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Socionics (Russian: соционика) is a theory of personality and interpersonal interaction based on Carl Jung's work on Psychological Types, Freud's theory of the conscious and subconscious mind, and Antoni Kępiński's theory of information metabolism. The theory was developed in the 1970s and 80s mainly by the Lithuanian researcher Aušra Augustinavičiūtė, [1] a financier and teacher of political economics.[2] 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.[3]

Central to socionics is the idea that a person's psyche processes information using "psychological functions." Different orderings of these functions result in different ways of perceiving, processing, and producing information, which in turn result in distinct thinking patterns, values, behavior, and thus different personality types. Socionics also includes a theory of intertype relations which examines the interaction of these functions among types. These theories, however, have not yet been demonstrated through scientific studies or experiments. [4]

The International Institute of Socionics (IIS) was founded in 1991 in Kiev, Ukraine. The organization's director is Dr. Alexander Boukalov. The Institute holds annual conferences and publishes a socionics journal in Russian.

A number of socionics sources (mostly outside the former USSR where this approach is rather unpopular) espouse a form of physiognomy, correlating certain external physical features with type. One very popular website for Socionics,, maintains this view, beginning type descriptions with statements like "ENTps normally have a long, slim figure. Other parts of the body are also stretched, especially the legs and fingers. They often have rounded shoulders. Sometimes ENTps have a characteristic inwardly sloping chin." Some claim to type people through a process called V.I. (Visual Identification) which, it is claimed, "is the fastest and most reliable method of Type identification of today." [4] This small subset of socionists believe type can be identified without using any other information, and display pictures of particular "types" as examples or training materials. Most socionists, however, maintain that physical similarities are only loosely related to type at best and should not be the ultimate criteria for deciding someone's socionic type.


Jung's psychological types

Carl Jung describes four basic psychological functions that are capable of becoming conscious:[5]

  • Sensation - all perceptions by means of the sense organs
  • Intuition - perception by way of the unconscious, or perception of unconscious events
  • Thinking (logic) - interpretation of information based on whether it is correct or incorrect
  • Feeling (ethics) - interpretation of information based on its ethical aspects

Sensation and intuition are called perceiving or irrational functions, and are thus named because unlike the rational or judging functions (i.e., thinking and feeling), they deal with the perception of reality rather than the interpretation of it. One function dominates consciousness, while its opposite characterizes unconsciousness. There are dominant (primary) functions and auxiliary (secondary) functions. It is common to refer to both dominant and auxiliary functions, e.g., intuitive-thinking or sensation-feeling.

Attitude of consciousness refers to the basic direction of conscious energy flow. Two possible directions of flow are introversion (inward to subjective, psychological experience) or extroversion (outward to the environment of objects, other people and collective norms). Opposite attitudes would characterize unconsciousness. Hence the dominant function of consciousness can be either introverted or extroverted, which allows for 8 different major psychological types. Mixed types would include auxiliary functions.

Information elements

A basic premise of socionics is that complete information about any thing, situation, or happening is encompassed in 8 categories, called information aspects, or information elements. Each of these aspects of reality is processed by a psychic function. Augustinavičiūtė introduced special symbols for each of this functions to simplify discussion.

To begin discussing socionics it is crucial to see the realm in which each information element measures and experiences reality.

