Democratic and aristocratic

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Aristocracy / Democracy is one of the 15 Reinin dichotomies.

Reinin dichotomies
Carefree and farsighted Yielding and obstinate Static and dynamic
Democratic and aristocratic Tactical and strategic Constructivist and emotivist
Positivist and negativist Judicious and decisive Merry and serious
Process and result Asking and declaring


Aristocratic and democratic types

Democratic X X X X X X X X
Aristocratic X X X X X X X X

Typical characteristics


  1. Inclined to perceive and refer to other people, and themselves, by means of groupings and categories that they see these people belonging to; these groupings may be created and defined by the Aristocrats themselves, rather than be already existing and socially defined ones.
  2. Their initial attitude towards another person is influenced by their attitude towards the grouping they see this person belonging to.
  3. Tend to attribute common qualities to members of same groupings, and define such groupings by these same qualities.
  4. Inclined to refer to others using expressions that mention generalized features of their groupings.


  1. Perceive and refer to other people, and themselves, primarily describing individual, personal qualities: frank, trustworthy, generous, unimaginative, lighthearted, good-looking, etc. which are generally not in connection to any grouping to which they might belong.
  2. Form their relationships and attitudes toward other persons based on their own individual characteristics, rather than taking into account which grouping these persons fall into or their own relationships with the members of these circles and groupings.
  3. Not inclined to perceive people as representatives of a certain grouping that supposedly possesses qualities inherent to people who comprise it.
  4. When referring to others, not inclined to use expressions that mention the generalized features of the grouping or categories that these people belong to.

Extended characteristics

Taken from 2003 study of Reinin traits.


  • Democrat perceives and distinguishes himself primarily through personal qualities. Perceiving other people, their personal qualities are likewise primary for him (how close, interesting, pleasant or unpleasant this individual is to him personally; their intelligence, ideas, appearance, tastes, etc.). Because of this, individualism is inherent to the democrat: "I am I".
  • Democrat forms his attitude toward a specific person based on their personal characteristics (authority, intellect, personal achievements, etc.). The democrat recognizes superiority of certain individuals drawing from their personal qualities. The relation of the democrat to another person will not be based on their belonging to one group or another, as well as on their relations to the representatives of these groups.
  • Democratic types are not inclined to perceive people with whom they associate as representatives of a certain "circle of contacts", which possesses special characteristics, inherent precisely to the members of this circle.
  • Democrat is not inclined to use expressions that generalize "group features" of certain individuals (for example, "a typical representative").


  • The aristocrat frequently perceives and defines himself an other people through group associations (division into groups can occur based on almost any criteria: professional or theoretical, by age or nationality, by place of residence or which floor the persons live on, etc.), for example: "I'm a representative of..." "This person is from such and such...". Collectivism is more inherent to the aristocrat.
  • Their attitude toward another person forms under the influence of their attitude towards the group to which the person belongs. To the aristocrat, it is incomprehensible how it is possible to belong to two opposing groups at the same time: "You are either with us, or with them and against us".
  • Aristocrat distinguished his "circle of contacts" by certain traits, realizes its certain "specialty".
  • In speech aristocrat frequently use expressions like "group", "typical representative of", "our", "all of them are like that", etc.


  1. Briefly, the essence of each of these attributes can be expressed as follows: primacy of collective "we" (Aristocrats) or of individual "I" (Democrats) and the corresponding values.
  2. It is possible to say that the aristocrat is to a larger degree a social being, an the democrat—individualistic. Therefore, the dispute of what is more important—society or the individual—cannot be resolved.
  3. From the point of view of social psychology, in perception of a new person the aristocrat strongly involves the mechanism of social recognition: casual attribution (the degree depends on uniqueness and social conditionality of behavior) and "halo/aura" effect (which manifests when the individual has little information about a new person). Both of them are a part of the process of stereotyping (perception/recognition through a stereotype) [1, with. 128].


Aristocrats: Ethical intuitive types create new groups ("inhabitants of suburbs", "typical representative of a new generation of goalkeepers")—adding up or summing up certain cumulative features which are inherent in the majority. Logical sensing types use these groupings that have been created by ethical intuitives, switching to their strong logical function and building a system of personal relations on its basis.

Democrats: In perception of a democrat, a group is created from individuals drawn together on basis of a common interest, project, idea (for logical intuitive types) or on basis of mutual sentiments and sympathies (for ethical sensing types). Additionally, a group in perception of democratic types is not the basis for creating a social hierarchy.

