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Thread: Theories -- especially for Jonathan

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    Default Theories -- especially for Jonathan

    What do different kinds of theories look like?

    : "everything fits together and is based on the same underlying principles"
    : "everything is connected in some way or another"
    : "this is what happened/happens"
    : "these postulates form the basis of our understanding"

    Opinions?

    Examples (more are needed):

    : Socionics, memetics
    : Freud's theories
    : Darwin's theory (not Darwinism, but Darwin's theory as expounded by Darwin himself)
    : Socionics to some degree
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    I think this is basically a good start, at least in regard to and . It's important to recognize that also involves generalizations and not just one-off observations. I think you capture that reality to some degree by including "happens" and not just "happened."

    Would used with have the same approach to theory as used with ? (I'm thinking of the "and is based on the same underlying principles" which sounds like .) Can you conceive of as having an approach to "theory" at all, or is theory inherently an N/T thing?

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    I just noticed that my name is part of the title of this thread...

    Okay, how would you see the various "theories" (or conjectures) that I've proposed on this forum in the past (and I'm not saying that they're true or that I believe them, but these are just some things I remember I've said), such as the propositions that....

    * In introverts, the J/P switch works with producing subtypes and is reversed for accepting subtypes
    * Two versions of Socionics exist...one based on structure, and one based on content/interest...with the result of different typings of people
    * Two versions of Socionics exist....one based on the view that the base function is way stronger than the creative function, and the other where both ego functions are used to a similar extent, the later view resulting in typings more conducive to the J/P switch.
    * People may in some situations appear like or produce an output similar to the type to their left because the only ego-block function that is different with the one to their left is "-"
    * There is really no single definition that can be found for any IM element, but rather, each IM element represents a cluster of many different but somewhat related variables, so that Socionics is at best a rough approximation and that one could actually be, say, acc-Ti "in one way" and acc-Fi "in another"
    * A more suitable model for the psyche than Model A would be more of a patch-code device where people can have any mental connections they want, leading to all sorts of patterns and personalities that are in conflict with Model A, and that Model A only applies to certain "prototypical" personalities.
    * Some people develop their "id" block function to the extent that they're virtually indistinguishable from their quasi-identity. These people are duals with both what would be their "dual" and their "conflict" type.
    * Instead of individual IM elements, we should think in terms of Ji, Je, Pe, and Pi as the building blocks, and consider each as a continuum, so that one may be Ji and more to the Ti or Fi side, but that these are merely relative differences and that someone may be "in between."

    I'm not saying these are true, I just recall that I've said stuff like each one of these things at some point. I don't know if you can call them "theories" or if they're just "wild conjectures." But if they're theories, then I wonder how they fit in with this idea of different kinds of theories based on Socionics.

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    By the way, one other like thought (or "theory"): Perhaps the differences between types and their relationship with "theory" can be seen from the point of view of "time spent."

    That is, a theory by an LII or by an ILI will both involve postulates. However, the LII will spend most of his/her time building upon the postulates, so as to produce an elaborate theory, which may be controversial since others don't accept those postulates. An ILI, on the other hand, would spend a great deal of time attacking possible postulates, looking at the "fundamental problems" and considering various views of data and ways to test various ideas, so that the ILI, if he/she has made progress on a "theory" will seem to be stuck just on the first step...but if a theory emerges, it will have a certain additional solidity to its foundation.

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    I personally would call your 'theories' observations or suggestions. For me a theory is a self-contained explanatory apparatus. I see in your list that you've noticed some interesting things that suggest certain "lines of inquiry," but you don't seem to be concerned with formalizing everything into a theory.

    * There is really no single definition that can be found for any IM element, but rather, each IM element represents a cluster of many different but somewhat related variables, so that Socionics is at best a rough approximation and that one could actually be, say, acc-Ti "in one way" and acc-Fi "in another"
    A theory (to me) would be a formal description that classifies and explains everything you have observed.

    * A more suitable model for the psyche than Model A would be more of a patch-code device where people can have any mental connections they want, leading to all sorts of patterns and personalities that are in conflict with Model A, and that Model A only applies to certain "prototypical" personalities.
    Same. Where has your patch-code approach been elaborated in its entirety? That would be a theory.

    I think the process of theory development includes several different stages (in no particular order):

    insight, observation, generalization, asking the right questions, discovering basic principles, establishing and connecting tenets

    What I see is that you focus on developing insight and generalizing observations. Other people on the forum focus on other steps, such as connecting and elaborating tenets and definitions. If people focus on the first, they devalue the second, and if they focus on the second, they devalue the first. So we have people here and elsewhere who have done tremendous logical work building logical frameworks for insights and observations that may be actually quite simplistic, and we also have people who gather great amounts of insights and/or observations, yet take no effort to present the material as a logically connected whole.
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan
    I think this is basically a good start, at least in regard to and . It's important to recognize that also involves generalizations and not just one-off observations. I think you capture that reality to some degree by including "happens" and not just "happened."

