McDonaldisation: George Ritzer (1993) argues that the fast food restaurant is the ultimate model of rationalisation, based on 4 key elements:-
- Efficiency – economies of scale, assembly line production of food and limited menus cut costs and facilitate the fast processing of customers
- Calculability – every aspect of the food production and consumption is measured and evaluated on the basis of rational calculation
- Predictability – Ritzer states “in a rational society people prefer to know what to expect in all settings at all times”. So customers should be able to enter a McDonald’s anywhere in the world and have exactly the same experience.
- Control – through training, supervision and technology, McDonald’s exercise rigid control of their employees and the food production process. There is even a degree of control of the customers, with hard seats, bright lights and, in some cases, security guards to make customers behave themselves and do not linger over their meal
Ritzer and later commentators such as Soumyaditya Dasgupta (2015) see McDonaldization is a by-product of ‘Americanization’ or ‘Westernization’ which is a part of the wider phenomenon of globalization. The terms are used to refer to the influence that USA has all over the world. American memes have permeated to almost every household in the world, thanks to satellite television and the internet. American owned brands dominate the international market, especially the fast food market, with chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks having outlets in almost every country in the world. These chains follow the same principles and practices in respect to their business and it is these practices that have inspired ‘McDonaldization.
However, there are some variations in menu in some parts of the world to accommodate local culture. Eg: McDonalds in India do not sell any beef products as Hinduism holds cows to be sacred nor do they sell any pork products as Muslims consider hooved animals to be ‘unclean’.
Some critics argue fast food is poor quality and the restaurant actually devalues the experience of having a meal.
Marxism: a Sociological perspective, derived from the work of Karl Marx – eg: Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, 1848; Marx, 1859; Marx, 1867 – which stresses the role conflict plays in society. The basic argument of the Marxists is that economics is at the base of social life and progress – ie: social change – is made through the struggle between different social classes.
Marxist sociologists have influenced a number of areas of social life, most notably in the study of social stratification, work and politics. There are different variations within Marxism which are often as divided from each other as they are from their political opponents.
Marxist-Leninism: a Communist ideology that is officially based upon the theories of Marxism and V I Lenin which promotes the development and creation of international Communist society through the leadership of a vanguard party over a revolutionary Socialist state that represents the will and rule of the proletariat. It supports the creation of a totalitarian single party state. It rejects political pluralism external to Communism, claiming that the proletariat need a single, able political party to represent them and exercise political leadership.
The Marxist-Leninist state forbids opposition to itself and its ideology. Through the policy of democratic centralism, the Communist party is the supreme political institution of the Marxist-Leninist state
Maternal Deprivation: the disruption of the mother-child bond so that the attachment ceases to be, at least temporarily. Sometimes this disruption is permanent: John Bowlby (1969) estimated that 25% of children experiencing maternal deprivation are irreparably damaged.
Maturation: technically, the process of ripening. A change that is due to innate factors rather than learning.
Recently epigenetic modification has demonstrated that maturation is often facilitated by external/environmental factors – as researchers such as Clare W Graves (1970), Lawrence Kohlberg (1963) and Jane Loevinger (1976) had postulated.
Mean: see Measures of Central Tendency.
Means of Production: the ingredients necessary for the production of goods and services, including the social relations between workers, technology, and other resources used.
Karl Marx (1867) believed that Capitalism was characterised by the split between the Capitalists, who owned the means of production, and the proletarians, who had only their labour services to sell.
Measure of Central Tendency: this is one way of describing statistics, with a single score that represents the whole set. There are 3 measures of central tendency:-
- Mean (x̄) – add up (Ʃ) all the values (xs), including 0s, and divide by total number of values (n) Ie: x̄ = Ʃx/n
The mean provides a typical score for interval and ratio data. However a single rogue score or outlier will result in the mean giving a misleading impression of central tendency
- Median – arrange data in numerical order and select the middle value or mid-point. If the mid-point lies between 2 numbers, work out the mean of these values
It can be used for ordinal, interval and ratio data. However, it is can give a misleading impression when scores are clustered in low and high groups
- Mode – arrange data in numerical order and identify the value which occurs most frequently. Data is said to be bimodal when two values are equally frequent. It is the only measure that can be used with nominal data. Often the mode does not provide a representative summary of a set of scores. Eg: the most frequently occurring score may be the highest or the lowest and is located away from the centre of the distribution.
