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Thread: Why 8 Functions?

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    Default Why 8 Functions?

    ...rather than, say, 7 or 23?

    I notice that 8 holds special convenience as a power of 2, and also that the 4 functions (T,F,S,N) were "grandfathered in" from Jungian psychology.

    However, the question remains - might the psyche not be better described by a different number of functions? I'm aware of the "aspects of reality" argument, but that's an arbitrary division of reality; a theory of personality must describe the workings of the brain.

    To aid in considering this problem, I suggest the following features of neuron groups, drawn from a simplistic understanding of neuroscience:
    • Distance from sensory inputs
    • Self-referentiality (does this neuron group think about itself?)
    • Interconnectedness with other brain regions
    • Stability of neuron group (meaning slower learning, slower forgetting)



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    Functions, or information elements


    I've noticed, even in myself, a certain error of speaking about things on the forum

    is not a function, it is an information element.
    Function is which slot it is in. (1-8)
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    I think would IE's drive functional quantity...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu View Post
    Functions, or information elements


    I've noticed, even in myself, a certain error of speaking about things on the forum

    is not a function, it is an information element.
    Function is which slot it is in. (1-8)
    D'oh! I catch myself quite often, but it seems this time "function" slipped through.

    On the other hand, I'm not going to edit, because... frankly I mean both. Why 8 information elements? Why 8 function slots? why do the two numbers have to match? (OK, that's because it would be absurdly complicated otherwise.)



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    Everybody does it, for whatever reason.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Jung called the IE's "functions" (E/I - attitudes, TFSN - functions)

    MBTI calls the IE's cognitive functions.
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    And yet this has always been a socionics forum.
    I always spoke about them interchangeably for a long time, (because that's how I perceived them as being used here) but I was wrong about doing so.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    "Information element" is too clumsy for frequent use. "Element" would be OK, but somehow doesn't seem as related. Also, the "functions" are really "function positions" - it's more like "function" drifted to mean the function positions, and the term "information element" was coined as a patchwork solution to the loss of the original meaning.

    Also, Jung's wording is relevant to Socionics usage, just as Judaism is relevant to Christianity.



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    yeah and plus I was making a descriptive statement about why people use the term, not a statement of personal preference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    "Information element" is too clumsy for frequent use. "Element" would be OK, but somehow doesn't seem as related. Also, the "functions" are really "function positions" - it's more like "function" drifted to mean the function positions, and the term "information element" was coined as a patchwork solution to the loss of the original meaning.

    Also, Jung's wording is relevant to Socionics usage, just as Judaism is relevant to Christianity.
    Element makes a lot of sense to me, for what its worth.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Information Filter or Processor is better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuturututu View Post
    There are such functions that are universal. The question is: how do socionics functions(which are not universal) rise from those? If they rise from those at all. It seems to me that everything has to rise from those.
    How are they universal? Internal/External in particular seems like a human quirk.



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    Quote Originally Posted by tuturututu View Post
    If madness, then symptoms of madness. Always. However, if external, then Immanuel Kant.
    Wrong on both counts.



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    Of course there could be many more valid divisions drawn. It's just that the four Jungian functions (thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition) are both a) basic or fundamental, and b) complete. By saying that they are basic or fundamental, I mean that they are concerned with a pretty basic level of cognition. As a contrast, "democratic/aristocratic" is not concerned with quite so basic a level of cognition. By saying that they are complete, I mean that they seem to exhaust the possibilities fairly well: one's attitude towards something is either objective-y (thinking) or subjective-y (feeling); one's relationship to the world either relies on sense perception and what flows from that (sensing), or (arguably) nonphysical perception and what flows from that (intuition). Each of these dichotomies seem to be mutually exclusive; one can make a decision based on both thinking and feeling, but it does not appear that one can relate to an object both objectively and subjectively at the same time and in the same sense. Similarly, while certainly everyone takes in information via the senses and nonphysical perception, it does not appear that we can focus on both at the same time and in the same sense. We can switch between the two so fast that it seems that we're using both, but still, one cannot undergo both at any given instant.

    Since the socionics dichotomies (or at least TFSN) fit these expectations, they are fairly strong criteria to use for evaluating personality, criteria which will produce fairly accurate results which will apply to a good number of people. That being said, they cannot account for all of cognition, nor should they be called upon to do so. The divisions of thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition, introversion, and extroversion are completely arbitrary and conventional (i.e., non-natural). But they are arbitrary divisions that help us to understand the big picture of cognition by breaking it into smaller, distinct pieces.

