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3a. Measuring the type in Socionics.

 
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



Регистриран на: 15 Дек 2004
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[ семинар "Соционика" ]

МнениеПуснато на: 16 Яну 2005 9:46:39    Заглавие: 3a. Measuring the type in Socionics. Отговорете с цитат

Kalin Yanev allowed us to extend the seminar until the end of the month, in order to have enough time to upload all the 11 topics (actually, we did only 2 1/2 :). Thanks, Kalin!

EARLY SOCIONICS: FUNCTIONS INSTEAD OF DICHOTOMIES! AND IF NOT TESTING, WHAT ELSE?
From our previous posts you may have got an impression that we criticize previous approaches, for example the Myers & Briggs Type Theory, in order to say: they are obsolete, while socionics is good. Well, if you did – it is wrong impression. We are just starting to speak about socionics, and we will consider it critically, too. Socionics had its bugs, especially at early stages of its development.

The problem of socionics # 1 was that Augusta set much more global goals than Myers did, while possessing much scarcer resources.

NOTE: Augusta’s real surname is Augustinavichiute (Аугустинавичюте). It is difficult to write and pronounce, isn't it? She used the pseudonym Augusta only in few of her articles and in letters. All her books and articles have been published under her real surname – it is important to remember when you decide to look for her publications in a library.

What do we mean under “scarcer resources” (we have already written about the goals)?

1. Personality typology was not developed in the Soviet psychology (except for Hippocrates’ temperaments and psychiatric typologies). Augusta had to rely mostly on old Western books published or imported into Lithuania before 1940.
2. The same sad situation was with testing. Of course, there were many popular “tests” in magazines etc., but these were not real tests. Some good Western tests, such as the Kettell Inventory, were known among few psychologists and pedagogues. In 1982, a very good theoretical work of A.Anastasi about methods of psychological testing was translated and published in Russian, but for many psychologists it remained too abstract, since they had never seen the tests considered and discussed in this book.
3. She also did not know about developments in Jungian typology. In fact, she learned the Myers-Briggs typology only in 1985. No wonder: at that time the Myers-Briggs typology was not widely known even in its homeland, in the US. And this meant that Augusta had to rediscover by her own means some things already known in the West.

The lack of knowledge about Western developments in this branch, on the one hand, delayed the development of socionics; on the other, it was a positive factor. Having no idea about the tests determining Jungian types, Augusta had to develop her alternative methods. While MBTT relied mostly on verbal testing, socionics gradually developed good technologies of determining types without tests.
(to be continued)
_________________
http://socioniko.narod.ru
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



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[ семинар "Соционика" ]

МнениеПуснато на: 17 Яну 2005 0:13:37    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

Were there problems with the American tests, i.e. these of Gray & Wheelwright, Myers&Briggs and Keirsey? We see at least three problems.
1) Some questions in their tests proposed an artificial choice: just choose YES or NO! They did not provide such options as “no idea” or “both”.
2) The tests were influenced by some American stereotypes, especially the most controversial dichotomy J/P, which according to this test could easily be renamed into “successful – not successful”. Of course success is a real vital factor, but it has nothing common with the human nature studied by Jung.
3) The most important problem, however, was that the authors of these tests did not see any difference between people’s self-evaluation and their perception by other spectators. Such approach was also a part of the Western culture, at least at that period: people were supposed to tell frankly everything if they were “correctly asked”.

The situation was quite different in the Soviet Union. It was a totalitarian state. It was not usual for Soviet people to speak so directly and straightforwardly as Americans used to do. For this, and for many other reasons, Augusta had to develop different methods of determining Jungian types than verbal testing.

In 1970, (approximately) she created an informal circle, a group of friends and adherents where she discussed Jungian types, methods of determining them and ways of creating a system of relationships between them. It is hard to say when the term “socionics” was born. It was invented as a hybrid of the terms “society” and “bionics” (biological modeling) – thus, “socionics” was considered a method of social modeling.

Both Isabel Myers and her mother Katharina Briggs belonged to ethical (feeling) types, and maybe for this reason their approach was HUMANITARIAN: to discover people’s talents and to develop them. On the other hand, Augusta, her husband and many people of her informal club belonged to logical (thinking) types, and their approach could be described as SCIENTIFIC: to build consistent models of behavior of particular people and of relations between them. Augusta did not determine types behind people’s back – on the contrary, if she had a hypothesis (or even two or three hypotheses) about the type of a certain person, she discussed it (them) with that person until they came to a common viewpoint. The types were interesting for her as the keys to forecasting of people’s behavior. When her prognosis about a certain person came true, then his/her type was considered to have been determined correctly.

