Introduction and Discussion as the Pith to the Seed of Paradigmatic Superpositional Therapeutic Relations: Discovery of Self as a Value

Roy Æ Hodges
Department of Psychology & Sociology, Washington State University

Author Note
Roy Hodges is a student at the Department of Psychology & Sociology, Washington State University.
The author has no conflicts of interests to disclose.


Polarization in US domestic affairs has received much attention in public spheres of interest as well as academic, and private spheres. The role of individuals and groups that have experienced deprivation, poverty, and loss, as well as those who remain at the same currency denominated compensation or wealth experience relative deprivation amidst a context of inflation had been and was of great concern preceding and concurrent to this research. This research has examined the role of a search for re-establishing significance amidst these contexts, against the human experience of flow, with a degree of freedom in a third theoretical construct of aggression. However, in light of practices and techniques informed by psychology and science, a third variable had emerged in that self-concept had been misplaced in psychology—a schema that is and of itself, a value, and has attributes of it. As self-conception and its emergence is salient in deficiency of goals met, the method of science and psychology itself, in literature review provided significance resolution and had presented a possible new paradigmatic method within which radicalization and ideological violence (IV) may be adverted, aborted, sublimated, and replaced by something altogether socially, and ecologically constructive.

            Keywords: Significance Quest, Flow, Values, Needs, Motivation, Therapy

Introduction and Discussion as the Pith 
to the Seed of Paradigmatic Superpositional Therapeutic Relations: Discovery of Self as a Value

Polarization is considered a “fertile ground” for terrorism, its violence, and recruitment to it, wherein toxic levels of polarization are recognized risk factors toward it domestically in the United States (Piazza, 2023; Pew Research Center, 2022). Some reviews of psychological work on polarization had called for an understanding of meta-perceptions, perceptions, and ideology in driving toxic polarization, asking for clarification of directionality in what precedes the drive away from political opponents and drive toward “spiteful inter-partisan behavior” (Moore-Berg et al., 2020, p. 202). Turning toward democratic values, ideological extremism (IE) had been correlated with reduced support for democracy and increased comfort with democratic alternatives (e.g., authoritarianism; Torcal & Magalhães, 2022). Support for democracy increases non-linearly as ideological distances draw nearer societal means. Succinctly stated, political violence is an “accidental byproduct of normal politics in highly politically sorted, psychologically abnormal times” (Kleinfeld, 2021, p. 166).

Recently, within the realm of behavioral perspectives of psychology, those studying terrorism focused on ideological polarization, false polarization bias exaggerating polarization, affective prejudice against out-groups, dehumanization of out-groups, and negative meta-perceptions of out-groups (Moore-Berg et al., 2020). In reflection of these foci had been calls to determine antecedents of meta-perception in polarization (p. 202). Kleinfeld’s psychologically abnormal times demands a psychologically efficacious and effective response. This response is not only located within the safe confines between isolate therapeutic settings, but also within phenomenological experiences of polarizing rhetoric outside said settings. Parallel to a plurality of literature on polarization spanning many disciplines, is the identification of a human need for significance (Kruglanski et al., 2013). The need for significance is paired with effort to restore significance lost in self- and social- appraisal. This need may be “activated” when exposed to opportunities for [relative] significance gain—this effort, once activated, is the significance quest, subordinating other needs. Significance quest theory (SQT) had been influenced by earlier organismic theories and had been identified through studies of radicalization demonstrating high fit and relevancy to studies of polarization.

In relation to significance quest, an experience of an individual or group in said significance quest, in the moment, is relevant to another category of human experience. The revelation of flow state experiences relating to joy, a loss of a sense of self, in activity engendering to it (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975). Within this flow, there is navigation of situation (i.e., challenge) through efficacies (i.e., skills) operating between boundaries of anxiety and boredom, where there is continuous feedback in said navigation. The nexus of significance quest and flow is a fitting area to fence in and search for polarization’s root, having been inspired and trained in wolf-fence algorithms (Gauss, 1982) of computer science and engineering to “to catch the wolf” (i.e., bug), of critical vector-states lending to socially damaging accelerants of cognitive-behavioral polarization. 

Within this critical box had been an examination of phenomenological experiences and potential physiology, where the remaining literature area had been divided by a simple boundary between the emotion of aggression and its absence—though the border itself exhibits qualities most salient. These efforts are summarized in gestalt: what lies at the intersectionality of significance quest (Kruglanski et al., 2013), flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1978), and aggression? In other words, what do bio-neurological beings, namely Homo sapiens, to make a misguided trolly-problem decision (see below) get out of engaging in aggressive polarization? Second, how could the phenomena underlying this intersection be investigated through an objective aschematic introspection in an ascent to radicalization, and descent from it through deradicalization?


Preface. While reliable methods of literature review lent structure to this research (see Galvan & Galvan, 2017), it is worth noting that the last decade of psychology is concerned with its replication crisis (Malic & Munafo, 2022)—a solution is so ordered. Amidst this crisis, psychology continued to idealize and demand scientific principles of measurement, prediction, explanation, publishing, replication, validation, reliability testing, generalization, specialization, and application. However, while the field grappled with quantitative replication and statistical analytical discussion in support of it, parallel efforts in sociology had been offering a new paradigm within which qualitative research could produce rich, conceptually dense, basic, and applied science. This had been the development of the grounded theory perspective (GT) launched in the study of death and dying (Glaser & Strauss, 1965, 1967). This literature review and analysis gained had gained theoretical sensitivity through GT perspectives in its execution (Glaser, 1978, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2012, 2014).

Application of a GT perspective had constrained introspection where this research initially reviewed literature of significance quest, flow, and aggression. However, during the process of sampling and analysis, topics of main concern had revealed a more salient categorical relation between a free third variable allowing for degrees of freedom. This third variable had started with aggression, moved through core categories central to the topic of main concern (i.e., the intersection), and revealed the intersection’s phenomenological experience of a fr<a|i>ction<ed|al> decision|al> selection (i.e., written in multi-dimensional linguistics; see Hodges, 2021).

Productive Activities. Identification of initial literature to review as a sample had been based on the research question. This had been followed by memoing of salient concepts recognized, sorting of said memos, coding of said memos, identifying relations of said codes, identified interchangeable indicators in prototypes and exemplars of said relations, identifying saturation of said indicators, identifying needs for resampling of literature, resampling said literature (where appropriate), and repeating this process iteratively and recursively toward resolution of finding significance through peer-valued emergent theory. This process had been efficacious in building conceptual theorization emergent from inductive-deductive processes central to GT (Glaser, 1978, p. 37)—a practice of science itself. Historically, GT paradigms have been used to generate not only a basic literature review as sampled but assemble theories “that accounts for a pattern of behavior which is relevant and problematic for those involved” (p. 93). In other words, GT paradigms are central to a re-centered homeostatic curiosity in basic and applied sciences.

Abortive Activities. In addition to the activities enumerated are halts to less efficacious activities in GT research. First, is an abortive process that had halted descriptive (i.e., non-conceptuative) memoing and writing if caught consciously, or through conscious training within work on categorical frames, habitually. Second, is another abortive process which identified “saturation” whereby memos or indicators are signifying/indexing the same concept repeatedly (see Glaser, 2014).

