SD in Action

Levels

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In the Gravesian perspective, there are a few relatively distinct levels (with entering and exiting phases where they combine to form a wave-like continuum), but an infinity of forms of expressing each of these. Thus, the themes are identifiable as basic frameworks, while the forms of expression they take are varied. Beware of presentations which offer traits and symptoms as if they were consistent markers of levels; it’s easy to do (“FS drives a hybrid” or “DQ is rules-bounded” or “violence is CP”), and that’s often misleading. While there are plenty of good models for sorting through values as beliefs and attitudes, SD searches out valuing systems, the ways people think about those things.

Although one can certainly argue that there are as many types of people as there are people, one of the premises of this approach (and other psychology-based frameworks) is that a degree of generalizing is necessary if we are to deal with human nature in practical ways at the individual, group, societal, and species levels. In this case, these generalities are about patterns which can be found in how people think about things, not the specifics of what they think about or believe. It’s the container/contents (vMeme/meme) differentiation discussed elsewhere.

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