I've been thinking about this for a long time, but just never started a thread on how to actually make progress in Socionics (or at least not recently). Most of us, I think, go around in circles a bit, feeling that Socionics provides valid insights in our lives, but having doubts that can never be answered through introspection or casual observations. There are a few ways we can use Socionics without any scientific basis (e.g., "It works for me," or "I just use it as an inspiration in art/stories"). But to move to the next level, there must be some valid research. This thread is to talk about how we could actually put that into practice. The existing research that I've read about doesn't seem to answer fundamental questions. A typical study involves a small focus group where (for example) they divide people into Socionics-related groups, and then with a facilitator, people write down all the ways they're similar or different. This provides interesting hypotheses, but in no way does it help establish fundamental assumptions. There is the matter that people may influence each other, affecting the results, but more importantly, the research designs aren't really aimed at the key questions a skeptic of Socionics would ask.
There are hypotheses that could be scientifically tested...for example:
Hypothesis: There exists a standardizable method of typing people whereby the quality and nature of the interaction between two people who never met before can be predicted to a statistically significant degree.
Sub-hypothesis: This method provides superior predictive value compared to randomly chosen psychological traits that are not correlated with it.
Now, to do a test on this, someone needs to have the means, time, money, etc., to actually do it. Perhaps some of the people here are involved in a university program that could help underwrite such a study; maybe there's grant money available. Ultimately, though, there needs to be a plan to get it done. This thread is to discuss how to organize such an endeavor.