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How to use surveys to create a Socionics test

Socionics surveys can improve your business environment and marketing efforts.

Socionics is a personality theory that identifies 16 types of people through four elements, ultimately describing how we process information and make decisions. Developed by Russian psychologist Aushra Augustinavichiute in the 1970s, Socionics is sometimes compared to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). While both use Carl Jung’s work to categorize personality types, they were developed at different times and in different countries. 

Read on to find out what Socionics is, how it was developed, and how you can use Socionics in a variety of settings.

According to Socionics, there are eight cognitive functions that affect our decision-making and other mental processes:

  • Information elements, which are our primary sources of information
  • Decision-making processes, which help us make decisions
  • Creative processes that help us create things
  • Values, which reflect our personal morality or ethical standards
  • Logic processes, which help us come up with logical arguments and understand complex ideas
  • Ethical elements that influence our behavior and help us evaluate our actions
  • Intuition processes that help us solve problems or figure out things on our own
  • Sensing processes that help us do things based on physical sensations

These functions indicate how people experience things and connect with others. By determining how people perceive the world, we can improve our ability to communicate more effectively.

Socionics and MBTI are both personality typing systems. They each categorize people into 16 types based on cognitive functions. 

MBTI types are named with a simple letter pattern to describe each type’s characteristics.

Socionic types not only have acronyms and formal names, but they are also sometimes referred to by the names of famous people or fictional characters from novels or films whose personalities resemble the characteristics of a particular type. 

Socionics identifies 16 types of people through four pairs of “information elements.” MBTI uses only four of the eight elements plus two of its own.

The main differences between Socionics and MBTI are that Socionics was developed in Russia by Aushra Augustinavichiute and is largely based on the work of Carl Jung in the 1970s-1980s, while MBTI is a proprietary system created by Katherine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, in 1943 and has been updated twice since it was developed.

Socionic personality types categorize people according to psychological preferences in how they interact with the world. There are 16 types, according to the Socionics system, which describe an individual’s cognitive processes and psychological functions. 

Each type is comprised of a combination of information elements.

The 16 most common Socionic personality types are based on combinations of information elements, or IEs. Each IE has a symbol that denotes the functions, information, and aspects processed by each. The 8 IEs are: 

  1. △ The triangle with a black outline is the element of introverted intuition. It is responsible for estimating, forecasting, and understanding time.
  2. ⬜ The gray square is the element of introverted logic. It is responsible for understanding logic, structure, categorization, priorities, etc.
  3. The L-shaped symbol with black outline is the element of introverted ethics. This element is responsible for understanding relationships' quality, nature, and maintenance.
  4. 🔘 The gray circle is the element of introverted sensing. It is responsible for perceiving physical sensations and harmony with one’s environment. 
  5. ▲ The black triangle is the element of extraverted intuition. This IE is responsible for understanding permanent traits, estimating opportunities, and visualizing outcomes.
  6. ⬛ The black square is the element of extraverted logic. It is the efficiency of action, technical processes, accuracy, accomplishment, and acquisition of information.
  7. The black L-shaped symbol is the element of extraverted ethics. This information element is responsible for the perception of an emotional state and bodily and linguistic expression of emotions.
  8. ⚫ The black circle is the element of extraverted sensing. This element is responsible for the perception, control, and defense of space.

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In Socionics, people are divided into 16 sociotypes based on their two strongest functions based on their leading and creative functions (Jung’s dominant and auxiliary functions) or information elements. Each type also includes information on whether the personality is an introvert or an extrovert. 

Some researchers use the additional elements of “judging” or “perceiving” to complete the formal name and description, but this often causes confusion with MBTI typing, which uses four elements.

The following chart includes the Socionic symbols, names, social roles, and examples of people who are thought to exemplify each personality type. Note the symbols are combinations of the 8 IEs listed above: 

Symbols/IE Numbers Formal nameFull formal nameSocial rolesType alias examples
△⬛ILiIntuitive logical introvertAnalyst/MastermindBalzac, Jeff Bezos
 IEiIntuitive ethical introvertHumanist/EmpathYesenin, Ghandi
▲⬜ILeIntuitive logical extrovertSeeker/InventorDon Quixote, Albert Einstein
IEeIntuitive ethical extravertPsychologist/ReporterHuxley, Ellen Degeneres
⬜▲LIiLogical intuitive introvertCritic/ObserverRobespierre, Nicole Kidman
⬜⚫LSiLogical sensory introvertCraftsman/ArtisanMaxim Gorky, Margaret Thatcher
⬛△LIeLogical intuitive extravertEnterpriser/PioneerJack London, Bill Gates
⬛🔘LSeLogical sensory extrovertAdministrator/DirectorStirlitz, Sherlock Holmes
ESiEthical sensory introvertLyricist/RomanticDreiser
EIiEthical intuitive introvertMediator/PeacemakerDostoyevsky, Taylor Swift
🔘ESeEthical sensory extravertBonvivant/EnthusiastHugo, Walt Disney, Meryl Streep
EIeEthical intuitive extravertMentor/ActorHamlet, Steve Jobs, Willam Shakespeare
🔘SEiSensory ethical introvertGuardian/ConservatorDumas, Adele, Bob Ross
🔘⬛SLiSensory logical introvertInspector/PragmatistGabin, Harrison Ford
SEeSensory ethical extravertPolitician/AmbassadorCaesar, Elizabeth Taylor
⚫⬜SLeSensory logical extravertLegionnaire/ConquerorNapoleon, Winston Churchill

Aushra Augustinavichiute, as part of the development of Socionics, created Model A. Model A shows how a person processes information through eight functions and eight information elements. It is the combination of Jung’s work on psychological types and Kepinski’s work on information metabolism and is one of the central foundations of Socionics.

