Abstract, Organic, Concrete and Mechanic types

  • Published: 02-07-2015 Edited: 02-07-2015
  • Abstract Types

    Important concepts:
    The mentalization network, the neocortex, association memories.

    Abstract Association is involved in tasks that require us to be consciously aware of the information we're taking in, for example when you are thinking about the fact that you are thinking. It's meta-perspective on information helps when trying to understand information based on how it can be used or manipulated to mean different things. Abstract Association for example can be used to change how we interpret information, for example, when paired with feeling, understanding a memory or subjective experience you've had in a new way. This is extremely helpful for example in the acting field, as actors generally have to be consciously aware of how they portray a character while on stage to find an authentic expression in these situations.

    Abstract Association utilizes something called association memories. Association memories are used to remember patterns and codes that can be used to decode and understand information, in particular, abstract association does well at understanding information that is partially left out, for example when paired with Organic Encoding, hearing someone share an experience they had, and being able to decode what you know about that person, to figure out what else they did in the situation, besides what they decided to share with you. Together with Mechanic Encoding, Abstract Association can also be used to access and interpret procedural memories, for example, learning a recipe, and fantasizing about what would happen if you'd change an ingredient or changing the cooking process. In more difficult situations, abstract procedural memories can be useful to understand mathematical and logical problems.

    Abstract Association generally is anti-correlated with Concrete Association, and unlike what many older theories on cognitive functions, the two functions can't be used together. So whenever you imagine something, you partially detach from what is going on around you, causing you to have to switch back and forth between the two functions to properly function in the world around you. A person who has a well developed abstract association but for different reasons struggle to access their Concrete Association can find themselves struggling with dealing with daily routines, struggling to pay attention to important information. Furthermore, they may struggle to sleep on schedule, and to stay on a project for a longer time. An Abstract Type may also demonstrate autistic traits or ADHD, however, these disorders are likely to be triggered by biological and environmental factors.

    Organic Types

    Important concepts: Task-negative network/default-mode network, and episodic memories.

    When using Organic Encoding we become aware of how something which is true to us, may be of relatively less value to others. Organic Types use this knowledge to study and understand the motives and underlying patterns driving the behavior and expression of themselves and others in their environment. To understand these things, rather than looking at objective information about the person, organic types draw on and consider personal memories and stories that they’ve read or heard about at some point of time. This is very useful in interpersonal relationships, leadership and writing.

    This helps them understand how their personal experiences have helped impact them and their current relationships. It also helps them in establishing a nuanced identity, a sense of self, that helps them understand how to behave in current and future situations. Secondly, this helps them understand others, and why others are the way they are. For example, because someone they’ve met reminds them of a literary character they’ve read about, they may draw on their association memories to pair the two people together, understanding that persons behavior paralell to the fictional character in a book. Secondly, if Organic Encoding is used together with Concrete Association, it can help us draw on conditioned memories, for example fear, or remembering an embarassing situation, causing them to find ways to protect themselves from such situations in the future.

    Organic Encoding can’t be used together with Mechanic Encoding, causing most people to have to switch back and forth between the two functions rather than use them simoultaneously. As a result, Organic types that for different reasons struggle with using their mechanic encoding, will display problems of understanding rules and limitations, causing them to struggle to for example remember what time of the day it is, forgetting to eat, and experiencing overall difficulties with doing tasks and actions they feel are forced on them. Organic types also use their subjective ability to give everything around them a personality, even a rock, a doll, or something non-living, can be given a character or a role in their life, and that can have a huge impact on their decisions, rather looking at signs or something that will give their decision emotional weight, than purely looking at what decision would make them the most money or some other objective factor.

    Mechanic Encoding

    Important concepts: Task-positive network, procedural memories

    The Mechanic Type studies and categorizes information by their sensory properties, distinguishing the difference between different forms of information. Because of this, the function can understand sensory limitations, and logical systems such as the flow of time, length and boundaries. Mechanic Types are well adept at working with rules as a baseline, working best when they are working with a well-defined system. Because of this, Mechanic functions are highly useful when trying to figure out how to solve a task or problem, or remembering or noting down how a system works to help introduce others to it’s functions. This means mechanic types perform the best in controlled systems with formal rules, and organic types work the best in open-ended systems with more informal rules.

    Mechanic Encoding can be used together with Abstract Association to deal with controlled systems, where there is a hidden logic that has not yet been understood, and where they can use trial and error and evaluation processes to measure up and slowly deduct these rules. This is highly useful in scientific and abstract fields. Together with Concrete Association, mechanic encoding can be used to handle fields where the rules are clearly outlined and where you simply need to apply the rules and to ensure you get the correct results.

    As Mechanic functions are anti-correlated with organic functions, the mechanic type often has to switch back and forth between the two functions to understand and manage their daily life. In many situations, the right choice is subjective, for example deciding what kind of clothes to wear, or what kind of food to eat, and in interpersonal relations, it’s often important to understand what the other person wants before you make a decision. Mechanic Types with difficulties relying on Organic Encoding for various reasons, may find these more artistic tasks difficult, causing them to sometimes step on others toes.

    Concrete Association

    Important concepts: Conditioning, mirror-neuron networks. Needs more research.

    The Concrete Type is involved with instinctual and conditioned processing of sensory information. This means that they are involved with judging what information is good, and what is bad, using basic emotional processing, fear, joy, and other emotions to express energy, avoiding dangerous situations and seeking out positive or stimulating environments. Concrete functions are also highly involved in situations where we rehearse and learn automatic behavior, behavior such as locking the door when you leave the house, or information such as the years and dates for a test. Concrete functions are more successfull in situations where there are recurring patterns where it helps simply behaving instinctually rather than thinking about or processing the information too much. A typhical conditioned response can be for example to see someone smile, and to start smiling back to them, because you've learnt seeing someone happy means you can feel happy aswell.

    Concrete Association when paired with Mechanic Encoding is good for situations where you study for tests, where you’re setting schedules, making and working through items on a list. When paired with Organic Encoding, it can be used to help and protect your family or to manage interpersonal relations, in particular, relationships where people have demands on you to be good, loving, or some other undefined and subjective expectation on your role and relationship to them.

    Concrete Association can’t be used together with Abstract Association simoultaneously, causing us to have to switch back and forth between the two functions to function properly. A concrete type can show tendencies to struggle with separating or understanding what is fantasy or sarcasm, as well as tendencies to struggle with changing their routines or experimenting with a tradition, as they need to use abstract association to understand and look at information that is generalized, summarized or incomplete in some way.