Socionic library
articles, books and educational materials

of the International institute of Socionics

Augustinavichiute A.
The Dual Nature of Man

This is a translation of a classic work on the foundations of socionics. 16 types of informational metabolism (ITM), which form the socion, are considered as a generalization of the typology of C.G. Jung. The nature of erotic feelings is investigated. It is shown that each TIM has an additional (dual) personality type, as the most compatible in life (family, work, leisure) and covers the psychological weaknesses of the partner.

socionics, personality type, duality, complement, compatibility, socion

1. The Nature of Erotic Feelings

What is the cause of passionate love? A humanized sexual instinct? Many people seem to think so. Love, however, satisfies not one, but two distinctly separate needs: the need to releave sexual tension and the need for a psychological connection with another person. Both needs are dependent on the level of intelligence, culture, and social conditions and are interrelated, though without a direct causal connection. The most convincing hypothesis, in our view, is that the phenomenon of love is a result of man’s essence as a paired being.

Many philosophers have speculated on this topic. "One person is not yet a person," wrote Feuerbach. "Only together with another does he find completeness." "The true essence of love," we read from Hegel, "is to give up our perception of ourselves, forget ourselves in another self, and yet in this losing and forgetting finally come to find oneself and possess oneself." Erich Fromm reasons similarly: "Love allows one to be oneself and preserve one’s wholeness. Love is a paradox in which two beings become one and yet remain two."

To explain this rather difficult phenomenon, the ancient Greeks appealed to the myth of androgynes, which Aristophanes tells to Socrates in Plato’s dialogue "Feast." The myth states that at one time people had double bodies with two pairs of arms and legs and two faces. It was only an angry Zeus that split them in two. Now each person is half of a whole, continually seeking to restore his former complete self.

Y. Ryurikov wrote along the same lines: "This physical sense of coalescence with another person is an utterly incredible sensation. We know that in a normal state a person cannot feel or experience the feelings of another person, and only in the height of powerful love is there a kind of peculiar psychological mirage when different selves somehow disappear and merge into each other, and people become psychological androgynes... It almost seems like a literal ’transmitigation of souls’ — as though part of your ’soul’ has crossed over into the body of another person, merged with their nerves, and now you experience their feelings just as though they were your own... It is not clear why this happens only to lovers — only to those who are close; psychologists and physiologists have yet to solve this puzzle."

If passionate love ensues from the structure of the human psyche, then it can be spoken of not only in the language of art, but also in the precise language of science. Our conviction that people enter into marriage not only to have children and sexual relations — and that a solitary lifestyle, as well as psychological isolation in marriage, are unhealthy phenomen — compels us to take a more serious look at marital relations.

2. The Question of Psychological Complementarity

If a person must seek psychological complementation, it follows that not every physically appealing partner complements him, but only an individual with certain psychological features. These features are what must be determined. In a sense people are correct in saying that opposing traits are necessary for complementation. However, our investigations have shown that not every opposite can be called complementation. There are opposites that give rise to continual tense conflict or the extinguishing of partners’ energy level. And there are complementary opposites that bring a person psychological equilibrium and activate his life. The answer lies in each typology used by psychiatrists from P. B. Gannushkin, E. Kretschmer, C. G. Jung, and A. Kempinsky to A. E. Lichko and K. Leongard. In each typology! There are simply compatible types of people and incompatible types. Anyone who knows at least one of these typologies can verify this for himself. Here — as in all discoveries — the answer is so simple that it boggles the mind why to this day no one has hit upon it neither in the Soviet Union nor abroad.

The most mature typology to aid in understanding the compatibility and incompatibility of different types of people is that of C. G. Jung. This is because the author treats the human psyche as a kind of structure, whereas all other typologies are simply descriptive in nature. We will begin with Jung’s typology. As for the others, those interested can view the comparative table at the end of this article (see table 3), which shows how the same types of individuals are called by different authors.

