Wednesday, 2 July 2014

An Introduction to Socionics: Part 3 - Inter-Type Relations and the Quadras

In Part 1, I covered the basics and in Part 2, I showed how the basics come together into a Model for each personality type. In Part 3, I will show how these different types interact with each other in relationships and in communities of people.

Inter-type Relations

This refers to the pattern of functional interaction between two socionic types, that is to say the description of the psychological compatibility between two types.

There are fourteen of these relationships and among them twelve are called symmetrical and two asymmetrical.

Some of the inter-type relations are more psychologically compatible (or favourable) than others. The different relationships are listed below in order of most to least compatible

·         DualitySymmetric relation. They are perfectly fitted for each other as the suggestive and mobilising functions of one match the leading and creative functions of the other and vice versa, allowing just the right synergy of valued information. This leads to a “Yin/Yang” effect.
Dual relationship between an ILE and an SEI.

        Dual Pairs (Dyads):
                          ILE - SEI
                          ESE - LII
                          EIE - LSI
                          SLE - IEI
                          SEE - ILI
                          LIE - ESI
                          LSE - EII

                          IEE - SLI 

·         Identical: Symmetric relation. The two partners of such a relationship have the same IM type and thus all functions are exactly matched. These pairings can get to know each other extremely quickly and have no trouble with communication. However, they rarely find solutions to each other’s problems and they will want to take responsibility in the same field, which might lead one partner to idle. For example, an ILE and another ILE.

·         ActivationSymmetric relation. Their ego and super-id blocks are matched so they find it comfortable to let down their guard around each other however the leading matches the other’s mobilising and the creative the suggestive, meaning too much and too little of certain kinds of required information are given. As a result, although common for friendships, these relationships can be a little over-stimulating and even competitive, requiring the partners to require breaks from each other from time to time.

        Activator Pairs:
                          ILE - ESE
                          SEI - LII
                          EIE - SLE
                          LSI - IEI
                          SEE - LIE
                          ILI - ESI
                          LSE - IEE
                          EII - SLI

·         MirrorSymmetric relation. It is a relationship of intellectual connection and stimulation and mutual correction. The pair share the same ego block but with the leading and creative functions switched, causing a different emphasis on how they approach similar fields with opposite temperaments. They will often respect and appreciate eachother’s work but may feel that something is being focused on too much and another more important thing is being compromised.

        Mirror Pairs:
                          ILE - LII
                    SEI - ESE
                    EIE - IEI
                    LSI - SLE
                    SEE - ESI
                    ILI - LIE
                    LSE - SLI
                    EII - IEE

·         KindredSymmetric relation. Also called comparative relations, the partners in this relation share the same leading function and have a different creative function, which makes interaction very easy as they are both after the same things in life. However, the difference in creative function can lead to disagreements over value differences, with each thinking the same goal should be achieved in ways off-putting to each other.
        Kindred Pairs:
                          ILE - IEE
                    SEI - SLI
                    EIE - ESE
                    LSI - LII
                    SEE - SLE
                    ILI - IEI
                    LSE - LIE
                    EII - ESI

·         Look-a-like:Symmetric relation. Also called business relations, the partners have different leading functions but the same creative function, meaning that although they are fundamentally after different things, they use similar methods and are open to similar follies. As a result, they can appear quite similar, albeit often working in rather different fields.
        Look-a-like Pairs:
                          ILE - SLE
                    SEI - IEI
                    EIE - LIE
                    LSI - ESI
                    SEE - IEE
                    ILI - SLI
                    LSE - ESE
                    EII - LII

·         Semi-dualitySymmetric relation. Relations of semi-duality are ones of incomplete or inefficient duality when the leading and suggestive functions of the two partners are matched but the creative and mobilising are not. As a result, the two supply each other’s main need but are unable to adequately put each other at ease, leading to a “moth to the flame” effect where the partners are drawn to each other but can suddenly break apart due to a clash in values.
        Semi-dual Pairs:
                          ILE - SLI
                    SEI - IEE
                    EIE - LII
                    LSI - ESE
                    SEE - IEI
                    ILI - SLE
                    LSE - ESI
                    EII - LIE