Influence of this attribute on determination of the type of personality

  1. Hierarchy and status are frequently described as inherent to structural logic (Ti). According to our observations this is entirely false. White logic (Ti) types of the first quadra will adhere to formal requirements, but will not begin to reconstruct all of their behavior in accordance to a new status. In this manner will act the aristocrats of the second quadra, most obviously the sensing logical types. Some confusion can arise due to this. If we were to observe, we would see that other aristocratic types are no less inclined to such "status games", for example "I demand that they relate to me as the director" (EIE), "I cannot associate with those of a higher position then me" (IEE).
  2. Division of people into "mine" and "not mine" is frequently attributed to aristocracy. In actuality, this division holds true for any types that values white ethics (Fi), including the democratic types (SEE, and in particular ESI). If we expand this concept, then "my" is any person with whom close relations have been formed, there is a familiar connection or sincere attachment. For the IEE an EII sincere attachment and belonging to a group become combined: "mine" and "not mine" for them are members of "their group" or "foreign group".
  3. Switching from "you" to "formal you" [Russian language and a few other languages have formal and informal forms of reference] is not always significant from the point of view of manifestation of this attribute. According to the standards of etiquette and rules of behavior, it is accepted to address older people and those in senior position with formal form of "you" (with respect), and different informal situations, regardless of the rules, require switch to informal "you". For instance if a child's mother is the teacher in his class, then the child will refer to her with formal "you" in class. It is possible to give more example of this. The important thing is not how they are addressed, but the reason for doing so.


Democrats: "I'm not interested in social affiliations of a person or other social 'marks' they may have" "I don't even have thoughts of establishing someone's affiliations to any groups. A person is a unit" "It is important what the individual represents" "When I interact with somebody I don't really care whether they are a man or a woman" "It is difficult for me to determine what constitutes belonging to a group, I cannot isolate that something that differentiates from others" "I am a representative only of my own ideas" "I notice groups, but it's just a game (they are not real, the groups are pretended)".

Aristocrats: "I perceive people based on their group affiliations, place everyone "on a shelf" ("a good mother", "a charming person", etc.)" "If it is possible to determine in which grouping the person belongs, then this is reassuring. It is easier to receive information from someone knowing which group they are a part of" "I separate people based on their professional capabilities. First: to what social and economic stratus the person belongs to. Second: is he a professional or not, the way he conducts himself, his individual qualities" "I am referring to you as to a typical representative of translators" "At my workplace they hired a new secretary recently, and she works poorly, and in general is not that kind of a person. May be because she is from the suburbs... please don't misunderstand me, I'm not an aristocrat! I'm not!" "For me this religion means nothing, but for the ordinary people it is necessary" "You are my friend, but my friends don't steal toilet paper from McDonalds!"

Investigation of Quadra Attributes: The concept of a "quadra spirit" or "quara values" can be expressed through the filling of three quadra attributes. Thus, for example, a song from 1930: "We shall sing and laugh alike children, in persistent struggle and labor"—was composed by a person belonging to the second quadra, not because of the "quadra spirit", but because two attributes are embedded within it—subjectivism and decisiveness—the combination of which exists only in the second quadra.

Additional Commentary and Notes

It has been noted that there exists a considerable overlap in traits assigned to Aristocratic/Democratic dichotomy in socionics and to instincts and instinctual combinations in the enneagram model, leading to frequent confusions of their properties. The descriptions of the valued Social instinct, in particular, outline a similar set of traits to the ones attributed to Aristocratic types in Reinin dichotomies. Here is a sample description of valued Social instinct from Enneagram Institute:

"Social: This subtype is focused on their interactions with other people and with the sense of value or esteem they derive from their participation in collective activities. These include work, family, hobbies, clubs—basically any arena in which Social types can interact with others for some shared purpose. ... Within that social instinct, however, are many other implicit imperatives, and primary among them is the understanding of "place" within a hierarchical social structure."

That is, valued Social instinct imparts greater awareness of the social and cultural spheres, and of the social hierarchies and social groups, and inclination for participation in collective activities. All of this may be mistakenly interpreted as belonging to "Aristocratic" quadra (more so for stackings that have secondary Social instinct, for whom the social sphere often constitutes an area of creative and mental activity). Conversely, social-last stackings possess a reduced awareness and lowered interest in group activities, group dynamics, and collective themes, and exhibit greater social insularity and disregard for social conventions, which makes them liable to get confused for socionics "Democratic" types.

Since the differences between the socionics Aristocratic/Democratic trait and properties of the enneagram social instinct have never been clearly explained, it is inadvisable to rely on this dichotomy in typing.


Expressions that possibly demonstrate "Aristocratic" traits, such as propensity to view people as having certain positions within a group, generalization of qualities of one individual onto a broader contingent, and explicit regulation of relations:

  • EII: "It's always important to have a sense of humility and to know your place (mine just happens to be at the top). Remember to support those below you - if your inferiors falter, there will be no pyramid for you to stand at the top of." - hierarchical attribution ("your place").
  • EII: "you don't know shit and you need to learn your place" - hierarchical attribution ("your place").
  • EII: "You could have at least done a service for yourself and others by admitting that you are at fault, which you didn't have the decency to do while you were discussing this with me." - explicit/public regulation of relations.
  • SLE-IEI conversation: SLE - "You have no idea what went on, you're assuming shit. She started ignoring me because I was being "mean". Like I said, I was out of my element with this girl, duals are jealous around each other. She felt the same way. Please, know your place woman." IEI in response - '"Know your place. If you're not seeing each other exclusively you have no right to treat her as your exclusive property and think you somehow have a "right" to determine who she can/can't hang out with and "punish" her accordingly, duality or not. And even then it's questionable. Grow up, grow balls, etc."

