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Thread: Has MBTI Sabotaged Socionics in the US?

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    Default Has MBTI Sabotaged Socionics in the US?

    Since discovering socionics I've noticed a gradual increase in the quality of my relations with other people. For example, socionics concepts really helped me with my LSE boss (whom I mentioned in another thread). By learning to turn down the volume on my ni and, at the same time, learning to appreciate his si creative function, not only was I able to avoid any of the negative aspects of supervision, I was actually able to learn to get along really well with him and we're now on very friendly terms.

    It's little victories like this that make me somewhat optimistic about socionics' ability to make people's daily lives and interactions at least slightly more pleasant and less angst/anxiety provoking. However, I've also observed that mbti has 'poisoned the well' to a certain extent when it comes to the viability of novel personality typologies in the US. I have a lot of thoughts on the reasons why, but these seem to be the two main factors:

    1.MBTI has pretty much cornered the market with regard to areas where there is a demand for personality typing (management consulting, HR etc.) and it has a critical mass of die-hard defenders who are fairly hostile to socionics (those who know about it anyway)

    2.Although there is a certain amount of merit to Meyers-briggs, it has a lot of flaws which make it easy to discredit as being a slightly more scientific version of astrology. Unfortunately, the effect of MBTI's shortcomings amongst its critics in the psychological community has been to create a general disillusion with the concept of personality typing rather than a need to seek out or develop a more accurate system.

    What are your thoughts on the future of Socionics in the west?

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    It's where it should be, nowhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Words View Post
    It's where it should be, nowhere.
    Socionics is responsible for the decline of western civilization.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    Quote Originally Posted by Words View Post
    It's where it should be, nowhere.
    And to think it only took you 1702 posts on a socionics forum to come to this conclusion. . .

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    Another wrinkle in all of this is the economic aspect. If Socionics were to actually break through somehow, it would probably be devastating to Meyers-Briggs, given the fact that the intertype relations aspect would be very valuable to corporations (if you could get them to understand it). So there's a real incentive on the part of MBTI to maintain its monopoly. Also, for some reason (I can't say why) I felt the need to update my signature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Words
    free Roman men were more or less expected (or seen as not necessarily wrong) to have sex with young male slaves. Young male Spartan warriors were encouraged to engage with each other sexually to foster bonding, although it was frowned on if they continued well into adulthood.

    Maybe part of the issue is current societies need to 'enforce' a particular fixed identity on us - probably not just sexual related as well. Seems to me it can cause frustration in people trying to look at certain fixed boxes of what to be and how to behave.
    -Words = A totally normal, non-frustrated guy who definitely doesn't pine for the days of ancient Rome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Socionics is responsible for the decline of western civilization.
    .....and this whole time I thought it was Justin Bieber

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmers View Post
    .....and this whole time I thought it was Justin Bieber
    Actually, I am pretty sure it was melange of things, the publishing of Lolita, Puscifer... It is a timely progression of events so he may just fit in there too.


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    I don't think socionics has much of a future anywhere. No one has the will or ability to really push it into a field where it could get some use, and it obviously lacks testability, so there's that. Some other, more rigorous theory that essentially encapsulates the ideas of socionics may arise eventually, but who knows when that will be.

    Also, if socionics (or just some future theory) were to really catch on, shit could get kind of weird even if it might be, in its net effect, constructive. It could really only enter the mainstream through the academic sphere, and of course, as I said, that would be strange at least at first. I mean, think of all of the family break ups that would take place as a result of people realizing they aren't with their dual?

    As for the business side, I think personality theories don't have much use beyond what they are already being used for, and I doubt corporations (at least any good corporation) even see much value in them as a hiring tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Actually, I am pretty sure it was melange of things, the publishing of Lolita, Puscifer... It is a timely progression of events so he may just fit in there too.

    After watching that video, we may now have to extend back in time to the invention of the printing press

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    it obviously lacks testability
    this is a funny misconception. socionics is actually formulated like an easily testable hypothesis. it just abruptly and instantly fails the test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lecter View Post
    this is a funny misconception. socionics is actually formulated like an easily testable hypothesis. it just abruptly and instantly fails the test.
    Just out of curiosity, were you ever a naive, starry-eyed socionics enthusiast like myself? What was the falling-out moment or, more to the point, where did the hypothesis fail for you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Words
    free Roman men were more or less expected (or seen as not necessarily wrong) to have sex with young male slaves. Young male Spartan warriors were encouraged to engage with each other sexually to foster bonding, although it was frowned on if they continued well into adulthood.

