Introduction into Socionics (draft): Part 3

© Dmitri Lytov, Marianna Lytova, January 2005
First presented as Internet lectures to pedagogues and students
of the St. Kliment Okhridsky University (Sofia, Bulgaria).

Part 1—Part 2—Part 3


Let us try to understand what the 16 types look like in the real life.

Jung considered the 4 criteria as “dead”, “disassembled” parts of the whole body called type. When we see a human arm, or a leg, or an eye, they do not tell much to us about that person in the life, even when they are put together.

Jung used so-called FUNCTIONS, which in fact represent “active” combinations of certain dichotomies. Each type has one dominant function. Rational types have RATIONAL dominant functions, irrational types have IRRATIONAL dominant functions. Extraverted types have EXTROVERTED dominant functions, introverted types have INTROVERTED dominant functions.

The 8 Functions

IRRATIONAL FUNCTIONS (sensing and intuition).

Extraverted intuition is also called Intuition of Possibilities, or Intuition of Potential.

This function is “responsible” for considering the world in all its possibilities and alternatives, in generalization of what is going on and developing new concepts.

Bearers of this function are usually curious, full of ideas; they gladly look for new ideas in books, or make new interesting acquaintances. Usually they are not aggressive, and even being talented, often have troubles with getting a “reward”, recognition of their ingenuity. They usually see a lot of positive possibilities in other people. However, when their ideas are offended, they can be very persistent.

A negative trait: when they promise, it usually does not mean “I will certainly do”, often it means “I wish it would happen when somebody helps”.

Examples: Pierre Richard, Fannie Ardan, Jeff Goldblum, Jamie Lee Curtis, Albert Einstein.

Descriptions of these types (in English):

Intuitive-logical extravert:

Intuitive-ethical extravert:

Introverted intuition is also called Time Intuition.

This function, instead of lots of possibilities, considers people and the world as if flowing in a big and insuperable stream of time. What does people's potential mean when it cannot be realized? Fate rules the world. Their usual condition is something like meditation. However, in spite of such “Buddhist” vital philosophy, they are very smart in adaptation to different crises that happen in life, and stoically tolerate even somebody else's petty tyranny. They are intellectuals, but they do not often want to demonstrate their ideas, preferring that other people would pay attention to them, and for this reason often seem to be “passive”. In fact, they do not think they are “passive” – the “wait for the good moment”.

Examples: Franz Kafka, Ray Bradbury, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stanislaw Lem, Woody Allen, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Aniston, and Carl Gustav Jung himself.

Intuitive-logical introvert:

Intuitive-ethical introvert:

Extraverted sensing is also called Volitional Sensing, or Space-capturing Sensing.

This sensing function directs to occupation of space. People with this strong function are usually demanding people, which like when other people fulfill their wishes and demands. Sometimes they become managers, and sometimes – good sellers that can sell even unnecessary things. They often (but not always) have athletic, somewhat roundish figure, quick and demanding eyes. They are very persistent in the life: "If I want, then it should be achieved”, and they often gladly help other people – those who accept their leadership. Their outbursts of anger may fear some people, but in fact they are short-term – in several minutes they become calm again and restore their good mood.

Examples: Vladimir Lenin, Gerhard Schroeder, Silvio Berlusconi, Jacques Chirac, Mikhail Gorbachev, Anthony Hopkins, Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn, Madonna.

Sensory-logical extravert:

Sensory-ethical extravert:

Introverted sensing is also called Comfort Sensing, or Space-settling Sensing.

This kind of sensing is rather passive, it focuses on getting as more pleasant feelings as possible, on reduction of quantity of unnecessary motions, on the quality and functionality of work. People with this function as dominant do not like to argue (if they began – it means that something VERY serious happened). They are often efficient at work that requires attention to small details, monotonous chores etc. They like intellectuals, like new ideas, because these ideas make their life more diverse, but also ridicule intellectuals for their “impractical approach”.

Examples: Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Nikita Khrushchev, Vladimir Vyssotsky, Gerard Depardieu, Kevin Spacey, Jerzy Stuhr, Adriano Celentano, Mel Gibson, Angelina Jolie.

