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Thread: Socionic scales vs cognitive styles

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    Dmitri Lytov's Avatar
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    Default Socionic scales vs. cognitive styles

    There is a well known theory in psychology called Cognitive Styles.
    This theory was inspired by an American psychologist Herman Witkin and is based on a series of empirically proven scales discovered by several researchers.

    For me, at least some of these scales seem much similar to the socionic ones:

    Field-independence vs. field-dependence (Witkin) = logic vs. ethic (Socionics) or thinking vs. feeling (MBTI).
    Abstract vs. concrete level of conceptualization (Harvey, Hunt, Schroder) = intuition vs. sensing (Socionics and MBTI).

    The most important thing is that Jungian scales have always been criticized for lack of empirical data while the cognitive styles are empirically proven. Moreover, while socionics and MBTI prefer subjective methods of testing, such as questionnaires, interviewing, watching etc., the cognitive styles are based on objective methods of research, such as measuring the speed of reaction etc.

    I believe that knowledge of the cognitive styles theory can contribute in further development of socionic diagnostics.
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    I think socionics could win from anything that is empirically proven and links the models and theories to reality. How big are the similarities?

    Maybe some of the objective testing experience of cognitive style research can be used to develop an objective socionics test. We need something like "Functional IQ test" which measures skill not opinion.
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    the cognitive styles are based on objective methods of research, such as measuring the speed of reaction etc.
    Very interesting. Do you know what kinds of reactions they measure?

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    In comp sci every cognitive function is already modeled as a data structure and how they relate and where they relate. I think if the test designer actually understood these data structures at the core, it would be fairly easy to devise a type test, however the test would need to give school-like quiz problems, rather than self analysis questions.
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    I'm not familiar with this particular Cognitive Styles theory, but if it involves measuring abilities (rather than subjective data about preferences), then could a person's pure intelligence and broad range of abilities make him/her appear to be a different type from what you'd find by analyzing his/her behaviors and motivations?

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    Yes, I believe it will take time to find congruency between different types of diagnostics, there is NO strict correlation between them. However, I am sure that type reveals not only through motivation but through abilities as well. At least, the socionic Clubs (NT, NF, ST, SF) deal rather with abilities than with motivation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitri Lytov
    Yes, I believe it will take time to find congruency between different types of diagnostics, there is NO strict correlation between them. However, I am sure that type reveals not only through motivation but through abilities as well. At least, the socionic Clubs (NT, NF, ST, SF) deal rather with abilities than with motivation.
    Motivation leads to aqusition of skills necessary to aquire the ends. There has to be a correlation... unless the means are far out. Evolution is all about wanting something and then building structures for getting it. Internal personal evolution is similar.
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    This is exciting. It may be able to link genetic and biological conditions which generate the psychological functions and motivations for the different types. But are there any concepts or ideas generated in this cognitive styles which can be integrated into Socionics or vice versa?
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    There are. For example, cognitive styles arewell researched from the vgiewpoint of their psychophysiological nature.

    The above mentioned FI (field-independence) / FD (field-dependence) scale (which I associate with the Jungian Thinking / Feeling, or the socionic Logic / Ethic), for example, is relevant to differentiation between the feelings and speech. FI people can well verbalize their feelings, while FD have rather two different functions, feelings and speech, and often tend to say, "I cannot explain, I feel that". As statistical researches show, FD people are easier to meet among women (about 2/3) than among men (only 1/3). Other cognitive styles correlate with the gender very weakly.

    At the same time, T/F is the only Jungian scale that has definite correlation with the gender; as Jung watched, and as our MT questionnaire confirmed, T people are easier to meet among men, while F people are easier to meet among women. Other Jungian scales very weakly (probably stochastically) correlate with the gender.

    Something more about other cognitive styles. Extraversion / Introversion has most probably NO correlates among cognitive styles, just because it deals not with cognition but rather with intensity of reactions. As for rationality / irrationality, it MAY have correlates among cognitive styles, but from what I know about them, I still cannot make definite decision. In general, there are about 10-12 cognitive styles described by different authors, and most probably, many of them are synonymous or at least correlate with each other, only few are really independent. No wonder: unlike Jungian scales, cognitive styles were fouond not by theoretical speculations but empirically, and may be "impure".
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