Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

Clare W Graves’

How the Brain develops the Mind

with minor editing by Chris Cowan Developed by Don Beck & Chris Cowan (1996) from the ground-breaking work of Clare W Graves (1970) and integrating Richard Dawkins’ (1976) concept of ‘memes’, Spiral Dynamics expands exponentially Abraham Maslow’s (1943) human motivation model, Hierarchy of Needs. It is the most advanced of the ‘Levels of Existence’ theories – yet, at the same time, its ‘map’ of human motivation is very easy to use. The biggest field trial of Spiral Dynamics to date was in South Africa in the early-mid 1990s when Don Beck used it to help Nelson Mandela and F W DeKlerk design the transition from Apartheid to multi-cultural democracy. However, it has also influenced the Community Policing Policy of Victoria, New South Wales, been championed as a means of investigating new strands of racism on the Atlantic Seaboard and more recently has been taken up by Dutch Traffic Planners(!). The work of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) psychologist Robert Dilts (1990) on Neurological Levels provides a useful frame for understanding Spiral Dynamics. Dilts identifies that the mind orders its perceptions of the world at 5 levels…. Identity – Who I am? – eg: son/daughter, student, responsible citizen, burglar, drug-dealer, thief, gang member… Values… Read More

What They’ve said…

…about This Book Comments from world-renowned authorities. Newest comments at the top; oldest at the bottom. “Keith Rice ‘meta-states’ on human nature with a constantly reaffirmed attractor, ‘to help’, a braided, integrative methodology giving prominence to the work of Clare W Graves, and the implicit organizing principle, that an objectification of the ‘self-plex’ is possible, desirable, and refinable, to the benefit of ourselves and all other life forms. With these conditioning influences he artfully spins a narrative that is seductive, charming, convincing, instructive, empowering, and to the extent one adapts self to the narrative, is psychoactive in the most furthering way. Only a pair of long sentences can do his exquisitely designed lens the honor it deserves. Concretely Dr Rice has laid out one nicely designed map of a self, what it is, how it works, grows, changes, engages other self-plexes, and how ‘it’ can be engaged and influenced to serve who it is that wishes to influence it. For all those readers who are on this same project, i.e. who to become, how to foster the unfolding of self, how to guide one’s being, this is a very practical repair, upgrade and operator’s manual to be learned and treasured.” – Tom… Read More


The Beginnings of ‘Integrated SocioPsychology’ 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Facilitated a session in Grimsby on Learning & Change for Common Purpose South Humber as part of their ‘Profile’ programme. Commentary: The contact with Common Purpose South Humber was made via former Common Purpose in Hull director David Burnby who had been inspired through training with me in July 2001 to go freelance. David was much impressed with my training style and the Gravesian approach. In 2002 he had co-promoted the third delivery of An Introduction to Spiral Dynamics & Related Models of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and also sold an in-house version of the programme into Hull’s Preston Road New Deal for Communities project. January-April: Delivered Understanding MeshWORKS for North Lincolnshire Council Community Investment Team members who had not been on the first tranche of training in late 2002. Commentary: Jenny Gavin-Allen saw the need for as many members of her team as possible to be exposed to the Gravesian approach, related models of NLP and Adizes LifeCycle if they… Read More


The Making of a ‘Change Engineer’… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network February: Persuaded Business Link Wakefield & District and Wakefield College that the Management Development Forum agenda and resources should be incorporated within the Business Growth Forum. Commentary: The details of  ISO 9000 and Investors in People demonstrated clearly how much overlap there was in the aims of the 2 groups. Since there was a considerable commonality of membership, combined with frustration at the agencies’ duplication of effort and resources, it made sense – to me and to the member businesses – that the 2 groups be merged. This was the beginning of a new alliance at operational level between the 2 agencies and a key factor in the development of the BGF. March: The Business Growth Forum profile raised considerably by hosting joint workshop on Kaizen with RHP Bearings (Knottingley, West Yorks). Commentary: RHP were one of the larger engineering firms in the District and one of the most advanced in terms of Total Quality Management. Kaizen concepts were… Read More

Modernisation Theory vs Stratified Democracy #3

PART 3 World Systems Theory If Dependency Theory is an incomplete critique of Modernisation Theory, Wallerstein provides a more complete model with World Systems Theory which was developed specifically as a response to criticisms of Dependency Theory and an extension of Frank’s ideas. It is based on 4 underlying principles :- Individual countries or nation-states are not an adequate unit of sociological analysis. Wallerstein held that the focus must be on the overall social system that transcends national boundaries – as it has done for centuries – and not on the concept of nation-state exploiting nation-state, as per Frank. Capitalism has created the world order or ‘modern world system’ (MWS) because capital has always ignored national borders in its search for profit. Dominated by the logic of profit and the market, the MWS forms one unified system. Wallerstein builds upon Dependency Theory by proposing that the MWS is characterised by an economic division of labour made up of a structured set of relations between 3 types of Capitalist zone:- (i) the ‘core’ – the developed countries which control world trade and monopolise the production of manufactured goods (ii) the ‘semi-periphery’ – countries like Brazil and South Africa which have urban centres… Read More

