Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘adult development’

Re-viewing Self and Societal Development from a Postformal Perspective: An Artistic De-concealiation, Reconciliation and Trans-formation

Marc G. Lucas

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to attempt to do justice to the chosen topic, including regarding its design. In a conscious distinction from the more conventional, materialistic, rationalistic, and quantitative approaches that prevail today in the economic and social sciences, the focus of this study will first be placed on consideration of images, contextualising the way in which I perceive them (first person perspective). Thus the paper is structured along sequential instances of experience and concomitant reflection bringing together such different paradigmatic positions as artistic and scientific approaches to individual and collective developments within an integrated approach that includes and transcends conventional thought. Together with statements from several artists and their works of visual arts (second person perspective) and in a mutual exchange with third person approaches from current psychological, economic, and neuro-scientific debates this will create an integrated systemic image, which in particular allows a deeper look into the underlying overall developmental theme. Every section of the article will be introduced by two correspondent statements, one written from an artistic more introspective perspective and one from a philosophical or scientific position to point out the main tension experienced and discussed within the section. Main aim is to allow to arise cross-fertilization in the sense of a hermeneutic circle. This circle finds its dynamically-sustaining shape in the form of a Mobius strip. Philosophical contributions in particular from phenomenology and complexity theory complete the picture, thus creating a conscious draft, which is aware of its own subjectivity. Ultimately the simultaneous inclusion of artistic and creative skills carried out in this article, goes beyond individual paradigms of a formal logic inherent in existing theories of development toward a more inclusive and visionary logic of the art looked at/and artistic lens seen through.

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The Generality of Adult Development Stages and Transformations: Comparing Meaning-making and Logical Reasoning

Tom Hagström and Kristian Stålne

Abstract: Human development theories differ in “context sensitivity,” covering those stressing development stages and those stressing continuously progressing changes. The former theories differ in whether, how and why the stages are regarded as being generalized across domains, i.e. their generality claims. Piaget’s developmental stage theory of logical complexity of children and adolescents fulfill “strong” such claims, including fixed stage sequentiality of increasing complexity levels and higher stage structures integrating earlier ones. His theory has inspired a number of adult development stage theories with varying generality claims. These provide suggestions of stages and stage transitions reaching beyond “pure” cognition, integrating more of e.g. emotional, value and moral dimensions. From a neo-Piagetian perspective, core generality aspects seem to concern on the one hand logical reasoning and on the other hand meaning-making. This raises questions of how these aspects are related to each other in terms of stage structures and transformations.

The aim of the article is to discern general features in adult development stage structures and transitions, in terms of logical reasoning and meaning making. This is carried out by a “thought experiment” interrelating two theories that differ in these respects but that are both based on Piaget’s theory, namely Robert Kegan’s constructive developmental Subject-Object Theory (SOT) and Michael Common´s behaviouristic Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC). This comparing approach concerns the 3rd, 4th and 5th order of consciousness as well as transitions between these according to SOT, and order 9 to 12 and corresponding transitions according to MHC. The thought experiment indicates that the generality claims of both models can be argued for without one of them necessarily being subordinated to the other one. Both theories are interpreted as differing but partly overlapping structures of coherence, while also being involved in transformative thesis-antithesis-synthesis processes. The possible interrelatedness between logical reasoning and meaning making is considered and discussed, as well as the relevance of differing generality claims, and contrasting subjectivistic and objectivistic “scientific positions.” Finally, it is argued for the need of contextualizing adult development theory and research by relating it to postindustrial societal demands and challenges in terms of e.g. a “transform-actional” approach.”

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Much Madness is Divinest Sense: Wisdom and Development

Caroline Bassett

Abstract: No one has yet come up with a complete understanding of wisdom. We can approximate it, we can circle it, we can gaze at it longingly, we can try to seize it with both hands. In my attempt to understand wisdom, I look at it through several different lenses – recent research into measures of wisdom, the discoveries of neuroscience, integral theory, post-conventional development, how wisdom operates in daily life, and my own findings. They include my four-part model and my assertion that wisdom lies on a continuum from rare and rarefied to humble and pragmatic. Finally, I discuss how individuals can enhance their own wisdom and encourage it in others. Wisdom is large; it contains multitudes.

