Sociotype is the central concept of socionics, around which the entire system of axioms and theorems is established. It is the main subject of its study as a science. The fact that socionic types exist cannot be proved or refuted by speculative means. This can only be confirmed in practice by personally observing the behavior of many people and comparing the observed data. Therefore, a priori, the sociotype is understood as a natural predisposition of a person to think and act in a certain way.
There are many interpretations of the concept of a sociotype. It is important to know that there are narrow and broad interpretations. In a narrow interpretation, the sociotype is identical to the psychotype and concerns only with the area of the human psyche. A broad interpretation looks at the sociotype as a stable structure of information system of any kind, which seeks to restore itself after attempts to deform it took place. From this point of view, we can talk about the sociotype of a group of people, the sociotype of an organization, a sovereign state, a social movement, the sociotype of a theory, or a system of views. In these cases, a term "integral type" is used.
Socionics took the concept of type of the psyche from C. G. Jung - the founder of practical typology of personality. Jung is a true discoverer of type of the psyche, since he described the structure of the type, its main components - psychological functions, and gave examples of observational diagnostics.
According to Jung, the psychological type is a way a person adapts to the external reality, in which one of the four mental functions occupies a dominant position, and the opposite function - a subordinate position. The dominant function is consciously controlled by the person. The subordinate function, if it comes to the front, controls the person itself. A well-defined attitude of consciousness and an opposite, compensatory attitude of the unconscious are formed together, and manifest as a joint action which forms type of the psyche.
A Polish psychotherapist A. Kempinski, the author of the concept of information metabolism (signal exchange), came to understand the psychological type in his own way. He wrote: "The structure of information metabolism should have a certain constant gradient, the smallest at the border with the external environment, and the largest - with the internal environment. The changeability of the first is tolerated without complications, and the second - with great difficulties." Thus, the sociotype is a constant of personality, it is it’s a stable inner core without considering the changeable shell. The destruction of this core leads to the neuroticization of individual.
In socioanalysis, the type is more difficult to understand. The closest approach to the socioanalytic interpretation was taken by V. Lefevre, who mathematically described the reflexive, that is, the self-directed structures of the psyche. In its most concise formulation, a sociotype is a five-level reflexive structure. Let us go through the increasingly complex levels of reflection and reach the depth we are interested in.
A person in statics (ie. by itself), both externally and internally, is a zeroth level. Such a state is almost impossible to be in, just as there is no such thing in life as, say, an ideal point that has neither length nor width. But here a person is involved in communication: they find partners, exchange information, show emotions - this is the first level of the personal space. Now onto the next level. The communicative states of a person change - their motor and emotional reactions are accelerated, then slowed down again. This is the second level of reflection.
A person is able to manage their own communication changes, that is, they "behave" themselves. We are talking about behavior, the third, the three-dimensional level of personality. The nature of human behavior also changes over time. This means that the way to control their own behavior is still realized by the person. This is the fourth level in this order. But from this point on, the feedback - a condition without which you cannot control yourself - is cut off. It is safe to say that a person is not able to effectively track changes in the way they manage changes in their behavior. Visually, such phenomena are usually depicted as several profiles stacked together and reflected in a person's face.
To portray a sociotype, you need to embed one profile into another five times. So, the sociotype as the reflexive mental structure that does not respond to the conscious will of a person is encrypted in the fifth level of the personal space, where a person does not have direct access to. This level of the psyche, in fact, affects the collective unconscious and its leading archetype - the self.
Technologically, the sociotype is formed as a set of four Jungian features of the psyche that determine the orientation of an individual in the communicative space. In order to reach the type, you need to find those poles on the Jungian scales of rationality/irrationality, extraversion/introversion, logic/ethics and sensory/intuitiveness that require the least amount of energy for their implementation, that is, they are the most natural for you. Based on these four pairs of traits, sixteen sociotypes emerge.
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