Contrary Elements in Model A2

We already considered conflicts between the opposing pairs of information elements in each domain: Ti and Te, Ni and Ne, Si and Se, Fi and Fe. However, in Model A2 these conflicts split into two: contrary (contrast, extinguishment) elements are the true conflictors: +Ti and -Te, -Ti and +Te, etc.—elements of the same domain but opposing sign and "version". We describe these conflicts here.

But first, here are some tentative definitions of the agenda dichotomies. We consider only the orbital dichotomies, which correspond to groups of relationships. These are the dichotomies that Superego partners share. It seems like the orbital dichotomies apply to agendas, rather than information per se. The dichotomies that don't split the information domains—rational/irrational, internal/external, involved/abstract—these apply to the information itself. Rational/irrational is the only one that is both.

Here we use the original names of the dichotomies, although most of them do not describe the actual meaning of the dichotomies accurately, especially as applied to IM elements.

These descriptions may seem to not apply to every information element. They may be improved in the future, but there are also subtle ways that symmetry is broken and a trait becomes something more specific beyond its "primordial nature." We will see this clearly in the case of ethics below. Agendas depend completely on a subjective observer and his actions. If you decide that something you perceive is good, this is logically equivalent to saying that the opposite is bad. But if you experience something, you can't be experiencing the opposite thing too. So subjectively, they are different, and this affects how we approach goal formation. Each of the 16 does represent information to the extent that they are different, but the four domains are the "underlying" information. And even these categories come from a deeper level where there is no distinction whatsoever.

Logic

Logic is either Process Aristocratic (and "Sensing", corresponding to a type whose second function is sensing) or Result Democratic (and Intuitive).

Result Democratic logic (+Te and -Ti) concerns the processing and objective evaluation of input information, which corresponds to accumulation of resources as well as factual information that we use to model reality. +Te wants to expand the inward flow or acquisition of resources, facts, and material, in order to gain benefit, but -Ti tries to limit it by simplifying it, say by recognizing the structure and logical relations present in data, and discarding what is seen as superfluous.1 So they are directly opposite: +Te may seek to accept a piece of information while -Ti may reject it if it contradicts what you know already. This is sometimes called "cognitive dissonance." Gathering resources implies getting what you want (-Se), and also constrains what you know about the world, so it constrains possibilities (+Ni). Likewise, simplifying structures makes life easier (Si) and reveals new possibilities, linking different things to create synergy (-Ne). We can call -Ti "bridge logic", which joins different pieces of information together. Result logic applies to what we perceive and know. +Te expands the domain of awareness because it involves gathering resources that aren't present yet. -Ti expands the domain because forming logical connections between information expands the domain of their applicability.

Process Aristocratic logic (+Ti and -Te) is about the processing and objective evaluation of output information. In the domain of logic, this means action and behavior. -Te wants to expand the space of behavior, but +Ti wants to restrict it by creating structure. In particular, -Te is concerned with efficient use of resources, or finding the shortest path from point A to point B. This conflicts with +Ti because +Ti's goal is to actually constrain entities' behavior according to rules, or to maintain control. We can call +Ti "wall logic", because (when used with +Se) it pertains to observable, additive structure, which comes from the structural boundaries that separate different categories or regions of space. Unlike -Ti which is inductive, producing general rules that pertain to a larger set of data, +Ti is deductive and recognizes the structure that is observable inside a set of data. For example, a recognizes (with +Ne) or constructs (with +Se) barriers and limitations on what entities can do. This implies the use of force (+Se) to enforce the boundaries, and also implies reducing the space of possibilities into good and bad and therefore valuing of -Ni. -Te on the other hand has the effect of expanding the possibilities that are available (+Ne), and involves making one's life easier (Si).

Notice that considering a possibility bad (-Ni) doesn't necessarily forbid someone from doing it (+Ti). So benefit is an asymmetric relationship. The beneficiary goal is an unconscious side-effect of the benefactor goal.2 If you value something, you must also value its effects, if your actions have any kind of consistency. The supervisee goal, on the other hand, is consciously used as a tool to accomplish the goal of its supervisor.

These definitions give a way to distinguish between comparative types, which have the same leading function in Model A. Compared to LSEs, LIEs sometimes like things to have set limits (+Ti). LIIs don't care as much as LSIs about creating structure, and sometimes prefer expediency (-Te). LSIs likewise don't always care as much as LIIs about simplifying information, and often tend to make structures more complex, both thought structures and real world ones. And LSEs don't always care about gathering the maximum amount of resources, if it would make their lives more complicated.

