Coming from MBTI and trying to learn socionics, or even diving into it on its own, can be a daunting task. Information is often inaccessible, and there are plenty of new terms, even from the view of someone that is well experienced in MBTI. If you can use the language of MBTI to talk straight over the heads of those that know nothing about it, you can use the terms socionics uses to make MBTI experts just as clueless. As such, it’s a natural but unfortunate barrier for anyone that wants to take the first steps, or even just to take a curious glance, at what socionics has to offer.
The barrier isn’t impossible to climb though. The socionics glossary might be daunting at first glance, but is very useful once you get to know it. Hence, I will go over some of the more (or less) common words and phrases used to describe things in socionics with a short explanation to each; unlocking the doors to the long corridor of rooms that is socionics.
Dimensions – a more detailed version of strong/weak. There are four dimensions, each adding a perspective to the information element.
Functions – very confusing from the perspective of MBTI, this is the place an information element (IE) has in the stack. Examples of functions would be creative, vulnerable, or demonstrative. The functions are tied to the model, and will change slightly, especially comparing model A and G.
“IEI” – an example of the most common type acronym used. IEI stands for an intuitive ethical introvert (Ni-Fe). The first letter regards the first function (Intuition, Sensing, Ethics, or Logic), the second letter the creative function, and the third their attitude (introverted or extraverted).
Information elements – the word socionics uses for what MBTI calls the functions, ie. Fe, Si, Ne, etc. This because socionics treats them as different types of information that we deal with differently, depending on where in our stack they are.
Irrational – the word Jung and socionics uses for what MBTI calls the perceiving functions, ie. Ni, Si, Ne, and Se. Also used to describe types leading with an irrational function.
Model A, B, T, G – socionics has several different models, some even contradicting each other. These “models” are about the function stack, and what it means (for example, model A (as well as B and T) are about information, whereas model G was created around transferring and dealing with energy instead. When it comes to the models, they are more or less accepted, model A being the original and the most commonly accepted one. When people talk about socionics as a theory, this is the one they usually refer to.
Quadra – one of the most common things talked about, and maybe one of the strangest concepts if one is new to socionics. The quadras are the way socionics most commonly (there are plenty of other ways too) groups the types together; alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. This is done through aligning the valued information elements, creating the “quadra values”: shared values of each quadra.
Rational – the word Jung and socionics uses for what MBTI calls the judging functions, ie. Te, Fe, Ti, and Fe. Also used to describe types leading with a rational function.
Strong/weak – this one is simple enough. The four strongest information elements (for an IEI, that would be intuition and feeling) are strong, and the four weakest (thinking and sensing) are weak.
“TE” – an additional acronym sometimes used, also for the Ni-Fe here. First and second function, according to the following:
T – time – Ni
E – ethics – Fe
L – laws – Ti
S – senses – Si
F – force – Se
P – pragmatism – Te
R – relations – Fi
I – ideas – Ne
Valued/subdued – socionics uses all eight information elements, dividing them into valued and subdued information elements. This is just one way the information elements are divided, but possibly the most important one. The valued information elements follow the way MBTI orders the “functions”, and the subdued ones are the other four. That an information element is subdued doesn’t mean that we don’t see the value in it, but rather that when comparing an extraverted and introverted counterpart (eg. Ne and Ni) we will prefer the one we “value”.
Are there any other crucial and confusing phrases that I need to include? Add a comment, or let me know through twitter.