Transcultural communication networks and adult cognitive development
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Transcultural communication networks and adult cognitive development

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Der Vortrag schlägt für das Forschungsfeld der interkulturellen Kommunikation eine neue Theorieperspektive vor: die der Entwicklungspsychologie. Er geht aus von den Theorien von Jean Piaget und......

Der Vortrag schlägt für das Forschungsfeld der interkulturellen Kommunikation eine neue Theorieperspektive vor: die der Entwicklungspsychologie. Er geht aus von den Theorien von Jean Piaget und Lawrence Kohlberg über die stufenweise Entwicklung von Kognition und Moral beim Individuum und schlägt den Bogen zu Jürgen Habermas, der Gesellschaften und Kulturen einen ähnlichen evolutionären Lernprozess durchlaufen sieht. Das „Model of Hierarchical Complexity“ des Harvard-Psychologen Michael Commons wird schließlich herangezogen, um individuelle wie gesellschaftliche Lernprozesse anhand der Komplexität von Verhalten mathematisch-quantitativ fassbar zu machen. Abschließend werden die praktisch-politischen Implikationen dieses Denkansatzes diskutiert, etwa für die strategische Kommunikation bei Demokratieförderung und Nation-Building.

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  • I want to introduce to you some ideas to integrate approaches from social psychology into our topic, and I‘ll try to show what transcultural communication networks have to do with adult cognitive development – a process which is mostly imagined in stages
  • Let me start with a short outline of my presentation First there will be an introduction Secondly I will talk about stages of individual development, especially about the stages of cognitive development from Jean Piaget and the stages of moral development from Lawrence Kohlberg Then I will tell you about stages of societal development how Jürgen Habermas and Michael Commons have seen them Lastly I will discuss the implications of these models for the field of transcultural communication
  • Social Network Analysis owes important impulses to psychologists. Let me name three contributions. It were psychologists that anticipated the idea of ““structure” from structural analysis in the early 20 th century. In contrast to Sigmund Freunds psychoanalysis which explained the behaviour out of the individual’s biography, the founders of “Gestalt psychology” looked at the “gestalt” which means „shape of an entity’s complete form“. The embeddedness of an individuum The founders of Gestalt psychology in the early 20 th century anticipated the idea of “structure” from structural analysis with their concept of “gestalt” which means „essence of shape of an entity’s complete form“. Kurt Koffka postulated "The whole is other than the sum of the parts“ which is similar to the SNA phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts“. Die Soziale Netzwerkanalyse verdankt Psychologen und Sozialpsychologen wichtige Impulse. Es waren Psychologen, die zu Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts den Begriff der Struktur aus dem Strukturalismus vorwegnahmen, und zwar mit ihrem Begriff der Gestalt. Die Gründer der sogenannten Gestaltpsychologie, die sich in Auseinandersetzung mit Sigmund Freuds Psychoanalyse entwickelte, meinten mit Gestalt das Ganze, in das das einzelne Element eingebettet ist und das dem einzelnen Element erst seine Bedeutung gibt. Fritz Perls sagte: „Wir nennen es den Hintergrund , aus dem die Figur hervortritt.“ Max Wertheimer formulierte es so: „Es gibt Zusammenhänge, bei denen nicht, was im Ganzen geschieht, sich daraus herleitet, wie die einzelnen Stücke sind und sich zusammensetzen, sondern umgekehrt, wo (…) sich das, was an einem Teil dieses Ganzen geschieht, bestimmt von inneren Strukturgesetzen dieses seines Ganzen.“ Wir sehen die Ähnlichkeit zu dem populären Spruch der Netzwerkanalytiker „Das Ganze ist mehr als die Summe seiner Teile.“ Und das war damals in der Psychologie neu, da Sigmund Freud allein auf das Individuum und seine individuelle Geschichte und Prägung abhob.
  • Let me start with a short outline of my presentation First there will be an introduction Secondly I will talk about stages of individual development, especially about the stages of cognitive development from Jean Piaget and the stages of moral development from Lawrence Kohlberg Then I will tell you about stages of societal development how Jürgen Habermas and Michael Commons have seen them Lastly I will discuss the implications of these models for the field of transcultural communication
  • The most cited researcher in this field is the Swiss Psychologist and Biologist Jean Piaget. Over 50 years he examined the development of children and he believed that their cognitive development proceeds in stages. The core message is: Humans of different ages think in qualitatively different ways. Throughout their childhood and adolescence he identified four major stages, in which the mental structures to perceive and interpret the world dramatically changes. This stage process is characterized by a successive decrease of egocentrism and an increasing capacity of integrating more perspectives into one’s outlook on the world. The capacity for abstraction and for complex views and actions increases. Simple actions are more and more combined, integrated and differenciated.
