = Introverted Sensing
© 2011  Michael C Kelly