Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

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McDonaldisation: George Ritzer (1993) argues that the fast food restaurant is the ultimate model of rationalisation, based on 4 key elements:-

  1. Efficiency – economies of scale, assembly line production of food and limited menus cut costs and facilitate the fast processing of customers
  2. Calculability – every aspect of the food production and consumption is measured and evaluated on the basis of rational calculation
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Some critics argue the food is poor and the restaurant actually devalues the experience of having a meal.
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’.

Major Depression: aka Unipolar Disorder, see Clinical Depression.

Mania: a mood disorder characterised by a variety of symptoms including inappropriate elation, extreme motor activity, impulsiveness and excessively rapid thought and speech.
It is often experiences as the ‘up’ side of Manic Depressive Psychosis (aka Bipolar Disorder).

Manic Depressive Psychosis: aka Bipolar Disorder, this is a mental illness characterised by both the kind of Depressive episodes characteristic of Major Depression/Unipolar Disorder and episodes of Mania. The Manic phases are characterised by elevated and expansive mood, rapid speech that can be hard to understand, delusions, overactivity and impulsive behaviour.
A number of studies of monozygotic twins (from the same egg) have shown high concordance rates – even as high as 80% – implying there is often a genetic predisposition (diathesis) in the development of this condition.

Marxism: a sociological perspective, derived from the work of Karl Marx, 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 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 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:


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:-

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.


Melatonin: a hormone produced by the pineal gland which increases sleepiness.

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 feel confident and 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 (2002) title for those involved in creating MeshWORKS, using CAPI and Spiral Dynamics.

MeshWORK: Don Beck’s (1998) terminology for the application of Spiral Dynamics at an organisational or cultural level.

Meta-Analysis: statistical technique for finding common patterns and trends in the findings from a number of studies.

Meta-Mirror: a conflict resolution exercise developed by Robert Dilts, using the 4 Perceptual Positions.

Meta-Model: the Meta-Model is 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 1957work – 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, is closely related to schema theory 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 – 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’ .
Cognitive Triad can be linked to meta-stating to show how vMEMES influence the formation of belief structures at every level.

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. In Developmental Psychology the womb is considered to be a micro-environment, the condition of which can have myriad effects on the way the foetus develops.



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:


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, and irregular sexual maturation.


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:


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:

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 Type Indicator (MBTI): developed by Kathrine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, during World War II, the MBTI 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:-