Forty Years of Research, Writing and Learning

Looking back over forty years of consulting, coaching, writing, research, and business entrepreneurship, and the clutter that has been accumulated along the way I am come to the conclusion that learning has no end.

What I thought was true yesterday, has been proven inadequate today.  And yet, time and again, I find that what I learn tomorrow brings to the surface many of the ideas and concepts that I much too hastily disgarded.

A BRIEF HISTORY:  Research, Consulting, and Technology

RESEARCH:  I began doing research with Professor Joseph Hart as an undergraduate.  He was studying the physiological measurement of human performance using Electroencephalograms (EEG), heart rate and blood pressure measurements.

During my work with Dr. Hart we explored the differences in brain wave activity of people who were engaged in meditation and other mental activities.  We wanted to know if people could control various physiological measurements as they performed various tasks.

I continued the work as co-research director of the Center Foundation.  During time my collegue Werner Karle and I did extensive research on the interconnections between stimuli perception, reaction time to the stimuli, one’s emotional labeling of the stimuli and corresponding physilogical reactions in terms of heart and blood pressure.

SUMMARY FINDINGS:  Our research showed that people could in fact LEARN to control their physiology and significantly improve their performance.  Our findings were consistent with the work of hundreds of other researchers who had studied the same processes over decades.

RESEARCH FINDINGS:  HUMAN PERFORMANCE (See list of research articles below)

  1. HIGH PERFORMANCE IS A FUNCTION OF FOCUS.  We found that high performance across a variety of tests in terms of reaction time and accurate perception of visual or auditory stimuli was a function of focus.  We found that people with a “negative perceptual set” were slower to react and less likely to accurate perceive incoming stimuli than subjects who had “positive perceptual sets.”  When a person who involved with internal stimuli, i.e. worry, anxiety, depression they had slower reaction times to presented stimuli and higher physiological responses, i.e. increase heart rate and blood pressure.
  2. NEGATIVE PEOPLE SEE MORE THINGS AS NEGATIVE.  People who reacted slower to any type of stimuli had slower reaction times, reported more negative ratings of stimuli and show much greater physiological volitility when presented  with any type of stimuli.  In lay terms, we found that people, for whatever reason, who had a negative outlook on life perceived more incoming stimuli as negative, they reacted slower to that stimuli and their physiology was more reaction.  They were in a self-perpetuating cycle.  They came at life with a negative “perceptual set” and because of that they perceived more events as negative and their bodies were upset by what they perceived.  The PROBLEM for them is that what they saw as negative wasn’t by its very nature negative.  They were in a self-fulfilling loop.
  3. PEOPLE CAN LEARN TO INCREASE THEIR PERFORMANCE.  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of our research was that people can learn to develop “positive perceptual sets”.  Learning required first and foremost, a clear understanding of the limitations of having a “negative perceptual set” and a desire to learn to perform at more effective level.  The single most important aspect of learning was that each subject had to use him or herself as the standard for change.  There was no outside standard of behavior.

RESEARCH FINDINGS:  SLEEP AND DREAMS

  1. SLEEP:  We found that when a person with a “negative perceptual set”, as found in their neuroticism test scores) experienced a disrupted sleep physiology.  The more distrupted their sleep the long it took them to go to sleep and less beneficial was their sleep.  The dreams of subjects scoring high on the neuroticism scores were characterized by passivity, non-expressive, confused feelings, filled with unknown dream characters, and took place in unknown settings.
  2. DREAMS:  The sleep and dreams of people with “positive perceptual sets, i.e. evidenced by their socres on self-actualuation test)” showed completly opposite sleep and dream research results.  Their sleep was far more efficient in that they went to sleep faster, had more coherent physiological sleep patterns and their dreams were characterized by active behavior, expression, clear feelings, known characters and known settings.  Turns out people with “positive perceptual sets” were happier in both waking and sleelp.

CONSULTING:  I began my consulting career with the with the McKinsey partner firm of W.E. Johnson Associates.  When Mr. Johnson become the CEO of Scientific Atlanta I was brought in to help restructure that firm.  This led to consulting engagements with Certainteed, MCI, Avon, and Ascom Timeplex and a rewards-based program for BBDO Worldwide, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, FOX TV, Clear Channel Radio, SiriusXM.

