A few excerpts from:
"Actualizing Tendency: The link between person-centered and experiential psychotherapy and interdisciplinary systems theory"
by Jürgen Kriz University of Osnabrück, Germany
The following is a view of reality I found at SOTT.net
America is the only nation brought forth by a set of beliefs, and those beliefs, captured so eloquently in our founding documents, are some of the most powerful and inspiring ever conceived. We consider this to be the land of the free, where the individual is supreme and nothing prevents us from going as far as our talents can take us. That image of America - that "brand" - is incredibly strong.
However, there's a very large gap between that long-held image and the reality of America today. What was once a government built for the people is now a government run for the rich and powerful, one that throws the people under the bus whenever their interests differ from those of the corporate and political leaders who run the show.
And living in one world (the corrupt) while stubbornly believing you live in another (the ideal), despite mounds of evidence, causes a distinct kind of stress, often called cognitive dissonance
Transhuman / wikipedia
Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development
Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development constitute an adaptation of a psychological theory originally conceived by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. Kohlberg began work on this topic while a psychology graduate student at the University of Chicago in 1958 and expanded upon the theory throughout his life.
The theory holds that moral reasoning, the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental stages, each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor. Kohlberg followed the development of moral judgment far beyond the ages studied earlier by Piaget, who also claimed that logic and morality develop through constructive stages. Expanding on Piaget's work, Kohlberg determined that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice, and that it continued throughout the individual's lifetime, a notion that spawned dialogue on the philosophical implications of such research. -wikipedia
Loevinger's stages of ego development
Jane Loevinger's stages of ego development 'conceptualize a theory of ego development that was based on Erikson's psychosocial model', as well as on the works of Harry Stack Sullivan, and in which 'the ego was theorized to mature and evolve through stages across the lifespan as a result of a dynamic interaction between the inner self and the outer environment'. Her theory is significant in contributing to the delineation of ego development, which goes beyond fragmentation of trait psychology and looks at personalities as meaningful wholes.
Loevinger describes the ego as a process rather than a thing. The ego is viewed as the frame of reference (or lens) one uses to construct and interpret one's world. This contains impulse control and character development, with interpersonal relations, and with cognitive preoccupations, including self-concept. Sullivan (1958) 'had proposed four levels of "interpersonal maturity and interpersonal integration": Impulsive, Conformist, Conscientious, and Autonomous'. Developing over time from that initial framework, Loevinger completed a developmental model including nine sequential stages, each of which represents a progressively more complex way of perceiving oneself in relation to the world. Every stage provides a frame of reference to organize and give meaning to experience over the individual's life course. 'Since each new ego stage or frame of reference builds on the previous one and integrates it, no one can skip a stage...One has not yet acquired the interpersonal logic'.
As the adult ego develops, Loevinger considered, a sense of self-awareness emerges in which one becomes aware of discrepancies between conventions and one's own behavior. For some, development reaches a plateau and does not continue. Among others, greater ego integration and differentiation continue. Loevinger proposed eight/nine stages of ego in development, the six which occur in adulthood being conformist, conscientious-conformist, conscientious, individualistic, autonomous, and integrated. The majority of adults are at the conscientious-conformist level.
Loevinger conceived of an ego development system that would closely resemble moral development but be both broader in scope and utilize empirical methods of study. Loevinger started by creating an objective test of mothers' attitudes to problems in family life, which she called the Family Problems Scale. This first test did not yield the expected results, but Loevinger noted a strong similarity between authoritarian family ideology and the concept of authoritarian personality being developed at UC Berkeley in the early 1960s. Loevinger noticed that the women who scored at the most extreme ends of the authoritarian scale also tended to be the most immature. These women would tend to agree with such statements as "[a] mother should be her daughter's best friend" while at the same time endorsing punitive behavior. Additionally, Loevinger observed that a liberal, non-authoritarian personality was not the opposite of a high authoritarian personality. Rather, anomie, a disorganized and detached social style was the opposite of the high authoritarian, evidencing a curvilinear relationship.
Loevinger theorized that this was because the Authoritarian Family Ideology' scale was not measuring just authoritarianism but some broader concept which weighed heavily upon all the other constructs she measured. By combining this theoretical framework with Sullivan and Grant's interpersonal maturity continuum, she created the concept of ego development. From this new concept, Loevinger then developed the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, which remains the primary method of determining ego development on Loevinger's scale.