·         IllusionarySymmetric relation. Also called ‘Mirage’ relations. Each partner is the Look-a-like of the other’s Dual, causing the partners to enjoy each other’s company. However, although the creative and mobilising functions of each partner are matched, the leading and suggestive are not, meaning that these partners are never truly satisfied with each other, often leading to stagnancy.
        Illusion Pairs:
                          ILE - IEI
                    SEI - SLE
                    EIE - ESI
                    LSI - LIE
                    SEE - SLI
                    ILI - IEE
                    LSE - LII
                    EII - ESE

·         Super-egoSymmetric relation. Super-Ego partners often find each other quite mysterious and curious people and appreciate each other’s energies due to matching temperaments. However, their leading and role as well as their creative and vulnerable functions are matched, leading to a dissonance in values and abilities, meaning that conversations are usually short-lived and unfulfilling.
        Super-ego Pairs:
                          ILE - SEE
                    SEI - ILI
                    EIE - LSE
                    LSI - EII
                    LIE - ESE 
                    ESI - LII
                    IEE - SLE
                    SLI - IEI

·         BenefitAsymmetric relation in which the type with the higher status is called the Benefactor (>) and the type with the lower status is called the Beneficiary (<). Here, the suggestive function of the Beneficiary is matched by the Benefactor’s creative while the Benefactor’s suggestive function is matched by the Beneficiary’s vulnerable function. As a result, the Beneficiary requires a little too much from the Benefactor while giving absolutely nothing of what the Benefactor needs in return. This provides a feeling of being used in the Benefactor and a feeling of impotence in the Beneficiary. As an asymmetric relation, this is better demonstrated in rings rather than pairs.
        Benefit Rings:
                          ILE > EIE > SEE > LSE > ILE... etc.
                    SEI > LSI > ILI > EII > SEI... etc.
                    ESE > IEE > LIE > SLE > ESE... etc. 
                    LII > SLI > ESI > IEI > LII... etc.

·         Supervision: Asymmetric relation in which one partner, the Supervisor (>), is in a higher psychological position than the other partner, the Supervisee (<). This is due to the leading function of the Supervisor matching the vulnerable function of the Supervisee, causing the former to be baffled by the inadequacies of the latter and placing expectations on them that the latter does not understand. Additionally, the leading of the Supervisee only matches the creative of the Supervisor, meaning the feeling of bafflement is not returned. As an asymmetric relation, this is better demonstrated in rings rather than pairs.

        Supervision Rings:
                          ILE > LSI > SEE > EII > ILE... etc.
                    SEI > EIE > ILI > LSE > SEI... etc.
                    ESE > SLI > LIE > IEI > ESE... etc. 
                    LII > IEE > ESI > SLE > LII... etc.

·         Quasi-identicalSymmetric relation. This is a relationship of external similarity and internal value dissonance where the two partners have their leading functions matching each other’s demonstrative functions and creative with ignoring, meaning that although the partners may superficially work in similar fields and do similar things, they have very different priorities in how to approach matters, meaning that they may never agree on what is the right way to do something and may see each other as ‘wrong-headed’. As a result quasi-identicals often resemble ‘topsy-turvy’ versions of each other. 

        Quasi-identical Pairs:
                          ILE - LIE
                    SEI - ESI
                    EIE - IEE
                    LSI - SLI
                    SEE - ESE  
                    ILI - LII
                    LSE - SLE
                    EII - IEI

·         ExtinguishmentSymmetric relation. This is a relationship of confusion and confounding where the two partners have their leading functions matching each other’s ignoring functions and creative with demonstrative. A strong, explicit values dissonance should occur, with each stubbornly disagreeing with what the other thinks is most important and not backing down. Each type will see the other as highly contrarian and unwilling to accept their point of view.