Sensory-logical introvert:

Sensory-ethical introvert:

RATIONAL FUNCTIONS (logic and ethic).

Extraverted logic is also called Processual or Practical Logic.

It estimates everything in terms of efficiency: not abstract analysis, but "how to make it work?", and not systems, but methods. They are energetic, active, and mobile. As scientists, they are strong in improvement of methods, but often they choose a business career. However, people who work together with them, often blame these types of being "too dry, cold-hearted", even in spite of their high emotionality. In general, this type of thinking may be called “algorithmic”.

Examples: Brad Pitt, John Kennedy, Boris Yeltsin, Tony Blair, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Alexei Leontyev, Jack London, Bill Gates.

Logical-intuitive extravert:

Logical-sensory extravert:

Introverted logic is also called Systematic Logic, or Structural Logic.

This type of logic is inertial. Instead of “making things work”, it rather focuses on elimination of contradictions, on systematization, or in more general meaning – on “justice” (if it only exists). The types for which this function is dominant are often not too energetic, they are rather stable-mooded, work without noticeable “falls” and “rises”, logical and reticent in their sayings and deeds. On the one hand, other people respect them for being “just”, for their cold and sober analysis of situations; on the other, they do not “feel people” well.

Examples: Vladimir Putin, Joseph Stalin, Harry Truman, Alain Delon, Patricia Kaas, Kevin Costner, Isabelle Huppert, Anton Chekhov, Clint Eastwood, Slobodan Miloshevich, Czar Simeon II (probably), Donald Rumsfeld.

Logical-intuitive introvert:

Logical-sensory introvert:

Extraverted ethic is also called Emotional Ethic.

This function reflects person's own emotions, his/her emotional, highly personal and passionate reaction to what is going on around. Types with this dominant functions are eloquent, often smiling, artistic, charming (but somewhat “fussy” and “too artistic”), can speak and persuade others, but they perceive situations too emotionally, too personally, and sometimes they “sink” in their own emotions, cannot calm down for long time.

Examples: Georgi Dimitrov, Leon Trotsky, Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Mylene Farmer, Louis de Funes, Annette Bening, Juliette Binoche, Emir Kusturica, George Clooney, Liza Minnelli.

Ethical-intuitive extravert:

Ethical-sensory extravert:

Introverted ethic is also called Ethic of Relations.

This function is inertial; many emotions are inside such a person, but they do not go outwards, and rather stay “conserved”. Such people are very passionate in evaluating other people, but from outside they seem to be “emotionless”, smiling just as much as etiquette requires. They are good spectators of relations: in a small collective, they very quickly feel who has which relations with whom. They can work with people – as lawyers, pedagogues, etc. However, being so attentive to people's relations, they do not like, even more, they are afraid of “intellectual initiative”, do not like arguing, because it can “break” or just significantly change relations with other people.

Examples: Jeremy Irons, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo Di Caprio, Elisabeth II, Leonid Brezhnev, Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe.

Ethical-intuitive introvert:

Ethical-sensory introvert:

The Secondary Function: Why Is It of Different “Version”?

We have already talked above about the phenomenon of quasi-identity (do you remember the picture?). Let us consider for example the XXX-logical extraverts (i.e., intuitive-logical extravert, Seeker, and sensory-logical extravert, Commander) and the quasi-identical to them logical-XXX extraverts (i.e., logical-intuitive extravert, Enterpriser, and logical-sensory extravert, Administrator), their pseudonyms sound similar, and their "formulas”, according to the American system, seem also similar (ExTP and ExTJ). However, according to socionics, their strong functions are of different “version”: the first two have introverted logic as the secondary function; the second two have extraverted logic as the dominant function.

Why cannot extraverts have both of their strong functions extraverted, and why cannot introverts have both of their strong functions introverted? From the distance, we usually watch only separate criteria (intuition, extraversion etc.); only when we are “typologically educated”, we can “assemble” these criteria into functions.