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The Complexity of the Practice of Ecosystem-Based Management

Verna G. DeLauer, Andrew A. Rosenberg, Nancy C. Popp, David R. Hiley, Christine Feurt

Abstract: In the United States, there are more than 20 federal agencies that manage over 140 ocean statutes (Crowder et al., 2006). A history of disjointed, single sector management has resulted in a one-dimensional view of ecosystems, administrative systems, and the socio-economic drivers that affect them. In contrast, an ecosystem-based approach to management is inherently multi-dimensional. Ecosystem-based approaches to management (EBM) are at the forefront of progressive science and policy discussions. Both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (USCOP, 2004) and the Pew Oceans Commission (POC, 2003) reports called for a better understanding of the impact of human activities on the coastal ocean and the result was President Obama’s National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (2010).

EBM is holistic by seeking to include all stakeholders affected by marine policy in decision-making. Stakeholders may include individuals from all levels of government, academia, environmental organizations, and marine-dependent businesses and industry. EBM processes require decision-makers to approach marine management differently and more comprehensively to sufficiently require a more sophisticated conceptual understanding of the process and the people involved. There are implicit cognitive, interpersonal, and intra-personal demands of EBM that are not addressed by current literature. This research seeks to understand the mental demands of EBM. A constructive developmental framework is used to illuminate how decision-makers reason or make sense of the ideals and values underlying EBM, the mutual relationships that must be built among natural resource management agencies, and the personal experiences and emotions that accompany change.

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Listening into the Dark: An Essay Testing the Validity and Efficacy of Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry for Describing and Encouraging Transformations of Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry

William R. Torbert

Abstract: Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry (CDAI) is introduced as a meta-paradigmatic approach to social science and social action that encompasses seven other more familiar paradigms (e.g., Behaviorism, Empirical Positivism, and Postmodern Interpretivism) and that triangulates among third-person, objectivity-seeking social scientific inquiry, second-person, transformational, mutuality-seeking political inquiry, and first-person, adult, spiritual inquiry and consciousness development in the emerging present. CDAI tests findings, not only against third-person criteria of validity as do quantitative, positivist studies and qualitative, interpretive studies, but also against first- and second-person criteria of validity, as well as criteria of efficacy in action. CDAI introduces the possibility of treating, not just formal third-person studies, but any and all activities in one’s daily life in an inquiring manner. The aim of this differently-scientific approach is not only theoretical, generalizable knowledge, but also knowledge that generates increasingly timely action in particular cases in the relationships that mean the most to the inquirer. To illustrate and explain why the CDAI approach can explain unusually high percentages of the variance in whether or not organizations actually transform, all three types of validity-testing are applied to a specific study of intended transformation in ten organizations. The ten organization study found that adding together the performance of each organization’s CEO and lead consultant pn a reliable, well-validated measure of developmental action-logic, predicted 59% of the variance, beyond the .01 level, in whether and how the organization transformed (as rated by three scorers who achieved between .90 and 1.0 reliability). The essay concludes with a comparison between the Empirical Positivist paradigm of inquiry and the Collaborative Developmental Action Inquiry paradigm.

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“Holistic Democracy” and Citizen Motivation to Use a More Holistic Approach to Public Decision Making

Jan Inglis

Abstract: The broad focus of this paper and the study about which it reports centre on the implications of applying holistic approaches to democracy, or more specifically to public decision making practices. This paper advocates that more complex and holistic methods be used to respond to the complexities of global issues. It describes how these processes take more time, commitment, and structure to use and it raises a question regarding citizen motivation to use such processes. It addresses this question in three ways: It presents a term 3D Democracy that highlights this complexity; it discusses why public processes need to address the task of decision making, and it reports on a small case study. Results of that study indicate that using critical reflection and deliberation on the adequacy of current methods of public involvement in decision making can stimulate citizens to be interested in and motivated to use such a holistic method. The paper ends with reflections and further questions.

