# Thread: Single- and double- pole Socionics

1. ## Single- and double- pole Socionics

This is may be more of an article than just a post....but I think if you get through it, you'll find a good explanation for many of the discussions and conflicting viewpoints on this forum.
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SINGLE- AND DOUBLE-POLE SOCIONICS
I have pointed out a number of times that there are different versions, or “schools” of Socionics. I will now outline the underlying basis of these versions in terms of the relationship between the primary and secondary functions.

Quite simply, it has become apparent in considering numerous posts on this forum that peoples’ different understanding of Socionics can be attributed to having one of the following two views:
(1) The primary function and secondary functions are highly unequal in their importance in the ego block. Primary conscious awareness is with the 1st function only, while the 2nd function plays only a supportive role. The way a function is expressed as a secondary function is very different to how it’s expressed as a primary function.
(2) The primary and secondary functions are (at least potentially) relatively equal partners in the ego block and behave similarly whether they’re primary or secondary.

I will call the first view single-pole Socionics and the second view double-pole Socionics.

Let’s look at some of the consequences of these two different understandings of Socionics.

SINGLE-POLE SOCIONISTS
In single-pole Socionics, the distinction between rational and irrational types looms large. This is because single-pole Socionists see the first function as having a significant weight, far outreaching any other function. Single-pole Socionists are often skeptical of the existence of subtypes, or else they see subtypes as minor variations of type and not very important over all. They also tend to be weary of what they may see as overly simplistic generalizations about the quadras. This is because in their view, the types are further apart; INTp and ENTj in the single-pole view are very different, because one is very and the other is very .

Single-pole Socionists also tend to see all “j” types as showing clear “rational” behaviors, such as thinking of life in terms of a series of decisions; and they see all “p” types as showing clear “irrational” behaviors, such as thinking of life in terms of a series of states or experiences. They see the impact of being a “j” type is being decided, wanting closure, structure, etc….and the impact of being a “p” type as being in a state of attention to experiences, intuitions, etc.

IMPACT ON DETERMINING TYPE
To a Single-pole Socionist, determining a person’s type becomes relatively straightforward once one decides the “rational” vs. “irrational” question. For example, if a person is primarily “intuitive” and logical type and an introvert, then that person is an “intuitive logical introvert” or ILI, end of story. In this view, lack of -like behaviors doesn’t rule out ILI, because ILI’s is only as a secondary function, which ILI uses to make logical sense of his ideas and articulate them to others.

As you might have guessed, the primary advocate for single-pole Socionics on this forum is Phaedrus. Literature support for single-pole Socionics comes mainly from Dmitri.

DOUBLE-POLE SOCIONICS
In contrast, many of the comments of this forum reflect double-pole Socionics. In double-pole Socionics, people in mirror relations are very similar to each other. For example, in this view, INTp and ENTj are very close, both being disciplined, organized, and knowledge-driven, reflecting . Similarly, ENTp and INTj are both seen as impractical inventors and explorers, reflecting .

Double-pole socionists like to use quadra descriptions as a primary method to determine type, and may favor terms like “alpha NT” or “gamma NT” over the 16 types, since in their view, these mirror dyads are so close as to almost be hard to tell apart. For example, in this view, the difference between the two “alpha NTs” may be simply that INTj is more “calm” whereas ENTp is more “impulsive.”

Double-pole socionists tend to be more open to Gulenko’s subtype theory, since they see the 2nd function as potentially playing a much larger role than single-pole socionists would think possible. They may also tend to downplay generalizations about “rational” and “irrational” types, since they see, for example, ENTp and INTj as being almost the same, having the same two functions in the ego block.

Interestingly, the functional analysis of double-pole socionists is more harmonious with MBTI theory than single-pole socionics. That’s because their descriptions of behavior tend to focus on the more extraverted function. If you look at the posts of double-pole Socionics advocates, you’ll see that in describing the behavior of, say, INTjs and INTps, their analysis focuses a lot on and .

