Like other things, the sixteen types of Socionics vary in their ability to learn new information and how they prefer to learn that information. This can be understood from a variety of perspectives, including strengths/weaknesses, preferences and natural blind-spots of specific types.
First, with learning it is important to know your natural strengths, i.e. what you naturally pick out and retain, compared to what easily slips through the net.
- Researchers - Best at processing intellectual information. These types will be most comfortable with broad, general ideas. This is best suited to studying a theoretical or academic subject. Wherever possible, they will try to get the big picture of what they are studying, finding the pattern or trend, which they can easily understand in complexity. To handle more detailed elements of study, which may be more of a struggle, it may useful to consider what fits the trend, and what may be an exception.
- Socialites - Best at processing social information. These types will be most comfortable with experiences rooted in interpersonal interaction, and may struggle with scholarly learning on a theoretical subject. A good way around this is to convert the academic into the social. This can be done by mentally associating ideas with personal and physical characteristics. considering parts of a subject as being like family of people.
- Humanitarians - Best at processing spiritual information. These types will be most comfortable with vague concepts like meaning or potential and will have most trouble with concrete, technical information. To get around this, it may be helpful to associate information with one's attitudes and emotions while studying, attributing the subjective experience to better remember the details and how things should be done.
- Pragmatists - Best at processing practical information. These types will be most comfortable with technical manuals of information, giving direct advice on how to practise the information they are given. In order to better manage more intangible concepts in academic learning, it is important to convert the information into a more concrete or spatial form, associating things with actions and processes, rather than non-specific theory.
Second, different types will have different attitudes towards data they learn:
- Clarity-seeking - These types value Laws and will want to process information in a way where everything fits together in a single, cohesive system. As such, there will be a drive to tie different elements together and remove or consolidate exceptions to the structure being used. The important thing is that the knowledge accumulated can be explained in a clear, cohesive whole, with no part contradicting. Learning with graphs, charts and tables, or else, finite lists of bullet points, are most helpful
- Integrity-seeking - These types value Pragmatism and will want to accurately process the facts as they are presented and will not forcibly try to draw the facts into one system, tolerating inconsistencies and exceptions to rules they are given. The important thing is that it is accurate and the knowledge taken from it works. Learning with access to all the relevant facts and finding a use for any information would be more helpful.
In terms of IM Elements (IMEs), the most important IME for learning is Pragmatism (P), which enables one to take in new factual information and update one's knowledge bases accordingly, based on what can be empirically observed to be true. This enables someone to learn new information and change or update on what they already know.
Another important IME is Laws (L), which enables one to go through a knowledge base and tie together elements to create a consistent, explanatory narrative. This enables someone to understand information presented to them and to make sense of it.
Considering these two IMEs, it's important to consider the deficits with certain Ethical types when it comes to learning. We know that in Model A, the 4th function, i.e. the Vulnerable function, is sort of a blind-spot, which cannot adequately process a certain IME. When P or L are in the 4th function, they may present barriers to learning and understanding in an academic sense.
In the case of P4 (SEI and IEI), one may find that the SEI or IEI is easily overwhelmed by new facts, and may take longer than others to parse through and learn more material. In the case of L4 (IEE and SEE), it might be easier for them to learn new material, but more difficult for them to work out the underlying structure of what they have learned, making their understanding more disjointed.
It is important to find ways past these issues, such as pairing up with a friend stronger in those areas, or else compensating with a pure P6 or L6 approach. We know that in Model A, the 6th function, i.e. the Mobilising function, is our area of aspiration, something we challenge ourselves to do better. If these types are able to work on developing these functions, they can buffer the shortcomings of their weak-point in familiar, controlled situations.