Introduction to socionics

Socionics (IPA <>: /?so?si’niks/ <>) is a theory of interpersonal interaction based on patterns of information selection and processing. Socionics has 16 types and 16 kinds of intertype relations. Furthermore, it divides information itself into 8 varieties.

The primary source of inspiration for socionics was Jung’s Typology. Socionics developed in the 1970s and 80s in the former Soviet Union and was cut off from western psychology, including similar typological systems such as the MBTI. Today socionics is popular in the Russian speaking world and is beginning to make inroads into other cultural realms.

For readers familiar with the MBTI, socionics will seem easy to grasp at first, but readers should be careful to note differences in theory and descriptions. Much knowledge from the MBTI cannot be carried over neatly into Socionics, because the definitions of fundamental concepts, and the behaviors predicted by the two theories, do not exactly match. Any correspondence between types is provisional at best.

Recommendations for studying socionics

At the moment there are no courses on socionics taught outside the former Soviet Union, and only this summer have the first books in English been published. However, there is a lot of information on socionics available from different sources on the Internet. By combining personal study with some forum interaction or meeting with other people who study socionics, you can learn it quite well without courses.

Much of the theory of socionics is explained in terms of Model A and information elements. However, to gain a full understanding of socionics - and especially intertype relations - it is necessary to see it in practice. A good way to begin is by determining your own type, as well as those of your family, friends, and even casual acquaintances. Human behavior is messy, so keep in mind that not everything may fit exactly. When in doubt, consider relationships before behavior; relationships, while perhaps the most abstract part of socionics, lie at its foundation. Use all available resources to your advantage; discussion with other socionics enthusiasts can be both educating and fun.

Resources for beginners

For more introductory information, visit our page of socionics resources or browse through our section on classical socionics.