In an earlier post I mentioned the confusion surrounding the terms "function" and "information aspect." In actuality there are three different things that each have their own proper name, and people often mix them up or use them interchangeably for convenience. To clear up the confusion, I have created the following visual (the underlined words are not links):
*Note that in Jungian typology both IM elements and functions of the psyche are called "functions" ("thinking," "feeling," etc. are called functions, but so are the "leading function," "vulnerable function," etc.), while there is no concept that corresponds to information aspects in socionics.
Augusta saw objective reality as consisting of "bodies and fields" - objects and their interrelations. Individuals' perception is able to register all aspects of reality (or at least those accessible to our species) to some degree, but focuses on certain aspects more than others. Hence, the categories used to "divide up" reality can also be used to describe the corresponding "modules" of perception that register them. These modules Augusta called IM elements, or elements of information metabolism. The aspects of reality Augusta called information aspects. She viewed reality as sending living beings a constant stream of information about itself. This stream breaks down into different information aspects much as light breaks down into the colors of the rainbow.
To describe the differences in perception of information between individuals, Augusta used Jung's concept of functions of the psyche. By assigning a number to each IM element in her model of a specific type, she was able to describe the priority of perception, or - in her preferred wording - "the degree of clarity and differentiation of perception" of the given information aspect. The first two IM elements determine the ordering of the other six according to the rules outlined by Jung. At first Augusta referred to only 4 functions, following Jung's example. She called this "Model J." However, there was a logical inconsistency. Reality consisted of 8 information aspects, but only four of these were represented in the model of the psyche, suggesting that the psyche was unable to register the other four. Eventually Augusta and her associates introduced the 8-function model, called "Model A," and found the proper places for perception of all 8 aspects of reality in the socionic model of the psyche.