Serious/Merry Dichotomy


Merry / Serious is one of the 15 Reinin dichotomies. Merry types include Alphas and Betas while Serious types include Gammas and Deltas. Merry types value introverted thinking (Ti) and extroverted feeling (Fe) while Serious types value extroverted thinking (Te) and introverted feeling (Fi).

Typical Characteristics


  1. Good at noticing emotional background and perceive the emotional aspect (particularly 'fun') separate from the activity.
  2. 'Getting to know someone' happens naturally, and they are well aware of the purpose(s) for which they are meeting. The proper emotional distance is easily established, adapted/regulated, and manipulated, and they easily decrease distance through their emotional 'brilliance'. A person's name (and other formalities) are peripheral to their relation with and interest in them, and thus they don't care much about formal introductions.
  3. Not inclined to deduce 'objective truths' from their own and others' experiences, everything is relative. This relativity is perceived as an extenuation of the differing beliefs, opinions, intentions, etc. of each person. Accordingly, another person's actions are judged as correct or incorrect according to a set of subjective criteria. They attempt to compare others' views to their own, and to explain their own views in order to make sure that all parties understand the concepts being spoken of
  4. They are inclined to propose (or impose) another conception of the situation ('look at it this way'). If they think something is done incorrectly, they will ask WHY it was done that way. When talking about optimums, they are inclined to do it subjectively ('optimum compared to what?')
  5. "Fun is involvement, active participation; a state of constant excitement that one cannot confuse with leisure or rest." "I have my own ideas about how things should be done, a 'mind of my own', but so does everyone else."


  1. Bad at noticing emotional background and do not separate the emotional aspect (particularly 'fun') from the activity.
  2. Acquaintance with others is established by ritual (e.g., introduction), and they prefer if the context of interaction is externally set (eg, by a mediator (think 'arranged marriages') or situation) so that they can skip the first phases and begin closer interaction. They approach others through stages defined by 'rules' and 'rituals', which may be created by themselves and/or already existing; thus, they are very aware of the stages of the process of acquaintance, e.g., when a person is no longer a stranger. The title, name, and any other information about the other person are considered important, and for this reason formal introduction is important
  3. Inclined to believe there are 'objective truths' – the truth is not always relative. Therefore, they believe that there are two types of actions/perspectives: those which are subjective (connected with personal preferences and motivations) and those which are objective (only one 'correct' or 'best' way of doing something). Whether something is correct or not is judged by comparing it with what they see as 'objectively correct'. In disagreement, they first attempt to make sure that the other person understands the concepts and terms 'correctly'.
  4. They are inclined to offer (or impose) what they see as the 'best' or 'correct' way of doing something ('it should be done like this'). If they think something is done incorrectly, they ask WHO did it that way. When speaking of optimums, they are inclined to do so objectively (the 'absolute' optimum)
Introvert / Extrovert
Intuitive / Sensing
Logical / Ethical
Rational (Judging) / Irrational (Perceiving)
Static / Dynamic
Obstinate / Yielding
Democratic / Aristocratic
Strategic / Tactical
Emotivist / Constructivist
Farsighted / Carefree
Merry / Serious
Judicious / Decisive
Negativist / Positivist
Result / Process
Asking / Declaring
Romance Styles
Model A
Information Elements
Intertype Relationships