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Thread: my revised stance on socionics

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    Default my revised stance on socionics

    A little while back I started a thread about whether or not types are real, and I went on to say that I wasn't convinced that everyone fit perfectly into one of the 16 functional arrangements of model A. I went on to say that I didn't see why it's impossible for someone to, for example, value both Fe and Fi or Si and Ni. I concluded by pretty much saying that even if socionics is accurate and valid, studying it and associating yourself with a type does most people more harm than good. And associating other people in their lives with a type and assuming that there's a certain intertype relation at play has the potential to be (and many times is) even more harmful.

    After that I backed off from socionics. Recently I've started considering various aspects of it again, and while my understanding of the theory has not changed for the most part, I've revised my stance on the matter. I'll start by quoting this post since it contains a lot of the reasons for my current stance on socionics:

    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    A few very, very important things to keep in mind when reading type descriptions:

    1.) You're reading the author's understanding of their own perceptions of people they've typed... people they may simply just not understand. (Read a type description written by a member of that type's opposing quadra and you may understand. For example, some of the ISFj descriptions are particularly bad, focusing too much on Fe and Si and making the ISFj sound like a mean, cranky Alpha SF.)
    2.) Many of them were not originally written in English.
    3.) Some of them weren't even translated by someone who actually knows both languages. They were machine translated and then maybe translated further by someone based on a very poor quality machine translation and their understanding of their own perceptions of people they've typed.
    4.) Most of them were written based on a type's behavior in another era in a totally different culture. And don't even get me started on gender roles.
    5.) Everyone is going to read them differently.
    6.) It's difficult for most people to understand that types aren't about what a person does, it's about why they do it, and descriptions are just an attempt to describe observed traits that the author has attributed to type. And it's even more difficult in a lot of cases for most people to separate what they intrinsically are from what environmental expectations have caused their behavior to become.

    I know someone who I think is ESFp who does not sound much like the ESFp type descriptions and relates more to the ENFp type descriptions. Why? The ENFp descriptions sound more mature, and the ESFp descriptions often portray a Ti PoLR in an exaggerated way.

    There are a lot of people who find that they relate to most of the type descriptions they read. At one point in time I thought that type descriptions should only be written by an author of the same quadra.... but I'm started to think that it would be better if type descriptions were instead read by people of the same quadra as the author, if trying to learn their own type. If they want to understand another type, reading descriptions by an author in the same quadra as the subject of the type description would be a better idea.

    The bottom line is that descriptions aren't a whole lot more useful for determining one's type than tests are (and tests are practically useless). The only way to understand a socionic's type it is to understand functions (information elements) and model A. "Type traits" will be different in different environments. And even if two people of the same type are in the same environment... right down to gender and the intertype relations within their partner, family, friends, and at their workplace... they may still act differently because one may be depressed, or borderline, or hyperactive, etc. You get my point.

    That said, I personally have found the duality descriptions useful. This would probably only work for people who have been in a number of relationships, some that have failed and some that have been successful. Someone who's never been in a long term relationship may think they know what they want, but a lot of people in that position get what they think they want and then later discover that they actually want something else. Also, I don't think that people need to be with their dual in order to have a great relationship because their are so many other ways that people can be (or not be) compatible. Someone who's in a happy and healthy relationship with someone other than their dual (or someone who's been in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship with their dual) wouldn't relate to the duality descriptions as much as someone who's been in a happy and healthy relationship with their dual, such as Slacker Mom or Maze or crazymaisy (and I say this without asking them if they relate to their duality descriptions ). Anyways, while duality descriptions may not be the best for a lot of people to find their types, I found them very useful, and I think they are more "accurate" most of the time than individual type descriptions because they describe how the duals interact and what they need from each other (as opposed to how the author attributes specific behaviors to types), something that's more culturally universal because it's based directly on functions and the way the functions interact.

    For all the above reasons, it is difficult for novices to type themselves and other people. Especially online or when their understanding of types come from comparison's of type descriptions, people online, celebrities, or anyone else that we don't know all that well. And there are only a couple people here who would qualify as professionals (as opposed to novices). There are a handful of novices who, after a couple of years and a lot of life experience (AND typing themselves correctly) most likely have an accurate understanding of functions and at least most of the types. However, even they cannot type people that they don't know very well with certainty.
    After giving the subject some more thought, I've decided that while there's no way to KNOW if socionics is accurate (or if it is true of all humans), it seems more likely than not that it is. Can a person value both Fe and Fi or Ni and Si? While I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say that I know for certain that this is or is not possible, it seems unlikely that it is. My primary reason for this belief is written in my sig... it's all about the axes. If one believes that each function is the counterpart of another function, model A makes perfect sense, as do the existence of 16 different functional arrangements, 8 dual pairs, and 4 quadras.

    Here comes the But...

