Graves’ value theory

Standards
Criteria are standards with which we evaluate things. When you meet someone new, you may be using ‘happy’ as a criterion for evaluating the other person.

Values
Values
are criteria too, but they are very important criteria. ‘Honesty’ might be a value when you meet someone new. If they don’t seem very happy, you might not worry about that too much. But if they strike you as dishonest, you might think twice about meeting them again. All depending on your criteria, of course. There its a sliding scale between ‘Criterion’ on the one end and ‘Value’ on the other. As a criterion becomes more and more important, at some point we call it a value. So when we ask ‘What do you find most important in this situation?’ we are asking about values.

Meta Programs
Meta Programs are ways in which you handle your values. For instance: are you presupposing people will be honest (matching) or are you presupposing they will be dishonest (mismatching)?

Graves Drives
Graves Drives are a typology of criteria. In MindSonar we assign values to a certain drive, making it easier to compare them with other criteria. For example: is honesty about power for you (red drive)? Or is it about community (green drive)? If somebody else had ‘Openness’ as a value, would that be similar to honesty or not? We can’t know  from looking at the words ‘honesty’ and ‘openness’. But if we know that two people both categorise their differently labeled values in the same Graves Drive, we know that their values are similar.

Categorizing Criteria
The American psychologist Graves theorized that there are eight value systems, which have evolved over the course of human history. He assumed that each value system flows from the previous one as a response to:
a. Ever more complex life circumstances
b. Problems with the previous set of values.

MindSonar measures the extent to which someone’s criteria are associated with seven of the eight Graves Drives. We call this ‘Graves categorisation’: putting someones criteria (already formulated) into a Graves category. This makes it possible to compare criteria between people or between different situations for the same person.

    • Purple Drive
      Criteria in that have to do primarily with security and safety. Other key words for this drive are: belonging, tradition, feeling at home, togetherness, and seniority.
    • Red Drive
      Criteria that relate primarily to power and respect—to getting respect in particular, but also to showing respect. Acting impulsively, quickly, and forcefully without thinking of the consequences. Other key words for this drive are: reputation, power, strength, honour, and courage.
    • Blue Drive
      Criteria that have to do primarily with order and security. Other key words for this drive are: discipline, reliability, duty, and control.
    • Orange Drive
      Criteria that that are associated primarily with competition and winning. Other key words for this drive are: success, achievement, results, progress, and influence.
    • Green Drive
      Criteria that have to do primarily with ideals and loyalty to the group. Other key words for this drive are: harmony, community, connectedness, love, social contact, and consensus.
    • Yellow Drive
      Criteria that have to do primarily with learning and independence. Other key words for this drive are: creativity, analysis, and personal growth.
    • Turquoise Drive
      Criteria primarily associated with the big picture and a holistic vision. Other key words for this drive are: responsibility for the earth as a whole, spirituality, balance, and integration

 

Graves drives

 

 

Categorizing Criteria
The American psychologist Graves theorized that there are eight value systems, which evolved over the course of the past 100,000 years of human history. Graves called these value systems ‘levels of existence’. He assumed that each value system flows from the previous one as a response to:
a. Ever more complex life circumstances
b. Limitations of the previous set of values.

MindSonar measures the extent to which someone’s criteria are associated with seven of the eight Graves Drives. We call this ‘Graves categorisation’: putting someones criteria (already formulated) into a Graves category. This makes it possible to compare criteria between people or between different situations for the same person.

Graves
Clare W. Graves was a professor of Psychology in the sixties and seventies of the 20th century at Union College in New York, the same university where Abraham Maslow taught at the time.

Maslow was developing his motivation theory (Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs), which shows the development of individual needs. The highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy, ‘self-actualization’, fit right in with the prevailing views of the seventies of the 20th century.

Graves thought Maslow’s model did not offer a broad enough base for understanding man as a bio-psycho-social-cultural being. He assumed that human behaviour was not determined by individual needs alone, but by a combination of social, biological and psychological factors.

“Those who have tried to develop instruments have based them on what people think, do or believe, which is not the proper base for assessment devices. They should be based not on what the person thinks but how he thinks, not on what people do or what they believe but how they do what they do, and how they believe that which they do believe”

Author's imageDr. Clare W. GravesFounder of Graves Value Theory

 

2 Comments

  1. These categories are like a magnifying glass when we are analyzing someone metaprograms. It lets us know how behaviors operate in certain contexts.
    It’s not the same when someone has the dominant metaprogram “proactive” with an orange color with a very high purple.
    Phenomenal tool when we are getting a scan.

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