The relationships between TPE is understood indirectly, iow, the relationship is hinted at, suggested.
Info about the relationships between TPE is gathered from direct experience of relating the TPE.
Socionics refers to the F elements as dealing with Ethics. Often this is then described as shoulds/shouldn'ts of 'ethical behavior', etc. But let's take a look at what Ethics deals with.
Ethics deals with emotional and cognitive impacts...aka what occurs within and between TPE. No no no, you say...it can't be TPE, it only refers to People. To which I say, let's not forget that humans have a tendency to personify TPE, to attribute a motivation or intent of action, to attribute human traits and characteristics onto TPE. Such that, for example, a Thing can be thought of as having a "mental state" which another TPE impacts.
So what does Fi Ethics information refer to? Fi information refers to the emotional and cognitive impacts which occur when relating this TPE with that TPE. I'll get into how it would apply to Ethics as generally referred to on this forum, a bit later.
(Note: For easier typing and reading, I will use "EC" to refer to "emotional and cognitive impact".)
And yes, I can hear you now..."but F/Ethics isn't about emotions!!"
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Emotions are physiological responses to stimuli.
These physiological changes are generated constantly, even though most of the time we are not aware of them.
These physiological changes ready the body for flight, fight, appeasement, or freezing (akin to a deer caught in the headlights; freezing is partially due to 'not enough info' which would prompt one of the other reactions)
When we apply this to information, the physiological changes prompt us to
- avoid/dismiss the info (flight);
- challenge/debate the info (fight);
- accommodate the info in some way (appeasement);
- put the info into 'limbo' (freeze it until enough info comes in prompting us to do something else with it)
Basically, think of it as something that we normally do, but it's been somewhat adapted to suit the complexities of what we deal with as our societies and interactions get more complex.
Info from the environment, the body, and the mind is constantly 'tasted' for emotional content. In other words, as information is coming through, that info is checked/understood based on any EC alterations it creates in the receiver.
There are two emotional pathways that combined gives us information:
- stimulus -> Quick and Dirty pathway: emotional content signals immediate body action which in turn produces hormonal changes and readies the body for action
- stimulus -> Slow and Accurate pathway: recognition and information extraction which in turn leads to confirming or modifying the initial response.
an example...we see a little black thing moving, we jump/startle, and then we realize that it's a spider. The initial jump/startle is the quick and dirty pathway; the cognitive realization that it's a spider is the slow and accurate pathway.
It is estimated that
<100ms = Initial Awareness
100-200ms = Further Info
by 350s = Full Awareness (the emotional meaning of the stimulus has been evaluated by the brain)
And now you're asking: "What the hell does this have to do with Fi?"
Answer: Being aware of the EC changes makes it easier for Fi to understand what is happening around them.
----- = info stream
||| = EC changes of mental state
Each section of info stream ------- created an EC change in the person's mind.
That change in EC IS information, signaling to us how well that info matches or mismatches our mental structures. Ti looks directly at the information itself to discover how well other info matches. But Fi looks at the EC changes to make a similar determination.
EC changes are directly experienced (involved).
EC changes hint at/suggest information (implicit).
When referring to information processing, these EC changes occur because the current info/stimulus stream is either in harmony or disharmony with previous information, or personal mental constructs. Many Fi egos have tried describing it as attraction/repulsion, consonance/dissonance, connect/disconnection, and even likened it to a magnet where info just seems to click together...or separate, distance itself from each other.
It IS a physical, physiological feeling. And, when asked to 'give your rationale', it's difficult to, because there was no 'logical rationale' for it. And when the Fi ego tries to, they get accused of rationalizing it after the fact. Well duh!!! But that doesn't make it necessarily wrong. It was just approached in a different way, and thus it's harder to describe in the Ti way...because it's not Ti'd info.
Here's another clincher: If the Fi ego is asked to Ti the info, but they have weak Ti, they are likely to be limited to Ti rules/norms and/or limited to a specific context/situation. They have to try to translate that Fi, that EC change when thinking of the TPE, and translate it into Ti's class/category...and hope that the other person will pick up on their own EC changes upon hearing the Ti'd translation, and get what was meant.
Or, worse, when Ti does pay attention to the EC changes, because they aren't familiar with working with it, they will be limited in the conclusions they can draw from it. Also leading to black/white thinking. And then project that that must be what Fi's are doing.
Basically, it's a freakin mess.
Here's the thing: with Ti, they have a rich tapestry of categories and classes and organized TPE from which to draw from. While Fi has a rich tapestry of EC changes regarding TPE from which to draw from.
One is not less than the other. They are just two very different approaches.
Fi is commonly thought of as Describing one's feelings and attitudes towards TPE.
In this instance, the 'one' is one of the TPE, and there's a second TPE, and when you put the TPE together in the mind, an EC occurs. A sense of attraction/repulsion, like/dislike, towards/away from, fight/flight/appeasement/limbo. It's not black or white, either. It's a range. Similar to a distance in space, but it's a range of EC changes. Greater changes, stronger changes, stronger EC.... vs a weaker change, a minor EC change, or even, little to no EC change.
Some people interpret this reaction as being applicable to the whole TPE. But the Fi tapestry has multiple reactions to the TPE's attributes. Some attributes produce a strong, positive response. Other attributes produce a strong negative response. Some might produce a minor negative, or a minor positive, or no response at all. So one TPE can produce a variety and range of EC responses. The Fi tapestry is NOT black/white, all/nothing thinking. There are many shades of gray.
Fi is commonly thought of as Describing Relationships between People.
Other phrases used are understanding the 'psychological distance' between two people, 'links between people', empathy/sympathy, and people's feelings.
This happens when the Attributes of Person1 are compared with Attributes of Person2 which leads to an EC state...in a variety of shades of gray/strength.
Fi types will talk about the EC states between P1+P2; P+T; P+E; T1+T2, etc. any combination of TPE. Here you get the stories Fi types talk about, and about how it made them feel, and what it made them think of, and what did you think of? and how do you feel about X? and when Y happened, how did you feel? etc. And what Johnny likes about Sarah, and what Sarah dislikes about Johnny, and about how the event of Johnny buying Sarah a kitten made her feel, because we know how she feels/thinks about kittens, etc etc etc.
Psychologists are dealing with TPE descriptions from their client. The psychologist isn't there, so what they mentally construct of the TPE and the client are basically two blobs. And how do those two TPE relate, particularly from the client's pov? The psychologist will build up an Ne blob of the EC attributes the client has. And then, the psychologist will bring the TPE into the Ne blob construct, and look to see what EC states occur. And from that relationship, the psychologist can grasp what state the client is in when the client is relating herself to the TPE.
But Fi isn't limited to concrete TPE. It's able to relate abstract TPE as well. Such as when a Ti type describes Fi in such a way that the Fi is feeling a dissonance with what the Ti is describing. They say no, no, it's not that. But, the Fi type has a difficult time making that relationship explicitly understood. (because at that point, they are being asked to set aside the Fi and Ti it instead)
(continued in comment section below)