The Theory of 3
The Theory of 3
Hey 16types, MD here. I know I’ve been busy and don’t post as much anymore, but I’ve been thinking through an idea for a while which can greatly help people in typing others.
The best way I can explain is by playing a quick mystery game. We’re going to try to figure out someone’s type. Now, for this game, we’re going to make 2 assumptions:
1) We’re all well-versed in socionics theory, and can 100% accurately identify which function is being used: Fe, Fi, Se, Si, Te, Ti, Ne, Ni. Now, I know realistically, there are always arguments over which function somebody is using. But, for this experiment, we’re going to assume we can accurately figure it out.
2) We’re all well-versed in how the functions interact with each other. A person subconsciously forces a 2nd person to use the 1st person’s 5th function, and a person receiving information through their 6th function is ‘activated’ to use their leading function, etc.
Ok, now time to play.
You observe an interaction between Mary and Steve. You notice Mary using a lot of Se, and Steve using a lot of Ti. Both seem to appear happy, and both are enjoying the interaction. What type is Mary?
Answer: Need more information.
You now observe an interaction between Mary and Joe. You notice Mary using a lot of Fe, and Joe using a lot of Ti. Both seem to appear happy, and both are enjoying the interaction. What type is Mary?
Answer: Still can’t definitely type! WHY NOT?
What is going on here? How can this logically be viable? In the 1st case, Mary was using Se with someone using Ti, and in the 2nd case she was using Fe. Both interactions were enjoyable. How is this possible?
I’ll explain how it’s possible. Put simply, any interaction with another person, you are subconsciously being forced to use what they want in the environment. Going back to assumption #2: Certain functions just ‘feed’ off of each other, ie. Fi supporting Te and vice versa, Si supporting Ne and vice versa, etc.
But MD, what does this have to do with typing people?
Look at interaction #1: You might assume Mary is an Se-ego type and Steve is a Ti-ego type. Both are using those respective functions and enjoying the interaction. But this might not be the case. They might just be fulfilling what the other needed in ‘the environment’ of the conversation.
Look at interaction #2: This time Mary is using Fe, and Joe is using Ti. Again, you might assume that they are using their ego functions. Truth be told, it’s still impossible to be sure what types either of them are!!
Answer: Mary is an ESFj. In interaction #1, she was using her 8th function, Se, to help out Steve, an INTp, who was using his 8th function, Ti, to help out Mary. In interaction #2, Mary was using her leading function Fe to help out Joe, an INTj, who was using his leading function, Ti, to help out Mary. (There are still other possible types each could be, which could accurately explain which functions they used.)
Now, I want to highlight 2 CONCLUSIONS from the above examples:
#1: The ‘comfort’ level of the interaction has ABSOLUTELY 0 USE in accurately determining a person’s type. Mary and Steve were conflictors, and were enjoying the interaction. MAYBE THEY JUST MET, and are going through the beginning stage of a conflicting relationship, when everything is ok. Maybe they have known each other long, but are just mature people, and don’t personally interact very much. Who knows, it doesn’t matter.
Also, look at Illusionary relationships. People are perfectly happy discussing, using their Role functions for each other, but then get confused when it’s time to move into action, and each uses their leading function. Again, the comfort level of the interaction is a completely unreliable observation of what type someone is. Just because two people are using Se to support the other’s Ni, and they love each other, does not mean they are duals.
Important CONCLUSION #2:
In order to accurately type 1 person, you need to observe their interaction with AT LEAST 2 more people. This is why I call this “The Theory of 3”, because you need at least 3 people to determine 1 person’s type. This is the meat of my theory. Basically, it’s an answer to a lot of people say ‘BUT I OBSERVED BILLY-JOE USING Ti WHEN TALKING WITH SUSIE, SO HE MUST BE A Ti EGO TYPE!’ Well, my answer is no, you can’t determine his type, or ego function, based off of his interaction with just 1 other person. You have to observe his interaction with multiple people to get a better idea which function he uses most often and most strongly.
Do you talk the exact same way with all of your friends? … Think about it.
No, each one of our friends, of different types, encourages us to use different functions. Each interaction can be widely different. Using different functions. It’s the idea that, although people strongly prefer to use their leading functions, they may use their role function for another person, their 7th or 8th functions if need be, etc. A person even attempts to use their 5th and 6th function if it’s not in their environment! So how can anyone be so certain of a person’s type, even if they 100% accurately identify a function in a person’s interaction?
USING THE THEORY OF 3:
You’ve been trying to type somebody for a while, have been paying attention to their interactions, and notice they use a lot of Ni, Se, and Te. You’re trying to figure which function is leading, which creative, which role, which mobilizing, etc. etc. They seem to have developed each function strongly, and it’s tough to tell which one is being used the best. STOP looking at their functions, and LOOK at the people they’re interacting with. Which function(s) are they using most and when? What do they try to use most often?
Two last remarks:
Celebrities. I see a lot of posts on 16types, where a person posts a video of an interview with a celebrity, using a certain function, as evidence of the celebrity’s type. My questions: Do you know what type the interviewer is? Have you observed the interviewer in many of their previous interviews to understand how they interact with people of different types? … Seriously. No single interview is complete evidence of a celebrity’s type. Once again I ask:
Do you talk the exact same way with all of your friends? Have you talked differently with certain teachers, coworkers, etc? What if someone were observing you: what would they say your type is in different circumstances?
