Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


Continuity Hypothesis

Updated: 24 August 2019 The Continuity Hypothesis was put forward by John Bowlby (1953) as a critical effect of attachments in his development of Attachment Theory. He was greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud (1940) who viewed an infant’s first relationship – usually with the mother – as “the prototype of all later love-relations”. This ‘prototype’ Bowlby termed the internal working model – a set of conscious and/or unconscious  rules and expectations which will be applied to all  relationships we develop with others. So our first experiences will influence our expectations and actions in future experiences – hence the sense of continuity. In his concept of the internal working model, Bowlby was borrowing Kenneth Craik’s (1943) concept of ‘mental models’ – ie: that all humans carry in their heads mental representations of the external world and their relations with it. These mental models – schemas and complexes of schemas in the selfplex – then provide the basis on which the individual perceives and deals with the external world. According to Bowlby, with the aid of working models, children predict the attachment figure’s likely behaviour and plan their own responses. What type of model they construct is therefore of great consequence. How the internal working model formed will influence… Read More

Caregiver Sensitivity vs Temperament Hypothesis

Updated: 17 August 2016 From the time of Sigmund Freud’s first major work in 1900, there has been a stream of thought in Psychology which places responsibility for the development of the child’s personality unequivocally on to the parents – especially the mother. Freud himself (1940) writes: ““The reason why the infant in arms wants to perceive the presence of the mother is only because it already knows by experience that she satisfies all its needs without delay.” He says the mother’s status is “…unique, without parallel, established unalterably for a whole lifetime as the first and strongest love-object…” As mother satisfies “all its needs”, the implication clearly is that, if the child doesn’t turn out ‘right’, then mother hasn’t satisfied all its needs. From an Integrated SocioPsychology perspective, this makes a lot of sense. If the PURPLE vMEME doesn’t get its safety-in-belonging needs met in infancy, then the unavoidable emergence of the RED vMEME is likely to occur more forcefully and with much fewer of the socially-determined constraints PURPLE would impose on its self-expression – Id with little or no Ego, in Freudian terms. Based on the research of Joseph LeDoux (1992; 1996) into the limbic system, Jerry Coursen (2004-2005) has hypothesised that there is… Read More

Attribution Biases

Updated: 20 April 2016 An attribution bias is  a distortion in perception or judgement about the causes of our own or other people’s behaviour. The attributions people make are not always accurate due to these cognitive biases. Rather than operating as objective perceivers, people are prone to perceptual errors that lead to biased interpretations of their social world Some of the most important biases are:- Fundamental Attribution Error Also known as Correspondence Bias or Overattribution Effect, this is the tendency for people to over-emphasise dispositional (or personality-based), explanations for behaviours observed in others while under-emphasising situational explanations. In other words, people have an unjustified tendency to assume that a person’s actions depend on what ‘kind’ of person that person is rather than on the social and environmental forces influencing the person. The term was coined by Lee Ross (1977) after a now-classic experiment by Edward E Jones & Victor Harris (1967). Americn participants read short pro- and anti-Fidel Castro essays. They were asked to rate the pro-Castro attitudes of the writers. When the participants believed that the writers freely chose the positions they took (for or against Castro), they naturally rated the people who spoke in favour of Castro as having… Read More

Classical Conditioning

Updated: 20 June 2020 Classical Conditioning, the first school of  Behaviourism, is learning by association – ie: associating one thing with another. The formula is shown in the graphic below. NS = Neutral Stimulus The neutral stimulus on its own is one that does not normally trigger any notable response. UCS = Unconditioned Stimulus     UCR = Unconditioned Response The unconditioned stimulus (eg: smell of food) produces an unconditioned response (eg: dog salivating). An unconditioned response is essentially an unlearned innate reflex. It is triggered  consistently and automatically by the occurrence of one kind of stimulus. Once such a response is triggered, it is not normally altered for its duration by subsequent events. Experience does little to alter the time course or pattern of the response. When the unconditioned stimulus is paired with the neutral stimulus (eg: sound of door opening) at the same time (‘spontaneous conditioning’) as or immediately before (‘forward conditioning’) the unconditioned stimulus (eg: smell of food), the pairing produces the unconditioned response (salivation). Usually it takes repeated multiple pairings for the association to be made.  CS = Conditioned Stimulus     CR = Conditioned Response The conditioned stimulus (what was the neutral stimulus) will now produce the conditioned response… Read More

Spiral Dynamics and the Enneagramme

March 2005 With its roots reputedly in Suffi mysticism, the Enneagramme has developed through centuries to become arguably the most potent of the typing methodologies. Only the Myers-Briggs Typing Inventory, derived from the types postulated by Carl Gustav Jung,(1921)  and the DISC Inventory, based on the work of William Moulton Marston (1928), have anything like as strong a reputation for reliability. While some of those who champion the systems-in-people approach that Spiral Dynamics identifies are wary of types-of-people models such as the Enneagramme and Myers-Briggs, undoubtedly typing models with an irrefutable level of accuracy cannot be ignored and must offer insight into the human psyche in all its many manifestations. For example, it might be argued that a Type is impacted by particular gravitations – developments of harmonics and conflicts amongst vMEMES. So, when types flip into different but predictable patterns, what movement in the selfplex influenced this? And how are meta-programme axes affected by such shifts – reflected in the ‘flip pattern’? For more than 2 years Fabien Chabreuil – e-mail – and his wife, Patricia – email – have been working with their students at the Institut Français de l’Ennéagramme in Paris to understand how Spiral Dynamics and the… Read More