TECHNOLOGY:  The problem with traditional consulting is that it is top down.  Starting in 1994 I founded one of the early Internet companies Perform.com to provide corporations a suite of performance enhancing tools.  Perform developed a comprehensive suite of Internet-based management tools for J.P. Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, CNBC, Comedy Central, KN Energy, Ascom Timeplex, Anderson Consulting, Watson Wyatt,  Cargill, the French global conglomerate Saint Gobain and Avon.  Perform.com’s technology suite for corporations delivered the performance enhancing tools:

  1. APPLICATION:  360 Degree Performance Reviews:  Perform.com developed the technology for corporations to provide feedback to every employee.  Unlike top-down performance reviews the 360 Degree Performance Review used early AI to offer feedback and analytic comparisions between how an employee is seen by managers, co-workers, and subordinates and self.  The individualized reports presented each employee with a grid which helped the employee understand areas of improvement both in terms of communication with others and goals.
  • Our research found that the highest performing employees were consistently rated higher by managers, co-workers, and subordinates than they rated themselves.
  • Conversely, the lowest performing employees were consistently rated lower  by managers, co-workers, and subordinates than they rated themselves.
  1. APPLICATION:  Goals, Tactics, and Timelines:  Perform developed the technology to cascade the company’s goals from the CEO to the janitor.  Our technology made it possible for every person in the company to see his or her goal progess, the goal progress of teams, divisions and the company as an integrated entity.  Most importantly, each employee started the day with an updated To Do List based on his or her goals.  As key component of this To Do List was what actions by other employees or teams were needed to ensure successful task achievement.
  2. APPLICATION:  Job Process Analysis: Perform developed a unique application that helped each employee define the critical components of jobs, identify the issues interfereing with or helping with the effective achievement of those job components.  For an example, using the Job Process Analysis Tool an employee could identify which other teams helped or hindered goal achievement.  In this regard it was possible for a corporation for the first to discover where the organizational bottlenecks were.
  3. APPLICATION:  The Business War College:  Perhaps one of the most unique processes Perform.com developed was The Business War College.  In our work we found it exceptionally useful to bring together teams from different departments together in order for them to understand first hand how the work of one team or division impacted the results of others.
  4. APPLICATION”  Survey Systems:  Perform developed real-time survey systems so that corporates could “pulse” customers and employees on critical marketing and operational issues.

SUMMARY:  Team-Based Management:  An unexpected finding from all of the data was the emergence of the concept of Team-Based Managemet (TBM).  We found in certain company that teams, given real-time data could more effectively achieve their goals than those teams who were controlled by managers.  Throughout our word we found that managers were consistently the cause of failed initiatives.  Using our 360 Degree Performance Management Tool we were able to quickly identify those managers and offer them training or help them transition to other positions.

SEVEM PUBLISHED BOOKS

I have written one book on management. The Mindful Manager

See my other works: Life ZonesPsychological Fitness,  and Going Sane

I have written three books on dreams.  The Dream Makers, Dreaming and Waking,  and The Functional Analysis of Dreams.

I have written three books on coaching in the world of psychology and business.   Psychological Fitness, Life Zones, and Going Sane.

Psychological Fitness is a handbook which lays out skills. This skills taken from research are aimed at improving a person’s performance in life.

Life Zones is a book which uses anthropology to identify four very distinct zones in which human behavior takes place.

  • The Public Zone which is where people interact with strangers.  In this zone they are specific rules of behavior.  The main behavior rules are giving others’ space, keeping political and religious beliefs private and understanding everyone has the same right to be there as you.
  • The Social Zone is where people interact with work collegues, teammates, neighbors and anyone else engaged in a common pursuit.  The main behavior rules are performance, sportsmanship, and training.
  • The Personal Zone is where people interact with friends.  The main behavior rules are loyalty, trust, and communication.
  • The Intimate Zone is reserved for spouse, significant other and those family members who are committed to staying connected regardless of the external stresses and pressures.

Going Sane is a book that lays out a path to self-actualization.  The first step is understanding past influences, the second step is countering ineffective skills, the third step is putting new skills into action and the fourth step is integration of steps 1, 2, and 3 into a new level of performance.

SIXTEEN PUBLISHED RESEARCH ARTICLES

Article 1: American Psychological Association.  The Personal Orientation Inventory and the Eysenck Personality Inventory as outcome measures in a private outpatient clinic.

Administered the Personal Orientation Inventory (POI) and the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) to 221 psychotherapy patients participating in a programmatic, ongoing therapeutic modality and to 134 undergraduates serving as a comparison group. Results indicate a shift toward the self-actualizing POI profile with increasing time in therapy, replicating the findings of previous research. EPI results indicated increasing Extraversion and decreasing Neuroticism scores with increasing time in therapy. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). Journal Citation

Article 2:  Journal of Psychotherapy Theory Research & Practice.  The Personal Orientation Inventory and the Eysenck Personality Inventory as outcome measures in a private outpatient clinic.