Function Acronym Symbol Description Extroverted logic (thinking) Te Te is responsible for assessing the efficiency of actions, understanding of technical processes, the accomplishment of work, the efficient and prudent use of resources, and the acquisition of relevant and useful information. Te understands the difference between effective and ineffective behavior when performing a procedure or accomplishing a task, and aspires to increase the frequency of productive outcomes within a system. Extroverted ethics (feeling) Fe Fe is responsible for the perception of an emotional state in an individual, and the bodily and linguistic expression of emotions. Fe is able to influence others' emotional condition and to communicate its own, "infecting" others. Fe is especially prone to generating and recognizing excitement and enthusiasm. Extroverted intuition Ne Ne is responsible for understanding the essence (or permanent traits) of a thing, the estimation of opportunities and possibilities for people and things, and is able to visualize potential results of events. It is responsible for the sense of interest or boredom. Ne can extrapolate why an event occurs, but sees the specific event as static and unalterable. Extroverted sensing Se Se is responsible for the perception, control, defense, and acquisition of space. It assesses appearance and the geometric form of subjects, estimates whether forces are in alignment or conflict, and uses strength of will and power-based methods to achieve its purposes. Se understands territory and aggression (both physical and psychological). Introverted logic (thinking) Ti Ti is responsible for understanding logic and structure, categorizations, ordering, logical analysis and distinctions, logic explanations and proof based on a minimal set of "self-evident" rules and axioms. Ti interprets information via a closed and internally consistent system of truths. Ti is particularly aware of syntacticcorrectness and how words relate to each other in meaning and structure. Introverted ethics (feeling) Fi Fi is responsible for understanding the quality, nature, and maintenance of personal relations; makes moral judgments; and aspires to humanism and kindness. Fi has a strong understanding of the social hierarchy and how people feel about each other, their attitudes of like or dislike, enthrallment or disgust, repulsion or attraction, enmity or friendship. Introverted intuition Ni Ni is responsible for the estimation of the passage of time, the understanding of a course of processes in time, and forecasting. Ni understand how things change and evolve over time and throughout history. Ni is acutely aware of events that are occurring outside of the immediate perception of the moment, and sees events as part of a continuous flow. Ni addresses the inevitability of the future and the dimness of the past. Introverted sensing Si Si is responsible for perception of physical sensations; questions of comfort, coziness, and pleasure; and a sense of harmony and acclimation with one's physical environment. Si understand how well an object agrees with its nature as well as the differences between comfortable behaviors and positions and uncomfortable ones.

The 16 types

Classical socionics theory contains 16 different psychological types. These types are most commonly specified by their two strongest functions, where Jung's functions are used. Jung described 8 types based on the most dominant function of the personality; but socionics, similar to the MBTI instrument, describes the different types based on pairs of functions, which in socionics are called the leading (or base) function and the creative function. The creative function is opposite to the leading function in extroversion and rationality. For example, if the dominant function is introverted logic (a rational and introverted function), the secondary function must be irrational and extroverted, which means the only two functions that could follow introverted thinking are extroverted sensing or extroverted intuition.

Augustinavičiūtė usually used names like sensory logical introvert to refer to the type. In this example the first function is introverted sensing and the secondary is logic (which must be extroverted). Augustinavičiūtė also introduced the use of names of famous people as a moniker for each type. For example, she called the type of sensory logical introvert Gabin or sensory ethical introvert Dumas. Some later researchers believed that using names of famous people is not quite appropriate and instead used names like Craftsman or Mediator to directly express the social role as precisely as possible.

In Russian, to keep the text brief, the types are labeled with three-letter acronyms, which are also used to specify the types in English, e.g., ILE, which stands for "intuitive logical extravert". However, some authors in socionics specify socionic types using MBTI abbreviations, given the similarities present in the two theories and the utility of the abbreviations in the subtheory of socionics of Reinin dichotomies. In order to distinguish between socionics and MBTI types using this nomenclature, a tradition of leaving the last letter uncapitalized has been established among some groups.[citation needed] For example, an MBTI extroverted sensing feeling judging type is often referred to as an ESFJ, while a socionics ethical sensory extrovert is referred to as an ESFj.