Spiral Dynamics and the Enneagramme #2

PART 2 Jack: It is true that, listening to the description of the different levels, it was sometimes difficult not to think of certain Types in the Enneagramme. RED and Type 8, or ORANGE and Type 3, for instance. How can we put all this together? Fabien: We have been observing and asking questions of people around us for almost 2 years to see if and how both systems can coexist. The results of that survey support the validity of both systems and respect their specifics. Every morning, when we wake up, we are convinced that we are the same person we were the night before, and 10 years before, and in our childhood. Yet, and it may sound like a paradox, we also have the feeling that we have deeply changed. Patricia: The Enneagramme describes with extraordinary subtlety the steady part of our personality. It is the enneatype we keep from the beginning of our life until the end. Which doesn’t keep the Enneagramme from being dynamic and from integrating a certain number of changes, with the growth of the wings, or with the disintegration or integration process. This process represents a major psycho-spiritual evolution, that independent of the changes described… Read More


27 April 2020 This school of Psychology, also known as Learning Theory, maintains that behaviours as such can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as the ‘mind’. Mental states such as moods and emotions are not appropriate subjects for scientific investigation as they cannot be studied objectively. Behaviourism as such was founded by John B Watson of John Hopkins University when he published his article ‘Psychology as the Behaviourist Views It’ — sometimes referred to as ‘The Behaviourist Manifesto’ –  in 1913. In this article, Watson outlined the major features of his new philosophy of Psychology. The first paragraph of the article concisely described Watson’s position: “Psychology as the behaviourist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behaviour. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. The behaviourist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognises no dividing line between man and brute. The behaviour of man, with all of its refinement and… Read More

Can vMEMES cause Clinical Depression..? #2

PART 2 The frustration of needs Abraham Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs (1943, 1971)  effectively describes the sequential levels of needs/goals of the emerging vMEMES. Eg: PURPLE wants to find safety in belonging; RED craves esteem; etc. As Maslow theorised mainly from case studies, rather than the kind of methodological research Clare W Graves undertook, it’s hardly surprising that his Hierarchy does not match exactly to Graves’ Spiral. However, the match is close enough  – see the Comparison Map – for us to consider Maslowian concerns and principles from the perspective of vMEMES. By doing this, we see not the ‘theoretical needs’ so often associated in a rather abstracted way with Maslow’s Hierarchy but living neurological systems within us desperate to be fulfilled. Maslow’s Hierarchy is looked upon by a number of psychologists as a guide to ‘ideal mental health’. In other words, if an individual is able to progress up the Hierarchy, with their needs met at each level, then they will move beyond the lower subsistence/deficiency levels and start to meet their ‘growth needs’ and eventually their ‘being needs’. According to Marie Jahoda (1958), Self-Actualisation – YELLOW in the Graves construct – is  a key element of ideal mental… Read More

Society FAQs

Click the question to go to its answer… 1. How is the MeshWORK approach superior? 1. How is the MeshWORK approach superior? Updated: 17/05/2015 Most partnerships (in whatever sector) are built on aligning the ‘partners’ around power plays, answering questions such as:- Who’s got the power  Who wants to do what? Who will back me/us doing what I/we want to do and what will I/we give in return? These kinds of partnerships are usually characterised by sub-alliances, back-biting and horse-trading. Partnerships built on genuine consensus are usually considerably more sophisticated but can be slow in the extreme to build. They are then often characterised by some form of consensual dogma to which all the ‘partners’ are locked in, whether the dogma is effective or not. What distinguishes the MeshWORK approach is that the partnership is built on what might be described as ‘meta-principles’ which are universal. The point of a MeshWORK is to address the needs/wants of all levels of the Spiral in all ways for the good of the Spiral as a whole. At a partnership level, this produces two key questions:- What needs to be done? Who is most suited to do it? Using the vMEMES of the Gravesian… Read More

Good Boys gone bad…?

Updated: 29 October 2016 Some years ago I encountered ‘Johnny’ and his younger brother, ‘Harry’, at a school I taught at in a run-down town in East Yorkshire. Their behaviour tended towards the extreme – although I have come across worse in my time as a teacher! – but was not that far removed from the behaviour of many boys (and some girls!) in secondary schools in deprived areas. As I taught both boys and had Harry in my tutor group, I learned a fair amount about their backgrounds and factors which influenced their attitudes and behaviours. I developed this diagnostic case study and recommendations from those experiences. My experiences in schools since, my conversations with other educationalists and my readings in Sociology and Psychology leave me still convinced that schools and society in general fail this kind of child. The case study is updated with more of my understanding in Integrated SocioPsychology. ‘Johnny’ was an ‘interesting’ 11-year who came to the school I was teaching at to start Year 7. He was bright, enthusiastic, eager both to learn and to show off his knowledge – almost always the first to have his hand up to answer a question. He was often ahead… Read More