The most important difference from the approach of Myers and Keirsey (although she did not know about them yet) was that she considered the type as a DYNAMICAL PHENOMENON, as something ever-changing. She believed that the Jungian dichotomies described only the “skeleton”, the most stable part of the type. According to her, each person possesses both strong and weak traits; if we describe a person only in terms of its strong functions (as Myers and Keirsey did), then we will lose something important. These weak traits

Very soon, she became dissatisfied with such a “handicraft” approach. She began to create a theoretical basis of socionics. As we have already mentioned, she did not know about Myers or Keirsey at that time, so she had to create descriptions of the 4 dichotomies and of the 16 types from the very beginning.

She completed her first work describing basic principles of socionics in 1979 and registered it in the Lithuanian Academy of Science. Next year she published a short article describing her model.

The article met very harsh criticism from the official psychologists. For the next 10 or even more years her biography became much similar to that of Isabel Myers :)

Her main “sin”, according to these critical articles, was that she was not a psychologist by her education. Such sayings were nothing but hypocrisy: psychology (and sociology) became independent disciplines in the USSR only 10-15 years before these events, and earlier they were considered parts of the philosophy (of course only Marxist-Leninist). In fact, Augusta infringed “unwritten rules of a game”. She did not use terminology consistent with the Marxist-Leninist approach. She touched the “sacred cow” of the Soviet psychology – the role of “society”, “social influence” (i.e. of the ruling Party) in people’s lives. Let us remind that for the same reason many other important trends of the world psychology, such as etiology, were ignored by the official Soviet psychology. Even Alexander Luria, a famous Soviet psychologist, one of prominent neurophysiologists, became widely known only after his death. No wonder that Augusta’s works also proved to be “unwished”.

However, she made a smart move: she made a popular psychological “game” out of socionics. She gave the 16 types impressing nicknames (Robespierre, Jack London, Dostoyevsky, Hamlet etc.). In this “outfit” the ideas of socionics began to spread slowly through popular newspapers, illustrated magazines etc.

There was only one problem: Augusta was not able to develop her theory alone. She created a lot of drafts, but only few finished articles. Her descriptions of the dichotomies and of the types were “raw”. Then, in 1984, Igor Weisband, one of her disciples, which now lives in Germany, on the base of her works created a first manual of socionics.

Weisband “wiped out” many of Augusta’s unproven hypotheses and left only those, which could be proved by more or less facts. Based on her “raw” descriptions and on self-told stories of representatives of different types, he created new descriptions of these types. Wesband’s work was really a great feat. In fact, Augusta wrote, like Jung, in a very vague and ambiguous language, and was not always easy to understand. Well, it is always a problem of discoverers of something new: WHEN IT IS REALLY NEW, THE LANGUAGE LACKS WORDS NECESSARY TO DESCRIBE IT!

When Weisband was about to complete his manual, he occasionally learned about the Myers-Briggs typology. It was the already mentioned above B.Shneiderman’s book with short descriptions of the 4 dichotomies and some more few words about the MBTI – that was all! However, it was an important information. It helped to clarify some moments in the descriptions of types and dichotomies. At that time, neither Augusta nor any other socionists realized the difference between the definitions used in socionics and MBTT. However, they quickly understood the methodological difference.

Based on her 15 years of people watching, Augusta developed methods of determining people’s types without tests. Later these methods were improved and described by Victor Gulenko, a psychologist from Kiev. We are sorry that his article has not been translated into English yet; however, if anybody of you understands Russian, you can read his article here:
http://socioniko.narod.ru/ru/articles/diag.html

Still, socionics is far from perfect methods of determining types. The arguments between socionists about the types of certain celebrities sometimes are as strong as in the US, between the adherents of different branches of MBTT. However, the fact that socionists did not rely much upon tests resulted in a very important difference between the descriptions of socionic types and those of types according to Myers and Briggs.