    So yes, one could think of distinctions that might even more fundamental to human thought, or even more exclusive of one another, and if one did this, he or she might be able to create a better typology. But, as it is, the arbitrary set of six divisions (and the corresponding eight functions) that we have represents reality fairly accurately.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

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    It is very simple, Socionics Breaks down Jung's original theory of (T,F,S,N) into T-/, F-/, S-/ and N-/. But say how can we break T down even further?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    one's relationship to the world either relies on sense perception and what flows from that (sensing), or (arguably) nonphysical perception and what flows from that (intuition). Each of these dichotomies seem to be mutually exclusive; one can make a decision based on both thinking and feeling, but it does not appear that one can relate to an object both objectively and subjectively at the same time and in the same sense.
    I see where you are coming from. According to Wikisocion, functions like and or and can't be on at the same time. but did not say that and can't be on.

    Similarly, while certainly everyone takes in information via the senses and nonphysical perception, it does not appear that we can focus on both at the same time and in the same sense. We can switch between the two so fast that it seems that we're using both, but still, one cannot undergo both at any given instant.
    OK, This is what I see you are talking about this switch, between senses, Like an leading switches to leading or vice versa. But when an leading switches to an , to me that will obvious take more time to switch off than the complimentary dual seeking functions. Physiologically speaking, How can we ever know if and and :NI: can be on at the same time by a person? OK let take a look at this,

    you are an IEI and I am an EIE...

    you have accepting/ producing producing/ producing
    I have accepting/ Producing producing/:Ti accepting

    To me you can technically say that you have a better chance of using Ni/Se at the same time because it is your accepting function than I while I can use / at the same time in my mind, but who knows what it mean by "actually using the function" But for functions that is your producing function on Model A, I see that it's unlikely you can use both of them at the same time.
    Last edited by 07490; 11-11-2009 at 07:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    It can also be that depending on when you are speaking in terms of Sensing being Objective and Intuition being Subjective, It also depends on where the Information element is being placed on Model A of your type. There might be differences and the rapidness of the switch off if you are talking about an SLE using his :SE: leading function and his role function than say an EIE using , his 6th function and :NE: his demonstrative function, which both of them are EIE's Production function and the SLE's Accepting Function.



    Dual Seeking functions, 1th,2th seeks 5th and 6th is always switching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    The brain is always doing an insane number of things at once; one part can act almost completely separately from another. Such things as subjective/objective, while logically dichotomous, can occur simultaneously in the same lump of gray matter.

    So whatever Wikisocion says, all eight elements can indeed be processing simultaneously in the same brain - unless some of the elements do not exist in a particular brain. I find this unlikely, but haven't completely ruled it out.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    The brain is always doing an insane number of things at once; one part can act almost completely separately from another.

    This doesn't exactly prove that we can use ALL and any 8 functions at once.


    Such things as subjective/objective, while logically dichotomous, can occur simultaneously in the same lump of gray matter..
    Why do you seperate only logical, but not feeling,

    If you can claim that and can be used in the same lump gray matter, It's hard for me not to accept and occurring simultaneously in the same gray matter also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    This doesn't exactly prove that we can use ALL and any 8 functions at once.
    Divide the brain into eight pieces (imaginary lines, no need to cut it), and it is possible for each piece to use a different element.

    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    Why do you seperate only logical, but not feeling,

    If you can claim that and can be used in the same lump gray matter, It's hard for me not to accept and occurring simultaneously in the same gray matter also.
    No, no - I was making a logical statement that subjective/objective are dichotomous; I wasn't stating that they are only dichotomous in reference to logical functions.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    Divide the brain into eight pieces (imaginary lines, no need to cut it), and it is possible for each piece to use a different element.
    Bold claim, what prove do you have that each part of our brains, separated by 8 imaginary lines, can be commanded to be used to express each 8 information element? I find that highly impossible even if I have never study brains in my life, Basic general knowledge tells me it is more complex than that and certain parts of your brains are indeed responsible for certain things, hearing, reasoning, emotions etc... and that we can only use 10% of our brains, I think we might have step into unknown territories here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    No, no - I was making a logical statement that subjective/objective are dichotomous; I wasn't stating that they are only dichotomous in reference to logical functions.
    OK, in here you mean subjective= intuition, objective=Sensing correct?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    Bold claim, what prove do you have that each part of our brains, separated by 8 imaginary lines, can be commanded to be used to express each 8 information element? I find that highly impossible even if I have never study brains in my life, Basic general knowledge tells me it is more complex than that and certain parts of your brains are indeed responsible for certain things, and that we can only use 10% of our brains, I think we might have step into unknown territories here.
    Actually I think expression might be more limited than this (you can't have each finger performing a different task) - I was only referring to thought.

    The brain is so terrifically complex and varied precisely because it can reprogram itself. If we have every element in each our brains already, what's to stop every one of those brain sections from activating at once? Only two elements occupying the same space in the brain. But even in that case, all that is needed is to program the left and right hemispheres as separate, functioning personalities, and have one of them handle each of the overlapping elements.

