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The Rapidly Evolving Identity of Socionics
15 August 2007

[or: What I Did With My Saturday Night] by Jay Bop

As a reader and follower of both Myers-Briggs typology and Socionics, I have a definite thirst for answers. As any devotee of personality type theory can understand, I feel a strong, irrepressible need to organize my comrades by way of psychological function. And it is because of this common need that personality type theory finds itself where it is today: a merging of paths, a point at which ambiguity fades and clarity ensues. But until we may reach that perfect point of complete understanding, there are a few messes that need to be cleaned up: namely, specifically, MBTI and Socionics need to unite. Each, it seems, has one half of the puzzle.

Myers-Briggs typology, with its focus on the individual, has reached a greater understanding of the individual functions. For example, researchers now know that Introverted Perception and Extraverted Judgment activate on the same side of the brain: the left side (hence the "J" designation- ever done any right brain/left brain tests?). Extraverted Perception and Introverted Judgment activate on the right side (the "P" designation). Also, it seems that MBTI has a much more comprehensive definition to offer when it comes down to the fundamental questions that every personality type junkie has asked at one point: What is the difference between Sensation and Intuition? Thinking and Feeling? What exactly *are* the functions, and what do they mean?

Socionics, on the other hand, has evolved from the highly valuable concept of the broad scale of personality type- society- and offered us a much needed set of relations between types. Thanks to Socionics, we can start to understand the way we relate, we can predict the outcome of relationships and we can augment our awareness of the world around us. No longer do we have to scream and scream at certain people to be heard (or, at least, we no longer expect a result). We can introduce decision and finality to our circumstances (for Perceiving types) and we can make room for understanding and awareness (for Judging types). Let's not forget about that invaluable tool of self-diagnosis, the Socionics Type Assistant, for which the author of this article will remain eternally grateful. But despite these miraculous breakthroughs in psychology, much is still left to be desired.

Ironically, the question "Who am I?", to which personality type owes its entire existence, has still been left unanswered for an eerily large amount of people. The question board is full of uncertainty, ambiguity, squabbling and difference of opinion. We don't seem to argue whether or not 2 + 2 = 4 (unless you're a philosophy student, in which case you probably aren't looking for *any* answers), so why do we argue what Extraverted Thinking is? What shape Extraverted Intuition takes? And, most importantly, why can't we Socionicists come up with a half-decent definition for the eight basic functions?

I direct the attention of the reader to Wikipedia's article on Socionics:

* Extroverted thinking is responsible for efficiency of actions, understanding of technological processes, the organization of work.
* Extroverted feeling is responsible for perception of an emotional condition of the person, expression of emotions, management of an emotional condition of people.
* Extroverted intuition is responsible for understanding of essence of the phenomena and processes, an estimation of potential opportunities of people and the phenomena, vision of variants of succession of events.
* Extroverted sensing is responsible for perception of space, appearance and the form of subjects, an estimation of an alignment of forces, strong-willed and power methods of achievement of the purpose.

* Introverted thinking is responsible for understanding of logic communications and structures, classification, ordering, the analysis, logic explanations and proofs.
* Introverted ethics is responsible for understanding of mutual relations between people, skill to build attitudes, a moral and moral estimation, aspiration to humanism.
* Introverted intuition is responsible for an estimation of time, timeliness of actions, understanding of a course of processes in time, forecasting.
* Introverted sensing is responsible for perception of physical sensations, questions of comfort and a cosiness, pleasure.

So, if you're an Extraverted Intuiter, you're psychic. If you're an Introverted Sensate, you know how to make yourself comfortable. And if you're an Introverted Intuiter... you know how to tell time. Oh, and you can predict the future. How can anyone take this seriously? How can anyone claim this is a *science*? No wonder there's such a massive population of Intuitives on this website- we're being told we know *everything*! We should be ashamed of our inexcusable misrepresentation of Sensates. And I'm sure that a great deal of us already are.

Socionicists, step up to the dilemma. Take a note from Myers-Briggs and seek first to understand every perspective before dealing with stereotypes and generalizations. We are at a point in time where Socionics has the potential to be incredible. To help society ease conflict in practically every area of life. Perhaps, even, to take an evolutionary step in human understanding and rise above petty fighting once and for all. In my mind, that's a step worth taking.
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