Interview with Dr. Gregory Reinin

por riotesa

 

Psychologist, PhD in Psychology, the Doctor of Philosophy in the field of psychology, the Doctor of philosophy in area Socionics, member of International typological Association. Author of several books and training: “Socionics typology. Small groups”;”Songs of the lotus”

Gregory Reinin proposed the mathematical existence of 11 derivative dichotomies describing the same 16 types in addition to the 4 basic ones.

(Gregory is currently on Sri-Lanka having very slow internet connection, so he asked to record the audio call instead of video conversation)

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This interview intended to investigate causalities on health due to relationship interaction under the perspective of Socionics.

(Interview conducted by Anna Roman)

Interviewer:

Gregory, good afternoon! Thank you very much that you agreed talk and give us an interview. Let’s try to record the audio conversation, is case Internet connection will be lost, we’ll try again later, ok?

GR:

Yes, I agree. If I’m not mistaken, you have some questions regarding Socionics, right?

Interviewer:

Socionics, exactly. I have some questions for the Socionics researchers in Brazil, who have been interested in your professional knowledge. First we wanted to make the 3-side conversation, but in order to save our common time, I am going to translate your answers into English and provide for this research.

GR:

I can’t hear you very well

(Internet connection was lost, reconnection)

Interviewer:

Could you tell a little about your story with Socionics?

GR:

That happened by accident in 1981, maybe in 1982 I dropped upon the work of Aušra (Aušra Augustinavičiūtė) “Theory of Interpersonal Relations” and found out interesting topics to investigate. When we started to work together, I realized that there are some ‘blank spaces’ to examine in her works and we decided to explore them together.

Interviewer:

Why Socionics promotes better social interaction, in your opinion?

GR:

Socionics describes the relations between 16 types very well, and as a result it appears to be a solid instrument for psychoanalysis, and moreover those socionic effects are mostly shown in the uncomfortable, extreme situations, like professional networking or family life, even an expedition. In those cases, the effects appear at their best and could be used to analyze how to improve relations and organize the teams better. Socionics has a lot of functions and can be useful in different areas, where it helps to orientate: analysis of conflictogenic situations in the collective body, formation of the team according to the specific problem or aim.

Interviewer:

I see, thank you. And how bad relationships or a bad social environment could be harmful to one’s health, do you consider that connection true? How does the knowledge of Socionics help on that?

GR:

Definitely. There is such thing – psychosomatics, when the problem that arises on the psychological basis can affect the body and health, even more if the problem is not being solved for a long time. In that case different strong psychosomatic effects happen and be harmful for the health.

Interviewer:

Yes, I see. And in your works there is a lot of information about the Bouquet groups, could you please tell how those groups were discovered? Was it the result of various experiments? If so, how those experiments were conducted? Could you tell how is this concept applied nowadays?

GR:

Do you mean the theory taken from my book “Mystery of types”? Yes, I’d love to tell about it. In the beginning of the 90s there was a collaborative work with the Medical Academy (St. Petersburg I. I. Mechnikov State Medical Academy) and one rehabilitation hospital, our aim was to find out how different types go through an illness, how do they suffer and how they cure. We discovered that it is possible to consolidate people in the groups according to these parameters. We came to the idea that hospital accomplish two functions: hospital (cure & therapy) and hotel (people are also living there for a while), so the experimental idea was to make them cure in the groups created according to their illnesses, but live in the groups created in compliance with their socionic types in order to make most comfortable living conditions. The results of those experiment were very good, what was proved by Chief Physician. But this experiment didn’t last long. To sum up, we observed those positive results in 2 hospitals, it was documented and described in my works.

Interviewer:

You mean Bouquet and Health groups, right?

GR:

Exactly, small groups – 4 types.

Interviewer:

I see, and what data did you receive? What was brought to light in this experiment?

GR:

Oh so much time passed, frankly speaking now I don’t remember the details, the main thing that we discovered were those 4 groups of course (ESFP + ESTP + ENTP + ENFP) (ISFP + ISTP + INTP + INFP) (ENTJ + ESTJ + ENFJ + ESFJ) (INTJ + ISTJ + INFJ + ISFJ) – these groups have their own spectrum of illnesses, which exactly I can’t say right now, but when they live together they aggravate and dramatize them. And if they are divided to live in other more comfortable groups, the results would be positive and better.

Interviewer:

So in the framework of those experiments you mixed up the types to see the better matches, right?

GR:

Yes, we combined them in accordance with their socionic types and groups instead of their diagnostics for people to live in comfort groups, to study in comfort groups, etc.

