The GAM/DP Theory of Personality and Creativity
by: William A. Therivel, PhD
Vol 1 Vol 2 Vol 3 Vol 4 Vol 5 Vol 6
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-GAM/DP Synopsis
-GAM Introduction
-DP Introduction
-GAM/DP Summary
-Mozart and not Salieri
-Personality Families
-Berlin's Hedgehogs & Foxes
-James Joyce - Fox
-Newton's Personality Styles
-Gifted and Talented
-GAM's Marginal Men
-GAM's Heidegger
-GAM's Nietzsche
-GAM's Nathaniel Hawthorne
-German Ethnopsychology
-Japanese Ethnopsychology
-French Ethnopsychology
-Spanish Ethnopsychology
-Chinese Ethnopsychology
-Argentine Ethnopsychology
-Byzantium's Creativity
-Venice's Creativity
-Chaucer's Griselda
-Western Medicine's Origins
-Individual Growth by Thinking GxAxMxDP
William A. Therivel
-High Creativity Unmasked
-Studying Power
-Studying National Characters
-Studying National Creativity

A synopsis of Therivel's GAM/DP Theory of Personality and Creativity.

The GAM/DP Synopsis

The GAM/DP Theory of Personality and Creativity
Volumes 1 - 6

     Therivel's GAM/DP theory deals with personality and creativity at both the individual and societal levels: what makes an individual creative, and what makes a society creative.
     G stands for genetic endowment (nature); A for assistances, M for misfortunes, DP for division of power (UP for unity of power).

     Major misfortunes of youth (e.g., early parental death, physical infirmity) reduce the acquisition of normal scripts from society. (Scripts are habits, routines, common ways of thinking, taboos, schemes, traditions, cognitive-structural units, and paradigms.)

     This condition, when backed by a good genetic endowment (e.g., for intelligence, temperaments, specific talents), and by valid assistances (e.g., from parents, schools, books), stimulates the build-up of new personal scripts which will then conflict with those of society in a life-long war of the scripts: the tension and material for creativity. The final potential for creativity can be expressed by the formula GxAxM.

     Different kinds of misfortune have a different impact on personality and creativity; so much so that eminent creators can be profitably studied in comparison with others affected by the same misfortune of youth. Accordingly the theory has studied fourteen challenged families, one for each of fourteen major misfortunes (e.g., early parental death, physical infirmity, parental failure of character, parental domination, suffered lack of parental love).

     The second part of the theory says that long periods of division of power, DP (e.g. when power is fought or grudgingly shared between emperor and pope, between state and church; when two or more major ideologies fight each other) give origin to the visitor personality; and that, instead, long periods of unity of power, UP (one single ruler or dominating hierarchy, one single dominating ideology) give origin to the insular personality.

     DP fosters critical thinking. People begin to mistrust the power holder. They have the courage to speak their mind, to be creative on matters that are not those wanted by the power holder. Visitors go places and take risks (they can do so: in case of trouble with power A, they can ask the help of power B which will give it gladly). Automatically the visitors take initiatives for the common good because they do not trust the supremo who is more interested in his personal power and glory. Soon the visitors are firm believers in the Law of Power of Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Visitors therefore are highly creative, and so are the DP places, which nurtured them (e.g. the Florence of Dante and Boccaccio, Leonardo and Michelangelo).

     Every civilization was highly creative at first, under a fair measure of DP, then declined when the UP took control, and most people became insulars.

     In the end individual personality and creativity potential can be expressed by the formula GxAxMxDP, in which DP has a positive impact already on assistances and misfortunes of youth; later on all aspects of adult life.

     At the individual level, the GAM theory studied such eminent creators like Mozart (e.g. in the chapter "Why Mozart and not Salieri"), Bach, Wagner; Cervantes, Goethe, Tolstoy; Newton, Darwin, Einstein; Toulouse-Lautrec, Klee, Picasso. At the societal level the DP theory studied a long string of civilizations and countries in chapters like "The DP origins of the United States", "The DP origins of the Scottish Enlightenment", "The origins, decline and fall of the Egyptian civilization", "Did the mandarins kill the Chinese civilization?", "The low creativity and high unity of power of the Byzantine civilization".

     The theory and its evidence are presented--by the author, William A. Therivel--in six volumes published by Kirk House (2001 to 2008) entitled The GAM/DP Theory of Personality and Creativity (vols 1 to 6).

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