Memos. True to a GT perspective, research memos had been recorded using a combination of standard 3×5 notecards, loose-leaf paper, and research journals carried on person daily for annotation of reflection, insight, and interchangeability of indicators seen in daily observed phenomena at the intersectionality of the research question’s topic of main concern and its initially forced core categories (sans a free category). Prior inventions of syntactic markup to compress conceptual density (e.g., multi-dimensional and multi-valent linguistics; Hodges, 2019, 2021) had been highly effective in memo taking of fragile insights sensitive to even the slightest sensory impressions, as it had already been well practiced by the author prior even amidst highly dynamic social environments. During sorting, occasionally, memos on notecards and looseleaf paper had been cut and/or transcribed onto new 3×5 cards to eliminate clearly confounded relationships and to benefit from distance between concepts during constant comparison.

Memo Library. A memo library consisting of index card filing cabinets had been designated “hot” for rapid retrieval of salient memos core to the topic of main concern, “warm” for slow retrieval of memos tangential or out of scope to the topic of main concern, “cold” for later retrieval for future consideration in future research, and “secure” for sensitive memos. As GT methodologies had used existing memos between research projects, this memo library had been similarly used, and resorted for a variety of projects contingent on concepts and theoretical constructions contained within.

Sorting & Writeups. Sorting later produced writeups, which had become more complex, and had identified core categories of salient themes emergent from review of sampled literature as informed by GT perspectives contributing to final analysis. Staying true to GT values, a final writeup had been drafted, edited, and submitted for peer review.


Sampling. The initial sample of literature (S) had been a set of three core categories exploring intersectionality between need for significance (S1), flow (S2), and anger/aggression (S3). 

First Sample (S). In S1, literature on significant quest theory had been collected (e.g., Kruglanski et al., 2013, 2019, 2017, 2022). In S2, literature on flow had been collected (e.g., Csikszentmihalyi, 1975, 2014; Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 1989). Finally, in S3, a limited literature on anger had been collected (e.g., Averill, 1982; Harmon-Jones, 2003, 2004, 2007; Harmon-Jones & Sigelman, 2001). S1…3 (S) had initially been printed and bound in a large volume for reading, subject to a first pass of study, underlining of key phrasings, appending of margin notes, and production of research memos for initial sorting, subsequent sorting, and storage in memo libraries as categorized into hot, warm, cold, and sensitive filing. The first pass of literature review of S occurred in the first month of research, where subsequent months had been used for additional GT informed efforts (e.g., reading, memoing, coding, sorting, writeups, resampling etc.).

Second Sample (S′). During deeper review of S, additional literature (S′) had been resampled for review from salient themes cited in S. For example, as inputs to SQT, resampling literature for core categories of needs, narratives, and networks (3Ns) had been collected (e.g., intrinsic motivation [Deci, E. L., 1975], self-determination theory [SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1991; Deci et al., 1994] etc.), and influencing theories (e.g., Maslow’s [1943] hierarchy of needs; McClelland’s [1961] power, achievement, and affiliation needs; Kruglanski’s [1975] redesigned attribution model etc.). SDT remained a rich field of sampled literature during this period as compared to SQT, which is relatively recent, but expanding in present literature. Further resampling of would occur only as needed until sufficiently centered recall-recognition had occurred (see below).

Third Sample (S″). An additional need for resampling had occurred in GT activities in review and writeup of final findings as informed by S and S′. This additional sample (S″) primarily contained research to further establish validity and reliability of inferences/deductions of a psychological theory that shall be presented in analysis. This sample had pulled on research from literature on the following themes: (a) situated identity and multiple selves (Markus & Kunda, 1986; Markus & Nurius, 1986; Markus, 1977; Markus. & Kitayama, 1991; McConnell, 2011, Scott et al., 2022), (b) shame and guilt (Tangney, 1999; Tangney et al., 1996), (c) investigation of competing motivations (Higgins & Bargh, 1987), (d) recollection/recall of self when action departs expectation (Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 1989), (e) core aspects of self-reference effect (SRE; Klein, 2012; Rogers et al., 1977), (f) analysis of values amidst a multicultural frame (Schwartz, 1994), and (g) a brief history of needs to support readability of a final published work in presenting a foundation for S.

Superpositional Literature Review. While it may be inferred that SS′, and S″ are non-overlapping clusters of samples during literature review, this had not been the method used. A three-layer sorting table had been emulated by three overlapping flat (land) surfaces allowing for memos to be sorted three-dimensionally allowing for a high degree of dimensionality in relation (a pully system with glass surfaces had been designed but not fully constructed during research).

Each differential step of S gained power (i.e., transmission), reaching peak efficiency in homeostatic stabilization of need for cognition coupled with need for closure (i.e., torque conversion) between steps ([redacted]; it’s all right here) along a narrowing axis of flow. Cognitive saliency of indexes/signs of terms corresponding to phenomenological realities (Peirce & Butler, 1955) had been intrinsically measured by sortability, integration, and differentiation, in an analytical method, herein called: superpositional literature review. Five crude guidance-measures of effort in reviewing language had been observed in reflection of this method of literature review. 

First, if a concept had reached saturation in a high degree of correspondence between a theory/construct originator’s sign and indexation of phenomena, and the authors, this had been taken as a measure of joint-attention (Okada, 2013) suitable for what is termed joint-analysis, and at this stage, further effort to clarify had been abridged. 

Second, if a concept had been reached 2–3 saturated interchangeable indicators (i.e., prototypes, exemplars), further effort to mine or work with additional recognized interchangeable indicators had been abridged as the cognitive loading of interchangeable indicators had been observed to dislodge samples in review risking theoretical sensitivity. However, in this guidance-measure, more valid/reliable representations had been observed to occasionally subduct less valid/reliable ones (i.e., prototype subordination); this effort is largely involuntary with high degrees of theoretical sensitivity. 

Third, if elaborated code (Bernstein, 1971) had been sufficiently expanded in diminishment of theoretical construct ambiguity, further efforts to elaborate had been abridged. Fourth, deviations from a very narrow gap between recognition and recall had led to abridgement in the maintenance of continued curiosity. This fourth guidance-measure shall receive greater explanation.

Between Recognition and Recall. In explanation of the “narrow gap between recognition and recall”, there had occurred, an introspected insight into an angle of inter-individual sign-object correspondence angles between originator and author. This required the maintenance of a narrow gap between recognition and recall ([redacted]) that allowed a “pulling through” of highly fragile cognitions with little prior literature that had been invoked by cognition from salient themes emergent from constant comparison of integrated-differentiated sampling reflected in recursive memo structures and encoded in [redaced]. For example, recall of originator/founder language that had been copied/quoted beyond certain lengths of communications had been observed to contaminate analysis. The abridgment of descriptive contamination had been applied through selective redaction of attentional fields of originator-author communications (i.e., literature), where greater attention to conceptualization of a sorting table(s) of concepts both physically (on memo tables) and mentally (in working memory) were of utmost criticality. 

The method presented here is as a sliding tile skill-challenge game of optimal arousal in maintaining a highly dimensional working-memory sorting table of high efficacy and effectiveness operating between multi-valent selves experiencing situated anxieties and boredoms as supported by evidence (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Harter, 1978a; Yerkes & Dodson, 1908; Hodges, 2023) in application to literature review. The pith to this seed of method is the literature review sans method… and the pith nourishes the seed—an apple one doth not eat

Speech Act Replay. However, additional efforts in literature review proceeded to consider not only the locutionary (semantic and literal) language of originators/founders of theories in science’s subsequent measure, prediction, and explanation, but also illocutionary (intentional), and perlocutionary (receptive) speech acts (see Austin, 1962). It had been inferred that originators/founders had communicated (e.g., written, performed, acted) at varying velocities and timings (i.e., theoretical pacing) of working memory replay of Chomskyian I and E languages (see Araki, 2016). These comparisons of replay exhibited differences in spatial-temporal super positioned signal propagations in working memory structures subject to electronics-like laws of superposition in wavefunctions of quantum statistical mechanics. The construction of this superpositioned spacetime-state is subject to a logical extension when faced with serial position effects, what to serially position first in analysis. In other words, what to load onto working memory, in what order?