  • The first stage is called sensorimotor. Infants from birth to age 2 deal with the world directly through their sensory perceptions and movements. His schemata are simple: Sucking, Watching, Grasping, Pushing. But the child learns to combine and coordinate these actions: Grasping plus Sucking, Watching plus Touching. The second stage is called preoperational and goes from age 2-7 – but the ages given are only guidelines, different children progress at different rates. Now there are already mental representations of things that are not there – if I take away a toy in front of the child, the child will search for it. The child can mentally imagine doing something before actually doing it. But egocentrism is strong, the child is unable to take other‘s perspectives. If he hides his eyes behind his hands, he believes that the other can‘t see him as well. They are easily fooled by perceptions, magical and animistical thinking predominates Das erste Stadium nennt Piaget das sensumotorische Stadium, indem der Mensch sich in den ersten zwei Lebensjahren befindent. Der kleine Mensch führt nur eine begrenzte Anzahl von Handlungsschemata wie Saugen, Betrachten, Greifen und Schieben. Er lernt aber schon, sie zu kombinieren und zu koordinieren, z.B. Saugen plus Greifen, Betrachten plus Anfassen. Das zweite Stadium nennt er das präoperatorische Stadium, 2. bis 7. Jahr Das Kind hat eine verbesserte Fähigkeit zur mentalen Repräsentation von physikalisch nicht vorhandenen Objekten. Wenn ein Spielzeug verschwindet, sucht es danach. Sein Denken ist noch sehr egozentrisch, es ist noch nicht fähig, die Perspektive einer anderen Person einzunehmen. Es hält sich die Augen zu und ist überzeugt davon, dass die andere Person es auch nicht mehr sehen kann. Es kommt zu unangemessenen Generalisierungen, animistischen Deutungen, finalistischen Erklärungen und artifiziellen Naturdeutungen („Starke Leute haben die Berge gemacht, damit sie weit gucken können.“). Etwas, das wir auch bei archaischen Kulturen kennen, die magisch-animistische Weltdeutungen haben.
  • In the concrete-operational stage, from age 7 to 11, children are more logical thinkers. They can solve practical, real-world problems through a trial-and-error-approach, and they can also draw general conclusions based on their concrete observations. In the fourth stage, the formal-operational, children can deal with abstract concepts and purely hypothetical problems. They have the capacity for deductive logic and look systematially for answers to the big questions: what is wrong with their parents or the federal government, and what would be the long-term consequences of legalizing drugs. Das dritte Stadium nennt Piaget das konkret-operationale Stadium, indem der Mensch sich im Alter von 7-11 Jahren befindet. Es ist Kindern jetzt möglich, sich mit der physikalischen Welt, also mit konkreten, sinnlich erfahrbaren Dingen systematisch auseinanderzusetzen. Im vierten Stadium, dem formal-operationalen Stadium ist Abstraktion vom Konkreten, Anschaulichen möglich und die Erkenntnis übergeordneter Prinzipien. Kinder sind zu fortgeschrittener deduktiver Logik fähig und suchen systematisch nach Antworten auf die großen Fragen des Daseins, der Wahrheit und der Gerechtigkeit.
  • The american psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg related the Piagetian stages of Cognitive development to stages of moral development. He argues that only what a human being consciously perceives, can become an object for moral weightings. Kohlberg distinguishes six stages of moral development, grouped into 3 big levels of 2 stages each: the preconventional, conventional and postconventional level. The process is again characterized by decreasing egocentrism and an increasing acceptance of abstract, universal principles, and the young person is getting better and better in responding to moral dilemmas in a consensual manner. erweiterte Jean Piaget war. Er verknüpfte die kognitive Entwicklung von Kindern mit ihrer Moralischen Entwicklung, denn nur was ein Mensch kognitiv wahrnimmt, kann Gegenstand moralischer Abwägungen werden. Unbewusstes kann nicht reflektiert werden. Kohlberg unterscheidet 6 Stufen der moralischen Entwicklung, die auf 3 Niveaus zusammengefasst werden: dem präkonventionellen Niveau, dem konventionellen Niveau und dem postkonventionellen Niveau. Die Abfolge ist wiederum gekennzeichnet von abnehmendem Egozentrismus sowie von steigender Akzeptanz von abstrakten, universalen Prinzipien und steigender Fähigkeit, mit moralischen Dilemmata umzugehen.
