Academic journal article Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry

The Pyramid: A Unified Model of Psychology Based on Trigger-Reciprocity Theory for the Etiology of the Normal and Abnormal Mind/Brain

Academic journal article Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry

The Pyramid: A Unified Model of Psychology Based on Trigger-Reciprocity Theory for the Etiology of the Normal and Abnormal Mind/Brain

Article excerpt

A review of theoretical models that have attempted to integrate the relationship between the four basic response modalities studied in psychology-physiology, behavior, cognition, and affect-with the environment, or stress, is made. However, none of the models seem to adequately offer a clear, concise, easy-to-understand, visual model. A step toward such a model, called the pyramid, is made here. It fulfills some of the most important tenants of theory, which is clarity and simplicity. All components of the model are explained, and potential heuristic directions are presented. It is believed that this model will serve as the most useful and thorough theoretical framework for psychology's evolution. In addition, the pyramid offers a clear model for not only choosing treatment modalities but also combining treatment modalities as a framework for a multidimensional treatment package.

Keywords: integrated model of psychology; complete theory of psychology; integrated theory of psychology; multidimensional model of psychology

Many introductory psychology textbooks define psychology as "the science of human behavior" (Morgan & King, 1966; Zimbardo, Weber, & Johnson, 2000). However, Stein (2000) argues that this definition is extremely inaccurate. A more accurate definition might be that "psychology is the science, art, and philosophy of human behavior." One need only leaf through the pages of any introductory psychology text to become aware of a dramatic switch in content and prose. Chapters on learning, memory, sensation, perception, and so on appear to be written with extensive scientific support, but suddenly the switch occurs in those chapters that focus on issues of theories of personality, assessment, and therapies. It is in these chapters that explanations of human conduct shift from to science to mostly philosophical speculation. Discussions surround the speculations, or philosophies, of Freud (1856-1939), Jung (1875-1961), Adler (1870-1937), Rogers (1902-1987), Maslow (1908-1970), and others (Zimbardo et al., 2000). In reality, therefore, an overview of clinical psychology represents a loose web of concepts where some are scientifically based and most are philosophical based. Is it possible to integrate these perspectives in to a meaningful gestalt? Can an overall, unifying, and interconnecting model be developed that would clarify the overall picture? It is to the goal of a unified model of psychology and psychiatry that helps to clarify the understanding of the human mind- and the mind is what defines man- that this article is devoted.


It is somewhat ironic that the riddle of the Sphinx should serve as an introduction for the current working model of a the Pyramid: A Unified Model of Psychology: Based on a Trigger-Reciprocity Theory of the Normal and Abnormal Mind/ Brain. The myth states that the solution to the riddle was made by Oedipus, who also was one of the focal characters for the first proposed method of psychopathology and personality (Freud, 1915). Now, 125 years later, a new solution is proposed.

The Sphinx guards the pyramids. The pyramid served as the first large architectural structure in history, and its shape has numerous significant meanings. It is the pyramid or, rather, its shape that serves as the model for the currently proposed paradigm to unify many diverse concepts in psychopathology. In other words, one might say, the Sphinx guards the secret of what is man (i.e., the pyramid), and this article is intended to get past the guardian in order to reveal the secrets of the pyramid (i.e., the mind). Each of the five corners, which include the convergent peak at the top, pulls together the many disparate concepts of the mind.


Ellis and Harper (1975) introduced a two-dimensional model, or paradigm, for what was early called rational emotive therapy (see Figure 1). …

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