This is a post where I will rant for an eternity about some systematical observations I've made, and where I envision that things should be headed in Socionics (fully aware of the hubris here, guys!)
I'm an LSI-C-Ti (Ennea 5) and I study Cognitive Science, so a few of my observations are (hopefully) on the relationship between Typology and Neuroscientific evidence (more precisely, the connections between them.)
Finally, as a disclaimer I'd like to point out that I don't claim to be an expert in either Socionics or Neuro, so I'm anticipating correction on some of the finer points, and maybe links to reading material that I've missed and is pertinent to the subjects.
Okay. So here's the topic of the day; if I could wave a magic wand and change how people discuss Type, I would add emphasis on two key things:
- The important inescapable connections between the I/E elements of each domain (e.g. Ni & Ne)
- (What I think is) the inevitable synthesis between (Si & Ni) and (Se & Ne), respectively.
The case for connections between the I/E of IEs being underrated
A common objection to MBTI (and I would argue by extension to Socionics, even though it does a better job there) is that people aren't normally that divided between an extraverted and intraverted expression of the same domain.
A friend of mine is a postgrad theoretical Neuroscientist, and this was his criticism too.
I think most people would agree that some kind of preference indeed does exist; but the way our models have been formulated It's easy to make the mistake of thinking that merely one orientation in that domain is necessary for a realized life.
Is it? I'm going to argue that It's clearly not.
Study case: LII - It's practically low-hanging fruit: some LIIs are active in e.g. University like the mentioned friend, but when I take a look around It looks more like an exception rather than the rule. A stereotype has emerged portraying LIIs as the most aloof, unproductive Type of all, and us LSIs aren't much to brag about either.Clearly, regardless of how an LII is supposed to be, an impulse to implement and/or have an outward report for his Ti is necessary to realize his potential. But how does it come about? It isn't simply being in touch with his creative Ne, because playing with ideas just fundamentally isn't the same as playing with logical implementations, though the Ne has a supplementary role to the Ti formation. There is an urgency missing there which only manifests in the Ti-leads that have balanced their dominant I/E dichotomy. (I don't know much about the LII with an implicit Ni, but supposedly that is also a thing, and I'm curious as to how that would compare with and/or differ.)
I know this (Te) from experience, as well. As an LSI I've been both, and even though being in touch with my Se and overall psychological health surely is a contributing condition, having an active implicit Te is a different experience from just pondering systems on the down-low after some recreational Se during the day. If it weren't for implicit Te, I wouldn't bother to make a post like this one; after all, the logical consistency of my Ti doesn't depend on other people's input, but trying to generate some kind of momentum with my thinking does.
Ti fuelled by an Ni vision without Te to generate momentum doesn't actually get us anywhere, because as any Introvert knows, It's quite easy to put the real world on hold. The open question is of course how this Te is generated specifically, whether it is reached through a complex pathway or a burst directly from Ti.
Another example for good measure would be Ni. An ILI's brain requires some kind of implicit Ne to inform him of the substance of his ideas and what is worth pursuing, or perhaps to give substance to his visions to begin with. Without such an equilibrium, It's like it becomes impossible to explain why a vision is worth pursuing, there is a disconnect between what is envisioned and what the world really is like, created by this absence of Ne. We observe this in young Ni-leads who are into mysticism and have an overblown sense of the Ni's importance. They don't know where their ideas come from, because again, they don't know how their ideas work. This is often attributed to Se deficiency, but in my second case I'll explain a connection between Se & Ne that makes this picture potentially more complicated.
I like to explain this role through Ne = how ideas work while Ni = how ideas are related.
If e.g. an ILI has some minimal sense of how ideas work (Ne being the ideas made up out of patterns observed in the spaces between abstract objects) it creates a shortcut for the ILI to create more accurate visions for his lead. I think this is what happens naturally as an Ni-lead matures, the brain stores some understanding of how ideas work, probably indirectly, and the Ni/Ne begins to slowly form a synthesis through it, which leads to more Ne activity subservant to Ni.