        Extinguishor Pairs:
                          ILE - ILI
                    SEI - SEE
                    EIE - EII
                    LSI - LSE
                    LIE - LII  
                    ESI - ESE
                    SLI - SLE
                    IEE - IEI

·         ConflictingSymmetric relation. Conflict is the inter-type relation considered to be the least compatible and fulfilling psychologically as the two partners are complete opposites. The leading and vulnerable functions as well as the creative and role functions are matched leading to mutual misunderstanding and inadequacy as both find each other to lack in desirable qualities or operate in a manner that can be really understood. Unfortunately, the conflictor is the quasi-identical of a person’s dual and so such relationships can come about due to confusion, the people superficially being a point of intrigue at a distance and thus having an attractive effect to begin with. This often goes wrong once they come closer.

        Conflictor Pairs:
                          ILE - ESI
                    SEI - LIE
                    EIE - SLI
                    LSI - IEE
                    SEE - LII  
                    ILI - ESE
                    LSE - IEI
                    EII - SLE


A group of four types that have the same valued elements, that is to say their 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th functions and the same subdued elements, that is to say their 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th functions. The best inter-type relations exist between members of the same quadra: identical, duality, activation and mirror.

Quadras are united by their values, which Reinin categorised by two dichotomies:

1. World-Accepting and World-Rejecting

This determines which Irrational IM Elements are valued.
  • World-Accepting -  Value Senses and Ideas. World-Accepting types are open to the many possibilities that the world has to offer and do not like to limit themselves or miss out on anything. They want to give everything in life a chance,  They prefer things to go smoothly and harmoniously, immersing themselves in the flow of the moment and savouring what is in front of them. It is important to refine these experiences, avoiding what is discordant and embracing experiences of the best quality.
  • World-Rejecting -  Value Force and Time. World-Rejecting types focus on the matters of great importance in their world and readily decide what is purposeful and what is not. They are happy to limit or cut out of their lives what is trivial or a distraction to their intended path. They prefer to struggle with reality to ensure that their ambitions are fulfilled, and take the view that ambitions must be achieved by competing with reality to win. Content with restless, strenuous activity, it is important to feel that they are making a concrete impact on their world.

2. Clarity-Seeking and Integrity-Seeking

This determines which Rational IM Elements are valued.
  • Clarity-Seeking -  Value Laws and Emotion. Clarity-Seeking types are geared towards open expression of how they are feeling to the people around them, making decisions based on unambiguous feelings of fun, excitement or meaning as well as the buzz they get from others. They need to understand things with clarity, making absolute sense of their reality in line with a consistent, self-evident truth.
  • Integrity-Seeking -  Value Pragmatism and Relations. Integrity-Seeking types are geared towards dry, matter-of-fact statements that accurately inform on events, making decisions based on their own assessment of the facts and seems most prudent to the situation. They need to establish sincere, stable relationships with others, staying loyal to those they like while keeping untrustworthy people at a distance. 

The Socion contains four quadras

·         Alpha: World-Accepting and Clarity-Seeking. Includes LII, ILE, ESE and SEI. Thought to have a “childlike” mentality. Combines intellectual play with joyful hedonism. This means that Alphas tend to prefer relaxed, aesthetic environments where emotions are expressed in the group with jokes and laughter. At the same time, they enjoy stimulating, fun conversation about theories and philosophy, where innovative, logical thought is prioritised. These groups are often open with people being invited to join in with the fun and offer an interesting or tangential opinion on the subject. Unpleasant, negative conversation is avoided with the group preferring things to remain light-hearted and in good humour so that the mood is not spoiled by personal qualms. Instead, criticisms are often softened to be in good humour for everyone to laugh with. Alphas want to devise an understanding of the world where everything fits together perfectly, a sort of 'grand theory' that is both all-encompassing as well as beautifully elegant. To envision an Alpha setting, think of a birthday party or philosophers having a drink down at the pub. 

