Hi everyone. I've been wanting to do an explanation of the information elements for some time, to clear up some misunderstanding, and also to help new people on the forum grasp what they represent, in modern-day non-Russian lingo. I've been studying socionics for over a year now, and can provide some insight which not only helped me understand the elements better, but teach it in a way, from an ESFj's sensory perspective, which should make practical sense to you. Without further ado:
Ne/Si and Se/Ni represent the 4 information-gathering, perception elements:
Si: Having a sense of what will work out long-term, how easy/hard or comfortable/uncomfortable something will be, whether something will be sustainable or not.
Ne: Seeing potential opportunities, connections, brainstorming ideas, generating possibilities.
Ne has difficulty evaluating their own ideas, and has trouble differentiating which ideas would be good or not long-term (ENXps have a tendency to go through many career changes). Si is terrific at evaluating ideas, figuring how they will play out, but has trouble generating possibilities on its own, and without Ne can get stuck in a rut, staying with something they know will not work.
Se: Wanting to change what will work out long-term, rather than using Si+Ne to navigate strategies throughout life, Se wishes to bend life to its own will. Having a sense of power, control, evaluating one's own abilities to make a tangible difference in the world.
Ni: Evaluating what changes would be good. Foreseeing change before-hand and afterward, the 'big picture', and differentiating which ideas would be useful or not. If Ne is idea-generation and brainstorming, Ni is understand the essence and origin of ideas, and their importance.
Ni also provides conceptual time management. Since Se wants to enact change in the world, using force to change things, it has the power to change everything, but is limited by time. Se desires to know where it should act, where it should be focusing its energy on, which is where Ni comes in.
Two ships are out at sea, sailing north, trying to reach a cave filled with treasure. In the horizon appear dark, forboding clouds, and the wind picks up as the waves begin to rock. The two ships, Ne+Si ship and the Se+Ni ship, have different perspectives in this scenario.
Si says to Ne, "Keeping along this way will be very harsh. We risk sailing directly into the storm, and might lose valuable men, food, and other resources. What else can we do?"
Ne responds, "We could sail east and dock for the night, or we could go west and try to avoid the storm, or we could have men ready to row on the sides of the ship, if the storm gets too harsh. Which do you think we should do?"
Si answers, "Let's sail east and dock for the night, so everyone will be fully rested for tomorrow. We can avoid the storm, keep all our resources, and still make decent time reaching the cave."
Now, how might the Se+Ni ship view this scenario?
Se says to Ni, "We can make it through this storm if we want to. We might lose some resources, but our ship is more powerful than it, and we can conquer it and get past it. Do you think we should fight it out?"
Ni responds, "Be careful, but yes, if we can continue along this path and stay with our original plan, we will be the first ship to reach the cave, and we will reach the treasure first. Spending energy here will definitely be worth it."
Se yells, "Men, set sail NORTH! We will overcome this storm!"
The Se+Ni cave outlast the storm, but lose half, 50%, of their men in the struggle. They are the first ship to reach the cave, and are able to secure most of the treasure, tiredly load it back on the ship, and take it back home.
The Ne+Si ship arrive at the cave second, and are only able to collect half, 50%, of the treasure, compared to the first ship. However, they are able to keep all their men, food, and other resources.
Both Si and Se think that their way was best.
Si says, 'Long-term, we were able to keep all our trained men, overcome this difficulty, in a way which was fairly easy, and we can sustain this voyage easily in the future. We can sail again quickly since our men are still rested.'
Se says, 'We were able to triumph over the storm, and not let it get the best of us. Now that we have proven our resilience, we can hire even more men back at home, have a bigger crew than before, train them easily with all of our extra gold, and continue in our conquest.'
Also note, without Ne or Ni, both ships could have sunk.
Without Ne, Si would not know it could sail east, but would have stayed sailing steadily into the storm, without perseverence, focusing on the discomfort, morale would have dropped, and they would die.
Without Ni, Se would not be certain that it should stick it out, that it would be worth it in the long-term to reach the cave first. It might have faltered its view to sail north, succumbed to the opinions of its men to sail back, and not have committed all of its energy into the right tactics, and would have died.
I'll end this post here. Thank you for reading! Now you should have a better understanding of the tricky perception elements.
- MD, aka Greg