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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.


Plurality is a more patient-centered approach to what has historically been referred to as dissociative identities. This is not the same as the DSM-5 diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (American Psychiatric Association 2013). Plurality makes up just one part of the larger diagnosis and does not necessarily cause distress. Although many people who are plural have a history of trauma, there are just as many who do not. A plural system is a collection of all the alters present. With some people these alters might come and go, whereas with others they are static and waiting to be discovered.

When working with plurality, it is necessary for clinicians to be open and transparent with patients about their decision making regarding gender-affirming treatments. Plural people need treatment and assessments just as any patient would. They also may need access to gender-affirming treatments. Approach plural people with a sense of humility and curiosity. Discuss with them what gender means for each of the alters present and whether there will be a shared decision making when pursuing treatment options available.

Clinicians should communicate closely with each other if they are part of a team treating a plural person. All mental health professionals involved should be aware of plurality when it is present so that an appropriate evaluation can take place. These evaluations may need to happen over time so the clinicians can look for the three major hallmarks of someone who can provide consent for treatment: insistency, consistency, and persistency.

Key Points

  • Plurality refers to what many mental health professionals know as dissociative identities.
  • Plurality is not the same as dissociative identity disorder but makes up one part of it.
  • Many plural people are quite happy with the alters present inside them.
  • Plurality is not necessarily caused by trauma, although trauma can be part of the overall picture.
  • Plurality becomes complicated when clinicians are working with gender dysphoria.
  • It is important for mental health professionals to be open and transparent with plural people about their
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.

Studies including Disordered & Non-Disordered Plurality or Multiplicity

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?

Jung advocated living consciously with one's complexes, implying that the goal of the alters cooperating with each other, with the ego in a chairman role, is preferable to the undesirable danger of creating a monolithic `integrated' ego structure. Integration is too often the therapist's goal, to manage the confusion of dealing with too many tongues, or to fulfil the therapist's model of a healthy personality. Integration does not, of course, have to imply the destruction of alter ego perspectives, but unfortunately MPD clients may fear this implication, and react with multiple defensiveness. — from A Jungian Perspective on the Dissociability of the Self

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.

Outright Blatant Studies of Disordered vs. Non-Disordered Plurality

Normal Dimensions Of Multiple Personality Without Amnesia (Kunzendorf et al, 1998-1999, Imagination, Cognition & Personality) Full text available at link. Their hypothesis is that plurality is a normal human experience (of some people, not all) and exists before trauma, and that DID is traumatized plurality.

Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder is generally deemed to be the most severe dissociative disorder, in which trauma not only induces amnesia but also fragments personality [1-5]. Our own alternative thesis is that trauma only induces amnesia (in those who are predisposed dissociate [6]) and that multiple personality without amnesia is a normal individual difference upon which dissociative reactions to trauma may be superimposed.

The possibility that multiple personalities are normal, so long as they can be self-consciously remembered, has previously been suggested by Harter and Hartmann. In Harter's view, not unusual for the normal adolescent to experience himself or herself as different people in different situations [7]. And in Hartmann's schema of thinand thick-boundaried personalities, it is not unusual for the normal adult with thin boundaries to "see one's identity as flexible, changing over time or according to the situation" [8, p. 43]. Moreover, the old DSM-III-R syndrome of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) had diagnostic criteria corresponding to multiple self-identity and multiple self-control, but none corresponding to dissociative amnesia [9], and studies found 30 percent to 50 percent of people with MPD to be "high-functioning" [10, p. 291]. Our thesis predicts that many more, totally normal people with multiple personalities, but no amnesia, never come to the attention of the clinical psychological establishment.

This study specifically created an instrument to test whether someone experienced identity changes and/or amnesias across different areas of their life and whether it would pass the bar of disordered or not. Their discussion section mentions "In post experiment conversations with persons who report Multiple Self Identity and Multiple Self-Control, but no Recall Amnesia/Source Amnesia, all such persons insisted that they truly become different selves in different situations. When specifically queried, they also insisted that this reported shifting of their personality was not a result of semantic interpretation and was not the same as the shifting of their emotion." and other lovely tidbits worth reading.

Studies on Parogenics/Tulpamancy

More Articles - as yet unread/uncategorized.

Additional Community References

We're not the only folk in the community attempting to pull together references/research on Endogenic folks. Here's others.

<< Natural Multiple, Family Systems Theory, and other Theories | ManualTOC | Not from Abuse New >>

See Also


I thought Jung might have lived or had a paracosm at some time during his life.

Comment by Adelaide Dupont on January 21, 2022

We've found this one on spiritual plurality:

It compares experiences of people from few cultures or subcultures where plurality is central in the beliefs of the culture, including tulpamancy, mediumship and Evangelical Christianity. It considers them with a psychosis in mind, later coming to the conclusion that some things treated as features of psychosis are in fact features of the thought itself (as we understand it: hearing voices may be a normal part of human experience and it's not necessarily a sign of mental ilness), but also mentiones the possibility that the spirits in these cultures may sometimes temporarily control the body (definitely a plural trait), which in some of them is perceived as good, but in others as bad and is discouraged. And according to this only some of these people hear voices before becoming involved in the culture's practices (they doesn't mention dissociative disorders whatsoever, but some of these cases could be systems with DID/OSDD interpreting their alters in their religious context), the rest of them has to actively learn to do it through techniques characteristic to that culture, which in general often involve some kind of meditation and speaking to the spirits as they were physically present, and with the guidance of the elders or more experienced practitioners.

Comment by The Rainbow Chaos System on May 25, 2023

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