Speaking Different Languages,
Striving for the Same

Victor Gulenko, 1996from: V.Gulenko, V.Tyshchenko, Jung At School.
Translated by Dmitri LytovEdited by Jeffrey Bolden

For a long time development of socionics was limited by a single country's borders, but in 1984 its founder, Ausra Augustinaviciute, learned about the MBTI test (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) [19], and this was the beginning of communication between socionics and its transatlantic cousin.

Comparison between the American type theory and socionics became possible due to the publication in 1995-1996 of several books by American authors: D.Keirsey, M.Bates, O.Kroeger, J.Thuesen, P.Tieger, and B.Barron-Tieger [11-13,16]. Although the primary source, the theory of personality types developed by C.G.Jung [20], is the same for the both typologies, there is a serious difference between them in contents and language.

Moreover, whereas we, the socionists of the former USSR pretended that socionics can be considered as an independent science and are even sure we have created a new scientific paradigm, the American adherents of the named typology limited application of their typology to just people and their groups and, in my opinion, for this reason are satisfied with a very modest term type watching.

I will hereinafter refer to the American theory and practice of studying human types as type theoryor type watching. The trilogy published in Russia [11-13] gave a general overview of human types, their characteristics in the business sphere and relations between men and women.

1. Personality Dimensions (Dichotomies).

There are only 4 pairs of Jungian dichotomies splitting mankind into 16 types. All socionic schools apply them both in theoretical works and in practice, e.g. type diagnostics. However, Gregory Reinin (St. Petersburg) proved the mathematical existence of 11 derivative dichotomies describing the same 16 types in addition to the 4 basic ones [ 5 ].

In addition to Jungian dimensions I often use several Reinin dimensions that have been already tested in practice: static-dynamic, leftists-rightists, central-peripheral, aristocrats-democrats.These dimensions are not known to American researchers [7, 9].

The situation with type names becomes more and more sophisticated. The Americans refused to use Jung's rationality-irrationality term in favor of a different one called judging-perceiving. On the other hand, in order to avoid misunderstanding in Russian word usage, A.Augustinaviciute renamed the thinking-feeling dimension into logical-ethical [3].

The next problem encountered in attempts to study socionics goes back to the conventional symbols for dimension. In the US psychologists refer to Jungian dimensions by letters: E extroversionvs. I introversion; S sensing vs. N intuitive; T thinking vs. F- feeling; J judging vs. P- perceiving. In socionics this system is known but rarely used. Hereinafter I will refer to socionic types by names used in MBTI, according to the comparison table made by Russian MBTI adherents [15].

On the other hand, socionics pays more attention to the so-called communicative aspects absent in the American type theory but strictly corresponding to the 8 basic Jungian types [3]: a) structural and practical logic; b) ethics of relations and emotions; c) force and perception sensing; d) time and potential intuition. Aspects are created by splitting each of 4 Jungian functions ( intuition, sensing, ethic, logic) into 2 components: static and dynamic (Tab. 1).

Two different systems of signs [or symbols] are used. The first comes from A.Augustinaviciute's colleagues who have proposed geometric conventional signs: triangle, square, roundand corner, either black or white. Later, I had proposed to refer to the aspects by letters, as more convenient as well as conforming to scientific tradition. The American system of signs [symbols] had not been known to me at that time.

Alas, for this reason several letters have quite different meaning: compare F: force sensing (my system of socionic signs) and feeling in MBTI; I potential intuition (socionics) and introversion (MBTI); T time intuition (socionics) and thinking (MBTI).

My choice of letters was not voluntary: each letter corresponding to a communication aspect has its meaning. In the meantime, I tried to observe conformity of my symbolic with the semantics of general scientific system of symbols: 6 information, 3 time, 5 energy, 4 force, etc. Here are these 8 universalia the communication aspects:

Socionic function

C.G.Jung's terminology

Description in socionics *

Hypothetic correlation to MBTI types, pseudonyms according to D. Keirsey [1]

or E

Extraverted feeling

Dynamic (extraverted) ethic or ethic of emotions: Lat. emoveo I move (smb.)

ENFJ (Pedagogue), ESFJ (Seller)

or R

Introverted feeling

Static (introverted) ethic or ethic of relations: Lat. relatio relation.