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The Meaning-making of Dag Hammarskjöld

Kristian Stålne

Abstract: Dag Hammarskjöld, United Nations’ second Secretary-General 1954-1961, is getting recent attention for two reasons: he is going to front the new Swedish 1000-kronor note, the highest value; and this September it was 50 years since he was killed in an airplane crash in UN service in Congo. With that event, the most successful career in an international service that a Swede has ever had was terminated prematurely, a service that would set an unmistakable imprint on the UN organization as well as on the world stage of politics. But what made Dag Hammarskjöld such an exceptional leader and how did he view the world and his role in it? He was not only exceptional as a leader and world-centric visionary; he was also a mystic and an aesthetician with a highly analytic mind. What is unique is the fact that large parts of his thinking and personal struggling are available to the world through a dense material of his speeches and personal writings. This has made it possible to analyse the stages of development represented in them. Using ego development theory, described by Jane Loevinger as well as Robert Kegan, I offer the analysis that his writings, including during his most severe personal crisis, indicate he passed through a transition between the individualist and autonomous stages.

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The Ethics of Promoting and Assigning Adult Developmental Exercises: A Critical Analysis of the Immunity to Change Process

Sofia Kjellström

Abstract: The Immunity to Change (ITC) process devised by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey is promoted as an influential technique for creating individual and organizational change. A critical analysis of the ITC process applied in university settings and organizational contexts show that an unintended result is the unwillingness and inability of some participants to participate adequately. Significant theoretical and ethical implications arise in the interplay between three interrelated variables (a) the role and competence of the facilitator, (b) expectations and capabilities of the participants, and (c) the mental demands and assumptions of the process. The inquiry illustrate that the ITC process is probably built upon an implicit assumption that change into greater mental complexity is always good and right, and its inherent structure creates demands that can put participants “in over their heads.” The main conclusion is that developmentallyaware, ethical approaches to using transformational practices such as the ITC should meet at least three demands: they should be conducted as voluntary activities on the part of well-informed participants, they should integrate an adult developmental perspective into the process itself, and they should openly allow the possibility that it is theorganizations that may also need to change.

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How Then Do We Choose to Live? Facing the Climate Crisis and Seeking “the Meta Response”

Jan Inglis

Abstract: The author observes that a sense of hopelessness appears to be forming in our culture in response to recent descriptions of the impact of climate crisis. This reaction is compared to the way people respond to diagnoses of life threatening illness. Stages of reactions to difficult news are known to accompany such responses. The author shares her own sorting of responses as an example of stage transitions in the process of grappling with the difficult news of climate crisis. Transitions from one stage to the next are developmental. The importance of bringing resources from the field of adult development into the field of public deliberations to address the climate crisis is emphasized. A meta approach, “the Gaia approach,” is proposed, as are many questions for individual and public reflection.

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Perspectives On Troubled Interactions: What Happened When A Small Group Began To Address Its Community’s Adversarial Political Culture

Sara Ross

Abstract: This study investigated fostering political development (as defined in the report) through an integration of adult development, public issues analysis, and structured public discourse. Entitled The Integral Process For Working On Complex Issues, that multi-session discourse methodology includes issue analysis and framing, deliberation, and organizing systemic action. Its issue-framing template helps users generate multiple approaches to issues that reflect different levels of complexity and incorporate the conceivable human and institutional perspectives and environmental life conditions. The small group used the discourse process to select a public issue of concern and to begin to address it. It was about how to change the community’s adversarial political culture. They conducted a deliberative action inquiry into their own tones and intentions toward that issue as the starting point to address it, and did deliberative decision-making on that basis. The political reasoning and culture of the group developed during the study, evidenced by the group’s work and changes that participants experienced. The study is the first of its kind in several respects, which are: (a) to use this public discourse process as part of the research methodology, (b) to perform this kind of empirical research on public discourse and deliberation, and (c) to foster political and adult development while addressing complex issues. This extended length research report departs from traditional journal article formats not only by its length but also by integrating its report of findings with analyses of the processes that resulted in the findings. It is complemented by a shorter article in this issue of Integral Review, which describes the steps of the process and the major themes evident in participants’ experience.

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Complexity Intelligence and Cultural Coaching: Navigating the Gap Between Our Societal Challenges and Our Capacities

Jan Inglis and Margaret Steele

Abstract: In this article, we present the term complexity intelligence as a useful moniker to describe the reasoning ability, emotional capacity and social cognition necessary to meet the challenges of our prevailing life conditions. We suggest that, as a society and as individuals, we develop complexity intelligence as we navigate the gap between our current capacities and the capacities needed to respond to the next stage of complex challenges in our lives. We further suggest that it is possible to stimulate and support the emergence of complexity intelligence in a society, but we need a new form of social change agent – a cultural coach, to midwife its emergence.

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