Stratievskaya on "Aristocratic" quadra and relations (excepts from various blog entries):

From IEE-ILI mirage relations:

  • "For example, one may leave for a vacation and ask the IEE to complete some task or activity, and upon return find it ruined in all respects, with no further possibility to restore it or straighten things out. There was agreement – then there was no agreement, and why is this? – there won't be any answer. At best IEE will reply: "I did not hire myself out to work for you!" (aristocracy)."
  • "Furthermore, here we have interaction between a "democratic" type and an "aristocratic" type: IEE dislikes being a servant to and doing errands for the ILI. The mere hint of such a possibility is annoying to the IEE. Therefore, under any circumstances he tries not to give in to any hints, suggestions, requests, or even demands of ILI. He attempts to stay on the dominant position under any circumstances, from the heights of which IEE dispenses the necessary assistance at the right time in the form of valuable advice, as a knowledgeable person and as a seasoned professional."

From EII-LIE semi-duality relations:

  • "LIE will have difficulty understanding and dealing with the "petty" (aristocratic, ceremonious) ethics of relations of EII, since LIE is subconsciously oriented at democratic ethic of relations of his dual ESI, whose ethical function is directed at providing immediate and effective assistance in critical situations and not at "ceremonious" regulation of relationships. Therefore, the callowness and negligibility of EII's grievances and offenses will soon start to annoy the LIE: "How can he (EII) become so offended over such minor things!"
  • "This is something that I (EII) did not like in him (LIE) - his attitude towards women. He did not indulge them, did not tell them beautiful compliments - he did not idolize his women. No - he was a kind and attentive man. I never heard a bad word from him, but neither did he voice any compliments - such a person he was. He has never told me that he loved me, or even that he missed me ... (Aristocratic, subordinate to rituals ethics of relations of EII is not consistent with the democratic, free from accumulations of ritual relations ethics of 3rd quadra. Each quadra has its own code of ethics.)"

Theoretical properties of aristocratic and democratic types

Here is a possible interpretation of this:

Material assets are systematized and automated. Systems and production have a material expression. Ideas exist for people and societal relationships. People and relationships are valued for their personality and potential.

Here is a possible interpretation of this:

Material assets exist for people and societal relationships. Systems and production are intangible or out of sight. Ideas and vision exist for technology and systems. People and relationships are valued for their effect and their comfort.

When analyzing this dichotomy from the perspective of model A, Augusta listed all the blocks in this dichotomy (so Symbol l.gif with Symbol f.gif, Symbol e.gif with Symbol t.gif etc for Aristocracy and Symbol f.gif with Symbol r.gif, Symbol p.gif with Symbol t.gif etc for Democracy), attributing specific traits to each block which she extended to characteristics of each dichotomy as whole. They are not all obviously connected to a focus or lack thereof on groups as per the most common definition of this dichotomy and as listed in the "typical characteristics" section below.

A possible explanation for this trait regarding group thinking goes as follows. Aristocratic reasoning merely structures logically(Symbol l.gif) characteristics they have observed (Symbol f.gif) in several individuals, being thus a logical "connecting of the dots" applied to people. From a purely logical Symbol l.gif perspective applied to Symbol f.gif perceptions and goals, it makes perfect sense to assume that, if you perceive an individual as belonging to a group posssessing some traits you have already concluded are characteristic of that group, said individual will exhibit those traits. For example, if in your experience so far (Symbol f.gif) all persons belonging to a particular division in a company have been unhelpful, it makes sense to conclude logically (Symbol l.gif) in a purely impersonal way that that is a characteristic of that division, and extrapolate that to further persons from that group. From the point of view of primitive societies or situations of non-organized warfare and conflict, such a reasoning may even be crucial for survival since it allows you to estimate who your enemies are before they attack you.

By contrast, the Democratic reasoning focuses on observations Symbol f.gif on a case-by-case basis, that is of the individual they happen to be interacting with at the moment (Symbol r.gif). A focus on Symbol r.gif does not lead to creating logical structures, but to forming stable connections to persons on individual-to-indvidual basis, and in that case there is no point to, and no inclination for, considerations of whether the observed reality Symbol f.gif of the person fits into a broader logical structure of a group (Symbol l.gif).

This explanation seems more obvious in connection to the Beta quadra; far less so in the case of Delta since the Symbol f.gif + Symbol l.gif block is subdued. Another way of explaining this for Delta might be through the Symbol i.gif + Symbol r.gif block; on the basis that the realization of someone's potential (Symbol i.gif) is realized via connections with others (Symbol r.gif), and that one of Delta's characteristics is the formation of groups towards worthy and productive goals.

Intertype relations

Intertype relations
democratic/aristocratic in common:

identity · duality · mirror · activation

super-ego · conflict · quasi-identity · extinguishment

democratic/aristocratic not in common:

business · illusionary · kindred · semi-duality

benefit · supervision · ·

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