Socionic library
articles, books and educational materials

of the International institute of Socionics

Bukalov A.V.
Comparison of socionics and other typologies

A comparison of socionics as science and technology with the Myers-Briggs typology and Keirsey theory is made. It is shown that, despite the common origin with these typologies from the typology of C. Jung, socionics, in contrast to them, allows us to give a holistic picture of the structure of mental functions, a description and forecast of intertype relationships in small and large groups. In the practical field, socionics allows you to form teams and groups of any complexity, as well as eliminate conflicts. The use of an information approach allows the use of socionics methods in marketing, advertising, sociological and political science research.

socionics, Myers-Briggs typology, Keirsey theory, information model of the psyche, management, small groups, team, advertising, marketing

Socionics, like the Myers-Briggs typology, is based on the typology of C. Jung, but offers a consistent structure of the psyche, which makes it possible not only to describe in detail the personality type and a number of individual characteristics, but also reveals the nature of communication and interaction of people, which makes it possible to predict relationships between people, the degree of their psychological, business and informational compatibility. In these issues, socionics has advanced significantly further compared to the Myers-Briggs typology and Keirsey theory. Therefore, for more than 20 years, socionic technologies have been used in effective management for personnel selection, formation or reorganization of teams or work groups.

Let’s compare these typologies.

socionics MBTI Keirsey
Basis Jung’s typology + informatics (systems theory, cybernetics) Jung’s typology Jung’s typology
Time of creation 1980s 1940s 1960s(?)
Compliance with Jung’s theory complete incomplete incomplete
Number of types 16 16 16
Description of the structure of the psyche 8 mental functions performing 8 roles at 4 levels of functioning:
  1. – programm;
  2. – creative;
  3. – role-playing;
  4. – mobilization;
  5. – suggestible;
  6. – activation;
  7. – supervising;
  8. – demonstrative.

Differentiated distinction and description of functions by dimension and power.

In introverted types, the order of functions does not correspond to that introduced by Jung (this is what did not make it possible to create a theory of intertype relations).
There is no single concept; different authors have different interpretations of auxiliary functions and their quantity.
2 (4) mental functions.
Description and dynamics of real groups Several thousand different groups, effective and ineffective. A small number of groups. A small number of groups. Keirsey’s theory of temperaments is a special case from many identified by socionics.
Description and prediction of people’s compatibility Developed theory and technology of creating teams. Intertype relationship ranking system. 256 intertype relationships have been identified, combined into 16 types - from the most constructive to potentially conflicting. Evaluation of interactions not only by the “similarity” of types or by the “opposite” of their qualities, but also by complementarity. Effective predictive capabilities. The theory has not been developed, but observational experience has been accumulated. Poor understanding of the causes of interactions and relationships. In some cases, there is a lack of understanding of how types interact in a team, especially if these types do not match in N–S and T–F. Compatibility is determined either by similarity (by belonging to one type or one group of types) or by opposition. Relations that were proposed as the best for 30 years turned out to be the most difficult and conflict-ridden in practice. Keirsey subsequently abandoned this idea.
Integration with other theories and methods Addition, expansion of M. Belbin’s theory of roles. absent absent
Creating teams - solving the inverse problem of sociometry Effective, well designed and used. General declarations. Poor
understanding of intertype relationships.
Predicting Interpersonal Compatibility by statistics. Different opinions, sometimes
contradictory, from different authors.
The concept of the perception of various aspects of information and information exchange between people Yes No No
Team formation Numerical assessment of the degree of compatibility, individual and overall success of interaction. Clear criteria for assessing the effectiveness of interaction between the leader and the team, the degree of controllability of the team, and the degree of “resonance” with the leader. Absent. There are only attempts to describe an existing command as a type. Only by similarity in temperament.
Integral type of collective Type of corporate culture. Strengths and weaknesses of the professional orientation of the team. The degree of agreement between the team and the task being performed (prognosis of success). There is an idea of ​​a team type as a sum of types. Team type as a set of temperaments.
Dynamics of concept development Intensive development of theory and applied technologies. Socionics is used as a conceptual model in all humanities and has been used in more than 850 dissertations. It is studied at universities either as a separate discipline or in courses in sociology, management, pedagogy or other humanities. It is actively used in management to staff teams, including: production, sports, aviation, space. The basic theory was formed in the 50s and has not changed since then. Mass application due to growing popularity, “in breadth” – extensive growth without further conceptual development. The basic theory was formed in the 70s and changed slightly.
Social technologies Advertising methods taking into account information perception; electoral technologies; types of mentality of social groups and ethnic groups. No No


Socionics is a concept above the Myers-Briggs and Keirsey typologies, and includes them as special cases of consideration. At the same time, it has significantly greater potential for practical application, since it examines the structure of the human psyche, and also offers a practice-tested concept of intertype relationships, which is successfully used to build teams.


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