On this forum, the biggest advocates for double-pole socionics have been Hugo and SteveENTj.

While these two views may seem irreconcilable, there is one way to reconcile them that I have proposed. I call this radical subtype theory. The idea is to view subtypes not as minor variations of type (i.e., as they’re generally understood), but as potentially much more far-reaching in impact. In this view, the accepting subtypes work according to the single-pole Socionics theory. However, as one veers more toward the producing subtype side, one’s type dynamics follow more double-pole Socionics.

And, in the extreme producing subtype, the rational/irrational behavior becomes reversed from what would be predicted in single-pole Socionics.

Let’s take, for example, the case of someone who is primarily intuitive, logical, and an introvert. In single-pole Socionics, that person must be intuitive-logical-introvert, i.e., ILI. But with radical subtype theory, that person may also be I(N)Tj; that is, his intuition may be instead of ; and its primacy in his consciousness may be due not to being the 1st function, but rather to being the preferred, albeit 2nd, function. The difference between I(N)Tj and ENTp becomes more subtle; the former is more introverted and finds primary inspiration in , but is focused on just as the ENTp is.

THE ULTIMATE TEST
As I have outlined, the differences between single- and double-pole Socionics have profound implications in terms of typing people. The question, of course, is which version of Socionics is “correct.” To understand correctness, I think we must see this as being basically equivalent to the question of which version best supports the intertype relationships, particularly in terms of predicting dual and conflict relationships.

Unfortunately, intertype relationship descriptions are generally too vague to be used to make a clear determination here. While some of these descriptions suggest extremes of confict with one’s conflict and super ego relations, in actuality, mature people may not experience such extremes of conflict with any type. Moreover, conflict and super ego relations are described as “communication-based,” suggesting that in some ways, these relations may seem easier or more straightforward than the more subconscious, “energy-based” dual and activity relations.

What’s needed, therefore, is a fleshing out of the intertype relations of every two pairs of types. Dmitri has started that on his site, but so far only has the descriptions of dual types. Even these descriptions focus mostly on the behavior of couples rather than on finding telltale signs of duality.

Once the intertype relationships are fully understood and fleshed out, an empirical basis can be devised for evaluating the relative merits of single- and double-pole Socionics.

2. Very good, Jonathan. I'm not sure you are right, but it makes a lot of sense and is very interesting. In many ways I agree with what you say here. As you point out yourself, the real test, or the problem with your radical subtype theory might be the intertype relations. I agree with you that they are vaguely described in some parts, and I am not 100 % sure I can identify them correctly in real life. But it seems to me that I can in some cases. And, as I have said before, in my understanding of them they give further support to my claim that I "must" be an INTp.

3. Very good.

Only one point is incorrect: Super-ego relations, especially romatincally, are said to be the ones with the easiest development of both physical and spiritual connection/attraction. If you wish, I can link the article, but I'm gonna be extremely pissed of not being trusted on word.

4. Phaedrus: Very good, Jonathan. I'm not sure you are right, but it makes a lot of sense and is very interesting.

FDG: Only one point is incorrect: Super-ego relations, especially romatincally, are said to be the ones with the easiest development of both physical and spiritual connection/attraction. If you wish, I can link the article
I'd be very interested in this. I've read in lots of places that activity relations are supposed to be very easy to form; I haven't read that about super-ego relations. In any case, if that's true, it just accentuates my point that the understanding of intertype relations needs to be fleshed out much further to be able to use them as a tool to test one's type.

For instance, many people may form a relationship easily and thereby assume that it's activity relations. If what you're saying is true, then it may actually be super ego....which puts one back at square one in terms of deciding whether one is a given type or the quasi-identical of that type.

Of course, the key thing here is that the "ease" with which one forms a relationship is a very subjective concept, and highly influenced by factors that may not even be type related. That's why it's important to find the telltale signs of intertype relationship dynamics for each pair of types.

