Thread: entp-esfj-intj
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Old 17/02/2006, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: entp-esfj-intj

Some of you (SG, NiveK, Bone_Roller) accentuate the fact that socionics works quite well. Maybe it does, I don't want to argue against that, but I'm not satisfied knowing that something works - I also want to know why it works.

Socionics is a very interesting theory, and one interesting aspect of it is that it partly contradicts Myers-Briggs Type Theory. Can it really be that this wide-spread theory, backed up with years of research just like socionics, has made some simple, basic error without noticing it? Or could it be socionics that has made the simple error? Or have they both? I don't know, but it is very difficult not to think that at least one of them MUST have done it, and how that can be is still a mystery to me. As I've pointed out elsewhere at this forum, both socionics and MBTT seem to have identified the same type, which they call ISTj and ISTJ respectively. But on a theoretical level they disagree. Is this type, whatever we call it, structured TiSe or SiTe on a "molecular" level. Hopefully that can be tested empirically some day - or does anyone know of a way to determine for sure which theory is mistaken on this point?

One thing that seems to be unique to socionics in comparison to MBTT is that it has found that many people belonging to the same type often have similar, identifiable, physical characteristics. Visual identification really works quite well - it is definitely not just the result of wishful thinking and a vivid imagination. But if V.I. works it must be possible to validate it scientifically (maybe it has been already?), and to make falsifiable hypotheses about why it works.

The anomaly I mentioned above, about ISTJs and ISTJs, is irritating, though. Do we really know what type we have spotted? Have we identified a TiSe or a SiTe? Don't forget that both theories agree to a very high extent on how they want to characterize this type - they "only" disagree on which "molecule" it is. A relevant question seems to be how socionics define the types in the first place.

1. Are the types defined by the theoretical model (i.e. a ISTj is by definition a TiSe)?

2. Are the types identified empirically by how people behave, look like and so on?

3. Or are the types defined, at least partly, by their relations to other types (so if we know that a certain type is ENFp (NeFi), and we also know that it has a conflicting relation to our mysterious ISTj type, we can conclude that the ISTj must be a TiSe, because that's what the theory says it should be in that case?

Let us assume, just as a thought experiment, that we decide to define the types empirically along the lines of 2 and 3. We are certain that we have identified the ENFp as NeFi and we are certain it has a conflicting relation to the ISTj.

But then we suddenly realize (to our horror) that we had made a mistake about the essential nature of the ISTj, and that it was MBTT that was right from the beginning about the ISTj/ISTJ being a SiTe. What happens then?

Suppose we have identified the same type of conflicting relation between ESFp and another type we thought was INTj. How should we explain the fact that the same observable type of relation now exists between a NeFi and a SiTe and between a SeFi and ... a TiNe? We have got an asymmetry in our theory. If we haven't made a mistake in our observations, we must modify the theory somehow. Is it possible that the INTj also is another "molecule" - perhaps it is really a NiTe? Or perhaps it wasn't the INTj who had the conflicting relation to the ESFp in the first place but the INTp? But then we must have misidentified the types between which there is a conflicting relation. Or perhaps it is somehow possible to have a conflicting relation between types in an asymmetrical way?

If you don't want to buy the possibility of the above scenario, and insist that socionics is just fine the way it is, then I think we have to conclude that MBTT must be wrong. But what is the definite proof of that? And why hasn't anyone put it forward yet?
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