Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


3 Stage Theories of Development #2

PART 2 Stages of Moral Development Lawrence Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development constitute an adaptation of a psychological model originally conceived of by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1932). Kohlberg, while a Psychology postgraduate student at the University of Chicago, expanded Piaget’s concepts and then developed them throughout the course of his life. The theory holds that moral reasoning, the basis for ethical behaviour, has 6 identifiable developmental stages, the thinking at each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor. Kohlberg followed the development of moral judgement far beyond the ages studied earlier by Piaget who also claimed that logic and morality develop through constructive stages. Expanding on Piaget’s work, Kohlberg (1963) determined that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice and that it continued throughout the individual’s lifetime – a notion that spawned dialogue on the philosophical implications of such research. Kohlberg also took the concept beyond Piaget’s model in that he allowed for moral development to be influenced by aspects of the social environment such as what other people might say. (Piaget limited moral development to the effects of the individual’s own active self-discovery.) Kohlberg’s methodology used the Moral Judgement Interview he had first developed… Read More


Updated: 19 December 2016 ‘Selfplex’ is the term used by Susan Blackmore (1999) to depict ‘self’ effectively as the key confluence of schemas – ‘the ultimate memeplex‘ – which provides the concept of ‘I’, the cognitive awareness of who I am, how I think, what I feel, what I believe…why I am the way I am. Someone’s sense of identity or identities. The term ‘ego’ is widely used in Psychology and the other behavioural sciences as a cipher for ‘self’. It has even entered mainstream popular language in usages such as: “That’s egocentric” or “He’s got a lot of ego”. The very diversity of usages makes it too vague to use as a term for ‘self-concept’ – though it is often used in that context – which is why ‘selfplex’ is preferable. Sigmund Freud (1923b) used ‘Ego’ in a very specific yet cohesive sense. It is a force which attempts to balance the motivations of the Id and the Superego where they compete for dominance and restrains the more socially-unacceptable demands of the Id. This latter function can be seen in the way the PURPLE vMEME submits to the family or group to gain acceptance. Yet Freud also perceived the Ego as… 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

A Biological Basis for vMEMES…?

Updated: 16 November 2015 vMEMES, the motivational systems identified in the Gravesian approach and termed such in Spiral Dynamics, clearly have to have a neurological basis. Whatever your views on Dualism and the ‘Mind-Body Debate’ – whether or not we think there is a ‘mind’ or ‘soul’ distinct from the brain – the motivational effect we recognise as the product of what we call a ‘vMEME’ has to have a concomitant pattern of neural activity. So where is it? Or: where are they…the 8 vMEMES identified so far from Clare W Graves research, that is? When Graves career’ imploded in 1978 (due to major health problems), CAT scans – the first technique for providing truly detailed images of the brain – were only just coming onstream and research into the brain was still relatively primitive. With exceptions such as the remarkable mapping of motor and sensory areas of the brain by Wilder Penfield – Wilder Penfield & Edwin Boldry (1937), Wilder Penfield & Theodore Rasmussen (1950) – research was largely dependent on invasive surgery on animals, post-mortems and cognitive and behavioural studies of brain-damaged patients. Early in the 21st Century, the technology to ‘look inside’ the brain is considerably more advanced… Read More


The articles on these pages explore the concepts of Integrated SocioPsychology, vMEMES, Neurological Levels, Dimensions of Temperament and related Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Psychology and Sociology models from theoretical and general standpoints. Features dealing with the particular practical applications of the concepts and models are posted in the Lifespan, Society, Global and Mental Health sections of this site. Features on application of the concepts outside of those topic areas are included in this section. Thanks to those leading psychologists, sociologists and Gravesian/NLP practitioners who have generously allowed their work to be published here alongside my own. The articles appear in ascending chronological order – ie: the newest are at the top of the list below and the oldest at the bottom. Graves: Systems more than Stages      30/08/20 Piece examining the nature of stage the nature of stage theories and how the Graves Model is so much more than a stage theory Citizen-Driven Community and Nation-Building Article by Bjarni Snæbjörn Jónsson dealing with community engagement in large-scale change and using the drive for constitutional change in Iceland as application How the Plutocrats are waging War on the Bureaucrats… Piece using sociopsychological theory to explain the rise of nationalistic populism in the West The Trouble with… Read More


