Integral Review

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sara Nora Ross’

A Developmental Behavioral Analysis of Dual Motives’ Role in Political Economies of Corruption

Sara Nora Ross

Abstract: This paper is a developmental meta-analysis of behaviors that contribute to political economies of corruption, deploying bioneurological dual motive and behavioral development theories. Together, these systems of analysis enable a developmental perspective to illustrate and analyze a progression of dual motives’ variations as humans and their conditions change. The progression of examples indicates that there are multiple evolutions of political economies that vary in their complexity, with different behavioral features at each level. Dual motive theory helps in identifying and understanding the complex linkages and layers of socio-political and economic behaviors as they become more complex. Increasingly complex horizontal and vertical stacks of social networks, like lattice-works of dual motives, enable individuals and groups to develop and maintain sturdy yet adaptable social systems of patronage, brokerage, and clientelism. These so-often informally structured relationships underlie corruption-like transactions long before, and long after, they are regarded as the enduring institution of corruption.

Three hypotheses under gird the development of that thesis. The first is that dual motive theory facilitates meta-analyses of social networks’ often hidden layers of complexity. A second hypothesis is that analyses using dual motive theory can explicate more complexity when the theory is integrated with developmental behavioral theory. The third hypothesis is that analyses made possible by that integration offer substantive contributions to understanding socio-political-economic behaviors, including multiple political economies of corruption. Three strategies are employed to develop the paper’s thesis. First, the concepts of social ties, networks, reciprocity and dual motive theory are introduced to set the context. second, a behavioral task measurement theory is introduced: the model of hierarchical complexity. Scoped for this paper to introduce only the most common adult-level tasks, that model’s orders of increasing complexity describe developmental differences in the performance of individuals’ and social systems’ behaviors. Third, a series of international examples shows the hierarchically different ways the behavioral tensions of dual motives manifest in human exchanges. The hierarchical complexity of the examples’ settings is correlated with the hierarchical complexity of adults’ behaviors in those settings.

The results of the analysis indicate that (a) individual and system behaviors are continuously shaped and constrained by complex interrelations that can be explained in terms of the hierarchical complexity of dual motives; (b) there are predictably difficult transitions and breaches when systems of different hierarchical complexity disrupt pre-existing systems for managing behavioral tensions. The application of dual motive theory indicates its analytical usefulness for interpreting social, political, and economic phenomena. Political economies of corruption can be more thoroughly understood as enduring institutions through a developmental behavioral application of dual motive theory.

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Using Developmental Theory: When Not to Play Telephone Games

Sara Nora Ross

Abstract: As a powerful way to help understand the behaviors of people and social groupings of all kinds, developmental stage theory attracts attention and use outside of purely academic environments. These uses take the form of written materials and many kinds of interventions. The level of accuracy of developmental theory information generated and used outside of academe demonstrates wide variety. This variety is reflected in materials and interventions. The information used in materials and interventions becomes increasingly distorted as it becomes further removed from original theoretical sources. This has major implications for the ethics and expertise issues that are inherent in applied developmental theory. A classification scheme of information-use behaviors, many of which contribute to distortion processes, is used to code actual cases of creating and disseminating distorted developmental theory information, invoking the metaphor of telephone games. Case evidence indicates that casual, illustrative figures in a 2006 book by Wilber were used by others for various serious and theoretical purposes, and resulted in major distortions of developmental theory. Wilber’s figures represent problematic issues and errors, including distortion of theory, if they are used—as they indeed were—for any purpose more serious than his original purpose. Stemming from those issues and errors, a highly distorted picture of cognitive development and a pseudo-version of Commons and Richards’ Model of Hierarchical Complexity theory emerged, telephone game-like, in the cases discussed. Errors were widely propagated on the internet. Because outside of academe, specialized expertise in developmental theory is difficult to acquire, the sub-field of applied developmental theory requires not only accurate information but also strong communication ethics to govern behaviors of information providers. Such providers need to protect themselves at the same time they protect and inform consumers of their information. This process of knowledge sharing and knowledge building can be shaped by adopting guidelines and a basic operating principle proposed here. Guidelines and principles, without institutionalization, are insufficient support. A new Institute of Applied Developmental Theory could provide the supports, standards, and effectiveness the sub-field of applied developmental theory needs if its power to address 21st century challenges, which sorely need it, is to be realized.

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