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2. Definition and nature of TYPE in socionics

 
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



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МнениеПуснато на: 11 Яну 2005 15:15:37    Заглавие: 2. Definition and nature of TYPE in socionics Отговорете с цитат

Good afternoon!

Today we start a little bit later. We will try, at least, to fill this day with information.

Yesterday Vladimir Bodurov asked us whether socionics (and we, in particular) deals with mentally ill people.

Answer: socionics is a part of psychology, not psychiatry. There ARE some psychiatrists and clinical psychologists interested in socionics, which have published works on application of socionic types in psychiatry. Among them, we should mention:
- Professor Sergey Alexandrovich Bogomaz, Tomsk Medical University, africa@psy.tsu.ru
- Professor Vladislav Ivanovich Okladnikov, Irkutsk State Medical University, titov@physdep.isu.ru
- Dr. Mark Ye. Sandomirsky, Bashkir State Medical University (Ufa City), marks@ufanet.ru
If you need to know more about their researches, you can request them by these e-mail addresses. However, we would suggest that you write to them in Russian – they all belong to the generation (above 50 years old) that did not study English.

As for us both, as well as for the most of socionists – they deal with absolutely normal people, just like adherents of the Myers-Briggs Type Theory do in the US. Belonging to different types is as normal and natural as belonging to different temperaments and/or sexes.

OK, now let us discuss the nature of types and the definition of the type.

So, what is the TYPE in socionics? Yesterday we explained Jung’s views on the nature of the types described by him. Now we should tell about the actual status of researches. Knowing of the nature of type is very important for correct diagnostics. If we do not know what it is, how dare we measure it?

The XX century was rich for psychological typologies of all kinds. A Ukrainian psychologist Tamara Blyumina published a book where she collected typologies proposed by different researches (Блюмина Т.А. Вековые натуры в семье, школе, обществе. – М.: 1996.). It altogether includes 108 typologies (with socionics and Myers-Briggs typology, too). Out of these 108, approximately one half has been created in XX century. Blyumina also compared fundamental methods of these typologies. These included: physical constitution, dynamics of reaction, mental activity, inclinations to mental diseases etc., as well as some parameters having very vague relation to psychology (e.g. blood groups). The methods of diagnostics of these types were also different: sometimes testing, sometimes mere observation, some typologies were purely speculative, based on certain philosophical principles but never proven in practice (e.g. Immanuel Kant's typology).

However, we could notice at least two trends in all of these typologies.

Some of them were purely psychiatric. They concerned only mentally ill people. Very often authors of these typologies wrote that they described something abnormal, while normal people represent the “golden mean” («златната среда», идеалът). However, another part of the authors of psychiatric typologies (and Jung was among them) wrote that most of mental diseases arise from psychical predisposition to them; there are people more predisposed to e.g. maniacal-depressive psychosis, others are rather predisposed to schizophrenia. It does not mean that they are mentally ill from the very moment of birth - though, it means, that under certain combination of circumstances their “dreaming” disease may be launched and turn from potential into real.

The “psychiatric approach” to personality typology was dominant in the former USSR: only abnormal people have various “accentuations”, “types”, while normal people always strive to an ideal model of a Soviet person.

Another part of researches simply measured psychical parameters of different people, mostly sound, and tried to describe their difference in various terms. Researches of monozygotic twins were really important – they showed that people have certain psychical predisposition, and even education and growth in different conditions only “gives shape” to such predisposition, but does not change its basic contents. Even influence of medicines can cure psychical diseases, but cannot change one’s psychological type, NO MATTER WHAT TYPE WE MEAN – according to Jung, Sheldon, Eysenck etc.
(to be continued…)
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



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МнениеПуснато на: 11 Яну 2005 15:39:37    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

However, the speed of development of psychological knowledge in XX century was dramatic. We would compare this development with development of hardware and software technologies. Thus, in psychology things discovered and described 20-30 years ago seem to be too naive and simplified.

The same is true concerning typologies. In most cases, psychologists or psychiatrists never knew the nature of types observed and described by them. They simply thought: we observe it, so it exists. Only few (Kretschmer, Sheldon, Eysenck) strived for finding scientific backgrounds for their typologies.

Carl Gustav Jung created his typology almost 100 years ago. At that time, he did not know what we actually know about higher mental functions. However, his typology was constructed according to classical principle of “black box” usually applied in exact sciences. The expression “black box” means describing something whose nature is unknown, except for certain regularities. Description according to this methodology allows determining direction for future searches, even when science in its actual status does not possess adequate means of measuring this “black box”.

