Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

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Glossary C


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CAPI: As part of his Organisation LifeCycle concept, Ichak Adizes (1987) developed the concept of Coalescing the Authority to make decisions and the Power to implement decisions by those who know how to Influence/Integrate.
Don Beck (2000a) has promoted CAPI of the stakeholders as a vital step in structuring any form of MeshWORK.

Capitalism: a form of economic organisation in which the means of production are privately owned and controlled. Making profit from the use of capital is the prime objective. In theory those employed by the Capitalists benefit from the wages they are paid for their labour – though, as labour is often a principal – if not the principal cost – to maximise profit, the Capitalists have to keep wages as low as possible. They also have to sell what is made by the workers for the highest price the market will bear.
Supporters of Capitalism tend to claim that the profit motive has lead to many countries – Western countries especially  – enjoying affluent lifestyles. Critics attack its reduction of all relationships to monetary value and its alienation of those who are exploited.

Caregiver Sensitivity Hypothesis: the explanation put forward by Mary Ainsworth, Sylvia Bell & Donelda Stayton (1974) that an infant forms a primary attachment with the person who is most sensitive and responsive to its social releasers.

Case Study: a detailed study of the experiences of an individual, small group, institution, even or a series of events occurring within a given framework (eg: the account of a life-cycle).
While a case study can provide rich detail and insights, the very singular nature of a case study makes it difficult to generalise findings from it. However, case studies can give direction to further large scale research. For example, the tragic case of Henry Molaison (initially ‘HM’ in the literature, as first reported by  William Scoville & Brenda Milner in 1957) stimulated much research into the relationship between memory and the functions of the hippocampus.

Castes: are corporate social units which are ranked and generally defined by descent, marriage and occupation.
Undeveloped forms of caste exist in many parts of the world but caste organisation and ideology are elaborated to such an extent in Hindu societies

CAT Scan: see Brain Scan.

Castration Anxiety: part of Sigmund Freud’s (1931) Oedipus Complex, boys aged 3-7 are said to be terrified their father will castrate them if he learns of their sexual desire for their mother.

Catharsis: the process of releasing pent-up psychic energy.
This is an important element in Psychoanalysis therapy where treatment involves making unconscious thoughts conscious This releases the associated emotions, thus enabling the pent-up psychic energy to be released and thus providing relief.

Caudate Nucleus: part of the basil ganglia, it is involved in inhibitory aspects of the voluntary control of movement.

Causal Layered Analysis: this is one of several ‘Futures Techniques’ used to enquire into the causes of social phenomena and to generate a set of forecasts for the phenomena. It consists of 4 levels of analysis:-

  1. the Litany – the official unquestioned view of reality
  2. social causes
  3. worldview/discourse – unconsciously-held ideological, worldview and discursive assumptions
  4. myth/metaphor – the unconscious emotive dimensions of the issue

Causal Schemata: Harold Kelley’s (1972) proposition that we determine the causes of behaviour on the basis of a general set of ideas (schemata or schemas) when there is little or no prior information about an individual’s or group’s behaviour. The concept is an extension of Covariation Theory.
○ Multiple necessary causes  – the idea that a group of behaviours are jointly necessary for a particular cause to be attributed. Eg: the character of lateness is attributed to someone who is late regularly.
○ Multiple sufficient causes – the idea that any one of several behaviours is sufficient to trigger an attribution. This applies when you only a single instance of behaviour has occurred.

Cause-and-effect: the claim made in an experimental setting that change in the independent variable caused change in the dependent variable.

