Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (hcss) Applied to the Issues of Understanding Terrorism and Successfully Dealing with it




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Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (HCSS) Applied to the Issues of Understanding Terrorism and Successfully Dealing with it

Authors: Michael Lamport Commons, Harvard Medical School

Alice Locicero, Suffolk University

Sara Ross, Union Institute and University

Patrice Marie Miller, Harvard Medical School


This workshop addresses moral and attachment developmental approaches to terrorism and its leaders. Does government building fail and terrorism result when moral and attachment stages of governance and economics are skipped? How does an adult moral and attachment developmental perspective of Osama bin Laden's leadership inform us about the development of a terrorist network? And finally, what is the case for stage developmental methodologies in democratization research? The Hierarchical Complexity Scoring Scheme is applied in all the above cases. It presents a framework for scoring reasoning stages in any domain as well as in any cultural setting. The scoring is based not upon the content or the subject material, but instead on the mathematical complexity of hierarchical organization of information. The subject's performance on a task of a given complexity represents the stage of developmental complexity. Those attending the workshop will learn about 1) the model, 2)the concepts underlying the model, 3) the description of the stages and their relationship to Kegan (1982), Kohlberg (1984) stages as well as “Womens’ ways of knowing,” 4) steps involved in universal stage transition, 5) and examples of scoring samples from interviewing illustrating adult development applied to preventing and dealing with terrorism using the Hierarchical Complexity Scoring Scheme (HCSS) as a scoring aid.


Michael Lamport Commons, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Commons@tiac.net

Alice Locicero, Department of Psychology, Suffolk University, alocicer@suffolk.edu

Sara Ross, Union Institute and University, saraross2@adelphia.net

Patrice Marie Miller, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Patricemariemiller@comcast.net

Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (HCSS)

How to Score Anything1


Michael Lamport Commons, Harvard Medical School; Patrice Marie Miller, Harvard Medical School; Eric Andrew Goodheart, Harvard University; Dorothy Danaher-Gilpin


Commons, M. L., Miller, P. M., Goodheart, E. A., & Danaher-Gilpin, D. (2005). Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (HCSS): How to Score Anything. Unpublished Scoring Manual Available from Dare Institute, Commons@tiac.net


© 1991-2005 Dare Association, Inc. Cambridge, MA 02138


Abstract


The Model of Hierarchical Complexity presents a framework for scoring reasoning stages in any domain as well as in any cross cultural setting. The scoring is based not upon the content or the participant material, but instead on the mathematical complexity of hierarchical organization of information. The participant’s performance on a task of a given complexity represents the stage of developmental complexity. This paper presents an elaboration of the concepts underlying the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC), the description of the stages, steps involved in universal stage transition, as well as examples of several scoring samples using the MHC as a scoring aid.


Introduction


The Basis of Scoring Performance and Constructing Tasks: The Issues


The assessment of stage of development would seem like a straight forward task. One might look at the response to questions and place them into categories. Likewise one might construct questions to obtain responses that succeed or fail in addressing that item. But the issue is not so simple. These previous ways have led to great difficulties and endless controversies.


There are three prerequisites. First, one needs to understand the difference among experience, appearance, and reality. Second, one needs to understand the difference among Analysis, Phenomenology and Empiricism. And third and last is to understand the difference between independent and dependent variables as set forth by Aristotle and modified by Descartes into stimulus and response.


History


The following is adapted from Edger Brown (2004). It is important that any "stage" theory and the accompanying scoring scheme have a mathematically and logically developed basis. The Greek philosopher and scientist, Thales (640 - 546) of Miletus, who had knowledge of Egyptian geometry and Babylonian astronomy, is credited with founding mathematics as a deductive science, that is, organizing mathematics around demonstrating by logical arguments the correctness of one’s assertions and calculations.


