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  1. #1
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Default The IM element thread

    Let's concoct perfected definitions of the functions to build a common consensus as to what each function entails, and I expect these definitions will be subjected to much debate and much editing, but how can one build the general opinion without quarrels?

    Anyhow, I'll begin with my understanding of the Socionics IM elements, and others can voice their disapproval or approval to further the refinement of these sometimes misunderstood functions close to their true definitions.

    The Sensing Functions (the other functions will come soon, feel free to beat me to them) -

    - As an extroverted perception function, Se sees the immediate power and use of objects in the environment through what could best be described as instinct. When confronted with a path that forks, Se types immediately seem to choose the path to venture based solely on gut feelings, or momentary hunches, characterizing the Se lead irrational types with a brand of impulsiveness when it comes to decision making. Furthermore, since Se alerts the ego of the momentary power of resources in the environment, Se types tend to know what they can achieve realistically with the resources they have in front of them. Due to this focus on achievement via tangible resources, Socionics tends to brand this function with words relating to conquest, as Se users would logically want to gather as many resources as they can possibly accumulate so that they can, through the realism of Se, achieve more (directly proportional relation between external resources and achievement). It is also important to note that while Se can easily be confuse with Te (just look at the massive amounts of SLE and LIE mistypes between both types), Se is a static function, and sees the power in objects at one specific point in time, juxtaposing the dynamic Te's perspective of the power of objects over time but not in specific instances.

    - As an introverted perception function, Si sees the intrinsic power and abilities of ones' self, and is often characterized by self-discipline*, taking care of oneself, and knowing what ones' preferences are in life consciously and immediately. Like Se, it offers a realistic perspective of properties, and since it is an introverted perception function, can easily be characterized as the ability to see how far one can go in one's physical or mental state, and this is why the Si irrational type acts depending on their mood, for it is drawing the realistic power from an internal perspective, and thus Si types will be comfortable doing things that they feel "suit" them rather than things that will make them uncomfortable. With the introverted perspective, the power seen in ones' self will be more subjective than the relation the Se type has with the external environment and its power, and is therefore subjected to more "under-valuing" or "over-valuing" of the power of oneself. Some Si types, for instance, may feel as though they are not able to achieve certain things due to how they view their own power (usually lack of power in this instance), while others may feel that they can achieve many things due to how they view their own power (usually abundance of power in this instance). The Si type is therefore characterized by their his of his own entity, his physical and mental limitations (intrinsic of the self), just as the Se type is characterized by his view of his resources on hand, the limitations of his own resources. It is also important to note that the Si type is very adamant about his preferences, due to the fact that they are based around the power invested in his own judgement. These types; therefore, know exactly what physical experiences they like or dislike immediately (true of Si in the first four conscious functions, if Si is in the latter 4 unconscious functions, it is characterized by either a bafflement of one's own preferences (Super Id block) or a lack of care regarding one's own preferences (Id block)).

    *Socionics's original foundation has corrupted the Si type to be seen as "self-acceptingly lazy" in the SxI due to the fact that external standards drawn from the environment (Je) forced SxIs to embody their community values, which, in the Soviet Union, were of conformity and equality, that everyone had just as equal potential as anybody else. Therefore, it is no wonder that these types were characterized by inactivity due to the fact that their view of themselves was corrupted by society's standards that had been hammered into their minds all of their life, meaning that their attention would primarily be focused on surviving, finding a family, and indulging in momentary pleasures rather than achieving their actual, probable, potential which were seen as equal to everyone else by the Ego due to Si perspective.
    Last edited by Alea_iacta_est; 04-22-2014 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    This is great for people who are coming into this stuff from a purely socionics point of view. However, given the user base here, the first introduction that people would have had to these concepts would be the more MBTI-influenced version of cognitive functions, where Si = recognition and appreciation of familiar sensations and Se = observation and aesthetic appreciation of the external environment (hence all the stuff about SP artists).

    The latter, especially, doesn't immediately square up well with Socionics Se.

    I don't really know which direction you want this thread to go though, so apologies if this is inane or off topic.