CBT: see Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

Centre of Gravity: in Integrated SocioPsychology the term ‘centre of gravity’ describes the type of thinking and behaviour produced when a vMEME ‘locks’ into one of the 4 temperamental types derived from the intersection of Hans J Eysenck’s (1947) Neuroticism and Extraversion Dimensions of Temperament – ie:-

  • PURPLE dominating the thinking of a Phlegmatic temperament
  • RED dominating the thinking of a Choleric temperament
  • BLUE dominating the thinking of a Melancholic temperament
  • ORANGE influencing the thinking of a Sanguine temperament – the relationship, when it occurs, between ORANGE and Sanguine, appears to be much weaker than the others

By mapping the temperamental and motivational factors in William Moulton Marston’s DISC types (1928), it is possible to see the relationships between vMEMES and Dimensions.
While there is as yet no known scientific research on the relationship between Eysenck’s (1976) third dimension of Psychoticism and vMEMES, anecdotal evidence supports the possibility of a RED-Psychoticism lock. It is also feasible a PURPLE-Impulse Control lock could happen,
From DISC, it would appear that the influence of temperament on motivation starts to decrease with the emergence of ORANGE. Clare W Graves’ (1978/2005) findings are that fear (associated with Neuroticism) and compulsion (associated with Psychoticism) have no motivational influence with the emergence of YELLOW. Graves’ findings with regard to loss of fear with the emergence of YELLOW support Abraham Maslow’s earlier assertion (1956) that when people self-actualise, they are not afraid.


Cerebral Cortex: the surface layer (approximately 6 mm) of the cerebrum. It is tightly folded – hence the ‘wrinkles’ (sulci) – and divides into 4 pairs of lobes as depicted in the graphic below.

Graphic copyright © 2008 Society for Neuroscience

The 4 lobes are:-

  • Frontal – includes the primary and secondary motor cortex involved in the planning and control of movements. The frontal lobes are also associated with the higher thought processes such as abstract reasoning and planning
  • Parietal – contain the primary somatosensory cortex receiving information from the skin and the muscles about temperature, pain, pressure, etc, via the thalamus
  • Temporal – primarily involved in auditory processing and also important for the processing of memory information
  • Occipital – mainly concerned with visual processing

The two halves of the cerebral cortex are joined by the fibres of the corpus callosum.

Cerebrospinal Fluid: lymph-like fluid filling the ventricles of the brain, the central canal of the spinal cord and other areas of the skull and spinal canal not taken up by solid tissue and blood vessels.
It is thought to play a role in tissue nutrition and possibly sleep.

Cerebrum: the term often used interchangeably with forebrain, this is the largest part of the brain and is divided into two halves (cerebral hemispheres) which are joined by fibres, including the corpus callosum. The cerebral cortex forms the outer layer of the cerebrum. Within the cerebrum are subcortical structures, including the limbic system and the basil ganglia.

Chaos Theory: considers apparently random behaviour within a deterministic system, such as the weather. The unpredictability of a chaotic system is not due to any lack of governing laws but to the outcome being sensitive to minute, unmeasurable variations in the initial conditions.
The oft-quoted example is of the butterfly flapping its wings can make the difference between a storm occurring or not occurring.

Choleric: see Dimensions of Temperament.

Chromosomes: the X-shaped bodies that carry all the genetic information for an organism.
In humans there are 46 pairs of chromosomes (one from the mother, one from the father). The sex chromosomes for females are described as XX while males are designated XY – because the Y male sex chromosome carries relatively little genetic information.

Chunking: first suggested by George  Miller (1956), in Cognitive Psychology this is combining individual letters or numbers into larger, meaningful units – as an aid to memory.
See also 7+/-2.
In NLP chunking is applied more generally, as in building bigger ideas from smaller ones – ‘chunking up’. (‘Chunking down’ is breaking bigger ideas down into their component parts.)

Cingulate Gyrus: see Limbic System.

Circle of Excellence: an NLP personal resourcing exercise developed by John Grinder & Judith DeLozier (1987) that enables people to draw upon past successes and anchor (via Classical Conditioning) their critical qualities that were responsible for that success. The conditioning effect gives people rapid access to those qualities for new challenges.