  • At the preconventional level, the child has no understanding for moral norms. He wants to avoid negative sanctions at the stage of punishment and obedience, and in the stage of individual instrumental puropis and exchange he is looking for benefits: What‘s in it for me? At the conventional level there is an acceptance of society's conventions concerning right and wrong. In stage 3, the Stage of Mutual Interpersonal Expections, Relationships, and Conformity, one tries to be a good boy or good girl by filling a social role. The aim to do so is to maintain the relationships with personally known people around. In stage 4, The Stage of Social System and Conscience Maintenance, it is important to obey laws and conventions because one sees that it is important for a functioning society. If I violated a law – perhaps everyone would. Auf dem präkonventionellen Niveau besteht kein Verständnis für moralische Regeln (Alter bis zu 10 Jahren): Man will Bestrafung vermeiden (Stufe 1) und Belohnung bekommen (Stufe 2). Auf dem konventionellen Niveau besteht Einsicht in die Regeln als Konvention; Ziel ihrer Befolgung ist die Erhaltung der Sozialbeziehungen. Diese sind auf der Stufe 3 („good-boy“-Orientierung) beschränkt auf persönlich bekannte Personen, die sog. Primärgruppe. Man versucht, für seine Familie und Freunde ein „guter Junge“ zu sein. Auf Stufe 4 („law and order“-Orientierung) wird dieser Kreis erweitert vom persönlichen Bekanntenkreis auf übergreifende Systeme wie Staat und Religionsgemeinschaft. Es kommt zu einer „law and order“-Haltung, aus der heraus Gesetze um ihrer selbst willen aufrechterhalten und befolgt werden sollten.
  • At the post-conventional level, one recognizes that conventions and rules are useful but changeble. He reflects conventions as such and can discuss them. He may break rules when they are inconsistent with his own principles and may live by his own ethical principles. In stage 5, laws are regarded as social contracts. Those that do not promote the general welfare should be changed through majority decision. Stage 5 reasoning is the basis for d emocratic government. In Stage six moral judgement is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles, such as equality of human rights and respect for the dignity of human beings as individuals. When laws violate these principles, one acts in accordance with the principle, because as a rational person, one has seen the validity of principles and has become committed to them. Auf dem postkonventionellen Niveau kommt die Einsicht, dass Konventionen und Systeme nicht unveränderlich sind. Der Mensch ist jetzt in der Lage, diese Konventionen als solche zu reflektieren und zu diskutieren und ggf. zu ändern. Auf Stufe 5 (Orientierung am sozialen Vertrag) wird das moralische System zunächst als Gesellschaftsvertrag gesehen, der vereinbart wurde und veränderlich ist. Auf diesem Niveau ist Verständnis für Demokratie bei Entscheidungsprozessen möglich, aber die Menschenrechte werden als absolut und unveräußerlich erlebt. Die Stufe 6 (Orientierung an ethischen Prinzipien) besteht in dem Bemühen, allgemeingültige ethische Prinzipien zu finden, die etwa im Sinne des Kantschen „kategorischen Imperativs“ das eigene Verhalten so zu steuern hätten, dass sie jederzeit zugleich Prinzip einer allgemeinen Gesetzgebung werden könnten.
  • Piaget and Kohlberg describe their models in terms of some strong hypotheses: The stages form an invariant, irreversible, and consecutive sequence of discrete structures. One cannot skip a stage, and regression is impossible. The stages form a hierarchy: The structures of the higher stage transcend those of the lower ones, that is, the lower stage is replaced and at the same time preserved in a reorganized, more differentiated, more complex form. The stages are universal: They can be observed in the african Dschungle as well as in an american Suburb or in the Swiss mountains. Piaget und Kohlberg treffen über ihre Stufen einige starke Aussagen, vor allem diese: Ein Stadium ist ein strukturiertes Ganzes in einem Zustand des Gleichgewichts. Der Strukturalist Piaget postulierte, dass die Operationen jedes einzelnen Stadiums untereinander zu einem organisierten Ganzen verbunden sind. Eine Person kann zu einer bestimmten Zeit nur auf einer Stufe stehen Die Stadien bilden eine invariante Sequenz. Die Stadien der Entwicklung folgen in einer bestimmten Reihenfolge aufeinander. Kein Stadium kann übersprungen werden. Die Stadien sind universell. Behauptet wird, dass sich bei Kindern im afrikanischen Dschungel, in der amerikanischen Vorstadt und in den Schweizer Bergen dieselbe Abfolge der Entwicklungsstufen feststellen lässt.