  3. #3
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    *subscribed*

  4. #4
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    go on...
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    The Intuitive Functions:

    - As an extroverted perception function, Ne shares many qualities with Se, but due to the fact that Ne is naturally reinforced by Si, there are some major differences. Ne sees the static interrelations between objects and is thus able to predict hypothetical scenarios with more ease than its Se cousin. If Se sees the "power" of objects immediately in the environment (static) and therefore allows the Se-user to know how far they can go with the external resources they possess, then Ne sees the potential power of objects not immediately present in a physical form but in mind, and therefore allows the Ne-user to know how far they can go with potential resources at their disposal, usually hypothetically. Oftentimes, Ne types demonstrate this ability by attempting to solve problems under ideal circumstances with specific resources not directly present at the time, and often recite phrases like "Well if we had [insert objects here], then theoretically we could build/fix/whatever [insert problem/objective here]". Ne operates on the principle of "what could be", juxtaposing its other extroverted perception cousin which operates on the principle of " what is", and you will oftentimes hear these Ne-types spouting random possibilities that add a twist to a current situation. Recreational use of this function sees the ridiculous exploration of possibilities (as seen in the Alpha Quadra) and the honing in on specifics of hypothetical situations (Ne-Ji). Creative, yet useless, questions such as "How many dolphins would it take to cover a basketball court, and how would we get them in there in the first place?" (the example is absurdly ridiculous and exaggerated due to the fact that I have engaged in my own ignoring Ne to provide the example, which often yields the use of questions such as these sarcastically) are often posed by Ne-types in an attempt to appear comical (which succeeds). Overall, Ne is the exploration of what might be possible with resources not always present at the time.

    - As an introverted perception function, Ni shares some qualities with its other introverted perception cousin, Si, but is ultimately reinforced by Se, which creates some heavy distinctions. Often, Ni-types are accredited with predicting things before they happen, and this lies in the mechanics of the Pi function itself. As with the Si type, which introspects on the self to see the power and limitations of one's own mental and physical state, the Ni type introspects on the ideas formed by the self and sees the power in those ideas against other ideas created by the ego. This leads to Ni types to typically know what is important, and what are distractions, due to the fact that they can easily see the power and lack of power in ideas through their own introspection of them. Therefore, when Ni types formulate an idea or plan, they can easily tag whether or not that idea or plan will actually be useful and realistic (Ni-Je) or simply off-base, meaning that when the Ni-type does see a great amount of power in one particular idea, that idea will often be correct and implemented. This, in turn, also helps the Ni-type in predicting events, as he can generate ideas much like his Ne-type cousin while at the same time screening those ideas for their feasibility and veracity. Another distinction to be made is that Ne types are often characterized by seeing all the possibilities, while Ni types see all of the probabilities, what is feasible in accordance to the Ni-type's introspection of ideas rather than what is possible under ideal circumstances. The Ni-type is also able to, through the introspection of ideas, "personally integrate" with conceptual information, almost like merging with ideas and theories that are deemed "powerful" by the self. This often leaves Ni-types with extremely idiosyncratic understandings of concepts, as the ideas are so personalized by the self. Another aspect of Ni is the ability to work well with extremely little information and produce coherent conclusions based on what is "probable", a by-product of the Ni-type's ability to know what is important in information and what isn't, thus forcing them to already zero-in on certain information while completely disregarding mountains of information that are deemed useless by the self. Overall, Ni operates on what is probable and which ideas show the most promise through possibility convergence, zeroing in on critical information and casting aside pointless information that only serves to distract the Ni-type from the objective truth that they always attempt to get to the bottom of.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senza tema View Post
    This is great for people who are coming into this stuff from a purely socionics point of view. However, given the user base here, the first introduction that people would have had to these concepts would be the more MBTI-influenced version of cognitive functions, where Si = recognition and appreciation of familiar sensations and Se = observation and aesthetic appreciation of the external environment (hence all the stuff about SP artists).

    The latter, especially, doesn't immediately square up well with Socionics Se.

    I don't really know which direction you want this thread to go though, so apologies if this is inane or off topic.
    If the forum adds the IM element symbols, I'll use those instead for the bolded part but still use the name of the function in the passage, to distinguish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    Let's concoct perfected definitions of the functions to build a common consensus as to what each function entails, and I expect these definitions will be subjected to much debate and much editing, but how can one build the general opinion without quarrels?