Circles of Concern/Influence: this Stephen Covey (1989) concept owes much to Attribution Theory. A person’s Circle of Influence contains all the things they can control to some extent; the Circle of Concern contains those things they can’t control. Attributional dispositionalists will tend to focus on their Circle of Influence while situationalists will tend to focus on their Circle of Concern.Covey’s argument is that, to become more successful in life, people should become more dispositional and seek to expand their Circle of Influence. However, Julian B Rotter’s (1966) contention that attributional tendencies are partly innate means changing attributional styles may not be as simple as Covey indicates.

Class: the hierarchical distinctions that exist between individuals or groups – eg: occupational groups – within a society.
To identify by ‘class’ is a form of social stratification. The term ‘class’ is also applied to any particular position within the social stratification hierarchy – eg: middle class, working class. See also: social class.

Class Consciousness: the awareness, amongst members of a social class, of common interests which are based on their own class situation and in opposition to the interests of other classes.
The term is particularly associated with Marxism where the concern is with the processes that foster the development of class consciousness in the Proletariat or the failure of such class consciousness to develop.

Class Struggle: Any political struggle between social classes based on an underlying conflict of interests between those classes.Sociological and political theories which use this concept operate within an adversarial view of classes – ie: typically they view conflicts between classes as inevitable.

Classical Conditioning: when simple innate responses are associated with new and previously unassociated stimuli. Most famously Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1902) got hungry dogs to associate various sounds – eg: bells and buzzers – with the arrival of food, to the point where the dogs would slaver just at the sound. Classical Conditioning has become hugely influential as a means of manipulation in certain areas of society, such as advertising. See also Behaviourism.

Client-Centred Therapy: aka Person-Centred Therapy, this type of Humanistic therapy was pioneered by Carl Rogers (1961). It focuses on the problem as the client sees it. The therapist or counsellor is usually fairly non-directive, preferring to act as a facilitator to what is important to the client and their perceptions of a problematic situation.
The aim is to increase the client’s self-esteem through unconditional positive regard from the counsellor or therapist.The underpinning assumption is that the client’s maladaptive behaviour or unhappiness results from having been given only conditional love in childhood; consequently the client works from an unhealthily-external locus of control  and is constantly striving to meet the conditions (real or imagined) of others to be accepted. This striving blocks the development to Self-Actualisation. The unconditional positive regard of the therapist or counsellor should lead to the client accepting themselves and thus able to develop Self-Actualisation.
From the Integrated SocioPsychology perspective, acceptance being conditional will damage the PURPLE vMEME, thus throwing off the development of the individual’s Spiral and undermining the Prime Directive or Actualising Tendency. However, the problems at PURPLE may have all kinds of effects on the way other vMEMES develop and schemas form. Thus, while healing PURPLE will need to be a key element of any therapeutic intervention, on its own Client-Centred Therapy is often not enough and may even be inappropriate – eg: when faced with unhealthy and aggressive RED.

Clinical Depression: the condition of Depression is associated with feelings of inadequacy, despondency, pessimism and sadness and is often accompanied by a decrease in activity and reactivity. Most people suffer very minor and short-lived bouts of ‘Depression’ from time to time. When the condition is so extreme and intense that it prevents ‘adequate functioning’ for a minimum period of 2 weeks and is accompanied by physical symptoms such as significant shifts in sleeping and dietary patterns, then the condition is considered a ‘clinical disorder’. The condition of Clinical Depression as described is also known as ‘Major Depression’ or ‘Unipolar Disorder’.

Clinical Psychology: the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behaviour.
Clinical psychologists are professionals who have trained specifically to work with people with abnormal behaviour and varying degrees of mental illness.

Co-Variable: see Variables.


Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy ( CBT):  a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to influence problematic and dysfunctional emotions, behaviours and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure.
CBT can be seen as an umbrella term for therapies that share a theoretical basis in Behaviourist learning theory and Cognitive Psychology and that use methods of change derived from both these approaches.