Trolly Problem. Turing-tape machine (Turing, 1937) like decisions as applied to working memory and physical sorting tables for literature review consider where to best “load” (i.e., push) concepts, when, at what angle, what velocities, what intensities, etc. relative to habituative fading of a-priori working memory loaded conceptualizations. This decision process at its root exhibited a trolly problem (Foot, 1967), also well known, in determining which t<r|ack to send a <trolly|boat> <down|up> in avoidance of killing its passengers [in the context of life] or a passenger [of life] on a [functionally fixated [Duncker, 1945]] <track|sea/wind> where the passengers in the <trolly|boat> and on the <track|sea/wind> are interchangeable indicators for elemental concepts or functional clusters relations of concepts, though not limited to these indicators alone (the second measure applies here). 

Halting Problem. Unfortunately, Turing-tape machines are also subject to a halting problem (Turing, 1937), in that there is no way to know, in advance, whether a “program” will halt on the next operation-state (e.g., working memory loading), or not. In this case, the halting problem effectively renders Turing-tape machine like trolly decisions asserting dominant ideological rules of what to load and when moot by the irreducibility of the halting problem’s application in any quantizable effort of completeness in binary mapping. What is at stake in Turing-prediction, is continuance of flow, or its halt. Therefore, in interchangeability, the tape (cognitive-sensory perceptions) and tape head (meta-perception; theoretical sensitivity) in literature review exhibits regulation and control of cognition like a Turning-machine awareness. Flow is then meta-regulated and meta-controlled by meta-cognition of a sensory-cognitive flow as informed by theories and evidence of optical flow (see Gibson, 1948, 1950; Niehorster, 2021). 

Packing Problem. As information (i.e., theoretical constructs signing phenomena) is recalled, recollected, and is at play on a field of working memory in literature review, a packing problem issue had been considered as part of methodology. Though neurology may carry multiple signals representing a field of thoughts, in verbal/written intimation/communications, communication in its very emission on or emission off quantizes by boundaries of distinct units, therefore perception itself may be constrained by the demands of quantization in serialized/parallelized communication leading to strain/stress, where this itself is evidentiary of a skill/challenge environment of flow (see below)—a sliding tile problem emerged.

Sliding Tile Problem. [REDACTED]

A literature review methodology therefore had been perceived to require of an author (i.e., analyst) to write with conceptual density through (a) minimized description, (b) minimized interchangeable indicator (i.e., exemplars, prototypes), (c) maximized organized integration/differentiation, and (d) maximized facilitation of joint attention to the flow of objects of phenomenological attention in order to facilitate joint attentional navigation of integrations/differentiations of measurement, prediction, and explanation (i.e., science) between sender/receiver, though not limited to these needs enumerated, where spatial-temporal constraints of channels of communication are severely limited (e.g., the theoretical originator is dead and the analyst is far removed from the originator’s living students). 

This effort had been informed by mathematics, computers science, and manufacturing, and it is referred to under a category of packing problems: how to pack the maximum amount of X into the constraints of Y (see Weaire, 1999)? Wherein in literature review, the question in application is how to pack the optimal rather than maximum number of pages of X into the constraints of spine Y, to use graph theory (Atneosen, 1968/1972; Persinger, 1966), in order to effectively communicate joint facilitation of attention onto otherwise unknown mediating phenomena (i.e., basic science) and/or to unknown moderating phenomena of demand-value characteristics of social exchange algorithms serving as variations in Skinnerian token economies offering individuals a combination of reinforcers to use of their own choosing in attribution models facilitating significance, and/or constraints on the array of reinforcers in mandating reinforcers facilitating behavioral modification as informed by introjection/internalization and projection of narratives/ways (i.e., means) of governmentally ideologically promoted narratives to reach idealized (i.e., ends) destinations of being, individual, de-individual, and social, in ecological relation etc., depending on in-group/out-group behaviors so shaped (i.e., B. F. Skinner’s pigeons tapping targets in the nosecone of social dynamics [Lindsley, 1991, p. 58]).

However, in combination with Turing-machine like matters of serial position effects, it had been considered that the re-ordering of packing-space in working memory had taken on multi-dimensional tracks of trollies coming and going. This multi-dimensional trolly problem had also been rendered moot by the halting problem yet had revealed a curious drive behavior in pursuit of reaching a homeostasis of off-axis needs signed. This core value, signed, had aligned with the results of analysis of this research paper and folded the methodology and outcome together in attribution (see below).

Introspective Depolarization. Discovered in flow’s joy, absent self-concept, had been an introspective depolarization, into its controlling differential (ha!). As self-concept is rendered, other-concept, is also, where its near approximate is polarizing internal-external attribution, and its greater integral of we- and they-concepts. This in effect had serviced a high past-present correspondence in joint attention of phenomenological experience of underlying realities of the measured, predicted and described (i.e., science) between authors distant across space-time geometries from originator, promoted by founder, set about the sea of public opinion as cloud, to rain upon analyst, as seed, amidst fresh pith to provide contextual fuel for literature review. 

In this, a practice of a paradigmatic perspective of psychology had been turned inward on this originator-author relationship, and had revealed in method, through a clinical practice beyond the reach of credentialism’s own serial position effects in constraint. In this, an activation toward the pursuit of significance, wherein further serial-position effects of loss and relevant deprivation had occurred during the process of literature review, itself. This superpositional literature review method had allowed for the development of a method of introspective depolarization, a process of introspection guided by high degrees of correspondence to examine real-world phenomena of polarizing activations of recursion in saliency processes of communications (of all forms of semiotics), measured, predicted, and [now] explained.


Operational Harmonizing of Needs

At first, needs shall be of the finding, prime. Though a more complete listing of needs is warranted, there are needs of variety in breadth and depth sufficiently evidenced in the developments of modern-psychological literature. These needs are operationalized by, through, and of language, itself, and its social awareness is contingent on this bias. That needs defined and operationalized are sensitive to order of operations employed in language’s construction (i.e., ordering and serial positioning effects), and its capable-incapable (i.e., potentiation) dimension of coverages, subject to language constraints, brought fidelity to needs in moderating and mediating the orders so determined. At first, a brief, starting with Maslow’s inception of needs.

Maslow’s Needs. Maslow (1943) proposed a universal hierarchy of needs of physiology, safety, love/belonging, [self-]esteem, and self-actualization—a staple in many spheres of individual and group lives. This need hierarchy had been, over then-to-recent literature, controversially received due to weakness in rigor yet had found its way into popularity, while also in its home of humanistic, and influential to later movements of positive psychology (Schultz & Schultz, 2016, p. 347). Recent literature considers Maslow’s needs from evolutionary biology, anthropology, and psychology crosscut by threat and opportunity (Kenrick et al., 2010). Suitable measures are of Maslow’s needs are evasive (Lester, 2013). Maslow had suggested that these needs may not necessarily need to be filled to 100% prior to the next need’s emergence (Maslow, 1987, p. 69), and in fact boldly stated that higher level needs (i.e., self-actualization, esteem) while developing on the lower needs, may become independently established (Maslow, 1954, p. 154).

