Socionics is the study of the intertype relations that describe the high-level relationship between psychological types of people, and not between the actual people. This is the reason these relations are called “intertype” relations. The relations between actual people are complicated and depend on many different factors. Meanwhile, the intertype relations form the foundation of interactions and describe various degrees of psychological compatibility between people. Influencers can predict a target or target community’s type and then engage with that target as a particular type of relation to achieve a certain effect or to build a particular relationship [7].

Identical relations have a complete understanding of each other, including worldviews, opinions, information processing methodologies, conclusions, and problems. They often exhibit sympathy toward each other and try to support and justify each other. Ideological bubbles are the most common digital occurrence of identical relations. Identical users expect mirrored opinions and arguments. While different dialogues can accommodate slightly differing ideological ranges, identical relations tend to “go neutral” if one party strays outside the bubble. Differences in background and functions of duals can be overcome if the relation depends on a sufficient driving force such as memes, evolutionary state, politics, or other strong ideological motivators. Further, identical relations often result in introspection and self-development akin to watching a video of oneself. An influencer may be able to expand or reduce the boundaries of the relation gradually, alter views, and guide communities. [7].

Relations of duality provide complete psychological compatibility and are therefore considered the most favorable and comfortable intertype relations. Duals are not identical; rather, they are almost two halves of the same whole. Dual partners understand the strengths, weaknesses, needs, and intentions of their partner. Coerced or engineered adjustments in behavior or understanding are not necessary. Consequently, adversaries capable of acting as a dual relation to a target expend the minimal amount of time, energy, money, and other resources in their operations [7].

Because humans are complex in their views, associations, and actions, true relations of duality are rare; however, their perceived scarcity may actually be an effective advantage to an adversary because the target might be over-accepting of a digital entity or persona whose ideology “fits” perfectly with that of the target. Others might become wary and skeptical of too close an approximation. For instance, this can easily be seen in digital advertisements that rely on cookies. Some users are amazed and overly grateful when advertisements on social media recommend precisely the product or service that they were searching for on other sites; meanwhile, others experience a chilling effect and sometimes anger at the perceived invasion of their privacy. Younger people have less ingrained perceptions, opinions, and worldviews and are therefore more easily convinced of duality with a partner [7].

Relations of activity are the easiest and quickest to start. Partners enable and stimulate each other into activity. Partners tend to recognize the weaknesses of the other and recommend unsolicited advice to bolster or reinforce the vulnerability. Interaction becomes a stimulant and can develop into a dependency. With continuous interaction over a long period comes over-activation, however, which may result in boredom or dissolution of the relation. Relations of activity are oscillatory. Reactionary community building and over-exhausting normalization are both relations of activity. When the target cannot engage in the desired activity or take a break from the relationship respectively, they experience increasingly negative effects [7].ed response [10].

Mirror relations are relations of mutual correction pertaining to partners with similar interests and like-minded ideas, but a slightly different understanding of the same problems. Each partner can see only half of one problem. Therefore, the partners find the other’s perspective interesting. The area of confidence of one partner may be the area of creativity for the other partner, and what one partner considers definitive may appear malleable to the other. The difference may perplex one or both, and they often attempt to correct the assumed misconceptions. As a result, mirror partners’ conversations often develop into contentious disputes centered on slight alterations of opinion pertaining to the same main concept. Arguments within ideological bubbles on social media platforms and groups may be the most prevalent example of mirror relations. Mirror dialogue often begins as constructive criticism, but discomfort results from differences in judgment and perception between the partners. Members may agree on future goals but disagree on global aims or step-wise methodologies. An influencer can exploit these relations to imply communal divisions, to alienate members, or to shift the conversation or ideology of the community [7].

These are relations of deficient duality. Semi-duality partners usually have no problems in understanding each other or each other’s objectives, at least conceptually. Semi-duals can engage in complex dialogues, but communication is competitive, rather than cooperative. While not an outright ideological tug of war, both partners are often so entrenched in their position that even when peaceful dialogue occurs, neither is likely to coerce the other to alter their beliefs. After the discussion, both parties snap back to their initial position. Relations of semi-duality can be considered as moth and flame. When the target calms, they are left with a lack of fulfillment that often results in reengagement. An adversary would not leverage a semi-dual relation to convince the partner; instead, the dual is a predictable pawn in a show designed to manipulate the audience or surrounding community [7].