  • Let me start with a short outline of my presentation First there will be an introduction Secondly I will talk about stages of individual development, especially about the stages of cognitive development from Jean Piaget and the stages of moral development from Lawrence Kohlberg Then I will tell you about stages of societal development how Jürgen Habermas and Michael Commons have seen them Lastly I will discuss the implications of these models for the field of transcultural communication
  • Jürgen Habermas is well known for his theory of communicative action and his discourse ethics. When he developed his normative theory he drew on Piaget and Kohlberg – and stated that rational, self-reflexive discourse as he promotes it requires a moral development stage at the post-conventional level. „ Discourse ethics is compatible with this (…) notion of learning in that it conceives discoursive will formation (and argumentation in general) as a reflexive form of communicative action and also in that it postulates a change of attitude for the transition from action to discourse. A child growing up, and caught up, in the communicative practice of everyday life is not able at the start to effect this attitude change.“ Jürgen Habermas entwickelte seine Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns auch über die Rezeption der Theorien von Piaget und Kohlberg, und er sieht sie als indirekte Bestätigung seiner ebenfalls universalistischen Diskursethik. Vorlesen
  • Habermas relates the Kohlberg stages of moral development to types of social interactions At the pre-conventional level there is authority-driven interaction and cooperation driven by self-interest At the conventional level people act driven by norms and social roles, And at the post-conventional level they have the capacity for an ideal, power-free discourse
  • Habermas made also some suggestions about the connection between stages of individual development and societal development. Far from equating the both, he postulated a tight connection: On the one hand, the cognitive and moral development of an individual is dependent on and can be fostered by education and demands from the social environment. On the other hand, “social systems can form new structures by utilizing the learning capacities of their members in order to cope with systems problems which threaten the maintenance of the self. In this respect the evolutionary learning process of societies is dependent on the competence of the single members”, He sees some parallels in the developmental logics of phylogenesis and ontogenesis: Den Grundstrukturen der Menschenaffen entsprechen die Bewusstseinsstrukturen von Kindern zwischen dem 4. und 7. Lebensjahr magisch-animistische Vorstellungswelt der paläolithischen Gesellschaften entspricht dem präoperationalen Stadium Rationalisierte Weltbilder der frühen Moderne Ausdruck des formal-operationalen Denkens und eines prinzipiengeleiteten moralischen Bewusstseins
  • Habermas also assumed that societies go through an evolutionary learning process, similar to that of individuals – from the magic-animistic world view of paläolithic societies (which has parallels with the pre-operational stage of Piaget) to modern societies with rationalised world view (which has parallels with formal-operational thinking and post-conventional morals). Although he admitted that not every member of a society is at the same developmental stage, it can be said that i n this view, different societies can be put into a hierarchical order, not by content, but by form, i.e. by organizational complexity and by structure of consciousness. Den Grundstrukturen der Menschenaffen entsprechen die Bewusstseinsstrukturen von Kindern zwischen dem 4. und 7. Lebensjahr magisch-animistische Vorstellungswelt der paläolithischen Gesellschaften entspricht dem präoperationalen Stadium Rationalisierte Weltbilder der frühen Moderne Ausdruck des formal-operationalen Denkens und eines prinzipiengeleiteten moralischen Bewusstseins
  • Habermas wrote that in the 1970s and 1980s – in the meantime, this thought has been put forward by Michael Lamport Commons, a theoretical behavioural scientist at Harvard Medical School. He and his collegues have developed the “Model of Hierarchical Complexity”, a standard method of examining the universal patterns of evolution and development. It allows to score how complex a behavior is, by defining tasks and examining how someone performs on that task, and tasks can contain any kind of information. So the MHC works with purely quantitative principles, independent from mentalistic, cultural, or other contextual explanations.