    Anyhow, I'll begin with my understanding of the Socionics IM elements, and others can voice their disapproval or approval to further the refinement of these sometimes misunderstood functions close to their true definitions.
    Just to clarify, what are the "true definitions"? How is it determined that a new definition is a more "perfected" version?

    As for common consensus, you want a western version of socionics?

  8. #8
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    I understand the questions were not directed towards me, but, as I share the same goal, I'm going to offer my answer to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by infinity- View Post
    Just to clarify, what are the "true definitions"?
    The "true" definitions would be definitions that get rid of the worst, least applicable, least universal aspects of the descriptions from each system, and retain the best, most applicable, most universal aspects of each system (really, thinking in terms of just two systems is fallqcious, imo, as there are as many systems as there are theorists about this stuff, but let's just use this convention when helpful for the sake of discussion).

    In fact, I don't even like the term "definition", really - too Ti for me. It puts the definer at too central of a role. We do not define what the functions are. The functions are what the functions are. For the sake of the discussion, we are assuming there is some level of truth to the idea of the cognitive functions that Jung originally pointed to, and we are trying to find the best way to *describe* those functions, to point to them ourselves. The word "description" takes the centrality off the person doing the describing (or, alternately, defining), and puts it rather on the external world, the functions themselves (where, imo, the focus should be). As such, I advocate we use the word description over definition. I/we will not be defining the functions. I/we will be giving our best effort at describing the functions as accurately as possible, as faithfully to reality as we can.

    How is it determind that a new definition description is a more "perfected" version?
    Well, first off, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    We are not doing hard science, at least not at the moment. Eventually, it would be nice if we could eventually start doing some serious empirical research, a la Dario Nardi (and hopefully more rigorous, frankly). But, even as Dario Nardi says about his own research, that is not where we are right now. That is a later stage. We are still at an earlier stage.

    That being said, what Jung started, and what later theorists have continued, is not altogether unempirical. There was some empirical basis for Jung's ideas: namely, his observation of thousands of his clients/patients. It's not hard empiricism, but it's a softer version of empiricism nonetheless. And it essentially equates to the first stage(s) of the scientific method: observation (and, eventually, hypothesis). (Nardi is still working in these first two stages, but is also starting to move into the third stage: testing).

    What we are doing is still in these first two stages, and we should accept this as such. We are not doing testing, at least not in any serious way (we may test hypotheses via observation, prodding, testing of various individuals we know, who are of various types or what not, and this is an early and simple form of testing, but is not the rigorous form of testing we would eventually like to see done [I.e., brain scans, large scale group research, etc]). We are essentially reviewing the literature. We are reading Jung, "MBTI" theorists (Briggs, Briggs Myers, Keirsey, Berens, Nardi, Thomsen, and Beebe, et al), "Socionics" theorists (Gulenko, Filatova, et al), and whatever other information that is relevant (our own personal experience not being the least), and, based on this review, trying to develop the most accurate picture, the most accurate description, the most accurate "painting" *wink*, if you will, of the functions (and then the types).

    This is what we are doing. This is our exercise.

    As for common consensus, you want a western version of socionics?
    No.

    That is not how I think of it.

    I want to take what is best/most accurate about "both systems", eschew what is worst/least accurate (I.e., more culture-specific/not universal aspects, as well as just stupid, unnecessary, unhelpful, inaccurate stereotypes), and synthesize the two theories such that we preserve the best of each, lose the worst of each, and come out with a better, fuller, richer, more accurate understanding of both the functions and the types.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I understand the questions were not directed towards me, but, as I share the same goal, I'm going to offer my answer to them.
    No worries, anyone could answer. Nice summary, thanks.

    I do like the idea of having one clear system instead of speculating about the umpteenth theory on the same thing. Too many theorists, seriously, heh.

    It's definitely an interesting and useful idea about making sure the theory is strictly about universal and not culture specific aspects of how people work.

    To get to all these goals though, it certainly doesn't sound like a small task if taken truly seriously. Wherever there is uncertainty, some empiricism would be required, well, if the resources are available for that.