Biological Factors in Crime #2

PART 2 Hormones In 1980 Dan Olweus et al (1980) measured blood testosterone level in institutionalised delinquent and non-delinquent 16-year-old boys and assessed aggression using a questionnaire. High levels of self-reported physical and verbal aggression were associated with higher levels of testosterone – though the results were not statistically significant. It was also noted that those with higher levels of testosterone were likely to respond more vigorously in response to challenges from teachers and peers. John Archer (1991), in a meta-analysis of 5 studies covering 230 males, found a low positive correlation between testosterone and aggression. However, the type of participant and the form and measurement of aggression differed substantially between the studies. Angela Book, Katherine Starzyk & Vernon Quensy (2001), in a meta-analysis of 45 studies, found a mean correlation of 0.14 between testosterone and aggression – though John Archer, Nicola Graham-Kevan & Michelle Davies (2005) challenged Book, Starzyk & Quinsey’s findings on the grounds of methodological problems with the study which meant that a correlation of 0.08 was more appropriate.  James Dabbs et al (1987) measured salivary testosterone in 89 violent and non-violent criminals and found those with a history of primarily violent crime had the highest levels of… Read More

A Downward Spiral…

Relaunched: 28 October 2016 Navigation note: please click on the graphics to enlarge them in their own windows. I created the above schematic way back in February 2001 to provide a MeshWORK analysis/Gravesian interpretation (meta-state) of the causes of bad behaviour in so many of Britain’s school classrooms. It is based upon my own experiences as a part-time teacher and discussions around that time  with a range of teachers, including Kevin Beaton at (Kingswood High, Hull), Sheila Kaye (Whitgift, Grimsby), Angela Ogilvie (St Mary’s College, Hull), Steve Graham (Cleve Primary, Hull), Chris Massender (Westcliffe Primary, Scunthorpe), Cathy Byrne (Danepark Primary, Hull) and Jennie Beasty and Lynne Clarke (Shaw Park Primary, Hull). The schematic is, as these teachers pointed out, a generalisation and should not divert attention away from the many positive things going on in many schools. Nonetheless, the schematic does identify the roots of so many of the problems and how so many situations are compounded by the best of intentions. A Downward Spiral… was developed as part of a  in February 2001 and was used by Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck as part of his keynote address to the World Education Fellowship in Sun City, South Africa, that April. It has… Read More

Psychosocial Development #2

PART 2 In his later stages, Erikson moves away from and beyond Sigmund Freud’s 5 stages. STAGE 5: PEER RELATIONSHIPS/ADOLESCENCE It was adolescence that interested Erikson first and most; and the patterns he saw here were the starting points for his thinking about all the other stages. At this stage, adolescents are in search of an identity that will lead them to adulthood. Adolescents make a strong effort to answer the question “Who am I?” Erikson notes the healthy resolution of earlier conflicts can now serve as a foundation for the search for an identity. If the child overcomes earlier conflicts, they are prepared to search for identity. Did they develop the basic sense of trust? Do they have a strong sense of industry to believe in themselves? Without these things, the adolescent is likely to experience confusion about their social role(s), meaning an uncertainty about your place in society and the world. When an adolescent is confronted by role confusion, Erikson says that is likely to produce an identity crisis. Erikson strongly supported the notion that society should provide clear rites of passage – certain accomplishments and rituals that help to distinguish the adult from the child. In one way… Read More

The Trouble with Tribalism…

7 July 2016 …is that most Western politicians don’t get it. It’s seen as something relevant to Pre-Modern ‘primitive’ communities but not to Modern societies. And, when Western-style one person/one (secret) vote Democracy is offered to tribal communities as part of the Modernisation process, so many Western leaders seem genuinely perplexed at the relative lack of enthusiasm for it. The Americans in particular seemed baffled that attempts to embed Democracy in the wake of their invasions of the Noughties produced the markedly-corrupt government of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and the corrupt and overtly-sectarian government of Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq. A Do-It-Yourself attempt to introduce Democracy in Egypt produced a government (of the Islamic Brotherhood) so unacceptable to the urban middle classes and the army that a ‘sort-of coup’ was instigated, followed by rigged elections, to return the country to neo-military rule as before. Highly-controversial and bitterly-contested ‘democratic’ elections following Libya’s revolutionary civil war resulted in 2 – and arguably 3? – would-be governments claiming the right to rule with their various militia, often organised on sectarian or tribal lines, slugging it out in a patchy, second civil war. Anyone versed in the Gravesian approach could have told the Western planners and the internet-inspired urban ‘democrats’ of Egypt that their campaigns to introduce Western-style Democracy would hit trouble. (See:… Read More

The 7th Code

by Don Beck October 2006 Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck is occasionally prone to post what effectively amount to teach-ins or mini-lectures on the Spiral Dynamics e-lists. This is an extract from one such posting in 2000. You can e-mail Don or visit the Spiral Dynamics Integral website to find out more about his work. Clearly, the contours of YELLOW (G-T/Systemic/Authentic) have not been etched in tin much less set in concrete. But, with all due respect to other developmental models, this highlights the uniqueness of the Gravesian/SDi perspective in that it does address, with great specificity, how each new vMEMETIC code actually appears; what are the life conditions that spark and drive it; and how life problems ‘G’ will awaken the capacities (T) to deal with new realities, new challenges and new threats as well. What provides the totem pole for development is, in our view, the accumulation of the vMEMETIC codes or schemes (with the multiple expressions of content or themes) that form societal stacks that maintain all of the awakened codes and set the stage for new ones in the future. This is what we call The Double Helix; namely the interaction between life conditions experienced and the… Read More