  • So, the MHC asks “How complex is a behavior?”, and the hierarchical complexity refers to tasks that require the performance of lower-level subtasks before. So, actions at a higher order of hierarchical complexity are themselves defined in terms of lower-order actions, they organize and transform the lower-order actions; and they do that in a non- arbitrary way. Here in the picture you see the principle: A new stage of behavior consists of combining old actions into new ones.
  • Commons postulates 14 general stages of development, you see some similarities with Piaget – the sensory-motor stage, the Pre-operational stage, the concrete or the formal stage – but their are all defined in mathematical terms. He applied this model also to societies and political development. beginning with stage 8, he portrays societal stages as following.
  • The concrete stage „focuses on events, people, and places that are personally known.“ Societies at this stage are dominated by subsistence concerns and demonstrate short time horizons. Social behaviour is characterized by reciprocal exchanges involving concrete goods and services, and simple social rules.“ In abstract stage societies, group associations begin as memberships in political parties, trade associations and unions, and religious organizations. In contrast to the concrete stage, one can feel that one is in a social relationship with others and be loyal to it, even without proximity to other members. (…) the beginnings of the concept of roles are learned, such that people understand that different individuals may fill and later leave the same role.“
  • Formal stage societies: „(…) develop empirical interests in increasing productivity, training, and wealth distribution, which in turn lead to formal economics and laws. (…) Truly bureaucratic governments form, with extensive written laws and regulations that are implemented in ‚letter of the law‘ fashion.“ In Systematic stage societies , systems of relations are coordinated among the legal, societal, corporate, economic, and national spheres. (…) Applications of laws are more ‚in the spirit of‘ than ‚the letter of‘ the law. (…) At this stage, more highly abstract concepts appear, such as transparency, accountablity, social justice, and sustainability.“
  • Like Habermas, Commons says that not all members of a society operate at the same stage: In one and the same country, individuals operate at multiple stages of development in various domains, and Political cultures and social systems display concurrent operations of several different stages Just as individuals, political entities “vary widely in their performance within and across domains. For example, the United States may have a high-complexity ideal of free speech accompanied by low-complexity laws on association (e.g., the Patriot Act and wiretapping policies).
  • Let me start with a short outline of my presentation First there will be an introduction Secondly I will talk about stages of individual development, especially about the stages of cognitive development from Jean Piaget and the stages of moral development from Lawrence Kohlberg Then I will tell you about stages of societal development how Jürgen Habermas and Michael Commons have seen them Lastly I will discuss the implications of these models for the field of transcultural communication
  • So, we have the idea that not every adult human being operates at the same stage of development, and this is also depedent from his social and cultural embeddedness. This has several implications for our field, let me introduce to you three. The Idea might help to understand communication problems in binational partnerships, In a mixed couple, the partners might operate at different stages. In my personal environment, there is a divorsed couple, she‘s a German, he is from Iraq. They have a son and before court they fight a custody battle. The court obtained a psychological expert advice, and the expert wrote: Die Idee, dass nicht jeder Erwachsene auf derselben kognitiven und moralischen Stufe steht und dass dies auch abhängt vom kulturellen und sozialen Umfeld, hat in meinen Augen einige Implikationen. Diese Sicht kann zum Beispiel helfen, Probleme in binationalen Partnerschaften zu verstehen.
  • „ Frau X zeigte sich während der Untersuchung (…) selbstkritisch und reflektiert . (…) Die psychologischen Bedürfnisse des Kindes werden von ihr hinreichend wahrgenommen. Frau X zeigte sich reflektiert über die emotionale Lage des Kindes. Frau X steht dem Vater ihres Sohnes heute zum einen sachlich-distanziert und zum anderen mit dessen Verhaltensweisen und Persönlichkeitsstruktur überfordert gegenüber. Frau X kann positive Anteile am Vater benennen . Die Bindung zwischen Vater und Kind wird adäquat toleriert .
