Journal of Psychological Type® (JPT) > Vol 82, 2022

Type development in childhood and beyond.

Murphy, E. (2021). Type development in childhood and beyond. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 66(5), 1074-1093.

Elizabeth Murphy, co-author with Charles Meisgeier, of the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children® (MMTIC®) assessment, discusses type development over the life span in this article, though the focus is on her area of expertise in children. Drawing upon years of working with children and parents, Murphy brings insight to several aspects of type development, including a distinction between skill—consciously developing a proficiency—and development of a function or preference, which is the movement from unconscious to conscious use. Murphy describes type development as Jung describes individuation—manifesting in a spiral pattern where development of a preference occurs along an increasingly higher level of understanding and use.

There are several other areas of insight that Murphy offers from her experience, including factors that may disrupt development and recommendations on how to provide young people with opportunities to develop the functions. In this latter vein, she offers a simple, but effective, tool of offering children opportunities to make decisions to develop their natural preferences rather than giving commands. Such as the choice, "Do you want to sit here or over there?" rather than the command, "Sit there." A hearty review of other theorists' ideas on type development, and Jung's little discussed distinctions on the aesthetic and concrete expressions of all the functions, rounds out this educational article.



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The Journal of Psychological Type® - Research Digest (JPT-RD) is made available through the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Inc., CAPT, worldwide publisher. The editorial team includes Kesstan Blandin, PhD, Yvonne Nelson-Reid, PhD, Logan Abbitt, MLIS, and Purnima Sims.

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CAPT is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to educate the public about psychological type—including its ethical, meaningful, and practical applications—and to conduct research on psychological type and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) instrument. The JPT-RD, published annually, is one of a suite of CAPT publications that highlight research and ideas in the field of psychological type, the MBTI instrument, and Jungian thought. ©2023 Center for Applications of Psychological Type, Inc., publisher. Contact the JPT-RD Editorial Team at