    Would used with have the same approach to theory as used with ? (I'm thinking of the "and is based on the same underlying principles" which sounds like .) Can you conceive of as having an approach to "theory" at all, or is theory inherently an N/T thing?
    No, I can't really imagine a sensing or ethics based theory. Maybe my interpretation of 'theory' is too narrow (in a moment I'll look at wikipedia), but I see it as an "elaboration of invisible algorithms or principles that cause phenomena." A theory is by definition something hypothetical and invisible, so I can't imagine a theory framed in sensing terms.

    Wikipedia:

    "In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise falsified through empirical observation."
    What's in the article brought some new thoughts to me. First, theories have two tasks:
    - to explain phenomena (the static aspect -- )
    - to predict phenomena (the dynamic aspect -- )

    Or, from Wikipedia:
    "Additionally, a theory is generally only taken seriously if it:

    - is tentative, correctable and dynamic, in allowing for changes to be made as new data is discovered, rather than asserting certainty, and
    - is the most parsimonious explanation, sparing in proposed entities or explanations, commonly referred to as passing the Occam's razor test.
    Here the and tasks have been well-described.

    I have read discussions by scientists on which of these tasks is more important, and I believe they are at a draw. David Deutsch (ILE) argues at length that explanations are what we really want from science, and that predictions are a logical consequence of the first. Other scientists have stated that prediction value is all that matters.

    Further down the page at wikipedia you'll see a section on "Criterion for scientific status" as described by Karl Popper. All his criteria refer to the dynamic ( ) aspect of a theory -- its testability and refutability.
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    Perhaps part of the misunderstandings surrounding "do gamma types create theories" in socionics is because from an Alpha point of view gamma theories are not theories at all. They are simply descriptions. I suppose you could argue from a gamma standpoint that socionics isn't really a theory because it doesn't predict anything. Or rather, it is extremely hard to tease predictions out of the socionic model. For instance, in socionics we have things like:

    - "dual relations are the best and most favorable because partners psychologically complement each other in the following ways... "

    This is a description of what IS and doesn't change. There is no description of what HAPPENS, and hence it is very hard to make predictions. Or rather, "what happens" has not been systematically studied up to this point. So, from a Popperian perspective, socionics has a long way to go to reach theory status. But from a perspective socionics provides explanations for a wide range of phenomena.
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    not meaning to butt in here too much but here's my 2 cents.

    socionics definitely is not a theory. it's descriptive. then again, practically all theories of personality are descriptive. i don't know of any that are not. so the study of personality is essentially descriptive since it is so difficult to even begin to study and make predictions about how someone will behave over such a large domain as "personality". in essence we do not have the technology for this yet.

    but that doesn't mean it isn't "true" in the larger sense. it just means that it can't be proven. lots of things cannot be proven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine Lively
    not meaning to butt in here too much but here's my 2 cents.

    socionics definitely is not a theory. it's descriptive. then again, practically all theories of personality are descriptive. i don't know of any that are not. so the study of personality is essentially descriptive since it is so difficult to even begin to study and make predictions about how someone will behave over such a large domain as "personality". in essence we do not have the technology for this yet.

    but that doesn't mean it isn't "true" in the larger sense. it just means that it can't be proven. lots of things cannot be proven.
    What do you mean by "descriptive?" Can you give an example of a theory that is not [just] descriptive?
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine Lively
    not meaning to butt in here too much but here's my 2 cents.

    socionics definitely is not a theory. it's descriptive. then again, practically all theories of personality are descriptive. i don't know of any that are not. so the study of personality is essentially descriptive since it is so difficult to even begin to study and make predictions about how someone will behave over such a large domain as "personality". in essence we do not have the technology for this yet.

    but that doesn't mean it isn't "true" in the larger sense. it just means that it can't be proven. lots of things cannot be proven.
    What do you mean by "descriptive?" Can you give an example of a theory that is not [just] descriptive?
    didn't i just say the same thing you did but in a different way?

    what i mean by descriptive is that socionics describes phenomenon such as information elements, quadras, types. socionics aspires to make predictions about personality based upon how said personality will express itself with respect to interaction with other personalities (intertype relations).

    some of the theories that drive psychotherapies are more than just descriptive....there's developed technology that can be applied and tested in different ways. some of einstein's theories fit the criteria for theory better since there's been successful application. evolution seems more than just descriptive since you can look at how the bodies of orgnanisms change over time in response to the environment - this especially can be seen with bacteria and viruses.

    what i was thinking of also when using the word descriptive is kind of like this, (from wiki)

    Essential criteria
    The defining characteristic of a scientific theory is that it makes falsifiable or testable predictions about things not yet observed. The relevance, and specificity of those predictions determine how (potentially) useful the theory is. A would-be theory which makes no predictions which can be observed is not a useful theory. Predictions which are not sufficiently specific to be tested are similarly not useful. In both cases, the term 'theory' is inapplicable.

