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Basic categories of Socionics


Information metabolism, psychological functions and types

Information metabolism is the idea stated and developed by Polish psychologist and psychiatrist A. Kempinsky. Its main idea notion concerns the integration between a person and his surroundings; the images built up by the person and the results of this interaction have an informational character. Just as the life of the body is dependent on the material (energetic) metabolism (the exchange with the environment by substance and energy, as well as the building of the body), the life of the human psyche is dependent on information metabolism.
The information flow affecting a person is not homogeneous, but has a definite spectrum including logical, ethical, sensorical and intuitive components.

Psychological functions are the particular abilities of a person to understand certain aspects of the world. These abilities give the images and notions that form a certain “grammar” of relationships between a person and the world including other persons. Nature permits these functions to develop differential in everyone, along with reception and production of information.
Each aspect of information flow corresponds with its own psychological function.

The type of informational metabolism may be considered in a specific person as a certain combination of psychological functions: sensorics, logics, ethics and intuition, all in connection with extroversion-introversion and rationalism-irrationalism. There are 16 types of information metabolism (see table) and each type has its own goal in society.

irrational intuitive logical extrovert ILE (Ir) IL Intuitive Logical Extravert "Inventor"
introvert ILI (Ir) TP Intuitive Logical Introvert "Critic"
ethical extrovert IEE (Ir) IR Intuitive Ethical Extravert "Adviser"
introvert IEI (Ir) TE Intuitive Ethical Introvert "Romantic"
sensoric logical extrovert SLE (Ir) FL Sensing Logical Extravert "Marshal"
introvert SLI (Ir) SP Sensing Logical Introvert "Craftsman"
ethical extrovert SEE (Ir) FR Sensing Ethical Extravert "Politician"
introvert SEI (Ir) SE Sensing Ethical Introvert "Mediator"
rational logical intuitive extrovert LIE (Ra) PT Logical Intuitive Extravert "Enterpriser"
introvert LII (Ra) LI Logical Intuitive Introvert "Analyst"
sensoric extrovert LSE (Ra) PS Logical Sensing Extravert "Administrator"
introvert LSI (Ra) LF Logical Sensing Introvert "Inspector"
ethical intuitive extrovert EIE (Ra) ET Ethical Intuitive Extravert "Mentor"
introvert EII (Ra) RI Ethical Intuitive Introvert "Humanist"
sensoric extrovert ESE (Ra) ES Ethical Sensing Extravert "Enthusiast"
introvert ESI (Ra) RF Ethical Sensing Introvert "Guardian"

For convenience, each type is given a functional name. For example:

“This is an intuitive logical extrovert”
“This is Inventor”.

Which description do you understand better? The answer is evident. When the functional name is used we have an integral image of the type and our attitude to it. As a result, we can understand the person under discussion without any difficulty.

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Socionic models

Modeling in modern science is a method of research, its main goal to make prognoses on the behavior of complex objects, which can not be studies directly. Possibility the most complicated of such objects is the person.

Socionics makes a model of the person and personal treatment and the main aspects of information about surroundings. The model examines in this review was suggested by Aushra Augustinavichute, and hence called “model A”.

Designations of psychological functions

In order to work out the type of model, each psychological function is given its own conventional name and symbol:

time I (I - intuition) intuition of potentialities irrational functions
temporal relations T (T - time) intuition of time
space F (F - force) volitional sensing
spacing correlations S (S - sense) experiential sensing
matter P (P - profit) business logic rational functions
material relations L (L - logic) structural logic
energy E (E - emotion) emotional ethics
power relations R (R - relation) relational ethics

Names and symbols have been formed on the basic of common agreement.

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The model

The model of type of information metabolism includes symbols of psychological functions, which form the structure. It reflects the notions of Socionics concerning the way of functioning of personal psychology.

The information-metabolistic type as an intellectual and creative one may be described by the two-element model:

intellectual function  1  I L  2  creative function

A broader description of types may be given by “model A”. The structure consists of 8 elements, each of which is filled by one of the 8 psychical functions. An element filled by certain psychical functions determines the way of treating the corresponding aspects of information.

intellectual function 1 I L 2 creative function
function of diffidence 4 R F 3 function of role
estimative function 6 E S 5 suggestive function
function of personal knowledge 7 T P 8 function of concrete act

The information flow is perceived simultaneously by all the elements. They are apparently resonant (each in its own way) to the received signal. Every element then treats that aspect of information, which corresponds to its psychical function.

