Socionics is a theory of how individuals select and process information. It can be categorized as a type of nomothetic psychology. Although information metabolism is at the theory's most elementary level, most applications of socionics focus on the direct and indirect manifestations of a person's information metabolism. This primarily includes studying the effect of information metabolism on one's personality (behavior, mannerisms, etc.), but it also extends to studying interpersonal relationship dynamics, group dynamics, potential careers, societal role, and more. Socionics has 16 sociotypes, with each sociotype representing a specific and unique mode of information metabolism. A person only has one sociotype.
Socionics was created by the Lithuanian economist and psychologist Aushra Augusta in the 1970's using Carl Jung's typology as a foundation. One of Aushra Augusta's primary motivations for creating socionics was to better understand and describe intertype relationships, and this remains one of the main applications of socionics today.
The study of socionics can be broken down into two primary components: structure and behavior. The structural component of the theory delineates the formal rules and axioms; in general, the structural component is clearly defined and applied. On the other hand, the behavioral component deals with the more amorphous aspect of describing the application of the theory as it relates to real world phenomena. This entails careful observation and analysis of human behavior and interaction. As such, the behavioral component is a much more debated and contested aspect of the theory (than the structural component), and it continues to evolve.
Theoretical Aspects of Socionics
Listed below are the major aspects of the theory. The foundation of the theory is built on the four Jungian dichotomies and Model A, essentially the synthesis of information elements and functions as a means of modeling information metabolism. The more structurally light (and behaviorally dense) topics include descriptions of the individual (i) sociotypes, (ii) small groups, and (iii) intertype relations. If you are new to socionics and want to learn about the theory from the ground up, it would be ideal to read through the topics in the order they are listed. If you are merely interested in learning about your own particular sociotype, then skip to "the sociotypes" topic.
- Model A: The foundation of socionics theory.
- Functions: The 8 structural components of the Model A psyche.
- Information Elements: The 8 subjective properties of the psyche used to metabolize information.
- Dichotomies: The 15 dichotomies that apply to every sociotype.
- Intertype Relationships: How the types relate to each other.
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