Does the world sometimes seem ridiculously messy? Does it seem impossible to deal in an effective way with the infinite number of different human beings?
Do you ever want an easier way?
What Is Evolutional Thinking?
Evolutional thinking is a way of getting a handle on the complexity of the human race. Evolutional thinking is how one uses the new research on evolutional psychology to manage people and situations better. It provides a lot of insight into how people come to be who they are and think how they do. It gives you a window into the ever changing nature of human identity so that you can feel less “at sea” in working with people differences.
The value of evolutional thinking is in how it help HSPs navigate different cultures and social situations with improved decision making and social skills. What is it? Evolutional thinking is a different and more complete way of thinking about the inevitability of differences in people, communities, organizations and countries in all areas of life.
It is a tool that makes it possible for highly sensitive people to be more easily constructive in their interactions. Evolutional thinking helps HSPs process social information so that they become less stressed and can handle information more easily. Evolutional thinking considers the context of any situation so it accepts each person and situation within the larger human evolutional framework. It is a way of having and maintaining perspective which helps to reduce stress.
Where did this come from? During the last half century, one of the most important areas of research has been psychological and human evolutional patterns. One of the most important researchers was Dr. Clare Graves, a psychology professor at Utica College in New York. Dr. Graves conducted many studies to identity psychological identity. In doing so he identified the evolutional model that became the basis of the book, Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Chris Cowan.
Dr. Graves evolved a different idea about intelligence. According to Chris Cowans’ website on Spiral Dynamics, the Gravesian model integrated biology, psychology and sociology into what he called biopsychosocial systems. This approach sees different and multiple intelligences at work at all times based on the realities of the life conditions at hand.
The Spiral Dynamics website elaborates further: “The term, bio-psycho-social, reflects Graves’s insistence on the importance of a multidisciplinary, multidimensional approach to understanding human nature:
- “Bio” for the neurology and chemical energy of life and the organismic part of us
- “Psycho” for the variables of personality and life experiences, our temperaments and sense of self and relationships to other
- “Social” for the collective energy in group dynamics and culture as the interpersonal domain influences human behavior in collective settings ranging from small groups and families to corporations and entire societies
- “System” for the interdependence and action/reaction of these three upon one another in a coherent whole according to principles laid out in General Systems theory and other approaches to how things work and interact”
Graves demonstrated that there are certain stages of human evolutional development that become the basis of our self-identity. These stages of human evolution arise from the current living conditions of the people which results in a world view that then creates a social, cultural and economic structure. The worldview also is the basis for defining the identities and behaviors of the people in the system. The person it defines is the person who will support the structure, so the person and the structure are mutually reinforcing.
Since these cultural structures have values, feelings that support the society are supported and feelings that are not are rejected.
The Emotional Values Of Spiral Dynamics
The emotional values that Spiral Dynamics identified emerged from the real living conditions of the people and their interpretation of those living conditions which gave rise to their worldview. Each worldview was limited by the existing knowledge and experience of the people involved, and as we learned more was revised or discarded as new more up-to-date world views emerged. We are a work in progress.
This table is a very simplified view to give an idea of how identities and strategies are related to the stage of human development and evolutional thinking:
|Tribal||appease: individual participates in tribal life to|
|Conquest||dominate: exploit, act egocentrically|
|Religious||control: authoritarian, demands total obedience|
|Entrepreneurial||win: pragmatic, results oriented, achievement|
|Communal||share: life is fluid and we are all in this|
|Chaotic||open: flexible, questioning, accepting|
|Chaordic||collaborate: interconnected and|
Using Evolutional Thinking
Highly sensitive people are naturally attuned to more holistic views of reality. The Graves Model is a more holistic view of human nature and be useful when trying to understand people who are different. It is particularly beneficial for highly sensitive people who are seeking a way to handle a complex social world with greater ease and reduce their social stress and anxiety as a result.