The following tables provide a list of types with names most commonly used in socionics:[6]

First two functions Formal name Social role Famous Person Si Te SLI (sensory logical introvert)Craftsman / Artisan GabinSe Ti SLE (sensory logical extrovert)Legionnaire / Conqueror ZhukovSi Fe SEI (sensory ethical introvert)Mediator / Peacemaker DumasSe Fi SEE (sensory ethical extrovert)Politician / Ambassador Napoleon(or Caesar) Ti Se LSI (logical sensory introvert)Inspector / Pragmatist Maxim GorkyTe Si LSE (logical sensory extrovert)Director / Judge Stirlitz(or Sherlock Holmes) Fi Se ESI (ethical sensory introvert)Conservator / Guardian DreiserFe Si ESE (ethical sensory extrovert)Bonvivant / Enthusiast HugoNi Te ILI (intuitive logical introvert)Critic / Observer BalzacNe Ti ILE (intuitive logical extrovert)Seeker / Inventor Don QuixoteNi Fe IEI (intuitive ethical introvert)Lyricist / Romantic Sergei YeseninNe Fi IEE (intuitive ethical extrovert)Psychologist / Reporter HuxleyTi Ne LII (logical intuitive introvert)Analyst / Mastermind Robespierre(or Descartes) Te Ni LIE (logical intuitive extrovert)Entrepreneur / Pioneer Jack LondonFi Ne EII (ethical intuitive introvert)Humanist / Empath DostoyevskyFe Ni EIE (ethical intuitive extrovert)Mentor / Actor Hamlet

Model A

Aušra Augustinavičiūtė developed a model of personality called Model A, which includes all eight socionic functions.[7] A function's position in Model A reflects the nature of its usage by a particular type. The following diagram is an example of the positions of the functions as expressed in Model A. Note that, although often these functions are numbered 1 to 8, this does not mean that the functions are ordinal in strength, as is the case in MBTI.

1 2 4 3 6 5 7 8

Nature of functions

  • Function 1 - leading, program, primary, base, or dominant function. This is the strongest conscious function, and the most utilized function of the psyche. A person's outlook and role in life is largely determined by the nature of this function. One is generally very confident in the use of this function, and may defend it when challenged.
  • Function 2 - creative or secondary function, is second in influence only to the dominant function. It assists the dominant function in achieving its essence. One is generally less confident with the use of this function than with his dominant function. As a result, the creative function is sometimes less instrumental when a person is challenged or threatened, or when dealing with new and complex tasks and data.
  • Function 3 - role function, is a weak but conscious function. One generally tries to be at least adequate in areas where use of the role function is necessary. However, generally one has very little control or confidence over the role function, and criticism is painfully acknowledged with respect to it. Tactful assistance is required from one's dual-seeking function to overcome the problems associated with the role function.
  • Function 4 - place of least resistance or the painful function, is a weak and conscious function, in addition to being the weakest function of the psyche. One painfully perceives his complete inability to use this function, and reacts negatively to its imposition upon him. Tactful assistance is required from one's hidden agenda to overcome the problems associated with this function.
  • Function 5 - suggestive, or inspired function, is a weak and unconscious function which is largely lacked. One requires assistance from somebody confident in this function in order to overcome the difficulties it presents. When left to ones own devices, the suggestive function goes unnoticed.
  • Function 6 - actualization, the hidden agenda or estimative function. This is a weak and unconscious function which one often understands poorly. Nonetheless, this function has a strong influence over one's actions. Individuals requires assistance from someone who uses it confidently in order to understand it. Often an individuals is only aware that they are totally unaware of how to use this function.
  • Function 7 - observant or the ignoring function, the function of personal knowledge. This is a strong but unconscious function. One generally has a good grasp of this function, but attempts to limit its use considerably. Individuals will disregard this function when an argument calls for restraint or when it will be difficult to indulge in its essence.
  • Function 8 - demonstrative function. This is the strongest of the unconscious functions. As a result, it is so deeply rooted into the psyche that one is usually not consciously aware of its existence or utilization. Individuals will often identify their demonstrative function mistakenly when discussing 'who they are.'

Blocks of the psyche

According to Augustinavičiūtė, there are four blocks of the psyche: the ego block, the super-ego block, the id block, and the super-id block. The ego block contains the dominant and creative functions, the super-ego block contains the role and PoLR functions, the super-id block contains the dual-seeking function and the hidden agenda, while the id block contains the seventh and eighth functions.

