Canada's MacLean's Magazine referred to his concept as 
"The theory 
that explains everything."











Two popular quotations from Dr. Graves summarizing his theory and point of view.

Summary table from the popular 1974 Futurist article, "Human Nature Prepares for a Momentous Leap."  (Note: Dr. Graves was not entirely satisfied with the way this was edited.)

Table comparing Graves' levels with 25 other models representative of how "systems people have portrayed psychosocial development," 1977

Dr. Graves on Assessment
Dr. Graves was skeptical about creating pencil-and-paper tests to locate people in the psychosocial space described in his theory. However, he recognized that such efforts were underway and offered some caveats about research.

List of words used in Graves' tachistoscope studies in building his theory (see Graves, Huntley, and LaBier)

Examples of Written Conceptions of the Mature Adult Personality
A key part of Dr. Graves research methodology was to ask student subjects to write a statement describing the mature adult personality in operation. He was able to compare what some of these subjects said across time in longitudinal studies, as well as to observe the kind of change, if any, that occurred under various pressures such as authority and peer pressure. These data also gave him a sense of the direction of change and served to build the levels of existence.

A Systems Conception of Personality
Partial transcription of presentation by Dr. Graves at the Washington School of Psychiatry, 1971, in which he discusses the origins and methodology of his research. (An updated and corrected version is available in print form in the book, Levels of Human Existence: A Transcription by William R. Lee)

Links to MP3 audio clips of Dr. Graves discussing his point of view in workshops, 1974.
...on the requirement for honesty in dealing with FS (Green)
   ... introducing the theory, 1974
   ... a cautionary note for looking at systems ahead
   ... psychological development as an infinite process

Copyright 2001 NVC Consulting