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P.I.E.S. and Psychology

Updated on June 5, 2010

P.I. E. S. Assessment Model

We are all, in a way, like apple pie
We are all, in a way, like apple pie

A Tale of Synergy

Imagine if you will the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven. If you are a fan and lover of apple pie your mouth may start watering as you imagine this aroma. If you are not a fan of apple pie, your response to this imagination might be different. Either way, your imagination will take you to a place associated with your impressions and memories of apple pie.

Now, let's go back to the beginning as we start to bake the pie.

Imagine tasting a slice of the apple that you will be using in the pie. How is that taste? Is it apple pie yet?

Imagine tasting some of the sugar you will put into the mixture that will be put into the pie shell. How does that taste? Is the sugar it self the apple pie?

Imagine tasting the salt you will put into the filling. How does that taste? Is it yet apple pie?

Imagine tasting the cinnamon that you will put into the filling. How does the cinnamon taste by itself. Is that apple pie?

Imagine tasting the lemon juice. Is that apple pie? Imagine tasting the apple cider vinegar. Is that apple pie?

Now mix all these together and taste the raw uncooked filling mixture. How does that taste? Is it now apple pie? Does it smell mouth-watering yet?

Now taste the flour that will be used in the crust. Now taste the butter or shortening that will be used in the crust. Now the water. Are any of these individually or combined the experience of apple pie?

Now taste some of the raw crust wrapped around the raw filling. Is it apple pie?

Now put the raw pie shell filled with the filling mixture and put it into an oven. Soon something occurs. The ingredients start to meld and mix and give off a combined aroma that becomes the smell and taste of something quite different that the smell and taste of those same components individually. It is becoming greater than the sum of the parts. A process that we call baking or cooking has taken place.

Synergy has occurred. The pie comes out of the oven. It is served and it is delightful...or not so delightful depending on your tastes and memories. I like mine with whipped cream and coffee.

How are we synergistic?  How are we like P.I.E.S.?
How are we synergistic? How are we like P.I.E.S.?

We Are Synergistic. We are P.I.E.S.

One perspective about personality, a theory if you will, is that we are very much like pies.  We have different aspects of who we are that when seen from a synergistic view make up the totality of who we are that is greater than any of the individual aspects.

So what are the "ingredients" that make up who we are....that make up our pies?

Are we not Physical beings?  This is the "P" in the P.I.E.S. model.

Are we not Intellectual beings? This is the 'I" in the P.I.E.S. model.

Are we not Emotional beings?  This is the "E" in the P.I.E.S. model.

Are we not Spiritual beings?  This is the "S" in the P.I.E.S model.

(Some would prefer to relate the "S" to Social  being.  This is one possible "ingredient".  However, I believe that the Social element is also about the environment in which the PIES that we are is served. 

So, we are Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual. Each of these aspects of who we are has an impact on each of the other aspects.

The multiple possibilities of interactions between our inner self and the environment in which we live, the societies and cultures in which we live, the significant others with whom we interact all combine and are synergistic.  They make us who we are, they determine how we act and interact, 

We are synergistic.  We are PIES! 

The Physical

We are Physical Beings:

Are you tall, short, thin, obese?  Do you have blue, brown, green, hazel colored eyes?  Do you have fair, olive, dark, or freckled skin?

Are you big boned or small framed?

Does size matter?  Are you big breasted?  Well hung?  Do you have large or small hands?

Do you have genes for long life or short life?  Are you predisposed to diabetes?  Do you have a genetic history of depression or bi-polar disorder? 

Do you know about it?

What race are you?  Does it matter?

Do you tan easily or do you burn in the sun?

Are you coordinated or a clutz?

How is your vision?

All of these, and of course, many other things are part of our physical being.  These characteristics have an impact on how we thing about ourselves, how we are seen by others, how we feel about ourselves, and the emotions we experience in response to how we interact with the environment in which we find ourselves.

If you were always chosen last to be on the team because you were small and not athletic you may have had one type of response and belief about yourself.  If you were always chosen to be captain or picked first you may have had a different response.  You may have wondered why people liked you.

If someone always told you, you were beautiful, but never asked you for an opinion or for the answer to a question you might view your worth based only on one aspect of who you are.

The physical aspects of who were are, are interconnected to how we think and feel about ourselves and impact on our spiritual connection to others in our personal universes.

The Intellectual

We are Intellectual beings. We are Mental beings.

I am smart.  I am ignorant.  I can do it.  I cannot do it.  I am fat. I am skinny.  I am lovable.  No one likes me.  I am honest. I am a liar.  I will succeed.  I am a failure.

You are so smart. You are a loser.  You are so beautiful.  You are as ugly as a post.

There are obviously too many thoughts and beliefs that we have about ourselves and that others impose upon us to list here.

We have thousands and thousands of thoughts and patterns of thoughts that shape how we perceive ourselves.  These patterns and thoughts have an ompact on our emotions and on our physical well being.