Results indicate a shift toward the self-actualizing POI profile with increasing time in therapy, replicating the findings of previous researchJournal Citation

Article 3: Journal of Clinical Psychology.  The functional analysis of dreams: A new theory of dreaming. Article first published online: 21 FEB 2006. DOI: 10.1002/1097-4679(198001)36:1<5::AID-JCLP2270360102>3.0.CO;2-U.  Copyright © 1980 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company  Journal Citation

Article 4:  Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Volume 33Issue 3pages 807–820July 1977

A new Process Scoring System for dreams was developed and applied in an intensive single-S case study that spanned 5 1/2 years and 754 dreams. In it two hypotheses derived from a new transformative theory of dreams were tested. Both the transformation hypothesis, which holds that it is possible to shift from a symbolic to a directly expressive mode of dreaming, as well as the parallelism hypothesis, which holds that the expression of affect in dreams parallels the expression of affect in waking, were supported by the results. In contrast to Freud’s analytic theory, which deals with content and interprets dreams as coded symbolic messages, our transformative theory focuses on dynamic dream processes and view dreams as pictures of feelings. Journal Citation

Article 5:  Applications of the Process Scoring System to Waking, Dream and Therapy Reports.  Association for the Psychophysiological Study of Sleep. 1978.

Extended the Process Scoring System Originally developed for measuring dream dynamics and content, to waking and therapy experiences and applied it in a study of 5 new and 5 experienced Ss in an intensive outpatient psychotherapy. Two areas were examined: First, differences on process and content variables related to length of time in therapy and, second, the parallel relationship in these variables between waking, dream and therapy experiences. The Process Scoring System proved useful in measuring these variables in all three types of experiences. The results indicated significant differences between the new and experienced patients and measurable interaction between the waking, dream, and therapy areas.  Journal Citation

Article 6: A reapplication of the process scoring system for dreams.  JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY.  Volume 33, Issue 3, July 1977, Pages: 844–848, Kathryn Hartshorne, Richard Corriere, Werner Karle, Alan Switzer, Joseph Hart, Stephen Gold and Jerry Binder.  Article first published online : 21 FEB 2006, DOI: 10.1002/1097-4679(197707)33:3<844::AID-JCLP2270330350>3.0.CO;2-2

The first application of the new Process Scoring System for dreams was made in an intensive longitudinal case study of 1 S over a 5 1/2 year period. In this second application, the dreams of a sample of 5 experienced Feeling Therapy patients were compared to those of 5 control Ss. As in the first study, considerable support was found for both the transformation hypothesis, which holds that it is possible to shift from a symbolic mode of dream behavior to a directly expressive one, and the parallelism hypothesis, which holds that the expression of affect in dreams parallels the expression of affect in waking and vice versa. Full-text · Article · Aug 1977 · Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Journal Citation 1, Journal Citation 2

Article 7:  Toward a new theory of Dreaming. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Volume 33Issue 3pages 807–820July 1977.  Article first published online: 21 FEB 2006. DOI: 10.1002/1097-4679(197707)33:3<807::AID-JCLP2270330344>3.0.CO;2-N. Copyright © 1977 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company

A new Process Scoring System for dreams was developed and applied in an intensive single-S case study that spanned 5 1/2 years and 754 dreams. In it two hypotheses derived from a new transformative theory of dreams were tested. Both the transformation hypothesis, which holds that it is possible to shift from a symbolic to a directly expressive mode of dreaming, as well as the parallelism hypothesis, which holds that the expression of affect in dreams parallels the expression of affect in waking, were supported by the results. In contrast to Freud’s analytic theory, which deals with content and interprets dreams as coded symbolic messages, our transformative theory focuses on dynamic dream processes and view dreams as pictures of feelings.  Journal Citation

Article 8: The functional analysis of dreams: A new theory of dreaming. Karle, Werner; Corriere, Richard; Hart, Joseph; Woldenberg, Lee.  Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol 36(1), Jan 1980, 5-78.

Summary:  Presents a new theoretical, clinical, and research approach to dreams. Part I briefly describes the functional theory of dreams, and contrasts the functional approach with the more familiar interpretive approach. Part II describes research that has been conducted using the functional system of analysis: a longitudinal case study that spanned 5½ yrs. and a total of 754 dreams and comparison of the dream patterns of 2 groups of Ss—a therapy group and a non-therapy control group. The functional analysis system is also expanded to include evaluation of therapy sessions and waking events. Part III integrates the theory with the functional scoring system, including how individual dreams are scored with the Process Scoring System, how the functional approach relates these dreams to the dreamer’s waking activities, and how dreams are worked in with therapy when a functional approach to psychotherapy is used. Implications of the functional approach and the future of functional analysis in dream research, therapy outcome research, clinical work, and other applications are discussed in Part IV. (2½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).  Journal Citation

Article 9: Two preliminary studies on sleep and psychotherapy. Physiology & Behavior, Volume 19, Issue 3, September 1977, Pages 419-423.