5. Jhonny, I can give you the official info. For me, it works: I connect easier with ENFps than with ENFjs, because of the j vs p. I've yet to meet an ENFp which really likes ESTjs...

In any case,

Contains a very good description on how different subtypes act in a relationship, and some small outlines on how relations develop.

6. fdg did you take this from a larger site? I am not sure which relations are which as the particular translation and unfamiliarity with this site leaves some words I don't know.

7. Originally Posted by Jonathan
FDG: Only one point is incorrect: Super-ego relations, especially romatincally, are said to be the ones with the easiest development of both physical and spiritual connection/attraction. If you wish, I can link the article
I'd be very interested in this. I've read in lots of places that activity relations are supposed to be very easy to form; I haven't read that about super-ego relations. In any case, if that's true, it just accentuates my point that the understanding of intertype relations needs to be fleshed out much further to be able to use them as a tool to test one's type.
.
My take on this -- super-ego relationships form more easily than any other opposite quadra relationship because of the identical temperament.

So, an ENTj finds the behavior of an ESFj easy to understand (unlike the IP behavior of the ISFp) and the differences in priorities make the other person interesting and attractive, "fascinating" in a way. If there are mutual interests and attraction, the connection develops easily even in duality terms -- the ENTj can provide the ESFj with dual-seeking and the ESFj's is backed by the ENTjs' dual-seeking .

The problems develops with longer and closer interactions. The ENTj finds that suppressing his and using is exhausting, the ESFj dislikes the ENTj's and non-spontaneous use of . The ESFj also becomes disappointed at the ENTj's > preference.

As to whether they start more easily than activity relationships -- I don't know.

8. That's a very interesting article, and it makes for a very interesting discussion here. What that article acknowledges is some of the richness and complexity of the various intertype relationships. Many of the ones that are commonly supposed to bear elements of conflict it says are 'good at first' or bear elements of attraction.

This suggests that at some subconscious level, there is even an attraction to one's PofLR function, etc.

I think that matches my own experience and thinking that, in fact, at some level, we value all the functions, because they're all part of us.

That, of course, makes it more difficult to tell which is the *real* dual-seeking function, etc.

9. The superego attraction might be b/c + kinda looks like , + like , + like ...so on

10. Originally Posted by FDG
The superego attraction might be b/c + kinda looks like , + like , + like ...so on
Maybe...I do think that this idea of "reflections" of functions has an impact. However, the article you sited used the words "At first the strongest possible spiritual and physical attraction." ...in other other words, suggesting that the super ego in some ways is more enticing than the dual relationship.

That, in combination with some of the other descriptions in that article, suggests to me that there's a strong psychological pull towards functions 3 and 4, not just towards 5 and 6.

11. Originally Posted by Ms. Kensington
fdg did you take this from a larger site? I am not sure which relations are which as the particular translation and unfamiliarity with this site leaves some words I don't know.
These are my guesses:

Identical = identical
Dual = dual
Activation = activation
Specular = quasi identical??
Conflicting = confict? (or contrary?)
Superego = super ego
Complete opposition: contrary, mirror or conflict?
Parallel = mirror (or quasi identical)?
Poludual'nye = semi-dual
Related = comparative?
Control and podkontrol = supervision?
Sotszakaz and podzakaz = benefit?
Mirazhnye = mirage?

Anyone have better information? Please correct me.

12. PS....if Sotszakaz and podzakaz is "benefit," it's a much more colorful-sounding name for it...especially if they pronounce it like "Sotszakahtz and podzakahtz."

13. Originally Posted by Jonathan
Conflicting = confict? (or contrary?)
Conflict.

Complete opposition: contrary, mirror or conflict?
Contrary.

Parallel = mirror (or quasi identical)?
Quasi-identity, Specular is mirror.

Related = comparative?
Yes.

Control and podkontrol = supervision?
Yeah, supervisor and supervisee.

Sotszakaz and podzakaz = benefit?
Yep.

Mirazhnye = mirage?
Illusionary.