(Dammit, Jim,) I'm a physicist, not a psychologist. (That's why I put this on a "back" page.) & psychology is the least exact of all the sciences: Experiments are hard to control, considering the subjects. In particular, theory of personality is generally controversial: e.g., it discusses politics & religion. However, some use is made of it -- mostly vocational counseling. The following is based on history, vocations & their educational level, & personal experience, with some ideas taken from certain earlier models. (I'm a theorist, not an experimentalist.)
Probably it isn't totally unreasonable.
Personality traits are primitive emotions made reasonable: premeditated to be viable in the long term & over broad circumstances.
A person's dominant trait changes only under stress, mostly before adulthood, so you should be familiar with all these types from high school.
But due to societal pressures & lack of availability, not everyone's vocation matches their personality;
so the above traits may refer instead to an avocation.
Most jobs & personalities have prioritized mixtures of traits.
A person's philosophy is a statement of their personality.
This means not only ethics, but also epistemology -- their definition of truth/reasoning.
This is why political/religious differences have no logical resolution.
(Just as it's pointless to have a debate, e.g., on whether chocolate or vanilla is "better" based on nutritional or financial data.)
The nature of a society @ any period in its history directly corresponds to that of its individuals. ("Phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny", & vice versa, but now applied after birth.) Thus the chronological relation of most of these traits (for both societies & individuals) is well documented by the history of humanity.
(A close analog to personality classification is biological taxonomy.)
This "stratigraphic" ordering also matches educational level, as knowledge in a society increases with time (apparent "dark ages" notwithstanding).
Correspondingly, there is an increase in education required in going from manual/clerical work ("things"), to dealing with other people, to intellectual endeavors ("ideas").
Within these 3 divisions, there is subdivision for "aggressive/passive" (or "subjective/objective") attitudes, as greater knowledge is required to understand the world than to assert oneself.
Polls show a correlation between educational level & politics (@ least with respect to progressive vs. conservative).
The emphasis on knowledge makes this a level-6 oriented ordering;
other orderings (or lack thereof) follow from different levels of view:
E.g., a deteriorationist (like Hesiod) might claim this table is better represented upside-down.
In other words
|to same level (+)||to other levels (−)|
| power ⎧
|monotheism (super parent)
|polytheism (super α-dog)||1|
Also confused for ends are means:
- Ambiguity in one's trait description often indicates one's own personality.
- "Becoming better/best" is universal;
"at what" is the trait.
- Happiness is an aftereffect, not end.
- politics: see first table above.
- money/materialism: "economics" column.
- jobs that don't match personality.
- utility, by definition.
- another's ends: basis of trade.
- altruism: paraphrasing George Herbert Palmer, "If we are here to help others, then what are the others here for?"
Relative terms, chronologically: "conservative (right)" for earlier, "progressive (left)" for later. ("Liberal" & "libertarian" are also used oppositely, but switch roles in Europe vs. the United States.)
Misnomers: Soviet "Socialist" ("Communist"), like National "Socialist" (Nazi), is authoritarian (2), not socialist (4), & thus right of capitalist (3).
I added a level "0" for no/pre-personality, sometimes confused with level 1.
In the corresponding Neolithic prehistory, villages were homogeneous in lifestyle & architecture, with a subsistence economy, & thus not "true societies" (civilization).
Relation to other models
|society only||society & individual||individual only|
|Marx →||Heard (4) →||Graves (5) ←||Maslow (4) ←||Spranger (2) →||Guilford →||Roe →||Holland|
| cognitive||2 theoretic|
|scientific||3 sciences||5 investigative|
8 intuitive (poetic)
2 esthetic (beauty)
|5 leptoid||6 sociocentric|
|3 social (love)||social|
|8 service||3 social|
|4 humanic||5 materialistic|
|4 esteem||3 political (power)||business||7 business|
|3 ascetic||4 saintly (security)|
2 traditional (safety)
|3 belonging (group)|
2 safety (security)
|4 religious (God)||clerical||6 organization||1 conventional|
|2 heroic||3 power|
(might is right)
|1 coconscious||1 physiological||1 physiological||1 economic|
Each author's level of view (when it affects their hierarchy) is given next to their name. (Not all scientists have 6 as their dominant level.) Their own ordering is indicated by numbering in the body of the table, but circular orderings have no true origin nor orientation.
In 1967 I based my model on my interpretation of the models I had seen, which were Marx & the earlier version of Graves, but later found these other models support it (to varying degrees).
However, unlike my model, none of these people
- Karl Marx didn't apply his evolution of society explicitly to psychology. (His "communism" is now commonly called "anarchism".)