Needs for Power, Achievement, and Affiliation. McClelland (1961) proposed a theory of needs for power, achievement, and affiliation in a broad effort that sought psychological sources of change in economic systems (p. 11). Of these needs, initially, McClelland sought hypothesis testing of links between achievement motivation and economic development. In testing thematic content analysis of children’s books, research coded for power, achievement, and affiliation. Power had been associated with the “fight” of anger-excitement (McClelland, 1982, 1985). Achievement had been associated with an ability to sustain the emotion of interest-surprise. Affiliation[-intimacy] had been associated with joy-happiness-pleasure (McClelland, 1985; McClelland & Koestner, 1992). In recent literature, power, achievement, and affiliation have evidenced construct validity (Zurbriggen & Sturman, 2002), external validity (Sokolowski et al., 2000), and universality (van Emmerik et al., 2010).

Need for Belonging. McClelland and Koestner (1992) presented the need for belonging, as influenced by McClelland’s earlier construct of need for affiliation (McClelland, 1975, 1985), where Baumeister (1995) further clarified it as a need for contexts of continued relational bonds containing frequent non-aversive interaction. Leary et al. (2013) had demonstrated its construct validity. 

Needs for Value, Truth, and Control. Higgins (1997, 1998, 2012) had offered additional needs for value, truth, and control. Value answered “why” in determination of goals, wherein this determination, volitional action moves (Cornwell et al., 2014). Truth answered “what” in exposition of phenomena (i.e., understanding) as it is. Control answered “how” in manipulation of knowledge’s effects (i.e., ways). Value is further clarified as the experience of desired end states and (most likely concomitant) not experiencing unwanted end-states (Higgins & Nakkawita, 2021). Value is concerned with (i.e., attends to) goal pursuit outcomes, whereas control is concerned with (i.e., attends to) goal pursuit processes. Truth, is concerned with (i.e., attends to) better understanding and the establishment of reality through want of accuracy, consistency, morality, and practicality, and sharing what is real with others (Higgins, 2012; Higgins & Nakkawita, 2021). This need for truth has been discussed (e.g., Maslow, 1943, p. 385), evidenced (Cohen et al., 1995), measured (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982), and had been associated with well-being (Gallagher & Lopez, 2007) and meaning (Kashdan & Steger, 2007).

Most salient in this research is a concept of value, which is more strongly connected to approach-avoidance (Higgins & Nakkawita, 2021). Approach had been historically defined through learning theorist work on approach to reinforcement and avoidance of punishment, yet had later evolved to consider avoidance of potential loss as well (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). Though approach-avoidance had arisen from behaviorism (e.g., Thorndike, 1911; Watson, 1913; Skinner, 1938, 1953), and had been overshadowed by the zeitgeist of the cognitive revolution (e.g., R. W. White, 1959; Bandura, 1977), it is considered distinct in consideration of motivation (Cornwell et al., 2014). 

In recent literature, regulatory focus theory considered valued goals in approach and avoidance of desired and undesired end-states, respectively (Molden et al., 2008; Higgins, 2014). Promotion approach relates to nurturance, advancement, and growth simultaneous avoidance of deprivation and stagnation. Prevention approach relates to security and safety, simultaneous avoidance of danger or threat. Pleasured success in promotion is related to gain (i.e., a better state), and pleasured prevention success in promotion is related to maintaining non-loss (i.e., not worse).

Need for Uniqueness. A need for uniqueness where individuals are motivated to dis-conform in situations of relative ubiquity has also been invoked (Fromkin, 1970; Snyder & Fromkin, 1977). A need for uniqueness has been found to block majority influence (Imhoff & Erb, 2009). Curiously and relevant to this study had been modest and robust correlation between need for uniqueness and the adoption of conspiratorial beliefs has been identified (Imhoff & Lamberty, 2016). This need for uniqueness had been evidenced to be in balance with or dominance over the need for belonging, and evidenced shaping of decision making (Brewer, 1991, 2003). Uniqueness needs are notably important in social interactions (Snyder & Fromkin, 1977; Tian et al., 2001; Wu & Lee, 2016), where nonconformity in groups (i.e., minority status) defines more strongly self-concept (Morrison & Wheeler, 2010).

Need for Cognition. Cohen et al. (1955) had introduced a need for cognition, a need to organize experiences (i.e., understanding) of the world in meaningfully integrated ways. This had been reattributed in literature by Cacioppo and Petty (1982), who had reorganized this need meaningfully toward the phenomena of desire and joy in understanding and reasoning. Both well established, the need for cognition and self-control had been correlated with replications across trait, situation-specific, and varying operationalizations of self-control (Bertrams & Dickhäuser, 2012a, 2012b; Fleischhauer et al., 2010).

Needs for Autonomy, Competence, & Relatedness. Concomitant the development of needs, is the rapid development of self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1991, 2000) which asserts universally motivational aspects of needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy relates to the perception of choice/volition in pursuit of activities and goals concomitant a sense of agency. Competence relates to a need for a sense of efficacy in activities in achieving one’s (autonomously pursued) goals. Relatedness implies a sense of relations with others of significance and maintaining positive connections. SDT is an organismic theory of motivation explaining autonomous motivation toward optimal function (Ryan & Deci, 2002). González-Cutre et al. (2016) upon review of SDT literature revealed the need for novelty. Needs are wide, varied, and complex, yet parallel to their development had been discovered another born of consideration of terrorism.

Need for Closure and Avoiding Closure. An antecedent to completeness in literature review of Sincluded the need for closure, as it is core to significance quest theory’s mediation model between shame/humiliation and extremism (Kruglanski et al., 2019, pp. 104–110). Generally, this need is defined a desire for definitive answers as opposed to uncertainty, confusion, and ambiguity, on a spectrum, where on an opposite is a need for avoiding closure (Kruglanski & Fishman, 2009; Webster & Kruglanski, 1994). Kruglanski’s (1989) original operationalization of these needs orthogonally paired continuous dimensions of intensity in (a) motivations toward a nonspecific/nongiven closure ranged between desirous possession and approach of it (i.e., need for nonspecific closure) and avoidance from it (i.e., need to avoid nonspecific closure), and (b) motivations toward a specific/given closure ranged as aforementioned (i.e., need for a specific closure) and avoidance from it (i.e., need to avoid a specific closure).

Need for Significance. Borne out Kruglanski et al.’s (2013) research identifying a pursuit of significance—significance quest theory (SQT). This theory had focused on a need for a personal significance in situations where perceived significance is lost through (a) group grievances (e.g., Chechen widows losing significant others during Russian aggression [Speckhard & Akhmedova, 2005]); (b) stigma, ostracism, and loss of self-respect; (c) perceived threat of its loss; or where it had been further gained through (d) opportunity. Having further considered research on commitment to goals inhibiting and suppressing other goals (Bélanger et al. 2013; Shah et al., 2002), SQT proposes that a need for significance like other needs may be chronic, or acute, and once activated (i.e., significance quest), it may subordinate other needs (Kruglanski et al., 2022, pp. 6–7). Thus, in SQT a need for significance inverts Maslow’s needs, where Maslow himself alludes to this inversion:

It is probably true that higher needs may occasionally emerge, not after gratification, but rather after forced or voluntary deprivation, renunciation, or suppression of lower basic needs and gratifications (asceticism, sublimation, strengthening effects of rejection, discipline, persecution, isolation, etc.).

(Maslow, 1954, p. 107)

Considering Maslow’s theorization, inclusive of the possibility of higher-level needs becoming independent, as suggested, has evidence. For example, there is evidence that individuals are willing to engage in punishments of others even at personal costs (Will et al., 2015).

