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Old 08/02/2006, 07:30 AM
Christopher Christopher is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3
Default How seriously do people take MBTI/Socionics?

Now, before people should label me a provocateur, let me just establish I agree with a psychological typology as a practical instrument and think that it should be understood in a holistic sense. I agree with many of the theories of Jung, MBTI and socionics(differences aside). However, I think that som people take the theories for a little more than they are.

First a little background: I have spent the last six months reading incessantly about typology on websites and in Jung’s own book. The subject fascinates me very much although I still do not know everything by heart. Still, many of the type descriptions made sense to me, but I could never get past the scepticism towards the “mathematical” aspect of MBTI/Socionics.

This brings me to my major objections:

1) It seems to me that some people have become lodged in a particular worldview: People are discussing whether Thinking is their auxiliary or second auxiliary function(or whatever) and how it affects their personality. This, to me, illustrates the possible “dangers” of becoming trapped by a system. And that is exactly the problem: All these theories, albeit useful, elevate the words of Jung to dogma and try to divide something as complex as the mind into black/white categories. However, as with all systems, it is possible to develop them further: Rmcnew(as I understand, he is the person behind the website has further elaborated the socionics theory by incorporating ALL eight functions in his determination of personality type. This proves that it is possible to systematize anything; it just depends on how factors you choose to operate with. We could subdivide further until we have as many types as there are people on the earth.

2) Secondly, the MBTI/Socionics feud appears to me as two religious fractions arguing over whose theories are closest to those of Jung…interesting(where in world history have we encountered this? ). This is how I understand the J/P distinction

a) In MBTI theory, what determines J/P is whether the extraverted function(be it primary or secondary) is rational or irrational. An introvert intuitive with extraverted feeling is thus a Judging type because the function dealing with the world is rational.
b) In socionics, rationality/irrationally strictly pertains to the primary function(correct me if I am wrong). An introvert intuitive is thus way a Perceiver, because intuition is an irrational function.

On basis of these differences, one can conclude that Socionics comes closer to Jungian theory, although I find the socionic description of my personality(supposedly INFp in socionics, and INFj in MBTI) to be extremely erroneous. Both theories make sense from a logical point of view, but do just that. Applying theory to practice is more difficult.

3) The last point is the whole face characterization issue, which, in all fairness, I doubt that most people take seriously. Still, it seems about as reliable as astrology. It is possible to analyze anything, it just doesn’t make something right(or wrong). With a little elegance one can make the most persuasive arguments about the most dubious subjects!

All criticism aside, all these websites have given me valuable insight into my own personally and have helped me express things that I could not find words to previously. I am sorry if I have offended anybody or if my opinions lack consistency – this was not an attempt to write a scientific dissertation.

P.S. I see that there are other users who share my opinions:
Still, the discussion is valid
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