Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences


Is Vladimir Putin what CORAL looks like?

PROLOGUE  (04/03/22) This post has undoubtedly caused a lot of offence amongst people who subscribe to Gravesian and developmental thinking. Unfortunately, some people have assumed I’m saying Putin definitely does CORAL thinking. I wasn’t and I’m not. I’m offering it as a potential explanation for his outrageous and deadly behaviour. I’m saying: Maybe we should look at this as a possible explanation..? If we can understand Putin, then maybe we can deal with him. The post is meant to stimulate discussion amongst people who, quite frankly, understand 2nd Tier thinking a lot better than I do. It reflects none too well on me that I failed to anticipate just how badly it would be received. So I’m sorry for the offence caused…but I have decided to leave the post up (for the time being). I’m hoping that, with this prologue, it can still serve to stimulate discussion which can help lead to greater understanding of Putin and the dreadful situation he has put the world in – and most especially the people of Ukraine. _____________________________________________________________ I once wondered whether Vladimir Putin was a 2nd Tier thinker – and whether Barack Obama, for all his many laudable qualities, wasn’t. As Putin’s war… Read More

A 2nd Tier Approach to a 1st Tier World

Published in the Integral Leadership Review e-zine – – August 2018. Guest editor Robin Lincoln Wood had been asked to put together a special issue both to celebrate and follow on from the Spiral Dynamics Summit on the Future that May. As one of the conference speakers I was asked by Robin to write an article which both built on the theme of the presentation and took it forward. The version republished here is only very marginally-different from that which appeared in Integral Leadership Review. The Spiral Dynamics Summit on the Future (Dallas, 20-22 April 2018) was a fairly awesome event. A gathering of leading Gravesian practitioners (both on the stage and in the audience), partly to honour Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck and partly to focus on how the Gravesian approach can be used to tackle the current malaises afflicting the world. (Many of the presentations are reflected in the articles comprising the special edition of ILR.) Speaker after speaker gave us theoretical understandings and practical applications. All were good. All were insightful. Some were simply inspirational. There was a great sense of community amongst the participants, whether speaker or non-speaker, and fascinating discussions took place on the side-lines of the conference in the breaks, in the evenings… Read More


PART 3 BLUE (D-Q) (elements of Maslow’s Cognitive/Loevinger’s Conformist L-3/Kohlberg’s Law & Order) The BLUE vMEME is concerned with the imposition of order and the one right way of doing things. It often runs a Little Detail meta-programme because deviation from the ‘One True Way’ cannot be tolerated. BLUE-related memes are often couched in negative don’t! terms.) Cook-Greuter (p14) states that “Blind conformism, fundamentalism and prejudice can be expressions of this frame of mind.” Doing what is right is far more important than compassion or consideration of human cost. BLUE carries out the Conscience function of Freud’s Superego. In anthropological/historical terms, a major example of the large-scale emergence of the BLUE vMEME in the Western world was the coming of the mercantile trading laws in the 17th Century. (These are embodied today in the work of the World Trade Organisation.) However, the monasteries of the Middle Ages, several hundred years before, were prominent in promulgating a rigid set of moral ideals based on the ‘word of God’. In fact, it’s possible to trace BLUE back at least as far as Moses and the writing of the Pentateuch. BLUE’s requirement of detail means that the written word, particularly in terms of the… Read More

Lives on the Spiral

Personal Reflections On The Influence Of SDi ‘Lives on the Spiral’ is one of 2 contributions commissioned from me by Tom Christensen for his compendium, Developmental Innovation: Emerging Worldviews and Individual Learning (Integral Publishers, August 2015). Originally the work was to be entitled ‘SDi Applied’ as Tom wanted to present chapters which reflected Don Beck’s ongoing development of Clare W Graves’ research. Accordingly, Tom wanted the primary term used to be SDi rather than Spiral Dynamics or the ‘Graves Model’. Although I readily acknowledge my debt to Don Beck (and Chris Cowan, for that matter), I have never operated under the SDi umbrella, preferring to use terms such as the Gravesian approach. To maintain the integrity of the piece as published, I have retained the SDi terminology. However, readers should know that effectively I mean ‘Gravesian’. Tom ended up with so many strong contributions – including from the likes of Said E Dawlabani, Elza Maalouf, Barbara N Brown and Fred Krawchuk – that he and Integral Publishers split the material into 2 volumes: the first on Systems Change and the second on Individual Learning. Both my contributions are in the second book. I’ve had an interest in Psychology since my first year at… Read More

The SME Spiral

This article was published in the January 2005 edition of Quality World, the magazine of the Insitute of Quality Assurance (Brtain’s – and arguably the world’s! – foremost institution for the development and propagation of quality). It was written in response to expressions of frustration by consultants working with SMEs in the magazine’s August 2004 issue. A draft of the article was published on this web site for several months under the title ‘SMEs and ISO 9000’. The revised version above is identical to that published in Quality World – save for references to the models used. (In the IQA version, readers were directed to sidebars containing basic introductions to Adizes LifeCycle and Spiral Dynamics. Here, the links are to other pages containing information on the models.) My thanks to Quality World editor Nicky Farmer for her input in refining the article for commercial publication. Since the heady days of the DTI Enterprise Initiative in the late 1980s, survey after survey has failed to show any real improvement in the competitiveness of the SME end of British industry. Why is this? ISO 9000, Investors in People, business planning schemes, marketing projects, NVQs, Modern Apprenticeships, SMART innovation awards – the list is endless – have all failed to have the desired wide-scale impact their developers dreamed of.This is particulary… Read More