In MBTT, type descriptions are “politically correct” and thus seem to be somewhat superficial, they consist mostly of positive traits.
In socionics, types are described “from close distance”, and contain both strong and weak traits. The socionic type is a model describing balance between strong and weak traits, explaining how perfection in some traits “costs” imperfection in others.
In MBTT, type descriptions are static: they describe something stable, unchanged.
In socionics, type descriptions may seem also static. However, socionics uses the so-called Model A, which describes types in dynamics. It distributes type traits into 1) more or less stable; 2) situation-dependent; 3) obviously weak, requiring somebody else’s support. This model makes possible forecasting trends of relations between people. Only trends, not the whole gamma of real people’s communication, friendship, hostilities, competition, etc.! However, sometimes these trends are so important that it is even possible to forecast chances of a married couple to divorce.

In 1980 - 1995 socionics existed as a "club of adherents" outside the official psychology. Groups of socionists appeared in different cities of the Soviet Union, but this was not enough to make socionics recognized by official psychologists. On the one hand, such isolation from psychologists positively influenced socionics: it developed without Marxist-Leninist stereotypes that overloaded Soviet psychological works of that time. On the other hand, such isolation created an illusion among many socionists that socionics were not a part of psychology, it rather were “a new science” with its own methods, subject etc. This was a dangerous trend: there was a real danger that socionics would turn into something esoteric, mystical.
Then the Soviet Union collapsed.
(to be continued).
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



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[ семинар "Соционика" ]

МнениеПуснато на: 17 Яну 2005 23:40:34    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

So, Augusta created a framework of socionics. But it needed a reform. The necessity of a reform became obvious in the last years of perestroika (1989 – 1991). Although official psychology was still under strong influence of the official ideology, more and more Western psychological books came to Russia, were translated and published. In the beginning, there were only few authors – Eric Berne, Sigmund Freud, Erich Fromm, Carl Jaspers. But from now on socionics had to compete with other trends in psychology, because Soviet (and later post-Soviet) psychology became pluralistic.

Two researchers from Kiev, Victor Gulenko and Alexander Bukalov, reformed socionics: they defined its subject and methodology, and created its terminology, which is used until now. Due to their activity, Kiev (Ukraine) became an “informal capital” of the socionics.

Alexander Bukalov was a young mathematician (born in 1960). He founded the International Socionics Institute in Kiev, and started publishing socionic journals (in 1995 the first of them appeared, and now they are three). His approach may be described as “abstract modeling”. He criticized the “old psychology” for being too descriptive and considered socionics as a method of making psychology more “precise” and forecasting. He invented a lot of hypotheses (frankly speaking, we – Dmitri and Marianna – accept only a part of them).

Victor Gulenko (born in 1958) began his career as a translator and interpreter of German, English and Dutch. His approach in socionics can be described as “humanitarian”. He studied modern psychological researches and tried to find their correlations with the socionic ideas. He was the first who performed a detailed comparison between socionics and the Myers & Briggs Type theory, and described their similarity and the difference between them. He noticed positive achievements of the Myers & Briggs theory, and appealed to other socionists for a scientific competition with their American colleagues, for studying their ideas and inventing something more perfect. He also tried to reform the socionic terminology, to make it closer to the existing psychological terminology. In 1997 (?) he defended a dissertation dedicated to application of the socionic approach in the work of school teachers. He also applies socionic ideas in personnel consulting. Finally, he published more books than any other socionist did.

It is interesting that both Bukalov and Gulenko started from the presumption that socionics were something different from psychology, and finally concluded that it was not, that socionics was rather a part of psychology, and thus contributed a lot to the recognition of socionic ideas by other psychologists.
(to be continued in several minutes)
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http://socioniko.narod.ru
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



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[ семинар "Соционика" ]

МнениеПуснато на: 18 Яну 2005 0:45:48    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

SOCIONICS TODAY: TESTING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE TESTING!

Starting from the beginning of 1990s, socionists gradually began to find a “common language” with psychologists. It was a long and not easy process. It was necessary for both of the parties (i.e. socionists and other psychologists) to be not “too proud” of their achievements, to be able to notice positive traits of the opponent. Victor Gulenko was probably the one who provided a basis for such mutual understanding. As a “popular game” (see above), socionics became widely known among young students, but that of course was not enough. Yes, it was like an epidemic: young people in many cities of the former USSR were anxious to know their types, to learn their relationships with each other. AT THE SAME TIME, THE SOCIONIC THEORY REMAINEDt of course was not enough. Yes, it was like a he recogn “RAW", SOMETIMES CONTRADICTORY. THE VERY METHOD OF DETERMINING TYPES WAS STILL NOT PERFECT. Socionists needed to exchange their experience with specialists of neighboring disciplines, such as psycho-diagnostics, social psychology, neuropathology, sociology etc., because very often these disciplines already “knew” how to solve some problems that still existed in socionics.

