POSITIVISM - NEGATIVISM
Positivists (ILE, ESE, LSI, IEI, LIE, SEE, EII, SLI):
Negativists (SEI, LII, SLE, EIE, ILI, ESI, IEE, LSE):
- Positivists initially pay attention to what is present in a situation (what exists, what is there) what can realistically occur, what can be interpreted as an affirmative manifestation of surrounding world, situations, possibilities, prospects.
- Positivists are oriented at what any situation or contact with people can potentially bring to them rather than what they could potentially lose (for example, moving is viewed as an opportunity to gain new acquaintances, friends, rather than primarily from point of view of losing existing friends). For them an orientation to success is more characteristic rather than avoidance of failure.
- Positives are better at assimilating affirmative experiences. They are inclined to "convert" negative experiences into positive ones (they try to find the "silver lining").
- They speak more of the positive and try to present negative moments on a positive background ("Yes, this is a problem, but..."—then continue to paint a positive picture). Conversations about the negative (when the other person accentuates deficiencies, absence, impossibility) may be irritating to Positivists.
- In speech of Positivists, one can detect mostly affirmative constructions and intonations. If they are giving instructions to someone else, they present them in positive manner: they talk about what can be done or what should be done in different situations (for example, "You can call him only at this-and-this time") rather than what cannot or should not be done.
- Negativists pay attention to aspects of the situation that are insufficient or lacking, which can be interpreted as seeing the negative prospects of various situations and events.
- Negativists orient at what they could potentially lose as a result of a certain situation or contact with other people, rather than what this situation or contact can bring to them (for example, moving for negativists primarily means losing friends). Negativists focus on avoiding failures (the "positive" development of a situation is the fact that nothing negative has happened so far).
- Negativists are better at assimilating negating, negative experiences. They are inclined to outline negative sides of affairs.
- Negativists are more inclined to speak about negative moments. Positive aspects are presented on a negative background ("Well, this is good, but..."—then mentions what is lacking, what is not right). Negativists are irritated by "excessively positive" attitudes (when another person "forgets" to bring up or haven't even considered the negative aspects of something).
- In speech of negativists there is frequent use of negating expressions (negative pronouns, adverbs, "not" "cannot" "nobody" "never"). For example: "Negative experiences are not always necessary, I don't need them" "There won't be an occasion to do anything" "I cannot say that this is not true" etc. If giving instructions they first of all talk about the things to avoid, what should not be done (For example "If you call them at such a time it will be pointless").
Previous research on this dichotomy was reduced to measuring positive/negative in the "everyday" sense of the word. In our opinion, these attitudes are a consequence of a deeper mechanism: one group perceives and describes something by denoting associated properties (Positivists) while the other group denotes properties that are not associated with it. Positivists describe a subject, individual, phenomenon, attempting to describe it through characteristics inherent in the object, while Negativists focus on properties that do not pertain to the object. The cursory impression of optimism/pessimism being the distinguishing feature of this dichotomy occurs because of this. In reality, both Positivists and Negativists possess these two attitudes and talk equally of "good" and "bad" things. The difference is in the form of presentation—for example, on the same topic of shortcomings: "I cannot say that you have no shortcomings" (negativism) and "You have several shortcomings" (positivism).
The difference in assimilating experiences between Positivists and Negativists arises because Positivists better remember events when they did transpire, rather than events that did not occur, while Negativists are better at remembering events that did not occur, that were absent or lacking (for the Negativist, this absence constitutes an event in itself, they remember this better and draw conclusions).
"At first I trust people, distrust needs to be substantiated" "I always believe in a positive outcome. I will most likely talk about positives. I don't issue warnings of possible failures—why bring people down, may be everything will be ok" "It irritates me when people talk only of character flaws and inadequacies in others" "I try not to give instructions on avoidance or failure" "When giving instructions I avoid giving orders like "Don't do it! Don't go!" "Even negative experience can be positive" "I start off by trusting people and then work from there."
"My first reaction to everything is "no!" whatever it might be" "I don't speak of the positives" "One must take into account all the negative aspects. It goes without saying that people are capable of anything" "If the mood is too good - something is not right" "In my instructions I always give people "negative" orientation points. I foresee all the negative moments and try to make provisions for them" "People in general are good, but it's better to keep your distance from them" "When I was authoring a textbook, I constructed my proofs "by method of contradiction"" "Most often I bring bad news" "When asked "How's it going?" I answer "Not well." "How am I going to entertain myself? Certainly I wouldn't go to a restaurant, neither a casino ... but somewhere out to nature..." "There will be a building there, but that's not what you're looking for. After that you will see a street, but don't take it, continue on your path. Go around the building and don't use the first two entrances."
