Some of my readers may know that I spent the summer hiking the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), a 2660 mile long trail through the great coastal ranges of the West that starts at the Mexican border and ends at the Canadian border. My journey lasted over four months and provided ample time to reflect on many different things, including socionics and other psychological topics. Here's my write-up of the adventure, if readers are interested.
Sep 6, 2009
Apr 1, 2009
I came across a remarkable study that could open up some avenues of empirical research into socionic phenomena.
In a previous post I wrote of a personality and matching test at Chemistry.com that was developed by researcher Helen Fisher. We are already seeing some possible patterns in how her types correspond to socionic types, and I encourage readers to take the test if they haven't already and share their results in that post.
There was a great deal of data that people vary in terms of their expression of dopamine and norepinephrine, serotonin, estrogen and oxytocin and testosterone. I culled from the academic literature all of those data points that show that these particular brain-chemical systems are related to certain aspects of personality. And I saw constellations of temperament traits that seemed to be associated with these chemicals.
Although mostly understood and taught as a typology (a model of personality types), the Enneagram of Personality is also taught in ways intended to develop higher states of being, essence and enlightenment. Each of the 9 personality types associated with the Enneagram represents a map of traits that highlights patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. By learning one’s type and the patterns and habits associated with that type, one can use the Enneagram system as an effective tool for self-understanding and self-development.Adherents of the theory believe that each Enneagram personality type, or style, is based on a pattern of where attention goes. They believe that by learning about what kinds of things one habitually attends to and puts energy into, one can observe oneself more accurately and develop more self-awareness, and that by enhancing one’s self awareness with the help of the Enneagram, one can exercise more choice about one’s functioning rather than engaging in patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior in an automatic, habitual, unconscious way.
One — EII, IEITwo — ESI, EIIThree — LIE, EIE, LSE, ESEFour — ILI, IEIFive — LII, LSISix — EIE, IEI, LIE, ILISeven — IEE, ILE, ESE, EIEEight — SLE, SEE, LSI, ESINine — SEI, SLI
It was Evagrius who was to reveal that the Christian aesthetics of the Byzantine deserts had discovered that 9 passions − anger, pride, vainglory, envy, greed, incontinence, gluttony, lust and acedie, distorted human perception and consigned the human search for the divine to the banal and ordinary.
Ego fixation: planningHoly idea: workPassion/Vice: gluttonyVirtue: sobriety
Mar 30, 2009
Because of some financial difficulties this year, I am asking for donations to help pay for Wikisocion hosting and domain renewal in May. I need $100. Find out more at Wikisocion. Thank you.
By Rick at 4:23 AM
Mar 24, 2009
I'm an amateur in neuroscience, and it will probably show in this and subsequent posts. Nevertheless, it is useful to write down what one is learning about in any case. If you see that I am wrong on a matter of fact, please tell me about it.
- Neuroscience - the scientific study of the nervous system. Considered a branch of the biological sciences. An umbrella term than encompasses most of the other fields listed.
- Neuropsychology - the applied scientific discipline that studies the structure and function of the brain related to specific psychological processes and overt behaviors. Considered a branch of psychology.
- Neurobiology - the study of the cells of the nervous system and their organization. Considered a subdivision of neuroscience and biology.
- Neurophysiology - the study of nervous system function.
- Neurology - a medical field dealing with disorders of the nervous system.
- levels of neurotransmitters (there are many)
- size of different parts of the brain
- localization of brain activity
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagine) - shows tissue composition of body/brain through the use of magnetic fields
- CAT/CT (Computed Axial Tomography) - shows structural makeup of body/brain through the use of x-rays which are computer processed to produce a 3-D model.
- fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - uses magnetic field to show blood flow activity in the body/brain, which correlates highly, but not absolutely, to neural activity.
- PET (Positron Emission Tomography) - shows how and where body/brain responds to a particular molecule that was injected in the bloodstream and contains a radioactive tracer isotope.
Mar 22, 2009
I mentioned anthropologist and love researcher Helen Fisher two posts ago. She has put her observations and ideas about love and compatibility into test form at Chemistry.com. There, in about 20 minutes, you can take a test that tells you about your personality, strengths and weaknesses, and who you might be most attracted to.