  • „ During the examination, Mr. Y. showed a (…) very little self-critical personality. Towards the mother of his child, he appeared disappointed-aversive and unable to cope with her personal outlook on life. He is not adequately aware of own parts in the failure of the partnership. It is difficult for him to name positive parts of the mother’s personality. (…) The child’s need for an unstressed relationship to the mother are estimated not adequately .“ What we see here is a clear difference between the former partners regarding self-reflexivity, tolerance and awareness of the child‘s needs. These differences might indicate different cognitive and moral stages as described by Piaget and Kohlberg – note that Mr X is from Iraq – acording to Commons from a concrete or abstract society, and Mrs. X is from Germany, at least a systematic stage society. Both are unable to cope with the other. Wir sehen also ein Gefälle zwischen beiden Partnern, was Selbstreflexivität, Toleranz und Bewusstheit der Bedürfnisse des Kindes angeht – in Anlehnung an Commons kann man dies als Anzeichen für verschiedene kognitive und moralische Stufen ansehen. Beide sind jedoch miteinander überfordert.
  • The developmental stages can help to better understand why communicative efforts of the West to promote democracy abroad often fails. According to Commons, Democracy is an operation of abstract-stage societies or higher. If you do nation-builing in Afghanistan or Iraq, you might overstress a concrete society. So, the stages have to be considered for the strategic communication of governments, corporations or NGOs.
  • For example, a fellow of Michael Commons gave an overview
  • Wenn der Westen etwa Korruption in Russland anprangert, prallen zwei kognitive Welten aufeinander. In Russland – einer Gesellschaft, die keine Aufklärung im westlichen Sinne kannte - ist es
  • Wenn der Westen etwa Korruption in Russland anprangert, prallen zwei kognitive Welten aufeinander. In Russland – einer Gesellschaft, die keine Aufklärung im westlichen Sinne kannte - ist es
  • The developmental stages can help to better understand why communicative efforts of the West to promote democracy abroad often fails. According to Commons, Democracy is an operation of abstract-stage societies or higher. If you do nation-builing in Afghanistan or Iraq, you might overstress a concrete society. So, the stages have to be considered for the strategic communication of governments, corporations or NGOs.

Transcript

  • 1. Photo: wallpaperstock.net Bringing social psychology back in: Transcultural communication networks and adult cognitive development Uwe Krüger „Networks of transnational and transcultural communication“ page 1 DGPuK Dortmund November 22-23, 2012
  • 2. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Stages of individual development (Piaget, Kohlberg) 3. Stages of societal development (Habermas, Commons) 4. Implications for transcultural communication networkspage 2
  • 3. Motivation: What can social network analysis learn from psychology?  Social network analysis primarily addresses the “outer” characteristics of human interrelations  Hardly considers the inner processes of humans, which is the subject of psychology  Inner processes of humans may have an important impact on the outer characteristics of their relations  For describing networks of transcultural communication approaches of adult cognitive development are importantpage 3 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 4. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Stages of individual development (Piaget, Kohlberg) 3. Stages of societal development (Habermas, Commons) 4. Implications for transcultural communication networkspage 4
  • 5. Jean Piaget: Cognitive development proceeds in stages  Humans of different ages think in qualitatively different ways  mental structures, used to perceive and interpret the world, dramatically change  Successive decrease of egocentrism  Capacity for abstraction and for complex views and actions increases  Simple actions are combined, integrated and differentiated Photo: en.wikipedia.orgpage 5 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 6. Jean Piaget identified 4 stages of cognitive development 1. Sensorimotor stage (age 0-2):  Simple actions: Sucking, Watching, Grasping, Pushing  Combination and coordination 2. Pre-operational stage (age 2-7):  Mental representations of physically absent objects  Unable to take others‘ perspectives  Magical and animist thinking predominatespage 6 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 7. Jean Piaget identified 4 stages of cognitive development 3. Concrete-operational stage (age 7-11):  Ability to solve practical problems through trial-and-error  Sound, general conclusions based on concrete observations (inductive logic) 4. Formal-operational stage (age 11 and older):  Deal with abstract concepts and hypothetical problems  Deductive logic  Systematic search for answers to the big questionspage 7 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 8. Lawrence Kohlberg: Cognitive development is connected with moral judgement  Conscious perception is the basis for moral weightings  Kohlberg distinguished 6 stages, grouped into 3 levels: pre-conventional, conventional, post-conventional  Decreasing egocentrism  Increasing acceptance of abstract, universal principlesPhoto: http://psy.buu.edu.cn  Increasing ability to solve moral dilemmas page 8 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 9. Lawrence Kohlberg identified 6 stages of moral development A Pre-conventional level 1. The Stage of Punishment