Saturday, September 8, 2012

Notre Dame Professor Commends New Christian Personality Theory

The concept of moral psychology was unheard of in Freud's day, and even under the early influence of the behavioral psychologists. This is because, for Freud, human behavior was an offshoot of neurology, or the study of the nervous system, and the human mammal had no soul

Likewise, for behaviorists like Thorndike, Pavlov, and the American B. F. Skinner, the human being was a black box of stimulus/response reflexes that could be conditioned by the environment, but possessed no "self" or "free will" within.

Young Child in the Famous "Skinner Box"

This heritage is why modern advertisers for cars, lip gloss, and life insurance all utilize extensive testing programs where market researchers calculate statistically how to control a consumer's psyche through words, promises, and images.

Market Research
But there is a higher realm of human functioning that makes human persons greater than the sum of their physiological reactions or unconscious conditioning. And this is studied in a field called Moral Psychology.

Moral psychology seeks ways to integrate the mammalian instinct, drive, and urges that characterize human behavior with the aspiration, motivation, and inspiration within every person. In other words, like isn't just about what you're made of, but who you are and what you're making of life.

For this reason moral psychology has re-opened the doors to philosophy and theology that psychoanalysis and behavioral psychology had previously slammed shut. These doors had been opened in the history of Western civilization by the presence of Christianity as a worldview within which philosophy and science operated.

However, in the nineteenth and twentieth century many scientists wanted more objectivity to study nature and human nature without the influence of religious beliefs. This was indeed needed to gather data about human behavior and social psychology, but has led to a new conundrum, that we have now assembled a vast amount of information of human anatomical, metabolic, intrapsychic and interpersonal behavior, but are pretty much devoid of a metaphysical overview with which to find meaning and purpose in life.

"Who Am I?"
Compass psychotheology, compass therapy, and the self compass are contemporary concepts and tools designed to aid people in developing a moral compass that holds. This allows for a Christian personality theory that stands alongside Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality and the behaviorist's learning theory of personality.

In bringing Christian personality theory forward into modern discourse, I naturally wanted it evaluated by professors in the field of moral psychology. 

So I was delighted to receive the following commendation:

Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D.
Developmental and Moral Psychology
University of Notre Dame

"I love the systematic and creative thought that went into Dr. Dan and Kate Montgomery's new book on Christian Personality Theory

"I am fascinated by the Self Compass. It has an intuitive resonance and it synthesizes what we know about the human psyche, its pitfalls and redemption. 

"The growth orientation of the Compass Model offers a transformation mindset that can benefit any reader. Well done!"

Christian Personality Theory: A Self Compass for Humanity

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