Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Singer Loomis Type Deployment Inventory (SL-TDI)

How many scales and how many items are involved in the SL-TDI?

The SL-TDI uses 160 items to measure eight core variables. The resulting Type Mode scale scores measure Introverted Sensing, Extraverted Sensing, Introverted Intuiting, Extraverted Intuiting, Introverted Feeling, Extraverted Feeling, Introverted Thinking and Extraverted Thinking. Each of these eight variables is measured 20 times to yield a scale score.

In addition to the eight core scales, the SL-TDI also produces scores for eight secondary variables:

  • A) the four Type Functions of Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking and Feeling
  • B) Extraversion and Introversion
  • C) Judging and Perceiving

In all, the SL-TDI provides information about a total of 16 Type variables.

What is the short history of the Singer-Loomis? When and by whom was the SL-TDI created?

Version 1 of the SL-TDI was created in 1979 by June Singer, Ph.D. and Mary Loomis, Ph.D. June Singer is a world renowned Jungian Analyst who received her Analyst training at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She is the founder of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and the author of many books and dozens of articles on Jungian psychology. Mary Loomis is also a Jungian Analyst. She was trained to be a Jungian Analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Mary has written one book, many articles and is well known for her efforts to bridge the Native American Medicine Wheel with Jungian Type concepts.

Drs. Singer and Loomis evolved the Singer-Loomis to Version 3 before selling the copyright to Consulting Psychologist Press (CPP) of Palo Alto, California in 1983. CPP listed the Singer-Loomis in their clinical catalog from 1984 through 1995. The copyright to the inventory was purchased from CPP by Drs. Singer and Loomis in late 1995 and transferred to Drs. Elizabeth and Larry Kirkhart in February 1996.

The Kirkhart’s immediately initiated a process to revise the instrument and created a new organization, Moving Boundaries, inc., to produce, market and nurture the Singer-Loomis. The revision was directed by the Kirkhart’s and done with the assistance of June Singer, Martha Newell (a Jungian Analyst), and a number of professional colleagues in the field of human resource development. Because the process for doing the revision had been planned in advance of February, Version 4 was ready for beta testing by early May 1996.

June Singer was the first person to administer Version 4.0 of the Singer-Loomis. She did so with approximately 50 Jungian oriented psychologists at a conference in Barbados in May 1996. Since that time, Version 4 has been administered to thousands of individuals. Reliability statistics have been generated on the Moving Boundaries research database as the database has grown from several hundred to several thousand. This information shows that the SL-TDI meets or exceeds conventional psychometric reliability standards for a personality inventory (based on Cronbach’s Alpha). An independent reliability and validity study of the SL-TDI, conducted by three members of the Psychology Department at Texas A&M (Randolph Arnau, David Rosen and Bruce Thompson) was published in the June 2000 issue of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. Their reliability data is virtually identical to the reliability data produced by Moving Boundaries’ in-house studies.

In May 2002, Version 5.0 was put in final form. This version was created by Drs. Elizabeth and Larry Kirkhart in collaboration with Andrew Rooney and Julia Zimmerman. This was a comprehensive revision that began in October 2001 and was not complete until the end of May 2002. During the course of this work, changes (ranging from one word to, in a few instances, replacing the entire item) were made in over 50% of the items and in 25% of the situations. In 2004 an analysis based on 2,684 protocols and using the same statistical analysis (Cronbach’s Alpha) revealed that the reliability of the Inventory was slightly but not significantly improved. Since then only minor changes have been made in the language of the items or the situations of the Inventory. A Romanian version of the Singer-Loomis was created in 2008 and a Korean version is beta testing.

Why does the Singer-Loomis emphasize “Type Modes” more than Type Functions?

There are four Type Functions—Sensation, Intuition, Feeling and Thinking. The SL-TDI measures the Extraverted and Introverted expression of each of the four Functions. The Singer-Loomis uses a Likert scale to measure each of these eight areas directly. Each of these areas represents a particular Type Mode.

Whenever Carl Jung was talking about a person, he seemed to consistently tie Type Function and Extraversion or Introversion together. He might say, for example, Shirley is an Extraverted Feeling Type. In short, he believed Shirley had Extraverted Feeling as her Dominant. In other words, when Jung addressed how people actually function, his language was somewhat different than when he was talking in a purely abstract way.