The eight structural components of the Model A psyche are grouped according to their role as part of ego, super-ego, super-id, and id blocks.

  • Ego block components include the leading and creative functions.
  • Super-ego block components are the role and vulnerable functions.
  • The super-id block includes the suggestive and mobilizing functions.
  • Id block components include the ignoring and demonstrative functions.

Each function and block have characteristics that are considered strong/weak, valued/unvalued, accepting/producing, and mental/vital. These are referred to as functional dichotomies. You’ll notice that each characteristic is first described as either accepting or producing. Accepting traits are considered fixed, and producing traits are variable.

Below are the functions and their characteristics:

  • Ego block: Leading function 
    • Accepting
    • Mental
    • Strong
    • Valued
  • Ego block: Creative function
    • Producing
    • Mental
    • Strong
    • Valued
  • Super-ego block: Role function
    • Accepting
    • Mental
    • Weak
    • Unvalued
  • Super-ego block: Vulnerable function
    • Producing
    • Mental
    • Weak 
    • Unvalued
  • Super-id block: Suggestive function
    • Accepting
    • Vital
    • Weak
    • Valued
  • Super-id block: Mobilizing function
    • Producing
    • Vital
    • Weak 
    • Valued
  • Id block: Ignoring function 
    • Accepting
    • Vital
    • Strong
    • Unvalued
  • Id block: Demonstrative function
    • Producing
    • Vital
    • Strong
    • Unvalued

There are particular rules for what information elements apply to what functions in Model A. The IEs in Model A show what aspects of reality are prioritized, etc.

The core elements of Socionics are information elements, functions, Model A, dichotomies, and intertype relationships. The 16 types can be divided into small groups: Quadras, Clubs, Temperments, and Romance Styles. If you are going to conduct a Socionics test, be prepared to study the core aspects and groups to best use the results to your advantage.

According to the International Institute of Socionics, there is a wide variety of uses for this theory and personality typing.

In business settings, knowledge of Socionics can be applied to:

  • Effective negotiation skills
  • Understanding of partners
  • Prediction of competitor actions
  • Creation of effective advertising strategies
  • Predict business compatibility
  • Predict psychological compatibility of individuals before entering a group
  • Business relationships
  • Interpersonal relationship development
  • Formation of work groups

Marketing may use Socionics for consumer segmentation and brand development. Market segmentation is the identification of segments based on your set criteria and the selection of the segments you want to target. Taking Socionic types into consideration during segmentation helps you identify the personal characteristics and buying behaviors of each segment. Using the 16 types to inform brand development will help you appeal to the personality traits of the segments you are ultimately targeting with your brand personality.

In human resources, Socionics can help predict how an applicant will adapt and perform in a group or environment.

In education, teachers may use Socionics to understand how students metabolize information and provide teaching methods that will work best with their personality types.

In medicine, Socionics is used in the treatment of alcohol-related addictions to speed up the recovery process. 

Before you can create a Socionics test that will yield accurate, useful results, you’ll need to take a deep dive into Socionics. The necessary questions are developed with specific language, question types, and interpretations. 

If you prefer not to send your participants to a Socionics website, you can recreate the questions in the form of a survey, but you will also have to consider how to analyze the results accurately.

There are several types of questions used in Socionics tests. Multiple choice questions, rating questions, and other closed questions are frequently used. In some cases, a respondent is asked to look at a large grid of words and to choose those they feel accurately represent them.

Here are some examples of Socionic survey questions:

What is your gender?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Other (Please enter)

What year were you born?

Slider with years from 1940-2020

Please choose the phrase that best describes you:

  • I am attuned to people, relationships, and emotions.
  • I am attuned to logic, knowledge, and empirical data.

Please choose the phrase that best describes you:

  • I have trouble remembering and/or focusing on tangible details and objects.
  • I have trouble understanding abstract or intangible concepts.

Use the slider to indicate your position:

  • Slider for the participant to indicate the degree of closeness to the answers provided:
  • I follow factual, objective information when making decisions or reaching conclusions.
  • I follow my heart when making decisions or reaching conclusions.

Which statement fits you best?

  • You think logically, formulate systems and structures, create classifications, and develop general principles and rules that you apply broadly among a wide range of fields.
  • You focus on knowledge and empirical data to make decisions. You're interested in the function and productivity of things--not only how they function but also how efficiently they function for their intended purpose.

Which type of behavior do you value most in a significant other but have difficulty producing by yourself?

  • Someone who helps you to interpret psychological distances and helps you see the strengths or weaknesses of a relationship.
  • Someone who can help you open up emotionally and can improve the general emotional atmosphere.

Which statement describes you?

  • I feel better when I have to work quickly, without slowing down or backing down.
  • I am better at slow, thoughtful work.

I like a future where…

  • Anything is possible and I am open to any surprise.
  • There is a clear path to follow and my plans are achieved.

Which statement best describes you?

  • In general, I have an even capacity for work
  • I live with periodic ups and downs of energy.

I don’t mind it when my life is…

  • Slow or lazy, as long as it feels natural and free.
  • Harsh or strenuous, as long as important things are done.

Which statement is true about you?

  • I get the main information about a person from their facial expressions or intonations.
  • In evaluating people I trust only documents and independent characteristics.
  • Intimate knowledge of Socionics is required to create a test that will yield accurate results. The recreation of an existing test in SurveyMonkey will allow you to collect data on respondents. However, your knowledge of Socionics is needed to evaluate results and assign values.

Whether you create your own Socionics survey or use an existing one, socionics personality testing will provide you with some interesting data to add to your business and marketing toolkit.