School of System Socionics

“Practice is the proof of the truth”

Dimension three. Parameters "experience", "norms", "situation"

The third dimension is a breakthrough from relying only on function's experience and norms to being able to consider the situational circumstances. With the norms we have got a solid foundation to help us stabilize the world. But this is not enough. We need to "look further out" beyond the walls of regulations. We are not robots, by God! The world is too complex to fit into the "Procrustean bed" of rules and patterns. And besides, it is colorful! People want to create. Creativity is our engine, a kind of luring "carrot". And we enjoy the process of creation itself as well as its fruits.

Three-dimensional functions (#2 and #7) have parameters of "experience", "norms" and "situation."

Of course, everyone at least once in his life, had experienced something like: "Yes, I understand that it would be all right if I do it so and so, but in this particular case... I am going to do it the other way. " The function 2 (the so-called "creative" function) is flexible and adaptable to each new situation. It is impossible to measure everything applying a "common yardstick", and it takes a three-dimensional function to realize this fact (for normative functions the "common yardstick" is a most perfect measure).

For example, a creative approach to education is situational, but if "one size fits all" then we have the standard educational system. "White top, dark bottom" uniforms is a normative approach, but when your clothing respects your shapes, sex, mood, needs, and so on - this is a situational approach. Whereas a two-dimensional function distinguishes minimum number of grades, which can be generalized as thinking in terms polarities, the three-dimensional function 2 discerns many shades, subtleties and details. This is not any longer a Lumberjack's blunt ax - swung and cut, it is a tool for fine tuning and adjustment. You can find there so many linguistic means to convey the full range of situational shades! What a variety of approaches! And for each new situation a new solution is offered.

«Ситуативность»When processing information using the situational approach, it is difficult to agree with the narrow limits of the normative "correctness":

- How do you know what kind of relationship between people is right and what is wrong?

- I would say that all relationships are right in their own way. Calling them "right" or "wrong" seems inadequate to me.  Any relationship has a right to be, because it has been caused by some natural reasons. Another thing is that we might not like that relationship. The word "wrong" is probably applicable to the type of relationship when people violate the very naturalness of human relationships when they are trying to do something out of some idealistic notions or speculations. Then it looks unnatural, artificial and, one might even say, wrong.


- How to distinguish between right and wrong relationships?

- It is impossible. The concept of relationship is too broad and multifaceted, it is impossible to determine whether it is right or not. Relationship just is.

A three-dimensional function rises above norms. But this does not mean that it ignores the generally accepted conventions. Each of the higher dimensions is based on the foundation of the lower ones. Without the "experience" and ''norms" there would be no "situation".

The function 2 of the model is not only a tool (this was discussed in the topic " Function blocks "), but also a field of manifestation (conditions the basis for realization) of the first function. This field is very flexible, supple, adaptable to the tasks of the function 1.  The function 1 is realizing itself in element of the function 2. If the conditions of the function 2 are not suitable, they are changed for better ones.

A LSE-type http://socionicasys.org/images/symbols/aspect_P.png?1http://socionicasys.org/images/symbols/aspect_S.png?1 discovers  various properties in this world of objects. He is a master of things and objects, he juggles with the objects, transforms them, he notices the undiscovered properties which are overlooked by the others and discovers them. He is the master of matter (materials), a creator in the material world. All that is described above is the P element  . In order to make a masterpiece, you need to create the most comfortable conditions and remove all that could bother  . A LSE-type operates in the field of senses , space, shapes, sizes  .

In contrast to the PS-type, a LIE-type  operates in the field of events, temporal changes .He grasps the fine tendencies of time  , knows what actions are required by the moment  and what will be needed in the future  .

An ILE-type  sees capacities of objects, either real or virtual (L is the element that has to do with relations between objects), An IEE-type  reveals the capacities (the inner nature of the persons) in the world of relationships.

Emotions of an ESE-type  are directly related to the field of sensory perception (comfort, aesthetics, and beauty), emotions of an EIE-type  manifest themselves in the field of ​​events, changes, global temporal processes ("to preserve the enthusiasm through hardships and difficulties").

SEE-type  exerts in the field of relationship, an SLE-type  - exerts in the field of logical structures (rules, laws, schemes).

