Attitudinal Psyche vs. Psychosophy – FAQ
“Do Attitudinal Psyche and Psychosophy have the same core logical principles?”
-Short answer: No.
-Long answer: Kind of. Attitudinal Psyche has one core logical principle that must be fulfilled by an individual to claim an AP type, and this principle is known as the “golden equation” or the attitude structure which comes directly from Alexander Afanasyev. Psychosophy has three core logical principles that must be fulfilled by an individual to properly fit into a psychosophy type. These three principles are as follows:
Psychosophy’s 1st principle – Mental energy usage hierarchy: The individual must devote their daily mental energy to the elements (also called aspects) from greatest to least mental (also called psychic) energy. Two aspects cannot share equal or balanced mental energy from the individual. As an example, if an individual spends the most energy on physics, then emotion, then logic, and the least on volition, they would follow the F>E>L>V mental energy hierarchy, and would therefore take on the FELV psychosophy type. If the individual spends the same amount of their daily mental energy on two different elements/aspects, then they do not have a psychosophy type.
Psychosophy’s 2nd principle – Defense of the ego: The individual must use their first aspect (where they spend most of their daily mental energy) to defend their ego from outside threats. If using their first aspect fails to act as a defense mechanism, only then can they move to their second aspect as a defense, and the same idea repeats until reaching the last aspect. If any individual uses their second, third, or fourth aspect to defend themselves while the first aspect was ignored, looked over, or dismissed regardless of it being an available resource to the individual, then they do not have a psychosophy type. In modern day typology, we have come to know the defense of the ego and fight for survival as best being understood through the Enneagram of personality. Afanasyev seemed to be unaware of this system, as he was never quoted as speaking or writing about it. Therefore, he combined this aspect of personality with mental energy hierarchy and the attitude structure.
Psychosophy’s 3rd and Attitudinal Psyche’s only principle – Attitude structure: The golden equation is an outcome of a 2×2 chart which combines two sets of dichotomies to create 4 distinct outcomes. In any system, the golden equation can be represented as ++, +-, –, -+ (aa, ab, bb, ba). In psychosophy and attitudinal psyche, one axis of this equation is the dichotomy of the self and others – and the other axis is the dichotomy of positive and negative attitudes in psychology. Psychosophy theorizes that each of the four outcomes in the golden equation aligns with one of the four aspects. Therefore, in order to have a psychosophy type, an individual must have a unique attitude for each of their four aspects. If an individual has the same attitude for two different aspects, then they do not have a psychosophy type.
-What I found through intense research and gathering of data among individuals is that the majority of people do not qualify to fit a psychosophy type because the only consistency that exists tends to be in the attitude structure. Therefore, Attitudinal Psyche was created to correct the rigidity of psychosophy that leaves people typeless and confused. It seems that Afanasyev was recognizing ego and attempting to force this concept into his already genius discovery of the attitude structure among individuals, while also trying to theorize how people focus their mental energy in their day to day life (which could be related to the instinctual drives of enneagram).
“Is Attitudinal Psyche a watered down version of Psychosophy?”
-No. Although it can be inferred that since AP only integrates one of the three logical principles from psychosophy, then it must be more simplified, weaker in theory, and lacking in content – the opposite is what ended up being true. The focus on only one core logical principle led to more people accurately finding themselves in relation to their type and others who share their type. What also happened is this freed up the stranglehold on the types to match an enneagram type due to the insinuation that the defense of the ego was automatically tied to the attitude structure and mental energy hierarchy. Instead of self preserving 7 being one of the few enneagram types to match FLEV in psychosophy, many of those who strongly relate to the attitudinal structure of FLEV in AP found themselves to carry on the ego defense strategy of 5, 9, and sometimes 6 – this and many other examples have come to be true. This opened the door to people finding truth in AP, rather than attempting to box themselves into an inaccurate type solely because they felt they must have a psychosophy type. The rigid nature of psychosophy is what watered down the hundreds of real archetypes that exist in nature when we combine attitudinal psyche with other type systems. The wonderful thing about the truth is that everyone recognizes it when they see it. There are no hurdles that we must jump over to try to force things to be true, as the truth speaks for itself. This is the one and only reason that I created Attitudinal Psyche and differentiated it from psychosophy.