Interviewer:

Did they cure better and faster?

GR:

Yes, we had this result. Unfortunately, we were not able to finish those experiments, as the administration of the hospital had been changed. Well so that was out attendance and examination, the knowledge regarding the Bouquet groups was received in that experimental way. Out hypothesis was confirmed.

Interviewer:

Do you think we need the 4 types to achieve those positive effects? To achieve the perfect interpersonal atmosphere inside the group?

GR:

Perfect by which parameter?

Interviewer:

I mean the most comfortable relations. Do we need all the 4 types?

GR:

In quadra?

Interviewer:

Yes.

GR:

To tell the truth I don’t think it’s possible to create the perfect group even with 4 types, it’s likely impossible to build the perfect relations. But quadra differs from the other groups in the point that people “speak the same language”, it’s easier for them to understand the reasons of the conflict inside of their quadra, moreover they can solve it easily. In other groups it’s not usually like that, as types speak “different languages”, being on a different wavelength. But still I don’t believe in the perfect relations… Maybe in any scientific abstracts or theories

Interviewer:

Yes, I agree. By the way are there people occupying not one but several groups?

GR:

Of course! One type can relate to different groups, definitely. For example, ENTP refers to many groups. If you want, you can read in my book, I told about it more in detail.

Interviewer:

Are there data on how much can Socionics affects vital signs, such as heartbeating, sweating etc.? Maybe it was shown in any experiments maybe in hospitals? I mean any particular interpersonal relations between different types, how do they affect the vital signs?

GR:

Not only in hospitals, we conducted such experiments with people whose socionic types had been already professionally tested. We created quadras and examined peoples’ wellbeing and mood, also they were put inside the “Control ring” (* Control (Audit) Ring – a small group, consisting of four sociotypes associated with each other for audit. Interaction within the group is characterized by mutual suspicion and chicanery).

We saw critical conditions up to headaches and demands to stop the experiment. So such observations shown that sometimes that Control Ring may happen in the business team, for example, so then people can not cooperate and stand each other at all, even if they are great professionals and experts. But still that was not a rigorous professional experiment, that was done by enthusiasts, as we didn’t have the opportunity to conduct the exact rigorous experiment with with verifiable results and statistics, that always needs financial support.

Interviewer:

So any amplitudinous experiments on that matter had been never done?

GR:

Widespread and serious – no, never. We just observed and examined different effects, which were confirmed and clearly shown. No more than that, I’ve never heard of any scientific vast experiments.

 

Interviewer:

As far as I know, your experiments were far the most significant and serious, am I right?

Since your experiments, were there any more research done?

GR:

You are right, such experiments were never done afterwards. After there were lots of discussions mostly. There are lots of theoretical information even online, everywhere you may find some theories, discussions, thoughts regarding Socionics.

Interviewer:

Exactly, lots of theories, but not that much practical information based on real-life experience.

GR:

Yes, lot’s of unconfirmed, unverified theories, based on nothing.

Interviewer:

Are there reported data of how DUAL or CONFLICT interactions affect a persons’ overall outlook? Like, vital signs?

GR:

Outlook? Well, same as the critical mental condition or excellent mental wellbeing may affect the persons’ outlook, I assume in case of dual or conflict interactions it’s possible. As for vital signs… I don’t think do, I’m afraid we don’t have such. But the connection definitely exists.

Interviewer:

Like on the mental health itself, right?

GR:

Of course, these things belong to the same sphere.

Interviewer:

Yes, I have already taken one interview with Kirill Kravchenko, he told me that conflict interactions could even cause several pathologies. Do you agree?

GR:

I agree. If any hard and serious conflict is taking place and lasts long, then any psychosomatic problems appear. Suffering personality throws all the problems like garbage to the body, can you imagine? Then the person becomes sick.

Interviewer:

Ok, well, I see. And what can you say about the visual identification of types? What does the academia and researches say about visual identification? Have you found any particular signs (markers); what have you found out during your research time?

GR:

There is a plenty of these markers in the works of different authors, I can’t say offhand right now, there were special researches on that case (for example, ESTP has prominent cheek-bones and manner of walking, INFJ is usually humpbacked a little bit, generally speaking, there are lots of examined supervisions of the visual signs of types. (*Vitor, I have found an interesting Russian source with full description of visual identification, made by Gulenko, if you want, I will translate it and send to you, too, just let me know).

