The Instinctual Variants were designed by Riso and Hudson to describe the way our essential needs as humans manifest in our personalities. The sexual instinct (sx) is related to the need to mate, the social (so) to the need to be part of a group, and the self-preservation (sp) to the need for food and shelter. Each of these is ordered within our personality as a primary instinct which overrules the others, formulating how we are more likely to act in our every day lives. The second-most influential instinctual variant in our personality acts as a support to that primary instinct.
Sexual primary people are more likely to most of the time be intense, assertive, aggressive, impulsive, focused, idealistic, and relationship and adrenaline "junkies". When less healthy, they may be especially volatile, extreme, aggressive, attacking, addicted to alcoholism or drugs, promiscuous, sacrificing anything for a rush; or they may be psychotically experientially deprived, having especially dysfunctional and unhealthy attitudes towards sex and intimacy.
Social primary people are more likely to most of the time be funny, engaging, witty, silly, over-the-top, warm, and friendly. When less healthy, they may be socially anxious, scattered, erratic or especially resentful of social rejection.
Self-preservation primary people are more likely to most of the time be calm, centered, thoughtful, especially aesthetic, orderly, mindful of health issues, and concerned about establishing optimum comfort and tranquility in their environment. When less healthy they may become pack-rats, overeat, over-stock, over-shop, over-binge, or go on unhealthy diets; or they may become self-destructive towards their health and security concerns and get involved in dangerous activities that ensure self-destruction.