Cognitive Dissonance:

Cognitive Labelling Theory:

Cognitive Maps:

Cognitive Psychology:  the study of internal mental processes to understand behaviour.
It focuses on key psychological areas such as perception and memory. It also has major therapeutic applications in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

Cognitive Neuroscience:

Cognitive Primacy:

Cognitive Triad: Although it is more commonly associated with Aaron T Beck et al (1979), the Cognitive Triad was first brought to life by the work of Lyn Abramson, Martin E P Seligman & John Teasdale (1978). A development of  Attribution Theory, it posits that people tend to either:-

  • attribute failure to themselves (dispositional) and success due to sheer luck or the efforts of others (situational); or people attribute success due to their own efforts (dispositional) and blame failure on others (situational) – though some attribute both success and failure either dispositionally or situationally
  • attribute success or failure with either timeless (never-ending) or timebound (it will end) properties
  • attribute success or failure as either being global (all encompassing) or specific (one-off) events

L Michael Hall’s (1994) Meta-States concept is a natural and complementary fit to the Cognitive Triad in understanding how beliefs and belief structures are formed.

Collective Conscience:

Collectivism: the cultural force that puts welfare of the society, the group, the family, etc, before the well-being of the individual. This requires the individual to sacrifice their wishes and well-being for the greater good of the grouping. Individualism is the opposite where the individual is encouraged to see their own well-being and desires as more important than those of the grouping.
In Integrated SocioPsychology terms, collectivism can be seen as driven by the self-sacrificial cool-coloured vMEMES of the Graves Model while individualism comes from the express-self warm-coloured vMEMES.
Culturally the Western world is often seen as encouraging individualism whilst the non-Western world attempts to cling to collectivism in face of Western cultural imperialism. This is explored is Is Collectivism being overtaken by Individualism?
The concept of collectivism also drives political philosophies like Communism which propose that everything should be owned by the State n the interests of all members of society.

Communism: a political and social ideology in which the State has control of the ‘means of production’ and a monopoly of political power – all in the name of ‘the people’. (Hence ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’.) There is no such thing as private property and all work together for the good of society.
Derived initially from the work of Karl Marx (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, 1948; Marx, 1867). the implementation of Communism has required totalitarian control of society. The Russian Empire becoming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922 was the first outright attempt at creating a Communist state. At the end of World War II Soviet forces occupied much of Eastern Europe and turned them into nominally independent satellite Communist states. In the following decade a number of South-East Asian states such as Korea, Vietnam and, most notably, China experienced Communist revolutions, leading to Communists taking complete control, as in China, or the country splitting into a Communist part and a Capitalist part, as in Korea and Vietnam. For multiple reasons, the Communist experiments in Russia and Eastern Europe failed in the second half of the 20th Century and reverted to various degrees of Capitalism. China, especially, and Vietnam have developed quite unique forms of ‘authoritarian Capitalism’.
In the way they State controls them North Korea and Cuba – the latter experiencing a Communist revolution 1958-59 – are probably the nearest countries to the concept of Communism remaining in the world- though they both have significant problems. (See also the Blog post Cuba On the Cusp.)
For all its apparent failures in implementation, the ideals of Communism continue to inspire radical leftist political groups

Community Cohesion: the act, fact, feeling, knowing and understanding throughout a community that all its citizens are united, participate in how their community functions and are in broad agreement with each other on the community vision and goals – and the structures and systems to achieve them. It is the togetherness and bonding exhibited by members of a community, the ‘glue’ that holds a community together.

Comorbidity: the presence of 2 or more disorders in a given individual at the same time.

Concordance Rate: the degree to which a condition occurs in two settings, people or groups of people. Concordance rates from studies of monozygotic twins – from the same egg, having identical genotypes – are considered the most accurate in determining the likely genetic element in the predisposition to develop a wide range of conditions, from cancer to Schizophrenia.

Complexity Theory: addresses the study of complex systems. It includes subjects such as chaos theory, artificial life and algorhythms and draws upon fields such as Mathematics, Engineering, Biology and Philosophy.

Compliance: when, under normative influence, someone conforms to the group norm in order to gain acceptance – or at least avoid rejection – within that group.
Because there may be little or no change in private opinion, people are likely only to comply when there is public pressure.

