Wow Coda – thanks for the thorough and wonderfully enlightening response. It has really helped me to think more deeply about my approach.
The first thing that came up for me when reading this is: I am so sorry to hear that people were mean and lashed out at you! Based on my limited interactions with you on this board, it is very hard for me to imagine how anyone could have interpreted (and mistreated you) in that way, given your sincerity, humility, and superb communicative skills. I am sorry to hear that But for me, it was all a good reminder of “Upaya” and skillful means when doing this kind of work, which centers around diving into one’s most sensitive area: themselves!
Yes I agree completely. Here’s what I am thinking. If I am running a political campaign and trying to poll people, either online or even knocking on their doors with a canvassing team, 5 minutes is probably the limit. Also would include talking to random people on the street. I’m going more for speed and breadth, instead of precision and depth. As we talked about before, maybe the test could scale to reach different people depending on their time, and could be tweaked significantly so as to minimize inaccurate conclusions. I come from a traditional Japanese family so we are very wary of taking up others time
I tend to think of COG in terms of percentages, since we all have varying degrees of altitudes floating around within us at any given time. And how our ego’s are identified with those operating systems – 50% with orange, 20% at red, etc… The biggest % of their identification I would call COG.
In terms of morality and COG, basically my opinion is that if I only have 5 minutes and therefore could probe only 1 developmental line, it would be moral development and moral feelings, since in my experience, feelings are generally harder to overthink or lie about, and easier to access than self-identity. Also, I took some inspiration from Haidt after reading about him standing outside of a McDonalds and asking people moral questions, which to me is easier then “going for the jugular” and asking about their identity, values or life experiences (or any other line of development). In my experience, people are more open to that than other forms of very personal inquiry.
As I mentioned before with my homophobic friend, after learning about his intense feelings of disgust and hatred for LGBTQ people, I could then probe into what sponsored those feelings, which outpoured a lucid description of amber values, and how his identity is tied up with those values. Moral sentiments->values->identity->opportunities for transformation - basically, starting from moral feelings and using that as a shoe in to work to deeper levels (ego, consciousness). For me, this has worked better than anything else, but I am more than happy to change my approach or even completely scrap it.
In my experience, folks’ growth can be restricted by one or more developmental lines simultaneously and predictions of behaviors and attitudes are more accurate when you have a detailed assessment of which developmental line(s) are the limiting one(s). Assessing along a single line will only get you so far. I think @jasoncstone 's suggestion was about creating a series of polls which assess different lines of development, which might be more helpful in gathering data about the population (which is not necessarily your intended purpose, correct?).
Again I totally agree. One of my intentions is not only to collect data, but do so in a way that provides the most transformative 5 minutes of someone’s life. But I completely agree with what jasoncstone said.
If I had the time, this was my favorite part. I got all kind of answers – everything ranging from “Because my Guru said so, and because the Vedas say that the awakened Guru can’t say anything wrong, than its true.” To: “Because it oppressive, demeaning, and horrible.” One of my favorite answers someone gave me to why something was mental ill was “because I can’t see how they could support that – can’t feel what they feel.” Many of the more “new age” types I have talked to said: “Because spirit told me its evil” or “because my intuition says so.” Do you have any suggestions for what to ask next? Kind of throws a wrench in the conversation, so I usually just change topics or end it there
This is a wonderful point. I too have experienced this, but almost always with “Mean green Meme” – green values enacted from an amber or even red consciousness. I can see how this would be a problem with my style, as I could easily mistake their COG for their moral line of development as it pertains to a certain altitude (i.e. someone at red who espouses green values like you described). I personally have found this to be rather rare, but I think this is an issue that we would do well do dissect further. For example, I know someone who is a Buddhist teacher, highly intelligent with 2nd tier potential, but at times epitomizes the MGM, and goes full amber, dividing the world into black and white and good and evil while excessively moralizing every (ostensibly green) statement and propounding it in an absolutistic, obdurate tone. But still, this type of person is different than the typical amber person – even if they at times express an amber COG, the content of their values (i.e. green), and their moral impulses pertaining to that line, still makes them a “different animal” and would require a different method support or transformation. But I am so glad you raised this point, Coda, and will seriously reevaluate my approach given this insight.
After rereading this several times I think I may basically try to be Kohlberg 2.0 and just focus on moral development and its correlated stages (just 1 line). My main point of contention with Kohlberg is that his approach is IMO too mentally oriented (his is stages of moral reasoning, not necessarily stages of moral sentiments), and so an intelligent sociopath could theoretically deceive me with his moral dilemma type tests. Which is why, like Haidt, I lean towards moral intuitionism, since feelings are more raw and honest than abstract moral rationalizations, which anyone can learn to do. Like Haidt, I tend to believe that we reason about moral issues like lawyers more than philosophers - justifying our feelings instead of creating abstract principles which sponsor our feelings a la Kant. The idea is that asking first about moral intuitions sets the stage to probe more deeply into their underlying values and identity structures that sponsored those feelings, if that makes sense. Feelings give us something tangible to probe, immediately.
Whew! – I’m very happy that you (and others) are interested in this subject and are really doing the “field work” out in the world, creating openings and transformations through conversation, and also growing and learning about ourselves in the process. Much of my inspiration for these polls and tests is not only to collect information but to facilitate large scale cultural transformation. One of my friends did his Ph.d in small town community development using an Integral approach similar to all of this. We can talk more about it elsewhere
Thanks again for all of the illuminating exchanges. I look forward to connecting with you more in private so I stop spamming this thread