Psychological Types: Translation vs. Oscillation
Pavel B. Ivanov
4 Jan 2000
As I could observe, there may be relatively stable psychological
types distinguished by their motivation dynamics.
Thus, some people can never be sure in their own moods and desires,
changing their mind every now and then, often a second before an
action that has already been firmly decided upon is to be committed.
Then they try to return what has been lost, and return to that
action—and this may demand hard efforts, to restore the other
people's intention to do that... Such oscillations may repeat
many times. Some oscillator personalities feel it as a
personal problem, painful discomfort and fatal pre-determination.
Some other oscillator persons feel quite at ease, while changing
their mind many times within an hour, or a day, with no trace of
discomfort; usually they learn with surprise that the others
may suffer from such a behavioral instability.
Another type of people are like heavy bodies in free motion:
they choose a straight line and are hard to divert from it, or
stop. Such people try to do what has been decided, despite the
possibly changing circumstances, and the wills of other people.
Some powerful external force is usually needed to turn such a person
in another direction, to replace one mode of activity with another.
For those who are still able to modify their activity themselves,
every change in an earlier accepted plan is a painful process
requiring much effort and causing severe stress.
If persons of these two types have to do something together,
conflicts are bound to arise. If a translation type person
tries to adapt to the interminable oscillations of the
companion, he/she will soon become mentally exhausted by
continuing effort needed to often change the state of motion.
This like the motion of a quick pendulum, which needs minimum
energy supply to oscillate for ever—and a fat man
trying to run after the shadow of the pendulum on the floor.
If an oscillator type person tries to live straight, to
please a translatory companion, he/she will soon feel
like being trapped and suppressed, forced to do what is
obviously wrong (and everything is wrong for an oscillatory
person); under certain conditions, this may develop into
a heavy mental disease.
Luckily, real people rarely represent a pure psychological
type, and one can only speak about dominating traits.
However, the difference of psychological types still
remains a source of conflicts, which may be damped or
amplified by the incoming circumstances—and manipulated
by dishonest people.
Translation type personalities are often characterized with
a strong mental inertia, which is an indicator of the
complexity of the inner motion. Such persons are independent
and self-contained, they may become famous if they happen to
express the interests of some social groups, but they will
never catch a favorable chance. Yet another category of
translatory personalities is represented by dull persons,
who are not sensitive enough to adequately reflect the
social processes in their inner activity, so that their
inner world is almost plain; even with low inertia
(mental mass), they are not diverted from their motion
by external influences simply because these influences
get heavily attenuated. If these two qualities develop
in the same person, a socially dangerous personality is
An oscillatory personality appears when either its mental
mass is too small to resist to slightest external influences,
or its inner world has a too complicated relief, with numerous
peaks and cavities preventing any mass from moving straight.
The latter case may either reflect the abnormality of the
social environment of the person, or be an indication of
a mental disorder, inadequacy of world perception.
An oscillatory behavior is different from neurosis, when
there is an inner singularity, so that inner motion becomes
trapped by that singularity, ever turning around it;
in an oscillatory person such pseudo-neurotic behavior may
develop from time to time, but the focus of oscillation
is likely to shift with time to a different motive.
The more massive is the personality (that is, the inner motion
is highly hierarchical), the more the person is likely
to experience communication problems and stresses in contacts
with the people of a different psychological type.