School of System Socionics

“Practice is the proof of the truth”

Dimension two. Parameters "experience" and "norms"

How do we understand each other? How can we come to terms with the others? We can not live without communication, without coordinating our actions, thoughts, understanding and perception.

In order to come to a mutual agreement there must be something that is commonly accepted, something that is perceived and understood by all in the same way. And that's where comes into play the next parameter - the "norms".

Norms - are something which is conventionally recognized by a group of people. Norms are something which allows you to compare things, they are patterns, a standard reference. Society could not exist without such conventions.

If experience can be imagined as single dots on the world map, the norms could be seen as fixed lines stretching from some point to another.  Norms perfectly reflect the dualistic division of the world into good/bad, good/evil, right/wrong, you need/you do not need accept/do not accept ours/strangers, etc. These are very definite guidelines. And because of their definitive quality, they are rigid and inflexible. They are firm as sentinels guarding what they are meant to guard.

Now you are able to explain to someone else what the green color is - because there are the color charts. Now you can be sure that you are holding your fork and knife up to the etiquette. Now you know that you won't to shock people, by putting on white socks together with dark trousers.  Now you are firmly convinced that 2 +2 = 4, and thank God, everyone has been taught that in school. You can now refer to a dictionary or a textbook. All in all, we have finally found something definite in this ever-changing and multifaceted world.

Two-dimensional functions ( #3 and #6) - are the functions that process information according to the parameters "experience" (Ex) and "norms" (Nr).

How does the thinking of a two-dimensional (normative) function sound like?

It is clear that it must be the most correct and proper mindset in the world, because it is exactly up to the conventions, because it follows the rules and agreements. What could be better? Everything is predictable and determined, everything is right on the mark. Men are courteous with ladies. Everyone is kind and friendly. Long live general consent. Hurray!

«Нормативность»And in order to create such a "paradise on earth" serve the following:

  • proverbs and idioms, which reflect established views and beliefs;
  • regulations, rules and laws;
  • reference books;
  • uniform education;
  • trusted sources of information;
  • set of superstitions and customs;
  • obligations;
  • conformism;
  • conventionalism.

Let's try to look at "norms" being applied to respective information elements.

For example, the normative E can be seen in identical cliche smiles. Examine carefully your photographs and photographs of other people. Particularly well this can be seen on photographs of children, because children are more spontaneous when express their natural emotions. If you scroll through a family album, you will notice that facial expressions of some people are nearly the same on all pictures, whereas others have a wider emotional range. Normative smiles look standard and correct in all situations. As if normative E-types feel some limit to how much they can stretch their facial muscles, and everything that goes further is risky and ventures beyond the the average. Normative E-types know well situations in which they are required to smile, for example, when meeting people, when saying "goodbye" when showing their disposition to someone during a conversation, etc.

Normative R is knowing the rules of manners, the rules of courtesy - men let forward women in the doorway, yield a seat in the public transport. One's behavior should not cause inconveniences to other people, one should always say hello, say goodbye, be polite, etc. The thing which we call good manners is normative behavior in terms of R. A normative R-type looks tactful, polite, courteous, in general he looks "correct" in his manners.

Normative I seeks to absorb the "right" understanding and interpretation of everything it is facing. Outwardly, this can manifest in frequent use of some idioms, witty phrases "hitting the nail on the head" joined with the urge to use them in conversation (show off one's erudition). But, be careful, this is rather not a sharp improvisation, not a game of the true wit, this is merely a repetition of the cliches which one considers to be witty. It takes some time and observation to clearly distinguish between the two cases. A normative I-type tends to convey ideas in unambiguous and accurate way and expects the same from the others. The game of meanings (creative manifestation of intuition) is not for him. He would rather not get confused in a labyrinth of meanings. Sometimes one could observe a manifestation of normativity related to the I-element as repetition of quotes or ideas after a smart and reputable person. A normative I-type is rigidly fixed to his set of meanings, and believes them to be uncompromisingly true.

Some examples of norms related to the I-element:

  • stereotype use of the meanings of words and concepts
  • plain messages in accordance with generally accepted meanings
  • The need to make everything clear and unambiguous
  • The need to understand the essence of things
  • the need to understand a person's motives, his personal traits and qualities
  • need to have a sense of everything
  • the need to understand and be understood

Normative T manifests in punctuality and stereotyped understanding of the course of events, fate, luck. Normative T is often characterized by fatalism trust in predictions (divination), making certain rituals in order to magnetize a desired event or avoid an undesired one. A person with the normative T is credulous towards the sources that seemingly accurately predict "what would happen", if he knows that many people rely on the source (for example, numerology, astrology, etc.)

