Ontophronolgy

We need a common ground from which to work and address the issues of personal Vertical Development within a choice of contexts: work or personal.

A New Language

From the below, one will understand how the breakdown of the development of one’s thinking can be categorised and renamed as Ontophronology. It’s about how you know what you know about your thinking and your construction of ‘self’ in context . Your epistemic stance, according to Laske. This methodology allows us to work out one’s epistemic stance more robustly than Laske’s method, in our opinion.

By breaking it down in to component meta-programmes (embedded in the “now”), rather than using dialectical questions (which have a future-direction), we get a deeper understanding of how a client understands their own thinking and behaving in context, right now. Their awareness of their awareness, if you will. This thus requires us to create a new language to go with the new paradigm. We cannot rely on old language that has different connotations within other fields.

Compare and Contrast – or Different Results?

How does The Thinking Quotient™ (TQ) compare and contrast with other profile systems in the market already, and how does it relate to their output in any profound way?

First, on the nature of thinking, perhaps it would be more appropriate to change the contextual nominalization from Ontology, to something more befitting the cognitive aspect of the profile. A word that demonstrates the nature of being when it comes to the understanding of how we think, such as: “Ontophronology” – Onto (being) and Phroneo (to have understanding, to think).

In information technology, ontology is the working model of entities and interactions in some particular domain of knowledge or practices, such as electronic commerce or “the activity of planning.” In artificial intelligence (AI), an ontology is, according to Tom Gruber, an AI specialist at Stanford University: “the specification of conceptualizations, used to help programs and humans share knowledge.” In this usage, ontology is a set of concepts – such as things, events, and relations – that are specified in some way (such as specific natural language) in order to create an agreed-upon vocabulary for exchanging information.

The perception that the TQ is an over-simplification of the structure of thought is due to the way the TQ is positioned in the market. It is not focused on the structure of thought, as per Otto Laske’s Cognitive Developmental Framework (CDF). It is more a measure of the epistemic stance of the client in that it is a direct representation of how their thinking breaks down, and how this breakdown helps us to map their view of themselves in the world. But Cognitive Complexity is not directly related to the individual Unconscious Tendencies. Complexity is more about how many of these patterns you can run all at the same time. And say: I am more complex than this, and currently choose to run this particular pattern.
So the TQ is about how we pace their reality in order to validate their thinking, by using their own Unconscious Tendencies as they see them, consciously or unconsciously, to create their world view, and construct themselves within.

What are our Unconscious Constructs?

In his book: “Forget About Motivation”, Arne Maus laid out four points that define a Thinking Preference. I have adapted them for my purposes as my research has helped me to determine that they are not a “preference”, but a Tendency. You tend towards a particular way of thinking. He is the list:

  • Each preference must, at least potentially, be found in all people.
  • It must have a pattern which consistently repeats itself.
  • It must cover all possibilities.
  • It must be relevant to the chosen context.

Thinking Preferences are the inclinations which people have developed in the course of their dealings with themselves and with their environment. (Maus. p19).
This sounds a lot like Personal Construct Psychology. Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) is a very free and empowering psychology. We are not seen as victims of circumstance; we have the power to change and grow. We are only limited in our vision of ourselves and our future by our own internal ‘blind spots’ – these limit the possible futures we can see for ourselves and hence restrict our ability to develop. If we can see a future at all. That would depend upon our level of self-awareness and cognitive complexity!
Arne Maus continues to describe the Thinking Preferences as:

  • Our unconscious thinking habits by which we make sense of our experience.
  • The thinking and choosing patterns by which we seek to navigate our lives.
  • The blueprints that prescribe both our performance and our perception.
  • Context specific, unconscious response patterns wired into the brain – it is this that pushed me to consider them “constructs”.
  • The building blocks from which we construct “personality.” – I use this comment in my PhD research to counter those intent on Trait theories.
  • The collective differences that create “culture.”
  • The criteria by which we unconsciously decide which of our incoming information to delete, distort, and generalise in order to create our “reality”. – Again, this falls in to PCP.

Over the past twenty years, Arne Maus has validated the Identity Compass profiling system, which is now the second-best profiling system in the world, and first in Europe. It has been consistently validated by Professor David Scheffer at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

How do we map across these Tendencies to Levels of Adult Development?