Updated: 4 July 2018 Epigenetics is an approach that helps to explain how nurture shapes nature to produce the phenotype from the genotype – in other words, how you become who you are from your genetic potential. In the words of Mark Solms & Oliver Turnbull (2002, p11): “…the fine organisation of the brain is literally sculpted by the environment in which it finds itself – far more so than any other organ in the body, and over much longer periods of time.” Whilst in no way undermining the importance of Genetics, it does undermine genetic determinism because it allows that virtually everything in the life span of an individual – from diet and nutrition, to ingestion of toxins, to social experiences, etc, etc – can influence the expression of genes to produce differences in motivation, temperament, cognition, behaviour and mental health. Bruce Lipton (2008) has put forward evidence to claim that emotions and even unconscious beliefs can bring about epigenetic modification. Conrad Waddington is credited with first using the term ‘epigenetics’ in Biology in 1946. ‘Epi’ is a Greek term meaning upon or above. Thus, epigenetics reflects the effects that take place upon, above or in addition to genetics.This original… Read More

Dimensions of Temperament

Updated: 5 December 2020 Looking at the 4 personality types depicted in the graphic above, which most accurately describes you? By ‘you’, we mean the natural you, the you you don’t have to work at, the you which feels most comfortable to you when there are no pressures to be anyone else. We’re talking about the you you were born with: your natural temperamental type. Of course, very, very few people remain totally true to that type in all circumstances – especially when their vMEMES motivate them to do things beyond their temperamental type. (For example, as someone slightly on the Melancholic side, when leading a workshop event, I find my ORANGE’s achievement orientation will lead me to perform in an outgoing, even charismatic way that contains little hint of my natural moderate Introversion.) How much you are any one type will depend on where you tend to locate naturally on each of the 2 Dimensions of Neuroticism and Extraversion. A number of studies have supported Hans J Eysenck’s (1967) contention that our default position on these Dimensions is birthed in us. One such was James Shields (1976) finding that monozygotic (MZ) twins were significantly more similar in Extraversion and Neuroticism … Read More


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 This is a glossary of psychological and sociological terminology used on this site and/or relevant to its aims regarding the alignment and integration of the behavioural sciences. The Glossary provides brief explanations and information on the concepts within the framework of Integrated SocioPsychology. Where a term is linked specifically to one of the key models, approaches or applications discussed on the site, then only very basic information is given in the GIossary and visitors should view the page on the model, approach or application for more details. Note: this is an integrated Glossary. Academic students, when using definitions from these pages, should be careful that the meanings given are acceptable within the scope of their studies. Due to the fractured and fragmented nature of the behavioural sciences and the differences between the competing schools of thought, not all definitions given here are accepted by all schools of thought. Comments are invited from visitors re the accuracy of definitions; and suggestions for new pertinent definitions are most welcome. Please use the Contact page for this.… Read More

About This Site…

Updated: 15 October 2022  Obviously one key purpose of this site is to tell you about me – see About Me… The other key purpose is to present what I call Integrated SocioPsychology. I coined the term ‘Integrated SocioPsychology’ in 2004 for a comprehensive and cohesive approach I intuited could align and integrate all the different (and all too-often bickering!) disciplines in the behavioural sciences. To make cohesive sense of all the theories, models and interventions in the behavioural sciences and the complimentary ‘hard sciences’ (Biology, Neuroscience), I have been using the concepts of the Gravesian approach (vMEMES) – and Clare W Graves’ research on which it is based – to underpin the science of Memetics and Robert Dilts’ Neurological Levels structure and develop the approach I think of as Integrated SocioPsychology. The Dimensions of Temperament construct of Hans J Eysenck serves well to describe individual temperamental dispositions while the framework of 4Q/8L enables multi-context ‘big picture’ views. The concept of Integrated SocioPsychology postulates the complementarity of much in the academic disciplines of Psychology and Sociology and what are often considered ‘alternative’ fields such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The overarching paradigm of Integrated SocioPsychology is that, by ‘re-imagining’ the behavioural sciences with… Read More


Updated: 5 December 2020 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 A middle class boy, born to parents from the upper working classes who had worked their way up into the lower professional grades, I was privileged to have parents who both cared for me and drove me – especially my father. My parents – like most! – had many faults and left me with more than a few issues – see: The Counsellor gets counselled! Yet overall they gave me a good start in life, pushing me through the 11-Plus and the grammar school system to do what had been almost impossible for upper working class teenagers of their generation: to go to university. I was raised mostly in the Lancashire (now Merseyside) town of St Helens…but the bulk of my family were in nearby Liverpool. And Liverpool, in the early-mid 1960s was the epicentre of the musical and social revolution that began with The Beatles and expanded through ‘Merseybeat’. A tremendously exciting… Read More