Ethics

Result Democratic ethics (+Fe and -Fi) is about the subjective evaluation (expansion or contraction) of input information, which means information that comes from your relationships and interactions with other entities. So it works a bit differently from logic. Factual information is limited or expanded by changing the constraints on it, and it involves looking at what is true and what is false, what to ignore and what to consider.3 Ethical input is limited or expanded by engaging or disengaging from its source. To get rid of input, you have to disengage from a source. To expand it, you engage.

+Fe is the goal of expanding the overall "volume" of ethical input—which it does by seeking to interact with as many people as possible. The ESE tries above all to include people (in his life, in social settings, etc.), on the same level without preference. The opposite of this is -Fi, which rejects interaction with certain sources based on how you feel about them. This results in the ESI's focus on tending to their close relationships above all others. Notice that both of these behaviors have the immediate effect of making what you experience more diffuse: removing a source is akin to "stepping back from it", decreasing the information coming from it, while increasing the total volume of input also dilutes the information about any particular input source.

Process Aristocratic ethics (+Fi and -Fe) is about the output transmission (communication) of information to other entities. Output ethics is limited somewhat differently than input. It isn't a question of choosing sources: you just need to limit or expand what you transmit, i.e. the content of communication. +Fi seeks to put constraints on the content of communication; -Fe tries to expand the flow. The EII constrains what is communicated to others based on the nature of the relationship he has with them. Note that this limitation does not mean simply talking less, though that is one common manifestation. More generally it means reducing the signals that you send about your internal state. This is opposed to the agenda of the EIE, which is to express everything they are feeling in the moment, which is generally going to break any relationship boundaries that might exist. Note that "doing" +Fi implies having a more passive interaction with the world (restricting action), and hence valuing Si. Similarly, expressing something has a direct impact on the world (+Se): by affecting the internal states of other people you also affect their actions.

So again we see that compared to EIEs, ESEs don't always care about expressing what they are actually feeling in the moment, especially if it would create conflict and bad feelings. EIEs likewise don't care as much about being all-inclusive, and often have an us-vs-them attitude, which naturally excludes input from certain people. EIIs are more open to interacting with many people than ESIs, and ESIs are close-mouthed sometimes, but will occasionally vent or become combative and "difficult", telling people things they might not want to hear.

Intuition

Process Democratic intuition is responsible for evaluating the potential contained in particular things, situations, or people. Potential means what is unknown or hidden about the entity in question, as opposed to what is known and observable.4 +Ne seeks to expand or realize the prospects within a thing, thus increasing information about it, whereas -Ni seeks to cut off a portion of the total space of possibilities. Notice that in fact the potential contained within a thing is realized through the actions we take in relation to that thing (our interaction with it), which then reveal what is unknown about it. So -Ni seeks to limit these actions while +Ne seeks to expand them. For example: say you are building some cars and you have to decide whether to make them out of metal or wood. For each material, there is a choice between Ne and Ni: do you allow the material as an option or exclude it? The way you decide to eliminate an option is generally with -Te, by evaluating its utility: a car made out of wood is going to get wet, catch on fire, etc. so obviously it's not a smart idea.5

//: #(The -Ni judgment (to eliminate a possibility) is typically based on the practical value of that choice (Te), and the decision / you could make some out of metal and some out of wood (+Ne), or you could just pick one (-Ni).)

At any given point in life, we have a choice (or possibility) of doing many different things, and we need to evaluate the different choices we have based on the information available. It is this kind of possibility that Process Democratic intuition evaluates, with directly opposite strategies. ILEs are by default enthusiastic about new prospects (and often turn them into projects, another +Ne theme), while ILIs are by default avoidant and critical of things, and tend to evaluate them negatively.

Agendas in the sense of Model A and A2 deal with intentional behavior—the things we do intentionally are based on mentally computing a relationship between the information we are aware of and the goals we have, i.e. the results we want to produce by our actions.

Result Aristocratic intuition is responsible for widening or contracting the space of awareness. To think and act in general, we have to evaluate what information is or is not relevant to what we are doing. +Ni -Ne seeks to explore or keep open a greater number of possibilities in the total space, while +Ni seeks to focus it to what is significant. While Process intuition evaluates the goodness of possibilities within the space, Result intuition evaluates their relevance. Notice that while certain actions are obviously better than others, in principle it is always better to be aware of more information. However, we must still limit what we focus on or are aware of due to limited cognitive resources.6 The avenue that +Ni is looking at is not present to begin with (since it is something you are trying to create), and thus expands the space of awareness. And of course, looking at more possibilities will also expand the space of awareness. But, if there is a question of whether to limit oneself to one choice or not, then conflict arises. IEIs are known for their sometimes extreme tendency to commit to one dream or vision, based on its personal significance, while IEEs seek to broaden their experience as much as possible.