Signals produced for every aspect of information have the imprint of their source-element. As a result, the same information after treatment by the different types, will have 16 different spectra.

EGO  1   2  mental ring The modern Socionics model of information metabolistic type consists of two rings — mental (consciously realized personal activity) and vital (automatic, unrealized activity). The mental ring consists of two blocks of elements: EGO (creative block) and SUPREGO (block of social control); the vital ring also has two blocks: ID (block of individual activity) and SUPERID (block of individual control).
SUPREGO  4   3 
SUPERID  6   5  vital ring
ID  7   8 

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Diads and relations between types


Two interacting types form a diad.
There is only one kind of 16-th relations between types in a diad: from Duality (full addition) to conflict.
Two kinds of relations are asymmetric: relations of social order and revision.
All 16 kinds of relations are visible in model analysis.

Here is an example of the relations between types RI (EII) and SE (SEI). They are the relations of Social Request, where one member of the diad acts as a Requester, the other as a Request recipient.
Relations between EII and SEI The relations are evidence asymmetric. SE (SEI) gets a powerful intuitive program from the second element of RI (EII) on its perceptible suggestive 5th element, though its own sensoric program (from the 1st element) is perceived by RI (EII) more critically (6th element). Wishing to be heard, SE (SEI) strengthens its activity, but once again does not receive the necessary response.
In order to balance these relations RI (EII) has to turn to the partner with small requests and advice as seldom as possible, and to apologize to SE (SEI) if he feels hurt (even if RI (EII) does not know the reason for this offense).
On the other hand SE (SEI) has to calmly to the expressions of his partner and to spend more time without him, affording him periodic “sensoric holiday”.

Here we do not have not pure conflict, but the asymmetry of interactions created a certain tension. In order to decrease this tension you should know and use special methods of correcting relations.

There are 256 relations between types, each of them having its own specific character. The table, a fragment of which is given on the next page, allows us to determine these relations conveniently.

Relations between types (fragment)
IL = D A Mi >O >R B M
SE D = Mi A >R >O M B
ES A Mi = D G sD <O <R
LI Mi A D = sD G <R <O
ET <O <R G sD =
LF <R <O sD Symbols in the table mean the kind of relation between types, for example:
D — Duality relations are the best in marriage, friendship and collaboration. The Duality persons are always interesting, their presence is not bothersome. They understand, give helpful advice and need support each other.
R — Supervision is in charge areas of weakness. These relations are characterized by the fact that the Supervisor, as a rule, is always dissatisfied with the actions of Supervisee. Both people suffer, especially the Supervisee.

An analysis of the models allows us to describe all 16 kinds of relations and to obtain a number of useful, empirically confirmed regularities.
More comprehensive information about relations between types exists. We would like to point out, however, that Augustinavichute’s work concerned only dual relationships.

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Socion, Quadras

Common values — behavior regulations, associations, attitude to the world, criteria of estimation, etc. — unite the corresponding types of informational metabolism into four quadras. With in your own quadra you are always understood and never blamed, you are listened to with pleasure and given considerable quadra interesting and valuable information. A person in his own uses his creative potential completely (because all his actions, within the bound of his own distinctive type, are expected and stimulated). A person works most effectively (within the limits of specialization of the quadra) and has the most positive relaxation. A quadra has a physiotherapeutic effect: it alleviates stress, increases vitality, improves psychological and physical health.

A quadra comprises a team of four types
having a common system of values.
The time spent within a quadra is wholly memorable.

Socion is the system unit of four quadras in accordance with their valuable and functional features.

Quadra 1 (alpha)   Quadra 2 (beta) The orthogonal quadras (1–3, 2–4) have different systems of values, which is why they have conflict relationships, resistance, and lack of understanding.
Quadra 4 (delta)   Quadra 3 (gamma)

Here is an example of socion’s function, corroborated by analysis of the number of stages of mankind’s technical-scientific and social development — the so called evolution of idea:

generation of idea, working out suggestion, the project 1st quadra;
realization of project, introduction and assimilation of results,
fixation of idea as system of knowledge
2nd quadra;
critical recomprehension of idea, exposure of defects 3rd quadra;
elimination of defects and bringing to perfection,
mass realization of ready product, technology
4th quadra.
One of the four quadras “specializing” for a given question is responsible for its own aspect of the development of an idea. This phenomena is also confirmed by historical processes.