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Thread: Nature of functions

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    Default Nature of functions

    I noticed there generally seem to be two ways to look at functions.

    On the one hand you have those that see functions as some sort of process; it gets some input, does some processing and gives some output. For instance, Hitta sees Fi as some sort of evaluation, a judgement process (here). He gives the example of cheese where given certain characteristics of cheese, Fi can evaluate and come to the conclusion: "I like cheese". Another example is when people try to map functions to brain regions, assuming that the processing by each function must be visible somewhere when people are using it. Yet another example I think is when people talk about functions like Ti structures things or breaks things down or Fe manipulates the emotional atmosphere and so on. The idea here is that functions and type directly determine your behaviour and state of mind.

    The other way to see functions is only as "giving awareness". In a given context each function tells you these are the Ni aspects, these the Fi aspects, these Se and so on. And the position of each function in model A determines how you tend to deal with this information. So if you find yourself in a situation where you don't particularly value something, which could be an Fi aspect, then your type determines whether you actually care a lot about that fact or not, whether you actually trust yourself on seeing such aspects correctly, or would rather have someone assist you with it and so on. The idea here is that functions are only a socionics invention to describe how the brain might filter raw data into different information categories. Of course behaviour is then largely influenced by what information you are presented with, but also by mood, emotional state, personal knowledge, values, beliefs, history, experience and so on. Socionics attempts to model perception and awareness, not complete human reasoning and behaviour.

    I was wondering what you guys think about this, because it's a rather fundamental point.

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    Let's fly now Gilly's Avatar
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    Wow, good job, you've recognized the basic difference between information aspects (these are the "parts" of things that we perceive in reality) and information elements (these are the mental processes). You're well on your way to a better understanding of Socionics than most people here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Wow, good job, you've recognized the basic difference between information aspects (these are the "parts" of things that we perceive in reality) and information elements (these are the mental processes). You're well on your way to a better understanding of Socionics than most people here.
    So is the relevant aspect the input to the function, or the output, or both?

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    Absolutely both. If you can't separate them in your mind, you're going to get REALLY mixed up when you try to apply Socionics, especially with things like Se elements and Te aspects.

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    so for example, the function could be defined as a function which perceives an -aspect of reality, processes it, and produces an -aspect of reality?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    so for example, the function could be defined as a function which perceives an -aspect of reality, processes it, and produces an -aspect of reality?

    Well, a person's element processes aspects, but a person's exertion of aspects is not necessarily related to their use of the element. Elements perceive, aspects exist. What's left, what "creates" aspects, is just the existence of human emotion, just like what "creates," or, well, substantiates would be a better word, a aspect would be simply concrete material existence.

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    hmmm that makes sense..... I must have misunderstood what you meant by "absolutely both"?

    I want to know, if the Fe function takes in the Fe aspect, and processes it, what aspect does it output? Just Fe? or a mixture of everything?

    also, does this relate in any way to the 'accepting' and 'producing' slots in Model A?

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    No, accepting and producing functions have more to do with whether a function is used primarily to observe the world and recreate perceptions, or generate something new based on perceptions. These are both part of functional "elements." Model A is a model of information elements: it's the structure of the psyche and how the elements interact with one another. Aspects exist only in functional pairs, independent of the psyche's structure and existing only in and of themselves.

    Functions don't "output." Their perceptions and analyses obviously have an effect on what people "do," but I don't think it would be accurate to say that functions are directly responsible for behaviors. This is part of what makes Socionics so tricky, and largely interpretive: we're analyzing motives, but all we have to go on objectively are external behaviors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Functions don't "output." Their perceptions and analyses obviously have an effect on what people "do," but I don't think it would be accurate to say that functions are directly responsible for behaviors. This is part of what makes Socionics so tricky, and largely interpretive: we're analyzing motives, but all we have to go on objectively are external behaviors.

    functions = mental processes

    if something is being processed, then there should be an 'output'. But I guess this output doesn't have to be a single information aspect.

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    The output would go to other parts of the brain that Socionics doesn't describe, to eventually go to the muscles to create movement, including speech. At that point, which kind of information comes out depends on your habits, not on what kind of information went in. You would tend to develop habits that you understand, so your external behaviors will generally fit your ego functions, but that's a side effect, not the information elements themselves.



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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    functions = mental processes

    if something is being processed, then there should be an 'output'. But I guess this output doesn't have to be a single information aspect.
    Well, your "output" has information aspects, and the information you are "putting-out" is processed by information elements, but functions are not directly responsible for actually behaving a certain way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    The output would go to other parts of the brain that Socionics doesn't describe, to eventually go to the muscles to create movement, including speech. At that point, which kind of information comes out depends on your habits, not on what kind of information went in. You would tend to develop habits that you understand, so your external behaviors will generally fit your ego functions, but that's a side effect, not the information elements themselves.

    Brilliandly put.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Brilliandly put.
    *commits suicide*

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    I want to know, if the Fe function takes in the Fe aspect, and processes it, what aspect does it output? Just Fe? or a mixture of everything?
    The way I see it, according to the socionics model, the brain interprets data from sensory input and memory and puts it into an Fe bucket, an Si bucket and so on. The Fe function would be the part that ends up outputting into the Fe bucket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    No, accepting and producing functions have more to do with whether a function is used primarily to observe the world and recreate perceptions, or generate something new based on perceptions. These are both part of functional "elements." Model A is a model of information elements: it's the structure of the psyche and how the elements interact with one another. Aspects exist only in functional pairs, independent of the psyche's structure and existing only in and of themselves.
    That makes sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Functions don't "output." Their perceptions and analyses obviously have an effect on what people "do," but I don't think it would be accurate to say that functions are directly responsible for behaviors. This is part of what makes Socionics so tricky, and largely interpretive: we're analyzing motives, but all we have to go on objectively are external behaviors.
    I think you nailed it perfectly. Functions =/= external behaviors; but since we can't read minds, we have to use external behaviors => functions. As in my example of a guy wearing a Kerry t-shirt, people may behave in precisely the same way for very different, even opposing, reasons; which is why things like pop-MBTI saying that "J=tidy" and "P=messy" only lead to confusion.

    And, yes, it's tricky, and interpretative, even speculative; but in most cases, if you have the time to observe someone, it's possible to reach very likely interpretations of behavior. Those, however, who'd say that external behaviors are all you can base types on, are looking just at an empty shell, not at a person's core.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
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    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Gilly's replies in this thread should be stickied for newcomers.

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    Or perhaps mine? What sticky, though? I don't think the little text in this thread is enough for its own sticky.



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