Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences

Carl Hovland’

Prejudice & Discrimination Theories #2

PART 2 Realistic Conflict Theory It is widely recognised that people tend to identify with their groups. They also tend to have negative views about some other groups – out-groups. But why do some outgroups attract hostility and discrimination but others are treated neutrally or sometimes even admired? This is what Realistic Conflict Theory (RCT) tries to explain. RCT states that, whenever there are 2 or more groups seeking the same limited resources, this will lead to conflict, negative stereotypes and beliefs about the out-group – prejudice –  and discrimination between the groups. The negative beliefs about the out-group become shared memes, affecting the schematic set-up of the group members. The conflict generated can lead to increasing animosity and eventually to violence. Competition over resources can be played out as a ‘zero-sum game’, in which only one group is the winner (obtained the needed or wanted resources) and the other loses (unable to obtain the limited resource due to the winning group achieving the limited resource first). The likely length and severity of the conflict is based upon the perceived value and shortage of the given resource. It is tempting to think of ‘limited resources’ as BEIGE survival needs – eg:… Read More

Boris and Trump: How do They get away with it?

Boris Johnson has learned very well from his hero, Donald Trump. If the populist right-wing leader of a ‘democratic’ country contradicts himself repeatedly, breaks his promises, has a scurrilous personal life, makes deeply offensive and totally insensitive remarks about anything and anybody, and even tells bare-faced lies, he can get away with it. That’s provided he’s got the right-wing press totally on his side; they attack and smear his opponents with unsubstantiated half-truths and even outright lies, and its journalists avoid taxing the leader and his close political allies with probing questions. Even when the leader’s opponents are succeeding in exposing the corruption of the leader and his cronies. It also helps a great deal, if you have organisations like Cambridge Analytica and lots of Russian bots manipulating social media on your behalf. Daniel Dale at CNN is just one analyst who has delved into what he terms Trump’s “bombardment of lies — Trump’s unceasing campaign to convince people of things that aren’t true.” He goes on to write:- “Trump made more than 2,700 false claims this year [2019]. (We’re still calculating the final total.) Some of them were innocent slips, some of them little exaggerations. But a large number of… Read More

The West and Russia: a Divergence of Values? #2

PART 2 Nationalism and the ‘dictator’ meme In the wake of Crimea, Gallup’s Julie Ray & Neli Esipova reported Putin had polled 83% approval, a massive gain from 54% the previous year – see graphic below. Clearly the Crimean takeover made Russians feel good about their president! Also interesting is the way approval slowly but surely dropped from 83% in 2008 to its low point in 2013. Was this drop a reflection of growing public awareness of corruption, the slowing of economic growth, restricted opportunities for personal advancement and widespread poverty? If so, it indicates Russians squarely put the blame on their president. From the same set of surveys, Ray & Esipova – see graphic below – found  that Russians reported greater confidence in their institutions after Crimea. Again there is a high in confidence in 2008 for national government and the electoral process, followed by a decline in confidence in the following years. Only the military bucks this confidence trend. However, all three institutions receive a significant boost in 2014. What is that much more interesting about the second set of results is that it allows us to see that, all institutions received a boost in 2008 – the year… 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

Assimilation-Contrast Effect

Updated: 4 October 2015 The Assimilation-Contrast Effect is grounded in Social Judgement Theory, developed by Muzafer Sherif & Carl Hovland (1961) and Muzafer Sherif & Carolyn Wood Sherif (1968). According to Muzafer, when a potential issue of conflict arises, people – individual or group – approach it with one of 3 ‘latitudes’:- Latitude of Acceptance: – consists of the information you find pleasing and acceptable Latitude of Rejection: – consists of the information you find objectionable Latitude of Noncommitment: – consists of information you find neither pleasing nor objectionable The key to which latitude information fell into would depend on the level of ego investment – ie: how important the issue was to you personally and how committed to it you were. In other words, how much your sense of self-esteem was involved – clearly the domain of the RED vMEME. Muzafer found that working in the Latitude of Acceptance led to what he called an ‘assimilation effect’ – ie: you will find to some degree acceptable information that is not really that close to what you believe. On the other hand, when working in the Latitude of Rejection, there is a ‘contrast effect’ – ie: you find unacceptable even information that is… 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