Normative F relies on the existing social norms regarding the boundaries, space, financial wealth etc. It is guided by the standard, rather rigid rules regarding the need to protect property or accepted level of aggression. For example: "One must defend the homeland, relatives and people who can not defend themselves." A normative F-type is aware of socially accepted means of protection and standard ways to attack (for the minus sign), and is acting on the basis of general notions of limits of protection (aggression), for example, "never hit a man when he is down", "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", "a defense must be proportional to the attack" etc. A normative F-type can correctly estimate the degree of spatial proximity to another person and considers the property right: to whom the things belong and what could be taken without asking.

A normative S-type follows an inner drive to correspond to the established rules of clothing, color combination, follows the rules of hygiene and tidiness. He can follow certain stereotypes of how to dress, which are accepted within his social circle.  He has a stereotype understanding of how visual perception of certain forms can be manipulated (for example, narrow/wide strips or checks used to create visual effects of narrowing or expansion). We can generalize this tendency with the maxim " to be like everyone else", where "everyone else" can refer to followers of a new fashion or a specific style as well as the classical standard.  The person himself does not experiment, but is following and imitating the others. The vital track two-dimensional function is more likely to stick to its own acquired patterns, habitual dress models and color combinations.

People with normative P tend to the exact implementation of technology, methods, specific actions, they tend to be "right" professionals. That usually makes them diligent executors. Work is work, work is duty.

Normative L manifests as effort to be consistent (in thought and deed) - usually for rational types it is striving to follow the rules, fixation on a certain theory, it can be a correctness of reasoning, a standard approach to the classifications, generalizations. This is the standardization itself. 1

This all serves as a basis for people's two-dimensional functions - in their thinking, in their outlook.  And people can confidently defend their normative views, because it is important for them to feel the certainty and firmness of the things.  Thus, the essence of the dimension two is the quality of being right and rigidity, there are definite black-and-white style guidelines.

The essence of Nr paramener is the perception of the world through patterns and established norms

All that was said above about the characteristic features of the normative functions is completely true for the mental track normative function 3, also known as the "function of social norms." The function 6, as you know, belongs to the vital track of information processing, and it is called "the function of individual norms." The same norms are present there, the function is rigid in the similar way, but the norms here are not regarded as social, they are rather meant "for personal use". This does not mean that they are formed in isolation from the society, on the contrary, these rules are formed in the childhood, under the influence of the family and the school. But it looks as if a person selects from all the norms that society has to offer those with which he agrees.  It turns out that the rules are assimilated on the personal level, in the form in which the person had learned them. Therefore, the personal norms may be the same as social ones, or may differ. But the general feature of a normative function is there, which is following the set patterns, the quality of correctness, and the feeling of duty.

Another feature of the function 6, (also known as the "reference function") is the desire to get confirmation (preferably a praise). Asking for a praise often bypasses awareness of the person himself. It seems as if an adult person should not be asking for a praise, it looks childish to act like that (because the norms are already internalized), but the wanting of a positive feedback is still present, and it comes through to the surface somehow.  Typically it can manifest in the form of non verbal signs. The person does not say bluntly: "Come on, someone praise me", but instead he pleadingly looks into your eyes, or repeats the same sentence several times, as if expecting the desired reaction, or keeps returning the conversation to the "sweet" topic over and over...

Other papers on the topic:

  1. Eglit I.M. Dimensions of functions
  2. Eglit I.M., Pyatnitsky V.V. Investigation of fears in one-dimensional functions.
  3. Eglit I.M. Use of protocols for TIM identification by correspondence in the Internet
  4. Eglit I.M. Low dimensional functions are not "weak".
  5. Eglit I.M. TIM identification
  6. Nr parameter definition
  7. Normative functions: functioning and identification (materials from the Internet forum)

1 Similar descriptions of normative functions' manifestations could be used to for TIM identification based on the behavioral description. We would like to warn against such a simplified approach. The main purpose of these examples is to show how the phenomena related to the dimension "Nr" manifest themselves outwardly - generally they manifest as a form of the inner desire to pin down a certain fixed rule.  This is what you need to pay attention to when identifying a TIM. It can be manifested in a lot of ways, and I describe here only some of the manifestations which, from my experience, seem to be most typical ones.

Eglit IM ©