    That we can only use 10% of our brains is simply not true... some (many? most?) people may not use more than 10% of their true potential, but every neuron is still working - just not in a very efficient manner.



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    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    OK, in here you mean subjective= intuition, objective=Sensing correct?
    Actually, I meant subjective=Feeling, objective=Thinking, but it doesn't make any difference to my point.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    Actually I think expression might be more limited than this (you can't have each finger performing a different task) - I was only referring to thought.

    The brain is so terrifically complex and varied precisely because it can reprogram itself. If we have every element in each our brains already, what's to stop every one of those brain sections from activating at once? Only two elements occupying the same space in the brain. But even in that case, all that is needed is to program the left and right hemispheres as separate, functioning personalities, and have one of them handle each of the overlapping elements.
    Brilliand, I think that like you said, the brain is too complex to understand, and whether we can use ALL 8 information element simultaneously. guessing like you have,

    Only two elements occupying the same space in the brain. But even in that case, all that is needed is to program the left and right hemispheres as separate, functioning personalities, and have one of them handle each of the overlapping elements.

    I think we might never reach a conclusion. But I think me and you and a lot of people here generally accept that it is possible that we all can use all 8 information element, just might not be all of them at once (which I find highly impossible at the moment). just simply / can't be on at the same time. But through my observation in reality, a train of thought isn't possible to see all 8 realms like that, it would be too disorganized. When you are Sensing outwardly(), it is not possible to take in all the sensation from the environment (), while your mind is drifting back and forth in the past and future (), and on top of that outwardly scanning for possibilities (), and etc for all 8 elements... you get the point. You must observe this based on how people present their train of thoughts in reality, and unless we actually study the specific part of our brains and the cognition use of it, our theory really hold no weight.

    That we can only use 10% of our brains is simply not true... some (many? most?) people may not use more than 10% of their true potential, but every neuron is still working - just not in a very efficient manner.
    I am not sure of the exact percentage, and I am sure that some use more, some use less, but I find it impossible to use 100% of it.
    (D)IEE~FI-(C)SLE~Ni E-5w4(Sp/Sx)/7w8(So/Sp)/9w1(sp/sx)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    a train of thought isn't possible to see all 8 realms like that, it would be too disorganized.
    Well here's another oddity - the brain, as a whole, never uses a train of thought. It thinks about everything at once. Your train of thought is simply the sequence of thoughts that arose from the blend. The train of thought has to be pretty organized, in order to fit in memory; but your whole brain is involved in picking that train of thought from among the many possible trains of thought.

    EDIT: Actually maybe not the whole brain... but quite a bit is involved in determining what you don't need to think about.



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    Wait, we use all 8 functions?

    We only have two elements that we use. The rest of the functions are side-effects of these that are included in the model to make sense of intertypes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    D'oh! I catch myself quite often, but it seems this time "function" slipped through.
    I do this too sometimes, so don't feel bad
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    what other elements do you suggest brilliand?

    there's probably information that we aren't genetically wired to perceive; things we can't hear or see. electromagnetic fields....stuff like that. other animals perceive and communicate differently, we think they are not as smart as we are since they're different. but they could be tapping into different info elements that we're incapable of processing but always trying to uncover.

    ever see photographs of how bees see things? stuff like that. stuff that's outside of our visible spectrum.

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    Okay, this is a really complex question, I think it hasn't been explored even in the Russian Literature yet. My first impression would be that they need to be a power of 2 because a dichotomical division is the most logical solution in a personality theory that wants to dissect the psyche. I mean, we could have a trichotomy, but then an union of trichotomies could be more easily reduced to an equivalent - but more numerous - union of dichotomies. Thus, in this setting, dichotomical thinking is the one requiring the least number of assumptions.

    Now the question would be: why are E/I, T/F, N/S the essential axes? I haven't thought about an answer yet, I need to think more about the issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post

    However, the question remains - might the psyche not be better described by a different number of functions?
    I dunno, but I found an interesting quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Einstein

    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler"
    Another one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Alva Edison

    "Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I'll show you a failure"
    Last edited by 1981slater; 11-11-2009 at 05:28 PM.
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    Perhaps the irrational elements "set the scene", so to speak, and the rational elements act as "consistency and causality" checkers? So we'd need a p-j-p-j-p-j-p-j.., etc. feedback loop, I guess. Then each curve of the loop would need a process itself. Imo you cannot separate an element from its complementary element (it would have no context or content). So the two irrational elements would give relevance to eachother and the two rational elements would drive eachother.