In olden times, Aušra Augustinavičiūtė prepared the special album: she collected 20-30 characters for each type. Looking at those album, anyone could easily see and understand the markers: physiognomy, countenance, glance, face features; so then the types’ signs were evident.

This album was used to teach the experts.

Interviewer:

Are these signs always reliable? Is the visual identification tricky? Could the signs be improper/false? Maybe person has just humped once?

GR:

No no, of course you can never identify with 100% assurance. One should always check the other attributes: behavior, tests, but please note that there is no perfect and 100% reliable socio-test for the identification.

Interviewer:

Yes, I have heard that. Consequently, the best identification way is professional diagnostics?

GR:

Exactly, for now only professional diagnostics, unfortunately. Well, technically I know how this test should be done, but this is a broad time-consuming laborious work, requiring cooperation with big amount of experts. If I agree to do it one day, that would be only in case of fare financing, because personally I don’t need that, and when Socionics become popular and people will need it – then I would be glad to work.

Interviewer:

And why, in your opinion, Socionics is not so popular in nowadays world? I know that Socionics is still officially unrecognized science, which nevertheless generates a lot of interest.

GR:

Well, it’s a very practical science with the most important ability to analyze interpersonal relations, which no other officially recognized psychological typology is able to provide. Ability to analyse personal types and interpersonal relations – that was a great step Aušra Augustinavičiūtė made, in comparison with other typologies. The next significant step was the typology of small groups that we discussed before, nobody has made any research before me us on that matter. And the fact, that it is not officially recognized science is the result of discreditation and lack of professional use. If you want I have the link with information about the benefits and harm of Socionics (Gregory has sent this link to me, if you want I can translate the information there for you too)

Interviewer:

Yes, of course, thank you.

GR:

I’m sending you the link via Skype. You can read about the harmful effect that Socionics may cause. Personality can not be absolutized, as it has lots of dimensions and aspects. Typology is only one of them, you can not absolutize it. The whole psychology must not be narrowed down to typology. It’s absurdity.

Interviewer:

What do you think, is there any way to spread this science in the right way throughout the world? Make it more popular and useful?

GR:

Well I don’t know, it depends on the interest of serious people, scientists.

I can tell you one interesting thing that I experienced, once I was working in the Y. A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, and suddenly I saw my book on the directors’ table, “Mystery of Type”, I noticed that the book is quite old and evidently being used for a long time. I asked: “How come, officially Socionics is not recognized by scientists…” He noted: “Well, scientists may not recognize it, they will probably think about it another 20 years, nevertheless, we see the results, we see that it really works, so we use it”, you know..

Interviewer:

Yes, I have already heard it, Viktor Prokofiev told me the same story

GR:

Exactly, we were together in this Centre that day.

Interviewer:

You see, these people are practicians, they look for the things that really work. If Socionics is officially recognized, or unrecognized, it doesn’t matter for them, they don’t care. If they see the instrument that works – they use it, because they have a real problem with bad communication of people. And how much time will scientists thinks and decide to recognize Socionics, for me it doesn’t matter, too. Maybe the reason is lack of really scientific experiments, everything we have is just investigation and observation.

Interviewer:

Maybe you can denominate the most significant experiments?

GR:

For me the most significant one was the one we conducted with Aušra Augustinavičiūtė in her residence, it has the most important and very significant to me. We investigated the attributes of personality types, which first appeared on paper, I wrote about them, made a table, and then we examined the psychological compatibility of these features. We took socion, a group of 16 personality types, divided it in half, according to the table and examined every indication that there are different tasks, watched how they act, how they behave, how they communicate, for me it was very clear, but this experiment was conducted a very long time ago, since that time such experiments are no longer carried out can be very difficult to meet all the 16 types of personality. To conduct a distortion-free experiment, you need to collect all the 16 personality types together.

Interviewer:

And what about those experiment in the hospital, do you consider it important?

GR:

Yes, but again, it was observation, not an experiment, I would not call it rigorous experiments. Preliminary observations, which allow you to put the problem, objectives, formulate a hypothesis.

Interviewer:

Ok, let’s come back to the visual identification. What should one look for when doing a visual identification? Is it tricky? Could they be improper/false? If so, how can we make sure that the identification is correct?