Concordance Rate:

Concurrent Validity:

Conditional Positive Regard:

Confirmation Bias: a preference for information (incoming memes) that supports, rather than contradicts, our predictions and assumptions (schemas).

Conflict Theories:

Conformity: a form of Social Influence where group pressure (real or imagined) results in a change of behaviour – but not necessarily attitudes.
Morton Deutsch & Harold Gerard (1955) described 2 types of conformity:-

  1. Informational Influence is when someone  conforms to a group norm because they believe this is the right thing to do in the circumstances.
    According to Herbert Kelman (1958), the desire to be correct produces the process of internalisation.
  2. Normative Influence is when someone conforms to a group norm to win the approval of the group and to avoid disapproval and, potentially, rejection. It is driven by the desire to be liked – or at least to fit in. According to Kelman, the desire to fit in produces the process of compliance.

Kelman identified a third conforming process: identification. This is to meet the expectations inherent in social roles.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: a syndrome in which the adrenal cortices are unable to produce cortisone as normal and release excess adrenal androgens instead. Females affected are born with masculinised genitals; affected males have normal genitalia.
Regulated doses of cortisone can control the effects and allow normal sexual and reproductive functions to develop – though surgical intervention may ben necessary to feminise the genitalia of affected girls.

Congruence: see incongruence.

Conscious Mind: is said to be those things of which we are aware – paying attention to in Cognitive Psychology terms – including self-awareness (thought to be a primary distinguishing feature of the ‘higher animals’). The conscious mind can be said to be using what is in short-term memory.



Content Analysis: a research tool used to determine the presence of certain words, themes, or concepts within some given qualitative data extracted from media such as discourse, movies, books, etc.
Using content analysis, researchers can quantify and analyse the presence, meanings and relationships of such certain words, themes, or concepts. As an example, researchers can evaluate language used within a news article to search for bias or partiality. Researchers can then make inferences about the messages within the texts, the writer(s), the audience, and even the culture and time of surrounding the text.
It is possible to count the frequency of particular behaviours using categories, producing nominal data. Counting is a quantitative activity but choosing the categories is a qualitative activity.

Content Validity: a means of assessing the validity or trueness of a psychological test.
It aims to demonstrate that the content of the test represents the area of interest.

Continuity Hypothesis: based on John Bowlby’s (1969) concept of the internal working model, the idea that the quality of the infant’s first relationship (usually with mother) will provide a template (healthy or unhealthy) which will continue for all future relationships.
A number of studies into friendships – eg: Peter LaFreniere & Alan Sroufe (1987) and Rowan Myron-Wilson & Peter Smith (1988) – as well as Cindy Hazan & Phil Shaver’s famous ‘Love Quiz’ investigations (1987 and 1993)  into adult love styles – have provided strong evidence for the Continuity Hypothesis. However, it is clear that not everyone’s template is guaranteed to stay exactly the same. See also the Strange Situation.

Controlled Observation: an observation carried out in carefully-controlled conditions, usually in a laboratory setting.


Corpus Callosum: the bundle of nerve fibres which connects the right and left hemispheres of the cerebrum. The corpus callosum tends to be thicker in most female brains, indicating more connections between the two halves. This is considered to be a key reason for women (in general!) having better organised brains.

Correlation: relationship between 2 co-variables – variables which change together.
The example –left – shows a positive correlation – ie: as one variable has increased, so has the other. Due to other variables potentially influencing the change, it is not possible to assign cause-and-effect.
The strength of the relationship between the 2 co-variables is the correlational coefficient. With a strong correlation, it is possible to predict the scores on the other co-variable. Thus, the stronger the correlation, the more reliable the prediction. A perfect positive correlation has a coefficient of +1. This means that the two sets of scores increase together in exactly the same proportion.
The scatter graph example – lower left – is of a negative correlation. As one co-variable increases, the other decreases by exactly the same proportion. A perfect negative correlation has a coefficient of -1.