A classical example of a “black box” is the gravitation in physics. Although we still do not know its nature, we nevertheless know some of its fundamental laws and can successfully use them in our calculations.

What are basic requirements of the “black box” methodology?
The requirement # 1 says: the field of application (research) should be strictly defined. Or, at least, we should make delimitation between irrelevant and hypothetically relevant things.
The requirement # 2 says: the criteria of description of the “black box” should be applicable to its whole contents.

How did Jung manage to fulfill these requirements?
(to be continued).
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МнениеПуснато на: 11 Яну 2005 18:09:05    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

All the 4 Jung’s dichotomies (i.e., binary criteria) fulfilled the same requirement: they were all equally applicable to human psyche. Each person can be described in terms of BOTH poles of each of the dichotomies. Let us remind them:

- Extroversion/introversion
- Intuition/sensation
- Thinking/feeling (or: logic/ethic in socionics)
- Rationality/Irrationality (or: judgment/perception).

We will consider their definitions only tomorrow, but we can already mention, that EACH person both thinks and feels, both has some imagination (intuition) and controls current situation (sensation), both plans (rationality) and adapts to changing situation (irrationality), sometimes extends the circle of his/her acquaintances, interests, initiatives (extroversion), and sometimes relaxes from excessive initiative and contacts (introversion).

Moreover, these criteria must have been applicable to the people of the past as well. At least, as we can imagine them from literature, biographies etc. Some ancient people were described so clearly and vividly that we have almost no doubts which Jungian type should be attributed to them, e.g., Trotsky and Hitler were probably ethical-intuitive extroverts, and Georgi Dimitrov – an ethical-sensory extrovert. Sometimes even people of ancient times, such as Socrates, Aesop, Alexander of Macedonia, seem to be well identifiable with certain psychological types. Jung himself determined Aristotle as a typical extrovert, and Plato as a typical introvert.

We repeat again, Jung did not know the nature of these dichotomies. However, he described each of them as two different processes, which interfere, collide with each other, when fulfillment of one process impedes fulfillment of the other. Let us just briefly remind what he wrote in Tavistock Lectures (1935):

1. INTUITION/SENSATION: intuition implies abstract thinking, distraction from what is going on around, while sensation means, on the contrary, focus on irritants, on what is going on around. As a proverb says, it is difficult to develop muscles and mind together.

2. THINKING/FEELING: “thinking” means impersonal, “objective" evaluation of situation – if we replace these people with others, what will remain unchanged? Thus “thinking" function is creative in inventing and/or learning methods, classifications, rules, typologies. By contrast, "feeling" means personal evaluation of situation; even abstract knowledge is learned personally, “what it means to me?”. “Feeling” people are more skillful in making impression on others, in reacting to other people’s emotions, and even in manipulating them, while “thinking” people do not always understand emotions or even ignore them, trying to be “objectively useful” and “objectively evaluating” other people, which is sometimes perceived by others as coldness or harshness.

These two criteria are well reflected in human CONSCIOUS ACTIVITY. At least, we can notice their development and their productivity. We see that some people are more successful in some aspects, other people in other aspects. Both in Myers-Briggs Type Theory and in Socionics these two criteria are considered as important for career choice, professional application of human skills.
In our opinion, Thinking/Feeling and Intuition/Sensation are often (not always) identifiable even at a distance, at first glance.

3. EXTROVERSION/INTROVERSION: extroversion means initiative, introversion means restraint. In many popular books, we can find a definition given by Eysenck: “extrovert is sociable, introvert is close-mouthed”. This is not exactly what Jung meant; moreover, “extroverts” according to Eysenck are somewhat sensory-feeling, according to Jung; and “introverts” according to Eysenck are somewhat intuitive-thinking, according to Jung. An intuitive-thinking extrovert, or a sensory-ethical introvert would be “ambiverts” according to Eysenck (in other words, something between extroverts and introverts).
Jung gave several, somewhat contradictory definitions of extroversion and introversion. However, when he considered this dichotomy on the examples of specific types (in Psychological Types), it was easy to notice that extroversion meant “energy-spending”, introversion “energy-saving” in regard to the specific dominant function.
For example, introverts with dominant T (thinking) self-actualize in supporting and perfecting the existing order, eliminating logical contradictions, systematization, i.e. in avoiding excessive thinking activity.
On the other hand, extroverts with dominant T (thinking) develop and apply various methods, they are rather indifferent to classifications that impede practical activity, “practice is a criterion of truth!”; in other words, they are not afraid of excessive activity, they even find pleasure in making still schemes more dynamic.