When we are physically tired,in general, it is harder to remain positive about life. When the fatigue is a thought process that we have not hope and nothing we do matters, we can get even more drained.  The fatigue feeds the emotion, the emotion feeds the thought, the thought triggers release of brain chemicals which affects physical well-being or lack of.

When others, especially significant others, feed us thoughts about ourselves that we accept as reality, it can affect our capability to accomplish goals.   If we are built-up, if we are torn down, we are product of what we think and believe.

Intellectual and mental functioning are connected to emotional and physical well-being.  Also connected to intellectual and mental processing is our spiritual well-being.

One man I knew who had committed serious and violent crimes remained in an addictive pattern of behavior.  (His physical status as an addict affected his thinking and emotions) He believed that his inherent "badness" was greater than what he believed was God's capacity to forgive. Since he was certain to be condemned by A God who could not forgive his horrific criminal past, he might as well continue to use and do crime and be numb.  He came to a realization that it was his ego, (thoughts) telling him he was incapable of being forgiven.  Once he determined that is was ego and not reality, he was able to decide that he wanted to change and to heal.  He stopped using.  He discovered he was bi-polar and that was part of his patterns of rage and ego.   The man was transformed by a change in thought. It changed his emotional status and allowed him to think differently and change his physical status.  This was a synergistic transformative process!

We are Physical and Intellectual beings.

The Emotional

We are Emotional Beings.

We have feelings.  We have emotions.  There are so many words that attempt to describe the wide range of emotions we experience.

A man named Robert Plutchik (1996) suggested there were eight basic emotions:

Joy, Acceptance, Fear, Surprise, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Anticipation,  He believed that these emotions often combine to form secondary emotions such as love, submission, awe, disappointment, remorse, contempt, aggressiveness, and optimism.

These are not inclusive lists.

We all experience emotions based on our responses to what happens to us in our lives and the thoughts we have about those events.  These emotions then trigger other thoughts.  In combination the thought/emotion sequences create physiological or internal changes.   Such changes lead to behavioral expressions.  These in turn cause the others to whom these behaviors are shown or expressed, including ourselves to have new thoughts and responses.Emotions  lead to cognitive interpretations.  We think about how we feel and use these thoughts to interpret why what is happening to us is happening.

He did "x" because he thinks I am mad at him.  She did "y" because I am not good enough for her.

Emotions also have motivational tendencies.  Pleasure motivates us towards people and events.  Anxiety moves us away and into flight.  Anger motivates us to fight against loss or perceived threat.  Sadness moves us to shut down and avoid the situation.

All of these tend to cause us to become synergistic in how we deal and cope.  One area, affects the other areas.

We are Emotional, Intellectual (mental), and Physical beings.  This impacts how we vies he world from the Spiritual dimensions of who we are.

The Spiritual

We are Spiritual beings.

Most people have some belief,some system, some way of answering the questions about why we are even here on this planet.  For some this translates in religious practice and belief.  Fro some this translates into what some call "New Age" beliefs. I personally do not believe that the beliefs are really "New" but are formulations of beliefs long held by earlier explanations.  For some this translates into a belief of scientific theory and fact. Agnosticism and Atheism are forms of Spirituality under this broad definition since they too offer explanation about why we are here type questions.

In the most general of terms this dimension, this "ingredient" provides one pathway to connection.  Besides answering why we are here, spiritual considerations also provide reason and means of enhancing relationships and connections between people.

For some this is physical, for some it is "energetic", for some it is commonly held beliefs that are based on faith and the creeds and conventions of their religious affiliations.

The thoughts and emotions and physical responses to one's spiritual systems of consideration are all inter-related.

It has been shown fro example that prayer has an impact on healing.  Not all who are prayed for will have spontaneous remission of cancers, but some do.  Sometimes there are miraculous recovery and healing that science and medicine by itself cannot explain away.

"Energy" healing work, which falls under the domain of spiritual belief and consideration also has demonstrated efficacy.  This is more complicated because belief is both part of spirituality and an intellectual acceptance of the possibility that it will work.  The ability to conceive that one can be healed allows the body to release chemicals that might impact the healing process.

Spiritual systems of belief have an impact on how people interact with significant others, an impact on people interact with the communities in which they live, an impact on how people's perceptions of world events, and an impact on how wee see life in general.  It is interrelated to all the areas we have discussed in this article

We are Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual beings.

We are P.I.E.S.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You've imressped us all with that posting!

    • clark farley profile image

      clark farley 

      8 years ago


      Finally someone around here who gets that the real secret to understanding people (and their behavior) is not checking off a list of 'Traits' or 'Drives' or anything else...

      Understanding personality(s) as you rightly point out, must start with standing in the person's shoes.

      (And) not just seeing the world as they see it....that's an old trap where you say, "I am standing in the other person's shoes, this is what I see" (and you proceed to describe what you (italics here) see.

      I read your P.I.E.S. thing as an attempt to experience the other person's reality, not just thinking you know what they see.

      Good hub, good idea.


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