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Psy2: Fodormik’s Integrated Paradigm for Psychology aka FIPP

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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Principal concepts
  3. 3. The model
    1. 3.1 The FIPP-Pattern
    2. 3.2 Supplement to the pattern: the constraint of communication
  4. 4. Example
  5. 5. The consequences of the model

FIPP (Fodormik’s Integrated Paradigm for Psychology)

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1.  Introduction


Below we present a model that explains different aspects of human behavior. The model describes diverse kinds of human behavior – from religion to sex and from problem solving to intimate relationships – with the help of just a few basic concepts. At the same time, its results are congruent with those of the determining psychological schools and sub-sciences – analytic, cognitive and social psychologies – and explain them in a broader context. It integrates knowledge of human behavior found in common sense and the world religions, with the science of psychology. As we feel that we have managed to identify the key elements of human behavior, we do not consider it an exaggeration to propose that our model be used as the conceptual framework of psychology.

2.  Principal concepts

FIPP operates with three known psychological concepts: Self, Environment and cognitive schemata. We redefine them as follows (henceforth the redefined Self and Environment concepts are indicated with capitals):

The Self perceives its own size in relation to that of the Environment, and the proportion of these (Self resp. Environment) helps to characterize the ever changing relationship of these two entities; (for example, is the Self growing at the expense of the Environment at the moment? If it is, to what extent?) In addition, the relationship of the Self and the Environment is a key issue, as it shows the effectiveness of the adaptation of the Self i.e. how much it is subject to the Environment. (If the Self is smaller, the Environment controls it and vice versa.)

3.  The model

The model introduces two new concepts according to the relationship of the size of the Self and the Environment:

3.1  The FIPP-Pattern

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With the help of the concepts of Self-Narrowing and -Expanding we can characterize human behavior in the following pattern:

the establishment of a new cognitive scheme changes the course of Self-Narrowing and converts it into Self-Expansion.

The new cognitive schema typically emerges from the integration of two or more incongruous cognitive schemata. The integration is a process when the old opposing schemata fall into smaller pieces (into their composing cognitive schemata) and from these pieces a new one arises that contains the major characteristic of the two previous ones. The new is superior to the two old ones. The everyday language calls the extremely narrow state of the Self preceding the birth of the new cognitive schema deadlock.

3.2  Supplement to the pattern: the constraint of communication

Following the establishment of the new cognitive schema the Self expands only for a short time as long as the Self does not hand it on to its social Environment (i.e. it is retained for itself). If the Self begins to spread the new cognitive schema, the Self continues to expand. During the process of expansion, energy is generated, which is used in spreading the new cognitive schema.

4.  Example

Let us suppose that somebody has basic IT knowledge; knows how to switch on a computer, use a text editor and to save and print the typed text. They then encounter the following problem: any button he/she presses on the keyboard is shown on the monitor only in upper-case letters. What then happens?

  1. They try all of their existing cognitive schemata – restarts the editor, computer, et al – which could be relevant, but none of these works.
  2. They then ask themselves “That usually works fine, but now it does not. Am I doing something wrong?" They repeat the schemes many times without success.
  3. Deadlock comes: they are close to giving up, and consider their cognitive schemata regarding computers useless; "I hate stupid computers, and will use only pen and paper in future."
  4. They then begin to read the buttons on the keyboard and test the effect of the unknown ones. After pressing Caps Lock, then another letter…
  5. It works! "The solution is the Caps Lock key! It means capitals lock." Eureka feeling ensues: a new cognitive schema has been created!
  6. As they see that it works, they feel:
    1. additional energy; and
    2. an urge to communicate this to those who can appreciate their previous efforts and can profit from their new cognitive schema.
  7. Using their additional energy they begin to communicate; looking for friends, telling room-mates about the function of the new button &c.
  8. As they communicate so they feel increasingly happy, and the pride of owning and using a tool so that they can control their Environment (that part of their interest that they feel is important)

5.  The consequences of the model

In the future, we will examine the utility of the model by comparing it with our empirical experience. Hence, we attempt to apply the model in various fields of life, and to examine the extent to which our model matches psychological theory.

The suggested topics follow. (Although these are separate texts, their sequence is not random.) The key words of the topics can be found in brackets:



This article, and many others, is now available in print.
The book, 'Self-expansion', contains a generalized version of FIPP not available on

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Page last modified on June 13, 2014, at 11:56 AM EST