I have noticed some noises here and there about socionics being about "how" we process information, not about "what" or "why".
I will use a simple example - which does not even need socionics to begin with - to illustrate a point.
A guy is walking down the street in a city where the presidential primaries are taking place - this year. He's wearing a rather garish "Kerry 2004" sweater.
Why would he be wearing that sweater?
I can think of several reasons (in no order):
- it's a political statement. He sees all of the present candidates as useless and is making a point of how he prefered Kerry.
- it's a wicked sense of humor. His intention is to make people wonder what his intentions are. It's all a joke.
- actually the sweater is very very comfortable and warm, he really likes it, so he wears it and he's not even thinking of the "Kerry 2004" written on it. He's oblivious to it, actually.
- he worked in the Kerry campaign in 2004 and he got about 10 of those sweaters as a bonus, for free. So he just wears them because they cost nothing. He's aware that other people might notice it but he sees that as of not very important.
- he's actually always voted Republican, and he's very much aware of the "Kerry 2004" thing and he dislikes it. But that sweater was given to him by a person who meant a lot to him, and sometimes he wears it because it gives him a sense of connection to that person (who's not near him anymore).
And so on and so forth.
We don't even have to get into socionics to write the above -- I think it's obvious.
Now, bringing socionics into the picture, some of those reasons are related to focus on , others on , others on , or on or .
If we focus on "how" -- well, "how" would explain that he, say, sees the sweatshirt either through the eyes of - "it's very comfortable" - or through the eyes of - "it connects me with an abstract concept" - whether a person, or a private thought, etc.
It seems to me, though, that the "how" is merely useful as an explanation for "why". Also, except in rationality versus irrationality, or extraversion versus introversion, "how" doesn't seem to me to adequately explain intertype relationships - which are what socionics are all about.
Finally, the quadras are about people more or less naturally drawn to each other. You have extroverts, rationals, introverts, irrationals. To me it seems that "how" an EP and an IJ process and react to information is very different, yet mirrors usually are drawn together (not without some problems, of course) - because in the end they share the same motivations, which is what those quadra "mottos", and quadra groups, etc, make sense. Quadras are about groups of people who share similar priorities - they are "normal" people so to speak.
After all -- I'd think that some of the explanations above make more sense to you than others.