We wrote that for some time socionics rejected tests as something unreliable. However, such a situation could not last too long. More and more Western books were published in Russia, people discovered more and more tests in these books, and they asked: why are tests absent in socionics?

Well, the first attempt to make a socionic type test was made in 1985 by Igor Weisband. His test was very primitive; it proposed a 4-step tree of binary choices. Later some more similar “tests” were published in popular books on socionics, with a disclaimer that they were not too reliable. What did these tests look like? They much reminded the Myers & Briggs test, but significantly reduced and shortened. In fact, they represented just short and easily recognizable descriptions of the 4 dichotomies, so that people familiar with socionics could easily "cheat" these tests.

Socionics pretended to be more advanced than the Myers & Briggs theory, because of its theory of intertype relationships, but none of those tests reflected this advantage. The relationships were based NOT ON MERE DICHOTOMIES BUT ON THE FUNCTIONS. However, creation of a functional test reflecting the dynamical nature of the type (as it was considered in socionics) was an insoluble tasks for socionists of that time.

And one more unpleasant fact. Although we said “socionics discovered methods of determining types without testing”, it was not a singular discovery – it was a long and thorny process of proposing various hypotheses, full of both mistakes and brilliant ideas. In fact, determining the type in socionics was similar to medical diagnostics. If a person was watched for a sufficiently long period, considered in all aspects, then the diagnosis was very highly reliable. But people are people – they are impatient, especially when they are young! Along with profound researches, a “pop socionics” also appeared, which proposed “express testing”. No wonder that such “express testing” resulted in EXACTLY THE SAME PROBLEM AS IN THE US, AMONG THE ADHERENTS OF MYERS & BRIGGS THEORY: discrepancies in determining types of the same people. Especially famous people.

Fortunately, the situation changed at the end of 1990s. The time of enthusiasts passed away, and more and more professional psychologists were interested in methods of socionics. The process of intellectual exchange started. In 1997, for the first time a chapter on socionics was included into a manual of General Psychology (the 5-th edition of that book was published in 2002: Столяренко Л.Д. Основы психологии: Учебное пособие для студентов высших учебных заведений – 5-е изд., перераб. и доп. – Ростов-на-Дону: Феникс, 2002. – 672 с.), and from this year on a thin stream of socionic book gradually turned into an avalanche. Instead of making “discoveries”, socionists began to perform experiments, To verify and validize their methods.

Well, it will be a long story to tell about all these experiments (n fact, it should be one of the last topics of our seminar). We will tell only about the advance in testing.

Socionists tried to use also American tests (MBTI, Keirsey test etc.) for determining socionic types. However, they finally discovered that the American types were “somewhat different”. It cost years to understand the difference. In 1985, when Augusta for the first time learned about MBTI, she was absolutely sure that the American types were “the same”, only without a theory of intertype relationships. There were some comparative experiments (one of them was organized and performed by us – Dmitri and Marianna – together with Michael Morozov, the administrator of www.socionics.org site). These experiments finally confirmed that the American scales were somewhat “displaced” compared to the socionic scales. How? We will tell.

In 2000, Victor Talanov from St. Petersburg proposed a first dynamical socionic test. He used a multifactor approach, and his test was “self-learning”. We cooperated with Talanov for a year, but later we disagreed with some ideas used as the fundament of his test. Thus he began to develop his own test, and we developed our own Multifactor Test (MT). Out of more than 2000 respondents, about 900 sent us their feedback, which proved that our test was highly reliable. Then we published several articles about our test (you can find links in the list of literature). We believe that the multifactor approach has big perspectives for the diagnostics of types, since only this approach allows detecting the “dynamism” of the type, the know-how of socionics that distinguishes it from MBTI and many other typologies.

In the next topics we will tell you about the works of other socionists. They are really interesting. Socionics is actually applied in family and mariiage consulting, in career guidance, in personnel management etc. At the same time, researches of the nature of types go on. And communication with our colleagues abroad (in Finland, Estonia etc.) was really useful for us. Each country’s psychology has its specialization. For example psychology in Russia is close to pedagogy and philosophy, in Finland it is closely related to brain studies, in Germany to neural studies etc. And the intellectual exchange between different countries allows creating something new and improving old ideas.
(to be continued in the next topic; however, you may ask questions here).
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http://socioniko.narod.ru
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МнениеПуснато на: 23 Май 2012 20:29:34    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

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