Sensing

this definition is rough and subject to change

Process Democratic sensing applies to action and the energy we put into it. If you are experiencing something bad or difficult, there is a choice of either seeking to solve the issue (-Si) or simply struggling through it (+Se). Thus, -Si relates to alleviating experiential needs and +Se to willpower, impact, and struggle.

Result Aristocratic sensing applies to perception and how it relates to our immediate experience. +Si tries to make things fit together better, improving the overall, holistic quality of one's experience, by making small adjustments and smoothing over irregularities, while -Se involves making things a certain way by force, irrespective of how they affect one another. This involves getting what you want out of a situation, and thus making reality subservient to you, as opposed to having an equal relationship with it as with +Si. -Se also involves being more aware of unpleasant aspects of reality, versus +Si which attempts to ignore them for the sake of peace of mind.


The Functions

The Process and Result forms of each domain do not really interact, since they are about different mental processes or choices that we have to make. In comparative or illusionary relationships, often partners will try to counterbalance the other's leading function with the contrary element. More generally, when a Process type and a Result type interact, partners will try to set the agenda in opposite ways, corresponding to their progressive functions, almost without perceiving it. You can tell who is setting the agenda by whether Process or Result goals are being talked about and implemented. This is a major cause for the difficulties that happen in activation and mirror relationships. In conflicts, often one partner does something, and then the other reacts negatively to it using the evaluation of the contrary element.

People will prefer an element to its contrary to a level that depends on where the two fit into their Model A; these preferences are catalogued below. Everything below is empirically determined and can be revised without changing the fundamental theory. The only "axiom" is that the progressive first function is the overriding motivation behind a type's behavior. Everything else should, in theory, follow from that.

Note: We label the functions with the corresponding relationship for clarity, but the attitude towards the element is not the same as the attitude towards the type!

Here pN represents the progressive Nth function while rN represents the regressive Nth function. So for example, the 1st function in Model A for an IEI is Ni, while in Model A2 its p1 function is +Ni and its r1 function is -Ni.

It is not possible to compare the progressive and regressive functions directly, since they apply to different choices, but we can estimate the general quantity of their usage. In general people prefer to fulfill the programs of their progressive functions—people prefer to move towards their goals rather than away from them—but the tendency of the vital loop is to regress rather than progress, because the strongest functions are at the bottom. Or you could say, it's easier to act like your quasi-identical than like your dual. Both p1 and r8 are the lowest-energy states of the psyche—but r8 is also seen as an annoyance or a distraction. It's more like a constant state of mind and something you focus on instinctually rather than an intentional goal. When p5 is fulfilled—either through self-actualization or the help of complementary types—you can get out of the vital loop rut and begin to use p8, p7, etc.—all of which have a more positive effect on the psyche.


  1. A recent development in mathematical logic called linear logic puts resources and logical propositions together in the same framework. Propositions and factual information are resources that can be reused infinitely, and it doesn't matter if you have duplicates of a fact. In short, (A & A) is equivalent to A, and so is (A or A). But having (dollar & dollar) is different from having one dollar. 

  2. In general, while elements in the same domain "see" the same underlying information/stuff, static and dynamic elements do not "see" each other's goals. They have diametrically opposite ways of describing and breaking down the world. What is fixed for one is variable for the other. Instead, what they see are each other's effects. In the case of contrary elements, the effect is negative—accomplishing the task of one makes the task of the other harder, generally—but in the case of duals and beneficiaries it is positive. 

  3. Ethics doesn't "filter" information in the same way that logic does according to truth or falsehood, useful or useless—rather, it "considers everything true", because everything coming from a source tells you something about that source. 

  4. Ni, or more generally intuition, is sometimes described as dealing with time. To an extent, this is true, in that possibilities and potential—roughly, things that can be conceived of but may or may not be actual—can be realized by passing through time. 

  5. Notice here that the agenda of -Te is not relevant—it is purely the -Te information that "goes to" -Ni. This is the case in general with the supervision relationship among elements. 

  6. Notice that Result Ti is also responsible for conserving mental resources. 

Last updated May 12, 2019