Susan Cook-Greuter's theory of ego development
9 levels of increasing embrace (Basic outline of the theory, PDF)
Videos that cost money to access (but they're not that interesting anyway)
"Susan Cook-Greuter is a researcher from Harvard University who has studied with Robert Kegan and has been an active member of the Society for Research in Adult Development (SRAD) for several years. She has researched the ego development model of Jane Loevinger and has scored thousands of protocols using the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT). She has focussed on the later stages of ego development, and has made distinctions in the data that Loevinger’s method of analysis did not reveal. "
It's basically a developmental type theory about how a person's view of self and other progresses. Apparently Cook-Greuter has been doing research since the 80s by analyzing people's use of expressions and what kind of syntax they're using.
I think it's pretty damn interesting, and also quite informing for people who are interested in type theory in general. Type theory isn't something that can just be understood from the outside but also has to be looked at in terms of internal experience, and that requires a lot of self-awareness as well acknowledgement of one's own ego defenses. It's quite a different way to go about things than to just go about quoting books about "self-empowerment" in your head...
I find the "Construct-aware" Stage 5/6 particularly interesting...
"Unlike earlier stages, Construct-aware persons are aware of the ego’s clever and vigilant
machinations at self-preservation. This is the first time in development that the ego becomes
transparent to itself."
"By turning further inward, Construct-aware persons start to see through their own
attempts at meaning making, and become aware of the profound splits and paradoxes inherent in rational thought. In many ways, they individually rediscover the Korzybski’s notion (1948) that “the map is not the territory.” The linguistic process of splitting into polar opposites and the
attending value judgments can become conscious. Good and evil, life and death, beauty and
ugliness may now appear as two sides of the same coin, as mutually necessitating and defining
In the context of this and similar boards... It seems to me that a person at Stage 5/6 can easily be seen as a complete bastard by someone at a lower stage in some instances. For example, being highly self-aware they can afford to reveal their motivations to others, even the not so flattering ones. Someone at a lower stage who prefers to stay unaware of the complete spectrum of their own motivations might react with distaste to such a disclosure, since they believe that they themselves have only "noble" intentions, or at least that any "ignoble" thought should be repressed rather than looked at and accepted as a "lower" part of the self-system.
What do you think about the theory?
Sincerely, I think that's a purely commercial thing.
This commercial principle is very known and simple : there are the "X people" and the "Z people". "X people" are frequent, and "Z people" are rare. to be a Z is better than being a X. Beware of confusing material and spiritual things.
M&B initially did the same thing : "being an introvert is better because they are only 25%" (they are actually 51-52% or something) ; and Keirsey implied "being NT or NF is better because they total less than 10-15% each." ; if you're Keirsevian NT, which are really 25% as Keirsey said "they are 10%"...... ; a person in a 25%-category would beleive he actually is in a 10%-category... hmm...
Wilber and Beck did the same thing by saying : "being higher levels is better because we find less people in those levels".
I'll call that : "inverse conformism" ; conformism is "more frequent is better" and inverse conformism is "less frequent is better" or "we are the only .01% who know the truth".
A pseudo-non-conformist group can tell you you're being brain-washed by society, and you can avoid being brain-washed by "society" by choosing to being brain-washed by the pseudo-non-conformist group. In France, we say that right-wingers are conformists brain-washers, but left-wingers outnumbers them by 3:1. Who is actually being brain-washed ?
That ego-development chart is saying : do you feel anonymous ? you can be exceptional. You can be in a .5% category, but how much people will actually believe that ? 90% ?
Ok, I guess the temptation to go looking for an identity is a concern when dealing with any psychological theory.
On the other hand, where does the theory say that higher is inherently better? If your saying that it's just being implied covertly, that's an argument impossible to refute, and one that no developmental theory is immune against on top of that.
In fact it says about The Autonomous Stage 4/5
"Autonomous persons may feel impatient with others’ slow development and frustrated with their “unwillingness” to grow despite their efforts. This is likely the central flaw of this stage.
Autonomous persons tend to be those most convinced that higher development is better and
should be fostered at all costs. Higher is believed to be better because the more differentiated and
the more autonomous an individual becomes, the more one can claim that one has an objective
(non-distorted) and realistic self-identity (Kegan, 1982). One can claim an authentic, truthful self. Authenticity, is therefore an important value in the Autonomous value repertoire."
So the very notion that higher is always better is seen as part of a certain stage. I'm kind of wondering if your aversion towards sequential map-making is a Ne>Ni thing, on the other hand, you have talked about SD before?
yes, I know SD, and you're confusing SD with SDi
Originally Posted by kopernikus
SDi is an altered SD model intended for promoting Buddhism as a post-hippie culture, and SD is an emergent biopsychosocial model.
http://www.spiraldynamics.org/ <- talks of SD (Graves-Cowan)
http://www.spiraldynamics.net/ <- talks of SDi (Beck-Wilber)
I prefer SD because I'm Catholic and SDi offends me. SDi says Catholics are Level-4 and Bouddhists are Level-8. SD is an atheist model, and I accept it (distantly). rejecting SDi is for me a strong feeling.
No I don't think I'm confusing the two. SD is as much an example of sequential map-making as SDi. Anyways, nevermind...
you can compare SD and SDi...
Originally Posted by kopernikus
for example, all SD systems are compatible with Roman Catholicism, but SDi says that it is only at Level-4, and to be a Level-5, I would have to apostatize, and to be a Level-6 then, I would have to become a progressive hippie, and so on. basically in SDi 1st Tier levels (Subsistance Levels) are non-Buddhist, and 2nd Tier levels (Being Levels) are Buddhist.
I said, the woman who wrote that thing could say that she could help you to belong to a .5% club. many wants to be successful and respected. that behaviour is more a Level-5-thing (ORANGE)
SD is not a sequence of stages of development, but a sequence of systems in people.