Introduction to the Formal Theory or Behavior 

Conflict is part of life. While we cannot eliminate conflict, we can learn how to better deal with it, optimizing our ability to resolve. This program is a guide to learning about how conflict resolution works, how we individually resolve conflict, and ways to improve our ability to successfully deal with conflict.

Conflict is an experience that leads us out of our comfort zone. On the other hand, resolution is an experience of coming to terms with conflict, regaining our sense of balance, and expanding our comfort zone. Miraculously, most of the time we are able to overcome our conflicts. From discovering how to tie our shoes to learning how to tie the knot of marriage, we are typically able to engage with the challenge at hand, come up with our version of the right answer, and grow through the experience.

The process that connects these states of being is what we call the unconscious. The unconscious is an automatic response mechanism that processes stress, helping us negotiate the shift from conflict to resolution. The unconscious provides us with the software to resolve conflict. As a way to better understand the way this software works, it is useful to borrow from physics.

One of the most basic concepts in physics is the pendulum. When displaced from its position of equilibrium, the weight swings back and forth proportionally until it eventually settles back to the position of equilibrium. The pendulum’s displacement is very much like our experience of conflict. Our unconscious responds proportionately to the degree to which we feel emotional displacement. 

While everyone has an inherent need to resolve conflict, differences about the way of resolving conflict are one of the primary differences between people. For example, some people might react to the arrival of a new person by offering a handshake while others might avoid any interaction. Physics again is helpful in conceptualizing these alternative ways of resolving conflict.

The principles of balance help identify the unique ways that transformation is achieved. There are three ways of responding when an initial weight is placed on a scale to restore balance. The first is reciprocity – adding an equal weight on the other tray, the second is negation – removing the weight, and the third is correlation – shifting the weight on the fulcrum.

Placing a weight on the scale’s other tray corresponds to doing the reciprocal behavior of what caused the initial disturbance, using activity to offset passivity. Removing the initial weight from the weighted down tray corresponds to the opposite behavior, turning antagonism to cooperation. Shifting the weight on the fulcrum of the scale corresponds to changing one’s attitude from feeling alienated to experiencing mutual respect, being respectful and reconciled with adversity.

These three techniques allow us the ability to monitor how different people resolve conflict in different ways. These three transformations may be identified through examining what triggers the particular change, identifying what happened before and what happened after. This dialectical pattern is what we call the Conflict Resolution Process and consists of the following six states: stress, response, anxiety, defense, reversal, and compromise.

The initial conflict, Stress, is a passivity state that generates an emotional force, leading to a Response, an activity state proportional and opposite to the initial deviation. Anxiety is a passivity state based on the sense that one has done too much or too little, which leads to Defense, an active state in which one attempts to reinforce one’s responsive action. Reversal, another passivity state, is countered by Compromise, the final active state, in which one makes inner concessions or attitude changes that lead to finally resolving the conflict.

Through 30 years of research, we have identified that people’s techniques for resolving conflict differ primarily in regards to two variables, dominance/submissiveness and cooperation/antagonism, qualities that seem to be consistent across relational context. Someone that is too dominant may struggle with anxiety, worrying about her role of leadership, while someone that is too submissive may suffer from depression, not being confident in sharing his feelings. Someone that is too cooperative may be unable to stick up for himself, while someone that is too antagonistic may be hostile, intolerant or too critical of others to have friends. These alternative patterns have strengths and weakness and can be improved through becoming conscious of the unconscious.

Integrating this research, we have systematized an emotional education program that helps people gain the skills to improve their ability to resolve conflict and understand themselves. This program, The Conflict Analysis Battery, combines a personality inventory with a set of interactive creativity tasks. While the inventory clarifies one’s relational pattern, the creativity tasks identify how one’s pattern unfolds along the six-role conflict resolution process. As a way to help process this information, the Conflict Analysis Battery automatically provides detailed feedback based upon one’s own responses, writings, and reflections. The Conflict Analysis Battery allows us to become readily conscious of our unconscious, gaining the critical insight about how to optimize how we resolve conflict.  

This research has broad cultural implications. Our social norms facilitate conflict resolution, maintain order, and inspire communality. While these norms are societally useful, they also have limitations. As cultures collide and religious wars rage on it has become essential to be able to understand the common structure that underpins our different narratives. Our theoretical method provides a tool to understand how our societies resolve conflict, bringing scientific clarity to the domain of politics and moral values.

 

THE FORMAL THEORY IDENTIFIES THE SIX-ROLE PROCESS AND THE FOUR RELATIONAL MODALITIES AS THE UNIVERSAL INTEGRATIVE UNIT ORDER. THIS ORDER UNIFIES THE DIVIDED SOCIAL SCIENCES: EPISTEMOLOGY, DIAGNOSIS, ASSESSMENT, MORALITY, AND EDUCATION.

THE UNIVERSAL PARADIGM

THE SIX ROLE PROCESS

THE FOUR ERLATIONAL MODALITIES

Epistemology:

Physics and logic are reconciled as the two mechanisms of the unconscious

The components of the self-driving car's two mechanisms

The steering

The engine

The Freudian unconscious:

The Formal Theory formalizes and reconciles Freud's several theoretical models

The id ego and superego correspond to the six role process

Transference is refined as the four relational modalities

Diagnosis :

The Formal Theory counters DSM introducing wellness diagnoses

The six role process as syndrome

The four relational modalities as wellness personality types

The new Assessment combines projectives and inventories into a theory based battery

The creativity exercises revamp atheoretical projective tests

The inventory revamps inventories identifying traits and symptoms

Morality

The Moral Science reconciles religions and the rigorous sciences

Genesis as the six role process

The Ten Commandments as the principles of conflict resolution

Education

Moral Monopoly card game provides clarity in the nature of morality and continuity between all cultures. The Moral Science technologies integrate education, therapy, and religions into a psycho-education identified as power management.

