About This Site…
Relaunched: 1 December 2015
I coined the term ‘Integrated SocioPsychology’ in 2004 for a comprehensive and cohesive approach I intuited could align and integrate all the different (and all too-often bickering!) disciplines in the behavioural sciences.
To make cohesive sense of all the theories, models and interventions in the behavioural sciences and the complimentary ‘hard sciences’ (Biology, Neuroscience), I am using the concepts of the Gravesian approach (vMEMES) – and Clare W Graves’ research on which it is based – to underpin the new science of Memetics and Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels structure and develop the approach I think of as Integrated SocioPsychology. The Dimensions of Temperament construct of Hans J Eysenck serves well to describe individual temperamental dispositions while the framework of 4Q/8L enables multi-context ‘big picture’ views. The concept of Integrated SocioPsychology postulates the complementarity of much in the academic disciplines of Psychology and Sociology and what are often considered alternative fields such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
The overarching paradigm of Integrated SocioPsychology is that, by ‘re-imagining’ the behavioural sciences with the Gravesian approach and certain other key models at their core, all the differing schools, concepts and models in the behavioural sciences can be aligned and integrated along ‘the spine of the Spiral’.
More on the cutting-edge theories and concepts which feed into Integrated SocioPsychology can be found in the Theory, Articles, MeshWORKS, FAQs and Glossary pages. Practical applications can be found (alongside theory) in the Lifespan, Society & Community, Global and Mental Health pages. My Blog often contains shortish pieces relevant to these kinds of issues. The Blog is very important to me as it allows quick, intuitive responses to whatever strikes me. The Blog is interactive and visitors are invited to make comments and constructive criticisms in response to my posts. Many of the theory and application pages are also open for visitors to make comments. It is often through constructive sharing, challenging and debate that we learn. As Gregory Bateson (1972) said: “Knowledge comes from but a single perspective. Wisdom comes from multiple perspectives.”
The site carries a real flavour and much information as to how Integrated SocioPsychology is being developed (by myself and others). However, greater detail and elaboration can be found in my book, ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You: an Integrated SocioPsychology Guide to Personal Fulfilment & Better Relationships’.
This site as a resource base
This web site can be used as a resource base for people interested in the behavioural sciences – professionals, researchers, students, politicians, journalists, people motivated by ‘hot potato’ single issues…basically, anyone interested in understanding what makes people think and behave as they do. The site is of particular interest for those interested in how it all fits together…how it all can be integrated.
And also, of course, how the various theories, models and therapeutic techniques can be applied practically to help change people’s lives for the better.
If you are using this site to develop your knowledge of the Gravesian approach, 4Q/8L, the models of NLP or any other aspects of what Integrated SocioPsychology is becoming, then you will find much to interest and (hopefully!) challenge you. Please look through the toolbar menus or use the Search box to find what you are looking for. There is also much that will support students of conventional/academic Psychology and Sociology.
The process of developing Integrated SocioPsychology is, inevitably, slow. There is simply so much to record and interpret and map – and pertinent new research is being published almost continuously. I realised some time back that the challenge of creating a completely comprehensive Integrated SocioPsychology, covering all aspects of the behavioural sciences, was beyond me in this lifetime.
Accordingly, the material in the topic areas of this site – much of it having its origins in teaching to academic specifications – covers only those subjects which:-
- Fit easily with the overall theme of aligning and integrating the behavioural sciences around a core of the Gravesian approach and similar or linked models
- Pique my interest sufficiently for me to scour both the breadth and depth of research into the topic area and keep up with new research into it
Thus, for example, with regard to how and why we conform and obey, the work of social psychologists such as Solomon Asch and Stanely Milgram is referenced on many occasions because which vMEMES are dominating our selfplex clearly impact significantly on how likely we are to conform and obey. However, relatively little is said about James Gibson, brilliant as his work is, because his theory of perceptual development appears to be only marginally impacted by values.
For academic students…a fundamental difference…
If you are using this site to find information/resources for studying academic qualifications, then you can rest assured that the material on this site will stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny. A substantial portion of the material had its origins in providing materials for A-Level and undergraduate students to support certain of their studies. The intention is to maintain those standards of academic integrity throughout the site. The Bibliography provides a near-complete list of original sources referenced in the text on this site.
However, you will find that several of the Integrated SocioPsychology ‘real world’ applications of Psychology and Sociology espoused on this site are non-specification!
Students need to be aware of a fundamental difference between pages on this site and what is generally found in ‘academia’. Integrated SocioPsychology works to align the different approaches in the behavioural sciences. However, the tendency in academia – reflected in most exam specifications – is to be adversarial, rather than integrative. (You should note that definitions in the Glossary are more integrative than adversarial and reflect the broader theme of this site – ie: to integrate and align the behavioural sciences.)