Final remark: Videos with a family member. Now, if you’re new to 16types and trying to figure out your type, a video is helpful. With another person is great, but remember that it’s not complete evidence in and of itself.
Most people mention in order to figure out someone’s type, they need to meet them ‘in person’. That’s so they can see how you interact with a lot of different people, and interact with themselves, when they know their type. This shows the importance of seeing interactions with multiple people. It’s still very possible to accurately type someone online, but I’ll save that for another post.
This was pretty long, but I’ll finish with my 2 points again: in order to accurately type somebody, you shouldn’t care much for the comfort level of their interactions with others, and you should be focusing on how they interact with multiple people. Any single interaction, or accurate use of a certain function, such as Ti, for example, is not enough evidence that the person has Ti in their ego block. You need more evidence. The theory of 3.
your post would appear to have more content if it made any sense to assume that in an average interaction one person was dissociably using exactly "one" function in the absence of others that play an important role in quadra-driven interactions. instead it is a bunch of logically chunked bullshit. in reality, interpersonal interactions have context.
Ok ty for your opinion. Now what do you think of the topic?
Originally Posted by Ashton
Originally Posted by aestrivex
Ok, so go ahead and assume that you're using multiple functions simultaneously in the context of any given interaction. My points still remain. You need at least 3 people to accurately observe which function a person uses most often, and the comfort level of the interaction doesn't really matter.
Originally Posted by aestrivex
From absurd with love
Originally Posted by Absurd
Originally Posted by Anglas
Well, it's something to the effect of wasp stings. When I was 7 I kicked a wasp nest just to see what happens. Ten seconds after I was badly stung several times.
Originally Posted by Mountain Dew
Pretty good analysis actually. This corresponds well with my own thoughts and experience on the matter...that is, I'm very aware of how conversations with different people tend to evoke "different sides" of me.
Originally Posted by Mountain Dew
And I think that a lot of people jump to conclusions why to fast by noting someone "using a function" and concluding that person's type.
However, I'm not so certain that you can necessarily "triangulate" to get someone's type just by interactions with three people. More likely, it's other information one observes during the interactions the clues one into the other person's type (things one notes directly about a person, not just the interaction one's observing).
Also, I tend to think that the tendency to alter one's approach to fit the other person's style may not be symmetrical. For example, when an ESE converses with an ILI, would they equally gravitate to the other person's dual-seeking function? I suspect more likely one of them is more likely to move. For example, if the ILI is going into Ti mode, perhaps the ESE may not see a need to go into Se mode; more likely the ILI will appear to the ESE as a Ti type if he's in Ti mode.
In that case, the intertype relations are a bit more complex than usually presented; many descriptions seem to assume that people insist on using their ego functions so that there's a total disconnect in the case of conflict. In fact, people can and do adapt to each other, and therefore the sense of conflict comes more from people's inability to "hold" their adaptations over the long-term.
Anyhow, good post.
....It might be an interesting mathematical puzzle though to determine the minimum number of types you need to deduce type based on certain assumptions.
For example, say we can't pick and don't know the type of the "other people," and say we put limitations on what adaptations people can make...for example, that they can only adapt via the ego and id blocks (probably not true though).
Then, how many interactions (e.g., people we need to introduce) will we need at minimum if we "get lucky" about the types of the "other people"...and what is the maximum number of people whereby we can deduce type if we're assured that all "other people" we introduce are different types?
(This could also be a nice idea for a game...maybe you can pick things about the people you introduce that give you a clue towards type, so that you can deduce the type sooner....The fewer people you pick to nail down the type, the better the score.)
One other assumption for the puzzle I think is that people are only able to show one of the following: 1) their base function, or 2) the other person's dual-seeking...so we outlaw people adapting by going outside the ego block to display the other person's activation functions...because if that's allowed, then there's no solution, I think. To make it easier, we assume we can determine one of the following...either both are displaying each other's dual function, or not. So it's a 1 0 sort of thing. (One could change the rules to allow other kinds of information of course.)
Actually, scratch that. That makes it WAY too easy. If we know that each person is using the other person's dual function, then we know on the first interaction from Se paired with Ti and a response of "1" (both displaying the other's dual function) that the first person is ESE and the other ILI. I guess this puzzle will need better rules, so it's possible, but not overly easy.
If we make the rule that "1" equals that each is displaying a function in the other person's quadra, that makes it a little better, but still maybe overly easy. So then in the first interaction, it's either ESE/ILI or they're both Beta ST, but as soon as the first person shows Fe or Fi, Beta ST's out and game's over.
Last edited by Jonathan; 08-16-2011 at 10:23 PM.
Yeah, I also think it's a simplification to boil down what each person is saying into only one function...that's a common abuse on the forum. But I also agree that Mountain Dew's main point isn't relying on that simplification; he's really just pointing out that people adapt to others by using functions from the opposite quadra. I think that part is true.
Originally Posted by Vois
@MD IMO the person being typed doesn't even need to be talking to someone. A sample of writing or a speech is often a good piece of evidence for typing someone. The benefit to seeing interactions is information on how someone *reacts* to information elements.