This one is actually the one that I personally find the most fascinating. It is based on the psychologist Clare W. Graves theory of adult human development he sometimes referred to as ”The Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory”. In short, the theory states that human psychological development continues well into adulthood and that there emerges a hierarchy of stages of worldviews from the least complex into more and more complex worldviews. When the individual find that the conceptual framework of one worldview doesn´t suffice to explain and solve the problems faced in life, the individual enters a crisis and regresses back to a more basic worldview due to stress or evolves into the next more complex worldview.
Clare W. Graves theory has been adapted by later researchers and thinkers, most notably by Chris Cowan and Don beck in their book Spiral Dynamics – Mastering values, leadership and change. Their model have since then been incorporated into Ken Wilber’s Integral Model as Spiral Dynamics Integral by Don Beck. Several others have adapted the theory for different applications, among others John Marshall Roberts for communication strategy and David A. Robinson for organisational development.
There are many different names for the different levels according to the different traditions and perspectives (e.g. see an AQAL introduction to levels and perspectives). My names are roughly translateable as follows:
- Instinctive: beige, impulsive, Archaic-instinctive—survivalistic/automatic/reflexological
- Tribalistic: purple, Animistic-tribalistic magical-animistic
- Exploitive: red, Egocentric-exploitive power gods/dominionist
- Absolutitstic: blue, Absolutistic-obedience mythic order—purposeful/authoritarian
- Achievist: orange, Multiplistic-achievist scientific/strategic
- Relativist: green, Relativistic-personalistic—communitarian/egalitarian
- Systemic: yellow, Systemic-integrative