Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


How the Brain develops the Mind

with minor editing by Chris Cowan This feature was originally published on the old Humberside Partnership Connexions web site in June 2001. Developed by Don Beck & Chris Cowan (1996) from the ground-breaking work of Clare W Graves (1970) and integrating Richard Dawkins’ (1976) concept of ‘memes’, Spiral Dynamics expands exponentially Abraham Maslow’s (1943) human motivation model, Hierarchy of Needs. It is the most advanced of the ‘Levels of Existence’ theories – yet, at the same time, its ‘map’ of human motivation is very easy to use. The biggest field trial of Spiral Dynamics to date was in South Africa in the early-mid 1990s when Don Beck used it to help Nelson Mandela and F W DeKlerk design the transition from Apartheid to multi-cultural democracy. However, it has also influenced the Community Policing Policy of Victoria, New South Wales, been championed as a means of investigating new strands of racism on the Atlantic Seaboard and more recently has been taken up by Dutch Traffic Planners(!). The work of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) psychologist Robert Dilts (1990) on Neurological Levels provides a useful frame for understanding Spiral Dynamics. Dilts identifies that the mind orders its perceptions of the world at 5 levels…. Identity… Read More

What They’ve said…

…about This Book Newest comments at the top; oldest at the bottom. “Thankyou for this gem of a book!!! I actually came across it I think around 2007. When just starting out in Paul CHEK’s Self Mastery course. I’ve ever let go of the book! I only got half way through it and knew one day I would pick it up and finish it! Reading it again it makes more sense now. And again feel grateful for your hard work bring it together! My Mother found your book while I was starting to go through Paul’s Self mastery course. She passed it on to me and then Paul heard about it through me. Exciting how the universe works. Like myself at first, your book buyers  may not finish the work of the book, and like Paul’s How To Be Heathy book, get put back on the shelf, half read. But, that said, they won’t ever forget it and it will never be thrown out. Instead your book waits patiently as a guide ready to be read with eyes and hearts wide open. – Josette Curry, Canada, January 2021 (Josette is a personal fitness trainer and life coach.) “…a word of big… Read More


The Beginnings of ‘Integrated SocioPsychology’ 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018      2019     2020    2021-2023 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Facilitated a session in Grimsby on Learning & Change for Common Purpose South Humber as part of their ‘Profile’ programme. Commentary: The contact with Common Purpose South Humber was made via former Common Purpose in Hull director David Burnby who had been inspired through training with me in July 2001 to go freelance. David was much impressed with my training style and the Gravesian approach. In 2002 he had co-promoted the third delivery of An Introduction to Spiral Dynamics & Related Models of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and also sold an in-house version of the programme into Hull’s Preston Road New Deal for Communities project. January-April: Delivered Understanding MeshWORKS for North Lincolnshire Council Community Investment Team members who had not been on the first tranche of training in late 2002. Commentary: Jenny Gavin-Allen saw the need for as many members of her team as possible to be exposed to the Gravesian approach, related models… Read More


Humberside MeshWORK… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018      2019     2020    2021-2023 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Carried out major piece of therapy, using Penny Parks’ Mistaken Belief Visualisation (1994) to facilitate the healthy development of vMEMES. Commentary: The story of Susan’ is told in the Services Case Studies section. January: Returned to teaching part-time (as supply) – encouraged by teachers from St Mary’s College who felt it was important I had front-line classroom experience if I was to introduce the Gravesian approach and related Change Management methodologies into local Education. Commentary: I had quit teaching 22 years previously and never thought I would go back to it. However, with business not exactly flooding in and wanting to further my understanding of the Gravesian approach as applied in the classroom, it seemed like a good option…for the short term! (From the research angle, the result was A Downward Spiral… in the Education pages.) January-February: Assisted Afton Court Retirement Home (Bridlington) recruit a new manager. January-February: Facilitated strategic planning sessions with the… Read More


Busy, Quiet #2 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018      2019     2020    2021-2023 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Took the decision to no longer promote my services overtly as an organisational consultant – though I would still be open to providing ‘consultancy’ in specific circumstances which would benefit from the Integrated approach. Commentary: Truth to tell, I hadn’t carried out a significant project in organisational consultancy in several years. While my skills and knowledge in areas like people management and Organisational LifeCycles were as highly relevant as ever, inevitably my knowledge of market tends and the latest in ‘management thinking’ were out of date. While wanting to hang onto the belief (schema) that I could provide consultancy advice in specific contexts that would benefit profoundly from my particular skill set, I realised it was time to let go of my ‘consultant identity’. January-March: Ran a full 10-week version of Psychology Topics #3: Crime, Depression for Shipley College. Starting and finishing 2 weeks later I also ran Psychology Topics #1: Romantic Relationships, Mental Health for Rossett.… Read More


