Saturday, June 1, 2013

socionics versus MBTI

What's the difference between Socionics and MBTI?

Socionics and MBTI are personality theories that are both derived from Jungian psychology. MBTI was developed in America by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers around the 1920's, whereas Socionics was developed in Eastern Europe by Aušra Augustinavičiūtė in the 1970's. 

Both systems utilize the concepts of functions (thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition), attitudes (extraversion/introversion), and preference (judging/perceiving). A notable difference is that in MBTI, the judging/perceiving preference applies to the dominant function in extroverts and the auxiliary function in introverts whereas in Socionics, the judging/perceiving preference is always applied to the dominant function. This has led to the suggestion that you can easily convert between the two systems by switching the J/P designation on the types (or just the introverted types), but most people that study the systems eventually reject such a straightforward conversion--the nature of how each system approaches typing and models personality differs in ways that make attempts at one-to-one conversions futile.

Why use Socionics?

I'm personally more partial to Socionics, having found that it provides a more accurate and complete understanding of personalities, and it takes a more objective approach to personality typing. MBTI seems to be more concerned with how you perceive yourself whereas Socionics looks directly at behavior. Moreover, Socionics provides a structured analysis of intertype relationships which is probably the most useful thing about learning personality theory.

Further reading:

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