Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

‘Neurological Levels’

Glossary B

Nos   A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Back Region: any area if social context in which, according to Erving Goffman (1969), a person is able to relax from the role playing and ‘peformance’ required by the front region, to create or preserve a particular impression. Goffman’s concept of different roles in different regions fits with Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels model (1991), in which Identity and the Values & Beliefs which flow from Identity need to be matched to the Environment for someone to cope in a sustainable manner. Backcasting: sometimes seen as the opposite to forecasting, this involves identification of a particular future scenario and tracing its origins and lines of development back to the present. Balance Theory: based on Fritz Heider’s (1946) assertion that people like to be consistent in their attitudes – ie: in a state of balance – this is the idea that people will experience cognitive dissonance if their attitudes, likings, dislikings, etc, are out of balance and so will attempt to resolve the conflict and get back in balance. For example, if people in relationships find… Read More

Glossary A

Nos   A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P-Q    R    S     T     U    V    W    X-Y-Z Abnormal Behaviour: is behaviour that differs from the norm. Conventionally in Psychology and Psychiatry, abnormal behaviour is defined by one or more of 4 ways:- Statistical Deviation – measured in standard deviations from the mean (average) in a set of scores of behavioural and/or linguistic responses in a population sample, this is a means of describing difference statistically Deviation from Social Norms – though cultural relativism means social norms will vary from culture to culture and in sub-cultures Failure to Function Adequately– in broad terms, not coping with life eg: not being able to hold down a job, sustain a relationship, etc This quite simple definition has been greatly expanded by David Rosenhan & Martin E P Seligman (1989) – though their enhancement of the definition has been quite heavily criticised Deviation from Ideal Mental Health – ‘ideal mental health’ being represented by the tendency to Self-Actualisation (the actualising tendency) found in the writings of Abraham Maslow (1943; 1956) and Carl Rogers (1961) and paralleled in Don Beck’s (2002a) concept of the prime directive… Read More


“You can’t know what you don’t know” – Chris Cowan, 1998 Updated: 21 November 2021 Welcome to my Blog & Pages where you can learn about me, the work I do, my approach to developing what I call Integrated SocioPsychology and my sociopsychologically-informed views on life – from major events in the world to personal ruminations on my own thinking and attitudes. Go to Key Updates to find out what the latest changes and additions to the site are. Based primarily on the Gravesian approach, Hans J Eysenck’s Dimensions of Temperament, Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels construct and the science of Memetics, Integrated SocioPsychology presents a structure to align and integrate the behavioural sciences. Consequently the concept 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. This web 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’. You can learn more about me, the work I have done and  the work I still do in About Me…… Read More

SD for NLPers

by Natasha Todorovic June 2003 This basic introduction to Spiral Dynamics (SD) for Practitioners of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was written by Natasha Todorovic for ‘Voice Of NLP’ and is re-published here with the permission of both Natasha and that short-lived e-zine’s editor, Steve Bannister. Natasha, an NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer, is the personal and business partner of Spiral Dynamics co-developer Chris Cowan. She can be contacted via e-mail or the NVC Consulting web site. The flirtation is over. The first date has come and gone. We are now in the throes of building a relationship knowing it’s going somewhere with boundaries not yet defined. The quality of the partnership developing between NLP and SD will be determined by the enthusiasm of the parties involved – that’s you! What is SD? Spiral Dynamics is a powerful model of human nature which is capturing the imagination of NLP practitioners, organisational development consultants, coaches and trainers all over the world. It is the title of a foundational book, a number of websites, and a certification programme. For some, it represents an excellent toolbox, with instructions on how, when and where to use NLP tools and techniques. For others, it is a spiritual movement and… Read More

Companies by Neurological Levels

by Max Herold 28 September 2002 This is a slightly cut-down version of a key article by Max Herold, a Dutch management consultant & trainer and advisor to the Department of Social Affairs & Employment at The Hague. The original was written as ‘The Six Levels of Change’ in February 1998; Max has kindly consented for it to be republished in edited form here. When asked if, retrospectively, he would change any of it, Max replied: “No, not directly, the formula works. What I do nowadays is combining Logical Levels thinking with Spiral Dynamics. That gives much more power to it.” Max can be contacted via e-mail or via his Management Issues web site Please note that, for the purpose of this article about the application of Neurological Levels to company development, Max – with Robert Dilts’ approval – splits Dilts’ Level of Identity into Mission and Identity “to fit business language”. Edmund Burke, an English politician who lived some 200 years ago on the eve of the Industrial Revolution, once said: a country that does not have the means to change, also lacks the means to insure its continued existence. One would say that’s very true. True not only for countries,… Read More