GR:

It depends on the expert. There are experts who are looking at the little details. There are experts who assess the energy and personality as a whole. For example, I can look at a person, and determine exactly what he is INTJ. At the same time, I can not readily explain how I understood it, I define the overall state overall sound, it’s sounds like INTJ. Then you can test it, you can ask him questions, in accordance with a kind of model, allocate more accurately. But, what to look for? Well, pay attention to the whole person. Aušra has taught me this way: “Today we will go to the family of ESTP with ENTP, and here it is – ISFP, and the other one is definitely ESFP. She was just a finger pointing at the type, and we have studied you look, you see 3 minutes of communication will let you know, who the person is. Now of course they do not teach this way. Not there is much more theory than practice.

Interviewer:

And for ordinary people who are not using Socionics professionally, is it possible to learn how to apply it in practice, learn how to recognize personality types?

GR:

I think that first most important thing is understanding that people are different, a person can be totally different with totally different views and opinions. The second point, do not try to convert people, do not be offended that he is not thinking like you. The very understanding of it is very useful because it allows you to take the edge off of relations. You can teach how to identify if a person is capable of that, we must look on what style of learning is the best: algorithms, theory, practice. Tatiana Prokofiev teaches the identification of personality types. She has an algorithm training scheme, it gives the results. There are experts who is able to just see the type, usually a woman is a good visualization, excellent optic canal, there are such people. There are people who know some ways to learn to identify and determine, there is no single answer. It is difficult to teach, it is also very time-consuming, but there are very capable people who are able to quickly learn. It takes practice and time, three or four months it is necessary to do it.

Interviewer:

I also would like to ask some questions regarding dual and conflict relations. Can a conflicting relationship be considered as toxic? What makes them toxic?

GR:

What do you mean by toxic?

Interviewer:

I mean Harmful, toxic, destructive.

GR

I’ll tell you first about the duality. You may be surprised, but the duals can also be very destructive and toxic to each other, because people can be the same Socionic type, but the social values and moral qualities are totally different, which will cause serious conflict. This people can be opposite. Duals have such a function, they have the opportunity to approach closest to each other emotionally, that is, they can hurt psychologically. That means, if the conflict between the duals, it is much more painful than the conflict inside the conflict relations. I got into such a situation, watched from the side, it happens. Although not as common. In principle, if a long time together, if they have the same value, if they are on the same road – it is good a great relationship. Their bio fields collapse, when two people are no longer needed but each other.

Interviewer:

And what about conflict relationships?

GR:

I described a lot about conflict relations in his book. All relationships, in particular conflict considered from the viewpoint of Conflict, which means, in terms of conflicts and conflicts cause. Conflict relations has the majority of such conflict points. Virtually all functions have conflicts and misunderstandings, someone who is afraid of someone; someone enables someone; someone scares and ignores, it happens all the time, the situation is very complicated.

Heavier – it is only a controlling relationship. Controller with controlled, there is destructive psychologically difficult relationship, people are just beginning to behave inappropriately. That’s the story. However, dual relations, too, are conflicts, there is no perfect relationship, when everything is good for life. No psychologist can not guarantee you that if you do it ensures that he is a fool.

Interviewer:

But still there is the types that are better suited to each other, and there are those who are less match together right?

GR:

Of course, there are quadras. Those who are in your quadra, those are better match for you, those who are outside your quadra – those less suitable, another language and understand each other, that’s worse. Judged by its ideas, there is an illusion of communication, it seems that they understand each other, when in fact they have a total misunderstanding.

Interviewer:

I have couple of questions about the connection of Socionics, dual and conflicting relationships with health. Have there been any studies on the impact of the dual and conflicting relationships to health, physical and mental?

GR:

Here the mass of observations that conflict relations in the family’s bad and unhealthy According psychosomatic mechanism, by other parameters.

Interviewer:

how was that investigated?

GR:

I do not know. I can answer that I do not know sometimes, too, because I do not know of such research, maybe Tatiana did that on her courses, maybe in Kiev, you’d better ask Sasha Bukalov, he is the director of Institute of Socionics in Kiev. Karpenko and Bukalov are the experts in the field of health, they have a lot of information, moreover they regularly publish a scientific magazine. Talk to them, they will tell you, I can give the contact details, you may contact them.

Interviewer:

That would be great, I have a lot of questions on health. How do the dual or conflicting relationships on health indicators such as cortisol level rise, sweating, heart pressure?

GR:

To tell the truth, I do not know, I did not measure these parameters, as I have not studied this exact matter. Only at the level of visual perception of conflict, of course it is obvious, suffering person looks worse and feels worse. It can be measured by the astronauts, but this data is secret and never shown to anyone. It is unlikely that we get any information from them.

Interviewer:

As for the business and teamwork. What kind of relationship are best suited to work in the work community?

