MBTI vs. socionics

As a result of expansion of markets and cooperation with foreign companies, many Latvian entrepreneurs have come across the MBTI® type indicator. Indeed, it is important for the entrepreneurs to understand the eligibility of each employee for each position and the potential productivity gained working with them. Even though everyone expects high quality services, the difference among motivation for the representatives of the same profession can be observed on daily basis.


Both MBTI® and socionics have the same foundation, the famous work of C.G. Jung, “Psychological types”, thus both look at 16 different types of personalities according to similar word characteristics. Nevertheless, usage of similar terms may not result in similar types, since MBTI® and socionics interpret Jung's theory differently. For this reason, the similar word classification is an illusion and the slightest mistake may cause a false assumption about the types and one's real potential.


MBTI® and socionics observe many common things, but from a different perspective. Consequently, too often they come up with different types. As west differs from east in their philosophy, so does differ MBTI® from socionics in approaches to personality types. The strength of MBTI® is the type indicator which makes it easier to tell the character type according to it. Having heard the word “test”, we often rely on impression that something genuine and interesting is being offered to us. Alas, but to this day there hasn’t been a test that would be perfectly accurate! A human being is too complex to explore by means of taking a test. Even when taking a test in the presence of a certified MBTI® administrator, the possibility of mistakes still exists.


Someone might ask, why are we posting socionics tests on our homepage. Our goal and desire was only to express through the test the distinct differences among the types and allow the people to realize how well do they know themselves. There might be cases when people manage to tell their sociotype precisely without assistance of a specialist. The tests also create more interest in socionics, since a lot of people wish to find out something more about their personalities.

However, we always remind that results in the three tests we published must fit together, and person must recognize himself or herself perfectly in the description of the type.

We have had to see a lot of people that are unaware of themselves. They often answer the questions according to their preferred character and assumptions of others. That leads to a false result.

To obtain the right result, the answers should be honest and natural, regardless of “masks”, behaviour patterns, which have developed under the influence of society, profession and education. A sociotype is our true being, which allows us to be objective, recognize and get acquainted with ourselves, weigh our strengths and weaknesses as well as stop judging ourselves and others for being different from us.

In comparison to socionics, MBTI's rationality and irrationality do not fit to original theory of C.G. Jung. The fourth pair of characteristics `rationality - irrationality` cannot be equalized with decision making and fulfilling. Each human has spontaneous reactions, each one makes spontaneous decisions and insists for keeping own rules.

However, if asked about their well-being in constant changes regarding everyday routine, some readers probably confirm that they feel happy. Those are irrational types.

However, there will also be a completely different type of readers, who need stable environment that does not change. Those people will not give away their everyday routine and will feel out of balance in case of frequent changes. Those people are rational.

Irrationality should not be equalized with failing to fill decisions or procrastination. Napoleone and Zhukov are the most strict sociotypes who make decisions fast and fulfil them without hesitation.

Similarly, rationality should not be considered as a sign that a job will be carried out precisely and a decision will be fulfilled. For instance, Robespierre and Dostoyevsky are capable of postponing a decision to an unknown time.

Therefore, irrationality resulted in MBTI® tests most often are considered as irrationality with intuition in socionics, and rationality resulted in MBTI® tests is rationality with sensing in socionics. This can be concluded after reading a number of books on MBTI® and comparing them to the works on socionics.

It might seem shocking, but MBTI® somehow discriminates introvert types. There is a documentary evidence that administrators should take into consideration the fact that the answers to the last scale of introverts (in terms of socionics, “rationality vs. irrationality”) may be changed to the opposite.

According to MBTI® extroverts can recognize themselves in the descriptions, but introverts may not. Thus, introvert irrational types according to socionics might see themselves as introvert irrationals types according to MBTI, and vice versa – introvert irrationals according to socionics might see themselves as introvert rationals according to MBTI®.

Consequently, an introvert teenager who wants to start studies might have a false assumption about life-style and the choice of profession according to MBTI. Under influence of introversion people may experience difficulties in adaptation to the social standards and expectations. A false assumption about their type may bring them in even worse confusion.

Furthermore, the functions of psyche are also explained differently according to MBTI®. In his works, Jung does not equalize the functions of psyche to decision making. For this reason, the rational extroverted psyche functions, is extroverted logics (Prescriptive Logics) and extroverted ethics (Collective Ethics), does not presume decision making as mandatory action that MBTI® expects.

In a workplace the benefits of MBTI® are limited. There had been cases when relations inside organization hasn't changed after identification of each employee, that has been widely criticised. MBTI® is incapable to determine the relations among colleagues, since, unlike socionics, MBTI® don't focus attention to the relations between the types. Various authors on MBTI® share different opinions on the compatibility and incompatibility among the types. There are also authors, who have advised marriages in the most incompatible relations according to socionics – conflict and governed relations.

In many cases MBTI® has been criticised for political correctness and highlighting only the bright side of each type. MBTI® sometimes describes two and even four psyche channels; however, in the weaker channels the traits are described very briefly. The placement and order of the channels does not even match Jung's writings or socionics. Therefore, MBTI® specialists cannot predict the events after the election of a certain person in the government or parliament. Dear reader, in such cases you will probably hear that this newly elected person is a positive.

MBTI® was used long before socionics, however, despite the short period of existence, socionics has pulled ahead of MBTI. Socionics give an insight to 8 psyche functions, 4 dichotomies, 11 Reinin traits and 35 small groups.

The sociotype can be determined most precisely when a socionics specialist interviews a person based on his or her knowledge of socionics. Therefore, we invite anyone who is interested to see a socioncs specialist for an interview to determine their sociotype.

Society “Socionika” reminds youto be careful if you have been advised to study and use MBTI® type indicator!