Additional Commentary and Notes
Positivism-Negativism is often mistaken for optimism-pessimism, where Positivism has become synonymous with optimism, and Negativism - with pessimism. By extension, those who fall into Eneagram's positive outlook triad (these are types 2,7,9) are sometimes mistaken for Positivist types due to these triad's innate preference for dealing with problems by adopting a "positive attitude", for as much as possible, and reframing disappointments in some more uplifting way; while the often mistrustful attitude and propensity to mentally dwell on problems and threats of enneagram type 6 can be mistaken for Negativism. It is important to note that there is no direct relation between Positivist-Negativist Reinin dichotomy and optimism-pessimism. The name of this dichotomy should not be interpreted literally. Positivists do not have an inherently positive outlook on life, and Negativists - a negative one. The Positivist-Negativist dichotomy describes certain kinds aspects of cognitive perception and mental operations rather than person's outlook, attitudes, and prevalent emotional state. Optimism-pessimism is a quality that arises from personal experiences; socionics factors do not influence and condition this phenomenon in itself.
A distinguishing trait of Positivist and Negativist types is the preference for comparison (Positivists) or contrast (Negativists). Positivist types are more inclined to spot similarities and draw analogies ("they are so alike", "y is just like x" etc.), while Negativist are inclined to instead look at contrasts or alternatives ("they are nothing alike!"). Figuratively speaking, if Positivists are shown the front side then they will be looking at the front side, while Negativists will try to look at its inverse. If this inverse is not readily apparent, they will start searching for it. Thus Negativists do not seek to present a "negative" or "pessimistic" view of things, but simply the inverse or the alternative one.
Victor Gulenko: How can you determine if someone is a Positivist or a Negativist? (video lecture)
Can you say that someone is a positivist or negativist in life?
In life, well, you probably think that this is like a pessimist and an optimist. Not necessarily. It turns out to be more complicated than that. It would be easiest to explain on the example of Critic (ILI). ILI is usually described as a skeptic and a pessimist. But if you come to ILI with your own pessimism and tell him "everything is bad, very bad, and there is no way out", he will act conversely and try to show you the opposite side. On your pessimism and minus he will apply his own minus, and the end result will be a plus. He will say "yes things are bad, but here's something good". That is a negativist type always looks from a different side, conversely, looking at alternatives.
A positivist can be saying "every thing is good, it's good, it's good" but then suddenly something doesn't work, he feels locked and falls into a negative state, because he can't see alternatives. The main distinguishing feature here is not pessimism-optimism, but the ability to look at a situation from the other side.
ESE, for example, is not always happy. He can fall into a negative state and remain there for a long time if he's not provided with an alternative. In this case the LII gives it to him - the LII analyzes the situation and shows that yes, this is not correct, this is not right, but over here it's so and so, and it leads to this and this, and he redirects his dual.
And pessimism-optimism is related to the sign of Fe function?
Conditionally I agree with you, but linking emotions should not be done to the sign. In everyday communication, there are social expectations - all people know, irrespective of their type, that they needs to show the good and hide the bad. Everyone knows about this. If we consider Fe, it will be associated with happiness or cheerfulness, although Fe is both joy and despair. The ESE will show joy and hide despair, but so will the EIE show joy and hide despair. However, the closer you become with a person, the more difficult it becomes to hide the sign. The minus starts to show more clearly. In society, everyone wishes to show plus signs and hide minus ones. We need to consider such nuances. It's essential to take a look at this from inside a person, while from outside, a ethical type with Fe will demonstrate happiness, joy, despite the functional sign. But they might demonstrate this differently. For some, the negative emotions will shine through this happiness. Or there will be a mixture of positive and negative emotions, such as tragicomedy. For example Charlie Chaplin - his movies seem funny at first, but there is human suffering and tragedy hidden in them, so the result is a mixed emotion. The talent of dramatic genre belongs to type EIE, Mentor.
While melancholy and unhappiness is not minus-Fe. This is most likely Ni - that is, every function has its emotional equivalent - and if you are in the state of Ni, seeing how everything is developing over time, you come to realize, despite your type, that it all will eventually end - could this create happiness, the realization that we will all die?
But the Lyricist (IEI) is considered to be a positivist type ...
The IEI can extinguish his negativism with positivism, he knows how to leave and move away from the negative and focus on the positive. Lyricist in the state of -Ni feels melancholic, and if it is not supplemented by any positive emotions he can fall into a depression. Depression, sadness, despair - this is all Ni, and this is irrespective of the sign.