One of the names of the function 2 is "the creative function". Are we creative only when it concerns the function 2? No. Even a one-dimensional function can create, in the sense of making something new. Many creative people - artists, designers, sculptors, fashion designers - create new things using their one-dimensional functions. And their deeply individual vision of the world surprises us with its unusual, unconventional, shocking, sometimes strange and incomprehensible side. The socionic term "creative function" should be understood as a "function, which serves to finalize the goal-setting of the function 1, thus creating "production" of the function 1."

The function 7 is another three-dimensional function, i.e. it processes information, with reference to "experience", "norms" and "situation". However it has some specific features related to its affiliation to the vital track super block: the function 7 performs its functions in an automatic, habitual way. Is there no contradiction between the automatic nature of its functioning, which presumes lack of awareness characteristic of the vital track, and the requirement to take into account the situational parameters (to function in accordance with the current situation)?

The essence of the parameter "situation" (St) is the capacity to process information with reference to the conditions of a specific situation

V.D. Yermak calls the function 7 "the function of individual programs". It is as if this function contains programs to various situations that occur in our life. Such programs are similar to templates. What is the difference then between the normative function 7 and the function 6? The difference is that the function 7 is automatically considering circumstances of the current situation. So, if your function 7 processes information on the L element, then you are able without being aware of it to feel flaws in logic or inconsistency of your interlocutor. Sometimes you might be not aware what is the cause of this feeling, but you feel that there is some logic flaw for sure. Because of the automatic nature of this function, its reactions tend to rely on some fundamental, underlying set of attitudes and become habits: stereotyped emotions, conventional relationships patterns, habitual ways of seeing the nature of things, usual relations with time, familiar logical patterns, habitual work techniques, habitual attitudes to comfort, stereotyped dress styles, proven defensive reactions or aggression bursts.

So far - so good, but sometimes we notice that there is something wrong with some of our habitual reactions. That's when arises a need to change these reactions. As you know, habits are hard to change. If one could at least stop the undesirable reaction before the function 7 habitually turns on.  And it is extremely difficult, otherwise the reaction would not be automatic one. The ID-block functions' reactions can be changed only with help of the mental track EGO-block functions. For example, if the usual for a RI-type gloomy mood (-E) bothers his partner, then in order to avoid worsening of relationships (+ R), he will gradually change his emotional habits. If a LII or a LSI need to change their habitual programs of the function 7 (practical logic), they need to elaborate the new algorithms and operational sequences using their function 1 (structural logic), etc.

Another feature of the function 7 - is that it caters for individual needs of a person. For the most part everything that is happening in the ID super block - serves only to your personal needs. This logic (ethics, comfort etc.) is just for yourself and no one else. When it comes to the ID functions the social attitude could be described as: "let me live and express myself the way I like, the way which is convenient for me." And if suddenly the function 7 receives information that is not consistent with the individual understanding of a person, it can be annoying. The function 7 has no claims towards the society at least as long as the sosiety does not contradict to the person's individual programs.  These programs had been accumulating in the early childhood, they are quite familiar and handle life situations rahter well. But they are viscerally individual.

The functioning of the function 7 seems very similar to that of a normative function: it relies on long-standing, rigid, individually developed techniques and methods. You may ask, how do you distinguish a nomative function from a situational yet automatic (belonging to the vital track) one? It can be done by noticing specific reactions, as well as the dimension of information processing.  A multidimensional function, as opposed to a normative one, can confidently function in different situations, including difficult ones. It faces a failure as normal thing - there is no reason to get upset, it is rather an occasion to correct a mistake, change the approach (according to the situation), to learn from the result .  Unpleasant? Yes. But nothing dramatic. The function 7 is a kind of "hard-nosed" self-righteous one1. However the outer appearances are not emough to identify the function - one has to "measure" its dimension, i.e. confirm the presence of the St paramenter.

Because the function 7 is a vital track function, the verbal information that is coming from this function does not sound as thoughts (like mental track information would sound) but sounds rather like remembering of what usually happens.

So, now we can summarize and draw a list the characteristics that can be seen at the three-dimensional functions:

  • avoiding the rigid "correctness" of normative functions;
  • going beyond the norms, if it is required by a specific situation;
  • abundance of gradations, shades and details instead of the extreme polarities of fixed rules;
  • flexibility and adaptability to each new situation (function 2); 
  • confidence in their decisions, in their own self-esteem.

Other papers on the topic:

  1. Eglit I.M. Dimensions of functions
  2. Eglit I.M. Use of protocols for TIM identification by correspondence in the Internet
  3. Eglit IM TIM identification

1 Maybe that is why some socionics call it "restrictive".

Eglit IM ©