4. RATIONALITY/IRRATIONALITY: this last dichotomy deals with adherence to principle (rationality) or spontaneity, flexibility (irrationality). Psychology has an almost synonymous term: rigidity/lability.

These last two criteria describe DYNAMICS of human neural system. Very often, people do not even realize why they do this way – “it’s natural for me, that’s all!” Each person is sometimes active, sometimes quiet, sometimes spontaneous, sometimes regular, but it is hard to ignore that some people are “hyper-excitable” even when they try to be calm, others are rather steady, even-tempered.
These last two criteria, in our opinion, are adequately identifiable only at close distance, or (in case of determining type in absence) through detailed studies of biography, facts etc. Even excitable people may sometimes look calm, restrained (especially when they get tired by their own excitability), even shy people may sometimes look aggressive (especially when they are really feared).

Many socionists believe that AT LEAST PARTLY these last two criteria are relevant to classical Hippocrates’ temperaments. What is their nature? Most probably they are relevant to hormonal regulation of the brain. There were many researches in this field (Eysenck, Simonov, Khomskaya etc.), but their results only partly coincide, and we are still far from understanding their nature.
We would suggest you to read V.Talanov’s article (in Russian) that summarizes all the hypotheses about neuro-physiological nature of Jung’s dichotomies. http://psihologia.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=389
Another neuro-physiological hypothesis about Jung's dichotomies is here (in English):
http://www.benziger.org
If you need more details about Jung's own viewpoint, you can find C.G.Jung’s texts in English here:
http://www.cgjungpage.org
And in Russian – here:
http://www.wanderer.org.ua

So, we approached the question – how to identify these dichotomies adequately?

(to be continued tomorrow; however, if you ask questions today, we will probably reply)
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Kalin Yanev



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МнениеПуснато на: 11 Яну 2005 21:53:40    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

Цитат:
1. INTUITION/SENSATION: intuition implies abstract thinking, distraction from what is going on around, while sensation means, on the contrary, focus on irritants, on what is going on around. As a proverb says, it is difficult to develop muscles and mind together.

2. THINKING/FEELING: “thinking” means impersonal, “objective" evaluation of situation – if we replace these people with others, what will remain unchanged...


Are these two dichotomies independent? For to me they seem partly similar.

And my second question: As the types are social schema - no matter what is the criterion of defining them, maybe they are phenomenon related to the social perception? I mean if we perceive someone through some predefinied pattern 1. the info coming from and about him or her will be distorted in a way to match the pattern and 2. he or she will tend to behave in the expected manner. So where is the difference between type and social stereotype? How are the objective and relevant features of some type identified?
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Дмитрий и Марианна Лытовы



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МнениеПуснато на: 12 Яну 2005 18:22:58    Заглавие: Отговорете с цитат

Kalin Yanev asks about the criteria Thinking/Feeling and Intuition/Sensation:

Цитат:
Are these two dichotomies independent? For to me they seem partly similar.


Jung himself in Tavistock Lectures mentioned complaints expressed by readers of his books: they said they sometimes could not distinguish Feeling from Sensation, Thinking from Intuition.

This is a linguistic problem, not scientific. In many languages, including Russian, English, German, there are many words describing “intersections” of Jung’s criteria. For example, Russian word чувство (feeling) is associated both with Feeling and with Sensation, in Jung’s sense.

For this reason, in Socionics the criterion Thinking/Feeling was renamed into Logic/Ethic in order to mark up the difference more clearly.
Intuition/Sensation deals with perception (this is why intuition or sensation is a dominant function for irrational types), while Logic/Ethic deals with methods of argumentation, judgment, evaluation (this is why logic or ethic is a dominant function for rational types).

In our real life, however, we deal NOT WITH ABSTRACT DICHOTOMIES, but with concrete human traits. These traits, we would say, represent interaction of multiple criteria - including Jung’s dichotomies.

For example, intuitive+logical types are often perceived by other people as “intellectuals”, while sensory+ethical types as the most “sensual”. However, other two combinations of these criteria also make sense. Sensory+logical types are often described as "practical, pragmatic, thrifty", while intuitive+ethical types - as "humanitarian, idealistic".

In the next topic we will try to illustrate all Jung’s dichotomies with practical examples.

Цитат:
And my second question: As the types are social schema - no matter what is the criterion of defining them, maybe they are phenomenon related to the social perception? I mean if we perceive someone through some predefined pattern 1. the info coming from and about him or her will be distorted in a way to match the pattern and 2. he or she will tend to behave in the expected manner. So where is the difference between type and social stereotype? How are the objective and relevant features of some type identified?


This is already the subject of the next topic.
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