Measure of Dispersion: these provide an indication of the spread of data in a data set. 2 of the most used measures of dispersion are:-
- Range is the simplest measure of dispersion. It is the distance between lowest and highest value. Most accurate if you add 1 to the difference – if the scores are all whole numbers – to account for possible measurement error. (If values are recorded to one decimal place, then 0.1 is added – if 2 decimal places, then 0.01 and so on.) While it is useful for showing a tight cluster in a short range, it does not reveal much about dispersion over a longer range. It can be used with ordinal, interval and ratio data.
- Standard deviation is the most accurate measure of dispersion. It measures the average deviation (difference) of each score from the mean. Every score is involved in the calculation.
Ie: sd = √Ʃ(x-x̄)/n-1
where sd = standard deviation, ² means to the power of 2 – ie: squared, √ is the square root sign and (x-x̄) is the difference between each score and the mean.
The standard deviation can only be used with interval and ratio data because it relies on the equal intervals between the points on the scale.
A larger value for the standard deviation indicates a wider spread than a small value.
Median: see Measures of Central Tendency.
Medical Model: an explanation for illness based on the assumption that all illnesses (physical and psychological) have an underlying physiological basis.
Examples of this include the ‘Monoamine Hypothesis’ for Depression which postulates that the symptoms are caused by low levels of the monoamine neurotransitters noradrenaline and/or serotonin.
Medulla Oblongata: a structure in the hindbrain which is more or less an extension of the brainstem. It controls vital functions such as heart rate and breathing as well as important reflexes such as salivation and sneezing.
Melancholic: see Dimensions of Temperament.
Melatonin: a hormone produced by the pineal gland which increases sleepiness when it reaches a certain level – sometimes known as ‘sleepgate’ – in the pons.
Meme: a term coined by Richard Dawkins (1976) for a unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is contained in a medium of communication – eg: a book – or is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. When it ‘infects’ a mind, a meme is effectively a culturally-transmitted schema.
Memeplex: Susan Blackmore’s (1999) term for a confluence of memes which together comprise a bigger idea – for example: a large memeplex such as religion is comprised of hundreds of smaller memeplexes – such as worship which is composed of more singular memes such as prayer and adoration. The meme-memeplex relationship is an example of the holon-holarchy relationship in Holon Theory.
Memetics: the study of how memes (cultural ideas) are transmitted culturally in a ‘virus-like’ manner.
Sometimes memes propagate in spite of truth and logic. Beliefs that survive aren’t necessarily true, rules that survive aren’t necessarily fair and rituals that survive aren’t necessarily necessary. According to Memetics, things that survive do so because they are good at surviving.
Mental illness: an often-misused, highly-contested and very contentious term that doesn’t have much agreement among researchers and mental health professionals beyond abnormal behaviour and/or disturbed thinking of sufficient severity that it may require intervention by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.
Mercedes Model: reputedly named by Tad James & Wyatt Woodsmall (1988), this is the Think/Cognitive-Feel/Emotions-Do/Behave/Bodily Condition model developed by Richard Bandler & John Grinder (1975) in the early days of NLP from the state concepts of the great Russian philosopher, George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. The crux of this model is that what we think cognitively, how we feel and what we do are all bound up symbiotically and change in one domain will inevitably influence change in the other two.
For instance, if someone has a bodily cold, they will tend to feel ‘down’ and think sluggishly. Someone who uses strong and positive body language will tend to think positively.
NLP thus presupposes that a positive intervention in one domain will have therapeutic effects in the other domains also.
MeshWEAVER: Don Beck’s (2002a) title for those involved in creating MeshWORKS, using CAPI and the Graves Model.
MeshWORK: Don Beck’s (1998) terminology for the application of the Graves Model at an organisational or cultural level.
It can be described as a structured approach to addressing all needs in all appropriate ways at all levels for the overall good. The concept came out of Beck’s work in South Africa, helping design the early-mid-1990s South African transition from Apartheid to multi-cultural democracy.
Meta-Analysis: a statistical technique for finding common patterns and trends in the findings from a number of studies investigating the same or very similar things. It enables a researcher to correlate the findings of a number of different studies carried out by different investigators with not-always consistent findings.
A strong correlation of the different findings indicates reliability.
