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P.I.E.S. and Psychology 2

Updated on June 8, 2010

The P.I.E.S. Model

This is a follow-up article to the Hubpage P.I.E.S. and Psychology.  As stated in this previous article, it is my contention that our personalities and human dynamics are composed of four basic areas of consideration.  These four areas are the Physical, the Intellectual (mental), the Emotional, and the Spiritual (some would say Social) domains.

Each of these areas are interconnected to each of the other areas and each are interdependent one one another.  The synergistic interactions of these aspects of who we each are, makes us each the unique personality and individual that we part.

There is another layer of synergy with which the PIES interact.  That is the environment in which the PIES exists.  The environment in which the PIES are served.

This environmental consideration can be looked at from many different perspectives,  Each of these interact with each of the domains of the PIES in a synergistic way.  Each of the elements of the serving environment also interact with one another in this same synergistic dance.

Four basic parts of the environment could be considered to be the following.

Culture, Sub-Culture, Significant Others (family, friends) and Physical Environment.  Each of theses will be considered below.

The Culture

The Culture that we are born into has an impact on who we are.  It has an impact on our P.I.E.S. 

The Culture into which we are born influences the relative wealth or poverty with which we will be raised. 

Culture influence how we are valued as individuals. 

Culture influences how we are valued as males or females.

Culture influences how we values things such as education, work, environment, and money.  This is not an exhaustive list.

Culture has an impact on how we perceive our bodies.  Culture influences how we perceive spiritual matters.  Culture influences how we view Social Norms.

Culture influences how we view groups within our cultures, the sub-cultures if you will.  Does a culture expect homogeneous behavior where all adapt to the norms, to the faith, to the rules of that culture?  Does the culture have room for heterodoxy and an ability to expect and respect diversity?

Some see America as a melting pot where all who come here from other cultures are assimilated and are expected to adapt American traditions.  Some see this as strength.  Some thing this assimilation means that America should only have one official language.

Culture affects how we think about ourselves,  Culture influences in many ways how we grow and how we thrive on a physical basis.  Americans value thinness and youth. Some cultures value a larger size body for females or venerate the elderly.  Culture influences emotions.  IN some culture public display of emotion is encouraged and endorsed.  In Some cultures the public display of emotion is frowned upon and discouraged.  Culture influences Spirituality.  Some cultures endorse belief in a specific manifestation of deity.  The lines between society and politics, between private and public worship of deity are thin,  some cultures discourage and punish belief in deity.  Some political systems, or economic systems  impose beliefs on the people.

Culture influences all elements of our P.I.E.S. as well as influence sub-Cultural norms, our significant others, and to some degree the physical environments in which we live.

Synergy is at play here.  Next we will look at how sub-cultural values fit this pattern and into the P.I.E.S. model.


Within the context of cultural influences on who we are in relationship to the P.I.E.S model as discussed in this Hub and the previous Hubpage entitled "P.I.E.S. and Psychology" is the phenomena of "Sub-culture."

The Sub-culture to which we belong has a synergistic relationship to each of the other elements and components of the environment as well as to each and every aspect of the P.I.E.S. model.

Our sub-cultural identification can influence aspects of who we are Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, and Spiritually.

Our sub-cultural identification can influence aspects of how we fit into the dominant culture to which we belong to with which we identify,

Our sub-cultural identification can influence aspects of how we relate to our significant others, especially if we identify with a different sub-culture than that of our significant others,

Our sub-cultural identification can influence aspects of our physical environment by shaping where we chose to live and/or where we choose to spend our time. It may influence who we spend economic resources.

Again Our sub-cultural identification can influence all aspects of who we are in a synergistic way in the context of the P.I.E.S. model.

Being female in America has certain influences on being as part of American society,as does being male. Being a Latina has a different influence than being Afro-American or of Euorpean ancestry.

Being a musician in high school has a different influence (read band geek) than being a jock and athletic, although one does not exclude the other. Consider the popularity of the reent T.V. series Glee!

Being young has a different influence than being aged. Being a "Boomer" has a different influence than being generation X.

Being from the rural south has a different influence than being from New York City.

If you were a 'Hippie' in the 1960s you had different influences than if you were an "Okie from Muskogee".  If your daddy was an Okie and you were a hippie....fireworks!

If you are blue in a red state or red in a blue state there are different influences.

If you are a skater you have different  relationships with the police than if you are a member of future farmers of America.  Again the two are not mutually exclusive.

If you are an atheist you will have a different relationship with some politicians than if you are a born again Evangelical Christian.

There are, of course, many sub-cultural affiliations, too many to list.  Membership in each has both positive and not to positive influences depending on how membership in each fits into other dynamics.  It is possible to be a member of more than one sub-culture within the main culture to one which belongs.

Hopefully, not offending anyone, it was once said being a black, lesbian, female in the deep South in America was a hard road to follow compared to being a white, Christian male business executive.

Sub-culture has an impact on how we live and function and upon who we are. 

Some of this is freely chosen.  Some is genetically determined.  Some is dictated by economic status.  No matter how one arrives at Sub-cultural determination and identification it has a synergistic interaction with other components of the P.I.E.S. Model.

Significant Others

Another aspect of the total environment in which are P.I.E.S. are served would be the impact of Significant Others.

Significant Others can be family. Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters can certainly be Significant Others.

Grandfathers and Grandmothers can also be Significant Others,as can be Aunts and Uncles and Cousins.

