Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘Murray’

Being Prepared to be Unprepared: Meaning Making is Critical for the Resilience of Critical Infrastructure Systems

John E. Thomas, Thomas P. Seager, Thomas J. Murray, Scott Cloutier

Abstract: Infrastructure is essential to provision of public health, safety, and well-being. Yet, even critical infrastructure systems cannot be designed, constructed, and operated to be robust to the myriad of surprising hazards they are likely to be subject to. As such, there has been increasing emphasis in Federal policy on enhancing infrastructure resilience. Nonetheless, existing research on infrastructure systems often overlooks the role of individual decision-making and team dynamics under the conditions of high ambiguity and uncertainty typically associated with surprise. Although evidence suggests that human factors correlating with resilience and adaptive capacity emerge in later stages of psychological development, there is an acute need for new knowledge about the human capacity to comprehend increasing levels of complexity in the context of rapidly evolving technological, ecological, and social stress conditions. Sometimes, it is this developmental capacity for meaning-making that is the difference between adaptive and maladaptive response. Thus, without a better understanding of the human capacity to develop and assign meaning to complex systems, unquestioned misconceptions about the human role may prevail. In this work, we examine the dynamic relationships between human and technological systems from a developmental perspective. We argue that knowledge of resilient human development can improve system resilience by aligning roles and responsibilities with the developmental capacities of individuals and groups responsible for the design, operation, and management of critical infrastructures. Taking a holistic approach that draws on both psychology and resilience engineering literature facilitates construction of an integrated model that lends itself to empirical verification of future research.

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Summary of STAGES Validation Research

Tom Murray and Terri O’Fallon

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Integrating Adult Developmental and Metacognitive Theory with Indo-Tibetan Contemplative Essence Psychology

John Churchill & Tom Murray

In a world that (according to the World Health Organization) has approximately 450 million people suffering from some form of mental disease, there is a deep need to re-envision mental health care. Indo-Tibetan contemplative psychology is a practice-based evidence lineage tradition of between two-and-a half to nine millennia dedicated to the reduction of suffering and the full flowering of human potential. Whilst mindfulness meditation is becoming increasingly popular and effective in the reduction of mental suffering in contemporary culture and psychotherapy, the full contemplative psychology, of which mindfulness is but a foundational skill, is still relatively unknown. Therefore, there is an increasing need to understand and translate the theoretical foundations of such a psychology into a language that psychologists and educated laypersons can understand. In addition, we can explore how modern science can deepen the wisdom and adoption of such traditions. Using the theoretical perspectives of adult developmental psychology and metacognition, this project reveals the psychology of the Indo-Tibetan tradition as a sophisticated developmental psychology that, when practiced, facilitates a fundamental transformation in identity, or the basis of psychological operations, from which an individual experiences the world. Such a developmental process has the potential to eradicate the fundamental suffering caused from cognitive fusion with the basic structures of experience (body, self, thought, emotion, time, dualistic perception, and the attentional-intentional system), allowing for a transition to a fundamentally open boundless experience of identity, within which arises the experience of interconnectedness and the ensuing altruistic motivation to benefit the social good. Among contemporary adult developmental theories we believe that the STAGES model is most compatible with the principles of Indo-Tibetan Contemplative Essence Psychology. We use the STAGES model to show how eastern and western methods can inter-inform each other. This study is one brick in building the bridge between East and West, a bridge that honors the psychology of the East as being a rigorous, technical, and socially relevant psychological framework that, yet, can still evolve.

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Investigating the Validity of the Ogive Aggregation Method, Including the use of Rasch Analysis for the Sentence Completion Test and the STAGES Model

Tom Murray

This project assesses psychometric aspects of the STAGES sentence completion test (SCT) using data from 740 scored surveys, and some of the analysis applies to all variations of the SCT for ego development (meaning making maturity). The goals of this research project include: (1) to apply item response theory (IRT) and Rasch analysis to determine item-level psychometric properties of the SCT that were previously unaddressed in SCT research; and (2) to further investigate suspected problems with the ogive cutoff method for aggregating item scores in the SCT and propose alternatives. The psychometric analysis includes: within-test item normality, item standard deviations, test length analysis, factor analysis, characteristics of and correlations among each item, overall test strength, and construct levels discrimination. A range of issues with the standard ogive cutoff method are described, and a new item aggregation method is then proposed.

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The STAGES Specialty Inventories: Robustness to Variations in Sentence Stems

Terri O’Fallon and Tom Murray

The STAGES developmental model is a variation of prior ego development frameworks that defines developmental levels in terms of three parameters: object of awareness (concrete, subtle, or metaware), individual vs. collective focus, and active/passive orientation. STAGES, like prior frameworks, uses a sentence completion test (SCT) assessment. Prior frameworks rely on exemplar-based scoring that is closely tied into the specific sentence stems. In contrast, STAGES scoring system is based on language properties that do not depend on the sentence stem. Thus STAGES is the first such assessment to be able to freely incorporate alternative sentence stems without the labor intensive process of discovering the full range of specific responses. Though the STAGES theory and assessment methodology easily allow for using alternative sentence stems, the validity of using alternative stems needs to be shown. In this paper we report on internal consistency studies of several “specialty protocols” which are SCT surveys with 6 to 10 of the original 36 stems replaced by stems focused on a particular specially area. Results show strong reliability scores, via the Cronbach’s alpha statistic, for six specialty inventories, on: leadership and organizations, love, education, psychological reflection, climate change, and a children’s SCT.

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Deconstructing Developmental Constructs: A Conversation

Thomas Jordan and Tom Murray

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A Perspective on Kesler’s Integral Polarity Practice

Tom Murray, with Terri O’Fallon

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Tom Murray

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