Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

Glossary G


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GABA: gamma-amino butryic acid is a neurotransmitter that is produced at times of stress or anxiety and acts as the bodys’ natural form of stress relief.
GABA works by inhibiting the transmission of an action potential at the synapse.


Galvanic Skin Response: a means of measuring the electrical conductivity of the skin which is increased by sweating. When the autonomic nervous system is aroused through stress or strong emotion, an electrode placed on the skin – eg: the wrist or the palm – relays the electrical activity to a machine that responds to electrical signals.

Gamete: reproductive cell – either sperm or egg – in its mature state.

Gender: the psychological characteristics associated with being male or female. Many of these characteristics are socially determined and may be relative to the particular culture or society rather than being universal. Sociologist and psychologists usually distinguish between these sociopsychological characteristics and the anatomical features of being either biologically male or female.

Gender Bias: this is the treatment or representation of men and/or women based on stereotypes rather than real differences.

Gender Difference:

Gender Identity: an individual’s concept of being male or female – a critical part of self-identity (“I am a boy”/”I am a girl”).
A sense of gender identity induces gender behaviour – though this is dependent to some degree on a knowledge of gender roles.

Gender Role: a set of expectations that prescribe how how males and females should think, feel and act.
These expectations form norms of male and female attitudes and behaviours.

Gene: a unit of inheritance which forms part of a chromosome. Some genes alone determine certain characteristics; but most characteristics are the result of many genes.


Genetic Determinism:

Genome: the total genetic material of an individual organism.

Genotype: someone’s raw genetic potential, as conceived from the union of the parents’ egg and sperm.

Gestalt Psychology: this approach – ‘gestalten’ means ‘good form’ or ‘whole shape’ – was developed in Germany in the 1910s by Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka & Wolfgang Kohler. Its basic presupposition is that behaviour can really only be understood as a whole, rather than broken down into constituent parts. It has particular application to the way meaning is applied to sensory input to produce perception.

Gestalt Therapy: loosely drawing upon Gestalt Psychology, this form of Humanistic therapy, devised by Fritz Perls, aims to develop a greater awareness of the self and a sense of wholeness.


Glucocorticoids: a group of hormones produced in the adrenal glands which help metabolise protein and carbohydrates when the body is subject to stress.


Graves Coding: before Spiral Dynamics termed the systems he identified ‘vMEMES’ and ‘colourised’ them, Clare W Graves originally assigned letter pairs for the symbiotic relationship between the Life Conditions and the psychological coping response and the existential state their match created. Thus:-
○ Existential State A-N: Life Condition A matched by internal response N (BEIGE)
○ Existential State B-O: Life Condition B matched by internal response O (PURPLE)
○ Existential State C-P: Life Condition A matched by internal response P (RED)
○ Existential State D-Q: Life Condition D matched by internal response Q (BLUE)
○ Existential State E-R: Life Condition E matched by internal response R (ORANGE)
○ Existential State F-S: Life Condition F matched by internal response S (GREEN)
○ Existential State G-T: Life Condition G matched by internal response T (YELLOW)
○ Existential State H-U: Life Condition H matched by internal response U (TURQUOISE)
Some Gravesians prefer to use the original letter pairs, rather than the colours, to emphasise the relationship of the Life Conditions and the coping response and the trauma mismatch – eg: E-Q – can cause.Graves Model: the model of human motivational systems which Clare W Graves developed from over 30 years of research and on which Spiral Dynamics is based. Once described by MacLeans Magazine in Canada as “the theory which explains everything” – it doesn’t! – it sits at the core of Integrated SocioPsychology.

Graves Model: the theory and model developed from the research of Clare W Graves to explain how motivational systems emerge in symbiosis with prevailing ‘life conditions’ – what’s going on in the environment (both external and internal to the person).
These systems – termed vMEMES by Don Beck & Chris Cowan (1996) – emerge, dominate, recede and emerge again and both complement and conflict with another. They heavily influence what schemas we form about ourselves and the world around us – in total: the selfplex.

Gravesian: an element of the Graves Model or a follower of Clare W Graves’ work.

Gross National Income:

Gross National Product:


Growth Hormone: a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and necessary for normal physical growth during childhood and adolescence. It is still secreted in smaller amounts during adulthood for tissue repair and replacement.
Growth hormone is also involved in the regulation of food intake as it causes the conversion of glycogen to glucose.