and Obedience: Avoiding negative sanctions 2. The Stage of Individual Instrumental Purpose and Exchange : Seeking for benefit B Conventional level 3. The Stage of Mutual Interpersonal Expections, Relationships, and Conformity: Good boy/good girl attitude 4. The Stage of Social System and Conscience Maintenance: Law and orderpage 9 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 10. Lawrence Kohlberg identified 6 stages of moral development C Post-conventional level 5. The Stage of Social Contract and Individual Rights: Laws can be changed by majority 6. The Stage of Universal Ethical Principles: Dignity and justicepage 10 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 11. Piaget‘s and Kohlberg‘s strong hypotheses  The stages form an invariant, irreversible, and consecutive sequence of discrete structures: Skipping stages is impossible, regression is impossible  The stages form a hierarchy: Structures of higher stage transcend those of the lower one  The stages are universal: They can be observed in the African jungle as well as in an American Suburb or in the Swiss mountainspage 11 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 12. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Stages of individual development (Piaget, Kohlberg) 3. Stages of societal development (Habermas, Commons) 4. Implications for transcultural communication networkspage 12
  • 13. Jürgen Habermas: Communicative action depends on the stage of development  Rational, self-reflexive discourse requires a moral stage on the post-conventional level  Human development involves a „change of attitude for the transition from action to discourse. A child growing up, and caught up, in the communicative practice of everyday life is not able at the start to effect this attitude change.“ (HabermasPhoto: wikipedia.org 1999: 125) page 13 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 14. Jürgen Habermas: Communicative action depends on the stage of development Stages of moral Types of social interactions development (Kohlberg) (Habermas) Pre-conventional (1 + 2) Authority-driven interaction + cooperation driven by self- interest Conventional (3 + 4) Interaction driven by norms and social roles Post-conventional (5 + 6) Discourse (Habermas 1999)page 14 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 15. Jürgen Habermas: Individual and societal development are tightly connected  The individual‘s development depends on and can be fostered by education and demands from the social environment  Society can learn from above-average individuals: „(…) social systems can form new structures by utilizing the learning capacities of their members in order to cope with systems problems which threaten the maintenance of the self.” (Habermas 1975: 294)page 15 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 16. Jürgen Habermas: Societies go through an evolutionary learning process  from paleolithic societies with magical-animistic world view (parallels to the pre-operational stage) and traditional societies with a mythical-religious world view to modern societies with rationalized world view (parallels to formal-operational thinking and post-conventional moral)  Different societies can be put into a hierarchical order, not by content, but by form, i.e. by structure of consciousness and organizational complexitypage 16 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 17. Michael Commons: Scoring societies with mathematical methods  „Model of Hierarchical Complexity“ (MHC) offers a standard method of examining the universal patterns of evolution and development  It refers to tasks and the performance of people on these tasks (and tasks can contain any kind of information)  quantitative principles – independent fromPhoto: Dare Association mentalistic, cultural, or other contextual explanations page 17 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 18. Michael Commons: How complex is a behavior?  Higher-order actions are defined in terms of lower-order actions  organize and transform those lower-order actions  organize lower-order actions in a non-arbitrary wayFigure: S. N. Ross, as cited in Commons 2008: 309page 18 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 19. Michael Commons postulates 14 orders of hierarchical complexity 0 – Calculatory 8 – Concrete 1 – Sensory or motor 9 – Abstract 2 – Circular sensory-motor 10 – Formal 3 – Sensory-motor 11 – Systematic 4 – Nominal 12 – Metasystematic 5 – Sentential 13 – Paradigmatic 6 – Pre-operational 14 – Cross-Paradigmatic 7 – Primarypage 19 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 20. Michael Commons applies the MHC also to societal development Concrete stage societies: „focuses on events, people, and places that are personally known. (…) dominated by subsistence concerns and demonstrate short time horizons. Social behaviour is characterized by reciprocal exchanges involving concrete goods and services, and simple social rules.“ Abstract stage societies: „group associations begin as memberships in political parties, trade associations and unions, and religious organizations. In contrast to the concrete stage, one can feel that one is in a social relationship with others and be loyal to it, even without proximity to other members. (…) the beginnings of the concept of roles are learned, such that people understand that different individuals may fill and later leave the same role.