Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Model 33

The Extended Self Development Model

When we meet a person and we find that what they say, do, and believe is easily predicted from where they were born and raised, we sense not much of a person is there. When we meet a person and find that nearly nothing they say, do, and believe can be thus predicted from where they were born and raised, we sense a “lot of” person is there. Being more of a person requires not being the simple product of what raised you. Something inside you made you a product of your own work and design, instead of a mere product of your various environments.

You made you in some serious sense if you are quite a bit of a person (Carrithers et al, 1985; Ferrari and Sternberg, 1998; Klar et al, 1992; Kegan, 1991; Carrithers, 1985; Dumont, 1986; Palombo, 1999). Indeed, being a person means inventing your self, creating your self instead of letting your environments create you alone. Being a person means creating your self.

With this idea that being a person is creating a self–perhaps as everyone’s very first and most important creation–we can see how creativity in general might be modeled as extending self development. Some people do not stop at making their own selves something they self-consciously create, but they create a type of self that itself creates other selves and works. They create a creative self type.

Indeed, as a matter of fact, all creators succeed, by definition, in creating such a self. What is more, many creative people have testified to the satisfaction of how creative works speak for them to the world even when they, as people, are not around. The power of creative works to work in stead of persons is one of the main attractions of the creative way of life.

Part of this is perhaps the elemental drive of people to distinguish them selves from one another. The Greek polis was a community of such agonal competitive striving for distinction. The motive was immortality–the only form of it the world then knew of, having the story of one’s great deeds repeated for generations by story tellers through the history of the community. The extended self development model of creativity extends self development to small democratic communities of immortalizing those selves through story telling and celebrating great deeds done. As soon as this is said, readers will notice how much this captures of the satisfaction a creator gets from any one creative work released into the world–it becomes a deed that generates immortal stories that speak for the creator, extending his or her self, even after he or she dies.



  1. […] Two major so far: Models 33 & 41 […]

  2. […] From Greene’s 42 Creativity Models, I began to work on a synthesis to what I initially called the Self-Making Model.  After some thought/work what has finally settled in as feeling right is the Self Extension and Experience Realization [SEER] model of creative practice synthesized from Self Type 33 – Extended Self-Development and Mind Type: 41 – Experience Realization Forms. […]