But if one does not understand the difference between the ideal and the real one can get into trouble. The failure of the Pythagorean school rested with its need to make its assertions absolute. How could one conduct science or have knowledge in general without the possibility that this knowledge corresponds with reality? Plato handled this problem by rejecting the correspondence account of truth. We cannot ever know the truth in its complete and pure form. Anything we can say about reality is only a likely story of the ideal truth. Here the ideal truth is the mathematical forms.


We know that an essential element of science is direct observation and interaction with the world. But, Plato set forth a very different doctrine, to the effect that knowledge cannot be derived from the senses; real knowledge only has to do with concepts. The senses only deceive us; hence we should, in acquiring knowledge, ignore sense impressions and develop reason.


Aristotle (384-322), in codifying logical reasoning, set down rules of inference and recognized the importance of axioms for logic, postulates for the subject at hand, definitions of terms and the importance of giving logical arguments starting with the postulates. The model of hierarchical complexity follows in that tradition. Combining of Aristotle's precise formulation of logic with Thales' method, the main elements of modern science were then in place


The Model of Hierarchical Complexity on which scoring and problem construction is based, is a mathematical theory of the ideal. It is a perfect form as Plato would have described. It is like a circle. Once one draws it, it is no longer perfect. The lines have width, it is not perfect. If can be perfectly round.


Events

Scientific accounts of behavior are built out of both analytical and empirical accounts of events. One problem that continually arises is what perturbations to consider as existing, or in other words, what constitutes an event. There only seems to be one necessary restriction on saying that something exists. The restriction is rather weak compared to those required by operationalism but strong with respect to intuitionism and phenomenonology. With the quantitative behavioral developmental theory that follows, we have to consider events as the basis. This notion is less restrictive than behaviorists' notions of stimuli and responses and so allows the theory to consider events that may not be clearly stimuli or responses. On the other hand, we do not want to make the mistake of Piagetians that thoughts, "schema," and verbalizations that belong to mental structures are the only causes of actions.


How do we know that something is an event? Events are potentially detectable perturbations. Perturbations are classed as events when they achieve some potential to be observed, witnessed, and in some way distinguished from the remaining noise by two independent paths of detection. The term event is used here to include all such perturbations, both public and private. The notion of paths of detection is not deniable or reducible lest we get into an infinite regress. These paths do not require direct observation. Note also that more experiencers or more experiences do not count as more independent paths.

Potential events may be inferred as long as there are two distinct paths leading to that inference, such as the case with electrons. Electrons may be detected through a multitude of paths by which inferences as to the existence of an "electron event" can be made. One can measure the magnetic moment of a single electron moving along a path in a magnetic field, the electric charge in an electric field, or the ionizing potential in a liquid hydrogen bubble chamber. There are numerous other ways of detecting the electron.

The reason two paths are required for events is because one path alone could mean that the perturbation could serve as its own causal explanation of itself. Some perturbations are deemed as having the status of being only singly detectable by one path. For example, if someone reports that the president is talking to them, there is one path, their report. They do not have a radio, telephone or any other such device and the president is nowhere close by. One other path is necessary to confirm that the president is actually talking to them and they are not reporting a hallucination. Behaviors and causes detected from a personal experience alone have this character. Robert Stickgold (personal communication, 1999) has shown that people think that of what they think, see, and dream as "real" while thinking, seeing and dreaming. The status of events and perturbations is even more complex when activity is not potentially observable, as is with gyrations of the soul or will. These perturbations may be studied in theological and theosophical terms ( Lowenthal, 1989). The best we can do within science is to discuss the report of these perturbations as data to be explained or refer to these perturbations in metaphorical terms.