GR:

I studied just such an interesting thing, creation of a task group. As for the teams, a group task represents exactly my theory of small groups. In order to solve some specific problems the best solution is to create a certain group of different types to solve business situation. If you already have a team, you need to analyze the points of conflict and potential conflict, then create a matrix of intertype relation in the team. It is necessary to determine the type of all people in the community and create a table of intertype relationship on which to act, it will be a very practical thing. It works quite accurately, and to diagnose current problems. Once again I should say, the effects appear only at a close interaction and sometimes it is sufficient to increase the distance in order to neutralize the conflict. Surely there are plenty of other studies, but I specifically on this issue has not worked.

Interviewer:

In case when there is already the form business team with the existing atmosphere and problems, moreover the mismatch of the types is evident, what could be done in that case?

Which relationships work best on a small work team? How to build the healthy relationship atmosphere in a team? What do you usually recommend?

GR:

If this type of tank, for example, or the plane and there are bad relationships, the pilot can simply be replaced. If there is a redundancy of various types of professionals, it can be replaced, if this is not, then with them separately to work with a team that is. If they are unique specialists that which can not be replaced by anyone, this also happens, then you have to work with them, you can pay attention to issues that we can talk that can not be the same situation in family life. Because when the family is formed and people are already married, you should be able to adapt. It is important to be able to adapt to the fact that there is. This is the purpose Socionics.

Interviewer:

And if that happens so before the creation of the family, two people came to diagnose and they understand that the types are not the best compatibility issues? What could be done it that case?

On an environment with a bad social environment, or else bad Socionics matches, what can be done? How it is possible to improve the harmful situation and unhealthy relationship?

GR

Well this difficult situation of course when it comes to love, usually people don’t really care about the types, problems arise later. There are moments that are not aware. I have not heard that someone found a family according to Socionic type, Socionics usually comes after. It can only be crazy socionists, who marry according to the Socionic types. This greatly restricts and narrows the outlook.

Interviewer:

I heard the opinion that any type can find a common language important to know the correct distance.

GR

Of course, if you can find a common language, I say again that the type is only one dimension of the person, there are lots of other measurements such as the nature of the social world of the psychological values of factors that affect the personality and does not relate to the type.

Interviewer:

But type does not change with the passage of time, right?

GR:

I think so, I think that does not change, personally I’ve never seen that.

You can change it as a mental exercise, but for the lifetime the type can not be changed. When I worked with the actors in the theatre, for an actor it is very important to be able to change the images, to be able to try on different types. But for a long time to try a different type and change behaviour is very difficult for ordinary people. To live so unnaturally energy-intensive. It’s very simple and at the same time extremely important to behave naturally.

Interviewer:

I have some questions regarding Socionics and other fields of knowledge. What can be said of Socionics throught the concept of Evoluitonary Biology? Could the types be dependant on the evolution and time?

GR:

We can’t say that there is an exact relationship, I have heard such opinions, but never observed in practice. I think It is not in nature, there is no in genetics. There is social heredity as evolutionary or genetic hardly so I do not see the connection.

Interviewer:

Is there a conection between Socionics and Game Theory that you see yourself?

GR:

It could be said that this theory could be applied to socionics, but I don’t see the direct connection. This Theory is separated but definitely could be applied. Not yet, I guess.

Interviewer:

And how it could be applied in your opinion?

GR:

Maybe the expert can use it in the experiments, as the idea of 16 types of people is very broad and deep itself and if it is examined through the prism of Game Theory the results might be interesting.

Interviewer:

How about Gestalt Psychology, do you see a relation between both?

GR:

I guess it also could be applied, from the beginning there is no connection, but as an additional tool that could be useful, because Socionics studies psychological types and interpersonal relations and problems they may cause, and Gestalt Psychology studies the ways to solve those problems. But for now I’ve never heard of such works.

Interviewer:

And one more question, do you consider astrology to be influential in a person personality?

GR:

Well, from the point of philosophy, there is individual and common features by category, for example, we are all Homo sapience, the common feature, and typology, like psychological types, and astrology describes individual features of the specific individual. Plenty of analytical works was done on this topic, but personally I have never interested in astrology, just a little bit. Although, it is surprising how accurate and truthful the individual description could be in the astrology. And Socionics describes the types, that’s the different story.

Interviewer:

Maybe you could advise me any of your works regarding the types and interpersonal relation, health investigations?

GR:

Let me think and I will send you some of my works. I have some analytical papers, I will send you with pleasure.

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