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  • Grace Lee

Morphological Psychology

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

BY GRACE LEE


You’ve probably heard of the adage, “change is the only constant in life.” Often attributed to Heraclitus, this saying claims that apart from the fact that everything changes, everything else changes. With this in mind, Professor Wilhelm Salber built the theory of morphological psychology, or the idea of a continually evolving mind, as a method to understand how the human psyche functions and develops.


Morphological psychology, a relatively new conceptualization of the human mind, states that our minds experience metamorphosis throughout our lives. Unlike the singular physical metamorphosis animals undergo, our minds are continually adapting and changing. Morphological psychology is composed of six major parts that Salber believes defines human motivation: acquisition, transformation, impact, structure, expansion, and resources. Salber theorizes that these components are the driving force behind what we do, and the struggles between these six components of the mind are what make us who we are.


We desire to keep what we have; yet we also want change. We long to make an impact on the world, but we crave safety. We acknowledge our limitations, but we also strive to break them. Life is full of these inner struggles, and each action we take shapes us as we one part overrides the other. Our identities are ever growing, metamorphosing even through the tiniest actions we take.


But where does this fit into our everyday lives? Although still a nascent theory that seems relatively purposeless, morphological psychology is becoming increasingly more used throughout the world and serves several real-life applications. For example, its analysis of the human subconscious aids the marketing world to understand how customers make decisions on what to buy and what brand to be loyal towards. No matter how rational, no matter how intelligent, customers are still people with emotions. So, to understand how to best advertise towards their consumers, companies are utilizing morphological psychology as a tool to understand how the human mind functions.


As of the current status quo, however, morphological psychology remains a relatively new concept, meaning more time will be necessary to see whether this theory will be able to transform the world as we know it.



 

Sources:


“Morphological Psychology.” Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/11766673.

“Morphological Psychology.” What, amp.what-this.com/28342216/1/morphological-psychology.html.

“Morphological Psychology: Decision-Making.” Koos Service Design, 30 Jan. 2020, www.koosservicedesign.com/tool/service-design-morphological-psychology/.

Singer, Janet. “The Only Constant Is Change.” Psych Central, 8 Oct. 2018, psychcentral.com/lib/the-only-constant-is-change/.


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