Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘mental models’

Beyond Social Exchange Theory: An Integrative Look at Transcendent Mental Models for Engagement

Latha Poonamallee and Sonia Goltz

Abstract: In this paper, we develop an integrative conceptual framework capturing the underlying mental models that guide engagement in relationships at work and elsewhere. Specifically, we are looking at mental models that go beyond egocentrism and social exchange, which have served as the basis for most frameworks found in research on organizations. The goal of this paper is to present a more complex picture of human cognition and behavior that suggests that egocentrism is not an exclusive motivator. We view this more integrative framework as a set of concentric circles of increasingly inclusive and expansive identities. Although the mental models used by individuals may be static over a shorter time frame, they are thought to be more dynamic over a relatively longer timeframe, in adaptive response to changing conditions. Movement between these mental models can be triggered by changes in cognitions as well as by events that arouse affect.

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Politics in a New Key: Breaking the Cycle of U.S. Politics with a Generational/Developmental Approach

Ken White

Abstract: Some common, mental models shape how people in the US perceive political changes over time. The one-dimensional pendulum swing model and the two-dimensional cyclical model are prevalent. When generational differences are mapped onto such political change cycles, they orient to cohorts or age groups. This leads to viewing generational cohorts as experiencing one- or two-dimensional cycles without deeper scrutiny. Cohort differences that surface in the Generations Salons that I and others conducted in California suggest a different, three-dimensional model may be more representative of the potential for societal change in the US. Using a musical metaphor, that model is explained in terms of different political “keys” and the value of distinguishing among them as time passes. It also underlies a speculation about a “politics in a new key,” which might prove more useful.

Summary-level reporting of the action research conducted with the Generations Salons supports the three-dimensional model. We expect new politics to emerge from the Millennial cohort coming of age now, yet it will not be without the support and wisdom of the cohorts that came of age before it. This must be the case if the burden of expectations we place on the Millennials will indeed pave the way for transformative change in US society. Intergenerational support of Millennials is essential. This initial research and application suggests the potential for the generational/ developmental approach as a wellspring for transformational—and practically successful—political work. It begs the question: What will you do to help?

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