·         Beta: World-Rejecting and Clarity-Seeking. Includes LSI, SLE, EIE and IEI. Thought to have a “youthful” mentality. Combines assertive hierarchy with romanticised destiny. This means that Betas prefer environments where the group is united by expressed common values, working towards a long term goal. Those against the group's values may be treated as a common foe. Raucous, loud stories are often told by those in charge with group participation expected while people adhere to a set pecking order. There is often an aura of competitiveness in these groups, with pushing and shoving to reach the top. Despite this sense of competition, acceptance to the group is given on principle with newcomers being warmly welcomed. However, this welcoming air can turn icy someone be perceived to act against the group. Sometimes the emotionality in the group can become rather intense and heated and when there is a dispute, people owe it to the group to be straight and open with how they feel, laying the issue out on the table and even fighting it out if needed until the drama dissipates. Betas wish to understand their world with certainty and may commit to an ideological way of viewing the world which grants purpose and meaning, seeing other ideologies as obstacles to be removed. Those who embrace the same ideology are seen as belonging and are treated as brethren. To envision a Beta setting, think of a political party or intense clubbing night. 

·         Gamma: Integrity-Seeking and World-Rejecting. Includes ESI, SEE, LIE and ILI. Thought to have a “mature” mentality. Combines harsh judgment with strategic thinking. This means that Gammas prefer to remain independent from the controls and influences of other people, striving to fulfil their own ambitions as a matter of personal achievement. They prefer to look at facts in the long term, doing what is prudent for their future and sacrificing daily concerns for what will be best later on. Socialising is a pragmatic means of meeting people who can be trusted and form meaningful relations with. New people are quickly judged, with a strong emphasis on individuals being essentially good and trustworthy. More pragmatic, working relations can be formed, although scumbags will be rejected with vitriol. People are thus treated as individuals who could either be allies or enemies, depending on their set, inner nature. Gammas will tend to consider their own opinions towards issues carefully and when necessary, will prefer people to speak their mind harshly and disagree rather than try to stay friendly. They can be extreme in their attitudes towards other people, forming long-lasting grudges against those they deem 'evil'. To envision a Gamma setting, think of a business meeting or else the lone entrepreneur, trying to solidify a profitable future.

·         Delta: World-Accepting and Integrity-Seeking. Includes EII, IEE, LSE and SLI. Thought to have a “senior” mentality. Combines good-faith judgment with practical convenience. This means that Deltas like peaceful, minimalist surroundings in which they are free to work on their own endeavours without interruption. They prefer to be self-sufficient, being able to do things themselves, or else learn how to improve themselves so that they no longer need help. At the same time, they enjoy giving sound, practical advice to help people, earnestly trying to make their immediate surroundings a better, more fruitful place. Deltas tend to be understated, with a quiet humility, or else, taking a sudden excitable interest in a new person who is of interest. People are judged carefully over time, with Deltas being happy to give others the benefit of the doubt, looking past misunderstandings until they know the person is right for them or not. Disagreements are often respectfully addressed, but rarely lead to an argument, with Deltas being happy to go their own way and not mind what others do. At the same time, they may do much to avoid long-term commitments, needing to be free to choose based on new situations and able to manage their own affairs with convenience. To envision a Delta setting, think of the friend who pops in to see you after some eclectic travels or else the sort of person who goes off into the woods to build their own tree-house.

Now that you've read through this Introduction and have a basic grasp,  why not try joining the World Socionics Society?

An Introduction to Socionics: Part 2 - The Functions of Model A

In Part 1, I covered the very basics of Socionics. In Part 2, I will show how these basics come together in a Model to explain personality type.

Model A

Model A, named “A” after Aušra Augustinavičiūtė herself, is the most prolific model in Socionics for the structuring of the eight IM Elements, sorting each of them into one of eight functions which have a particular effect on how we approach that kind of information. Each of the 16 types can be identified through its unique assignment of IMEs to functions in this model, showing how they vary in their strength and valuing of each kind of information metabolism.

