William R. Lee, September, 1999


Maps . . . "are a paradigm, a particular form of organizing knowledge in the belief that there is truth to be found by constructing a map in the ways chosen by the author."(O’Regan, Brendan. (1998) Ions Newsletter, Vol. 9 #2, Fall, 1981. Noetic Sciences Review, Summer, No. 46. page 1.)

The brain of the human being is a pattern-perceiver. Each author (theorist or whatever) listed below has perceived a pattern in the behavior of human beings and believes that the revealed pattern, a kind of psychological map, contributes to our understanding of what it means to be a human being. Since each author is a unique human being with a unique personal experiential history, the pattern that each author has perceived may be similar to but not necessarily the same as another author’s pattern perception. What I have organized in comparing the Spiral Dynamics "map" with other authors "maps" is based upon my own interpretations (along with some suggestions provided by Dr. Graves’ early research and sources found in various books as indicated) of the degree to which the "maps" of other authors correspond to the pattern perceptions of Clare W. Graves, Don Beck and Chris Cowan in their formulation of what they call Spiral Dynamics.

Each of the "maps" used in the comparison covers a specific area of human behavior. However, the Spiral Dynamics "map" itself is unique in that it covers a very wide range of human behavior. As Dr. Clare Graves said; "this theory is a systems conception of personality which may be able to integrate everything that has been put down in the literature about human behavior." He was relating generally to the behavioral sciences: anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, political science and history.

Therefore, I have divided this comparison into two major areas:

(1) theorists who have perceived what might be called emergent, unfolding development patterns (for the most part these are truncated systems), Tables 2-7, and

(2) theories, and theorists whose work relates to one or more of the systems on Spiral Dynamics in such areas as thinking, learning, motivation, therapy, personality, philosophy, religion, historical time, political and economic forms, Tables 8-11.

These comparisons are in a sense incomplete in that there is still much work to be done. There will be those who wish to make changes in the comparisons that I have suggested and this is fine for this work is continually open to new interpretations. As Abraham Maslow stated; "it seems that the only manly thing to do is not to fear mistakes, but to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually." (Maslow, A. H., Motivation and Personality: A General Theory of Human Motivation Based Upon a Synthesis Primarily of Holistic and Dynamic Principles. Harper & Row, 1970, page 149.)

[Note:  The first two levels of the Spiral Dynamics 2nd Tier, (G-T and H-U) -- will be represented as the first two systems in the Graves "Being Levels" and designated as A'-N' and B'-O' in this paper.]

With these thoughts in mind the following "maps" are presented:

INDEX   (numbers are linked to tables)

1.    SD with Fromm, Riesman, Heard, and Mumford

2.    SD with Kohlberg & Erikson

3.    SD with Maslow and Loevinger

4a.  SD with Bloom & MacDonald

.  SD with Stamp, Gibson, and Bennett

.  SD with Rowbottom & Billis, Jaques, and Reich

.  SD with Harrison & Bramson and O. J. Harvey

6.    SD with Heath, Schein, and Schostrom|

7.    SD and Psychological Theories

8.    SD and Learning Theories

9.    SD and Religion/Philosophy

10.  SD with Political and Economic Forms


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