Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
"It seems common in integral circles to stereotype people by claiming an individual resides at a specific developmental level, as if someone fits easily into one category. Granted the AQAL model allows for different domains or lines to be at different levels, but nonetheless in each domain the claim remains that said domain is at a specific, measurable level. In addition, there is the concept of a center of gravity (COG), generally associated with the self-related or ego line, as it is apparently the organizing structure for the other levels and lines. But there is ongoing debate about the COG in developmental literature, so some empirical research follows by other developmentalists not so enamored."
Another resource relevant to the discussion is Tom Murray's article on sentence completion tests (SCT), the main instrument for measuring ego development. The other developmental models don't use these, instead measuring specific task performance. Murray provides research that shows both internal and external validity with SCTs for measuring ego development. But he also notes some cautions, just a few listed below.
"Though the models describe general patterns, it is important not to pigeon-hole individuals into caricatures—individual differences are as profound as the general trends. One’s developmental level probably has something to say about how one approaches parenting, relationships, work, learning, etc., but does not predict exactly how any individual will think or act in any context."
"Though we might speak of someone’s 'center of gravity' as their most common meaning-making level, people embody a range of levels at different times, depending on the challenges and supports present in any context."
However Stein and Heikkinen (2009) noted the following:
"In this preliminary review, it also appears that contemporary uses of sentence completion methods to measure ego development are not justified by peer-reviewed validity and reliability studies, and what studies there are do not address the most important aspects of psychometric concern (i.e., construct validity and internal consistency)" (19).
Now Murray's survey did discuss both construct validity and internal consistency, so I'm curious if Stein read and agreed with the referenced studies when he made this comment?
Now S&H did note "contemporary uses of SC methods." And Murray did note that "the quantity of research supporting the strength of the WUSCT and its ego development model is one or two orders of magnitude larger than that of the MAP/GLP/LDP and STAGES research combined." The latter are apparently the "contemporary uses" noted by S&H.