New Year MBTI: Judging vs Perceiving

by Cheryl Ann Chew, Ho Mei Yin, Zou Ye Ying

The last pair of our MBTI series is Judging (J) and Perceiving (P). Judging does not mean being Judgmental, in fact the two are completely unrelated. Likewise, Perceiving is not to be confused with Perceptive. The J vs P pair is termed as the “extraverted function”, which relates to our behaviour in the external world. It’s possible to feel like a P on the inside, but also appear as a structured and organised J on the outside, and vice versa. What exactly makes you a J or P? Read on to find out.



J’s prefer a more structured lifestyle that borders on military-style regiments: endless lists of what they have to accomplish saved on their iPhone task reminder, and daily goals pasted on single-coloured post-its around their room.

J’s are probably the people who download productivity apps in the Appstore to schedule even their toilet breaks and still use their planned fifteen-minute break to defeat the next level of Angry Birds


P’s, on the other hand, live the Bohemian way with a more adaptive and flexible lifestyle. If this was the 70’s, P’s would probably live in multi-coloured camper vans, making flower crowns instead of studying for the next Chemistry test.

 Lists and reminders are seen as oppressive in the eyes of many P’s as they prefer to deal with curveballs as they come. They abhor the thought of sticking to schedules and study timetables are probably burned at the stake. While their inner world is highly structured, their outer world can be a wide array of random hobbies.

Work and Play

In terms of balancing work and play, J’s are those who eat the crusts of their bread first so they can enjoy the rest of it later. In other words, they are able to wait patiently for delayed gratification. They have a notorious mantra of finishing all their tutorials and revision before allowing themselves to relax and have fun. J’s like to finish projects and tasks. Crossing out that last task on their iPhone task reminder would be more satisfying than beating the last level of Candy Crush. They are especially good at finishing work ahead of schedule.


Conversely, P’s feel that everything doesn’t have to be done immediately. They tend to keep planning to the minimum and tend to have an “everything can always be done tomorrow” mindset. Play first, work later is most likely their motto in life. Being a P myself, instead of frantically revising my material before my Chemistry EOY paper, I decided to clean my room and arrange my books by colour. If P’s do make plans, they tend to make changes to them and even lose them altogether. P’s are probably those who have to rush out their essays at midnight because they spent four hours watching Cake Boss on Youtube (and probably still manage to get an A for it in the end).

Facing challenges

Being strictly regimental in their inner and outer worlds, J’s love task-oriented goals and accomplishing their goals on time. However, because of their highly structured way of working and preference for having things under their control, new information or a project deadline being pushed forward may cause J’s to become very flustered and upset. As a result, J’s tend to prefer ignoring new information or ideas presented to them after they have already internalised previous information.


P’s are less intimidated by new information than J’s, and even prefer to stay open till the last minute in hopes of receiving any new ideas that could improve their projects. However, because of this, P’s tend to cultivate a work ethic that relies heavily on powering through sleepless nights in their bid to finish projects on time. The last-minute mentality hampers P’s, who would probably put off writing important emails and scheduling extra lessons with teachers to clear doubts in the hopes that what they did not understand before would somehow diffuse into their brain through sheer willpower.

Now that you understand more about your type, here are a few tips to help you fulfill your New Year’s Resolutions.

J’s: Increasing productivity doesn’t mean loading yourself with work: set some time aside to play too! It doesn’t hurt to just relax and breathe for a while before resuming your crazy work schedule. For those J’s keeping to an academic-related resolution, The Pomodoro Technique is just for you. Coined by innovator Francesco Cirillo, this strategy involves separating work into 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between, boosting mental agility. This method has been proven to be more effective than working for a few hours straight (which is a really bad tendency of J’s). Also, be on the lookout for new information. It may upset your systematic tendencies, but try to be adaptable to changes in plans.

P’s: Oscar Wilde once said, “I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.” If you’re a P, you should get down to writing a list of New Year’s Resolutions using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) model as soon as possible. You may not feel like starting on that long list just yet, but make sure to set a timeline for each goal, and stick to it! Tell your friends and family about your goals – making your commitment known will help you fulfill your resolutions.

Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our New Year MBTI series. We hope you’ve gained a better understanding of your own type, and know how to better fulfill your resolutions. While the MBTI provides a good indication to understand certain tendencies you may have, remember that each person is still very different and only you will truly know how to keep yourself on track.

Watch this space as more special columns await you! Follow our Twitter account @dhspublications and spread your newfound knowledge to everyone you know!

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