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Psychological evolution; the way people work

Hey there! Today we are going to discuss spiral dynamics. What are they? And how can we use it in our daily life?
For this blog post I studied several lectures and videos to get to know this subject. And I found it so interesting that I want to share it with you guys. It is about the psychological evolution of thinking. How we think but also our perspectives which change through out our lives. Which will help you to find your blind spots. Which you don’t want to see. But once you see them you will see the need to develop in those blind spots. Besides that, it will help you to see the world from all life perspectives. You will get to know how to talk to certain groups of people. And it will be a really open-minded experience once you understand this concept developed by Clare Graves. Let’s dive into the concept!

Before I am explaining all levels I am going to let you know how I am going to do that. Each color is a level of a perspective on life. The first three aren’t really relevant because most people are past those colors. As a result, I will explain those colors faster than the others.
Each paragraph will be divided in small sections. First I explain what the perspective is about and how they see the world. After that, I will give examples and show what dilemma you will have to go through to get to the next color. We will start with the first color, beige.


BEIGE, People who are is beige only think about surviving and sex. It is pretty much the basic survival level. “ I exist and I have to survive” . They think much like animals. Examples are babies, infants and mentally ill people. The dilemma they have to get through is: “How do I connect with other people?”.

The next one is PURPLE, People who are is the stage of purple think in groups or tribes. They don’t think individually anymore. They see the world as a magical place. They don’t know anything about the world. But care a lot about their group. Examples: Amazon tribes, the medicine man and tribes in general. They have to go over the dilemma of being kind of selfish: “ Why am i not the leader of this tribe? ”.

RED, this level is not that complicated and is easy to understand. This community is really egocentric. They are only satisfying there impulses. They don’t care if they hurt other’s. They only want to gain power. And just think “ To hell with other’s”.  For instance, dictators, Mafia, gang leaders and most criminals. They have to face the dilemma of getting to see that they hurt others even their selves. So, “Why am I hurting everyone, and eventually myself?”.

Do you notice something? About the levels after each other? The first one, beige is really individually and after that they think in groups. And so it goes on. So, individually then groups than individually etc.  Now we can move to the next one, blue.

BLUE, This crowd pleases other’s via laws, heritage, tradition, family and through being obedient. They love rules. They focus on civilization and absolute rules. They think that their religion the only truth is. So, they are really culturally blind. People in blue, see the world as simple, rational and able to be broken into categories. Examples are Iran as a country because of the one dominant religion; Islam. Also conservative politics. The dilemma they have to go through is to get to see other cultures. Moreover, to see that their religion is not superior.

Next up is ORANGE, People in this stage are very individualistic. They seek for comfort for their own. They believe in science and think that economy is power. So, they want to keep improving those topics. Furthermore, they think buying stuff is going to make them happy. They are consuming a lot. They believe in materialism; that things can make you happy. They understand that there are multiple religion and they accept that. They seek comfort. Examples are people in wall street, business men, scientists, corrupt politicians and republicans.  They have to get to understand that things are not going to make them happy. That is the dilemma for them; Materialism isn’t going to make me happy.

Last of tier one is GREEN, the society of stage green are really realistic and caring about people, nature and all things actually. They love to connect with others and try to understand them as much as they can. They are mostly spiritually; no religion is superior. They seek for peace and love. And try to help the poor. For instance, democrats, hippies,Greenpeace, liberals, spiritually groups and support groups are in this level. In my opinion this level is really good but still they can move on to the next level. The dilemma of green is that they care too much and caring alone isn’t going to help world problems.


YELLOW, People in the stage of level are hard to find. People in this stage see life as a great thing. They find it complex but also very beautiful. They want that smart people have the power in the society. Those people look at problems from all different perspectives. Also, they see that in every religion there is some truth. They are the first once to see all levels beneath them. And they are cool and chill about it. They understand that society evolves and think a lot about creating better system. They think in systems. Usually they think; “ How do we solve world problems from other’s perspectives “. For example of people in yellow are highly intelligent people and probably Barack Obama and Einstein. They have to get to one last dilemma; Even having complex systems won’t help world problems.

Then we arrive at the last stage, TURQUOISE. There isn’t a lot of research done on this level because about 0,01% of the world population is on this level; they are hard to find. They see the world as wholistic and global. They take all things into a problem; Emotional + Practical + Logical. So they will find the perfect solution. Although, there sometime just isn’t one.


You can only take one step at a time in move to the next stage. And you can not move back to a stage (they are in chronological order). A study showed this. In this study they asked freshmen if abortion is okay? There were only three answers given.

1. Yes, because I say so
2. No, because society says so
3. Yes, but it relies on the circumstances

The people who answered these questions were asked again after college. And research showed that they only moved towards three. And not back to one. So, you can’t move back a stage of psychological thinking. Lastly you can be a mix of multiple colors. For instance, you can be a 1/3 green and 2/3 orange. Or 1/2 red and 1/4 blue and 1/4 orange.

If you want to move up a level you have to do the following:

  • Be open-minded
  • Work on developing yourself
  • Be aware of your ego and get to understand what it is
  • Break the dilemma’s one at a time

Good luck! I hope you liked this blog post and let me know if you want me to go deeper on this topic down below :)

Ingmar Heikens

If you are interest in getting to know more about this subject. Here are some interesting videos about this topic:

video 1 (duration: 1 hour and 27 minutes)
video 2 (duration: 28 minutes)
video 3 (duration: 7 minutes)

p.s; the longer, the better ;)


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