Model A is comprised of eight functions which each of the eight IM Elements are assigned to depending on your type. The function details how each type approaches its assigned IM Element, determining its level of strength, consciousness and whether it is valued or not. These are the Leading function, Creative function, Role function, Vulnerable function, Suggestive function, Mobilising function, Ignoring function and Demonstrative function in that order.

Public and Private  The eight functions can be divided by this dichotomy based on the role they play in our relation to the external world. Those kinds of information which are assigned to public functions are either what we actively bring to the world, or else are expected by the world to conform to, meaning that they form the basis of our achievements and failures in others' eyes. Those which are assigned to private functions are more internal, meaning that they form either our own personal needs, or else, the things we do well for ourselves without drawing much attention.

Strong and Weak  Depending on our type, certain kinds of information metabolism will be strong or weak, meaning we find it easy or difficult to act on that kind of information effectively. Bukalov introduced the idea of Strength/Weakness being divided into four levels (based on its intersection with the Bold/Cautious dichotomy), known as Dimensionality which varies from One-Dimensionality (Experience) to having all Four Dimensions (Experience, Normativity, Situation and Globality):

One-Dimensionality (1D) – Very Weak. These IM Elements can only be metabolised at the most basic and rudimentary level, meaning we are only open to our own Experience of that information and will thus come across as inept and indecent when using it ourselves.

Two-Dimensionality (2D)  Weak. We have to work at these IM Elements to achieve adequacy in them. Usually their use will be tiring to maintain. We are exposed to the Normativity of this sort of information and thus are able to conform to basic standards and expectations but as a result will be rather conservative and stiff in its use.

Three-Dimensionality (3D)  Strong. We can easily and readily metabolise these IM Elements, acting on them as and when we wish. An experience of Situation allows us to make judgement calls on this sort of information, knowing when it is best to adhere to basic standards and when to be more creative.

Four-Dimensionality (4D)  Very Strong. These kinds of information are so prevalent in us that they strongly dictate how we move and communicate in the world, thus having such a degree of Globality, that we often take it for granted. People can easily be recognised by the IM Elements assigned to these strongest functions.

Valued and Subdued– Depending on our type, certain kinds of information metabolism will be valued or subdued (not valued), meaning we will appreciate those kinds of information in our surroundings or reject/avoid them.

By combining the Strong/Weak and Valued/Subdued dichotomies, we form the four blocks which the eight functions can be separated into: Ego – Public, Strong and Valued. The most apparent part of our personality. IM Elements in the Ego Block are those which we actively bring to the world, conducting ourselves and affecting our surroundings according to them.

1. Ego – Public, Strong and Valued. The most apparent part of our personality. IM Elements in the Ego Block are those which we actively bring to the world, conducting ourselves and affecting our surroundings according to them.

2. Super-Ego – Public, Weak and Subdued. The painful expectations of society on us. IM Elements in the Super-Ego Block are those which we are expected by others to use but which we have no wish for and no ability to deliver. As a result, these kinds of information are a constant source of neurosis.

3. Super-Id – Private, Weak and Valued. The unconscious needs we find help with from others. IM Elements in the Super-Id Block are those which we are generally blind to but which we find ourselves being drawn to when supplied by others. We enjoy these kinds of information and find ourselves appreciating people who readily provide them.

4. Id – Private, Strong and Subdued. The rejected approaches. We look down upon IM Elements in the Id Block as the alternative but incorrect ways of doing what we accomplish in our Ego. Instead of pursuing these kinds of information, we unconsciously carry them out as side effects of our natural motives, fulfilling the need with proficiency but without appreciation.



Leading – the tough, uncompromising and confident area of the psyche that powerfully commands our world view and is the source of why we do what we do.

Creative – the softer, more amenable helper that adapts and adjusts itself to each situation, coming up with some clever way of enabling the Leading program to succeed.


Vulnerable – the inept blind-spot, something we do not understand the point of and cannot adjust to in a way that is acceptable to society. It tends to let down the Role.

Role – the chaotic, inconsistent and largely reluctant attempt of ours to handle the pressures placed on us in life. Regularly it must step in and get its hands dirty.