Correspondent Inference Theory: a theory of attribution which suggests that we explain the behaviour of others by making observations and inferring a corresponding attitude or disposition.

Corticotropin-Releasing Factor: a hormone produced by the hypothalamus in response to stress. This stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to secrete its hormones. This leads to operation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis to sustain the flight-or-flight reaction.

Cortisol: a hormone produced in the adrenal glands associated with elevated and elongated levels of physiological arousal, usually due to stress.

Critical Period: a period of time after birth during which the health of an animal’s or person’s development is dependent on certain experiences.
John Bowlby (1958) initially thought of infant attachment as having a critical period – the only time in which an attachment may form. In this respect he was much influenced by the demonstrations of mother-child imprinting in precocial animals and birds by Konrad Lorenz  (1935). Lorenz thought the critical period for imprinting in such species was 12-17 hours from birth – a basic BEIGE survival mechanism essential for creatures that were mobile at or shortly after birth. However, since most human babies can barely sit up at 6 months, clearly the precocial criterion doesn’t apply to humans.
By 1969 Bowlby was using the concept of a sensitive period, the optimum period for certain experiences to happen.

Critical Success Value: a value which determines the quality of a relationship with another (person or organisation) – eg: speed of delivery might be a CSV in a customer-supplier relationship.

Critical Values Mass: the concept of critical mass from a Spiral Dynamics perspective – ie: the assertion of a vMEME or vMEME harmonic in a group or societal situation sufficient for that way of thinking to dominate.

Cross-Cultural Studies: research studies that compare different cultures with regard to certain practices – eg: child-rearing practices – or behaviours – eg: aggression.
Different cultures use different methods of socialisation. If, in spite of these differences in socialisation, the same behaviours are found – eg: men are aggressive in most cultures, then that can be taken as evidence of universal and innate behaviours. The study of different cultures often also provides researchers with insight into their own cultural practices.

Cultural Bias:

Cultural Determinism: the concept that behaviour is determined more by culture than innate, biological factors and that the dominant culture of a society or group exerts a determining influence on other aspects of behaviour.

Cultural Hegemony: the concept that a diverse culture can be ruled or dominated by one group or class, that everyday practices and shared beliefs provide the foundation for complex systems of domination.
The analysis of hegemony (or ‘rule’) was formulated by Antonio Gramsci (1971) to explain why predicted communist revolutions had not occurred where they were most expected – ie: in industrialised Europe. Gramsci argued that the failure of the workers to make anti-capitalist revolution was due to the successful capture of the workers’ ideology, self-understanding and organisations by the hegemonic (ruling) culture.

Cultural Imperialism: where one culture dominates and overrides other cultures.
American culture is often accused of cultural imperialism.

Cultural Norm: a social norm specific to or associated with a certain culture or set of cultures.

Cultural Relativism: this approach takes the view that philosophies, ethics and behaviours of groups or individuals must be judged in the context of the culture and the times from which they originate. For example, hearing voices in your head is generally considered abnormal in the modern Western world; yet to not hear ‘spirit voices’ would be considered unfortunate in many traditional Amerindian tribes, and it is not uncommon to have conversations with your ancestors in parts of Central and Southern Africa.

Culture: the shared understandings – histories, rules, morals, ethics and other ways of thinking – and the common behaviours (including methods of interaction) that bind a group of people and give them a sense of unified identity. We learn the memes of our host culture through its media and interactions with other members of the culture. See also sub-culture.
The notion of having a specific culture is one of the elements necessary to develop imagined communities, according to Benedict Anderson (1981).

Culture-Bound Syndrome: a mental illness that appears to be specific to a particular culture.
Are Culture-Bound Syndromes simply culturally-different manifestations of universal mental illnesses – eg: Depression – or are there mental illnesses which are unique to particular cultures? This is a question which vexes Psychiatry. If the latter point is valid, then it undermines the validity of claims by the authors of classification systems such as DSM that their classifications are universally applicable.

Culture-Specific: characteristics that are unique to a particular society or culture and not shared by others.