Two popular quotations
from Dr. Graves summarizing his theory and point of view.
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.)
Graves' levels with 25 other models representative of how
"systems people have portrayed psychosocial development,"
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.
of words used in Graves' tachistoscope studies in building
his theory (see Graves,
Huntley, and LaBier)
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.
Systems Conception of Personality
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.
the requirement for honesty in dealing
with FS (Green)
the theory, 1974
... a cautionary note for looking at systems
... psychological development as an infinite