Mobilising – when we feel more comfortable in ourselves, this is our attempt at growth, cockily
coming forward to prove itself without the ability to justify such confidence, which can result in it tripping up.

Suggestive – the source of subconscious fulfillment, knows it needs something but is continually unsure about what exactly it needs. Causes pain and frustration that the need cannot be satisfied. We are happy to be helped here by others' input.


Ignoring – The opposite approach to our leading function. It is stiff, apathetic and uninterested in the proceedings, doing barely anything unless there is a real need.

Demonstrative – our area of competence that we take for granted and don't much care for, usually covered in the background and not given much conscious attention. We fall back on this area where we are unsure of ourselves.

Demanding and Supplying - For each Block, the function with the earlier number (1, 3, 5, 7) is known as the 'Demanding' function and sets a particular need or desire. The function with the later number (2, 4, 6, 8) is known as the 'Supplying' function and has to create some action or process to satisfy the requirements of the Demanding function. Depending on which IMEs are Demanding or Supplying, a person's priorities will be to either satisfy their wants and interests, or standards and requirements, making someone either Irrational or Rational.

Stubborn and Flexible - The functions on the left (1, 4, 6, 7) are known as 'Stubborn' functions and are applied in a way that is stiff and uncompromising, we decide the level of input ourselves and don't adjust to others' input. The functions on the right (2, 3, 5, 8) are known as 'Flexible' functions and are applied more loosely and adaptively, changing with outside input.

Consistent and Variable - The functions that are furthest out and furthest in (1, 4, 5, 8) are known as 'Consistent' functions and are known to be most consistent in their level of output, whether consistently on or consistently beyond our capability. The functions in between (2, 3, 6, 7) are known as 'Variable' functions and are more prone to switch on and off in their use, depending on the situation or what we want or need.

Bold and Cautious - The Public, Demanding functions and the Private, Supplying functions (1, 3, 6, 8) are known as 'Bold' functions and are used with confidence (regardless of actual ability). These functions show up more in our personality and are easier to observe. The Public, Supplying functions and the Private, Demanding functions (2, 4, 5, 7) are known as 'Cautious' functions and are used more modestly. They can be quite subtle in a person and harder to observe. Depending on which IMEs are Bold or Cautious, a person's energy will be either high or low, making someone an Energiser or an Integrator.

One can list these 7 Function dichotomies in their relevant positions as follows:

1. Leading
·         Public
·         Strong
·         Valued
·         Demanding
·         Stubborn
·         Consistent
·         Bold
2. Creative
·         Public
·         Strong
·         Valued
·         Supplying
·         Flexible
·         Variable
·         Cautious
4. Vulnerable
·         Public
·         Weak
·         Subdued
·         Supplying
·         Stubborn
·         Consistent
·         Cautious
3. Role
·         Public
·         Weak
·         Subdued
·         Demanding
·         Flexible
·         Variable
·         Bold
6. Mobilising
·         Private
·         Weak
·         Valued
·         Supplying
·         Stubborn
·         Variable
·         Bold
5. Suggestive
·         Private
·         Weak
·         Valued
·         Demanding
·         Flexible
·         Consistent
·         Cautious
7. Ignoring
·         Private
·         Strong
·         Subdued
·         Demanding
·         Stubborn
·         Variable
·         Cautious
8. Demonstrative
·         Private
·         Strong
·         Subdued
·         Supplying
·         Flexible
·         Consistent
·         Bold

Example of Model A-assignment for an ILE. As you can see, the IM Elements are drawn in their symbolised form in each of the function squares:

Alternatively, a very efficient way of writing out a person's Model A-assignment involves taking Gulenko's letter symbol of each IM Element and writing it next to the number symbol of each Function. For example, the above picture can be rewritten as "I1, L2, F3, R4, S5, E6, T7, P8". This is also useful for referring to a specific IM Element in a specific Function.
To learn about how different personalities come together and form group dynamics, click here and read Part 3 of this Introduction.