    The trouble is that most socionics hobbyists, even if they understand socionics, cannot type other people accurately. A significant percentage of them (probably at least 25%, possibly as much as 50%) have not even typed themselves correctly. I feel that most people must study socionics for a lengthy period of time before they can be certain of their type. In the very least they should not "type" themselves (or allow others to "type" them) until they really understand the functions (information elements), Model A, and intertype relations (especially duality). It is unwise to decide on a type when you are relatively new to socionics and then stick to it, especially if you don't give other types full and open minded consideration, and especially if you're going to type others and build your understanding of socionics based on what you think your type is. Unfortunately, it is pretty difficult not to do so. The answer is, I suppose, to do as implied and not assume a type for yourself for a long time. That said, it's as curios soul said... socionics won't truly make total sense to you until you, after a relatively lengthy period of learning about socionics, discover your true type. It's only when that happens that other people's types really begin to become apparent to you. That said, it's probably healthier overall for most people if they don't associate themselves with a type.

    And even more importantly, there is no way to know that you have accurately typed a person over the internet (or that they have accurately typed themselves), much less truly observe them as an example of a type. (Typing by comparison is most likely a terribly inaccurate practice irl as well.) We can type people here based on their descriptions of themselves, the way we perceive their reactions to other members (who may or may not be typed correctly), and their online personas... but at the end of the day, there is no reliably accurate way to determine one's type online (or often irl for that matter). This is not to say that we shouldn't offer our opinions of other people's types, but we should understand first of all, that we are not professionals, and secondly that even professionals would most likely have to observe a person closely irl for a relatively lengthy amount of time and in different scenarios in order to be reasonably certain of that person's type.

    So what good is socionics to us if we can't even know that we're typing people correctly? Well, people who understand the theory well and have had a lot of life experience will most likely be able to type at least a few people in their lives accurately. And even if we can't KNOW a person's type, it may be helpful in dealing with others simply to understand functional preferences and temperaments.

    And if we can't really observe each other sufficiently in this form of communication to know that we are typing them accurately (and to understand their "type traits" even if they are typed correctly), what's the point in discussing our types, especially if we understand that we could be forming misconceptions about types and functions by doing so? Well... it's fun. That's what it comes down to. However, people should not just assume their type or anyone else's is correct and not seriously consider other types. I suspect that a lot of people do so because they don't want to look like an idiot to the rest of the socionics community... but to me it seems much more idiotic to assume a type when you first learn about socionics and then cling to it.

    In summary, my stance is that it is most likely true that everyone has a socionics type, and while this form of communication may work reasonably well for learning the theory of socionics, it is pretty much useless for learning the practice/application of socionics.

    A lot of the people here should stop assuming that they know their type or that they can recognize other types (especially over the internet). Have fun suggesting and considering types for others (and for a lot of people, themselves as well), but realize that that's all that you're doing. And, most importantly, don't take this stuff too seriously.
    SEE-Se, 852 sx/so

    Check out my Socionics group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1546362349012193/

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    Default Re: my revised stance on socionics

    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    The trouble is that most socionics hobbyists, even if they understand socionics, cannot type other people accurately. A significant percentage of them (probably at least 25%, possibly as much as 50%) have not even typed themselves correctly. I feel that most people must study socionics for a lengthy period of time before they can be certain of their type. In the very least they should not "type" themselves (or allow others to "type" them) until they really understand the functions (information elements), Model A, and intertype relations (especially duality).
    I think it's pretty much impossible to understand the theory in isolation. Discovering your own type and the types of the people you know is an integral part of learning socionics. Whenever I tell someone who knows nothing about socionics that so-and-so is type such-and-such they invariably ask, who else do I know that is type such-and-such? Giving an explanation of the information elements would be much less helpful, at least until that first reference point is set.

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    I had a feeling a Ti > Te type would say something like that. :wink: The problem is that if you type one person incorrectly, your whole understanding of socionics could get screwed up. While it's good to wonder about your type and other irl people's types, I don't think it's a good idea to type by comparison.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    I had a feeling a Ti > Te type would say something like that. :wink: The problem is that if you type one person incorrectly, your whole understanding of socionics could get screwed up. While it's good to wonder about your type and other irl people's types, I don't think it's a good idea to type by comparison.
    i don't see what it has to do with typing by comparison. i see truth to the argument that if you're not actually out and aware of the manifestations of functions in others then you are more likely to have little idea of what the functions really are.

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    Sure, as long as you're just observing behaviors and are open to at any time discover that those behaviors are due to something else entirely.
    SEE-Se, 852 sx/so

    Check out my Socionics group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1546362349012193/

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    Don't forget the the thehotelambush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    I had a feeling a Ti > Te type would say something like that.
    That's funny, usually Ti types are criticized for being too abstract and non-reality-based.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    Sure, as long as you're just observing behaviors and are open to at any time discover that those behaviors are due to something else entirely.
    Yep.

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