The secondary function represents people's CONSCIOUS activities. When we take the function of the opposite “version” (e.g., extraverted logic for an ENTP, or introverted logic for INTP), it brings very high scores in tests; however, it is not conscious, it is rather “standardized”, and when people of corresponding types meet a non-standard situation, this function fails, while their secondary functions keep doing its small but important work.

Now let us consider secondary functions on practical examples.

Secondary introverted logic (the types Seeker and Commander, XXX-logical extraverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Enterpriser and Administrator with the dominant extraverted logic) for their activity and logical way of thinking. The difference is, that both Seeker and Commander are spontaneous types, who do not like to adapt to procedures. Their thinking is conceptual, not methodological; often they can even contradict to what they just have said, but they do not accept such reproaches: “What happened, I just considered the situation from different viewpoints!” Commanders (sensory) often are good as crisis managers, military commanders, heads of the state in crisis situations (Churchill, Lenin, Napoleon Bonaparte), but quickly get bored of complicated procedures that exist in peaceful democratic states. They often like “cat-and-mouse” logical discussion, where important is not to find the truth but to win, to “kill” the opponent with arguments. Seekers (intuitive) often become scientists and specialists who present interesting concepts, but very rarely (and often with somebody else's help) they succeed to transform their concepts into working technologies and methods. Their activity is not even: sometimes they are super-active, sometimes fall into periods of depression.

Secondary extraverted logic (the types Critic and Craftsman, XXX-logical introverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Analyst and Inspector with the dominant introverted logic) for their calm logical emotionless manner of explaining their views, and for certain vital conservatism. However, the difference is, that they do not strive for being consistent and systematic in their thoughts – on the contrary, they strive for adaptation to ever-changing situation, and thus their sayings often look incomplete or vague. Carl Gustav Jung, although some typologists think he was an Analyst, not Critic, wrote in a very vague, ambiguous way, often left his ideas uncompleted, and even his typology was for him just a “by-product”. Often the facial expression of Critics and Craftsmen is skeptical, with a characteristic grin (Critic: Meg Ryan, Woody Allen; Craftsman: Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel). They prefer not to present their own concepts but rather to criticize our people for imperfect, contradictory concepts. These two types may be also called “anti-enthusiasts” – they like to warn other people against insufficiently considered, unreasoned spontaneous actions, and hate very much excessive emotions.

Secondary introverted ethic (the types Psychologist and Politician, XXX-ethical extraverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Mentor and Bonvivant with the dominant extraverted ethic), because they are active, ever-smiling, often among people. However, their emotionality is quite different than that of rational extraverted ethic types. Both Psychologist and Politician do not like excessive emotions and try to negotiate rather than to awake excitement.

Secondary extraverted ethic (the types Lyricist and Mediator, XXX-ethical introverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Humanist and Conservator with the dominant introverted ethic) for their strive for good relations with other people, very mild and comfortable manner of communication. However, there is a difference: both Lyricist and Mediator are emotionally active and even often try to awake emotions in other people. By contrast, Humanist and Conservator rather strive to suppress excessive emotions, to release other people from redundant, unnecessary emotions.

Secondary introverted intuition (the types Enterpriser and Mentor, XXX-intuitive extraverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Seeker and Psychologist with the dominant extraverted intuition) for their intellectualism and ingenuity, for the abstract manner of explaining their views, for speaking a lot about “possibilities” and future perspectives, for having a lot of ideas concerning how thing should go on correctly.

To understand the difference, let us consider a row of people representing the types Enterpriser and Mentor, i.e. with introverted intuition as the secondary function. This function entails certain kind of “prophet-like” or “preacher-like” behavior. Such people believe in magnificent perspectives, and they try to transfer their belief to other people, even when the situation is really bad and gloomy. Hitler, Reagan, Martin Luther King, Ceausescu, Trotsky, Goebbels, John F. Kennedy, Boris Yeltsin, Tony Blair, Che Guevara – some of these politicians had bad reputation, some are adored and admired, but they all had something important, a common trait that united them all – their “prophet-like” behavior, their capability to “infect” people with belief in the future, even when several minutes ago people were much dissatisfied of them.

