Si vs Se- Understanding Introverted Sensing and Extroverted Sensing

Si vs Se

This article might contain some affiliate links. Purchasing any items using the affiliate links means Personality Hunt might earn commissions at no cost to you.

Si vs Se. Which one are you? If you’re curious about these two cognitive functions, this article is for you.

This article discusses the Si vs Se comparison in close detail and answers other important questions.

First, let’s understand what these two cognitive functions do.

What is Introverted Sensing (Si)?

Introverted sensing, also known as Si, collects and absorbs information from their environment. In other words, Si-doms use this function to understand what goes on around them.

The Si function focuses on data from their experiences or other experiences they observe. When this is internalized, the user decides on the best way to respond. Their auxiliary function usually influences this. They store this data and use it when faced with similar circumstances or situations.

This internalized data can also be used to search for inconsistencies or variations in their environment. Thus Si-doms are particularly good at remembering the details of an event or discussion.

For Si-doms, the extroverted feeling (Fe) and the extroverted thinking (Te) function usually follows. For example, ISFJ uses the Si function. Fe backs this up. Thus, ISFJs take in information from their environment and compare it with past experiences and knowledge. Once this is done, Fe is used to make sure their final actions align with the feelings of others.

So, ISFJs might see a problem and know the best course of action but vary their approach slightly to accommodate others.

ISTJ is also an Si-dom. Te backs this up. Thus, ISTJ collects data and compares it to the existing stored experiences and knowledge. Then, they objectively scrutinize their comparison to ensure it’s consistent and true.

So, ISTJs might see a problem, remember their past experiences, and vary their reaction slightly to match the changing variables, if any.

What is Extroverted Sensing (Se)?

Extroverted sensing, also known as Se, is used by Se-doms to measure data collected from the environment. Se-doms focus a lot on the “now” experiences without giving many thoughts to past ones.

Thus, experiencing new things is dealt with objectively and in the moment. Instead of responding by comparing previous data, Se uses their auxiliary function to make quick decisions on the go.

Se-dom users usually use introverted feeling (Fi) and introverted thinking (Ti) as auxiliary functions. This influences how they react to situations.

For example, ESFP is a Se-dom. Fi backs this up. This means that ESFP responds to experiences as it comes. However, their responses are restricted or limited by their internal value system. So, an ESFP might want to experience certain vices, but might be restricted by their moral values.

ESTP is also a Se-dom. Ti backs this up. This means ESTPs respond to experiences without attaching too much importance to previous experiences. Ti backs this up. Thus, an ESTP will absorb the facts of a situation, think about it objectively (how it affects them), and take a calculated risk.

Recommended Article- Te vs Ti- Key Similarities and Differences

How Si and Se are Similar

Although Si and Se are fundamentally different, they share some similarities. First, they are both sensing functions. So, they both explain how we react to the external world.

Both cognitive functions are also linked to the MBTIverse and Jungian theory. Their particular order or position on the cognitive stack depends on the particular type.

Finally, both cognitive functions are equal. They have their pros and cons. It’s up to each user to utilize them properly.

What is the Main Difference Between Se and Si?

The main difference between Se and Si is their focus. While Si focuses on past knowledge and experiences to make the right decision, Se focuses on the present and objective data to make decisions.

Si vs Se- Sorting Out the Differences

Introverted Sensing (Si)Extroverted Sensing (Se)
Prefers routinePrefers innovation
Prefers to observePrefers to live in the moment
Risk AverseMore open to taking risks
Likes to learn, then executePrefers to execute, then learn on the go

1.   Routine vs Innovation

One of the biggest differences is their approach to life. Si-doms prefer to form routines around their life. For example, they might stick to one restaurant if they love their food or might eat the same thing repeatedly.

Se-doms, on the other hand, are more innovative. They want to experience different things and live in the present. Thus, they are more likely to ditch routine for the unknown.

2.   The Impact of Past Mistakes

Si uses their past experiences extensively in their daily lives. It’s almost as if they are stuck in the past. Thus, they are very much aware of their mistakes and try to avoid them.

This plays a big role in the direction their life takes. It also means they learn from their lessons.

Se is more interested in the present. Thus, even if a decision leads to a disastrous mistake, they can repeat the same action if they believe it will produce a different outcome.

This might see them achieve things Si users might miss out on. However, they might also fall into the same trap twice.

3.   Observation vs Implementation

Si is more interested in observing. Here’s why. Si wants to understand their environment, the actions of others, and the consequences. By doing so, they can plan and execute with precision.

Se users are different. These people absorb data with the intention of implementation. Backed by their auxiliary function, they are more interested in executing their ideas objectively.

4.   Attitude Towards Risk

Si users are less inclined to take risks. This goes against the whole purpose of remembering experiences and applying the lessons learned.

For Se users, risks are new ways to improve and live in the moment. They are generally more adventurous. When backed up by Ti, they take calculated risks.

5.   Learn First vs Learning on the Job

This follows the previous points. Because Si is focused on not making mistakes, they spend a lot of time collecting information and learning.

The downside is that they may seem indecisive or slow in making decisions. Se prefers to start a project and learn the basics simply. This is backed by their charisma or confidence in their abilities.

Who are the Major Si Users?

ISFJ and ISTJ use Si as their primary function. This function allows them to make decisions based on their past experiences.

ESFJ and ESTJ use Si as their auxiliary functions. In this case, Si backs up Fe and Te, thus helping them decide.

Other MBTI types use Si, but they are not as developed.

Who are the Major Se Users?

ESFP and ESTP use Se as their primary function. This function allows them to take in sensory experiences fully.

ISFP and ISTP use Se as their auxiliary function. In this case, Se backs up Fi and Ti, thus helping them to make decisions that resonate with them.

Other types use Se, but they are not as developed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Si vs Se

How Do I Know if I am Se or Si?

Do you feel excited about sensory experiences such as food, photography or exercise? Are you in touch with the physical world? If you are, you are probably Se.

Are you always comparing present challenges with past events and decisions? Do you want to learn and absorb information before diving in? If you do, you are probably Si.

You might have Si or Se as your tertiary or inferior functions. So, the feelings might be reduced.

What are Se Users Like?

Se-dom users are in touch with the physical world. They enjoy sensory experiences and are always on the go.

How Can I Develop My Si?

If you are not a Si-dom, you can strengthen your Si by paying attention to details or past events.

How Do You Get Out of the Si Grip?

Try to get away from past events or routines. Try new things and keep yourself busy. You should be fine.

So, that’s it with the Si vs Se comparison. Hope you had a blast!


    • Hello Sanechka,

      You’re welcome! Glad to know you enjoy the articles. If you have any requests for a particular article, don’t hesitate to let me know.

  1. Thank you for the article, but I am unsure anything was explained in similarities when saying, “… they are both sensing functions, so they both explain how we react to the external world. Both are also linked to the MBTIverse and Jungian theory. Their particular order or position on the cognitive stack depends on the particular type, and finally, both cognitive functions are equal.”

    Can that not be said about any cognitive function comparison?

    • Hello functianalyst,
      Like you have pointed out, that can be said about most cognitive functions, or perhaps all. That doesn’t change the fact that these are what both functions in focus have in similarity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here