INFJ (Author), ISFJ (Conservator)

or P

Extraverted thinking

Dynamic (extraverted) logic or practical logic: Lat. profiteor I make useful actions.

ENTJ (Field Marshall), ESTJ (Administrator)

or L

Introverted thinking

Static (introverted) logic or structural logic: Lat. lex law, rule.

INTJ (Scientist), ISTJ (Trustee)

or S

Introverted sensing

Dynamic (introverted) sensing or perception sensing: Lat. sensus sensation.

ISTP (Artisan), ISFP (Artist).

or F

Extraverted sensing

Static (extraverted) sensing or force sensing: Lat. factor I influence.

ESTP (Promoter), ESFP (Entertainer)

or T

Introverted intuition

Dynamic (introverted) intuition or time intuition: Lat. tempus time.

INTP (Architect), INFP (Questor)

or I

Extraverted intuition

Static (extraverted) intuition or potential intuition: Lat. intueor I look through.

ENTP (Inventor), ENFP (Journalist)

Table 1. Correspondence between Jungian function, socionic function and Jungian personality typology.

Translator's remark: in MBTI correspondence of functions to types, their essence and order in type models is different: compare e.g. www.typelogic.com. The letters come from Latin, however, it is easy to find in the same way explications of the letters in English: Emotions, Relations, Practice, Logic, Sense, Force, Time, and Intuition.

One more remark: not all socionists support the idea of "static" and "dynamic" functions.

1. Type Names.

Each type may be described in two different ways: by combining either Jungian dimensions or communication aspects, and the last is used exclusively in socionics. Difference of approaches leads to differences in type descriptions, and chaos grows up.

American symbols consist of 4 letters, while ours of either 3 (type as a combination of Jungian dimensions), or 2 (as a combination of communication aspects).

For example, the same type is named: ESTJ in the type theory, and in socionics: LSE (logical-sensory extravert) = = PS in socioanalysis (a school in socionics founded by the author). The 4 letters system used in the US competes with the more compact socionic systems.

The problem of type names is more complex. As a rule, human types do not have their particular names in the US and are indicated by 4 letters; exception is made only by Keirsey who refers to types according to occupation-related pseudonyms [1].

Unfortunately in the former USSR a misleading system of pseudonyms is still in use of naming types by celebrities (e.g. writers: Dumas-father stands for ISFP, Gorky for ISTJ; book heroes Holmes stands for ESTJ, Don Quixote for ENTP; there are even persons unknown outside Russia). Several socionists [17, 18] still use such pseudonyms ignoring the trend of transition to functional names.

In 1989 (published in 1995) I made the first attempt among socionists to introduce a functionally motivated system of names to be convenient for management consulting practice and professional orientation [8] based on Keirsey system but slightly different (see tables below). It still helps me in reading lectures and performing seminars and trainings, and is described in details in [10].

My repeated appeals to stop using ridiculous terminology have been ignored for a long time; finally, the situation changed, but instead of attempts to a dialog with me, the socionists in Kiev offered their own alternative system of names. Seeds of controversies and hostilities have been sown.

Since socionic circles are not integral, and some of socionists are hostile to other schools, the diversity of name systems seems to grow up in the future. I see 2 ways out of this problem: either socionists will be able to come to an agreement like chemists did in a similar situation at Karlsruhe International Congress 1860, or one or two systems will win as a result of natural selection. The first way is preferable for our science, but in this case somebody will have to tame his ambitions.

2. Type Models

Type components (differentiation dimensions or communication aspects) are usually positioned in a certain order which allows building schemes. Such schemes are usually called models, and these are used both in socionics and in the type theory.

The difference is that socionic models (e.g. the A-Modelsee Table 2) consist of communication aspects, whereas the American model consists of Jungian dimensions. As a result, these two models are not easy to combine. Our models consist usually of 8 positions, and American only of 4.

Another essential difference: order of numbering functions in the model is also different. Let us consider for example two types: intuitive-logical extravert (ENTP) and logical-intuitive introvert (INTJ). What are their main functions (Tab. 3)? A socionist would answer: for the first it is intuition, and for the second logic (i.e. thinking). By contrast, a type scientist says that intuition is the main function for the both, but it is extraverted ( Ne) for ENTP and introverted ( Ni) for INTJ.

