From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Socionics, is a theory of information processing and personality type. It incorporates elements of Carl Jung's work on Psychological Types and Antoni Kępiński's theory of information metabolism. Socionics is a modification of Jung's personality type that uses all eight Jungian functions (in socionics called information elements), in contrast to Jung's 4-function model, and also it's supplemented with the idea of type-level interpersonal interaction (intertype relations).
The theory was developed in the 1970s and '80s mainly by the Lithuanian researcher Aušra Augustinavičiūtė, a financier and teacher of political economics. The name socionics is derived from the word "society", since Augustinavičiūtė believed that each personality type has a distinct purpose in society, which can be described and explained by socionics.
The central idea of socionics is that information is divided into 8 different categories (information elements, in compliance with 8 Jungian functions), which a person's psyche processes using eight psychological functions. Each socionic type has a different correspondence between functions and information elements, which results in different ways of perceiving, processing, and producing information. This in turn results in distinct thinking patterns, values, and behavior, all of which are encompassed within socionic type. Socionics' theory of intertype relations is based on the interaction of these functions between types.
Socionics has thus far been developed through introspection, observation, and personal inquiry. Although descriptive of a wide range of human behavior and interaction, socionics still has no sufficient scientific experimental substantiation. The ongoing "Model T" project, led by Viktor Talanov, aims to correlate socionics functions with cognitive theories of information.
Jung's psychological types
Carl Jung describes four psychological functions that are capable of becoming conscious, but to differing degrees in specific individuals:
- Sensation - all perceptions by means of the sense organs
- Intuition - perception by way of the unconscious, or perception of unconscious events
- Thinking (in socionics, logic) - interpretation of information based on whether it is correct or incorrect
- Feeling (in socionics, ethics) - interpretation of information based on its ethical aspects
Each of these functions can be in extraverted [Jung used 'extra', but not 'extro'] or introverted form. If the dominant function in psychological type is extraverted - the type is extraverted; if the dominant function is introverted - the type is introverted.
Sensation and intuition are called irrational or perceiving functions, and are thus named because unlike the rational or judging functions (i.e., thinking and feeling), they deal with raw perception of reality rather than the interpretation of it. If the dominant function is rational - the type is rational, if the dominant function is irrational - the type is irrational.
Beside dominant function, there is auxiliary function. If dominant function is extraverted, auxiliary is introverted; and vice versa, if dominant function is introverted, auxiliary is extraverted. If dominant function is rational, auxiliary is irrational; and vice versa, if dominant function is irrational, auxiliary is rational. For example, if dominant function is extraverted intuition, then auxiliary function can be introverted thinking or introverted feeling (there are 2 types with dominant extraverted intuition).
Jung's model of psychological type has all 4 functions (but with no account taken of their extraverted/introverted forms). Jung believed that dominant function is the most conscious, followed by auxiliary (2nd) function, tertiary (3rd) function, and inferior (4th) function. Jung's tertiary function has the same parameters extraverted/introverted and rational/irrational as at auxiliary function, and it is another function in pair of rational or irrational functions (for example, if auxiliary function is introverted thinking, then tertiary function is introverted feeling). Inferior function has the same parameter rational/irrational as at dominant function, and other extraverted/introverted parameter, and it is another function in pair of rational or irrational functions (for example, if dominant function is extraverted intuition, then inferior function is introverted sensation).