Secondary extraverted intuition (the types Analyst and Humanist, XXX-intuitive introverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Critic and Lyricist with the dominant introverted intuition) for their being modest intellectuals who do not strive “into the center of events”, their certain idealism. However, the difference is remarkable: both Analyst and Humanist are consequent in their thoughts, often have well-structured speech (and often prefer to communicate in written than in spoken). They are rigid in their everyday life: while Critic and Lyricist can well adapt to changing circumstances, Analyst and Humanist rather suffer when plans change. And they both believe that people are full of positive potential, which should be discovered and developed.

Secondary introverted sensing (the types Administrator and Bonvivant, XXX-sensory extraverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Commander and Politician with the dominant extraverted sensing) for their energy, drive; men of these types often look like “machos”. However, these men more look aggressive than they really are; and women of this type are especially caring for the comfort and well-being of their families. They are ardent fighters for quality; when something is made too quickly, they begin to look for defects and usually find them. They are always in hurry, always feel "lack of time” and feel offended when other people criticize their tempo. Examples are: George Clooney, Bruce Willis, Fidel Castro Ruz, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, etc.

Secondary extraverted sensing (the types Inspector and Guardian, XXX-sensory introverts)

They may be misperceived for the quasi-identical types (Craftsman and Mediator with the dominant introverted sensing) for their very accurate manner of clothing, for the order that reigns in their apartments, at their workplaces, for their thrifty manner of life. However, they are internally mobilized, as if waiting for a war or an emergency situation, they tend to split the mankind into “our people” and the rest, they are much conservative in their views. And communicating with them at close distance, you will quickly understand that they do not tolerate objections, even though they look so calm and moderate. Stalin, Brezhnev, Richard Nixon, Boris Gryzlov (head of the Russian Parliament), Donald Rumsfeld are good examples of this type of politicians. Women of this type are usually beautiful and calm, but very much demanding, examples are Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Celine Dion, Jacqueline Kennedy etc.

The 16 Socionic Types in Real Life

Now we have learned a lot of abstract information about the types, and we ask ourselves: what do these types look like in real life? How do they move, speak, and communicate, what are their characteristic traits?

It would be very long to describe this all. We propose you something else – just look at the characteristic representatives of these types, and you will probably memorize them at least partially.

Pseudonyms (Aliases)

Since it is difficult to memorize long terms, such as intuitive-logical extravert, sensory-logical introverts etc., Augusta in 1980 invented aliases for the socionic types by names of famous people, which you must have found at the web pages previously referred. These pseudonyms are not used in scientific articles, but they are often used in popular literature, at early stages of learning socionics.

In the Myers-Briggs typology, an alternative system of aliases was invented in 1984 by David W. Keirsey who associated types with certain kinds of activities: Trustee, Author, Fieldmarshall etc. Socionists learned the Keirsey system at the end of 1980s, and soon Victor Gulenko proposed his own system of pseudonyms for the socionic types, which is actually a de facto standard.

Both systems of aliases are used on our web site (according to Augusta and according to Gulenko).

However, several years ago socionists began to criticize the Augusta's system of aliases for probably wrong definitions of types of two-three persons. As a result, of these long discussions, most socionists accepted that the alias Napoleon used in early socionic works for the type sensory-ethical extravert was in fact wrong, because Napoleon Bonaparte was most probably a sensory-logical extravert, and the type was renamed to Caesar, instead of Napoleon:

(This article is in Russian).

The rest of aliases remained unchanged.

Comparative Experiments and Their Results,
or Measuring the Difference between the Socionic and Keirsey Types

In the previous topics we wrote that socionics and MBTT (Myers & Briggs Type Theory) use slightly different definitions of the 4 scales. Here are these 4 scales, ranged from the MOST SIMILAR to the most controversial one:

1. Logic/ethic (in MBTT: thinking/feeling).

2. Sensing/intuition.

3. Extraversion (or extraversion)/introversion.

4. Rationality/irrationality (in MBTT: judgment/perception).

If the scales differ, are the types also different? They surely are. When we read the descriptions of the MBTT types, they look APPROXIMATELY similar to the socionic types, but only approximately. Sometimes we meet such aspects in these descriptions that cannot be attributed to the corresponding socionic types, and vice versa.