The Unconscious Tendencies can be sub-categorised into Social-Emotional and Cognitive types depending on the output of the individual Unconscious Tendency. If one is predominantly Procedural, this is an indication of how one makes Sense of their actions, thus Cognitive (and part of PCP). The opposite [sic] is Options, and would be considered an emotional response to a task.
The same principle can be applied to the other 49 Unconscious Tendencies in order to give us a map of how we interpret our thinking in three potential ways: meaning-making, sense-making and an over-all epistemic stance.

A basic notion is that from Laske’s CDF, there are certain behaviours (in context) that are available to people at the higher levels of complex thinking that are not available to the lower level thinkers. This is true for Values too, as per my own PhD research.
We are able to map these contextual behaviours using the combination of the Unconscious Tendencies, as per the Identity Compass and Thinking Quotient systems.
We know these to be robust and verifiable from 20 years of psychological research by Professor Scheffer in Hamburg University.

From a complexity perspective, we are essentially short-cutting the CDF interview process, and eliminating the need for an interview, a subsequent transcription of said interview, and then an interpretation of the results.
This removes any interviewer bias, and allows the client to tell us how they think and what they know to the extent that they know it about themselves, rather than have us tell them, as every other profile tool does.

Collectively it’s about “Who Am I?” as much as “How am I?” and that depends on where I place my attention. The Thinking Quotient™ demonstrates that the client is either:

  • Not Aware of their behaviour and only able to respond in a pre-programmed way (Level 2)
  • Aware of their behaviour but unable to make positive changes (Level 3)
  • Aware that they aware of their thinking pattern but relatively stuck in their values (Level 4)
  • Aware of the awareness and at choice from an execution perspective (Level 5)

The TQ is demonstrating that one has to go through meaning making to get to sense making, and if you are balanced across your Unconscious Tendencies in the profile, then you are balanced between your emotional and cognitive reactions to stimulants in context, and thus have the potential to choose your reaction. This would place you at Level 5 of the Thinking Quotient™. It does not mean you are at stage 5 of Kegan’s Level of Adult Development, though.

One might have choice for some Unconscious Tendencies, but not others, so where one might be Level 2 for one set, and Level 4 for another, this aggregates to form an epistemic stance of Level 3. This is obviously more robust over 50 Unconscious Tendencies than an example of two.

How do we change our patterns?

We do this by Pattern Disruption! The patterns elicited from the Thinking Quotient™ can be seen as a map of the evolving epistemic self. You will not evolve unless you do something different, and I advocate doing the opposite of your normal patterns elicited by the TQ.

For example: when Observer is low and Blame is high, one cannot separate out responsibility from Self and Other. So we ask the client to step back in order to make Sense, in order to see himself and the Other in order to make Sense of his self-image. The changing of patterns can be complex or simple. The objective of pattern disruption isn’t to confound, but to help guide the client to the opposite behaviour in order to move the Subject behaviour to Object, so eventually, the client has the choice of action. See the image below using Internal and External as examples of Unconscious Tendencies and how we reverse them until we attain Choice.

Copyright Gables Consultancy 2017

How does the Thinking Quotient™ do this?

Follow this process for Deconstruction of Self in Context:

• Intention – Defining what we want to be / do / have
• Attention – Using our sensory systems for best effect
• Action – Quality controlling our thoughts / words & deeds
• Choice – Increase the number of times we actively choose
• Practise – Rehearse doing new things until they habituate
• Measures – Chart progress using behavioural indicators
• Reframing – Change meaning using linguistic re-frames
• Self-Awareness – Increase our awareness of our “self”
• Feedback – Get external information about performance

The better able we are to predict our world, the more control we have over it.
Similarly, there are certain values that are aligned with the various levels of complex thinking. For example: at level 2, “Honesty” is a value that allows one to assume a right and a wrong way of operating in the world. Someone is held to higher standards as a result of this value. But only at the lower levels. Once you attain a certain level of complex thinking, “Honesty” becomes a nominalisation and is no more valid than “Truth”. It is subjective and impermanent.

Finally – A New Language

From the above, one can see how the understanding of the breakdown of the development of one’s thinking can be categorised and renamed as Ontophronology in order to separate it from the existing nominalisation for constructivism, metacognition and so on. It’s about how you know what you know about your thinking and your stance. Your epistemic stance, according to Laske.

Your Constructed Epistemic Stance, according to Stevens. Thus, a new language will emerge from my new research.

Contact me today for more information. Or call me on 01438 894946 now.