Readers may wonder why the afore-mentioned authors did not discover the principle of human complementarity. First of all, perhaps because all of them were psychiatrists who by occupation worked with individual patients and strove to deepen their understanding of the traits of individual types of people, and therefore did not observe their interaction in small fixed groups — in the home or at the workplace. Furthermore, the belief has existed for quite some time [perhaps in the Soviet Union — translator] that individuals with fully psychologically healthy people are all of the same type; that certain type-related traits manifest themselves only when there is some deviation from the norm; that all people are "average," and that traits typical of accentuations or psychopathology are to be found only in patients with deviant behavior. At the same time, however, A. E. Lichko clearly states that certain accentuations emerge on the basis of personality type. We can add from our own experience that personality type determines not only an individual’s susceptibility to certain psychological illnesses, but also to quite distinct somatic ailments.

3. Advantages of Jung’s Typology

We have already mentioned one advantage of Jung’s typology — that of a structural approach. In addition, the author classifies not ill, but healthy individuals, and therefore does not use the unpleasant "clinical" type names that others do (see table 3). Behind his names lie — instead of psychological deviations — the greatest strengths of a person’s psyche — termed "psychic functions" by the author. The primary [leading? — translator] psychic functions are a person’s ability to grasp certain aspects of reality with particular facility. We shall call these functions a person’s aspects of information metabolism (IM).

Unfortunately, Jung’s names for these functions do not completely suit our needs. Hence, what he called "thinking," we will call "logic," and what he called "feeling," we will call "ethics." We do not presume to say that our names are ideal and that in the future nothing more appropriate will be found, but our names are more precise that Jung’s. For example, when Jung contrasts thinking and feeling types, one gets the impression that the former "think" while the latter "live on feelings." In reality they all think — just about different things. The former think about that which is objective, and the latter about that which is subjective in the world around them. Hence, if we say of the latter, "ethical thinking predominates," it does not sound as absurd as if we were to say, "feeling thinking predominates." Individuals with "ethical" thinking are inclined to evaluate and judge what is around them in terms of ethical or unethical relationships and deeds. Individuals with "logical" thinking are interested mainly in how logical or illogical relationships and deeds are.

Thus, on the one hand, we have kept to Jung’s principle of formulating type names based on the most well-developed aspects of a person’s psyche. On the other hand, we have somewhat changed the names themselves; in place of Jung’s "thinking," "feeling," "sensing," and "intuiting" we have "logic," "ethics," "sensing" ["sensorics" in Russian — translator], and "intuition."

We have also had to make a second amendment — coupled type names. Jung himself maintained — and we have confirmed in our own practice — that a person’s personality is defined not by one, but by two "functions." When we say, for example, "logical type," we do not know which logical type is meant — "the one with sensing," or "the one with intuition." They are quite different! "The one with sensing" is a practical, hands-on person. The second is more of a strategist than a tactician and is inclined to theorize, philosophize, and build what they call "castles in the sky." They differ in all day-to-day particulars. The first is always well-groomed, knows what looks good and what doesn’t, and is always composed. The second is absent-minded and tries his best to look well-groomed and collected — but rarely succeeds.

We have substituted the now widespread terms "extravert/introvert" for Jung’s "extraverted/introverted," though we think the terms "extratim/introtim" — by analogy with Kretschmer’s "shizotyme/cyclotyme" — would be more appropriate, since the terms "extravert" and "introvert" have become ambiguous ever since Eysenck’s tests started the trend towards calling every outgoing individual an extravert and every reserved individual an introvert.

4. The 16 IM Types

Seeing that personality type differences are equivalent to differences in the interchange of information signals with one’s surroundings, we shall call personality types "information metabolism types" — in short, IM types.

Why information metabolism? As it turns out, the human psyche differentiates the world around us into certain components or aspects [also "facets," or "dimensions" — trans.]. Each personality type obtains very well-differentiated and consciously recognized information about one of these aspects and perceives information about other aspects in undifferentiated and condensed form. Hence, after experiencing the same situations, different personality types recall and relate completely different things and in different words. They convey their stories using different facial expressions and highlight different aspects of the event. The turns of speech people use to express their thoughts and the facial expressions, gestures, and intonation that go along with their words are the main reason why one person seems pleasant and likeable and another unpleasant and tiresome. When one person takes offense at another, it is not so much the other person’s actions that hurt, but rather how he explains these actions and which motives he puts forward. This is why people can forgive one person for a particular action and not forgive another person for the very same action.