In other words, hierarchy of functions must be the same for the both types: mainintuition, auxiliarylogic, thirdfeeling, fourthsensing. The difference is, that the ENTP's first function is extraverted, and the INTJ'sintroverted. According to socionics, however, intuition is extraverted for the both, but has different positions in their models.

"A-Model" positions


ENTP, intuitive-logical extravert

ISFJ, ethical-sensory introvert

1. Leading (personality program)


2. Auxiliary (creative)

3. Role, mask, emergency reaction


4. Most vulnerable

5. Suggestion


6. Activation

7. Ignoring


8. Standard

Table 2. The Model A [4]the socionic basis of building up personality type descriptions.

Type scientists are discrepant in their treatment of type models. I found no information concerning extroversion or introversion of the 3 rd and 4 th functions in MBTI literature.

The same problem arises with defining the weakest function. It must stand at the 4 th position. Therefore, it is sensing for both INTJ and ENTP. According to socionics, it is only half true: ENTP's weakest function is feeling.

The models applied in the type theory and socionics are strongly different by configuration. The American model is linear, it is just a sequence of 4 functions positioned in descendent order by their "strength". The socionic model is a combination of 2 functional circles positioned one above another (Tables 2 and 4).

In addition, the A-Model consists of blockspairs of functions. There are 4 such blocks: Ego (1+2), Super-Ego (3+4), Super-Id (5+6), Id (7+8) [20]. Due to this, socionics can model 4 functional modes for each type. For example, socioanalysis operates with 2 different temperament conditions of a type, as well as type attitudes to kinds of activities which compensate each other when a type changes communication distance.

The type theory appeals to the type dynamic, which is based on gradual development of functions along 4 stages of human life. But this macrodynamics hardly reflects changes of human behavior under different circumstances. Socioanalysis is more interested in macrodynamics, i.e. transition of a type from one functional mode into another due to internal rhythm as well as under external influence [6].

Therefore socionics and the type theory went different ways in studying dynamic processes.

3. Small Groups

In studying small groups, or quaternions (Tab. 5), the situation is in favor of socionics. In MBTI only one class of such groups is recognized by all authors: D.Keirsey's temperaments. These are sensing-perceiving (Dionysus), sensing-judging (Epimetheus), intuitive-feeling (Apollo) and intuitive-thinking (Prometheus) [15].

Socionists discovered a great number of small groups (also called Reinin groups). Theoretically there are more than 200 different types of such groups, but only a small part of them are more or less studied. Most applicable in socionics are 6 groups based on Jungian dimensions (temperaments, attitudes towards certain activities, perception, communicability, stimuli, argumentation), as well as progress groups (project implementation, stress resistance, expansion), and quadras (see also Table 5).

Let me draw your attention to D.Keirsey's very specific understanding of temperaments. Types within the same Keirsey temperament differ greatly in their emotional and dynamic characteristics. It is hard to accept that the restrained Author (INFJ), importunate Pedagogue (ENFJ), melancholic Questor (INFP) and sanguine Journalist (ENFP) belong to the same temperament type.

As we learned from studying opinions of specialists, small groups are convenient to use in socioanalysis. We discovered laws regulating subsequent succession of one group by another. Based on this I perform training where I demonstrate different communication technologies. We also perform systematical studies of small groups of different kinds. What about Americans?

As I can imagine, according to the American literature available, type scientists at their seminars split the auditory into 2 parts and order them to do the same task, e.g. to make a list of their expenses. According to differences in their answers, they make conclusions about typological differences between thinking and feeling, sensing and intuitive types etc. These obvious differences, in their opinion, a large psycho-therapeutic effect.

I cannot ignore the fact that the distribution of Myers Briggs types by career interests and reaction towards changes has a direct analog in socionic quaternions (Tab. 3) [comp. 4, 9, 19]:


Occupational mindsets (socionics), career interests (MBTI)
Temperaments (socionics),
reaction on changes (MBTI)






ISTJ, Inspector ISFJ, Guardian

INFJ, Humanist

INTJ, Analyst

ISTP, Craftsman ISFP, Mediator INFP, Lyricist

INTP, Critic

ESTP, Commander

ESFP, Politician

ENFP, Psychologist ENTP, Seeker


ESTJ, Administrator

ESFJ, Bonvivant

ENFJ, Mentor ENTJ, Enterpriser

Table 3. Temperaments, attitudes and Jungian personality types
(comparison between socionics and MBTI).
Type pseudonyms according to V.Gulenko (different from Keirsey's).