- Oscar Wilde (1891) called Marx's top level "Individualism" & identified it with artists.
- Eduard Spranger's "types of individuality" was the 1st personality trait/type theory (before even Freud & Jung). His "hierarchy of values" was inverted, but paired most of the levels.
He considered types based on only spending (1) or saving (2), but not both, as "perversions" of his "economic" level, whose sole end was identical to the "biological" type, survival (with "utility", used to define that type, admittedly only a means).
- Gordon W. Allport (1923) noted that some authors added a "vital"/"hedonistic" (1) type.
- Abraham Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" had 5 basic levels.
(But his "esteem" had a "self-esteem" sublevel, "self-actualization" later had a "transcendent" sublevel, & "cognitive" was subdivided into "knowledge" & "understanding".)
His "cognitive" included theology.
A self-described "humanist", his esthetic & cognitive needs were dependent on the rest, & thus not entered into the hierarchy:
`… the limit to which the "pure" scientist approaches is not an Einstein or a Newton but rather the Nazi "scientist" of the concentration-camp experiments or the "mad" scientist of Hollywood. … Science for science’s sake can be just as sick as art for art’s sake.'
(Or maybe conformist stereotypes are "sick".)
- But Roe interpreted them as @ the top of his hierarchy. (Graves pre-1966 work was initially based on her interpretation.)
Gerald Heard's "five ages of man" related ontogeny to phylogeny, but assumed all people went through each level @ the same biological age. He 1st identified alternation, as "exploration of his environment/investigation of his subjective being".
Clare W. Graves' "levels of existence" modified Maslow's hierarchy (1966) based on essay questions, rather than the predetermined responses of standard multiple choice.
He described alternation as "adapts environment to self/self to environment".
He then adapted the ordering of levels 0-4 to history (1970).
But his 2 lowest levels ("physiological" & "traditional") did not appear in those surveys. Also, he found few examples of his highest 2, so his descriptions were vague:
He identified "scientism" (positivism) only as a means for the materialistic level (as did Heard), quoted poetry to describe his top level ("intuitive"), & speculated an infinite number of unknown higher levels.
- Joy P. Guilford, Paul R. Christensen, Nicholas A. Bond, Jr., & Marcella A. Sutton surveyed interests to classify vocations, defining the groups better.
- Anne Roe modified Guilford et al.'s vocations in the "groups" dimension of her better, "cylindrical" ordering, with circularity from a misidentification of engineers with technicians. (Electrical engineers are as little related to electricians as rocket scientists are to test pilots. The physical sciences have nothing in common with physical education. "Nerds" are not like "jocks".)
- An interesting analogy is to assign colors to the traits as red (6), yellow (5), green (4), cyan (3), blue (2), violet (1). The human eye sees the even numbers as primary colors via its 3 types of receptors, & the odd as secondary, which can be arranged in a circle ("color wheel") or hexagon. But a prism shows the true relation as linear ("spectrum"), based on wavelength (or frequency).
- John L. Holland based his "Holland codes (RIASEC)" on the vocations of Guilford et al. (in 1959), circular ordering of Roe (in 1969, with Douglas R. Whitney, Nancy S. Cole, & James M. Richards, Jr.), & his own surveys.
- But my hierarchy is implied by educational level in studies by Linda S. Gottfredson (1980) and Robert C. Reardon, Stacie H. Vernick, & Corey A. Reed (2001). The gaps are larger between my pairs than between elements of each pair.
These are all models for normal, not abnormal psychology (neuroses/psychoses); for example:
- used both alternation & pairing, which implies a unique classification & ordering, &
- considered both history & jobs, & thus
- recognized educational level gives an ordering in agreement with the historical one.
- Roe considered education, & Maslow's hierarchy, but for her chronological "levels" dimension, mistaking it as orthogonal to her groups dimension in the above table.
There are also many "binary" classifications of personalities (some of which include neuroticism) as one pole or the other of various traits. These miss seeing any correlations in these traits.
- The popular "Big Five" model (Donald W. Fiske, 1949; Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal, 1961), includes "neuroticism" as a trait, as well as openness to experience (5 & 6), agreeableness (4), extraversion (3), & conscientiousness (2), unordered.
- The "colors of love" (John Alan Lee, 1973) lists "mania" (neuroticism), eros (5), storge (4), pragma (3), agape (2), & ludus (1). But "2" is considered the "top" level.
- The factions of the Divergent books/movies (Veronica Roth, 2011) are erudite (6), amity (5), abnegation (4), candor (2), & dauntless (1). But they're arranged in an inverted hierarchy typical of "mad"-scientist/post-apocalyptic/action-adventure plots.