Meta-Mirror: a conflict resolution exercise developed by Robert Dilts, using the 4 Perceptual Positions.
Meta-Model: a complex analysis of linguistic structures developed by NLP founders Richard Bandler & John Grinder (1975), based upon the 3 key filters identified in Noam Chomsky’s classic 1957 work – ie: we delete information, we distort information and we generalise from it. To meta-model someone is to break apart that person’s linguistic patterns and enable exploration of issues at a far deeper level.
Meta-Programme: an NLP concept, meta-programmes are observable distinctions in mental processing styles, usually measured between two opposites – eg: Big Picture/Little Detail, Self-Referenced/Others-Referenced.
Some meta-programmes – eg: Introvert/Extravert – appear to be grounded in temperament – but most can be related to the operational structure of a person’s vMEME Stack. For example: how important Little Detail is may depend on how strong the BLUE vMEME is in the vMEME Stack; how Others-Referenced someone is can be linked to the strength of the GREEN vMEME or possibly a PURPLE/GREEN vMEME harmonic.
Meta-State: this NLP concept, developed by L Michael Hall (1995), is closely related to the concept of schemas in Cognitive Psychology. It is concerned with how we interpret events, then how we interpret the result of that interpretation, then how we interpret the interpretation of the interpretation, then how we interpret the interpretation of the interpretation of the interpretation, etc, etc – creating multiple layers of interpretation. with every additional layer that much more removed from the original sensory information. Each layer beyond the initial primary interpretation-less state is a meta-state. So a meta-state can be defined as ‘the mental state arrived at through the application of meaning’.
The Cognitive Triad can be linked to meta-stating to propose how vMEMES influence the formation of belief structures at every level of interpretation.
Micro-Environment: a small or relatively small habitat, usually distinctly specialised and effectively isolated.
The term can be applied to a forest canopy or to a neuron. For behavioural geneticists like Robert Plomin – eg: Robert Plomin & Peter McGuffin (1994) – and some Developmental Psychologists – the womb is considered to be a micro-environment, the condition of which can have myriad effects on the way the foetus develops.
Migration: the movement of people from one country to another with the explicit intention of residing in that country. The timespan of at least one year’s residence is generally taken as the difference between someone being a ‘visitor’ and someone being a ‘migrant’.
Emigration is the term for leaving the original country. Historically emigration has often been driven by threat – eg: between 2011 and 2021 many people left Syria for fear of their lives due to the Civil War. However, at times it has also been driven by perceived opportunity – eg: many Europeans left their home countries in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries to better themselves in the new and welcoming United States of America.
Immigration is the term for people entering a new country to settle in it. Often immigration is perceived as threatening by the indigenous population, especially where there are strong cultural or racial differences between the immigrant minority population and the indigenous majority population. Strong nationalistic prejudice & discrimination can easily be aroused where a minority is portrayed as a threat – folk devils – to the majority. This was regarded as a key factor in the 2016 referendum decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
Middle-Class: in the social class hierarchy associated with Modernity and the industrial age, the middle class stand between the upper and working classes.
Members of the middle classes are usually non-manual workers, ranging from clerical workers at the lower end of the class to true professionals such as lawyers and doctors at the top end.
From the late 2oth Century onwards, many sociologists – such as Guy Standing (2011; 2014) – have found the upper-middle-working class social structure to be far too simplistic and have proposed more complex structures.
Mindset: a somewhat vague term referring to someone’s general attitudes and the manner in which they typically think about things.
This can include mood, inclination and intentions.
Mistaken Belief Visualisation: an ‘Inner Child’ therapy exercise developed by Penny Parks (1994) for destroying people’s core limiting beliefs (maladaptive schemas) and replacing them with new enabling beliefs – thus increasing their self-efficacy.
Modality: a sensory system – eg: the visual modality.
Mode: see Measures of Central Tendency.
Modernisation Theory: developed by Walt Rostow (1960), Modernisation Theory proposed a 5-stage programme to take basic, rural traditional societies through industrialisation and into Western-style consumerism. Rostow developed his concept with a pronounced anti-Communism/pro-Capitalism agenda.
In Integrated SocioPsychology terms, the aim is to fast-track PURPLE tribalism to ORANGE consumerism.