For example, the type ENTJ in MBTT is described as a typical leader, an intellectual dictator, like Napoleon Bonaparte. In socionics, Napoleon Bonaparte is considered to be a different type representative, and ENTj (logical-intuitive extravert) also looks somewhat differently—rather a quick and practice-oriented intellectual than a “dictator”.

And we remember, there is also the Keirsey typology, which is more similar to MBTT but is not the same, and which is much more different from socionics than MBTT.

How can we compare these 3 typologies?

There are several methods of comparison.

Method 1.

We can accept that the descriptions of the 4 dichotomies (scales, criteria) are “approximately” similar (see the Figure: possible correlation between the criteria Sensing/Intuition between Socionics and MBTI), and feel satisfied with that, and forget about differences. This method is the most popular among beginners, but it is very dangerous.

We consider this “displacement of criteria” as the main reason why Americans, for more than 40 years of existence of MBTT and more than 20 years of Keirsey typology, failed to build a system of intertype relationships. There were only rare attempts to describe relations between certain types, but not a system of relationships.

Method 2.

Let us accept the viewpoint of Isabel Myers that the judgment/perception criterion is not the same as rationality/irrationality but something different: the judging types are rational extraverts + irrational introverts, and the perceiving – vice versa.

What can we say? Such an approach leads to much greater misunderstanding. It does not only contradict to Jung – after all, Jung lived long ago, and there were many uncertainties in his typology and in his ides in general. But when we start comparing descriptions of the socionic types with the corresponding American descriptions, then we will find that ISFP (socionic) = ISFP (MBTT) and not ISFJ (MBTT), and the same rule is valid for the rest of sensory introverted types. The situation is more complicated with introverted intuitive types, but well, this rule is also invalid.

Method 3.

Let us compare the very 16 type descriptions by their keywords.

And using this method, we discovered very interesting results!

We proposed the 16 descriptions of the Keirsey types to 108 socionists (this means, each of the 108 read ALL THE 16 descriptions), and we asked them to identify the socionic types in these descriptions.

The table below represents the result of this experiment:

And the next table represents one more result of this experiment. We asked the participants to indicate their own types, and to recognize their own types in these descriptions:

Do these tables represent the real correlation between the socionic types and the Keirsey types? We think they do not. They rather represent characteristic stereotypes of the socionics and the Keirsey typology. To compare these typologies objectively, we will need to test at least several hundreds of persons using both socionic and American methods. But at least we know now for sure that socionics, MBTT and Keirsey, in spite of their common origin from the Jungian typology, are not identical!

Now we can offer you some preliminary reading in Russian:

Description of the Model A and its mechanism:

Description of basic principles of intertype interaction:

The table of intertype relationships in English (WITHOUT descriptions of relationships, except for the dual relationship):

What is the Model A?

From the previous topic we learned that each type has 2 strong functions: the dominant and the secondary (“creative”) ones. However, there are 8 psychical functions – where do other 6 disappear?

In fact they do not. Whatever function we consider – it is pertinent to all normal people. We all have emotions (the function of extraverted ethic), we all make logical judgments (the function of extraverted logic), we all estimate our influence (extraverted sensing) and feel the necessities of our body (introverted sensing), etc. However, depending on the type, these functions are differently strong for different people.

And the Model A (A is the first letter of Augusta's pseudonym) describes the balance of these functions in the human psyche and its regularities. Jung described general principles of this balance – in the form of his dichotomies – and Augusta developed them furthermore.

Thus, Model A represents strong and weak functions of each type in certain order.

Here is the description of the Model A in English:

And this Model has a very important implication: knowing how these functions interact with each other in the human psyche, we can now foresee the regularities of relationships.

Maybe this topic will be the shortest of all the topics. Just visit the links in this topic, and if you have questions, please ask.

