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Claims There Is No Research On Endogenics

The term "endogenic" is fairly new, and it's a community-based term. Like the difference between "multiple personality disorder" and/or "multiple" or "the dissociated system" and various ways the professionals refer to clients or study subjects, versus "plural" which is a community-driven term, we cannot look for studies on "endogenic systems" in the psychology literature.

So what is it that psychology calls "endogenic" experiences, and why is it so difficult to make the connection back to the research & literature?

Frankly, many folk with endogenic experiences never end up in a research study, or in a therapists' office, and rarely hang out in DID support groups, etc. They may, however, end up in say a Hearing Voices support group, or other spaces where their experiences of plurality are accepted without confrontation.

In more open-ended/boundary-less spaces such as Twitter, there's more confrontation between DID systems and endogenic systems, a lot of fake-claiming of endogenic systems, and shitposting about "not proven" by research etc. And these claims against endogenic systems are untrue. This is setting aside that, since presence of trauma before plurality is not a diagnostic point of difference, endogenic systems can also be DID-diagnosed and need therapy. Belief or subjective perceptions of how your headmates came about is not a diagnostic criteria at all.

The book The Plural Self came out in 1999, we (Crisses) got a copy of it shortly after. When folk started using the term "plural" around us more (circa 2017) it was packed in a container in storage and we had forgotten we owned it. When we finally got housing in 2020, we found it again and took a better look at it (yes, we collect research materials we don't have the time to read cover-to-cover, and we still haven't read it cover-to-cover). That's where we found some of the hints for other terminology to look for various plural experiences under such as "subpersonalities" and "polypsychism". We had already heard of "self-pluralism" which is likely how we found the book in the first place.

Reference Materials

If someone says "there is no research" they're incorrect. This is a page to help with emotional labor of endogenic folk who keep hearing this excuse to fake claim them.

You will need to find these articles or books via a research library, online research account, research librarian (who can email you a copy), interlibrary loan, potentially Google Scholar or Google Books, or other resources. You might find them with a web search with "pdf" -- but due to copyright constraints we cannot supply these articles — but we can point you to the titles and relevant search terms when these apply.

Multiplicity of the self originated in the work of James (1950) who proposed that a variety of alternating states of being are characteristic of normal, well functioning personalities. Gergen (1971) described multiple conceptions of the self, Mair (1997) referred to a ‘community of selves’, Markus and Wurf (1987) proposed a multifaceted self-concept and Rowan (1990) termed multiplicity as composed of ‘subpersonalities’. These theories conceptualize identity as constituted by multiple selves (named polypsychism, self-pluralism or multiplicity; Rowan and Cooper, 1998) which operate in a personality system that can be more or less integrated, adaptive, fluid, coherent and consistent. At one extreme of this concept, a view is that individuals seek unity (monopsychism) and consistency in personality and this position is related to health (Erikson, 1968).

This assumption is supported by research showing that polypsychism or multiplicity represents maladaptivity and compromised identity (Altrocchi, 1998). Altrocchi and McReynolds (1997) report the development of a self-report scale that aims to measure multiplicity, named the Brief Self-Pluralism Scale (BSPS). It includes items such as ‘People who know me say that my behaviour changes from situation to situation’ and ‘There are times when I felt like a completely different person from what I was the day before’. Research findings show that individuals who experience greater multiplicity within their personal identity share common features of psychopathology (Altrocchi et al., 1990) whereby polypsychism is associated with self-concept instability, lower self-esteem, less clarity and coherence, negative complexity, greater differentiation, neuroticism and maladjustment.

It is arguable that Dissociative Identity Disorder is the most extreme variant of polypsychism, at the pathological end of the spectrum or dimension of pluralism in self-structure. Differences along this dimension of multiplicity can be considered to range from variability, diversity, heterogeneity and instability (polypsychism) to invariability, homogeneity, unity and stability (monopsychism) in self-experience. It is appropriate to conclude that greater polypsychism or multiplicity signifies greater psychopathology generally, the severe end of this continuum denoted by DID.
— from The personality structure questionnaire (PSQ): a measure of the multiple self states model of identity disturbance in cognitive analytic therapy by Pollak et al in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy (2001).

Look for terms like polypsychism, subpersonalities, ego states (which is extremely broad!), self-pluralism, etc.

This is from a few searches, there are many more resources. The easiest ones to find would be the ones in the references lists for these articles & books.

Please feel free to comment with or use the contact form to submit more resources to add to this page if you come across more documentation, research, studies, discussions etc. whether in current psychology/psychiatry (preferred) or reasonably credible philosophy or historical references.

Jung — the stealth plural?

There's actually a lot of "obvious plurality" in Jung's teachings. Anima/animus, shadow self, archetypes, etc. But how "plural" was Jung?

Note, he never used the word "plural" (which makes a lot of sense as he was Swiss anyway). As always, Jung was dealing with a pluralphobic world, in which folk (almost always women) with demonstrable plurality were deemed hysterical, and folk with DID had the hysterical dissociative subtype. For Jung, being a student of psychology and male helped him discuss his observations, experiences and conversations as intellectual pursuits and not be lumped into the patient cohort and deemed mad for it. It would make sense if he carefully dressed up his experiences with a protective veil to ensure he was not thought "too" out there.

Unfortunately we're limited by people's translations of Jung's original words. When a translation is "heavily edited" one wonders what choices the translators made — what did they exclude? When a word has connotations or multiple meanings in the original language, which English gloss did they choose — did they represent the intent of the original work, or did they massage it with their own biases and interpretations? A translation is always biased this way. As I don't read the original language nor have access to the original text — I could not say what was really said, and whether anyone massaged Jung's prolific work with a heavy hand and plural bias.

Even so, there's a lot out there to find — this is a preliminary sample of some of the tip-offs that strongly suggest if not prove Carl Jung was having experiences of plurality for many years, if not life.

Jung is certainly not a perfect plural role-model, in addition to the above he had what may have been an early attempt at polyamory — his established partner resisted him having another lover for a time but then the implication was this settled into something more amiable later. Was he a womanizer or a plural with a second love-interest? We may never know. Even contemporary plurals struggle with issues around divergent attractions and how to balance non-monogamy in a primarily monogamous society.

Other controversies would be the predominant ideas of the time around believing victims which his mentor Freud had started out with before caving to pressure to disbelieve victims and change his entire philosophy around trauma to basically blame the victim. Jung was mentored within this patriarchal mindset and of course it colors all of his works going forward.

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