    Sometimes it's not too hard to do; e.g. you can have a lot of people vote for certain function aspects if they experience these aspects about themselves. I suppose if there is full consensus on it, it can be seen as pretty reliable at least as far as introspection can be reliable.


    You mentioned definitions vs Ti and I'll delve into that a bit, on topic too, as it's about discussing what a function is like;

    So, it's interesting that for you the word "definition" has that connotation that it involves the definer, the concept maker. I never saw the best definitions in this personalized way as I do agree that reality comes first and IMO a good definition is something that comes from and complies with reality. The person who makes up the definition should actually not be relevant. This is of course the ideal, people do have an ego attached to ideas but I think the best ideas go beyond that. If you ever read Lenore Thomson on her version of Ti, she puts this really well: "In contrast to other attitudes, especially left-brain and Feeling attitudes, Ti does not lead you to experience a sense of self. There is no "you" who is separate from the process in which the material takes on the form that is natural to it. Whether people find the way the parts want to arrange themselves into a harmonious whole offensive, whether you find it pleasant or painful, whether you personally like it or not--you see these as distractions. Your job is to get yourself in harmony with it. The Idea of the whole must become real, and it must be necessitated by the nature of the parts. What "you" create must already be there, as form latent within the material, already yearning to exist. You bring no notion of self to your work except perhaps that of midwife to Nature."

    This is of course just one version of how Ti is seen but I do think it's pretty central to it... what I experience as "Ti" anyway. I would like to hear about how others are with this aspect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity- View Post
    No worries, anyone could answer. Nice summary, thanks.

    I do like the idea of having one clear system instead of speculating about the umpteenth theory on the same thing. Too many theorists, seriously, heh.

    It's definitely an interesting and useful idea about making sure the theory is strictly about universal and not culture specific aspects of how people work.

    To get to all these goals though, it certainly doesn't sound like a small task if taken truly seriously. Wherever there is uncertainty, some empiricism would be required, well, if the resources are available for that.

    Sometimes it's not too hard to do; e.g. you can have a lot of people vote for certain function aspects if they experience these aspects about themselves. I suppose if there is full consensus on it, it can be seen as pretty reliable at least as far as introspection can be reliable.
    Yeah, I don't care that much about full consensus, nor coming up with something that is empirically proven in any hard sense.

    I have a naturally very skeptical mind, and, if something manages to pass those gates, there's likely something to it.

    Where hard empiricism can be had, awesome; where it cannot, I will use my mind's abilities.

    Being able to think correctly is all one really needs then. And I have that.

    Quote Originally Posted by infinity- View Post
    You mentioned definitions vs Ti and I'll delve into that a bit, on topic too, as it's about discussing what a function is like;

    So, it's interesting that for you the word "definition" has that connotation that it involves the definer, the concept maker. I never saw the best definitions in this personalized way as I do agree that reality comes first and IMO a good definition is something that comes from and complies with reality. The person who makes up the definition should actually not be relevant. This is of course the ideal, people do have an ego attached to ideas but I think the best ideas go beyond that. If you ever read Lenore Thomson on her version of Ti, she puts this really well: "In contrast to other attitudes, especially left-brain and Feeling attitudes, Ti does not lead you to experience a sense of self. There is no "you" who is separate from the process in which the material takes on the form that is natural to it. Whether people find the way the parts want to arrange themselves into a harmonious whole offensive, whether you find it pleasant or painful, whether you personally like it or not--you see these as distractions. Your job is to get yourself in harmony with it. The Idea of the whole must become real, and it must be necessitated by the nature of the parts. What "you" create must already be there, as form latent within the material, already yearning to exist. You bring no notion of self to your work except perhaps that of midwife to Nature."

    This is of course just one version of how Ti is seen but I do think it's pretty central to it... what I experience as "Ti" anyway. I would like to hear about how others are with this aspect.
    That sounds great and all, and in Ti's ideal form, that's how it would look, but, in practice, I think it's a load of bs.

    The subjective factor is extremely inherent in much of Ti thinking.

    In her words, "the midwife" is very much present.

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