“page 20 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 21. Michael Commons applies the MHC also to societal development Formal stage societies: „(…) develop empirical interests in increasing productivity, training, and wealth distribution, which in turn lead to formal economics and laws. (…) Truly bureaucratic governments form, with extensive written laws and regulations that are implemented in ‚letter of the law‘ fashion.“ Systematic stage societies: „(…) systems of relations are coordinated among the legal, societal, corporate, economic, and national spheres. (…) Applications of laws are more ‚in the spirit of‘ than ‚the letter of‘ the law. (…) At this stage, more highly abstract concepts appear, such as transparency, accountablity, social justice, and sustainability.“ (Ross/Commons 2008: 484-487)page 21 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 22. Michael Commons: Not all members of a society operate at the same stage  Individuals operate at multiple stages of development in various domains  Political cultures and social systems display concurrent operations of several different stages  Political entities “vary widely in their performance within and across domains” (Ross/Commons 2008: 481)page 22 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 23. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Stages of individual development (Piaget, Kohlberg) 3. Stages of societal development (Habermas, Commons) 4. Implications for transcultural communication networkspage 23
  • 24. Implication I: Communication problems in binational partnerships  Partners might operate at different developmental stages  Example: Mrs. X from Germany and Mr. Y from Iraq – a divorced couple fight a custody battle before court  Extracts from the psychological expert advice (2012):page 24 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 25. Implication I: Communication problems in binational partnerships  “During the examination, Mrs. X appeared (…) self-critical and reflected. (…) The psychological needs of the child are perceived by her adequately. Mrs. X appeared reflected on the child’s emotional situation. Towards the father of her child, Mrs. X seems to be realistic-distant on the one hand, and on the other hand unable to cope with his behavior and structure of personality. Mrs. X is able to name positive features of the father’s personality, and able and willing to tolerate his relationship to their common child.”page 25 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 26. Implication I: Communication problems in binational partnerships  „Mr. Y showed (…) very little self-criticism during the examination. Towards the mother of his child, he appeared disappointed-aversive and unable to cope with her personal outlook on life. He is not adequately aware of his own share in the failure of the partnership. It is difficult for him to name positive features of the mother’s personality. (…) The child’s need for an unstressed relationship to his mother is perceived not adequately.“  clear differences in self-reflexivity, tolerance and awareness of the child‘s needs (that might indicate different cognitive stages)page 26 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 27. Implication II: Communicative failure of the West when promoting democracy  Democracy is an operation of abstract-stage societies or higher (Commons)  Building of a democratic nation in Afghanistan or Iraq might overstress a concrete society, because stages cannot be skipped or rushed  Stages have to be considered for strategic communication of governments or NGOspage 27 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 28. (Ross 2008: 533)page 28 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 29. Implication III: Discoursive transcultural communication  Discourse according to Habermas requires the highest stages of cognitive and moral development  If participants cling to magical or mythical thinking, a rational, self-reflexive discourse is hardly possible  This may effect communication networks within transnational media players (media corporations, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Reporters without Borders) as well as media content and its receptionpage 29 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 30. My argument in terms of social network analysis  the developmental stage is an important feature of the nodes (e.g., persons, organizations, states) that has impact on the edges (e.g., communicative Photo: s.media / pixelio.de relations between them).page 30 Introduction Individual Societal Implications
  • 31. References Commons, M. L (2008): Introduction to the Model of Hierarchical Complexity and its relationship to postformal action. In: World Futures, Vol. 64, pp. 305-320. Habermas, J. (1975): Towards a Reconstruction of Historical Materialism. In: Theory and Society, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 287-300. Habermas, J. (1984): The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Boston: Beacon Press. Habermas, J. (1999): Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Kohlberg, L. (1976): Moral development and behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Piaget, J. (1970): Genetic epistemology. New York: W. W. Norton. Ross, S. N. (2008): Postformal (Mis)Communications. In: World Futures, Vol. 64, pp. 530-535. Ross, S. N./Commons, M. L. (2008): Applying hierarchical complexity to political development. In: World Futures, Vol. 64, pp. 480-497.page 31
  • 32. Contact Dr. Uwe Krüger Universität Leipzig Institut für Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft, Abteilung Journalistik Burgstr. 21 / 04109 Leipzig / Germany Phone: ++49-341 / 97-35756 Fax: ++49-341 / 97-35799 E-mail: uwe.krueger@uni-leipzig.de URL: www.uni-leipzig.de/journalistikpage 32