Bibliography S

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 Sabbioni, M E E (1991): ‘Cancer and Stress: a Possible Role for Psychoneuroimmunology in Cancer Research?’ in Cary Cooper & Maggie Watson (eds): ‘Cancer and Stress: Psychological, Biological and Coping Studies’ (Wiley, Chichester) Sachs, Jeffrey (2005): ‘Why Aid does work’ (BBC News) (Accessed: 01/01/17) Sachs, Jeffrey (2011): ‘Stop this Race to the Bottom on Corporation Tax’ in Financial Times (28 March) Sachs, Wolfgang, Reinhard Loske & Manfred Linz (1998): ‘Greening the North: a Post-Industrial Blueprint for Ecology and Equity’ (Zed Books, London) Saggar, Shammit & Joanna Drean (2001): ‘British Public Attitudes and Ethnic Minorities’ (Performance & Innovation Unit, Cabinet Office, London) Sagi, Abraham, Marinus Van Ijzendoorn, Ora Aviezer, Frank Donnell & Ofra Mayseless (1994): ‘Sleeping out of home in a Kibbutz Communal Arrangement: It makes a Difference for Infant-Mother Attachment’ in Child Development 65/4 Sagi, Abraham, Marinus Van IJzendoorn & Nina Koren-Karie (1991): ‘Primary Appraisal of the Strange Situation: a Cross-Cultural Analysis of Preseparation Episodes’ in  Developmental Psychology 27/4 Sahlins, Marshall (1997): ‘The Original Affluent Society’ in Majid Rahnema, Victoria Bawtree (eds): ‘The Post Development Reader’… Read More

Bibliography L

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 LaFreniere, Peter & Alan Sroufe (1985): ‘Profiles of Peer Competence in the Preschool: Interrelations between Measures, Influence of Social Ecology, and Relation to Attachment History’ in Journal of Developmental Psychology 21/1 Lagerspetz, Kirsti (1979): ‘Modification of Aggressiveness in Mice’ in Seymour Feshbach & Adam Fraçzek (eds): ‘Aggression and Behaviour Change: Biological and Social Processes’ (Praeger Publishers, New York NY) Lagerspetz, Kirsti, & Kauko Wuorinen (1965): ‘A Cross-Fostering Experiment with Mice selectively bred for Aggressiveness and Non-Aggressiveness’ in Reports of the Institute of Psychology of the University of Turku #17 Laing, R D (1967): ‘The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise’ (Penguin, London) Lalonde, Richard (1992): ‘The Dynamics of Group Differentiation in the Face of Defeat’ in Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 18/3 Lalumière, Martin, Grant Harris and Marnie Rice (1999): ‘Birth Order and Fluctuating Asymmetry: a First Look’ in The Royal Society Proceedings #266 Lam, Raymond, Athanasios Zis, Arvinder Grewal, Pedro Delgado, Dennis Charney John Krystal (1996): ‘Effects of Rapid Tryptophan Depletion in Patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder in Remission after Light Therapy’ in Archives of… Read More

Bibliography H

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 Haaretz Service (2010): ‘Shas Spiritual Leader: Abbas and Palestinians should perish’ (Haaretz) (Accessed: 08/08/14) Habermas, Jürgen (1962; translated by Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence, 1989): ‘The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society’ (Polity, Cambridge) Hackett, Conrad (2015): ‘5 Facts about the Muslim Population in Europe’ (Pew Research Center) (Accessed: 24/11/15) Haggbloom, Steven, Renee Warnick, Jason Warnick, Vinessa Jones, Gary Yarbrough, Tinea Russell, Chris Borecky, Reagan McGahhey, John Powell, Jamie Beavers & Emmanuelle Monte (2002): ‘The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century’ in Review of General Psychology 6/2 Haggerty, Michael (1999): ‘Testing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: National Quality-of-Life across Time’ in Journal of Social Indicators Research 46/3 Haidt, Jonathan (2001): ‘The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: a Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgement’ in Psychological Review 108/4 Haidt, Jonathan (2005): ‘The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom’ (Basic Books, New York NY) Haidt, Jonathan, Craig Joseph & Jesse Graham (2009): ‘Above and Below Left–Right: Ideological Narratives and Moral Foundations’ in… Read More


Updated: 21 September 2016 A MeshWORK can be described as a structured approach to addressing all needs in all appropriate ways at all levels for the overall good. While many models can illustrate fragments of a situation in greater depth and many different applications, techniques, therapies and other interventions will be pertinent in varying contexts, the core of a MeshWORK needs to be built on the Gravesian approach or a similar model (such as, perhaps, Jane Loevinger’s (1976)) for mapping the ever-emerging diversity of thinking in human nature. The MeshWORK concept originated from Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck’s work in South Africa, helping design the early-mid-1990s South African transition from Apartheid to multi-cultural democracy. For approximately 17 years off-and-on (1981-98) Beck – in consultation with Clare W Graves until his death in 1986 – worked behind the scenes in South Africa. He used Graves’ model to facilitate the leaders of the main factions in moving beyond race and politics, to map out what Nelson Mandela later called ‘the Rainbow Nation’. By getting the leaders of the retrospective parties to think about people in terms of their thinking, rather than the colour of their skin, Beck enabled them to move on from the unhealthy and divisive memes… Read More