Saturday, July 31, 2010

Zachary Stein & Katie Heikkinen: Developmental Differences in the Understanding of Integral Theory and Practice #itc2010

There is no abstract for this presentation, unfortunately - you can read the paper at the ITC site, as a PDF, but I could not even copy the introductory paragraphs due to text protection - which is understandable in that this paper is probably slated for publication someplace.

Zachary Stein & Katie Heikkinen: Developmental Differences in the Understanding of Integral Theory and Practice - Preliminary Results from the iTEACH Project

The paper is titled: On the Development of Reasoning in the Domain of Integral Theory and Practice: Some Preliminary Findings

They've published papers at Integral Review (see this one and this one for starters), and see their paper from the 2008 ITC as a prelude to this year's paper. Also be sure to check out their website, Developmental Testing Services, Inc.

The are working with the Lectical Integral Model Assessment (LIMA) - in a joint project between the JFKU Integral Theory department and the Integral Research Center (at Harvard, I believe). The LIMA is built around the Lectical Assessment System (LAS), "a domain general measure of conceptual complexity and development."

This is the very cool kind of research we need more of in the integral community.
[SIDE NOTE: There seems to be a very distinct split here between academic presentations, with people who are seriously testing the AQAL model in all its forms and approaches, and on the other side, a more generalized personal growth and spirituality-based type of presentation. I think both are needed, but in the general community of academia, Integral Theory is largely seen as New Age and easily dismissed. Research projects such as this one, and some of the others being presented here are crucial to shifting that perception so that IT may be taken more serious in academia.]
There's no way to do this presentation justice with a short blog post - I encourage anyone interested in psychometrics to go read their paper. Essentially, they used 47 students and faculty at JFKU as a study base, and assessed them in a variety of ways, most of which are lexical (language based).

They sought to develop a snapshot of this particular group in terms of how they conceptualized and operationalized integral theory and practice, correlated with their developmental stage (their model offers 1 through 14 as stages, with 4 sub-stages in each larger stage). In their sample, ranges of stages were from 10:4 t0 12:3 (corresponding roughly to Robert Kegan's 3rd (10), 4th (11) and 5th (12) order thinking).
Sex: 26 male, 21 female
Education: BA, 20, Post-graduate, 27
Ages: 23-65 (mean, 41.8)
Years of integral study: 1-18 (mean, 3.5)
Years of ILP: 0-30 (mean, 4.3)
Some interesting findings from their study:
  • As thinking became more complex, the use of altitude colors did not also become more complex, but remained static.
  • Worldview did change, however, becoming more complex and nuanced.
  • No correlation between age, education, meditation practice, Wilber books read, or years of ILP in terms of phase score attainment
Only one positive correlation noted:
  • Frequency of mindful sex was positively correlated with higher phase score
  • ~ Chance of specious finding is high in this type of study
  • ~ Interesting, might need further study
Findings & Suggestions:
  • Altitude colors are problematic in that they seem too static
  • Quadrant conceptualization is more homogeneous, and easier to grasp
  • Levels and Lines are more challenging, possibly as a result of the many different systems and conceptualizations available
This might offer new avenues for course design in integral education programs.

They want to get a more diverse sample in the future - including younger subjects and those not in an integral education program - those who have learned through self study.

And if they need subjects for the conscious sex study, I'd volunteer.

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