The functions within the ego and super-ego blocks (called "mental functions") are said to be conscious functions, while those within the id and super-id blocks (called "vital functions") are said to be unconscious. Similarly, the functions residing within the ego and id blocks are said to be strong functions which are expressed easily or naturally, while the functions of the super-ego and super-id blocks are weak and expressed with difficulty or support, or are not expressed at all.

The 16 types in Model A


Intertype relations

The field of Intertype Relations within Socionics attempts to describe the nature of information interchange between two different people based on their Socionics type.


Relations of Identity (Example: ESE and ESE) describe relations between two individuals of the same type. Often, both partners will perceive similar situations and problems, and will take similar actions. Partners usually understand the motivations behind the other's actions. A relationship between identity partners is characterized by mutual understanding, self-development, and learning. Each is interested in the other's ideas, and sees their value.


Duality is a fundamental concept in Socionics. Dual relations are characterized by mutual benefit and support. Duality occurs between two members of the same quadra who are both either rational or irrational. So duality partners share the same function blocks, but their dominance is reversed. In a sense, they are opposite sides of the same coin. The 8 duality pairs are as follows:


In dual relations, the super-id functions of both partners are the ego functions of the other. As the super-id functions are generally the areas in which a person needs assistance from somebody skilled in these areas, duality interaction is quite rewarding and satisfying for both parties.

Activity / Activation

Activity relations occur between two members of the same quadra who share either introversion or extroversion. (Example: LIE and SEE) Relations of activity can resemble duality since the super-id functions are both present in the ego functions of the other partner. However, activity relations are somewhat less fulfilling than dual relations. Each partner's dominant function is the others Hidden Agenda function. Activity relations are better suited to friendly correspondence.

Activity relationships are often romantic if both partners find each other attractive. These relationships are often very easy to start, as both partners share either extroversion or introversion. Introvert activity relationships appear reserved, while extrovert activity relationships appear hectic.


Mirror relations (Example: IEE and EII) occur between types who share the same ego functions, yet place different emphases on them; the dominant function of one partner is the creative function of the other. Mirror relations are characterized by similar actions and motivations between partners, and mutual understanding. Interactions usually result in a drawn out dialogue, as each partner seems to keep opening up avenues of thought which the other needs to now clarify verbally.

An important source of dissension between mirror types is the opposing temperament, as all mirror relations occur between EJ and IP temperaments, or between EP and IJ temperaments. EJs find the passive, unstable IP behavior to be a severe hindrance in getting things done, while IPs find the restless and proactive actions of EJ types paranoid and stifling. Similarly, EP types find IJ types to be somewhat dull and boring, while IJ types see EP types as wildly unpredictable and impetuous.

Comparative / Kindred

Comparative relations occur between types who share the same dominant function but possess different creative functions. (Example: SLE and SEE) Comparative partners often see each other as interesting people and are often able to see each other's motivations, but tailor their actions towards areas where the other partner is unskilled or uninterested, as the creative function for one partner is the place of least resistance of the other.

Comparative relationships are often similar to mirror relationships where ideas are communicated through drawn out dialog. Comparative relationships are easy to begin because both partners share a similar type of intelligence, and are able to communicate it easily to one another.


Relations of semi-duality (Example: LIE and EII) are similar to relations of duality. Semi-duality occurs between partners who share each other's dual-seeking (5th) functions but lack each other's actualization (hidden agenda) functions. As a result, both partners often perceive elements of duality from the relationship but feel the other partner is misplacing the correct emphasis; as semi-duals will be able to help their partners with their dual seeking functions but both have the least confidence in the same area of the psyche (thinking, feeling, sensing, or intuition).

Relationships of semi-duality can become very close for moderate periods of time until correspondence is broken indefinitely. These relationship are often begin, or rekindle because of mutual interests or friends held in common.