The Making of a ‘Change Engineer’… 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017     2018      2019     2020    2021-2023 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network February: Persuaded Business Link Wakefield & District and Wakefield College that the Management Development Forum agenda and resources should be incorporated within the Business Growth Forum. Commentary: The details of  ISO 9000 and Investors in People demonstrated clearly how much overlap there was in the aims of the 2 groups. Since there was a considerable commonality of membership, combined with frustration at the agencies’ duplication of effort and resources, it made sense – to me and to the member businesses – that the 2 groups be merged. This was the beginning of a new alliance at operational level between the 2 agencies and a key factor in the development of the BGF. March: The Business Growth Forum profile raised considerably by hosting joint workshop on Kaizen with RHP Bearings (Knottingley, West Yorks). Commentary: RHP were one of the larger engineering firms in the District and one of the most advanced in… Read More


PART 4 How complex is people’s thinking? The issue of just how far the bulk of any population ascend the Spiral/Hierarchy – experience the emergence of vMEMES in an ascending sequence – is a contentious one. In 1996 Beck & Cowan conjectured that the percentages of the world’s population dominated by a nodal vMEME in their thinking was:- BEIGE: 0.1% PURPLE: 10% RED: 20% BLUE: 40% ORANGE: 30% GREEN: 10% YELLOW: 1% TURQUOISE: 0.1% The percentages, of course, don’t add up to 100% and there is no breakdown of percentage to continents, cultures or societies. Cowan (Chris Cowan & Nastasha Todorovic, 2006b) has admitted that the figures were a (very!) rough interpretation/extrapolation of various data sets (including United Nations data) while Beck has never commented (for public consumption) on the estimates. Nonetheless, in general it supported the notion that the bulk of the population – the Western population, at least – were not significantly beyond a BLUE (Kohlberg) or BLUE/orange (Loevinger) way of thinking. Further support for this notion came from research using Kohlberg’s concepts. Using what effectively was a 9-stage model incorporating 3 sub-stages, Lawrence Walker, Brian De Vries & Shelley Trevethan (1987) found general agreement with Kohlberg. They interviewed 40 boys and 40 girls… Read More


PART 2 The Ist Tier BEIGE (A-N) (Maslow’s Survival; Loevinger’s Pre-Social) This vMEME is concerned with basic survival needs and is bottom of the Spiral. It is instinctive and does not lend itself to cognitive thought as such. Air, food and water, sleep, shelter from the elements and sex for procreation (rather than pleasure or affection) are the very basic drives which characterise this vMEME. If these requirements are not met (with the partial exception of sex for procreation), the human body simply cannot continue to function. If the BEIGE driver ceases to work, then we will die because we simply will not do what we need to do to survive. BEIGE ceasing to function is almost certainly what is meant when we say that someone has lost the will to live. Much of what Evolutionary Psychology has to say about the essentials of human nature is centred at this pre-cognitive, animalistic level. BEIGE/PURPLE (A-N/B-O) There is not enough reliable data to break this transition down into exiting and entering phases. The organism is beginning to show signs of cognition. Graves (1978/2005, p214) referred to it as the beginning of “viable psychological life”. Basic cause-and-effect assumptions start to be made. Primitive… Read More

Value Systems as Foresight Frameworks

by Marcus P Barber Summer 2005 Marcus Barber, CEO of Looking Up Feeling Good Pty Ltd, is a leading Strategic Futurist in Australia. His work straddles academic, commercial and governmental operations. This article, in which he hypothesises about vMEMETIC (value system) perceptions of time, was first published in ‘Futures Research Quarterly’ (Summer 2005) and is republished here with the kind permission of the author. Contact Marcus by e-mail to learn more about his work. The hypothesis of this paper proposes that value systems, as initially identified by Clare W Graves (1970) and subsequently developed by Don Beck & Chris Cowan (1996) into the Spiral Dynamics model, provide clues as to how people approach the subject of time. By identifying someone’s central values system (VS), we are able to anticipate their likely approach to time, their orientation toward the future (and, therein, foresight) and their potential expectations of the outcomes of planning. We are also made cognoscente of the fact that varying life conditions demand alternative methods of resolution. As such, the ability to consider the future for each of the value systems is influenced by differing factors of importance; and foresight practitioners and strategic planners will benefit greatly from being aware… Read More

Glossary V

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 Validity: Value: Value Consensus: Values Mandala: an NLP-based exercise for getting to people’s core values. The structure of the exercise – which works with the Unconscious Mind – makes it extremely difficult to respond logically to the questions. Thus, it is an effective exercise for getting to deep personal issues in situations where people are likely to be influenced by social desirability bias. Variable: something which varies or changes.In psychological experiments, the experimenter manipulates changes in one variable – the independent variable – to observe if that manipulation causes changes in another variable – the dependent variable. Eg: the learning environment (quiet or full of distractions) – the independent variable – will affect the ability to recall the learning – the dependent variable.Other variables which may also effect a change in the dependent variable are referred to as extraneous variables. If they are not controlled – ie: prevented from influencing the dependent variable – an extraneous variable can become a confounding variable. In other words, it confounds the experimenter attributing change in the dependent… Read More