Practical Application of Socionics

Main spheres of application of socionics are almost the same as for the Myers-Briggs Type Theory (MBTT), except for one particular thing: MBTT deals only with intertype differences, while socionics also deals with intertype compatibility.

Career Guidance and Education

There are two different approaches in socionics that describe predetermination of socionic types to certain kinds of activities.

The first was proposed by psychologists from Kiev, Victor Gulenko, Valentina Meged and Anatoly Ovcharov. They several years worked as career guidance consultants in an employment center. In the situation of economic crisis that was present in the former USSR, many people lost their jobs and had to start their careers again, from the zero point.

Gulenko, Meged and Ovcharov discovered that the combination of two Jungian criteria, sensing/intuition and logic/ethic, is “responsible” for people's success in their career choice. (The same approach is used in MBTT). They developed a list of recommended and non-recommended occupations for the representatives of these groups. You can find short description of these groups here...

However, their approach was too “radical”, it did not consider people who may have chosen a “wrong” occupation in their childhood, but later achieved some success – maybe not as leaders, but at least as “average good workers”.

Yuri Ivanov, a socionist from Moscow, proposed a less radical approach. He studied occupational requirements, according to GOST (Ćīńóäąšńņāåķķūé ńņąķäąšņ – Russian State System of Standardization), and for some occupations he proposed lists of MORE and LESS suitable types. This approach also seems to be more realistic and less idealistic, since we know that each occupation is in fact an INFRASTRUCTURE that unites many different people. For example, it is true that many scientists belong to intuitive-logical types. However, if sensory and ethical types were absolutely absent in science, then science would not function as a system, there would be only alone daydreamers not recognized and not understood by other people.

The intertype relationships are also very important in business. When we create a team, it is important not only to find skilled people, it is also important that they can work together without conflicts. Sometimes knowledge of intertype relationships also allows solving problems in already long existing teams, enterprises etc.

Family Consulting

In this sphere, the theory of intertype relationships plays a significant role. Of course we can empirically suppose where two certain people will have points of (mis)understanding, but this is not enough. In long-term relationships, such as families, it is also important to know POTENTIAL of these relationships, in other words, where we are able to change situation significantly, and where it will remain unchanged even in spite of significant efforts.

The favorite myth of many psychological school says: an experienced psychologist can make any two people get along together well. The truth is different: problems of understanding do exist, and the demand for psychological services grows. Now we have to little time to discuss the methods used in socionic consulting, but you can find their descriptions in corresponding socionic articles.

OK, one question: suppose two people, a husband and a wife, came to a socionist and say: help us, we cannot tolerate each other! Should this socionist say "you have to divorce!” if he diagnoses their relationship as "conflict”, “supervision”, “contrast”, “order” or “super-ego” (names of potentially unfavorable relationships in socionics, see the Table of Relationships in the previous topic)? Or what should he do if they already have been living together for many years, have common children etc.? It is not easy to explain in few words, but let us try. First, the socionist should realize what these people really want, and which resources they dispose to make their expectations come true. These people anyway know each other better than the socionist, just because they spent so much time together! The diagnosis of their types and their relationship shows whether their expectations are realistic. If they are not, the socionist should propose an alternative, and explain why they cannot do what they want. If they are realistic, then the socionist should show them how to redirect their mutual reproaches into a positive direction. In other words, the socionists needs to ANALYZE, STRUCTURE and SYSTEMATIZE their experience from the viewpoint of the socionic Model A. And then, everything depends on the socionists's own experience and competence, Because the Model A itself does not solve all the problems, it only determines (to certain extent) what is possible and what is not. It's just like our vital experience: we know that only a woman can give birth to a child, not a man; but whether THIS PARTICULAR woman can become pregnant, depends on many factors, such as her health, age etc.

On the other hand, socionics became a very popular method of dating. The most popular site of socionic dating is – here you can pass some short (not always reliable, however) tests, determine your own type and then add your information into a database, or look through this database for a potentially compatible type. However, even if two young people, he and she, are duals (e.g. intuitive-logical extravert and sensory-ethical introvert) of approximately the same age, it does not yet mean that they will like each other. It only means that IF THEY WILL, then they will have better chances to create a happy family than two types in the relationship of order (e.g., intuitive-logical extravert and ethical-intuitive extravert). The family statistics independently collected by different socionists shows that dual families make the majority of all families (from 20 to 40% in different experiments – if intertype relationships did not influence interpersonal compatibility, the percentage would have never exceed 6-7%). However, sometimes even duals may divorce.