    1. Perception needs a j/p loop to make decisions about the nature of information.
    2. j needs a process and p needs a process
    3. A process needs to be binary (thesis><antithesis->synthesis?)
    4. Two Macro-processes are generated each containing two elements (4 elements in psyche)

    Another question is why would we even develop different different elements? I think it might have to do with the benefit and supervision rings, which might drive social progress and the spread of memes.
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    I suspect it has something to do, broadly, with human interdependence.
    Having a lopsided psychological intake isn't really a beneficial thing, I'd not think, if you are going to be living a solo existence. I'm not sure.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    If simple multiprocessors can process 8 different things at once, then so can the relatively sophisticated human brain. It's a better assumption than the other possibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    If simple multiprocessors can process 8 different things at once, then so can the relatively sophisticated human brain. It's a better assumption than the other possibility.

    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Please use a better example, than saying if a computer can do it then why can't a brain, it has no correlation to what we are talking about, rather a human brain can process all eight function at once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
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    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
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    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
    Please use a better example, than saying if a computer can do it then why can't a brain, it has no correlation to what we are talking about, rather a human brain can process all eight function at once.
    It's not about logical consistency and I'm not trying to refute any of the possibilities. It's just a better assumption than saying we only use 1,2,3 or 4 elements at a time. The human brain is not too dissimilar from a computer after all.

    I can accept both possibilities concurrently but believe that one is better. If I was going to lay down the logic, you'd know it.

    The most advanced multi-core processors have hundreds of cores btw. 8 is nothing.
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    Haven't read the thread, forgive me if I'm repeating what someone already said, but 8 because we operate

    - in time
    - in space
    - with objects
    - and energy

    multiply it by 2, because each one of those can be internal or external.

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    On the topic of comparing multiple-core processors to the brain... the brain goes to the extreme of having all of the data storage double as processors, and all of the processors double as data storage. On the other hand, what computer processors do is pretty complex compared with what each part of the brain does... so your brain is made up of trillions upon trillions of not-very-powerful processors that really have to work together to accomplish anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaze View Post
    what other elements do you suggest brilliand?
    Huh... my attempt to dream up new elements actually resulted in eight. Here are my three dichotomies:

    • Nearness to the senses (External/Internal)
    • Changeability (Dynamic/Static)
    • Self-referentiality (Introverted/Extroverted)


    So these dichotomies pretty much resolve to Internal Dynamic of Objects, etc.

    I also imagined a "consciousness" element (Epitome of Introversion) and an "action" element (Epitome of Extroversion). The behavior of the various elements of the psyche would depend on the three dichotomies listed above (each of which is a gradient), as well as the sizes of the elements' brain regions and their connectivity to other elements and each other. Due to the way neurons work, elements that are more connected to other parts of the brain will also tend to be larger, and elements that are connected to the same part of the brain will also tend to be connected to each other (these are all tendencies, they can be subverted).

    Now, pushing Model A onto this interpretation:
    Ego block: Elements more connected to both consciousness and action
    Superego block: Elements less connected to consciousness and action
    Superid block: Elements more connected to consciousness, but less to action
    Id block: Elements more connected to action, but less to consciousness

    In theory, every element could be brought into the ego. Changing these connections by conscious choice would, however, be extremely difficult - and probably equally difficult both ways.

    Most people will have either consciousness or action more connected to the elements in general than the other, hence Introversion and Extroversion.

    OK, do the elements have a reason to form connections as Model A describes? Under this description, not really... it seems like any combination of elements could arbitrarily be lumped into any one of the blocks.

    Trichotomies could easily arise from this system by throwing in "medium" elements that are halfway along the individual dichotomies... resulting in 27, with such variants as "External Slow Dynamics of Fuzzy Objects." Throwing out one of the three dichotomies would then result in a 9-element system.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Okay, this is a really complex question, I think it hasn't been explored even in the Russian Literature yet. My first impression would be that they need to be a power of 2 because a dichotomical division is the most logical solution in a personality theory that wants to dissect the psyche. I mean, we could have a trichotomy, but then an union of trichotomies could be more easily reduced to an equivalent - but more numerous - union of dichotomies. Thus, in this setting, dichotomical thinking is the one requiring the least number of assumptions.
    Actually, balanced dichotomies can never quite describe a balanced trichotomy, for the same reason that no power of two is divisible by three. A balanced trichotomy could be accurately described by two dichotomies with one of the possible combinations ruled out, but we tend to deliberately choose against that possibility around here.



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    There could very well be more than 8 functions and more than 16 types, but this does not change the fact that we can currently detect only that many.

    If you don't like it, come up with suggestions as to what the next dichotomic division would look like. As FDG mentioned, the dichotomic nature of functions and types necessitates that the number is always a power of 2.

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