My first-hand observation and experience of Singapore’s extraordinary achievements, during visits that commenced in 1995, stimulated this discovery. I was awakened, as never before, to the importance of prosperity in any society.
I also realized the paramount necessity of strengthening the work ethic in economically-developed societies, which seemed to have sickened under welfare that was often more of a drug than a safety net.
Two years of reflection on my Singaporean experiences enabled me to clarify the relevant Framework during 1996–1998. Apart from general background reading in management and social sciences, I am primarily indebted to a diverse list of books serendipitously discovered over that two-year period, in particular:
Spiral Dynamics by D.E. Beck & C.C. Cowan (Blackwell, 1996);
The Sovereign Individual by J.D. Davidson & W. Rees-Mogg (Macmillan, 1997);
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises (orig. 1949; 4th Rev. Ed. The Foundation for Economic Education, 1996);
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by A. Ries & J. Trout (Harper Collins, 1993).
This work, initiated by Graves, a Professor of Psychology, has such a close resemblance to the Spiral Dynamics (SD) and both claiming to follow Graves. There are now references to still higher levels in the framework: certainly an 8th, and there are 10 levels on one SD website.that it is undoubtedly tapping into the same phenomenon. Since the publication above, the two authors have gone separate ways—both claiming the name
SD theory refers to biological states and is drawn empirically by noting the evolution of societies and their culture starting from 100,000–50,000 BCE.
The historical SD hierarchical order of types is incorrect (in THEE terms). So the fertility of the ideas as evidenced on this website could never be generated. Instead, SD investigation has led to ever-greater complexity: There are presently eight landmark systems with two transitional stages (entering and exiting) between each pair, along with blends and combinations.
SD theory also seems to allow for notions like superiority and primitiveness to emerge. By contrast, THEE regards all types as essential, and just as important and practical today as they have ever been. THEE applications reveal that a holistic use of all the Types is essential for social life. This assumes a general ability for everyone to appreciate all of them.
SD naming is problematic: the authors use colours i.e. metaphorical or image-based names; or they use phraseology and initials that are difficult to comprehend; or they use strings of words. If a simple direct name is not possible, it may reflect an attempt to force a concept rather than to make a simple unambiguous observation. Obscurity in exposition is generally a warning sign to readers.
SD theory includes and refers to phenomena that are a product of the time and place of the observations, rather than residing in the essence of the Type. THEE regards such history-tied descriptions as an intrusion and a confusion between the two domains of reality that we inhabit.
Conclusion: It seems that mainstream anthropology, social science and evolutionary biology do not support SD theory. The view taken here is that a psychosocial reality is being forced on empirical facts and vice versa. This leads to distorted views and positions that neither conventional scientists nor psychosocial observers will accept as valid.
The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation Theory (FIRO) was introduced by William Schutz in 1958. The psychometric tool FIRO-B was later developed from it. Schutz saw just three main interpersonal needs: affection, control and inclusion. (These correspond directly to , and in the present Framework.
However, by postulating excessive, deficient, and ideal scores, a complicated typology transpires. As the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) became more popular, it replaced FIRO-B. There is a significant difference in assessing needs (hidden by nature), as FIRO-B does, and pointing to observable interaction patterns as the THEE Framework does.
Alan Fiske claims in his anthropological research that there are precisely four fundamental choices available to people in dealing with each other. His four models in Relational Models Theory (RMT) seem to have links with the present Framework, although perhaps this is not so obvious from the names: Communal Sharing (CS); Authority Ranking (AR), Equality Matching (EM) and Market Pricing (MP). CS includes, for example, not just obvious communal interaction, but people in love—which shows THEE features (as might be expected) rather than what most people would think of as community features.
The concern of RMT is not with enduring states of mind, but with the particular interaction of the moment. Such minute classifications do not assist us greatly in everyday life. We are intensely concerned with predicting the behaviour of others and managing our relationships effectively through much longer periods—over months and even years.
Originally posted: July 2009