    Maybe part of the issue is current societies need to 'enforce' a particular fixed identity on us - probably not just sexual related as well. Seems to me it can cause frustration in people trying to look at certain fixed boxes of what to be and how to behave.
    -Words = A totally normal, non-frustrated guy who definitely doesn't pine for the days of ancient Rome.

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    no to your first qyeztion

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    There is no future. Only grassroots enthusiasts.
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    op is right that these typologies are used in business for bs. team-building exercises. not just mbtt.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    It has poisoned socionics insofar as it's the most prominent metric, save the Big 5, that is employed and believed to work, thereby leaving little room for other theories. While I am not an expert, socionics seems to capture what Jung intended far more closely, and I find I have to 'unlearn' the teachings of MBTI to really appreciate it. But, in that light, it concerns us only with the theories, not their applicability or veracity.

    In both camps, there seems to be a high degree of "take-out psychology," where we quickly conflate what could very well be other personality traits with what seems to have a high correlation to socionics/MBTI tenets. For example, your boss could just be more of a pragmatist, something psychology has covered in many forms, from different theorists and different angles. Varying levels of creativity and other propensities in people have been studied outside the scope of these theories, and those are mainstays in psychology largely with good reason.

    Personally, I find it hard to apply either to real life without wondering if I am conflating very simple psychological markers with something more profound, e.g. quadra values. It's fun, however. And as with anything that eases life, whether it be religion or socionics, if it helps you and is not making you prone to peiginholing, why not? I doubt it will go far because of the "take-out" nature that likely seems to be overly reductionististic and dispersive to most leading psychologists and researchers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    I've also observed that mbti has 'poisoned the well' to a certain extent when it comes to the viability of novel personality typologies in the US. I have a lot of thoughts on the reasons why, but these seem to be the two main factors:

    1. MBTI has pretty much cornered the market with regard to areas where there is a demand for personality typing (management consulting, HR etc.) and it has a critical mass of die-hard defenders who are fairly hostile to socionics (those who know about it anyway)
    An unemployment place my broke ass once went to had a skill/aptitude test that was MBTI-based. It lasted one day and was never spoken of again. When capitalism and psychology collide, one of the two is gonna get damaged. As for die-hard MBTI defenders, just piss in the wind. Much like other forms of fast food, it's ever-present, takes minimal time and effort to access, and kinda gets the job done. Gordon Ramsay doesn't need to serve a Big Mac, no one here needs to pander to MBTI. Head-on collisions become less of a big deal every time someone expands socionical language. @Jack Oliver Aaron, from the WSS, made a Gulenko-based notation with minimal MBTI overlap. Gulenko started with the following...

    S = sensus/sensing (Si)
    I = intueor/intuition (Ne)
    L = lex/law/logic (Ti)
    E = emoveo/emotion (Fe)
    T = tempus/time (Ni)
    F = factor/force (Se)
    R = relatio/relations (Fi)
    P = profiteor/profit/production (Te)


    ...and then Jack suffixed the lone letters with numbers. Issues appear here too; E encroaches into extraversion, when numbers aren't attached, and E bleeds into enneagram otherwise. As time goes on, I'm more convinced that a twenty-six character alphabet is insufficient for socionics.

