# Thread: Are there more than 16 Types? v2.0

1. ## Are there more than 16 Types? v2.0

Before I get into this, I want to explain a mathematical notion called the pigeonhole principle:

Imagine that you have 10 pigeons that you have to fit into 9 pigeonholes. (I know it sounds strange, but just see where I'm going with this.) Notice that no matter how you try to spread them out, you will end up having at least one hole with more than one pigeon. For instance, if you tried to place one pigeon in each hole, you would have 9 holes with one pigeon, and one pigeon left over. That pigeon would have to fit into one of the other holes, so you would have a hole with two pigeons! This would be the best case scenario.. Therefore, you would always have a hole with more than one pigeon... If you wish, try it out with a smaller number. Try drawing five 'pigeons' into four 'holes'. You'll notice that you'll always have a hole with more than one pigeon. This, of course, applies to any number of pigeons and any number of holes - so long as there are more pigeons than holes!

So, what does this have to do with socionics? This principle got me thinking about socionics, and it led me to finding a flaw in the notion that there are exactly 16 relations - and therefore 16 types. Let's make socionics simpler. Let's say there are two quadras, instead of four. Let's also say that everyone fits into one of the two quadras - everyone from quadra A likes each other, everyone from quadra B likes each other, and no one from quadra A or B like each other. Therefore, if you were to poll any group of people under this system, everyone would fit neatly into quadra A or quadra B - no exceptions! This is exactly what socionics proposes for 16 types, and can be refuted exactly the same way. Still not convinced? Assume you're an EII. You meet someone intellectual you don't like. You call them ILE. Then, you both meet a third intellectual person. None of you like each other. What do you call them then? ILI? Let's add a fourth intellectual person that none of you like as well then (and so on)... Do you see the problem here? At some point, you run out of types to call people who don't like each other - this flies directly in the face of Model A!

Of course, there are ways around this: maybe the types are only correlated, maybe the types exist in a spectrum, etc. Any of these are possible. My answer is that there are more than 16 types - there seems to be so much diversity in the human population, and there also seems to be some pattern to the quadras and types... Based on this reasoning, more than 16 types seems to be the most intuitive answer...

In any event, what does this prove? It proves that you can't neatly fit a person into one of 16 types. It also proves that in the very least, socionics is not perfect. Remember this when you're arguing with someone that person A has to be (or cannot be) type B...

2. Your argument makes sense, however you're assuming that types are classified into quadra based on whether they like each other, rather than how well they can be in unconscious sync. I've found over time that any socionics-related understandings I may have with someone are rather more subtle than your crude categorisation.

I do not argue that there are necessarily 16 or some other number of relations, but I do posit that they do not refer to such complex and ephemeral notions as liking someone. As the factors in human relations are famously hard to reliably isolate, whatever undercurrent socionics may contribute cannot be identified in a accurate and repeatable manner.

Maybe examining micro-expressions would help.

tl;dr: Good argument, wrong axiom.

3. There are 16 Jung's types and any number of other stable traits wich represent other groups.

4. if you follow this to its logical conclusion there are as many types as there are people. maybe that was sort of your point but i'm not sure.

5. Much of the vaguity of it is due to not having a uniform base of phenomena, I agree.

6. Originally Posted by jason_m
Of course, there are ways around this: maybe the types are only correlated, maybe the types exist in a spectrum, etc. Any of these are possible. My answer is that there are more than 16 types - there seems to be so much diversity in the human population...

It also proves that in the very least, socionics is not perfect.
I think this gets at the crux of the problem. Do you essentially have a philosophical objection to models of best fit or statistical methods like factor analysis? Would you prefer each data point to be a model within itself? If not, where do you, personally, draw the line when you're deciding how many categories you need in your model to describe your observed phenomena?

The categories purported within Socionics are not always going to have perfect predictive or explanatory power. Whoever spreads this gospel is a fool.

7. Originally Posted by April

The categories purported within Socionics are not always going to have perfect predictive or explanatory power. Whoever spreads this gospel is a fool.
Yeah, I pray for the preacher that spreads that gospel.

8. There may have been once upon a time not any longer

9. I certainly think there could be innumerable types of person. Of course environmental and ritual factors are also key to interpersonal dynamics, which could be even more important than the psychological.

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