A Type Mode, for example, Extraverted Feeling, represents a dynamic process involving Extraverting psychological energy through the Feeling Function. When both of the Type Modes involved in the Feeling Function are taken into consideration, i.e., Extraverted Feeling (EF) and Introverted Feeling (IF), it is possible to talk about how a Type Function is operating. To do so, requires summing the scale scores of the EF and IF Type Modes.

However, when EF and IF are summed to create the Feeling Function score, the relative contribution of each is obscured. This represents a significant loss of information. Consequently, when Type Function is discussed in the Singer-Loomis Report, the contribution of the Introverted and the Extraverted expression of the Function is always shown.


What does it mean to say “the SL-TDI measures each Type Mode independently”?

The Singer-Loomis assumes that regardless of the underlying relationships between the various Type Modes, it is possible to measure each one without respect to the functioning of the other modes. In other words, it is possible to measure Extraverted Thinking without making any assumption about, for example, Introverted Thinking. Each item on the SL-TDI is designed to measure a particular Type Mode, either the extraverted or introverted expression of one of the four Type Functions (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking and Feeling). Each Type Mode is measured a total of 20 times in 20 different situations.

Where does the SL-TDI stand on the nature vs. nurture?

In the scientific community, there is a long-standing debate about whether how one behaves and experiences the world is a consequence of nature, that is, the individual’s biological and genetic dispositions, or a consequence of the environment (nurture) he or she happens to inhabit during formative moments of development. Some scientists would argue that one or the other of these positions explains everything.

The assumption underlying the SL-TDI is that both are important. The SL-TDI asks that you put yourself in a situation (the nurture part of the nature/nurture equation) and then indicate how much you would exercise each of the eight Type Modes (the nature part of the nature/nurture equation). In other words, the SL-TDI assumes that the environment in which we find ourselves does influence how we act. However, the environment simply exerts different amounts of influence relative to how we chose to act. The very fact that in some environments we would chose to act differently than we do in others means we seek to act as sensibly as we know how, given our understanding of the particular context. In short, we do not act independently of our environment and we are not completely determined by our in-born psychological traits. Life involves a mixture of both. This mixture will vary depending on life experience and how aware we are of ourselves and our environment at any given moment.

SL-TDI Report

How long does it take to administer and score the SL-TDI?

The Singer-Loomis Type Deployment Inventory (SL-TDI) is only available on-line. Taking the Inventory involves going to the Moving Boundaries website, clicking on the “Do Inventory” button, recording the serial number and password and responding to the 160 items of the Inventory. This typically takes 20-40 minutes.

Once the Inventory has been completed, the Provider can compile the results in the Singer-Loomis Report in a matter of seconds and then has the option of e-mailing the report to the person who completed the Inventory or to themselves or both. This takes about a minute.

In short, it takes a minimal amount of time to administer, score and generate the Singer-Loomis Report, somewhere between 20 and 45 minutes from starting to take the Inventory to having the 19-page Singer-Loomis Report in hand. This is the absolute minimum amount of time. In ordinary practice there is a lag between when the Inventory is completed and the Report is generated and distributed.

Comparison With Other Personality Types

How do the Singer-Loomis and the Myers-Briggs Psychological Types compare?

The SL-TDI and the MBTI use the same structure, four paired concepts in a particular sequence. Each concept is represented by a single letter. The four letters that are reported create a Psychological Type. For example, review the ENTP Psychological Type in the table below.


This table shows that eight of the 16 Singer-Loomis scales are reported in the traditional structure used to create a Psychological Type. The result is in some ways comparable and in some ways not. The core comparability is that the magnitude of difference between pairs of concepts establishes which concept is reported and represented by a particular letter. In the example above, Extraverting is greater than Introverting and consequently the letter E is reported, etc.


However, there are significant underlying differences. These differences arise from their technical design. Before considering the differences in design, it is important to acknowledge that both the Singer-Loomis and the MBTI do what they are designed to do. Both implement their respective designs accurately and reliably. Invidious comparisons that claim one of the psychological assessments is better than the other are typically misplaced and not worth taking seriously.