Hypotheses in Socionics

Here we will describe in brief the topics of main arguments and discussions in socionics.

Types and Masks

Can people “play roles” of other types, and how successful are they in playing such roles?

This is a very important question, closely related to the problem of NATURE OF THE TYPE.

Just because we got to know WHAT THE 16 TYPES REALLY DESCRIBE.

Does socionics describe only momentary manifestations of people and their momentary interactions, or it deals with something deeper?

Although this question cannot be answered completely without profound psychophysiological researches, at least the socionic statistics of families shows that the intertype relationships represent something stable, and thus types are also more or less stable.

Our impression is that the term “masks” attracts only those socionists who are not experienced in determining people types, not experienced in psychodiagnostics.

Types and Subtypes

Can people described in more exact terms than the 16 types? Can we describe variations within each of the 16 socionic types?

In socionics, there are several hypotheses of subtypes. However, ONLY HYPOTHESES. Their authors can describe subtypes but cannot derive regularities from these descriptions; or they propose unreal regularities not recognized by other socionists.

Duality and Quadras

The Quadra is the group of 4 types linked with the relationships of duality, mirror and activation. It is simple: let us take, for example, the type intuitive-logical extravert. His strongest functions are extraverted intuition and introverted logic. If we take the same functions in the reverse order, it will be the logical-intuitive introvert. And then, we will add the duals of these types, i.e., sensory-ethical introvert and ethical-sensory extravert.

What is the Quadra? This is a group of COMMON VITAL VALUES. The Quadra is something more than just a sum of 4 types: in communication within a Quadra, they obtain some new characteristics in addition to what we learned from the descriptions of these 4 types. It is like NaCl in chemistry, which is not a mixture of Na and Cl but something different.

There are 4 quadras. In socionics, they are referred to by Greek letters (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta) or by numbers (1, 2, 3 and 4).

It is interesting to watch the role of Quadras in history. The first Quadra (the types Seeker, Mediator, Bonvivant and Analyst) usually begins reforms but never succeeds in their completion – for this it is not enough decisive. The intuitive types of this Quadra are often known as dreamers-idealists, such as Einstein or Sakharov, while sensory types are known as leaders of amorphous regimes, not democratic, but also too mild to be called dictatorships – such as Dimitrov, Arafat, Nikita Khrushchev.

The second Quadra very rarely invents its own ideas – it rather implements already invented ideas, often with “decisiveness” that sometimes turns into cruelty. This quadra, on the one hand, is full of romantic writers and religious authorities (intuitive types) and successful military commanders and managers (sensory types), but it is also known for many dictators – in fact, most of dictators whose biographies have been studied by socionists had belonged to the types of the 2nd Quadra: Hitler, Ceausescu, Hussein, Lenin, Pinochet etc.

The third Quadra is similar to the 2nd quadra for its voluntarism and belief that “competition decides everything!”, but it is much milder by its methods than the 2nd Quadra. The intuitive types of this quadra are practice-focused intellectuals who develop methods instead of hypotheses – such as Newton (he often said “I never invent hypotheses!”), Bill Gates, etc. And sensory types of this quadra are often successful politicians – such as Silvio Berlusconi, Jacques Chirac, Richard Nixon etc.

The fourth Quadra can be called Perfectionists. Intuitive types of this Quadra are very attentive to all manifestation of people's talents, examples –Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mark Twain; and sensory types of this quadra are perfect in “getting big results without making much movements and noise”, examples – Margaret Thatcher, Helmuth Kohl, etc. Politicians of the 4th quadra are successful in stable societies.