Comparative partners talk about similar things, have similar interests, and obey the norms of politeness and hospitality toward each other, but they never really show an interest in each other’s problems. These are relations of deceptive similarity, but they tend to stagnate. When partners exist on the same level in a hierarchy, they peacefully coexist. If one partner becomes superior to the other, serious disagreements and conflicts occur. Comparative partners analyze the same issues from very different angles. Each is reminisced to acknowledge each other’s different point of view, and they often feel the other’s solution is impractical [7].

Conflicting relations consist of constantly developing conflict. Both partners are initially convinced that they can coexist and collaborate quite peacefully, but the relationship rapidly deteriorates. Each underestimates the ideological disparity and attempts to nudge the other into their ideological comfort zone. Continuous attempts to force the relation and alter the other provokes open conflict, at which point each directs arguments toward the other that are designed to inflict maximum pain. Retaliation follows, and the aggression escalates [7].

Super-ego relations occur between two individuals that do not share common interests or ideologies, but erroneously believe that they understand the other well. Communication often appears formal, calculated, and emotionally vacant. Partners normally think more about expressing their own point of view than listening to their partner. This expression comes from the confident side of one of the partners reaching the unconfident side of the other partner. The latter tries to defend themselves by projecting their confident points in return. Partners normally show interest and respect to each other if they do not know each other well enough. Problems occur because neither side understands or wants to understand the perspective of the other. They are convinced that the other is deliberately incorrect. The most prevalent digital expression of super-ego relations is the communication between conspiracy theory communities and those attempting to dispel those theories [7].

Quasi-identical relations result from a major misunderstanding. Partners are ideological polar opposites but are equivalent on spiral dynamics and other psychological scales. Quasi-Identical partners always need to convert each other’s information in such a way that it corresponds to their own understanding. This conversion requires much energy and does not bring the desired satisfaction. Tension results from the incapacity of either partner to bypass their own views to accept those of the other. An example of this would be an aggressive digital dialogue between an antifa community and members of the alt-right. Adversaries can manufacture conflict easily and rapidly by impersonating one partner and targeting the opposite community. The resulting chaos can be transformed into kinetic rallies, protests, and violence. Both sides, who are capable of understanding the conflict but remain vehemently ideologically opposed, are galvanized into cascading confrontations and impacts [7].

There are no other intertype relations that can deactivate partners so much as illusionary relations. They result from growing laziness and complacency. Illusionary partners are unwilling to exert the effort to understand an issue or the motivations of others. They expect others to perform differently, but do not attempt to coerce change in any way. Their unfulfilled desires manifest as uninformed criticisms of the intentions and actions of others. To an external audience, the commentary may appear humorous. Troll comments and misinformed complaints on social media discussions are the most common illusory relations [7].

These are relations between equal partners who can be called acquaintances, rather than friends. There are no observable obstacles in the development of these relations, and partners can talk easily about almost anything. Lookalike partners do not feel any danger from the other partner. The strong sides of the partners are different in such a way that almost any conversations between them always fall into the area of the confidence of only one of the partners. Lookalike partners also have similar problems, which make them feel sympathetic toward each other instead of being critical of each other’s vulnerabilities. Arguments in lookalike relations are not common practice. Lookalike relations have an average degree of comfort. Partners do not have anything against each other but also nothing for which to struggle. Eventually, one partner may leverage the information gathered about the other to exploit a vulnerability or to coerce a particular response. Cat-phishing, doxing, swatting, and other personal attacks by which one party coaxes the other preemptively for information that can later be weaponized are all types of lookalike relations [7].

