Thursday, December 11, 2014

More 'where you at' integral bullshit

Once again some engage in kennilingus by claiming that critics can't understand them because the latter are at an inferior level of development to grasp their elevated, elite view. It starts with this IPS post on Desilet's recent Integral World article, then continues a few posts later where there's an Integral World exchange between Visser and Perez. Perez's main argument is that one has to be at an integral level to get it, a common kennilingus canard. I provided the following quotes from leading developmental researchers doing empirical work in the field, where no such claim is ever made as to some overall level. Quite the contrary:

I like this from Ingersoll, an actual psychologist trained in Cook-Greuter's measurement metric:

"The idea of levels of consciousness is a metaphor that has not been supported to the point where one can say another person's outlook is totally filtered through a 'level' of consciousness. [...] There is no psychological test that functions to capture the whole of how a person experiences/interacts with the world. [...] I would suggest that retreating to metaphors of 'altitude' or 'levels of consciousness' shuts down the dialogue in the same way as the question 'Are you saved?'"

Also recall this from Kurt Fischer, who not only administers measurements of 'levels' but is one of the leading empirical researchers into their formulation.

"To speak of the development of psychological structures is not the same as speaking about the development of a person. There are no general or 'all purpose' psychological structures. Although they undergo massive development over the lifespan, psychological structures consist of localized skills that are tied to particular situational demands, psychological demands and social contexts. [...] It is not appropriate to say that an individual functions at a single developmental level, even for a particular skill. Instead it is more appropriate to say that an individual's skills function at a range of levels depending on context, domain, time of day, emotional state and other variables."

Also recall Michael Commons, Mr. Levels himself, from this source: 

"Order of performance on one task is not necessarily generalizable to other tasks, even where the tasks share the same order of complexity and are found in the same domain. [...] No claims are made as to cognitive structures of the brain, or about some overall stage of competence in the subject."

 This is the home site for Dr. Zachary Stein, who studied with Fischer at Harvard. Developmental psychology and integral metatheories are his thing. The following is from his now infamous paper, "Myth busting and metric making:"

"There is overwhelming evidence showing that our metrics are limited and that we can't touch the true complexity of human development. In this light, the idea that a holistic assessment could tell us about the essence of a person is absurd and flagrantly ideological. Development assessments at their best can only paint pictures of the differential distribution of capabilities within persons. We can't assess people as a whole, we can only assess their performances along particular lines in particular contexts. And performances vary across contexts, which means that you may perform at one level in one context and at a very different level in another context. [...] It is fundamentally wrong to think of a person as being at a level" (11).

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