Social Order and Social Supervision

You may have noticed that the socionic system of relationships includes some ASYMMETRIC relationships, i.e. those where roles of two partners are not equal. Why does it happen? We will not describe all these relationships here, but you can visit the descriptions of asymmetric relationships in Russian, and look how the Model A describes their nature:

Macrotypes (Ethnic Unities)

Do socionic types describe only people, or also greater entities?

Starting from the XIX century, many historians wrote about “ethnic types”, about “national characters”. Under these “national characters” we mean traits cultivated in any particular nation for a very long historical period of many centuries; these traits allow distinguishing “our people” from “not our people”.

Lev Gumilev, a Russian historian, created a very detailed theory of birth, development and death of ethnic entities, whose existence, according to him, lasts for approximately 1000 – 1500 years. Thus, Italians represent a DIFFERENT ethnic entity than ancient Romans; Germans and Austrians represent DIFFERENT ethnic entities, even in spite of the common language; at the same time, Jews, even speaking various languages, represented ONE ethnic entity until recently; however, the Jewish nation in Israel has slightly different values and principles than the Jewish community in Europe and USA. The things that makes people one ethnic entity is often called “national character”.

Can this “national character” be described in terms of socionics? We have too little time to describe the details; let us just present preliminary conclusions (according to Victor Gulenko, Alexander Boukalov and our own ideas).

Americans: logical-intuitive extravert

Armenians: ethical-sensory extravert

Arabs: ethical-intuitive extravert

Argentina: ethical-sensory extravert

Australians: sensory-logical introvert

Azeri: sensory-ethical introvert

Belarussians: ethical-intuitive introvert

Brazilians: sensory-ethical ...vert

Bulgarians: sensory-ethical introvert?

Canadians: logical (or ethical?)-intuitive introvert

Chechens: sensory-logical extravert

Czekh: logical-intuitive introvert

Chinese: logical-sensory introvert???

Danish: ethical-sensory introvert?

English: logical-sensory extravert

Finns: sensory-logical introvert

French: ethical-sensory extravert

Georgians (Caucasus, not USA!): sensory-ethical extravert

Germans: logical-sensory introvert

Indians (Hindu, not American!): intuitive-ethical introvert?

Irish: intuitive-ethical introvert ?

Italians: sensory-ethical extravert

Jews (Europe, USA): intuitive-logical extravert

Jews (Israel): intuitive-ethical extravert

Koreans: ethical-sensory introvert?

Mexicans: intuitive-ethical introvert?

Norwegians: logical-intuitive extravert

Poles: ethical-intuitive extravert

Portuguese: sensory-ethical introvert?

Romanians: intuitive-ethical extravert?

Russians: intuitive-ethical introvert

Serbians: sensory-logical extravert

Spanish: intuitive-ethical extravert

Swedes: logical-intuitive introvert

Swiss: ethical-sensory introvert

Turks: sensory-logical extravert

Ukrainians: ethical-sensory introvert

We will much appreciate feedback about this hypothesis from readers of our site from various countries.

The Dnipropetrovsk Experiment, 1999

In 1999, on a socionic conference in Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine), a very risky and ambiguous experiment was organized.

Some people who did not know socionics were invited to the conference. They were proposed to pass some “tests” (in fact, these tests were a kind of placebo, their result meant nothing). Then these people obtained “test results”. In fact, they received stochastically selected descriptions of socionic types. Anyway, about 2/3 of these people told they had “something in common” with the descriptions they obtained.

What did this experiment mean?

It means that sometimes it is not enough when a tested person says “OK, this description is similar to me”. Sometimes people over- or underestimate themselves, make unrealistic judgments. It is a task of a psychologist to discover contradictions in his/her client's sayings; such contradictions can clarify his/her type.

But it is also QUITE NOT ENOUGH to just diagnose the type and say: here, look who you are! The socionist should be experienced enough to transform an abstract type description, abstract intertype relationships into concrete “recipes” of how this person should solve specific tasks and vital problems, what he/she should evade, and where he/she should concentrate his/her efforts.

It was a great pleasure to talk to you. We appreciate this opportunity. We are also very much thankful to Kalin Yanev who has organized these seminars. Thank you!

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