Having covered a need for significance and its activation to a significance quest, SQT contains additional constructs of narrative which provides guidance from social supports to re-establish and/or gain significance, and networkwhich provides resources, reinforcements, and social support to realize significance gain—the 3Ns of SQT (Kruglanski et al., 2013, 2019, 2022). Effectively SQT reflects Averill’s studies on anger’s self-reported motivations, and aggregated, having been framed as need.

Kruglanski et al. (2022) further generalized SQT where the quest for significance (de-jargonized from significance quest) is a “desire to matter, to feel worthy and appreciated by others whose positive guard one seeks” (p. 2). Asserted is an evolutionary benefit of this quest, in benefits to the quester’s group, status/prestige acquired, and reproductive success. Critical is that for a significance quest to be activated, it must subordinate other needs, and this may occur through aforementioned significance loss thus reframed as deprivation or opportunities for significance gain, reframed as incentivization. Herein is where the way of a narrative provides the means to an end. In Kruglanski’s works, ends and means retained special significance of its own (i.e., ends), and it is worth coverage to arrive at a greater understanding (i.e., means).

Ends and Means. SQT departs from the idea that political violence (i.e., terrorism) is “the means through which the individual pursues some goal” (Kruglanski, 2013, p. 561; emphasis retained). Instead, there are three interacting elements: (a) a goal to strive for, (b) the means sought to attain it, and (c) the process that binds goals and means (p. 561). Means and goals had been covered specifically in earlier work of Kruglanski (1975), which detailed reasoning and a framework to correct for arbitrary “lay” explanations of actions attributed to an internal-external dimension. The internal-external causal attribution, in psychology, dates to Heider (1958), and though well established, Kruglanski had rejected internal-attribution as arbitrary (Kruglanski, 1975, p. 390). Subsequent research concluded similar arguments against internal-external attribution as hydraulicly rigid (i.e., mutually exclusive), subject to a category error, teleologically confused, and lacked convergent validity (P. A. White, 1991, pp. 259–260).

 Because of the criticality of this work evidenced in literature review of SQT (it shows up practically in Freudian parapraxis), Kruglanski’s (1975) postulates and derivations had been covered in this research and refactored for readability. To ease entry, an endogenous-exogenous dimension is associated with voluntary actions and involuntary occurrences (p. 389). In a population, actions are most likely perceived as explained through reasons/purposes, and may be its own end, or means to a further end (p. 389).

An Endogenous-Exogenous Dimension. Action may be attributed as to itself as a reason (i.e., endogenous attribution) or process (i.e., moderator) to reach a goal (i.e., exogenous attribution) (p. 390). Purpose and intention are individually internal whether through biological (e.g., hunger, thirst) or social (e.g., social norms) (p. 390). Goals are internalized, not externalized, and thus are not divisible into internal-external categorization (p. 390). 

Kruglanski defended the position against internal-external attribution as an “arbitrary semantic decision to characterize some purposes in a ‘motive’ language (that has an ‘internal’ feel to it), and other purposes as a ‘goal’ or object language (that feels ‘external’)” (p. 390). Kruglanski uses Deci’s (1971; see below) experiment as an example of misplaced externalization of monetary reward as an external cause. Kruglanski negated all variables (e.g., intrinsic motivation, subjective freedom, positive attitudes, sincere reporting) that relate to internal-external, and explained that this had confounded a different phenomenon (p. 390). 

Endogenous attributed actions correlate with goals, but not situations (e.g., substance use correlates with taking away pain, but drug use does not correlate to substances readily available) (p. 390). Exogenous attributed action correlate with goal situations (e.g., substance use correlates with visiting friends, standing on the street corner, at home in privacy).

It is important to regard what means are not—means are not goals—means are not easily differentiable from goals (pp. 389–390). Continuing the theme, an exogenous motivated action is more externally/situationally determined effectively restating the aforementioned (p. 391). What Kruglanski had been doing here is offering through locution, an illocution (i.e., intention), and perlocution (i.e., reception), that instructs an analyst or psychologist how to translate a population’s perceived attribution of internal-external to an analysis of endogenous-exogenous means/ends (p. 391). 

Endogenous-Exogenous Affects. Endogenously attributed volitional acts (i.e., ends) are concomitant positive valence (i.e., affect; e.g., enjoyment, satisfaction, contentment), whereas exogenously attributed acts (i.e., means) are concomitant negative valence (i.e., affect; e.g., not happy) (p. 391). Affect had been operationalized as contingent on a totality (i.e., sum) of goals/needs fulfilled/frustrated (p. 391). Furthermore, an inference of satisfaction/dissatisfaction required a singular endogenous-exogenous attribution unconfounded by others (i.e., “all else being equal”; p. 391). Kruglanski had been using goals, needs, and ends reached through means somewhat, though not entirely, interchangeably. 

Endogenous Freedom & Exogenous Compulsion. A subjective sense of freedom had been asserted to attainment of needs/goals, though needs (e.g., biological, social, moral etc.) and is afforded through endogenous attribution (p. 391), where exogenous attribution is afforded an inference of compulsion (of need, goal, further end) contingent on situation (p. 391). The last two derivations in advance of presentation of evidence, considered inferencing through knowledge of action content in immediately identifying endogenous attributed goals/intentions, but incapable of identifying exogenous attributed intentions. 


Self-Report Studies. As mentioned, the third sample of S had started with a limited sample. This had begun with Averill’s (1982) Anger and Aggression: An Essay on Emotion, which had covered self-reports regarding everyday experiences of anger in three studies: (a) from the perspective of the angry person, (b) experience of another person’s anger, (c) difference between anger and annoyance, (d) temporal dimensions of anger, and (e) gender difference in everyday experience of anger (pp. 147–279). Averill had noted significant weakness in literature concerning everyday experiences of anger (p. 149), and while self-report data does present challenges, Averill challenged the concern for validity (p. 150). Limitations of the use of a convenience sample of college students as well as intermittent ability for participants to assess determinants of emotional states (i.e., skilled introspection) had been expressed (p. 155).

Regardless of the challenges, as flow is a core category in this research, and as self-report data on flow uses a reliable and valid Experience Sampling Method (ESM; Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1983, 1987), Averill’s studies had been deemed a credible source of studies to examine in comparison to significance quest and flow. More up-to-date studies of anger may be a valid concern, but content validity in globally shared experiences of separate convenience samples across studies of core categories had been deemed acceptable. Sociology is no stranger to variability in characteristics of generations (Furlong, 2013, pp. 11–18). Age-period-cohort (APC) analysis studies in transitional perspectives of sociology warrant an awareness of shared events impacting development and its consequences to life courses, attitudes, etc. (Mason et al., 1973; Ryder, 1965). Therefore, aligning self-reports studies across core categories of the research question’s core categories of main concern had been deemed ideal. 

Averill’s results revealed anger had been experienced 1–2 times a week (66%; Averill, 1982, pp. 162–163). Regarding motivations, the top response had been to assert authority, assert independence, or improve image (63%); getting back at or gaining revenge on an instigator (57%); followed by effort to bring about change in the behavior for the participant (54%), or the instigator (49%) for their own good; to strengthen the relationship with the instigator (46%); to get even for past wrongs by the instigator (39%); “to let off steam” over miscellaneous frustrations of the day nothing to do with the instigator (i.e., displacement; 37%); to express general dislike of the instigator (28%); to convince the instigator for personal gain (22%); to break off a relationship with the instigator (18%); and to get out of doing something for the instigator (13%; pp. 176­­–177). 