Look-a-like / Cooperation / Business

Look-a-like relations occur between partners who have the same creative function but differing dominant functions (EIE and LIE). As a result, look-a-like partners may often perform similar activities or have similar fields of interest, but often do not understand each other's internal motivations. Look-alike partners will often approach their related fields with vastly different agendas and will generate conflict when working as a team. Look-a-like relations become formal and business like as to avoid open debate and conflict.

Illusionary / Mirage

Relations of Illusion occur between partners whose creative functions are the other partners' hidden agenda, but whose dual seeking functions are part of the id block of the other partner (SEE and SLI).

Relationships of Illusion often become quite close and are easy to begin because both individuals are able to communicate effectively with one another because partners share a preference for thinking, feeling, sensing, or intuiting.

Benefit / Request

Relations of Benefit (Example: LSE and ILE) are asymmetrical relations; one type benefits another. Relations of benefit are characterized by the beneficiary's attempt to draw in the benefactor to a world where the benefactor clearly does not belong. The beneficiary's dual seeking function is the benefactor's creative function, and as a result the beneficiary often takes an interest in the benefactor. However, the benefactor's dual seeking function is the beneficiary's place of least resistance, and the benefactor finds the beneficiary a highly uninteresting person. Relations of benefit frequently end with the departure of the benefactor... often to the utter bewilderment of the beneficiary.


Relations of supervision are asymmetrical; one type supervises another. Relations of supervision are characterized by the supervisor's attempt to introduce his base function into the supervisee's life (Example: the ESI supervises the SLE, or the SLE supervises the LII.) The supervisor often perceives the supervisee as an interesting person and understands the supervisee's lifestyle, since the supervisor's creative function is the supervisee's base function. Nonetheless, the supervisee is often on the defensive since the supervisor's base function is the supervisee's point of least resistance (the function most vulnerable to criticism). The supervisee often perceives the supervisor to be the evil incarnate, while the bewildered supervisor wonders why the supervisee reacts so poorly to his objective and benevolent assistance.

Contrary / Contrast / Extinguishment

Contrary relations (Example: ESI and ESE) occur between types confident in the same area of the psyche but who place different emphases on each function. Contrary relations often consist of similar lifestyles but differing thought processes. Contrary partners will have similar interests and areas of expertise, and have little trouble communicating with one another.

Still, misunderstanding and conflict arise when partners come to vastly different conclusions about specific ideas or events.


Super-ego relations (Example: LSE and EIE) occur between types whose ego functions are the other partners' super-ego functions. Super-ego relations are generally characterized by differing values, discomfort, and mutual misunderstanding.

Partners in a super-ego relationship are often fascinated or terrified by their partners lack of similarity to themselves. Super-ego partners are constantly aware of their total opposition in values to the partner. Outside observers are often similarly aware.


Relations of Quasi-Identity (Example: ESI and SEI) are characterized by mutual misunderstanding. One partner's ego functions are the other partner's demonstrative and observant functions. As quasi-identicals have opposite functions, they will often have similar interests (id block and ego blocks contain the same functions) and become involved in similar activities, but they rarely understand each other's motivations or ideas.

Interestingly, Quasi-Identity partners often identify themselves as being very different than the partner. Outside observers often have trouble seeing the differences that the individual sees between himself and the partner.


Relations of Conflict (Example: LII and SEE) are, unsurprisingly, characterized by constantly escalating conflict. Conflictors are the types with the most dissimilar values, and they rarely understand anything regarding each other's motivations or lifestyles. Conflictors may take for granted truths that their partners will dismiss as absurd. Sometimes they understand each other so little that the conflict is not well understood, but prevails under the surface, discomfiting both partners to no end. Conflictors also are of opposite temperaments, a fact which both partners often find irritating.


There are four temperaments in socionics; namely, the extroverted rational (EJ), introverted rational (IJ), extroverted irrational (EP), and introverted irrational (IP) temperaments.[citation needed]

Extroverted Rational Temperament

Extroverted rational types, namely the ESE, EIE, LIE, and LSE, are characterized by energetic and proactive behavior.

