What is Socionics? Antoine de Saint-Exepury said that the greatest luxury on Earth is the luxury of human communication. In fact, we are constantly exchanging different information with other people but the real communication between souls still remains luxury for us, highly estimated and very often hardly got. Our life experience makes us believe that it is a very rare occasion when one is being really understood by others, when we need to share our thoughts, ideas and feelings. It is also often hard for us to understand other people. There are people easily communicated with, dealing with whom is pleasant even despite the absence of mutual understanding. Interaction with others is difficult, misunderstanding causes irritation, information coming from them reminds us of a fly buzzing. The third ones mean nothing to us, we remain untouched interacting with them, without any mutual understanding or interest.
So what is the way to find our “own half”? How can one learn where to get understanding and support? How to build an effective business team? And, finally, how to take oneself and others as they are? All the answers can be found in socionics – a new science created in the 70-s of the XX-th century. It is based on psychology, as the science studying the human psyche; sociology as the science of relationships in the human society and informatics as the science of informational exchange.
Socionics appeared as an appropriate sequel of S.Freud’s (the founder of psychanalysis) theory and his talented student, Swiss psychiatrist, C.G.Jung. The short review of the socionics origin can be presented this way: Freud introduced an idea of a person’s mental structure consisting of the following levels: conscious (ego), preconscious (super-ego) and subconscious (id). Jung, in his turn, basing on his own 60 years experience with patients saw different filling of this structure. Jung classified constant, possible genetic differences in behaviour, person’s abilities, susceptibility to illnesses, appearance peculiarities. Considering these peculiarities, Jung worked out not one, as Freud had done, but 8 mental models and described 8 psychological types of personalities based on them.
Observations gave Jung grounds to state that some people are better with logical information (conclusions, proofs, reasoning) while others – with emotional one (people’s relationships and their feelings). Some have better developed intuition (anticipation, perception of the whole situation, instinctive grip on the information), others have better sensations (perception of outer and inner sensor stimulus). On the base of a more developed function, influencing the individual’s character, Jung defined the following types: thinking, feeling, intuitive, sensing. Each of these types had an extroversive and introversive variation.
Starting with Jung’s psychological types theory, Aushra Auguatinavichuite , the Lithuanian scientist, pedagogue and economist produced her own discipline – socionics. Where did she start? A. Augustinavichuite wrote that for long years she had tried to understand people’s relationships, why with all desire to be kind, sympathetic, good-natured people suddenly experience irritation and anger in their relations, without any apparent reason. She managed to combine Jung’s typology with the Theory of Informational Metabolism (exchange) created by a famous Polish psychologist and psychiatrist Anjei Kempinsky. According to this theory, an individual’s mental health depends on amount and quality of processed information.
Augustinavichuite came to a conclusion that Jung’s typology concerns not the person’s psyche on the whole, in all its uniqueness, but the system of the information processing. With the help of the Informational Metabolism theory A. Augustinavichuite worked out s system of signs and models which allowed every psychological type to be correlated with its own model, the type formula. These models are used for analyzing the information processing by an individual’s psyche. That’s why socionics is sometimes called the informational psychoanalysis.
Our contemporaries have developed Jung’s typology which led to the increase in the number of types, from 8 to 16. Analysis of the information transfer process between different types of people helped to discover the phenomenon of informational interaction called intertype relationships. Earlier such relationships had been analyzed from the point of view of behaviour and sensations of every separate person in these relations. So, all the recommendations came down to the individual’s behaviour in the situation. A. Augustinavichuite was the first to discover that there is not only a personality structure but also the structure of relationships. This structure is the objective base defined by the participants type formulae, independent of their striving and perception.
Now it became clear why at first glance one and the same situation seems different for different people. It is perceived through the type formula and every person takes his own information from it. Not all the relationships can be equally fine, not everything depends on the will and wish of people. The main thing that socioncs helps with is the acknowledgement of a person’s right to be himself, not demanding impossible from himself and others.
Is C.G. Jung’s typology being developed in the West? Catherine Briggs, Jung’s student, who had attended his lectures in Switzerland and her talented daughter Isabelle Briggs-Myers thoroughly investigated manifestations of each of these 16 types and described their typical features of character. They emphasized the influence of the personality type on the mode of a person’s life in the world: career, creativity, attitude to different kinds of activity, to people, animals, books, studies, work, art, health etc. This typology is called “Type Theory” or “Type Watching” in the European countries and the USA.
Isabelle Myers-Briggs produced a system of tests for personality type defining. She called it “The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator” or MBTI. MBTI is used in psychological councelling, HR management in many countries including Russia. A great number of Americans know their personality type, but Western typology study did not moved further. A few authors made attempts to describe a personality type in progress (Tiger, B.-Tiger) and suppose good type combination, for example< for marriage purposes (Kairsey). But these theories usually fail in real life. So socionics progressed much more than typology study, having started later.
We often hear questions: can a person’s type be changed? Can one improve his weaknesses to the level of his strong features? Practice proves that changes that a person undergoes during his life happen in the frame of his psychological type which does not prevent his personal growth and development. That’s why socionics recommends to develop one’s talents, not scolding oneself or taking pains over one’s weaknesses. In this case the weaknesses will improve due to the increase in the volume of the processed information.
At present socionics is used in career-guidance and family councelling, it is good for analyzing problems in a team. Knowledge of individual distinctive features of a type helps to fully upstage talents and defend susceptibilities, to overcome barriers on the way to disclosure of the unique individual creativity and find the reasons for stress and troubles, to feel more confident in life and work out security measures in interaction with other people.
Socionics expert can describe a person’s psychological portrait, methods of conscious control over his life that helps to build optimal relations with others.