Behavioral constructs (such as stimuli, behaviors, or consequences) are events. In the case of a verbal report, an observer may hear it. A microphone and meter will show it. There is a difference between the appearance of a perceived event and the actual event. Perceptual activity can transform events. Illusions refer to those instances where people report the appearance of stimuli in ways that distort the physical properties of the objects or events. Let us say one was looking at a color patch and the person said, "I see the color brown." But the color brown has no unique


Three Ways of Knowing about Development


With the definitions of perturbations and events, it is possible to show what are the minimum conditions necessary for having a quantitative behavioral developmental theory. One needs to recognize the different ways in which we might know and understand development. The argument is very simple. There are three ways of knowing:

Three Ways of Knowing about Development


With the definitions of perturbations and events, it is possible to show what are the minimum conditions necessary for having a quantitative behavioral developmental theory. One needs to recognize the different ways in which we might know and understand development. The argument is very simple. There are three ways of knowing as shown in Table 1. Knowledge is treated in a much more complex manner in philosophy. Here, the number of paths needed for detecting a perturbation is associated with the field and methodology that claims knowledge.


Table 1

Ways of Knowing



Ways of Knowing

Example of Fields Utilizing These Ways of Knowing

Number of Paths of Detections of Perturbations1. Analytic: Proved material always true no matter what "data" or "experience" showsMathematics, Logic, Parts of PhilosophyNo paths of detections of perturbations2. Phenomenological: Experienced material a property of organisms and sometimes organisms interacting with environments.Religion, Law, Art, Literature, Dance and MusicOne independent path of detection. This means that if one observes an action and hypothesizes a cause, such as free will, then the putative cause may represent one path of detection. Detecting the behavior, however, does not prove that the hypothetical "causal" event is an actual event. If only one path is available, that is, if only one effect can be detected–that is the experience (and its report), there is no way to determine the cause of that experience. The experience is sometimes erroneously said to "cause itself." 3. Empirical: Resultant material from investigations moves scientific towards the truth.Science, HistoryTwo independent paths. An event can be said to be real in a scientific sense if and only if it is detectable by two independent paths. An independent second path for detecting the hypothesized causal event must be found.

There can be combinations such as 1 and 3, which define most of science. Problems arise with combinations of 2 with 1 (Folk Psychology of Aristotle), 2 with 3 (current mixes of experimental and phenomenonological accounts of free will such as Libet's, 1985). These can lead to various dangerous policies and practices. That does not mean that 2 is not prized for itself. It is.


There were three further developments necessary


The first, we are familiar with. Copernicus (1530) showed that the sun is the center of the solar system. He used mathematics to represent the orbits of the planets. In some sense, this was the first mathematical model. Second, modern thinking about the brain and behavior began with the French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650). According to Descartes (1637), all action is a response to an event. He thereby introduced the notion of the stimulus and the response. Descartes suggested that 'animal spirits' flowing through the nerves of animals or humans served a similar function in automatic behavioral responses in man and animals or reflexes. The term 'reflex' is derived from the notion that the flow of animal spirits produced by a stimulus is somehow reflected by the brain into an outgoing flow which eventually produces some behavior. G. T. Fechner (1860) laid the basis for the application of the experimental method to psychology. His establishment of psychophysics through his publication of Elements of Psychophysics in 1860. He showed introduced the psychophysical scale and showed how to relate psychological variable to stimulus ones. This is exactly what the model of Hierarchical Complexity does. It relates stage of performance to the order of hierarchical complexity of tasks. Lastly, in the early 1960, Krantz, Luce, Suppes, and Tversky ( Krantz, Luce, Suppes, and Tversky, 1971); Suppes, Krantz, Luce & Tversky, 1989); Luce, Krantz, Suppes, & Tversky, 1990) introduced the representational theory of measurement. It is the basis for the model of hierarchical complexity.


Tasks


One major basis for this developmental theory is task analysis. The study of ideal tasks, including their instantiation in the real world, has been the basis of the branch of stimulus control called Psychophysics. Tasks are defined as sequences of contingencies, each presenting stimuli and requiring a behavior or a sequence of behaviors that must occur in some non-arbitrary fashion. Properties of tasks (usually the stimuli) are varied and responses to them measured and analyzed. In the present use of task analysis, the complexity of behaviors necessary to complete a task can be specified using the complexity definitions described next. One examines behavior with respect to the analytically known complexity of the task.

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