    In practice a body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory once it has a minimum empirical basis. That is, it:

    is consistent with pre-existing theory to the extent that the pre-existing theory was experimentally verified, though it will often show pre-existing theory to be wrong in an exact sense, and
    is supported by many strands of evidence rather than a single foundation, ensuring that it is probably a good approximation, if not totally correct.

    Non-essential criteria
    Additionally, a theory is generally only taken seriously if it:

    is tentative, correctable and dynamic, in allowing for changes to be made as new data is discovered, rather than asserting certainty, and
    is the most parsimonious explanation, sparing in proposed entities or explanations, commonly referred to as passing the Occam's razor test.
    This is true of such established theories as special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, evolution, etc. Theories considered scientific meet at least most, but ideally all, of these extra criteria.

    Theories do not have to be perfectly accurate to be scientifically useful. The predictions made by Classical mechanics are known to be inaccurate, but they are sufficiently good approximations in most circumstances that they are still very useful and widely used in place of more accurate but mathematically difficult theories.
    socionics can't be tested all that easily because of validity problems with type diagnosis. and, intertype relations, although they may be evident, can be confounded by a host of other explanations. stuff like linguistic analysis is a step in the right direction in operationalizing the IM's, but it's still far from being a theory since it still cannot be proven or disproven.

    but like i say, this doesn't mean socionics isn't true....just that it cannot be proven by use of our current scientific methods.

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    Actually I think that our members should do a team work, instead of doing socionics in privet. Science is an institution and there's a reason for that. One can't manage to produce a working theory by it's own. It's too complex for that. Not to mention that bringing it into social practice needs a social capital. But I think that we all understand that doing science without an usefulness for people, isn't much worth of doing. So let' s strive for public recognition for our thoughts.

    And another idea is that because socion needs different people to produce it's value, we should organize into teams to structurise our basic and most valuable knowledge and turn it into something that can be used by simple people around. If our many hypothesis meet the public standard, the socionics is ready for the mainstream, I hope.

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    I think I see what you're saying -- the same thing I was, basically. Socionics provides a well-developed system, but poorly developed and poorly testable predictions.
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kioshi

    High Context (emphasis on information exchange)
    *Si: Signals
    *Ni: Signs
    Low Context (emphasis on information storage)
    *Se: Concrete Symbols
    *Ne: Abstract Symbols
    What do you call "signals" and "signs" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by discourse
    Actually I think that our members should do a team work, instead of doing socionics in privet. Science is an institution and there's a reason for that. One can't manage to produce a working theory by it's own.
    The greatest working theories in all the sciences have been produced by only one person, at least their core.
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    Wouldn't Freud's model be more Ne by this measure? Thinking that all humans are of the same basic sexual nature and such?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG
    The greatest working theories in all the sciences have been produced by only one person, at least their core.
    I think that's true for most of them. The big exception is quantum theory, which was really put together bit by bit by many people, even its core -- but then, that's the point. Nobody really understands it, which perhaps confirms what you said.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    Wouldn't Freud's model be more Ne by this measure? Thinking that all humans are of the same basic sexual nature and such?
    I am reading Freud right now and plan to write about him very soon. Compared to Augusta's static theory of the psyche-society-information-interaction, Freud seems to focus on connections and interrelations between behavior and their source. I think his theory is described through (how things that happen are interrelated) and not (what structures and potential exist). His theory is even called "psychodynamics." The static parts all have to be extrapolated. In Augusta's theories, the dynamic parts have to be extrapolated.

    I'm sorry if that's all vague. I do plan to write about this at length in the near future. Freud is a very interesting chap.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    Wouldn't Freud's model be more Ne by this measure? Thinking that all humans are of the same basic sexual nature and such?
    I am reading Freud right now and plan to write about him very soon. Compared to Augusta's static theory of the psyche-society-information-interaction, Freud seems to focus on connections and interrelations between behavior and their source. I think his theory is described through (how things that happen are interrelated) and not (what structures and potential exist). His theory is even called "psychodynamics." The static parts all have to be extrapolated. In Augusta's theories, the dynamic parts have to be extrapolated.

    I'm sorry if that's all vague. I do plan to write about this at length in the near future. Freud is a very interesting chap.
    I agree. I think Freud is EIE too.
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    Now that I think about it, his theories take a common basic human nature for granted, and focus on psychosexual development, so I guess that could be unconscious Ne with conscious Ni.