Following on the prior results, Averill considered instigations to anger from prior studies, where the top instigators reported include: (a) frustration of routine activities (Gates 1926, Meltzer 1933), (b) inferiority and loss of prestige (Anastasi et al., 1948), and (c) need situations (McKellar, 1949). In attempt to replicate with a different design, Averill (1982) had found that of participants expressing frustration as instigation to anger, the following instigations had been reported: violation of important personal expectations or wishes (73%); violation of socially accepted ways of behaving (65%); a loss of personal pride (65%); possible or actual property damage (19%); or possible or actual physical injury (15%; p. 173). Averill’s studies in totality offered significant convergent validity with SQT’s yet to be mentioned need for significance and narratives (see below) as said need may be frustrated, where prior studies of Anastasi et al. (1948) converge via inferiority and loss of prestige.

An operational definition summarized self-report findings succinctly, where anger, biologically, is “related to aggressive systems and, even more important, to the capacities for cooperative social living, symbolization, and reflective self-awareness” (p. 317), and psychologically, is “aimed at the correction of some appraised wrong, and that, on the sociocultural level, functions to uphold accepted standards of conduct” (p. 317). At this point, this offered convergent validity with SQT (see below), such that anger/aggression as a third core category of the topic of main concern (i.e., the intersectionality of significance quest, flow, and aggression) folded anger/aggression into SQT’s first need for significance as a driver. Anger had become a saturated indicator through convergence with SQT, having made it a derivative of SQT (as in a derivative, mathematically speaking). Two core categories remained, but a second study was considered in final resampling in S″, to re-verify the exclusion.

Determinants of Anger. Anger related muscle movements can lead to anger-related feelings (Berkowitz & Harmon-Jones, 2004).

Social Rejection. Social rejection is related to stigma and ostracism, which had been evident as SQT’s second form of significance loss. Considering this, the second study of aggression chosen had been Quarmley et al.’s (2022) meta-analysis of 19 studies reviewing social rejection on aggressive behavior. Results across three separate studies in meta-analysis reported that rejection resulted in more aggressive and less prosocial behaviors even when opportunities to behave pro-socially had been presented. As Quarmley et al.’s studies reviewed controlled for confounds, and yet retained directionality (i.e., causation), the question remains whether covert needs (e.g., need for significance) are moderating, mediating, or irrelevant between social rejection and aggressive behavior.

Considering that the meta-analysis mainly focused on behavioral perspectives in isolate, an article in the meta-analysis had been chosen at random and reviewed for self-report (i.e., Chow et al., 2008). In the first study, feelings of anger and sadness had been measured on a Likert scale, and antisocial responses had been measured via unappealing snacks given to other players of a virtual game of catch that had been used to manipulate feelings of inclusion and exclusion (p. 898). Results reported that anger had mediated relations between inclusion/exclusion and antisocial behavior (pp. 898–899). As anger had been correlated to antisocial behavior, as measured (r = .60p < .001), but the question remained, were Averill’s (1982) motivations, or a need for significance in operation?

Psychological Flow

Parallel to work in research on terrorism, and seemingly loosely related is had been works of Csikszentmihalyi as an originator to positive psychology and had been recognized as the leading researcher on positive psychology (American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2022). Like Kruglanski’s works on studies of radicalization, and further work in finding was toward deradicalization (Kruglanski et al., 2019), Csikszentmihalyi’s (2014) goals related to searching for causality for war, and the prevention it, having been subject to World War II in his own developmental stages (Isham & Jackson, 2021; Risen, 2021). 

Amidst a psychohistory, one could infer that Csikszentmihalyi had activated a significance quest, having been radicalized by war’s relative deprivation, and in pursuit of significance of not only himself, but as a further identity of in-group relations (i.e., social self [Mead, 1913]). Csikszentmihalyi later crossed paths with Jung, who had given a lecture on anxieties of soldiers where he had been inspired toward psychology (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014; Isham & Jackson, 2021)—clearly identifying a narrative to potential significance against a relative significance loss. Csikszentmihalyi then met a network, in psychologists of behaviorism and psychoanalysis (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014, pp. xiii–xiv), and determined to focus on “small things” before “big things” (Csikszentmihalyi & Lebuda, 2017, p. 819). Herein it is proposed that Csikszentmihalyi’s development, significance quest activation, and pro-social behavior had primed Csikszentmihalyi to focus on the same wolf-fence examining for Homo sapiens specific polarization—what tilts the field toward flow for or against?

Flow. Early works on the study of play discovered peak experience during periods of intense attention on limited fields of stimuli that had been deemed “objectively pleasurable or attractive” rather than limited fields of stimuli inducing aversion/displeasure (Csikszentmihalyi, 1978). Csikszentmihalyi had proposed a flow channel between anxiety and boredom, where skill met challenge, but only if slightly overwhelmed yet not toward anxiety. Additionally, flow’s challenge had to not be as weak relative to skill to devolve into boredom (Csikszentmihalyi, 1978). Though operational issues had been challenged (Sodhi et al., 2016), flow’s skill-challenge environment reflects optimal arousal (Yerkes-Dodson, 1908).

Csikszentmihalyi then called for a concept of intrinsic motivation that earlier fields of psychology had not yet (supposedly) accounted for (Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 1989). In pursuit of flow, Csikszentmihalyi had focused on collection of self-report data for the provisioning of quantitative and qualitative data, this method, the Experience Sampling Method (ESM; Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1983), had demonstrated validity and reliability (Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1987) in measuring antecedents, experience character, and consequences of flow (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1992).

Antecedents, Character, and Consequences of Flow. Antecedents of flow are equalized challenge and skill, clarified goals, and immediate feedback (Hancock et al., 2019, p. 102836). Experiences of flow are focused concentration, merged activity and awareness, and 6) controlled outcome (p. 102836). Consequences of flow are time distortion, self-awareness loss, and intrinsic reward (p. 102836). It is in studies of flow that a paradox had been discovered, that of self-concept absence in flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014/1982; Csikszentmihalyi & Nakamura, 2014, pp. 221-223), where self “destroys enjoyment” (p. 223). Csikszentmihalyi had offered to explain this paradox:

Only when actions depart from expectations, when unlikely intentions are fulfilled, does an “I” become justified as an explanatory construct. In subjective experience at least, the free self becomes a reality when action bears witness to its existence… After successfully coping with unlikely challenges, the “I” might reappear in consciousness as the “me.” But it is a different “me” from what it had been before; it is now stronger and more competent (Smith, 1968, 1978; White 1959). (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014/1982, p. 223; citations preserved)

Differential Analysis (S2S3)

Self-Enjoyment Paradox & Self-Reference Effects

Operational issues of flow set aside, flow research had not yet delved into what may at operation in this paradox though earlier undergraduate studies of Hodges (2022) had produced a literature review seeking neurocorrelates of self-reference effects (Higgins & Bargh, 1987; Symons & Johnson, 1988) as compared to neurocorrelates of flow in search of the dubbed self-enjoyment paradox. This comparative analysis had demonstrated validity in that there had been exclusionary activity in attenuated blood flow in the medial-prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during flow, an area correlated with amplified blood flow during self-reference effects (Ulrich et al., 2013). This had also reached convergent validity with Gusnard et al. (2001), Kelley et al. (2002), and Goldberg et al. (2006) in a segregation of self-reference and sensorimotor processing. Additionally, Jo et al. (2019) had demonstrated that well-being is associated with decreased activation in CMS (namely the mPFC). Effectively empirical evidence demonstrating the self-enjoyment paradox, had received support.

Situated Identity

In a differential of S1 literature review, a recurring concept had reached saturation, that of the situational constraints that Kruglanski had posited in exogenously attributed action. As the concept of situation had reached saturation, additional sampling had been required in the S2 pool of literature to differentiate situational dynamics. Self-concept had been identified as a potential vector for significance quest activation through its association with neutral to negative valence in flow state literature review and negative affect exogenously attributed action in pursuit of goals.