Stories, 12 cards

Relational modalities, four suits

PART ONE: EPISTEMOLOGY

THE MORAL AND SCIENTIFIC VERSUS

THE AGNOSTIC AND IRRATIONAL UNCONCSIOUS

Paradigm Shift from the descriptive analysis of facts to their formal analysis

Old paradigms: UNINTERPRETED METAPHORS TRUSTED AS REVEALING THE TOTAL TRUTH

New paradigm: THE PROCESS AS THE SCIENTIFIC INTERPRETATION OF METAPHORS

Object of study:

The content of stories

Object of study:

The plot of stories

Trusting dogma, believing stories as factual truths: religions, epics, scriptures, theories

Trusting science by reducing stories to the interrelation of emotions into conflict resolving equilibrial systems.

METHODOLOGY

PROPOSITIONAL

AXIOMATIC METHOD

RELATIONAL LOGIC

METHODOLOGIES arbitrary assumptions, revealed truths, versus

laws of physics and logic applied into the study of behavior

Current method used in psychology and religions founded on arbitrary distinctions unrelated to each other as personality traits or symptoms of an illness, and as sanctified theoretical ideological and theistic alternatives

Six emotions are formally interrelated in energetically conserved systems of conflict resolution; formal transformations follow laws of the equilibrial scale in restoring balance by upgrading unstable energy.

ON THE RELATIONAL VERSUS PROPOSITIONAL METHOD:

Paradigm shift, the relevance of the Moral Science

The key contribution of the Formal Theory is a methodological shift of paradigms from the propositional method of analysis advancing stories to confirming the relational method examining the plot of stories as the relational transformative structure of the psychic process. The propositional or axiomatic method introduces arbitrary assumptions or distinctions on the nature of psychological phenomena; people have believed in assumptions be those the Oedipus complex or the revelations of the prophets as representing absolute and universal truths. The propositional method leads to multiple axiomatic propositions; we know these as dogma-based belief systems and also as the multiple theories of psychology like Psychoanalysis. The relational method bypasses the reliance on the dogmatic truisms based on the content of stories. Instead it examines the formal relation between parts in the circumscribed totality of a system. The human psyche proceeds along a formal progression to predictably end in a stable energetic state. The object of study of behavior is deciphering this order, the universal structure and moral function of the plot of stories as a universal harmonic, whose function is felt as conflict resolution coinciding with reduction of psychic tension.

The relational method identifies the formal organization of emotions in the plot of stories as having a distinct dialectic formal relational structure and a moral function, the normative adjustment of the individual. This equilibrial process reflects the unconscious proceeding automatically transforming conflict to resolution, where conflict is conceived of as normative deviation and resolution as normative conciliation or alternatively, a normative change.

Conflict Resolution is defined as the adjustment response to norms as societal injunctions. Personal deviations from norms generate distress psychic tension that needs to be reduced. The unconscious is a homeostatic mechanism that restores the equilibrium, one’s returning to the normative rest state.

The unconscious is founded on the study of the creative process as reflected in the circumscribed entity of all samples of creativity as a conflict resolution mechanism. The unconscious is shown to have a structure: the dramatic process, 6 role states or emotions, propelled by three formal operations. The process is the mental heartbeat, a periodic phenomenon, the unit of the social sciences.

The Formal Theory is founded on the premise that the unconscious is a conflict resolution process, a natural science energetic transformation, motivated by conflict resolution as the need for restoration of an equilibrial state. We identify this psychic need for moral order as the force motivating behavior. The unconscious motivation does not target sex and power, but conflict resolution, conformity to norms, mostly as established by religions.

Based on this premise we can understand morality as the psychological need to conform to norms established by religions. Religions are normative institutions. Religions evolved themselves revamping norms. They represent a progression of discoveries of the scientific principles leading to conflict resolution. They progressed as the complement of the alternative ways of resolving conflicts revamping norms of what is acceptable behavior. So where do we see objectivity in the correct way of resolving conflicts?

Morality was equated with the normative specificities of the evolving divinities, themselves the role models of the respective relational modalities, the traits of the particular ways of resolving as the supreme normative authorities inspiring and also monitoring societal compliance. The gods were empowered with rewards and punishments, ‘paradise and hell’ lowering versus raising psychic tension. Where do we stand with relativity introduced in normative standards?

The Moral Science clarifies the principles of conflict resolution as the laws of nature. It demystifies religions as particular conflict resolutions as discoveries of science. What we need in clarifying morality as a science is the validation of the formal theoretical premise introducing the universality of laws of justice in the definition of the unconscious and of the divine transforming psychology into the natural Science of Conflict Resolution or the Moral Science.

To learn about the relevance of this innovation in your own life, try our online emotional education program or join us for a workshop or training session.

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The Unconscious

Although it is now more than 100 years since Freud "discovered" the unconscious, we still don't understand the way our minds work. In contrast to Freudian and neurobiological perspectives, we present evidence for a new conceptualization of the unconscious. 

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Diagonsis

We all live life differently. Our research indicates that there are four patterns of resolving conflict, four different personality typologies, or what we term relational modalities.  

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Morality

The Moral Science Project introduces a new conceptualization about morality, culture, and social norms. 

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Assessment

Once we understand basic behavioral patterns, we can start to understand our personal mechanisms, to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and start to make impactful changes. Our emotional education programs provide a guide to begin this process.