Dr. Graves' 1982
What the Research of Clare W. Graves
Says a Model of Healthy Mature Psychosocial Behavior
1. That the human being, though but one biological organism,
has developed to date, seven Exiting, seven Nodal, and eight
Entering progressively developing psychosocial systems because it
is an almost infinite psychological being which changes
systematically as the world changes in the course of living.
2. That these nodal systems are, normally, hierarchically
ordered, prepotent and upwardly spiraling.
3. That these systems alternate their mental focus in a cyclic,
oscillating, dominant fashion.
4. That the first system is slightly differentiated to favor
focus upon the external world and how to gain and expand power
over it, then alternating thereafter upon the inner subjective
world and how to come to know and come to peace with it in even
numbered systems, and focus upon the external world and how to
control and expand power over it in subsequent odd-numbered
5. That cerebral dominance, in the odd-numbered systems is by
the left hemisphere of the brain and in even-numbered systems is
by the right hemisphere of the brain.
6. That these alternating systems show little mean variation
for some psychological dimensions, such as intelligence and
7. That certain psychological dimensions such as ideological
dogmatism and objectivity emerge with a particular system in the
hierarchy of systems, then decrease or increase systematically in
8. That certain psychological dimensions such as guilt, as a
felt emotion, emerge with a particular system in the hierarchy
then, in subsequent systems, vary quantitatively in an increasing
or decreasing cyclic, wave-like fashion.
9. That every other psychosocial system is like, but at the
same time, not like its alternating partner. Systems 2, 4, and 6
etc., are predominantly obeisance, conservative systems; but each
obeys different authority sources and obeys and conserves in
different ways. Systems 1, 3, 5, and 7 etc., are predominantly
change systems, but how to and what to change is different in each
10. That each system has a general theme for existence which
11. That each central theme for existence is particularizable
into almost an infinite number of ways for peripheral expression.
For example, the fourth level absolutistic "sacrifice now to
get later" theme is found in the world particularized into
many absolutistic, monotheistic, religious theologies and many
non-religious absolutistic ideologies.
12. That increasing degrees of behavioral freedom, increasing
degrees of choice emerge with each successive level; but the
degree of increase is greater in odd-numbered than in
13. That every seventh system shows a degree of change in
excess of the sum of all six previous changes.
14. That adult psychosocial life is a developing, emergent
process which can be likened to a symphony built on six basic
themes which repeat, in higher order form, every set of six. The
first six tell the story of adult psychosocial development in a
world of naturalistic abundance. The second order systems tell the
story of how psychosocial development will take place in a world
of naturalistic scarcity.
15. That each system develops from the interaction of
hierarchically ordered, parallel, and prepotent sets of
existential problems and sets of neuropsychological coping
16. That adult psychosocial development is a flowing process in
which the solution of current existential problems creates the
next set of existential problems to be solved and in their
creation produces complex chemicals which activate the next set of
neuropsychological coping equipment consisting of the information
processing means for detection and solution of the created set of
17. That the process moves in a complex wave-like, progressive,
nodal, regressive fashion and may fixate at certain progressive or
regressive points. Each wave develops slowly to the point of
inflection, then rapidly ascends to its nodal form, then begins a
slow descent to the point of deflection where a precipitous fall
ensues as the next wave starts slowly to ascend.
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