Situated Identity. Alexander and Knight’s (1971) sociological study on prior works of sociologists (e.g., Goffman, 1959, 1963) in measuring for a concept of situated identity (Alexander et al., 1969). This classic study had demonstrated that change in social context (e.g., a confederate says that the tasks in the study are enjoyable), in addition to a variable (i.e., payments for tasks), had influenced adjectives selected describing another individual (the confederate).

Self-Schemata and Aschematic Individuals. Markus (1977) had considered earlier literature on a plurality of concepts related to cognitive structures that “attempts to organize, summarize, or explain one’s own behavior in a particular domain” (p. 64) and that this attempt (i.e., action, intention, volition), would result in a self-schemata (i.e., self; p. 64). The operationalization of self-schemata had been “cognitive generalizations about the self… derived from past experience, that organize and guide the processing of self-related information contained in the individual’s social experiences… derived from specific events and situations involving the individual” (p. 64). In the first study, participants had differentiated into independent and dependent based on adjective lists used to allow participants to selecting self-descriptive words, cite instances of supporting behavior, and predict a likelihood of behavioral expression (p. 66). Measures had been used in responses and response times (p. 66). Of utility to this research, had been the identification of and evidence in support of an aschematic group of participants who demonstrated no difference in response times between dependent/independent adjectives even primed by social situation (p. 69).

A second study had analyzed the role of interpretation of new information by participants through suggestibility, however in this study, while aschematics had demonstrated similar response times to the first study, schematics (e.g., independent, dependent) had taken longer to respond (p. 75). It had been proposed that counterschematic formation had been the reasoning. The aschymatic group was suggested to “not to have an integrated picture of themselves” (p. 75) on the independence-dependence dimension.

Stability and Malleability in Self-Concept. Markus and Kunda (1976), in literature review, further elaborated both a stable and malleable self-concept, where literature prior had focused on stability. A working self-concept had been proposed, along with its subtle mutability (p. 859). In review, self-concept had been supported by results (pp. 861–864). Following on, Markus and Kitiyama (1991) explored cultural differences with respect to self-concept and had found differences in Japanese and American individuals as described by an independent and interdependent construal of self. In conclusion self-concept had been perceived as “rooted” in self-perceptions and self-understandings constrained by social interactional patterns of a given culture (p. 246). Applications had been extended to various themes (e.g., gender; p. 247). 

Multiple Selves and Trait Accessibility. Further work by Higgins et al. (1982) had also considered the manipulation of construct accessibility where studies had demonstrated that impressions of individuals had indeed been sensitive to modifications to traits presented in lists (pp. 41–44). More up to date literature on self-concept and traits supported the role of many selves and had executed literature review in the testing and development of a measure of multiple selves, though not explicitly situated identity, again like Markus differentiating into stability and variability (McConnell, 2011). 

Multiple Self-With-Other Measures. More recently Scott et al. (2022) had extended Markus’ works and others into developing a relational self-schema measure (RSSM; Chen et al., 2006), where priming had been done through selection of individuals that those measured thought about. The RSSM had been developed considering SDT theories of proposed needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Scott et al., 2022, p. 75). The RSSM had provided initial evidence supporting construct validity, and overall reliable and validity (N = 512; pp. 79–81) which provides a metric for evaluating a more complex multiples selves’ “multiple self-with-other cognitive structures that include content represented in self-schemata scripts and goals (Baldwin, 1992; McConnel, 2011)” (p. 74; citations preserved).


Value Saliency. In the final days of research, due to research in course on motivational psychology at Washington State University (PSYC-470), Schwartz’s (1994) value saliency had serendipitously contaminated cognitive processes in constant comparison. This contamination had demonstrated interchangeability with emergent existing theoretical constructs. Values had been defined by Schwartz (1992, 2005) as (a) beliefs concomitant affective valence, (b) stable across situations, (c) linked to goals, (d) ordered (i.e., stack-ranked), (e) relative, and (d) provide “standards” for self-evaluation. Behavior that is consistent with these values is said to occur subconsciously, and behavior inconsistent raises these values consciously. This quality of promotion of values to consciousness, and demotion of values to subconscious is of particular interest in the present topic of main concern with respect to the research question. While this research could have continued, the investigation had exhausted time, resources and already had well exceeded scope, but this salient evidence provided the missing key in a proposed integration (below).

Integrated Analysis

In final analysis it therefore appeared that the element of self-concept, and the function of flow in its absence reveals that self-concept is not only subject to introjection, integration, and modification, but that self-concept is a value and is a salient theme that must be present during high degrees of frustration in pursuit of significance. Self-concept demonstrates Schwart’z (1992, 1995) aspects of values. First self-concept is likely a belief concomitant affective valence. This affective valence reaches convergent validity with numerous studies. As has been evidenced in research on flow experience, the manifestation of self-concept as content is experienced during moments outside of flow, where in those moments skill and challenge are not calibrated with respect to the competencies and relations navigating situations-goals. Though Schwartz (1992, 2005) proposed that values are situation independent, situational dependency is supported through value saliency during incongruous value-situation states. 

Second, self-concept is perceived as stable across situations, and more recently has received additional research evidencing a plurality of selves (e.g., situated identities, multiple selves), yet most of the literature across domains had been and continues to be representative of a singular aspect of self-concept (e.g., authentic self vs. authentic selves). Third, self-concept is linked to goals by its manifest content during goal-frustration (and/or anxiety). Fourth and fifth, self-concept is ordered against other goals and is relative to them. And sixth, self-concept itself serves as a benchmark of self-evaluation, where self-concept’s saliency is proposed as a measure of ideological means distance from experiential ends signifying a configuration of needs and drives which is subject to self and social appraisal.

As the criteria of values, and its overshadowed exemplars obfuscating self as value, converged with proposition that self is a value, the question remained how it became a value, and this therein lies in the principles of situated identities, introjections, internalization, integrations, and the contractions of selves related to situations of similar conditioning (e.g., groups). In addition to these is the question of analysis of neurocorrelates of values and value saliency, where early work had already illuminated aspects of neurocorrelates of flow evidencing the self-enjoyment paradox.

That affect is related to not only flow, but the realization of ends and frustrations of means in pursuit of said ends, it appears that ends are central to a flow axis, and means are tangential to joining it (where means fixed join, and thus depart evidencing curvature to flow). Values therefore provide not a mere guide to the world, but a cognitive conceptual language pre-descriptive within which to navigate the internal world that reflects reliably and increasingly-validly (if there is access to the resources to do so) the external perceived internally. In this respect self as value, takes on not only multiple selves, not only a multiple self-and-other relation, not only in extension multiple self-and-others relation, not only in extension further multiple selves-and-others relation, but also demonstrates a new quality of values. Self is a recursive value in that as challenge increases, the density of strain regulation and stress control not only increases but reconfigures; just as machinations of humanity increase in switching speeds, reaction times, and resolutive capabilities with each architectural jump in insight, inversely applied, to the nature of physics.

It is therefore further proposed that this quality of a recursive self is evident in situationally bracketed expansion and contraction of ranging, as there is evidence of self-expansion and contraction as it relates to matters of self-efficacy (see Mattingly & Lewandowski, 2013). Though self-concept size would require saliency, an experiment itself would demonstrate a means environment within which it could become more salient, and also predicate situational cues within which the individual would experience said self-concept. 