    In addition to lacking the quadras, MBTI also lacks the static/dynamic dichotomy, and consequently any attention to the unconscious. Add to this a whole host of socionical Gulenko-based groupings, the most important of which is the energy groups (benefit rings) imo, with the cog styles close behind. Both of these run off of combinations of the deep dichotomies (asking/narrative, process/result, and positivist/negativist). MBTI would never get this far.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    2. Although there is a certain amount of merit to Meyers-briggs, it has a lot of flaws which make it easy to discredit as being a slightly more scientific version of astrology. Unfortunately, the effect of MBTI's shortcomings amongst its critics in the psychological community has been to create a general disillusion with the concept of personality typing rather than a need to seek out or develop a more accurate system.
    MBTI's in an unsustainable middle. Big 5 is more empirical, Socionics has more explanatory power. Astrological structure is valuable, the contents are fascinating, and attentiveness to the interconnections of the world is far more valuable to me, and likely more worthwile to the world at large, than anything from an establishment that has its roots in drilling holes in children's skulls and stabbing their brains with icepicks until their actions and mentations became more in-line with the dictates of the powers-that-be.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    What are your thoughts on the future of Socionics in the west?
    What constitutes "the west"? Establishment-based channels in the USA? May the effort they expend to comprehend this stuff change them from the inside out.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox View Post
    Another wrinkle in all of this is the economic aspect. If Socionics were to actually break through somehow, it would probably be devastating to Meyers-Briggs, given the fact that the intertype relations aspect would be very valuable to corporations (if you could get them to understand it). So there's a real incentive on the part of MBTI to maintain its monopoly. Also, for some reason (I can't say why) I felt the need to update my signature.
    Let them maintain their monopoly. Let them have their toys. When everyone else was busy running Windows, I was running GNU/Linux, paying absolutely nothing in time, effort, and money to Windows or any of their enablers in the anti-virus industry, pissing rings around them all the while. Still am. Gonna refuel by drinking some water and updating the system on my own time (no forced reboots in linux-land).

    Quote Originally Posted by Contra View Post
    I don't think socionics has much of a future anywhere. No one has the will or ability to really push it into a field where it could get some use, and it obviously lacks testability, so there's that. Some other, more rigorous theory that essentially encapsulates the ideas of socionics may arise eventually, but who knows when that will be.
    All of this rigor and testability stuff is smoke-blowing. None of the "is Socionics real" threads ever led to the great magical de-mystery tour of driving from person to person with a brain-scanner. Until the skeptics pool the cash together for an fMRI machine, a semi-truck, a CDL license, a lot of generators, and even more gasoline, I'm just gonna do my thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by wacey View Post
    There is no future. Only grassroots enthusiasts.
    Grassroots enthusiasm is the future, as well as the now.

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    I dont think MBTI has "sabotaged" anything anywhere... MBTI has very little influence on anything in the real world. It's just an intellectual curio, much like socionics is. Perhaps a bit more recognized in the US, because some workplaces and educational programs have people do the MBTI test, for self-discovery purposes rather than any particular decisionmaking (as far as I've experienced).

    I am not particularly "anti"-MBTI myself... i think MBTI is fine for self-reflection (as Enneagram is), though i find socionics more interesting because of the intertype and quadra component. However, it sucks in a way that socionics is not particularly testable, because the concepts are often nebulous and can be understood in several different ways (with multiple different influences from other aspects of one's personality/experiences/NTR things, etc, potentially, as @unary alludes to above--though of course this does add to the fun ), but which can then lead to much confusion and controversy as far as finding one's socionics type. And I personally feel that if you dont know your type, you can't really apply or enjoy socionics much. It's also very very easy to fall into the trap of thinking you got socionics, when you haven't gotten it at all (this happened to me more when i was a newb, and i see it happening to many of the newer forum members currently as well). The longer i study socionics, the less confident I become in my understanding of the socionic IEs, and am pretty much totally unconfident about it at this point in time. In this frame of mind, there is no longer any point to socionics for me. It's useless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by consentingadult View Post
    ... And still you are here! ;-)

    What you need (like the rest of us) is a big loving hug. That's what things ultimately are all about...
    True
    And discussion here is not limited to socionics; there are all sorts of fun topics here.
    Not to mention all the good people i've come to know.
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    As I understand it:
    Psychology as a science is a pretty young field, especially when compared to the hard sciences. The development of the MBTI in the context of psychology's history kind of makes sense. It seems true that MBTI is only inspired by Jung, at best. And that it doesn't add much theory-wise; that it simplifies so much it seems like its taking two steps backwards. However, since the MBTI (and Big Five traits) must focus on constructing concepts formally, the first concepts to be empirically vetted must be simple. Not a ton ton has been proven valid in psychology overall. So these concepts have to be resimplified to the point of being almost basic definitions. To formally introduce socionics into the mix might be premature if you want it to pass all the same validity tests. Socionics taken together has a lot of discrete bits and discrete relations.

    Maybe if a critical mass of research has been reached we can say that we need to switch to more theory building to organize the results. At that point socionics could begin to be vetted for theoretical validity and introduced. But it seems too soon for academics to have that point of view.
    Last edited by may; 12-04-2014 at 07:52 PM.

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