Graves’ value theory

Criteria
Criteria are values. They are words that indicate what someone finds important in a given context. Meta Programs are ways in which people handle their criteria. Graves Drives are a typology of criteria, a may to assign someone’s criteria to a certain group.

Categorizing Criteria
The American psychologist Graves theorized that there are eight value systems which evolved over the course of human history. He assumed that each value system flows from the previous one as a response to ever more complex life circumstances and to the problems with the previous set of values. MindSonar now measures the extent to which someones criteria are associated with seven of the eight Graves Drives. We call this ‘Graves categorisation’: putting someones criteria (already formulated) in a Graves category, a Graves Drive. Categorising someones criteria this way, makes it possible to compare criteria between people or states.

  • Purple Drive
    When someone has a strong purple drive, their criteria in that particular context 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
    When someone has a strong red drive, their criteria primarily relate to power and respect—to getting respect in particular, but also to showing respect. They act impulsively, quickly, and forcefully without thinking of the consequences. Other key words for this drive are: reputation, power, strength, honour, and courage.
  • Blue Drive
    When someone has a strong blue drive, their criteria have to do primarily with order and security. Other key words for this drive are: discipline, reliability, duty, and control.
  • Orange Drive
    When someone has a strong orange drive, their criteria have to do primarily with competition and winning. Other key words for this drive are: success, achievement, results, progress, and influence.
  • Green Drive
    When someone has a strong green drive, their criteria 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
    When someone has a strong yellow drive, people criteria have to do primarily with learning and independence. Other key words for this drive are: creativity, analysis, and personal growth.
  • Turquoise Drive
    When someone has a strong turquoise drive, their criteria primarily have to do 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

Graves and Maslow
Graves was a professor of Psychology in the sixties and seventies at Union College in New York, the same university where Maslow taught at the time. Maslow was developing his motivation theory (Maslow’s 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. Graves thought this 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. 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’. We call them ‘Drives’ .

“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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