Innovation & Values in the 21st Century

by Alan Tonkin 20 October 2007 Alan Tonkin is Chairman of the Global Values Network Group whose web site is one of the most advanced in the world at using Spiral Dynamics to monitor shifts in societies and assess impacts at both national, international and even global levels Alan generously allowed this piece, written for the GVN site, to be published here. We continuously hear the call for more and more innovation in our 21st Century world; but the question is what is innovation, as seen by the larger mix of global citizens? In a developed world view this means better ways of resolving issues by the use of technology, either by the use of existing technology or by considering new approaches to the issue being tackled. However, in other less well developed and resource-deprived societies the question of innovation may appear to be very different to the 21st Century approach above. Values and innovation The level of values present in a society reflects very clearly on the type of problems that it is able to tackle in an innovative way. Some examples taken from the various values levels show that the ‘life conditions’ clearly influence the type of response to a particular issue.… Read More

Glossary S

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 Sample: Sample Bias: Sanguine: Schema: the term  means any cognitive structure or encoded packet of information in the mind-brain. That cognitive structure, according to Susan Fiske & Shelley Taylor (1991), “contains knowledge about a thing, including its attributes and the relations among its attributes”. Michael W Eysenck & Cara Flanagan (2001)  say schemas – the plural is sometimes referenced as ‘schemata’ –  are socially determined, learned and refined through social exchanges. When schemas are shared culturally in this way, they effectively function as memes. Schizophrenia: a severe mental illness where contact with reality is impaired (psychosis) and the sufferer finds that thoughts and feelings often don’t fit together. Symptoms commonly associated with this illness include bizarre delusions and auditory hallucinations (hearing voices); although neurocognitive defecits in memory, organisation and planning and language impairments (speech peculiarities) are also frequent.There are considered to be 5 classifications of Schizophrenia:- ○ Disorganised – characterised by delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech and large mood swings ○ Catatonic – where the ‘patient’ has periods of peculiar or very limited activity and mobility –… Read More

Glossary H

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 Hegemony: Heritability: the proportion of the variance of a particular trait in a population that can be traced to inherited factors. The heritability ratio is calculated by dividing the genetic variability by the total variability plus the genetic variability. The genetic variance can be calculated by using concordance rates. Hierarchy of Needs: Abraham Maslow’s model of levels of human needs, starting with the purely physiological at the bottom and concluding with the transcendental at the top. The 8 levels are:- Transcendence Self-Actualisation* Aesthetic  – to appreciate symmetry, order and beauty Cognitive – the need to know and understand Esteem* – to achieve, be competent, gain recognition and approval Belonging/Love Needs* – to affiliate with others and be accepted Safety* – from danger Survival* – at a purely physiological level Those levels marked * were in the original 1943 Hierarchy. The Cognitive and Aesthetic levels were first discussed by Maslow in 1954 and formally added to the Hierarchy in 1970. Maslow first discussed Transcendence needs in 1969 but did not explicitly add it to the… Read More


Updated: 19 May 2021 This vMEME is barely present in the world yet. Although there are increasing numbers of people in certain circles – eg: Integral salons – who claim to think in this way, there is yet to be sufficient scientific evidence to say for sure what the TURQUOISE way of thinking is. From the Gravesian approach Don Beck & Chris Cowan (1996) posit it will be on the collectivistic self-sacrificial side of the Spiral and it will be a more complex way of thinking than Self-Actualisation/YELLOW. Lawrence Kohlberg & Clark Power (1981, p257) note it is “much less unitary and definable”. Beyond this, with only tiny samples and anecdotal evidence, it is as much an untested hypothesis as a reality and descriptors must be read with great caution. Humanistic psychologists like Abraham Maslow (1943) and Carl Rogers (1959) considered Self-Actualisation to be the pinnacle of development of the human mind – the highest level in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When someone had become all that they could be and fulfilled all their potential, then they could be said to have completely self-actualised. Maslow’s (1956) attempt to be specific about how a self-actualised person would think defined a way of thinking he… Read More

Self-Actualisation/YELLOW #2

Part 2 Research on Self-Actualisation While Maslow conducted extensive biographical research and case studies of people he considered to be self-actualisers, his methodologies cannot be considered ‘scientific’. Moreover, his criteria for describing a ‘self-actualiser’ could be argued as highly subjective. He did not explicitly compare self-actualisers with self-actualisers. Nevertheless, his work has provided valuable insights the ‘being ways of thinking’. In his near 30 years of research, Graves did conduct investigations of a much more scientific nature and built on Maslow’s ideas, as did Jane Loevinger. Everett Shostrum (1963, 1977) developed the Personal Orientation Questionnaire to create a standardised approach to identifying self-actualisers. The results of scoring the questionnaire reveal the extent (high or low) to which a person self-actualises in their life. Michael Sheffield et al (1995) used it to find that those low in Self-Actualisation tend to have poor interpersonal relationships. Mark Runco, Peter Ebersole & Wayne Mraz (1995) found that creative thinking is more associated with high Self-Actualisation. L Thomas & P E Cooper (1980) found that self-actualisers are more likely to be open to experiences and accepting of those experiences. They are also more likely to recognise a ‘peak experience’ and to use such experiences to enhance… Read More