The distribution is the same as in the socionic table of temperaments and attitudes, but the difference in principle and subsequently, practical application of the difference was not understood.

4. Intertype Relationships

More or less systematical studies of intertype relationships were obviously not undertaken by type analysts until now. Nothing even vaguely similar to the socionic table of intertype relationships (Tab. 4) appears in the books of American authors. This is why we do not have any idea how Americans treat groups of relations, build up agreeability scales etc. based on their works.

It seems that type analysts believe that relationships are independent on the partners' psychological types. In their books I find appeals to have consideration of the differences between partners and to build on this basis conflict and favorable relations, whatever type a partner may belong to.

The only dimension they use is total similarity or total difference of the partners' psychological structures. However, there is no unity in opinion which of two is favorable for communication at close distances, e.g. for marriage.

Isabel B. Myers in her basic work [2] demonstrates on statistic examples better co-existence of similar types. On the other hand, O.Kroeger and J.Thuesen report they watched better harmony in contrast pairs [11-13].

Due to A.Augustinaviciute, socionics offers the concept of dualityas the most comfortable relationship (Tab. 4). Therefore, this provides evidence in favor of adherents of better agreeability of contrast pairs. However, pairs of identical types cannot be considered as non-comfortable and "bad".

We really disagree with D.Keirsey who believes that the relationships 0000 and 0100 (where 0 stands for difference, 1 for coincidence of thge corresponding binary criterion) are the best possible. For example, according to him, INFJ and ISFJ are the best possible partners for ENTP [15]. In socionics these relationships are described as conflict or supervision, i.e. not the best but the worst (Tab. 4). Real examples of such conflicts are easy to find even in MBTI-related literature [11-13].

The socionic school of socioanalysis has not yet created a unified scale of intertype relationship agreeability. In more precise terms, it proposes at least 8 such different scales to use for different communication objectives and distances. A socioanalyst would answer that any relationships may be stable if rules of integration are observed. However, stability of conflict relationships costs much more than stability of dual partners.

ENTP's Model A

1 2
4 3
6 5
7 8
Interaction between occupational mindsets
between temperaments
Hospitality Co-working Discussion Intervention
Balance 56 duality
ISFP, Mediator
58 semi-duality
ISTP, Craftsman
78 contrast
INTP, Critic
76 illusionary
INFP, Lyricist
Acceleration 65 activation
ESFJ, Bonvivant
85 transmitter
ESTJ, Administrator
87 quasi-identity
ENTJ, Enterpriser
67 receiver
ENFJ, Mentor
Monotony 34 super-ego
ESFP, Politician
32 cooperation
ESTP, Commander
12 identity
ENTP, Seeker
14 congenerity
ENFP, Psychologist
Slowdown (desorientation) 43 conflict
ISFJ, Guardian
23 supervisee
ISTJ, Inspector
21 mirror
INTJ, Analyst
41 supervisor
INFJ, Humanist

Table 4. Intertype relationships as correspondence of a partner's two leading functions
to positions of the Model A. Example: ENTP's relations.

In addition, about two years ago I developed a concept of relative socionics. It is based on presumption of psychotype as a relative idea. At close communication distances, as a result of long-term communication, personality types of communicants "get shadowed", but the relationship between them becomes better structured [7].

At far psychological distances individuals "within their types" and relationships with other people may be of any kind. At close distances group communication stereotypes become a valid force which making persons change in favor of the group integrating relationship. As a result, people of different personality types behave in the same way, and it becomes difficult to define their born psychological structures.

In real life middle communication distances are the most common, and therefore it seems that a type time after time "gets smoother", and as soon as the surrounding pressure softens, gets "embossed" again. In other words, it behaves like a spring shrinks and then straightens again. In fact, distorted and contaminated types are much easier to meet everywhere than immutable and sterile ones.

Methods of argumentation Status, prestige:
ESTJ, Administrator ENTJ, Enterpriser ISTJ, Inspector INTJ, Analyst
ESTP, Commander ENTP, Seeker ISTP, Craftsman INTP, Critic
ESFP, Politician ENFP, Psychologist ISFP, Mediator INFP, Lyricist
ESFJ, Bonvivant ENFJ, Mentor ISFJ, Guardian INFJ, Humanist

Table 5. One more example of quaternions (splitting 16 types into 4 groups).