In spite of its widespread failure to better conditions sustainably in any Third World country and it being associated with corruption and the huge debt burdens of many sub-Saharan African countries, the theory still underpins much of American foreign policy. This is evidenced in the disastrous attempts by the USA to foster one person/one (secret) vote Democracy amongst the tribal communities in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 20th Century.
Modernity: the term used to describe the condition of Western societies from the Enlightenment of the 17th Century to the late 20th Century.
It encompasses a rational outlook on social issues and attempts to shape social arrangements on the basis of science and logic.
Monoamine Oxidase: L-monoamine oxidases (MAO) are a family of enzymes that catalyse the oxidation of monoamine neurotransmitters. MAO are found in both neurons and glial cells.
Because of the vital role that MAOs play in the inactivation of neurotransmitters, MAO dysfunction (too much or too little MAO activity) is thought to be responsible for a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Eg: unusually high or low levels of MAOs in the body have been associated with Depression, Schizophrenia, substance abuse, attention deficit disorder, migraines, disinhibition to violence and irregular sexual maturation.
Monogamy: this is the concept of having one regular sexual partner, to the exclusion of other potential sexual partners.
It is the form of relationship most common in Western societies. In many such countries it is illegal to have more than one legally-recognised spouse at a time.
Where people engage in monogamy but the relationship breaks up and an ex-partner enters a new monogamous relationship, this is know as ‘serial monogamy’.
Monozygotic: meaning from one egg, the term is applied in research to ‘identical twins’ who share 100% the same genes.
This is in contrast to dizygotic/non-identical twins who share around 50% the same genes. Research into how much nature or nurture is responsible for effects often involves contrasting monozygotic and dizygotic twins; but, in fact, even newborn ‘identical twins’ are almost never truly ‘identical’ due to the twins having different experiences in the micro-environment of the womb.
Mood Disorders: the term designating a group of psychiatric diagnoses in which the person’s mood is said to be the main underlying feature.
2 groups of mood disorders are broadly recognised:-
○ Clinical Depression (aka ‘Major Depression’ or ‘Unipolar Disorder’)
○ Manic Depressive Psychosis – increasingly referred to as ’Bipolar Disorder’ – which is characterised by intermittent episodes of mania (or hypomania), usually interlaced with depressive episodes
Moral Panic: where the media whip up outrage and deep concern over some issue such as illegal immigrants or youth anti-social behaviour. This usually leads to public demand that the authorities take action to resolve the issue. In turn this allows the campaigning media to portray themselves as champions of ‘the people’.
Usually the media target and scapegoat some minority group as being responsible for the moral panic. Stanley Cohen (1972) terms the scapegoated group folk devils.
Motivation: the internal state which drives an organism to act. This can be a negatively-induced state – eg: fear – or it can be a positively-induced state – eg: desire. External factors are often the stimuli which lead to the internal state – eg: a burglar with a knife might induced a state of fear in the householder.
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943, 1970, 1971) is arguably the most popular of the motivational models – though both Jane Loevinger’s (1976) Stages of Ego Development and the vMEMES concept based on the work of Clare W Graves are more comprehensive and complete.
Motor Cortex: the term that describes regions of the cerebral cortex involved in the planning, control and execution of voluntary motor functions.
MRI Scan: see Brain Scan.
Multinational Corporation: multinational corporations (MNCs) are distinguished from transnational organisations (TNCs)by sociologists such as Paul Hirst & Grahame Thompson (1996). This is on the basis that, though they may operate across borders and indeed have operations in many countries, MNCs still identify with a ‘home country’ in which the organisation began and usually still has its headquarters. They see themselves as being at least partly accountable to the government of that country.
By contrast TNCs are globally-based and see themselves as ‘footloose’. They have an international management team and are potentially willing to base their operations, including, if necessary, their headquarters, anywhere in the world. They perceive themselvs as accountable to their shareholders rather than any one government.
Some sociologists such as Leslie Sklair (2003) see Hirst & Thompson’s distinctions between TNCs and MNCs as being over-picky and largely unfounded.
