Socionics, as familiar, uses an eight function model, where each function spot has very distinct characteristics. There, beyond the strength of them, several different dichotomies that can be applied for the functions, their use, and their outlook.
To explain these, I will use the numbers that are attributed to them in socionics. For an IEI/INFJ, the stack looks like this. 1: Ni, leading. 2: Fe, creative. 3: Si, role. 4: Te, PoLR. 5: Se, Dual-Seeking. 6: Ti, Hidden Agenda. 7: Ne, ignoring. 8: Fi, demonstrative.
First of all, there are the two most basic one.
Valued and unvalued, or subdued, follows the MBTI stack. The valued functions are 1, 2, 5 and 6, and is the process of information that we put value on and prefer to use. They make up the most important aspects of a person, what we see as our self, and what we want more of. These are also the functions that makes up the values in a quadra. The unvalued ones on the other hand are the processes that we don’t care about, nor put any focus on. They make up the quadra values of our opposing quadra.
Strong and weak functions is also a basic and very simple dichotomy. The strong functions are 1, 2, 7 and 8, or all functions that are three- or four-dimensional. The strong functions are easier to use, and requires less effort and energy. The process here is more sophisticated. The weak functions are the opposite of this, having a poor understanding and a simple, basic approach. Here, we tend to simplify and use external data as our source. The weak functions are 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Then we have the dichotomy that makes up the two different subtypes here.
Inert and contact. Inert functions are function 1, 4, 6 and 7. So they are the leading and mobilizing (HA) functions, and their unvalued counterparts. These are functions that are the functions that make up our most essential strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, external information is not “integrated” into them, and they remain essentially the same throughout time. The contact functions on the other hand are not set in stone, but rather learns and adapts over time. This is function 2, 3, 5 and 8.
The following dichotomies does not create a subtype or is among the two most basic ones, but are still important to how each function spot works.
Mental and vital is the consciousness of our functions. The mental, or conscious ones, are 1, 2, 3 and 4, or the ego and super-ego. These are externally articulated and formulated, and are functions that we consciously use. Whether they are a pain or a pleasure to use depends on which block they are in, but they are nevertheless caused by conscious thought. Vital functions on the other hand, 5, 6, 7 and 8, id and super-id, are unconscious. It’s a process that we’re not in control of, and it tends to be silent and non-expressed. The id is an unconscious background strength, similar to that of a muscle reflex, and the super-id is what we very well know we can’t provide ourselves, but wants help with. Generally not much attention is given to these functions.
Accepting and producing functions has to do with a picture of reality and whether a function is accepting things as they are, or creating something new. Accepting functions, 1, 3, 5 and 7. All of them shares the rationality/irrationality of the type/leading function. They are directly accepting incoming information. The producing functions, 2, 4, 6 and 8 are, as the name implies, creating something. Rather than taking information being a reflection of the world or the self, these functions try to make something new. Because of this, it is also more insecure about what they create, since it’s “their own”, creation. Accepting functions on the other hand doesn’t create themselves in the same sense, so criticism doesn’t hit at home.
Bold and cautious divides the extraverted and introverted functions. For an extravert, the bold functions are the extraverted ones, and for an introvert, it’s the introverted functions. Since the bold ones follow the attitude of the psyche, they are used more freely and often, in a more expressive and daring way. The cautious functions on the other hand, even the strong ones, are used with more thought and creater care.
(There is one additional dichotomy, evolutionary – situational, but I don’t understand this one well enough yet to write anything about it.)