These relations are asymmetrical because one partner, called the benefactor, is always in a more favorable position in respect to the other partner, who is known as the beneficiary. The beneficiary thinks of the benefactor as an interesting and meaningful person, usually over-evaluating them in the beginning. The beneficiary can be impressed by their partner’s behavior, manners, and thoughts, as well as their ability to deal easily with things that the beneficiary conceives as complicated. During the interaction, the beneficiary involuntarily starts to ingratiate themselves with the benefactor, trying to please them without any obvious reason. Often, the benefactor may suspect that the beneficiary wants something that the benefactor can provide. Meanwhile, the beneficiary may be led to believe that the benefactor has singled them out for genuine interest. In some instances, one or both partners may feel a “spiritual” or fated connection to the other as an internal rationalization of the asymmetric relationship. Arguments and quarrels may occur if one side suddenly ignores the other. Adversaries may find it advantageous to masquerade as either a benefactor or beneficiary to exert influence on an individual who may be susceptible to the unexpected attention. Tailored attacks targeting niche personnel, propaganda from the pulpit, and similar vectors are relations of benefit [7].

Like relations of benefit, relations of supervision are also asymmetrical. One partner, called the supervisor, is always in a more favorable position in respect to the other partner, who is known as supervisee. Relations of supervision can give the impression that the supervisor is constantly watching every step of the supervisee. The latter usually feels this control even if the supervisor does not say or do anything. Rather than operate on unmonitored channels, the supervisee seeks the recommendation and commendations of the supervisor. Meanwhile, the supervisor undervalues the attention and abilities of the supervisee. The explanation for this is that the supervisee’s weak point is defenseless against the supervisor’s strong point. This manifests in chilling effects, paranoia, exploitation of the supervisee, and other negative outcomes. Cyberstalking and the relationship between users and social media propagandists and other special interest groups are prime examples of relations of supervision [7].

Each action online generates metadata that can be harvested by adversaries and special interests. Every cybersecurity incident results in the loss of treasure troves of information that can be weaponized against consumers. Big data analytics operations on psychographic and demographic data are the next generation of hybrid warfare weapons. Psychographic algorithms reveal consumers’ preferences, psychological characteristics, ideology, thought process, and evolutionary tier, and they can be used to forecast every future action and response by consumers. In DIOs, psychographic analyses of populations are used in the memetic design; to deliver foreign propaganda; and to tailor fake news, misinformation, and disinformation [8].

Predictive analytics is the employment of data and statistical models to forecast future behavior and decisions [9]. Data collected from breaches and dragnet surveillance capitalists can inform adversarial attempts to predict and then manipulate the actions of a target population. Worse, data collected from search engine optimization solutions, predictive text applications, social media mood algorithms, and other facets of digital “convenience” will be leveraged in foreign influence campaigns. In effect, the threat actor can decide what a population will think and how they will respond to information before the target is even cognizant of a decision [8].

Automatic processing is “implicit” thinking that tends to be effortless, habitual, and done without awareness. Most importantly, automatic processing affects the way that we internalize the information we receive and, therefore, how we receive it. We all develop social schemas throughout our lifetimes. A social schema is our internal perception of how something should be or act, such as our image in our head of what a firefighter looks like. Once a schema is formed, any and all information we receive is processed automatically through our understanding of the world. We are then more likely to retain or accept facts that agree with our perceptions and schema and refute those that do not. These decisions occur almost instantaneously as the mind receives information. By having an understanding of audience, automatic processing allows one to manipulate or influence an audience into agreeing to the same message, so long as it is presented through the correct schemas [10].

Controlled processing is “explicit” thinking that tends to be deliberate, reflective, and conscious. This is the way information is processed consciously or the deliberate way one forms an argument with the information or explains it to others. It is where the message is judged and reflected upon to ensure it is true. Influence requires a message that is believable, will stand up to scrutiny, and is conveyed easily to others. The more complicated the message, the more it will appear like a conspiracy. Further, the message needs to be complete, but not so much as to be completed and not allow the individual to make the idea and message their own through filling in gaps and meaning. Once a message is personalized, the individual is far less likely to recognize fault in it or to set it aside, and they are more likely to try to convince others of their view zealously [10].


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