Why Psychostratics?


Divisions in psychology and neuropsychology and the way to the elephant

What is man? This ancient question is answered in different ways by psychology and neuropsychology. Behavioral psychologists, for example, view man as the result of his learning experiences. Cognitive psychologists regard the human mind as a complex whole of thought processes, as a computer. And cognitive neuroscientists investigate where in the neocortex these processes are located. However, they are like the blind men from the well-known parable who feel a part of an elephant’s body (which in this case stands for the human mind) and regard it as the entire animal. Psychostratics offers three important advantages over these psychological and neurological views, making it possible to see the whole of the elephant.


Advantage 1: Psychostratics does justice to the entire mind

The main distinction of the psychostratic developmental model is between  instincts, emotions and thinking. Because of this, psychostratics does justice to the full spectrum of human behavior, from football hooligans to Stephen Hawking. This is in sharp contrast with the current dominant psychology view, cognitive psychology, which focuses exclusively on thinking.


Advantage 2: Psychostratics has a biological basis

The rock-solid biological foundation of the psychostratic developmental model is, on the one hand, the theory of evolution (self-preservation and preservation of the species) and, on the other hand, the well-known triune brain theory of the American neuroscientist Paul MacLean. Self-preservation (food/money and power) and preservation of the species (sex) are the motor of psychological development.

In a nutshell, triune brain theory concerns the distinction between three brain layers that are related to three levels of psychological functioning. More specific: the “reptilian brain” (brain stem and similar structures) is the seat of the instincts; the “mammalian brain” (limbic system) is the core of the emotions; and the “human brain” (neocortex ) is the center of thought.

Besides psychostratics, psychoanalysis is also a view based on psychic layering. An example of this is its division into id (“the unconscious”), ego (“the person”) and super-ego (“conscience”). Both can be conceived of as closely related views, which is also expressed in the name “psychostratics”. However, the great advantages of psychostratics over psychoanalysis are the presence of a biological foundation (triune brain theory) and a much greater theoretical unity and consistency. (A contemporary view that connects psychoanalysis with neuroscience is neuropsychoanalysis).


Advantage 3: Psychostratics integrates psychological views, for instance

The psychostratic developmental model encompasses a number of psychological views, in particular behaviorism (Pavlov and Skinner), cognitive psychology and especially psycho­analysis. In addition, philosophy (Nietzsche), art (Picasso) and ethics also find their place in the model.

These views are clarified through this integration in the psychostratic developmental model. Moreover, this integration can show the way −  outside this model as well − to the unification of these and other views and data, and thus to a leap in our understanding of the human mind.