Judging vs Perceiving

Judging and Perceiving, exploring the differences

The J-P dichotomy is about how we prefer to live our lives and is the one scale that can change through choice (although we will each have a natural predilection for one or the other). This is not one of the scales developed by Jung in his book, ‘Psychological Types’ but was added later, in 1941 by the mother and daughter Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.

Judging types prefer a planned, ordered world where things are organised and scheduled and they look to get to closure on issues as they tend to dislike loose ends. They also tend to finish one job before they start the next and are keen to have order.

Perceiving types are more flexible, spontaneous and almost get a kick out of last minute hitches or problems. They dislike routine and prefer to keep their options open seeing planning as stifling and plans as there to be changed.

Judging Types

  • Do not like leaving unanswered questions
  • Planned, ordered, structured approach
  • Prefer to follow rules and protocols
  • Stable and predictable workstyle
  • Work towards closure systematically
  • Do not like to change their decisions
  • Drive for closure

Perceiving Types

  • Need freedom from lots of obligations
  • Flexible and spontaneous approach
  • Act impulsively following the situation
  • Often start things without finishing
  • Work in bursts of energy
  • Curious and like a fresh look at things
  • Keep options open

Judgers may see Perceivers as

  • Careless and unproductive
  • Lacking consideration for deadlines
  • Not serious enough
  • Irresponsible and unreliable
  • Procrastinators, unable to make decisions
  • Expedient, jumping in unplanned

Perceivers may see Judgers as

  • Rigid and inflexible
  • Stubborn and rule-bound
  • Overly controlling
  • Too ‘black and white’
  • Making decisions too quickly
  • Taking too long to plan



Judging types tend to feel far more comfortable when decisions are made. If you are a Judging type you will prefer to drive for closure and a clear plan of action so that you can tick off tasks when you have completed them. A lack of clear pathway will probably concern you and you will have a drive to get things done, early if possible. You will be far more comfortable when things are settled rather then being up in the air, or too loose.

The Judger just can’t leave things hanging and will want to be constantly busy but with a clear purpose and direction. You will prefer a planned, ordered, scheduled existence and you prefer to work steadily towards conclusion. You prefer things to be settled rather than up in the air, and you do not function so well where the environment is loose and with no clear direction or plan of action.



Perceiving types are flexible and spontaneous. If you are a Perceiver you will tend to work in short bursts of energy rather than at a steady pace. When studying you will probably wait until near the deadline to get things done, as the idea of a strict plan that has to be adhered to does not let you be at your best. You tend to be driven by interest and you much prefer to keep your options open.

The Perceiver prefers to leave things open and loose, and will work less well with a plan, preferring to wait until things need to be done. Indeed that sense of having to get it done as the deadline approaches actually energises the Perceiver and they like the action and buzz of ‘the last minute.’ Flexible, adaptable and always open to new ideas, you will excel in pressurised environment where things are constantly changing and which require an open-minded approach.

Engaging with and managing a Judger, if you are a Perceiver

Be clear and specific on what’s required, they will prefer clarity and probably want to make a list to drive towards closure
Give them a plan, or let them create one as a Judger will not function so well with too much ambiguity and will prefer straight, clear lines
Avoid changing agreed plans, or at least give them time to think it through. They don’t like last minute changes.
Question to check all options are explored as the Judger may be so keen to get on and do that they not fully explore other options as this could be valuable ‘doing time’
Ensure it is thought through as the Judger will want to get to actions immediately once they have a plan and a ‘to-do’ list
Let them get on with it as the Judger will not want to be micro-managed as ‘doing’ is their forte
They tend to feel more in control by having a clear plan with milestones and getting to closure early

Engaging with and managing a Perceiver, if you are a Judger

Let them ask questions and discuss options, as the Perceiver will prefer spontaneity rather than a strict plan
Allow them some wriggle room as the Perceiver will want to do it their way and trying to force them to do it one way will not help
Let them talk a little as the they will often vocalise their thoughts and they work best in short bursts of energy rather than systematically
Question gently to bring to a decision rather than force them down a prescribed route
Ensure they are clear otherwise they might end up working long and hard but on the wrong things
Check every so often how they’re doing rather than micro-manage just to ensure they’re on (the right) track
They tend to feel more in control if they can keep their options open and maintain a sense of flexibility