As I’ve said before, socionics uses a stack of all eight functions, four valued and four devalued, with their strengths being defined by their “dimension”. But beyond this, there are specific characteristics for each place in the stack, which has a strong impact on the type. The functions are also divided in different blocks, which influences both the characteristic of the position and how the function works, but that’s something for another post.
The first, dominant function, is four dimensional and valued. This is our most basic outlook on life, and what we base our lives around. It’s very easy for us to use, and it’s our immediate and preferred response to anything. Not uncommon for us to “transfer” information that technically belongs to another function to this area, since it’s one we’re extremely confident in. Praise here doesn’t affect us much, since it’s like complimenting a fish on their ability to swim. It’s so natural for us that we often expect other to be decent at it as well.
The second function, creative, is three dimensional and valued as well. This function, in MBTI called auxiliary, is, just as our dominant function, an area we’re comfortable in. But in contrast to it, it’s not what we base our life around, but rather a tool that we use to achieve what we want. Being a tool, while still being valued, can be argued to be the function we care the least about of our four valued functions, at least for its own sake. It doesn’t hold a purpose for itself, which is the big difference between the dominant and creative function.
The third function, and here is where it highly differs from the MBTI stack, is the role function. This is two dimensional and unvalued, being the opposite attitude of our inferior function, so Fi for an INTP. This is in direct opposition to our leading function, occupying the same space, so they can’t work in cooperation on something, but works on the same radio wave, and cancel each other out. It’s a conscious function, so we are very aware that it’s a weak spot for us. It’s something we see as the optimal completion of our psyche, and with it we’d be nothing less than a superhero. The only problem is that when we’re working on it, we turn off our dominant function. This is tiring though, with information flowing through our dominant function is effortless and something we enjoy, while the use of role function is tiring. We are able to use this at an often at least acceptable level to deal with incoming problems though.
The fourth function is the point of least resistance. This one has the opposite attitude of our tertiary function, so Se for an INTP. It is one dimensional and unvalued, and as the name implies, the weakest spot of our psyche. Information about this area is poorly understood, and critique to it is annoying, because if there is anything we know we’re bad at, it’s this. We prefer when other people takes care of this, but not to focus on it. Attacks on this area is a punch below the belt. Since it’s such a weak spot, extremely weak, we can often try to overcompensate by a hyper focus on the area, but even through this, it will be obvious to people with greater skill in the function that we don’t really know what we’re doing.
The fifth function is the suggestive function, or more well known as dual-seeking function. This is what MBTI calls the inferior, and is one dimensional and valued. This is again a weak area that we’re aware that we lack, but in contrast to the fourth function, we highly value this one. It compliments our leading function in the best way possible, so we seek help in it from anyone around us that can help. It’s a function we highly appreciate, and we want it present around us. Combined with the leading function, it’s what matters most to us, and builds up who we are.
The sixth function is the mobilizing function, or our hidden agenda. In MBTI, the tertiary function, two dimensional and valued. It’s necessary but not primary. We highly value it, but it can easily get too much when dealing with someone that has it in a dominant position. It’s an activating function, and use of it makes us energized. It’s also something we want to incorporate into our lives, so when we’re criticised on this function, it’s one of the areas we feel most insulted or hurt on.
The seventh function is our ignoring function, three dimensional and unvalued, the opposite attitude of our dominant function. As such, it’s a function we don’t care about, our dominant process is always in favour. So we tend to ignore information from this aspect. However, it’s still strong, and is running in the background, checking incoming information with it. When we have to, we are highly skilled with the use of this function.
The eight and last function is the demonstrative. It’s the opposite in attitude of our creative function, and is four dimensional and unvalued. Because of its strength, it plays a vital role in creating our worldview. However, we often use it mockingly, we don’t see the use of relying on it too much. It’s a background process, that in a way is fused with our creative function. Neither of those two functions work for themselves in the way most other functions does, and our creative function can’t work on its own, but has aspects of our demonstrative functions as well.