A reasonable basis for comparison would examine the design of each inventory–the concepts involved, what concepts are measured, how the concepts are measured and the assumptions necessary to compile the results and establish a 4-letter acronym for a Psychological Type and then formulate relative judgments. For nearly all clients of either inventory, it is probably best to contain the focus on the implications of the inventory’s Psychological Type for the individual. In the case of the Singer-Loomis, Psychological Type represents an individual result within a large number of variations inside a particular Psychological Type. The Singer-Loomis Psychological Type also serves as a bridge to the individual’s Type Mode Profile, an even more comprehensive and individualized portrayal of how the personality functions.

Brief Summary of Designs


Primary Design Goal: Measure personality functioning using concepts created by Carl Jung
Secondary Design Goal: Categorize an individual as one of 16 Psychological Types

The Singer-Loomis Type Deployment Inventory (SL-TDI)* uses a 5-point Likert scale to measure the Extraverted and Introverted expression of each of Jung’s four Functions (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking and Feeling). These eight conceptual categories, which heretofore have never been measured directly, are called Type Modes. Each of these eight scales measure how much the individual engages a particular psychological process/category in twenty different situations.


Primary Design Goal: Categorize an individual as one of 16 Psychological Types

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)** is based on the bipolar assumption, i.e., that Thinking is always in bipolar opposition to Feeling, Sensation is always in opposition to Intuition, Introversion is always in opposition to Extraversion and Perceiving is always in opposition to Judging. Because of the bipolar assumption, the MBTI uses a forced choice (either/or) format with paired items. Respondents are asked to select which item is prefered. Each item represents a conceptual category. Preferences are in relation to categories. The categories themselves are not measured.


*  SL-TDI is a copyrighted product of Moving Boundaries, inc., Gresham, OR.

**  MBTI is a copyrighted product of Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA.

How does the Singer-Loomis treat the conceptual opposites Carl Jung described?

The design of the SL-TDI does not preclude the possibility of scoring high on one Type Mode and low on another, producing what would appear to be a classic bi-polar relationship. Introverted Feeling, for example, can score high and Extraverted Thinking can score low. Nothing stops this from happening— except the all-important baseline of how the individual experience’s herself or himself in the various situations presented in the SL-TDI. Nothing in the design of the SL-TDI that prevents the classical opposition from appearing in SL-TDI results.

The philosophy underlying the Singer-Loomis is that measurement of the variables should allow the individual’s experience to drive the patterning of the results—rather than some preconceived formula. This makes it possible, for example, to change the bi-polar assumption to a question that can be tested empirically. That is, do the results show the pattern that would be characteristic of bi-polar relationships between certain Type Modes?

  1. In our experience with thousands of SL-TDI results, a startlingly high percentage of individuals do not experience the classical oppositions. In addition, a substantial percentage of individuals report that they use the conceptually opposite capacities to almost the same degree. Dealing with the tension of apparent opposites leads to recognizing that that capacities construed as conceptual opposites can have a complementary relationship. There is no reason to assume that the relationship between Type capacities cannot change through time as one develops. This means that the SL-TDI breathes new life into the idea of being an individual from a Type perspective and broadens our understanding of Typology.
  2. From the perspective of the SL-TDI, there is an immense variability in how the individual process of development unfolds. Instead of being limited to 16 meaningful personality characterizations, the SL-TDI offers the possibility of over six million. If one is serious about understanding one’s own relatively unique degree of individuation and has the same concerns about others, a deeper understanding of typology dynamics is called for. This is an important route to appreciating both yourself and the other person’s gifts more fully.

The Type inventory I am most familiar with is based on the idea of preferences, is this what the SL-TDI is based upon?

The Singer-Loomis collects information about how much a person actually uses eight Type capacities (Introverted Sensing, Extraverted Sensing, Introverted Intuiting, Extraverted Intuiting, Introverted Thinking, Extraverted Thinking, Introverted Feeling and Extraverted Feeling). Each of these capacities is measured in the same situation. The SL-TDI measures how much the person actually uses each Type capacity or Type Mode in a total of twenty situations. The result is a score based on what the person indicates they actually do, rather than what they prefer. What a person prefers may have little or no bearing on what a person actually does in everyday life.