With regards to affect, it is further proposed that the affective valences associated with exogenous-exogenous attribution is therefore an artifact of polarization within which needs are addressed, where an expedient means signified by self-conception activates a more rapid cognitive alteration toward motive-movement in approach-avoidance dimensions and variations thereof contingent on situation-goal relations with bio-neural-behavioral-cognitive flows that are subject to all matters of phenomena underlying psychological, sociological, and physics related realities. 

Self-concept is a narrative value introjected, internalized, and integrated through flow experiences (concomitant social influences), and where these experiences are continually frustrated by either significance loss, or realized through relative deprivation of others’ significance gain (i.e., rising equality above one’s present homeostatic station [e.g., inflation]), self-concept is the first line of defense against anti-social, violent, salience seeking behavior in pursuit of not its restoration, but the restoration of flow and a democratic ideal of a pursuit of happiness not too far from a mean. Polarization is the red herring, the confound, the mere artifact of singular dimensions that had driven the wedge between the fair and equitable drawing near of resources to a people. That the positive psychology bought by the wealthy outbids and drives up resource costs of the poor in pursuit of happiness, is only a matter of confusion about the inverted reality of self-signing means to ends of happiness.

Originators and founders of psychology had worked to better humanity, and in the phenomena prime that underlies Kruglanski’s and Csikszentmihalyi’s works, a degree of freedom allowed in the sampling of literature is all that had been required. The method of a literature review is inseparable from the inductions and deductions of it. The significance quest had been right here, had been active, and it driven by introjected, integrated, and alteration toward bettering the behavioral, cognitive, and motivational aspects of bio-neural-psycho-social beings. It is now of the utmost suggestion to the practicum of psychology, and to other practicums, and to the practicum of science (and religion) itself, and its application (and governance) to no longer treat literature in review, or experiment as bandages for structural issues that had resulted from them, but to see the salient value in absence of them. This is the therapeutic session, and the value of human relations between introduction, method, analysis, and discussion—beyond conclusion (and its need for closure consequences). It’s in the method (joint-attention) of the journey, not the outcome (signs) of the method—but it (i.e., “you”) knew that already—mirror neuron entangled cortical midline structures (i.e., “let us”) make magic happen. 😉


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Appendix 1

Table 1

An Abridged Listing of Theoretical Sampling and Raw Core Category Coding of S1S2, and S3

SnStudyDesignRaw Codes
S2Alexander & Knight (1971)Experimental Designc: needs
situated identity
c: accessibility
S1Averill (1982)Literature Review & Experimental Designc: anger
c: aggression
c: voluntary attribution
c: unjustified attribution
c: situational cues
c: motivation
c: needs
c: goal pursuit
c: frustration
c: inferiority
c: blame attribution
c: instigation
c: annoyance
c: social factors
c: fractious anger
c: constructive anger
c: self-esteem
c: pride
S1Averill (1983)Literature Review c: anger
c: aggression
S2Breakwell et al. (2022)Experimental Designt: identity process theory
c: identity resilience
c: self-efficacy
c: self-esteem
c: continuity
c: distinctiveness
c: positive affect
c: assimilation
c: accommodation
c: evaluation
S1Crocker & Park (2004)Literature Reviewc: pursuit;
c: self-esteem
S1Csikszentmihalyi (1975)Literature Review & Experimental Designc: flow
c: emotional valence
m: ESM
S1Csikszentmihalyi (1978)Literature Reviewc: flow
d: anxiety-boredom
c: challenge
c: skill
c: emotional valence
c: joy
m: ESM
S1Csikszentmihalyi & Figurski (1982)Experimental Designc: flow
c: emotional valence
c: self-flow paradox
c: self-awareness
c: voluntariness
c: motivation
m: ESM
S1Da Silva et al. (2022)Literature Reviewt: SQT
c: needs
c: narratives
c: networks
c: deradicalization
c: prevention
c: policy
S2Deci et al. (1973)Experimental Designc: intrinsic motivation
c: extrinsic reward(s)
c: self-determination
S2Deci et al. (1994)Experimental Designt: SDT
c: introjection
c: integration
c: internalization
c: needs
S2Grecas (1982)Literature Reviewc: self-concept;
c: situated identity
S2Greenwald (1980)Literature Reviewc: ego
c: totalitarian ego
c: self as axis of cause and effect
c: self as mnemonic device
c: ego centricity
S1Harmon-Jones (2003)Experimental Designc: anger
c: trait
c: behavioral approach sensitivity (BAS)
c: behavioral inhibition sensitivity (BIS)
c: approach motivation
c: affect 
S1Harmon-Jones (2004)Literature Reviewc: behavioral approach sensitivity (BAS)
c: frontal asymmetry
c: motivation
d: approach-withdrawal
c: valence (emotional)
c: cognitive dissonance
c: affect
S1Harmon-Jones (2007)Literature Reviewc: behavioral approach sensitivity (BAS)
c: cognitive dissonance
c: anger
t: cognitive dissonance theory (CDT)
S2Higgins & Mavin (1982)Literature Reviewc: self-concept;
c: situated identity;
c: accessibility;
S2Jais et al. (2021)Experimental Designc: self-concept
c: self-infiltration
c: self-regulation
c: introjection
c: emotional awareness
S1Kruglanski (1975)Experimental Designt: endogenous-exogenous attribution theory
d: endogenous-exogenous attribution
d: internal-external attribution
c: goals
c: casual assignment
c: casual explanation
d: action-occurrence
c: situation
c: emotional valence
S1Kruglanski et al. (2013)Literature Reviewt: SQT
c: significance quest
c: needs
c: narratives
c: networks
c: radicalization
S1Kruglanski et al. (2017)Literature Reviewt: SQT
c: significance quest
c: needs
c: narratives
c: networks
c: radicalization
d: skill-challenge
c: violent extremism (VE)
S1Kruglanski et al. (2019)Literature Reviewt: SQT
c: significance quest
c: needs
c: narratives
c: networks
c: radicalization
c: deradicalization
S1Kruglanski et al. (2022)Literature Reviewt: SQT
c: significance quest
c: needs
c: narratives
c: networks
c: radicalization
c: deradicalization
S1Larson & Csikszentmihalyi (1983)Literature Reviewm: ESM
c: validity
c: reliability
S2Markus (1977)Experimental Design; 3 Studiesc: self-schemata;
c: situated identity
S2Markus & Kitayama (1991)Literature Reviewc: situated identity
c: self-concept;
c: self-schemata;
c: multi-culturalism;
c: self-construal;
c: accessibility
S2Markus & Kunda (1986)Experimental Design; c: situated identity; 
c: self-schemata;
c: self-concept 
S2Mattingly & Lewandowski (2013)Experimental Designc: self-concept
c: self-expansion
c: self-efficacy
S2McConnell (2011)Experimental Designc: self-concept;
c: situated identity;
m: Multiple Self aspect Framework (MSF);
c: accessibility
S2Ryan & Deci (2000)Literature Reviewt: SDT
t: organismic integration theory (OIT)
c: introjection
c: integration
c: internalization
c: needsc: intrinsic motivation
c: extrinsic motivation
c: motivation
c: regulatory styles
c: perceived locus of causality
c: regulatory process
S1Schumpe et al. (2020)Experimental Designt: SQT
c: sensation seeking
c: adventure
c: excitement
c: self-sacrifice
c: IE
c: radicalization
c: deradicalization
S2Scott et al. (2022)Experimental Designc: situated identity;
c: self-schemata;
c: self-concept;
S2Silva & O’Brien (2004)Literature Reviewc: self-concept;
c: self-esteem;
c: needs
c: self-control;
c: changing selves

Note: c = construct; d = dimension, m = measure; t = theory