Dilts’ Brain Science

Updated: 5 February 2014 The Neurological Levels model developed by Robert Dilts (1990) is a key concept in NLP and forms the basis for understanding at the Nominal Level in Integrated SocioPsychology. The ‘walking the levels’ therapeutic exercise Dilts derived from the model is regarded as highly effective by a great many NLP Practitioners. However, Neurological Levels as a construct has received a rough ride from a number of critics on both scientific and methodological grounds. Some of these criticisms are outlined in Peter McNab’s Aligning Neurological Levels – A Reassessment (1999) article. One aspect of the Neurological Levels concept which is often criticised is Dilts’ attribution of brain anatomy and activity. It certainly is doubtful whether statements from Robert Dilts & Judith DeLozier’s online Encyclopedia of NLP (p 866-867, 2000) such as:- ◦“The level of neurology that is mobilised when a person is challenged at the level of mission and identity, for instance, is much deeper than the level of neurology that is required to move his or her hand.” ◦‘Forming and manifesting beliefs and value about our capabilities, behaviours and the environment requires an even deeper commitment of neurology…” ◦“Neurologically beliefs are associated with the limbic system and the… Read More

Conformity & Obedience

Relaunched: 21 September 2020 Conformity and obedience are 2 principal and related topics of study in the psychological area of Social Influence. The difference between the 2 concepts can be summed up as:- obedience is a response to authority but conformity is a response to group norms those subject to authority obey those in authority but conformity usually is to peer groups obedience results from the exercise of power by those with the ability to enforce their commands but conformity is associated with need for acceptance and knowing what to do the behaviour of those obeying may be very different to the behaviour of those in authority but conformity behaviour is similar to that of peers the demands for obedience are usually explicit whereas going with the group ‘flow’ is often implicit Conformity Morton Deutsch & Harold Gerard (1955) described 2 types of conformity:- Informational Influence is when someone  conforms to a group norm because they believe this is the right thing to do in the circumstances. Deutsch & Gerrard (p629) say it is “an influence to accept information obtained from another as evidence about reality.” According to Herbert Kelman (1958), the desire to be correct produces the process of internalisation. He… Read More

Aligning Neurological Levels – a Reassessment

Some Thoughts on Moving Towards an Integral NLP by Peter McNab 1999 The founder and leading light of excellence for all Ltd and one of the world’s foremost trainers in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Peter McNab has been looking at how models, theories and techniques can be integrated for a number of years. He has increasingly proposed and promoted the concept of ‘Integral NLP’. This article on Neurological Levels was written originally for the Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ANLP) magazine, Rapport (issue no 43), in 1999. A year before Don Beck & Ken Wilber revealed 4Q/8L to the world, Peter was using Wilber’s 4 Quadrants very potently to provide greater insight into Robert Dilts’ model. The article is republished here with Peter’s full involvement. E-mail Peter or visit to learn more about his work. I cannot remember the last issue of Rapport that did not contain an article or 2 mentioning Robert Dilts’ ‘Neurological Levels or ‘Logical Levels’. The concept has been taken up within the NLP world with such zeal that it sometimes feels like heresy to challenge it. But that is what I would like to do in this short article. I can still remember the first time that I… Read More

Miscellaneous FAQs

Click the question to go to its answer… 1. It’s said you have severe reservations about NLP. Please explain. 2. Were you expelled from the British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists? 1. It’s said you have severe reservations about NLP. Please explain. Updated: 17/05/15 Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) contains some very powerful therapeutic techniques indeed. And I use a number of these as first choice in tackling a therapy client’s problems. However, I do have severe reservations about NLP being presented, taught and used as if it is a complete and cohesive set of theories, models and techniques. Firstly, it is theoretically weak. There is no unified or even connectionist set of theoretical underpinnings. In terms of theory, it is a ragbag of disjointed models which are not properly integrated. Put the vMEMES of the Gravesian approach at the core of NLP and most of it starts to make sense. Even then it ignores many facets of the human psyche covered in other schools of Psychology. This, unfortunately, does not stop many NLPers – including ‘guru’ figures who should know better – from claiming that NLP can be used to tackle any and every form of psychological problem. It can’t! For one… Read More


Updated: 10 February 2016 Meta-programmes, a key concept in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), are observable distinctions in mental processing, as reflected in language and behaviour. They act as filters for how and what we let into our heads  – memes from the external world influencing the schemas of our internal representations – and they shape what comes out from us in terms of language and concepts – our schemas becoming memes to influence others. Meta-programmes are usually depicted as poles at the opposite ends of a scalable continuum. The concept of meta-programmes was conceived in the late 1970s by Leslie Cameron Bandler (then wife of NLP co-developer Richard Bandler), building on Noam Chomsky’s groundbreaking work around linguistic patterns reflecting mental filters. David Gordon, Robert Dilts and Maribeth Meyers-Anderson were among Cameron-Bandler’s leading collaborators in identifying the first sets of meta-programmes. As NLP has grown in scope and complexity, so more and more meta-programmes have been charted to identify more and more distinctions. Leading ‘guru’ Wyatt Woodsmall has reputedly talked about having identified over 350 meta-programmes! In 1997 L Michael Hall & Bob Bodenhamer grouped 51 principle meta-programmes into 5 overarching categories: mental, emotional, volitional, response and meta meta-programmes.They also linked meta-programmes to the concept… Read More