In previous posts I have discussed the pervasive lack of scientific method in socionics. All socionic studies conducted so far have been one of two types:
- Studies of type-related behavior that accepted as a given that participants' types had been identified correctly.
- Studies of socionists' opinions regarding socionics and socionic types.
- Do people have stable compatibility levels with others? Or do levels (as measured in the experiment) fluctuate?
- If they are stable, how quickly are those levels achieved? Within one day? Five days?
- Are all people equally susceptible to compatibility? Or are there people who tend to be compatible, or incompatible, with everyone or nearly everyone?
- How widely do compatibility levels fluctuate? Is the fluctuation the same or different for different participants?
- How well do people's self-reports correlate with blood test results? Is their perception of their own state correct?
- How does audio data from hidden microphones correlate with blood tests and self-reporting? Do more compatible partners always talk more? What, if anything, is different about their audible interaction? What about incompatible partners?
- When people are paired repeatedly with the same person, how closely do the results of the second period together match those of the first? Are there any patterns, such as that incompatible partners get even worse, or compatible ones get even better?
Socionics founder Aushra Augusta was not an expert on matters of love and romance, despite having written a paper titled "The Nature of Erotic Feelings." She wrote of her own type, ILE, as basically a helpless victim of love, and the system she engendered was intended to explain how love would develop between two people independently of their intentions or efforts. While some hard-nosed determinism provides a much-needed counterbalance to the popular view that "you can make it work with nearly anyone if you just try," the extreme determined-from-the-cradle view is ultimately just as incorrect as its antipode.
Humans have evolved three distinctly different brain systems for mating and reproduction, according to Fisher — sex drive, romantic love, and attachment.She believes that the sex drive evolved to motivate individuals to look at a whole range of partners. Romantic love — the obsessive fascination and elation associated with the early part of a relationship — developed to enable a person to focus mating energy on one partner at a time, thereby conserving time and energy.Attachment, or the feeling of comfort and security that develops in long-term relationships, evolved to enable an individual to tolerate that person long enough to rear a child together, as a team, according to Fisher.Fisher is not convinced that romantic love is evolutionarily designed to last forever. Once a couple was expecting a child, it would've been much more adaptive to move into the attachment phase, to raise children in a more calm, stable, rational state, Fisher says. Romantic love is not rational, it's an enormous energy expenditure that is metabolically expensive. You're walking all night, talking till dawn — we'd all die of sexual exhaustion, if romantic love lasted continually.(Source: "Love: What's Science Got To Do With It?")
Fisher cited the studies of Elaine Hatfield, who found that people in good, long-term relationships reported not only a deep sense of attachment to their partners, but also low-grade feelings of romantic love. This emotion comes back, at various times when a couple is on vacation, before or after they make love, even when one partner says something funny.According to Fisher, there are two keys to making love last.First, couples need to do new things together — novelty and variety has been shown to drive up the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine, both chemicals that are associated with feelings of romantic love. Go swimming after dark, go to a different restaurant for dinner, says Fisher. Even the smallest change of pace can reignite passion.Second, and more obviously, according to Fisher, it's important to pick the right person from the get-go. The chemistry between two people is what causes the feeling of romantic love in the first place, and helps to keep it percolating.(Source: "Love: What's Science Got To Do With It?")
Mar 20, 2009
When I was 23, I abandoned the faith-based worldview of my youth and began to subject everything I thought I knew to rational standards of knowledge, such as how do I know that? and what hard evidence exists to support that belief?, and if I would find a belief to be untenable, I would ask myself where the belief had come from and why it existed in the first place if it were untrue.
Mar 18, 2009
I have been sensing recently that the English-language socionics community is entering a new phase of development -- one of increasing fragmentation. This article discusses the causes and implications of this evolution.
By Rick at 10:21 PM
This blog will continue to be developed, but the emphasis will likely change to conform to my evolving interests. I am just as interested in personality, interaction, compatibility, and society as I always have been and will continue to write about these things, but approaching these topics from a primarily socionic standpoint is losing its attraction for me. Socionics trains one to learn to recognize and put a name to important distinctions between things, but ultimately, a socionic explanation is not really an explanation in the scientific sense.