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    Yes. Freud is interested in how things development over time, and not in "essential characteristics of different people," etc. He doesn't look at personality as a static structure at all. He studies the transformation of emotional experience over time.
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    for Ni theories, i think jung's might be a better example, because freud's are rather insane and impossible to figure. jung's, however (NOT limited to his sole essay on psychological types, which some people seem to think is the culmination of his life's work), when they involve things like the collective unconscious, archetypes, dreams, etc., seem like the epitome of Ni.

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    Rick, you've definitely hit on some good stuff, although I would say "everything is connected" is an introverted-element philosophy in general (take Si: "everything should coexist harmoniously"). I also agree that Popper is totally TeNi.

    I've found that in pure math you can see a very clear distinction between the intuitive (in both the socionics and normal senses of the word) part and the logical part of reasoning - it can be very easy to see intuitively that something is true but enormously difficult to prove it. Also, based partly on what I have personally observed, the integral types of the theoretical physics and math communities would be ENTp and INTj respectively. In physics it's ok to get by on intuitive reasoning, but in math the point is to prove everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dee View Post
    that's mostly ENTP's g+ i'd say, INTJ's g+ would be ...
    What is a g+ ???
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    That doesn't help at all.

    Seriously, what the hell are you talking about?

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    @Rick:

    I'm telling you: Freud was INTj. Look at this:

    http://oaks.nvg.org/eg4ra19.html
    WHILE Jung was no mystic, his work developed along lines so different from Freud's . . . Freud . . . forthrightly sought to reduce the psyche to physiology. (Cohen 13) [1]
    In 1910, Freud said to Jung, ". . . Promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark."
    Jung asked, "A bulwark - against what?"
    Freud answered, "Against the black tide of mud . . . of occultism."
    This exchange had been brought on by Freud's refusal to cooperate with Jung's attempt to interpret one of Freud's dreams, saying, "But I cannot risk my authority!"
    In Jung's words, "Freud was placing personal authority above truth." (Cohen 15n) [4]
    I'm just saying... be careful. A lot of people will be reading your essay and they would hate to have the wrong idea. I can point you to a lot of other statements and resources that point to Freud as INTj, also.

    (relationwise, I naturally understand where Freud is coming from. His entire theory is to me, brutally obvious. But it's simplistic, and dated, compared to either Jung or socionics.)

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    Not that I want to judge someone, but I find it interesting that people on holidays would want to come to this board and post stuff. Socionics is interesting, but not that important or useful. So instead of typing, categorizing, labeling others around and so on, let's just enjoy people like they are and that's it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discourse View Post
    Not that I want to judge someone, but I find it interesting that people on holidays would want to come to this board and post stuff. Socionics is interesting, but not that important or useful. So instead of typing, categorizing, labeling others around and so on, let's just enjoy people like they are and that's it.
    socionics != labeling. People have type, but they are not "types".

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    Quote Originally Posted by discourse View Post
    Not that I want to judge someone, but I find it interesting that people on holidays would want to come to this board and post stuff. Socionics is interesting, but not that important or useful. So instead of typing, categorizing, labeling others around and so on, let's just enjoy people like they are and that's it.
    Good. You could start by enjoying the people who like to discuss socionics on holidays as they are.

    Maybe some of us don't give a damn about holidays. Maybe some are living in areas where they don't know anyone and have to spend the holidays alone, so coming here is better than just doing nothing. Maybe some of us disagree with you and think that socionics is "important or useful". Maybe some of us are having a traditionally nice holiday but still like to come here and see what's going on.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Well holidays have big moments of total boredom. I see no reason why I shouldn't post here.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by discourse View Post
    Not that I want to judge someone, but I find it interesting that people on holidays would want to come to this board and post stuff. Socionics is interesting, but not that important or useful. So instead of typing, categorizing, labeling others around and so on, let's just enjoy people like they are and that's it.
    die

  31. #31
    Let's go to fairyland Minde's Avatar
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    Default Christmas and Expectations

    You don't have to be happy on Christmas.


    I know it's a little late to apply to this year, but I thought I'd say it anyway.
    INFj / EII / FiNe
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    "Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Have courage and be kind." - Cinderella's mom

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Minde View Post
    You don't have to be happy on Christmas.


    I know it's a little late to apply to this year, but I thought I'd say it anyway.
    i have the exact ornament that's in your avatar on my tree right now. :-)

  33. #33
    Let's go to fairyland Minde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine Lively View Post
    i have the exact ornament that's in your avatar on my tree right now. :-)
    With the glittery sparklies on the antlers and around the neck?
    INFj / EII / FiNe
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    "Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Have courage and be kind." - Cinderella's mom

  34. #34
    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discourse View Post
    Not that I want to judge someone, but I find it interesting that people on holidays would want to come to this board and post stuff. Socionics is interesting, but not that important or useful. So instead of typing, categorizing, labeling others around and so on, let's just enjoy people like they are and that's it.
    Hows about you takes your holiday like you likes it, and I take mine like I likes it.

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