We should recall that the term "information metabolism" was borrowed from A. Kempinsky, a classic Polish psychiatrist. Evidently, he was the first to say that disruption of the individual’s information metabolism lies at the heart of psychological discomfort. Now we know that this disruption is nothing other than a deficiency of necessary stimuli from people with complementary psyches and an overload of unnecessary, tiring, and irritating stimuli from people with whom contact is hampered because — due to their IM type — they express their thoughts in ways that are unacceptable and hard for us to understand.

People with an "unsuitable" IM type often injures us with remarks or jokes that provide neither information nor reassurance and are just irritating. A joke is registered as a joke only if it happens to address something that concerns us and if it provides reassurance. Each person’s sense of humor has limitations, since each person seeks reassurance in different areas. Often, when others take offense at our joke, we simply think they have no sense of humor. The truth is that their sense of humor is simply different from our own; they tend to joke using different words and about completely different things.

In all there are 16 types of IM. Some are better at picking out one kind of signals from the world around them, and others are better at picking out other signals. How did these types arise? Evidently, over the long road of human evolution the individual psyche became specialized and acquired a certain lopsidedness. Pairs of competing psychological traits formed; if one of the traits develops intensively in a child, the other’s growth is retarded. Hence, the psychic structure and personality of each individual are asymmetric and lopsided. Man is a social being not only because production processes are social, but also because a particular kind of lopsided development of the psyche creates a need for psychological complementation, which he obtains in his social environment through communicating and cooperating with individuals whose psychic structures are different from his own. Several people working jointly act more purposefully, decisively, and effectively when they have psychological support from people with a different mental constitution. This is one of the secrets of basic cooperation.

Human interaction and the degree of mutual understanding are strongly influenced by the intellectual level and culture of the individuals involved. However, when we speak of psychic complementation and psychic compatibility, the most important factor is IM type. This type is defined by the method [or "order" — trans.] by which incoming information is selected and processed by the psyche. This method, or order, determines many psychological traits of a person: inclinations, abilities, interests, forms of activity, purpose and motivation of behavior, relationships with others, and aesthetic and erotic tastes. Each individual has a preference for certain behavior in close others. Each person needs not a general "oh sigh, I’m in love," but specific forms of caring in the one they love that are acceptable and convincing and that satisfy their psyche.

5. Who Is Interested in What, and Who Knows What

(this section will undergo minor editing)

In order to satisfy one’s own needs, the individual must have an idea of the entire surrounding reality. People cooperate in serving society. The mechanism of this phenomenon, as we understand it today, is quite simple: different aspects of reality are represented in the brain with different degrees of differentiation and awareness. Those aspects that only the individual himself makes use of are represented with comparative generality and are remembered in the form of images, experience, and skills. Aspects that the individual conveys information about to society are perceived with a high level of differentiation and precision, allowing him to make sense of this information and communicate it verbally.

What are these aspects? An organism’s process of adapting to its environment is an unceasing chain of acts of physical energy. All that takes place in the objective world around oneself is also no more than a chain of acts of physical energy. It may be said that all that happens to us and around us are also chains of acts of physical energy. And a chain of acts of physical energy is no more than the four strokes of an internal combustion engine:

  1. Potential energy
  2. Conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy
  3. Kinetic energy
  4. Utilization of kinetic energy

These are the four perceptual aspects of reality, which, because of our typal nature, people perceive with varying degrees of cognizance. One better knows about the capabilities and abilities of others (1st stroke), another — their emotional workings (2nd stroke), another — how they operate (4th stroke). [3rd stroke omitted in original — trans.] We will assign a symbol to each of these aspects and will call them "black" elements of a person’s IM:

I: potential energy
E: conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy
F: kinetic energy
P: use of kinetic energy

With these elements the individual obtains information about:

I: the potential energy of observed objects and subjects, their physical and psychological capabilities
E: the level of arousal and excitability of objects, people’s moods and emotions
F: the degree of mobilization, strength of will, power, and beauty of observed objects and subjects
P: the level of activity of objects and subjects, their capacity for work

However, the world around us consists not only of moving bodies, but also of their fields of interaction. These can be called psychological fields. The componenets of these fields are relationships between objects and processes, perceived by people as certain feelings. Thus we have another four dimensions of the world which, because of our typal nature, people also perceive with varying degrees of cognizance (awareness). We will also assign each of these aspects a symbol and will call them "white" wlements of a person’s IM:

S: relationships between processes taking place at the same time, their reflection in the inner state of an object and its feeling of well-being
T: relationships between processes occuring at different times; a sense of timeliness
L: objective relationships between two objects and their separate characteristics; the relations of objects or the measurement of one object by another; spacial distances
R: subjective relationships between two objects or subjects; a sense of attraction and repulsion

With these IM elements one obtains information about:

S: objects’ internal state or sense of well-being
T: relationships in time between processes, events, and actions; the availability or lack of time; the expectation of danger or safety in the future
L: objects’ objective relationships to each other; their weight, magnitude, worth/value, etc., i.e. any parameters that can be measured against each other; the distances between them; their location in space
R: the attractive or repulsive force of objects and subjects; how much they need or do not need each other; feelings of like and dislike; love and hatred

A few words about the origin of the graphic symbols. We have represented black sensing with the symbol F — a figure that suggest the fullest contact with the external world. Intuition is a triangle I, which fits perfectly into a circle. Logic and ethics are the external form and the internal content of the same process. Therefore, if we represent logic with a square P — a symbol of strict reasoning — then a symbol that fits into a square must be chosen to represent the internal aspect of the same process. Thus was born a square without one corner — E.

We will assign corresponding field elements the same symbols, only with a different color: S, T, L, and R.

Thus, in the process of information metabolism one uses eight IM elements, each of which reflects one of the objective aspects of reality. Now, for convention, we will assign each of these elements a name by which we will refer to it in the future (table 1).

Aspect of reality reflected
Name of characteristic of psyche or IM element by which one obtains information about given aspect of reality
Symbol of aspect of reality and corresponding element
Potential energy
Black intuition
Conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy
Black ethics
Kinetic energy
Black sensing
Use of kinetic energy
Black logic
White sensing
White intuition
White logic
Attraction and repulsion
White ethics

Each individual has all eight IM elements contained in his psyche. In other words, each of us utilizes the same ways of receiving and processing information. However, in difficult situations that demand our intellectual efforts, people tend to rely on only one pair of elements — one black and one white. These are what define one’s IM type. These are what allow us to call someone "logical," "ethical," etc. In addition, if the second element of the pair — which defines the nature of the individual’s active, creative relationship with the outside world — is a white element, we call the individual an extravert, and if this element is black — an introvert.

Another way of putting it is that two elements are more intellectualized and more conscious than the others. A person who wants to be and to seem as capable as possible takes pains — as much as he is able — to make use of only these two elements in his activities. For example, an individual with well-developed logical thinking avoids talking about his feelings.

Now we are prepared to see the whole list of IM types with the names we use in all our works (table 2).

It would be curious to know which psychological types are represented in the population of the Republic (Lithuania). For this purpose 100 men and 100 women were examined; the results are also presented in table 2. Certainly, such an insignificant and completely random sample of people (200 individuals) cannot represent the whole of Lithuania. However, this study is enough to see that there is no IM type that is represented only among men or only among women.

Hence the relativity of such concepts as femininity and masculinity; each IM type assigns his own meaning to these notions. An extravert sees true femininity in an introverted girl, and introvert — in an extravert, a person with a logical IM type — in an ethical mentality, a person of an ethical IM type — in a logical mentality. There is no absolute femininity nor absolute masculinity. There are only women and men with different psychological structures who not only appear, but actually are ideally feminine or masculine when they properly complement our own psychological structure.

Further, when we talk about combinations of psycyhological structures we will therefore not take gender into consideration to avoid excess confusion. We will speak of individuals with sensing, intuitive, logical, or ethical IM types. In examples were for the sake of visualization it reads "he," one could equally well read "she."

In individual specific samples, however, proportions of psychological types demonstrate a high tendency towards polarization. In one group in the Vilnius Institute of Pedagogy in the 1978/79 academic year, 28 female students were found to have leading ethical IM elements, whereas only one had a leading logical element. Of these, 20 were introverts, and 9 were extraverts.

