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Abstract

Individuality theory views the total psychological system or personality as an organized complexity which is partitioned into six major systems—sensory, motor, cognition, affect, value, and style. Each of these systems is, in turn, describable in terms of its subsystems and their components. Individuality is captured via the concept of multivariate personality type, which includes both profile and temporal characteristics. Organism-environment interactions are handled via the basic system circuit. This circuit involves an information input from the environment, a norm against which inputs are compared, and outputs which feed back into the external environment. Normative match refers to the degree of alignment between a specifiable norm (i.e., a psychological construction such as a goal or a purpose) and the environmental input. We refer to norm-input matches as assimilation. In the case of mismatches, accommodation is required via feedback mechanisms. Whereas normative matching is focused on external interactions between the organism and the environment, template matching is focused on internal processes of the psychological suprasystem. Thus, template matching refers to the degree of alignment between the profile and temporal aspects of a specifiable situation and personality type. Template matching involves specifying the details of central processing—the integrative role of the style and value systems, the transformation processing of the cognitive and affective systems, and the coding role of the sensory and motor systems. Suprasystem functioning involves both internal (i.e., template matching) and external (i.e., normative matching) processing simultaneously. Thus, molar psychological constructions, such as worldview and life-style, are the products or outcomes of the integrative processing of the style-cognitive and value-affective systems respectively. When suprasystem norms are functioning assimilatively we are describing periods of personality stability. When suprasystem norms are functioning accommodatively we are describing periods of personality change. The most encompassing indicator of personality integration at a given moment