Multiple Intelligences: Howard Gardner has extended the importance NLP attaches to sensory processing and linguistics, added in Carl Gustav Jung’s Introversion-Extraversion continuum (replicated in both Meta-Programmes and Hans Eysenck’s Dimensions of Temperament) and may even have caught onto the G-T (Graves)/Self-Actualisation (Maslow) level (with Naturalistic) to produce his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner postulates that people have at least 8 intelligences:-
○ Linguistic: a facility with language producing sensitive readers and articulate persuasive speakers
○ Logical Mathematical: this intelligence is good at data analysis, mathematics and speculative thinking, making it a problem-solver
○ Musical: an instinctive sense of pitch, timbre, rhythm, pace, patterning and volume
○ Visual-Spatial: the expression of thought in visual form
○ Bodily-Kinaesthetic: this intelligence provides a high degree of control and precision in physical movement
○ Intrapersonal: intuition, reflection, self-knowledge and understanding are the characteristics of this intelligence
○ Interpersonal: this intelligence produces strong social skills and the understanding to develop and maintain relationships
○ Naturalist: an empathy with natural things and a curiosity to explore the world in an autonomous manner
Gardner emphasises that people will prefer to work in certain intelligences over others. He has pushed his ideas strongly at teachers and other educators – with some notable success. However, Gardner’s concepts are not without their critics – some pyschologists labelling them as ‘unscientific’. Certainly they lack an underpinning systemic theory (such as Spiral Dynamics). Nonetheless they do provide effective descriptors of a range of learning/thinking patterns and Gardner is to be applauded for encouraging people to accommodate difference.Much of the controversy around Garner’s ideas is centred around his use of the term ‘intelligence’ . Many feel he is confusing it with aptitude, ability, talent, etc – but then one of Gardner’s principal aims is to challenge traditional concepts of intelligence!
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD): a condition in which an individual seems to have several different people living within them. These ‘alters’ may have a different age to the biological age of the host body – and may even be the opposite sex! They invariably have different names and speak and act in totally different ways so that they do indeed seem to be different ‘people’ living in the same body. There is real controversy surrounding MPD and much debate as to whether it really exists.
Firstly the condition was relatively unknown – only 76 documented claims were in existence in 1944 – before the 1957 oscar-winning movie, ‘The Three Faces of Eve’, based on a real-life case study. After its success, psychologists and psychiatrists reported an explosion in the number of cases of MPD. It is claimed ongoing media interest keeps the number of ‘cases’ high. Secondly a number of high-profile deliberate fakes and iatrogenic (therapist-induced) occurrences have been exposed, casting real doubt on the reliability of methods of diagnosis. Thirdly a substantial body of the psychiatric profession have come to the point of view that true ‘multiple personalities’ is a psychological and biological impossibility and that the lesser Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) would be a more sound diagnosis – with this term replacing MPD in DSM-IV (1994). (However, ICD-10 (1990) simply used DID as a synonym for MPD.) To make matters worse, some renowned psychiatrists claim that even DID is a fabrication!
Ralph Allison, one of the world’s leading experts in the field, has argued consistently – eg: Allison, 1995; Ralph Allison & Ted Schwartz, 1980) for both MPD and DID being real conditions, with a significant qualitative difference between them.
In terms of Integrated SocioPsychology, both DID and MPD are theoretically plausible. If very different vMEMES dominate in different contexts and the selfplex is very weak and/or ill-formed, then it is not impossible it could fragment, with dissociation producing partial selfplexes around contextual vMEME Stacks. In the extreme this dissociation could manifest as individual, distinct personalities – especially if named to give distinction from the host and their personality.
Myers-Briggs Typing Inventory: developed by Kathrine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, during World War II, and first published for commercial use in 1956, it is the most widely-used form of ‘personality assessment’ in the Western world. Derived from Carl Gustav Jung’s (1923) theories on personality types, it is based on 4 scales from which an overall personality type can be ascertained:-
- Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
- Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)
Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?
Despite its ongoing popularity, Myers-Briggs has been heavily and consistently criticised within academic circles. One of the most favourable evaluations is that of Robert Harvey (1996) who found about 83% of individual scale categorizations remain the same when people are retested within 9months and around 75% when retested after 9months. About 50% of people retested within 9 months remain the same overall type and 36% the same type after more than 9 months.
Despite issues with reliability of the test itself, the concepts it is based on recur in other psychological models. Introversion-Extraversion is a well-accepted scale and is a key Dimension of Temperament. Intuiting, in Jung’s term, is a form of meta-stating. Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving (Procedures-Options) have been adapted as meta-programmes.