Introverted Rational Temperament

Introverted rational types, namely the LII, LSI, ESI, and EII, are characterized by slow and methodical behavior.

Extroverted Irrational Temperament

Extroverted irrational types, namely the ILE, SLE, SEE, and IEE, are characterized by impulsive and unpredictable behavior.

Introverted Irrational Temperament

Introverted irrational types, namely the SEI, IEI, ILI, and SLI, are characterized by lack of motivation, inertia, and unstable moods and energy levels.


A quadra is a group of four types in which mirror, activity, identity, and dual relations result between each member of the group. The unique feature of the quadra is that it offers the greatest degree of psychological comfort among all groups containing four types in which functional interaction is symmetrical. The feeling of comfort and harmony produced by the quadra is due to the fact that all types in the quadra are alike in that they seek to give expression to the shared set of information elements in their ego and super-id blocks and to de-emphasize the information elements in their super-ego and id blocks.

The Quadras: Alpha




















Cultural influence

Socionics originated in Vilnius and has developed extensively in the former Soviet Union in the past 30 years. In the Russian-speaking world (primarily Russia and Ukraine, but also the Baltic States, Central Asia, and Russian communities abroad) socionics has grown significantly in popularity, and is now a topic of discussion among large numbers of amateurs, as well as a group of a few hundred professionals. The most notable and active area for discussion of socionics is Ukraine, where the International Institute of Socionics is situated. Clubs for socializing and/or theoretical discussion exist in many large cities across the former USSR.[8],[9] A couple journals exist, as well as a number of organizations which periodically hold conferences in Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities.[10]

In the West, however, socionics exists as little more than an internet phenomenon due to its novelty and relative obscurity. It was first introduced in English on the Internet in the mid 90s when Russian socionist Sergei Ganin created Although there do exist English discussion forums[11][12] where some discussion of the theoretical and practical aspects of socionics does occur, little information about Socionics has dispersed beyond them. Little or no research on socionics has been published in English-language, scientific journals. American-born socionist, Rick DeLong recently launched Wikisocion, a free socionics encyclopedia, available in English and Russian versions.

See also


  1. ^ SOCIONICS: Personality Types and Relationships. Retrieved on 2008-05-09.
  2. ^ Retrieved on 2008-05-09.
  3. ^ Седых Р.К. (1994). Информационный психоанализ. Соционика как метапсихология.. НПП Менатеп-Траст.  The title of the book can be translated as Informational psychoanalysis. Socionics as a metapsychology. The full text of the book is available online (in Russian).
  4. ^ Retrieved on 2008-05-09.
  5. ^ Jung, C.G., Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol.6), 1976 (1921), ISBN 0-691-01813-8 The chapter X, General description of types contains descriptions of basic psychological functions and 8 major psychological types.
  6. ^ Filatova E. Искусство понимать себя и окружающих. (In Russian, The Art of Understanding Oneself and Others.)
  7. ^ Аугустинавичюте Аушра Теория функций. Функционика. (In Russian) The title can be translated as Function theory. Functionics.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ DeLong, Rick. "The Socionics Community" [3]
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links

v • d • eAnalytical psychologyPeople:
Carl Jung| Sigmund Freud| Marie-Louise von Franz| Aušra AugustinavičiūtėConcepts:
Personal unconscious| Collective unconscious| ArchetypeMyers-Briggs Type Indicator:
ENTP| ENTJ| ENFJ| ENFPKeirsey Temperament Sorter:
Idealist| Rational| Guardian| ArtisanSocionics:
ILE| SEI| ESE| LII| SLE| IEI| EIE| LSI| SEE| ILI| LIE| ESI| IEE| SLI| LSE| EII Categories: Jungian psychology | Personality typologies | SocionicsHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from May 2008 | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements since May 2008

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