An Ni-lead with no Ne would experience his visions as mystical revelations and be prone to superstition, since there's no way to make sense of how his vision works (and relates to abstract mental objects.) There's a process of continual refinement of his Ni course as Te & Se facts informs him, but if we posit that his Ne doesn't play a part at all then the unfolding of NiTeSe over a lifetime would be extremely tedious. Besides, some people are clearly brighter than others, and that difference can't be defined as just doing more of something unrelated to the solution (simply knowing how all ideas can be related will still not give you a wholesome picture of what's going on in the domain of intuition, and neuroscience leaves us no impression that the brain would be that compartmentalized. Most people use most of the brain, most of the time. And Ni, after all, is a whole-brain pattern according to Dario Nardi.) This leads us into:
The case for a better synthesis between sensing and intuition
As a Ti-lead I like to believe that there's a logical strategy, a model I can develop that perfectly gets rid of the problems created by psychological preferences. I've had some limited success, which encourages me to envision a better formulation between primarily Se & Ne (as a Ne-PoLR, I know the struggle!) but also Si & Ni by logical extension.
Si & Ni are notorious for their deceptive similarity, even though they are supposedly wildly different functions. I hear Si is also the least understood. The interesting thing here is that both probably utilize the whole brain to some extent. Si is strongly related to episodic memory - snapshots or even whole sequences of events that actually happened to us per se. And one thing we learn in Cognitive Science as part of basic Neuro is that the brain stores episodic memories all over the Neocortex; if you stimulate a random part of the brain's cortex a random memory can be recalled from it, pretty much regardless of which area of the brain was stimulated. "It was like I was standing there in the hallway when I was 12!"
Let's look at it this way:
- Si draws upon the whole brain to recall complex sense-related objects/events and internal states that are pertinent to the individual and central to new sense-experiences.
- Ni also draws upon the whole brain but to envision how abstracted objects/events can be related to each other and which of them are pertinent to the central objective and new experiences.
In similar vein, I would posit that:
- Se stays vigilant to incoming sense-experiences to respond to novel sense-related objects/events that are focused in the present and central to latent kinetic potential.
- Ne stays vigilant to incoming possibilities involving abstract objects (that may or may not have kinetic counterparts) in order to respond to novel patterns/ideas explored in the present and central to those objects/events' inherent form.
Not only is Si and Ni sometimes confused as the same, but so is Se and Ne. For the former, both zone out and appear highly contemplative, for the latter both can appear silly and out of place. I think that ultimately we should view these functions as existing on two transitional axes, going from concrete to abstracted, but potentially still part of a shared organizational system of some sort.
The ILE or LII resembles the Se-ego in the limited sense that Ne is concerned with objective objects. The properties of these objects aren't negotiable, and metaphor is irrelevant. Either they are related or they're not. This is why I think LSIs are more intellectually creative than LIIs. At the end of the day they view it as an impersonal discovery since the objects already exist in a platonic-esque mental space.
But the Se/Ne difference lies in the fact that Ne concerns itself with the latent possibilities of supposed, potentially existing objects, while Se concerns itself with the latent force inherent to objects.
This is where the line between Se and Ne begins to blur: a reason I'm writing this is because as a self-proclaimed cerebral Se-ego, I feel like the differences have been exaggerated, or at least that they're small enough to simply compensate for with another cognitive strategy. Either Se is implicit to the process of using Ne, or Ne is implicit to the process of using Se - but they are both fundamentally concerned with the workings of objects. What's an object, anyway? Does an active imagination coupled with mild synesthesia turn abstract objects into Se processes? If our subconscious throws mental objects on us out of the blue, does it connect to Se and form a feedback loop? I think it all depends on our brain's capability to form syntheses between modes of thinking.
Similarly, in a library of Si experiences, there's no doubt tons of information for how abstract objects can be related (Ni) and high Si and Ni in the same person could begin to blend into a simple technicality of which aspect that is being considered at the time, much like an optical illusion where a face appears between the mountains.
To end on a personal note about my journey, something very simple like opening another browser tab and googling something can give me enough of an Se boost to create a small bridge between intuitive connections to keep me going. In one 'sense,' It's because I'm connecting my thinking process to my sensory reality. But it also connects to Ne, because I'm looking for new connections to feed my envisioning process (Ni), which in turn guides my Ti. The cognitive patterns we've developed aren't necessarily the best ones. They're the ones that were naturally selected for, but evolution is more of a Te process than a Ti one ;) So, what's really the difference between having an Se report versus Ne report in the midst of things? A technicality I think, and one we can integrate.
Q. What do you guys think; do we need a basic reformulation of how the IEs are related and will it set us free from Typism and Typological fatalism?