Dec 22, 2007

Socionics Doesn't Matter 95% of the Time

Did the title catch your attention? Yes, socionics does not particularly influence one way or another our interactions with 95% of the people we meet. That's because these people are cashiers at the grocery store, drivers next to us in the parking lot whom we smile at briefly, people online who send us one message, plumbers who drop by to get the grime out of the bathtub drain, etc. 95% or more of the people we encounter in life have no significant influence on our life or psychology. What matters far more than their socionic type for us is that they abide by certain social conventions and don't get in our way.

Socionics becomes generally more important than abiding by social conventions when we talk of meaningful interaction. Some random passenger on the plane who you talk to about everything during an entire transatlantic flight is meaningful interaction. So is the guy at work whose cubicle faces yours and who e-mails you lame jokes. In these situations you have time to build an attitude towards the other person. This becomes especially important if you expect to interact with the person in the future. Your attitude or understanding of the person helps you to decide how to interact with them. In these cases socionics matters.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Silly way to grab attention, especially if the title is a lie.

Where does 95% figure come from?

Let's take 24 hour day. 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for work 8 hours for home. Work and home - socionics does matter you said it yourself. Plus weekend, even more friends and family. So anything between work and home it doesn't matter which make the title a lie.

The title should really say 95% of the time socionics DOES matter.

This is very strange that someone like you Rick would make such mistake.

Rick said...

You're right, of course. Because we spend most of the time not with random people but with people whom we have some stable connection to, socionics does matter most of the time. However, every day and every week we also interact briefly with a large number of people whose socionic type makes virtually no difference either way. I would guess that the number of random people we interact with briefly is at least 20 times greater than the number of people we have stable connections to.

So, of course, the title is misleading, but I wanted to show things from an unexpected angle.

Olga said...

Do not forget that Rick's type is called Psychologist. That means he knows lots of tricks, chicky monkey...

Dancing Butterfly Mama said...

i'm not sure of the percentages....but i do know that as i pass someone in the grocery store, it can be just as meaningful as an interaction i had with my son earlier in the day, just on a different level. it's fun to look at the man pushing his cart in a slow methodical way, checking off his list and see and/or guess what his functions are and the lady who gives me a big smile and says "HI! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BABY!" It's meaningful to me to interact with each on a level that respects and honors what they are about.

and then it's fun to dress in different ways to see each person's reaction to watch their uniqueness come out in their reactions. or to sing and dance down the aisle and see how people react as i have uninhibited fun with my kids.

or see that someone is hurting inside and send them Love...

those "attitudes" i form within split seconds with everyone i come in contact with. it's with myself i have a hard time understanding. :)

thehotelambush said...

Well said, dancing butterfly mama. "Social conventions" are an Fi concept that we could do without. I think people should generally be as flamboyant and outspoken as possible. ;)

Cyclops (ISTp) said...

I think 95% is more to be an example of implying as to the 'large majority' rather than an exactly calculated statistical figure.

When you think about the amount of clients office workers deal with over the phone, the amount of people you have to negotiate past with your trolley or say excuse me to, queue behind and then pay at the till at the supermarket, and people on the subway on the way home for instance, has got to be a lot more than the people you have meaningful personal interactions with.

Theres some research to suggest that the human brain is only capable of knowing up to 100 people on a close personal level. This evidence, although indirect is compelling.

When you compare chimp and ape groups, the size of these groups get larger, in what appears to collaborate in a direct link to the size of their brains.

Carrying this link on, this would imply that human groups should be at the size of about 100.

Not that compelling on its own ?

However, if you take a look at, for instance, the size of the average English town prior to the industrial revolution (when the majority of folks lived in the countryside prior to moving to big cities purely for the work) what you find is the average population size was 100 people ! When the town got slightly bigger, what would happen is that the community would fragment and a new community would form, in the shape of a village and grow to a population of 100 and the same thing would happen again.

Now as I mentioned, this all changed with the industrial revolution, which affected basically most of the world.

What you see now is people living in massive communities, surrounded by people living right next to them and yet they are strangers. Is it any suprise that, despite being surrounded by so many people, so many of them suffer from afflictions such as lonliness or depression or othe mental states ?

I think its worth considering that in an ideal environment - every interaction would be meaningful - and it looks like that would take a population of about 100. In todays society that isn't really possible. So socionics becomes even more practical, as we attempt to justify the amount of 'meaningless' interactions, which could be said to go against our inherent, social nature (humans being group animals not loner animals)

Rick said...

>> Now as I mentioned, this all changed with the industrial revolution, which affected basically most of the world.

What you see now is people living in massive communities, surrounded by people living right next to them and yet they are strangers. Is it any suprise that, despite being surrounded by so many people, so many of them suffer from afflictions such as lonliness or depression or othe mental states ?


I think you're right on here, Cyclops. When the community is too big, some people just fall through the woodwork. Larger communities provide more opportunities for molding your social environment to yourself, but the risk of not belonging to any group also increases tenfold.

iAnnAu said...

Interestingly, I have visited the Twin Oaks Commune (in Virginia) several times through the past few years, once for a period of 12 days. They have been a nearly-self-sufficient income-sharing community for over 30 years now, and for a while I thought I would like to live there. However, in the course of the 12-day stay, I realized that although all the community members knew one another, there was enough "space" for personal differences to polarize the comm. - in other words, two people disagree, so one of the people waits 'til the other's not around and tries to influence members of the comm. to his/her side, thereby socially ostracizing the other. This happens all the time in mainstream society in the USA, but I believe in a smaller group such an effort would be quickly unveiled and thus self-defeating (e.g., once people realize the first person was manipulating them, they will turn to ostracizing him/her).
There must be a balance struck, because when a community is too small then there's not *enough* space for personal differences, either ideologically or simply in the sense of who's willing to get done what needs doing.
I've also considered that this community is still "flavored" by the mainstream society that its members came from, and that it exists in relative isolation from similar communities, which would create its own challenges on the personal and collective levels ...

iAnnAu said...

Oh, I missed making the point that Twin Oaks has approximately 100 members - it goes up & down a bit but has held steady around there for several years now.

Rick said...

Wow iAnnAu, that must be very interesting to observe. I have noted that church congregations gravitate loosely to this number as well, and the Gore Corporation (which makes Gore-tex) is famous for establishing units with this number of people as well.

An L. said...

Just a random thought about the first comment
"This is very strange that someone like you Rick would make such mistake"

Is that an example of how two different ppl of two types look at that?
I'm an IEE as well, and I think the (exact) number is not important here. The "bigger picture" is that how the points Rick tried to make was successfully conveyed to the readers.
I personally think there are no IEEs who would even think/notice/point out that was a mistake (from your point of view) after first reading. However, after rereading it, I see Rick did say "95% or more of the people we encounter in life have no significant influence on our life or psychology"