No. Type name Type symbol Males Females
1 Logical Sensing Extravert TPS 5 2
2 Logical Intuitive Extravert TPT 4 2
3 Logical Sensing Introvert TLF 6 3
4 Logical Intuitive Introvert TLI 6 5
5 Ethical Sensing Extravert TES 3 10
6 Ethical Intuitive Extravert TET 5 9
7 Ethical Sensing Introvert TRF 3 4
8 Ethical Intuitive Introvert TRI 3 10
9 Sensory Logical Extravert TFL 9 3
10 Sensory Ethical Extravert TFR 4 9
11 Sensory Logical Introvert TSP 12 8
12 Sensory Ethical Introvert TSE 7 15
13 Intuitive Logical Extravert TIL 11 4
14 Intuitive Ethical Extravert TIR 10 6
15 Intuitive Logical Introvert TTP 8 2
16 Intuitive Ethical Introvert TTE 4 8
    Total: 100 100
  Extraverts 51 45
Introverts 49 55
Logical 61 29
Ethical 39 71
Sensing 49 54
Intuitive 51 46

6. The Consciousness of Love

Is love a conscious or unconscious phenomenon? When one loves someone whome one voluntarily chooses from among others because he or she has certain advantages or is more interesting, valuable, or available, then love is subject to consciousness. This is elective love. If one’s object of desire dous not meet one’s expectations and there is a chance of finding another more suitable target, it is fairly easy to give up the target. However, not all people do this. Only individuals with a sensing ethical IM type love in this way. Those whose sensing and ethical elements are poorly developed (all logical intuitive types) love not because they choose to. They don’t choose whom they love! Love is not something they do, but something that happens to them.

There are people whose feelings are conscious but whose attraction is unconscious (all intuitive ethical types). And there are those whose attraction is conscious but whose feelings are not subject to conscious control (all sensory logical types).

All ethical types (having an ethical element in the first or second position) are good at discerning both their own feelings and the feelings and emotions of other people. They are not afraid of feelings and talk about them with ease (this applies to all kinds of feelings — love, fear, admiration) — if not to the object of their love, then to their friends, since feelings and emotional experiences are what ennobles a person and gives him greater worth. All logical types repress and withhold their feelings, since they consider any feeling to be a weakness — the opposite of reason. And so it is, seeing that there is little consciousness in their feelings, and their feelings are not subject to intellectual control.

All sensing types are well aware of both their own and others’ physical needs. They are able to evaluate their physical characteristics and make use of them. It is they who openly attract their partner’s attention with their elegance and gracefulness of movement. Intuitive types at best believe what others tell them (about their appearance) — and only as long as others continue to tell them. Thus, they are always afraid to become dependent on people who give them compliments. Just as a logical type tends not to believe that he is loved, an intuitive type constantly doubts that he is attractive, handsome, or needed. A sensing type is elegant in order to be noticed. An intuitive type is often even more elegant, but only in order to avoid sticking out or feeling conspicuous. In a sense he hides behind his elegance. A sensing type openly admits to feelings of physical attraction not only to himself, but to others. For him, physical attraction is a simple, ordinary occurence — part of his good and healthy nature. An intuitive type is squeamish about his physical attraction and does not dare impose it on another.

To generalize, we can say that while some want to love, others want to be loved. Some want to desire, others — to be desired. Some might well be called subjects of love, and others — objects. There are people who take all the initiative into their own hands, there are those who tend to take partial initiative, and there are those who leave it all to their partner. Here begins the process of selecting a psychologically complementary mate. If both show equal initiative or the lack thereof, friendship breaks off easily, or they grow tired of competing for initiative, or tension forms as mutual distrust of each other’s feelings grows.

What one IM type calls love — what makes him feel loved and respected — might easily to another be proof that such feelings are absent. Thus, if resentment appears in a friendship (which is often unwisely kept hidden), then there must be a psychological disparity that needs to be considered beforehand. If partners are a complete match for each other, they are not able to offend each other with a careless word or gesture, because they recognize the motives of each action, word, and mood. This is the "red light" that nature has provided us with so that we can choose a suitable partner. But people often do not want to recognize these signals, hide their true reactions, and think that something will change in the future. But waht stems from the psychological structure formed in childhood cannot change. The contradictions only grow more severe.