How much a person uses each particular Type capacity is, to some degree, a matter of conscious choice. According to Jungian theory, the less developed the Type process, the more difficult it is to hold in conscious awareness. The SL-TDI takes the position that knowing what a person actually does is essential to being able to use conscious awareness to promote one’s development. Development means having some knowledge of one’s current state and on the basis of that knowledge, choosing ways to encourage further development in desired directions.

By measuring what a person does at a particular point in time, it is possible to have a baseline that can be used for counseling, coaching and informing conscious efforts to further develop the individual. After an interval of time, say six months or a year, the Inventory can be administered again and the results compared to the earlier reference point.

None of the existing bipolar inventories assess the use of all eight Type Modes. The eight variables (MBTI) (or six variables in the case of the JTS) about which information is gathered is not done in a way that holds the situations constant. Because the bipolar inventories vary the contexts in which individuals are required to select a preferred option, it would not be unfair to characterize these inventories as measuring preferences for traits without regard to situation. The Singer-Loomis measures the actual expression of traits in everyday situations and consistently measures all eight traits in the same situation.

How does the SL-TDI respond to the trait or state controversy?

Some personality inventories, for example, the MBTI, assume that to understand the individual, all that is necessary is to collect information about characteristics that are assumed to be inborn traits. These traits are usually treated as genetically endowed internal processes that determine the individual’s personality. As a consequence, how the environment influences the expression of these traits is either ignored or, because it receives no explicit attention, inadvertently incorporated in a non-systematic way in the results of the measurement of the traits.

The state approach would, more typically, seek to measure overt behavior, avoid anything related to internal states and seek to show how overt behavior can be predicted from the characteristics of a particular environment.

The SL-TDI is designed to measure the expression of traits (the eight Type Modes) in particular environments. Both trait and state are assumed to be important and interrelated. For this reason, the SL-TDI asks the respondent to indicate how much each trait, i.e., Type Mode, would be deployed or used in a particular situation. The results of the Inventory are a consequence of the overall pattern of usage of each of the Type Modes in twenty different situations.

Why is the SL-TDI portrayed as “Expanding the Boundaries of Psychological Type”?

There are at least 12 reasons why the SL-TDI expands the boundaries of Psychological Type:

  1. The SL-TDI is the first Jungian Type inventory designed to directly measure the Extraverted and the Introverted expression of each of the four Type Functions (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking and Feeling).
  2. The SL-TDI measures Type functioning using eight Likert type scales; all of the other Type inventories use a forced choice format to collect information for the purpose of putting individuals into a pre-existing set of categories, i.e., 16 Types or 4 Temperaments.
  3. The SL-TDI measures what an individual actually does with his or her Type capacities; all of the other Type inventories collect information about what an individual prefers to do.
  4. The SL-TDI is the first Type inventory to show how each Type Function operates— by measuring how much of each Type Function is expressed through Extraverting and how much through Introverting.
  5. The SL-TDI is the first Type inventory to show how the individual is Introverted—by measuring how much each of the four Introverted Type Functions contribute to the individual’s overall Introversion.
  6. The SL-TDI is the first Type inventory to show how the individual is Extraverted—by measuring how much each of the four Extraverted Type Functions contribute to the individual’s overall Extraversion.
  7. The SL-TDI is the first Type inventory to show how the individual Perceives—by measuring how much each of the four Perceiving Type Functions contribute to the individual’s overall Perceiving.
  8. The SL-TDI is the first Type inventory to show how the individual Judges—by measuring how much each of the four Judging Type Functions contribute to the individual’s overall Judging.
  9. The SL-TDI assumes that personality expression is a result of trait and state, nature and nurture. The other Type inventories take the position that traits or nature determine personality functioning.
  10. The SL-TDI results are far more individualized than any other Type Inventory—the SL-TDI is capable of producing an estimated 6.5 million distinct and meaningfully different Type Profiles.
  11. The highly individual results generated by the SL-TDI help to minimize stereotyping self and others with preconceived attributes and encourages getting to know self and other.
  12. The SL-TDI shifts the concept of Type from the Individual as a Type to the Individual with Type capacities.


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