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Thread: Positivist and Negativist

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    Default Positivist and Negativist

    I'm curious about this one. Personally, I am not persuaded by Reinin dichotomies, but this one piques my interest. The Wikisocion describes it similarly to "optimist" and "pessimist" but based on what I know about twin research, optimism and pessimism are very much learned behaviors. Does positivist and negativist mean something more complicated? Or does it simply describe what we are naturally inclined to fall into, with lack of external stimuli?
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    There was some study about reinin dichotomies and most of them for the most part can be observed.
    Negativists tend to point out what is missing and to phrase their opinion using negation. Positivists tend to point out what is rather than what is not.
    I think that this does not mean that negativists don't see what is and positivists don't see what isn't.
    I am negativist but I don't think I am a pessimist. I see many ways in which something could fail but that does not mean that I think it will fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taknamay View Post
    The Wikisocion describes it similarly to "optimist" and "pessimist" but based on what I know about twin research, optimism and pessimism are very much learned behaviors. Does positivist and negativist mean something more complicated? Or does it simply describe what we are naturally inclined to fall into, with lack of external stimuli?
    Reinin dichotomies describe cognitive operations rather than one's existential orientation or feeling states, so you are right in assuming that this dichotomy isn't same as having a pessimistic or optimistic outlook on life. Negativists pick up on flaws, faults, and contradictions better than positivists, but from this it doesn't follow that they are depressed and pessimistic people.

    This is an extended description of positivism-negativism from Forms of Thinking:

    Positivist–Negativist Dichotomy

    Positivism I understand as the tendency to maximize the positive, Negativism as the tendency to minimize the negative. Positivists primarily perceive the positive side of any phenomenon, and often turn a blind eye to the negative. Negativists won't overlook problems, and simultaneously mitigate any positive aspects to their situation of interest.

    Intellectual Level

    At this level, the Positivism–Negativism dichotomy manifests as identification of similarities or differences in object comparison. In Negativists thought processes prevails contrast, in Positivists leads comparison. Meaning that Positivists more easily hold overall views of an object, without considering its internal divisions. Conversely, Negativists more easily distinguish its extreme points of separation and opposing contrasts.

    Directly relevant to this is a dichotomy known in cognitive psychology as convergent/divergent thinking [5], discovered by J. P. Guilford. In his opinion, divergent thinking, from simple initial data, yields several different solutions to the same problem; a trait characteristic to the alternative-thinking of Negativists.

    Opposite this, convergent thinking searches for a single valid encompassing solution; a trait more characteristic to Positivist thinking. For them, a problem is unsolved until the validity of one solution is proven against other alternatives.

    Social Level

    Positivism–Negativism affects the degree of internal group coherence and regulates attraction/repulsion between its members.

    An individual's ability to assimilate into a group is typologically predictable. Negativists are remote types. They need constant assurance, even in a group they consider their own. Therefore it is more difficult to fully integrate Negativists into a group. Positivists on the other hand, are inclined to close range communication. They do not polarize contrasts, but smooth them over in one way or another. Thus Positivists facilitate monocentric group structure and unity of purpose. Whereas Negativists amplify polarizing forces conducive to polycentric group structure.

    Consider the example of SEI, a fairly good-natured type, although Negativist. Is there a behavioral tendency towards remoteness? Yes, it contrasts its subgroup with other subgroups. Thereby disrupting, unintentionally or not, unity of purpose in the whole group overall.

    What process balances internal group cohesion? It is observed that Positivists are drawn towards their opposite, which contributes to overall group solidarity, particularly through the ease of intragroup role distribution. Negativists on the other hand, have an inherent paradoxical attraction to those similar to themselves. The nearer such parallel charged elements converge, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to implement mutual action. Repulsive forces rapidly emerge and fracture group integration.
    The overall incidence of monolithic or polarized group behavior is a reliable index for gauging Positivist–Negativist tendencies. Negativism generates tension in intragroup relations, leading on one hand to an increase in psychological distance between members, but on the other hand activating its internal momentum to say "Move!". Positivism by contrast contracts psychological distance and encourages internal group cohesion, but can also bring complacency, carelessness, and 'vapidity' of existence.

    Psychological Level

    In a psychological sense, this dichotomy can be approximately interpreted as trust/distrust.

    Each type of person behaves in life according to how they answer the following existential question: is human nature inherently good or evil? For Positivists, human nature is inherently good, so they are more likely to be trusting. This does not mean that they consciously consider themselves to be good, just that they conduct themselves as if others were. Negativists even under favorable conditions are inclined to expect the worst. Their degree of trust in others is therefore is much lower.

    The relation between Positivists and Negativists is illustrated well by the analogy of electric conductors. Electric-people (Negativists who have accumulated a negative psychological charge) discharge into conductor-people (Positivists), who tend to provoke them in just the right way to do so. All of which happens mostly automatically and unconsciously. The resulting emotional flash establishing temporary balance of psychological (electro-)potentials. This beneficial surge of emotional release, Aristotle in his "Poetics" called 'catharsis'—psychological purging via intense experience.

    Physical Level

    The spatial arrangement of conversation parties in front or near is a key factor in communication, its importance first stressed by Harry S. Sullivan. Negativists gain leverage in communication from positions opposite the partner, Positivists from positions alongside or at an angle deflecting a straight-on gaze.

    Automatic reductions in confrontation due to being seated side by side, are a common method used by marital psychologists working with couples. Sitting side by side and addressing an imaginary third party, enables couples to gradually decrease the severity of sore conflict.

    Clinical psychologists studying nonverbal cues classify gestures indicative of critical attitudes. Such gestures are typically 'closed'—for instance, a hand at the mouth. From a Socionics standpoint then, closed demeanor is better explained by Negativism, not Introversion.

    Negativism induces tangible bodily tension. Negativists are inclined to accumulate 'charge', making highly-charged Negativists easily overexcitable (especially if also Dynamic). In order to compensate against this, Negativists are recommended to engage in physical exercise that relaxes and smooths internal tension. While Positivists are recommended to perform physical exercise that excites and intensifies their physiological processes.

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    Decadent Charlatan Aquagraph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siuntal View Post
    Negativists pick up on flaws, faults, and contradictions better than positivists, but from this it doesn't follow that they are depressed and pessimistic people.
    Common sense dictates that it should. Not to say that common sense is a sign of credibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Common sense dictates that it should. Not to say that common sense is a sign of credibility.
    i think i can come across more negative than i am because of my tendency to point out flaws and pick things apart but its not usually not a reflection on my emotional state. just how i find it easiest to analyze and think about things. its like scrubbing the dirt patches off of an idea until it looks nice and makes sense. if i'm trying to understand something i might lightly disagree or come across as argumentative because when the other person explains or defends it helps me understand what they're saying better. but its not a sign that i actually feel disagreeable.

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    I see... thank you for your responses so far. I think I am getting a better taste of what the positivist/negativist dichotomy is about.
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    I find myself saying things like: "She isn't a mean person." instead of "She's a nice person" and "I'm not sad" instead of "I'm happy."
    It feels more realistic and tempered and I don't know.
    Negativism isn't being negative, it's stating even positive things in a way that makes them more neutral...in my mind, at least.
    And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.


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    Positivist and Negativist relate to the content of the information judged or perceived -- not the emotional expression.

    Negativists take on a wider array of information for the content, and Positivists take on a stronger, condensed array for the content.

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    ^ I like this.
    And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadae2point0 View Post
    Negativists take on a wider array of information for the content, and Positivists take on a stronger, condensed array for the content.
    heh. I just want to add that that makes a lot of causal-behaviorist sense to me. Thanks.

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