Therefore we can admit that socionics is more advanced than the type theory in the field of intertype communication. But it also cannot give an absolute type compatibility forecast because it is not easy to calculate in advance the relative effects caused by a type's adaptation to surrounding.

5. Local and American Authors

Having compared theoretical fundamentals of type theory and socionics, one can come to the conclusion that these typological trends reflect in many details the psychological types of their creators and main authors.

Books on type theory are written in figurative and emotional language, are impressing and are easy to understand. One can find little complicated logic and dry scientific speculations in there. At the same time, books in socionics are full of schemes, complicated tables and theoretical constructions in a logic manner. The contrast between these two approaches is obvious.

Speaking the language of socioanalysis, the type theory has been developed by Humanitarians (NF types see Tab. 3), including the founders, Isabel Briggs Myers and Catherine Briggs (INFP and INFJ), and many of their adherents. By contrast, founders of socionic schools and most active socionists belong, like A.Augustinaviciute herself, to the group of Scientists (NT types see Tab. 3).

The contradiction between type theory, on the one hand, and socionics, on the other, is therefore implied by objective circumstances and in many details is similar to the classical dispute between the humanities and the sciences. The dispute between physicists and poets goes back into the deep past, and nobody has won in this dispute. And who still has doubts that the victory will profit no-one? The debate can only harm our common child, the scientific typology of personality and intertype relations.

I want to finish this survey article with a suggestion to unite the forces of specialists both in the US and here in order to eliminate the discrepancy of concepts and conventional signs as soon as possible, to develop a mutually acceptable language of communication between different schools and to profit from difference of opinions in favor of the future information civilization. Let us avoid competition and strive to cooperation!

6. Literature.

  1. Keirsey D., Bates M. Please Understand Me. Character & Temperament Types. Gnosology Books Ltd., 1984.
  2. Myers I.. Myers P. Gifts Differing. Palo Alto. Calif.: Consulting Psychologist Press, 1980.
  3. . //, , 1996, 13. (A.Augustinaviciute. On the Dual Nature of a Human).
  4. . ( ) //, , 1996, 4, 5. ( A . Augustinaviciute . Socion or Fundamentals of Socionics ).
  5. . //, , 1998, 16. (A.Augustinaviciute. Reinin's Theory of Binary Dimensions).
  6. .. . //, , 2001, 3. ( V . V . Gulenko . Expressive Possibilities of Psychical Conditions ).
  7. .. //, , 1996, 4. ( V . V . Gulenko . Introverted Socionics ).
  8. .. ? //, . 1995, 3, .74-80. ( V . V . Gulenko . On Giving Sociotype a Name ).
  9. .. . , , 1995. ( V . V . Gulenko . Harmonious Team Management ).
  10. .. 6- #16 .. , 21.04.1996. (V.V.Gulenko. Report of Socionic Practice in the 6-G Class of the Secondary School #16, Oktyabrsky District, Novosibirsk City).
  11. ., . . ., --, 1995. (O.Kroeger, J.Thuesen, Type Talk).
  12. ., . . ., --, 1995. (O.Kroeger, J.Thuesen, Type Talk at Work).
  13. ., . 16 . ., --, 1995. (O.Kroeger, J.Thuesen, 16 Ways to Love Your Lover).
  14. . . .: , 1995. (Leaver, Betty Lou. Teaching the Whole Class).
  15. .., .., .. . ., , 1994. (B.V.Ovchinnikov, K.V.Pavlov, I.M.Vladimirova. Your Psychological Type).
  16. ., - . . . ., . 1996. (P.Tieger, B.Barron-Tieger. Discover the Perfect Career for You through the Secrets of Personality Type).
  17. .. . , 1994. (Ye.Filatova. Socionics for You).
  18. .. . , 1996. (Ye. Filatova. Socionics in Portraits ).
  19. . . . 1984. (B.Shneiderman. Software Psychology. Human Factors in Computer and Information Systems).
  20. .. . ., , ., -, 1995. (C. G. Jung. Psychological Types).
  21. .., .. . , 1995. (N. R. Yakushina, Ye. S. Sinitsyn. Socionics in Socratic Dialogs).