Summary:  Two preliminary studies were conducted to assess the effects of an intensive outpatient psychotherapy, Feeling Therapy, on sleep. This therapy was chosen because of its demonstrated ability to affect its patients’ dreams. In the first study a newly entering female patient was recorded across the first three weeks of intensive daily therapy. In contrast to two control subjects recorded across a similar time period, she demonstrated low REM times and short REM latencies on the average, and considerably greater variability in nearly every parameter. In the second study, two patients were recorded across three days (the middle of which was the day of a therapy session) first when new in therapy and then again after two and one-half years of therapy. It was found that when new in therapy both subjects spent nights of significantly altered sleep the day of the therapy session. One subject showed no REM sleep whatsoever while the other showed a 10 min REM latency and low REM time. The significance of these findings and the direction of future research is discussed.  Journal Citation 1,  Journal Citation 2

Article 10:  PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF THE SPONTANEOUS K-COMPLEX. ROBERT SCOTT, WERNER KARLE, ALAN SWITZER, JOSEPH HART, RICHARD CORRIERE, LEE WOLDENBERG. Perceptual and Motor Skills. Volume 46, Issue 1 (February 1978) pp. 271-287 doi: 10.2466/pms.1978.46.1.271

Summary:   A study covering three nights and two studies were carried out to investigate the psychophysiological correlates of the spontaneous K-complex in relation to intense psychotherapy.  The study produced evidence that the K-complex was not consistent and stable within or across nights and that its variability might be sensitive to psycho-emotional influences.  Results indicate that nights after therapy differed significantly from baseline nights and a significant interaction took place between subjects and therapy on one or more variables of the K-complex and eye movement indices. Study investigated the psychophysiological correlates of the spontaneous K-complex in relation to psychotherapy.  Results indicated that nights after therapy differed significantly from baseline nights and a significant interaction took place across one or more variables of the K-complex and several eye movement.  Journal Citation

Article 11: EFFECTS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY ON REM LATENCY AND REM TIMEPerceptual and Motor Skills.  Volume 51, Issue 1 (August 1980) pp. 319-324 doi: 10.2466/pms.1980.51.1.319.  WERNER KARLE, MICHAEL HOPPER, ALAN SWITZER, RICHARD CORRIERE, LEE WOLDENBERG

Summary.-This study investigated the effect of a functional psychotherapy on the sleep EEG patterns of 6 patients. Contrary to original expectations no significant group differences in REM time and REM latency were found between two nights following therapy sessions.  The study found no significant differences in REM time and REM latency between two nights following therapy sessions and two normal nights.  However, across the four nights patients exhibited an average REM latency of 71 min, which was significantly shorter than that recorded in an independent study the same design and a similar subject population.   Journal Citation 1; Journal Citation 2; Journal Citation 3

Article 12:  PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY.  PRELIMINARY STUDY OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES IN FEELING THERAPY10 early, 10 middle, and 10 late patients in therapy were measured for differences on two standardized psychological tests (Personal Orientation Inventory and Eysenck Personality Inventory) and on responses to individual and group report questionnaires.  Results showed that the three groups had Journal Citation

Article 13: PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGES IN FEELING THERAPY.  The study recorded pulse, temperature, and blood pressure before and after therapy.  A matched control group of college students were compared across the same parameters.  The findings revealed that the therapy group significant reduction in all parameters following therapy while the control group showed no change. Journal Citation

Article 14:  Preliminary study of psychological changes in feeling therapy.  W Karle, J Hart, R Corriere, S Gold… – Psychological reports, 1978 – amsciepub.com

Summary: 10 early, 10 middle, and 10 late participants in an intense, community-oriented psychotherapy (feeling therapy) were measured for differences on two standardized psychological tests (Personal Orientation Inventory and Eysenck Personality Inventory)Journal Citation 1Journal Citation 2

Article 15: Maintenance of psychophysiological changes in feeling therapy.  

Summary:  Two earlier studies that post therapy patients demonstrated significant reduction in temperature, blood pressure and pulse. This study investigated the maintenance of those changes over a ten day period among a group of five experienced and five inexperience patients.  The study showed that experienced patients maintained reduced temperature, blood pressure and pulse readings vs. inexperienced patients. Journal Citation

Article 16:  The Transformation of Dreams. Ph.D. Thesis.  University of California, Irvine, 1975.  Journal Citation

 

 

 

 

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