“Are the aspects equivalent in Attitudinal Psyche and Psychosophy?”
-Yes. However, since AP does not use mental energy hierarchy, nor defense of the ego within its core logical principles, then it will not describe interactions with the aspects in the same way that psychosophy does. The good news is that what the aspects are at their core is the same between both systems. The confusion often comes in because Syntax of Love (Afanasyev’s book about psychosophy) is describing how one may use the aspects to defend themselves, their ego, and their priorities. This will bring with it new concepts that evolve from combining the aspects and ego strategies rather than looking at the aspects standalone. So, it may appear at times that the two systems are looking at two different definitions of the aspects, but at their core they are still in reference to the same 4 quadrants of reality.
“Are Psychosophy and Psyche Yoga the same thing?”
-Somewhat. Psyche Yoga was the english name given to psychosophy by english-speaking typologists who followed non-english sources of psychosophy. However, most of these typologists have their own take on psychosophy and it has developed in its own unique way through each separate teacher, so it is still not equivalent to the original system. Please see the individual teacher to understand their take and model of the original psychosophy – bestsocionics.com is a common resource for those just becoming acquainted with psychosophy and psyche yoga.
“Are the descriptions of the Attitudinal Psyche types based on the Psychosophy types?”
-No. Attitudinal Psyche was built from the ground up on the premise that attitude structure is the core component of the types. During the initial research phase of AP, numerous questionnaires and follow up face-to-face interviews were conducted over hundreds of people, which were then categorized into the attitude structures based on positive and negative attitude of the self and others within the aspects. Once enough patterns started to materialize over numerous subjects, the descriptions were then created. There are some parts of AP that have been theorized, but none of these hypotheses make it to the descriptions unless substantiated by numerous subjects.
Although the descriptions of AP types are not based on psychosophy types, you will find similarities as attitude structure is still a part of psychosophy. However, these similarities are usually vague as psychosophy is mostly theoretical, based on short-cut logical heuristics, and applied retroactively to individuals to fit the poetic and political nature of syntax of love.
“Are the subtypes in Attitudinal Psyche the same as those in Psychosophy?”
-No. Syntax of love only briefly covers the different manifestations of the attitudes, and the other common subtype system comes from bestsocionics.com, which is a separate subtyping system based on psychosophy.
In Attitudinal Psyche, the subtype system is based on the behavioral patterns that individuals employ to mask, intensify, or in some manner modify the impression that their core attitude gives off to others in day to day life. Each person can have 4 different manifestations of their core attitude, and these often correlate with their enneagram type. There are 16 different subtypes, and in combination with the aspects it becomes 64. The subtype will mimic the surface level impression of whatever position it’s in. For instance, 3V-1 will mimic 1V but still hold a 3V attitude behind the veneer of 1V stereotypical impressions. Your subtype can and does change over time, however, this usually happens slowly based on phases of life that require different strategies to survive and flourish.
In Bestsocionics.com, the subtype system is based on which attitudinal dichotomy the individual focuses on within that attitude (or function). This part of the dichotomy becomes the most vivid and obvious of that type, and therefore it will take on qualities of the attitude it shares that dichotomy with. For instance, in psychosophy or psyche yoga a 3V has three dichotomies within its attitude structure: weak, processional, and aggressive. These correlate with self-negative (3V and 4V), matching self and others attitudes (3V and 2V), and others-negative (3V and 1V) attitude. Therefore, whichever subtype you take on as an accentuation becomes the number you place afterwards. E.g., 3V-4 for weak, 3V-2 for processional, and 3V-1 for aggressive. It has not been officially stated if the accentuation (subtype) can change over time.
Click here to read more about bestsocionics accentuation subtypes.