But it is not only family that can be Significant Others. Sometimes teachers can be Significant Others. Sometimes ministers, priests, and other religious leaders can be Significant Others. Anyone who exerts a significant influence can be a Significant Other.

The impact/influence that a Significant Other (S0) has can be positive or negative. The impact can come from influence over long periods of time. The impact can come from one traumatic event. The influence can come from direct communication or from behavioral example.

Let's look at some examples.

A father who chooses not to be part of a child's life and abandons the mother and child. This father is an SO who has an impact by his absence. He may send a message of unworthiness to the young child. A nagging uncertainty about self-worth. If the mother is left financially destitute by the abandonment, then this SO will have an impact on the physical environment in which the child grows. If the mother needs to work two jobs, her child may be raised in daycare facilities. This SO relationship will add the child's perception of his or her worthiness or lack of. Abandonment takes many forms.

A woman who is addicted to drugs and uses during pregnancy is an SO who may' well have an impact on her unborn child's physical and intellectual well being.  If she continues to use after the child is born, she may well be unavailable to the child in a wide spectrum of ways.  She may be an SO who puts her drug of choice in a position of importance in her life that is greater than the place her child takes.  It is possible, of course, but not highly likely, that an addicted mother will be able to have a positive influence on her child and still be 100% available to that child.

A teacher might tell one child that s/he will never amount to anything and will never learn math.  This teacher as an SO might plant the seeds of doubt that will grow into a nagging self-doubt and efficacy that will follow a child throughout his or her school experience.  The same teacher might encourage a different child who does not accept that message based on the messages other SO's have given him or her, to prove the teacher incompetent and wrong.

A priest or other religious figure who takes advantage of a child and abuses that child sexually or otherwise may influence that child's  whole spiritual belief system.  The broken trust of any abusive relationship is similar.  An SO who harms a child and breaks trust and love has a long term impact and influence even if there was only one time occurrence of the abuse.  The impact is, of course, influenced by all of the other dynmaics operating in an individual's P.I.E.S..

There are many other examples that are too numerous to mention.

It is important to know that an SO has his own P.I.E.S. dynamics that influence why he or she is functioning and acting towards others.  Relationship dynamics are complicated.  Any individual is influenced by the messages and treatment he or she receives from Significant Others,

Knowing that not all messages given and received from Significant Others are necessarily accurate and real is part of a process of interpersonal growth and individuation.  It is possible to embrace the positive influences and release the negative influences of these Significant Others once the are identified.  It is possible to alter the ingredients of the P.I.E.S. that we are.

Physical Environment

The Physical Environment in which we live has an impact on how we interact with other elements of the complete environment in which the P.I.E.S. that we are nourish,flourish, and grow into who we each are as unique individuals.

The physical environment includes the geographic location in which we are raised and or live. The physical environment includes the economic circumstances in which we are raised and or lived. The physical environment includes the types of neighborhood in which we were raised and lived. The physical environment includes the type of nutrition that was or was not available to us as we were raised and as we live.

We are not enslaved by the circumstances of the physical environment in which we are raised and live, but we are affected by it.

Living in New York City is different than living in the rain forest of Brazil. Living in Harlem has different affect than being raised on Park Avenue. Of course these influences are shaped and influenced by who an individual is physically , intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually (P.I.E.S.).

This information may seem obvious, however, clarifying how synergy works within the context of the P.I.E.S. model helps to understand how we function in the present moment.

Living in a physical environment near the ocean might have a different set of influences than living in an environment near the mountains and seasons marked by snowfall. Living in a climatic region where it rains a lot is different than living in an environment where the sun shines more days than not.

Consider the differences between living near the equator rather than above the Arctic Circle.

Consider the difference between living in an area with deciduous trees where there is a full fall season with leaves turning colors and in an area where there are primarily conifers and fall is not marked by turning leaves.  One is not better than the other it is just different and shapes how we interact with the environment.

Consider growing up on a farm around animals and knowing where it is meat comes from.  Imagine raising a steer from its infancy, feeding it every day, and then knowing the food you are eating, the steak or burger comes from that animal you raised.  Imagine being involved in 4H and selling your project knowing that it will be food for others.  This is a different experience than  getting all your food at the local grocery store or at a fast food outlet.  Again, not better, necessarily, or worse, just different.  Knowing your food changes your relationship to it.

Eating food grown in your own garden is different than eating frozen or canned.

Living in the inner core of a major city comes with certain environmental noise.  The constant noise of traffic, sirens, truck brakes, can be  quite loud to one who is not used to it.  People adapt to it. Some people learn to speak more loudly than others so they can be heard above the din of the environment.  If you are raised in the country where the main noise is the wind in the trees and the sound of owls calling in the night, you might be more soft spoken.

If you go to visit the other environment, you might have trouble sleeping.  Too much, too little noise.

There are so many examples, too many to be inclusive.

Another set of possibilities in the are of how physical environment has an impact.  Again this may seem obvious.

Growing up with enough money to have everything you want without worry is different than growing up not knowing where the next meal comes from.  This is impacted upon by all the other cultural, sub-cultural, and significant other influences.  Hunger and poverty have an impact.  Being "spoiled" creates a sense of entitlement.  Especially when significant others share messages that those poorer are of less value and somehow accountable for their own poverty.

In closing this capsule of this hub on the P.I.E.S. model I would again mention that the physical environment in which we are raised has influences on all other areas of the model.


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