Overall the academic approach may not be much help in sorting out ‘real world’ problems; but, to some degree, it is valid from a scientific point of view. Part of the scientist’s role is to test ideas and challenge ‘givens’, develop new theories and modify or even refute existing ones. Accordingly, I do not shy away from including criticisms of a theory or evidence that may indicate it has certain limitations.
Unfortunately, the history of the behavioural sciences is littered with professional challenges that developed into rather unprofessional disputes and conflicts. However, without the willingness to challenge existing ideas, the development of knowledge tends to be rather slow!
Also, there is the issue that sometimes what is taught in academia is influenced by what is ‘in vogue’. As Paul Feyeraband (1975) points out, what is accepted in academia is sometimes influenced by ‘who shouts loudest’ rather than the quality of the work. One of the most potent examples of the divide between academia and the ‘real world’ is the way Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is ignored in many Psychology specifications – yet it is arguably the most widely-used psychological model outside of academia, in a range of applications from social care to marketing to business studies.
Students are strongly recommended to be familiar enough with your chosen exam specification to work out what you can use from this site in your studies and what is beyond the specification. If in doubt, ask your teacher. If your teacher is in doubt, they are invited to get in touch with me via the Contact page. Students viewing these pages who do find any discrepancies between the materials and what has been taught in their classes – you are advised strongly to consult your teacher. Teachers who find any error in the resources – please advise me of the error so I can correct it as appropriate. Students interested in developing their understanding of the behavioural sciences beyond the exam specifications will find a wealth of information to deepen your understanding of Psychology and Sociology and how they can be applied practically to make a positive difference in the lives of ‘real people’. Consequently, you may find your exam board specification limiting and frustrating.
When reading about references to situations and/or research, visitors (academic or otherwise) should please bear in mind that there is an inevitable cultural bias throughout this site. Situations discussed either are located in the UK geographically or apply to the UK socially/culturally – though the issues discussed may equally apply elsewhere geographically. Situations and topics which have little or no relevance to the UK or have global significance primarily are housed in the Global section. Psychological/sociological research discussed will almost always have been carried out in the UK or the USA unless indicated otherwise.
Although one of the intentions of this site is to provide materials which meet academic standards, another intention is to make them user-friendly to the non-academic. Thus, it is hoped the language and presentation used are as user-friendly and accessible as intended. I welcome all constructive suggestions as to how to improve the materials.
In a site this size covering so many domains in the behavioural sciences, keeping every page up to date with the very latest research is a mighty challenge and inevitably some pages may become out of date from time to time. All pages were accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of last updating. However, no warranty is given with regard to the accuracy of any of the material on this site.
All pages, articles and graphics are created/written by myself, unless credited otherwise, and are subject to the usual copyright restrictions. Single pages or sections of materials may be ‘borrowed’ on a one-off basis for non-profit making purposes such as presentations or teaching, in accordance with ‘fair use’ (USA)/’fair dealing’ (UK) concepts. However, the source (myself, this site) should be fully credited. I do not have the right to give permission for use of materials on this site not under my own copyright. If you wish to use such materials for presentations, etc, you are strongly advised to get in touch with the copyright holders. (Copyright holders are acknowledged on this site wherever known.)
The Blog, comments and ‘guest contributions’
This Blog contains sociopsychological commentaries on things that matter but don’t fit too easily elsewhere on the site, either because they’re too topical or too oddball. Postings range from the geopolitical to the local council’s failings, from big picture educational politicking to ‘ah-ha moments’ from intense and otherwise very private & confidential therapy sessions, etc, etc…sometimes even my own day-to-day experiences!
Some entries are taken down once their immediate relevance has faded; others, though, their immediate topicality has gone, are preserved because they contain valuable learning. (So it’s always worth checking out the older posts!)
Links are embedded in the text of the posts to pages explaining key sociopsychological concepts such as vMEMES and Dimensions of Temperament. Some of the application pages also link to Blog posts for examples of what is being discussed.
Comments in response – provided they are not offensive or libellous –are always welcome to posts and those theory/application pages open for comments. When reading comments, please note that the latest comments are at the top and the oldest at the bottom. Also, please note that , when entering a comment, you will need to complete a very simple, very quick verification (‘captcha’) test – this is to show you’re human and not a spamming robot! You are also required to enter an email address but this is not displayed.
I’m always on the look-out for new ‘guest’ contributors both to the Blog and to the applications pages. So, if you’ve got something to say that will fit with the general concepts of Integrated SocioPsychology, then please do get in touch via the Contact page.