What is Socionics

Monday, 12 April 2010 00:09 Konstantin Balashov

Here is an eye:


Here is an ear:


The main information source for human is vision. Therefore, hearing is not very well developed comparing to some other creatures.

Blind people often develop better hearing sensitivity, because hearing become very important to them.

Socionics is based on hypothesis, that human has alternative information sources, and, if one is developed better, the other is weaker.

Here is two pairs of information sources:

logic -  ethics

sensing - intuition

If logic is better developed, then person thinks logically, and ignore emotions.

If ethics is better developed, then person watches out for HOW the other person speaks rather than WHAT she speaks.

It is not just about information sources. There are different functions, or instruments people use to solve their tasks.

Here is a pencil:


Which hand person uses to draw depends on which hand can do it better. Try to draw with the other hand - it does not work well, which is fine because you do not need it anyways.

According to Socionics, person could be logical and ethical, or, for instance, sensorical and logical, but not logical and ethical at the same time.

One of these for function is developed better than the others. They call it "Leading function". It is always first in the name of sociotype.

Logial-sensorical and Sensorical-logical are two different types.

Besides, person could be introvertial and extravertial, which means that the Base function of the person is introvertial or extravertial.

If strongest (base) function is extrovertial, then second one ("Creative function") is always introvertial, and vice versa.

Logic, ethics, sensorics and intuition could be introvertial and extrovertial. They are different.
For instance, introvertial ("Structural") logic is aimed at analysis of internal structure of things, building models, seek for regularities.
Extravertial ("Business") logic is aimed on changing of the World to meet person's needs.

In total, there are 8 informational functions and 16 socitypes, or types of human characers.


- Structural Logic - understanding of logical structure

- Business Logic - manipulating external logical structures

- Intuition of Time - time sense

- Intuition of Opportunities - Future changes of the World

- Sensorics of Feelings - comfort, convenience, and such (for instance, delicios food)

- Volitional Sensing - power pressure on others, protecting territory

- Ethics of Relationship - understanding of feelings

- Ethics of Emoutions - Emotions, Emotional impact on others

General rule:

White, Introverted functions are related to internal feelings.

Black, Extraverted functions are related to impact on outer World.

Now the cool part:

Each person has all the 8 functions, and, as I mentioned, they are not evenly developed. Some are strong, while some other are weak. Moreover, person is aware of some functions, and not aware of the others.

Socionics claims, that each person has activation function, and pain function, and some more. If you know the sociotype of the person (you just need to know two strongest functions), you can precisely tell them all.

Here is how it looks like for Intuitive-Logical Extraverted type:

Leading Intuition of opportunities Structural Logic Creative
Vulnerable Ethics of relationship Volitional sensing Role
Mobilizing Ethics of emotions Sensorics of relationships Suggestive
Limiting Intuition of time Business logic Background

Here is functions description ("Aware" means, that person is aware of this function):

Name Strong Aware Description
Leading Yes Yes This strongest function determines life direction
Creative Yes Yes This function determines how person reaches his goals
Role No Yes Person believes, that she shall pretend, that this function is well-developed
Vulnerable No Yes Do not touch person here - it hurts!
Suggestive No No Person needs help, support and hints
Mobilizing No No Activates the person
Limiting Yes No Person unconsciously limits incoming information and his activity related to this function
Background Yes No Everything works out itself, and person think this is how it should be

Functions are historically listed out of order you would expect.

When you know person sociotype, it is easy to tell what activates him, and what he tries to pretend he has.

Sociotype descriptions are listed here:

But that is not all.

If you know types of two persons, you can tell precisely what kind of relationships they will have.

Let's say, if Leading function of one person is the same as Vulnerable function of the other, they will drive each other crazy and will not be able to stand each other.
If, however, Background of one person is the same as Vulnerable function of the other, and Leading - same as Suggestive, they will compliment each other and feel good together.

There are 14 relationship types:

12 symmetrical,

- Duality, or perfect compliment
- Semi-duality
- Activation
- Mirage
- Extinguishments
- Mirror
- Conflict
- Identity
- Congenerity
- Super-ego
- Cooperation
- Quasi-Identity

There also  2*2=4 asymmetrical (when relationship from person A to B are not the same as from B to A),

- Request
- Supervision

You can read about these relationships here - http://www.socionics.us/relations.shtml

Did you notice, that you sometimes have good relationships with two persons, but those two cannot stand each other? Socionics well explains that phenomena.

Again, the biggest problem is to determine your sociotype. There are tests, but they are not 100% reliable
You got to read definitions for all 16 sociotypes, and see what matches your personality. You can analyze your weak and strong function.

How you can use Socionics?
1. Expand your horizons. People are not just different - they are very different, and Socionics clearly defines how exactly.
When you read sociotypes descriptions, it is hard to believe, that there are really such a different persons in the World. Then you read forums, and there are happy people, who say - hey, it is right about me!
Relationships could be very different too. Just reading about them all is quite beneficial.

2. Understand yourself better. Improve your efficiency and quality of life. Accept yourself as you are. Stop burning unnecessary energy on your role function.

3. Understand other, improve relationship, and avoid conflicts.

4. Plan your life strategically; surround yourself with the people you feel comfortable with.

5. "Pump up" your weak functions and use them. Don't worry about your strong functions; they are not going to weaken. If you are right-handed and learn to read with left hand, your right hand will not forget how to write!

What the Socionics problems are?
1. It is not easy to find out person's sociotype. Checking out functions not always yields proper result.
Comparing real person with sociotypes description is not that simple - there are always some features from one type, and some feature for other types. There are tests for it, but they are not very reliable.

2. When person find out her sociotypes, find out sociotype of the others, then realize that the type was wrong, it often leads to internal and inter-person conflicts.
Please take it easy and do not ruin your relationships with other people, just to find out a week later that you ruined them based on wrong assumptions.

3. Socionics is not recognized as a science yet. Many people believe that it matches real life, which, well, does not proof anything. What it claims might be incorrect.
On the other hand, Socionics might solve its problems. It might come up with some better tests and better sociotype descriptions. We will see. In a meantime, you can play with it.

P.S. 10 year later, in 2020: Russian writer Denis Anurov got tested by 16 most prominent socionics gurus. And guess what? Three said he is this type. Three said no, he is that type. Then two pointed to yet another type. And so on, 8 different types total. But without certainty on person's type, how accurate could be your conclusions on relationships between the types, even if you accurately measure relationships between persons?

What is next? If you are interested, go ahead and read types definition, learn relationship types, try to determine sociotype of yourself and the others, talk to others who are in Socionics.



Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2020 01:52