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STAGES Assessment

The STAGES Assessment identifies your core stage of perspective development within the STAGES model, a new theory and assessment methodology for human development. This is the level from which you consistently make meaning of your life’s experiences. The profile indicates a variety of common themes, including strengths and challenges. These themes include your interior thinking and emotions, your actions and collective experiences, and ways you approach balance between these aspects of your life. The assessment also provides a practical recommendations for further development and learning. Your stage is a coherent and internally consistent belief system that describes how you are likely to think, feel, and behave in various life situations. Each stage also has its own strength and vulnerabilities. STAGES makes subtle and explicit distinctions at all levels of development including the later-end of the personal developmental spiral and includes ego-transcendent perspectives.

If you’d like more information about STAGES you can download an overview of the STAGES Model.


  • Obtain a deep understanding of how you make meaning and what influences your daily strategies and actions.
  • Gain a greater understanding of your relationships, and strategies for communication with others.
  • Learn your stage, or world-view, and level of perspective development.
  • Receive personalized comments on your assessment that highlight your particular strengths, vulnerabilities and learning strategies.
  • Gain a picture of where you are in your developmental path and what is next for you.
  • With optional coaching, gain a deep understanding of the personal implications of your STAGES Assessment, as well as personalized developmental and learning practices you can put to use immediately.

The Assessment Process

The first step in taking an Assessment is to complete a survey. All Assessments are done using a survey method called a Sentence Completion Test (SCT), a well-established methodology that is widely used in psychological research. The person taking the Assessment is given a list of sentence stems and is asked to complete each sentence. We call this list an Inventory. The inventory indicates a variety of common themes, including strengths and challenges. These themes include your interior cognition and emotions, your actions, intersubjective collective experiences, the orientation you have to structures, and ways you approach balance between these aspects of your life.

Choosing an Inventory

If you order the Standard or Premium Assessment, our General Inventory is the default inventory. But you may also choose one of three others:

  • Leadership/Organization: This inventory will have you respond to sentence starters that relate specifically to leadership and organizational life in addition to general sentence starters.
  • Education: This inventory will have you respond to sentence starters that relate specifically to perspectives people take on Education, in addition to general sentence starters.
  • Levels of Love: This inventory will have you respond to sentence starters that relate specifically to perspectives people take on love and how love grows and develops, in addition to general sentence starters.

You may choose one of these if you have a strong interest in that particular area. All inventories will score you at the same level. However, the subset of responses in the specialty inventories will give us an understanding of a level that you are in the specialty and will also help the scorer give you feedback related to these specialty topics.If you don’t have a strong interest in one of these specialty areas then choose the General Inventory.

The Entry Level Assessment is only available as a version of the General Inventory.

What to Expect

After you have completed the Inventory it will be “scored” by a Certified Scorer. Scoring is the process of evaluating each completed sentence and assigning a developmental level to it. The scoring process is very rigorous and is continually validated, and all Scorers must complete a rigorous training process and be certified to score.

Based on the results of your Inventory, the Scorer will write a report giving you detailed feedback about your results, including:

  • A summary statement that describes your level of development and the range of levels you scored in.
  • The themes we find in four categories: Your interiors, your action orientation, your intersubjectivity and your structural orientation.
  • Recommendations for practice based on your results.

You will typically receive your report within 21 days of completing your Inventory.

After the report is delivered to you, you will be contacted by a Certified Debriefer to schedule a debrief of the report. (Except for the Entry Level Assessment, which does not include a Debrief.) The Debrief is a one hour session conducted by phone, Skype, Zoom, etc., in which the Debriefer will explain the report, advise you how to use it, and answer any questions you have. All Debriefers must complete a rigorous training and be certified.

Research Basis

To support the validity of the STAGES model we have done a number of research studies. The first was a replicability study with another ego development scale in which STAGES inventories using the new STAGES scoring system was compared using the Kappa statistic. The results of that study showed a high degree of replicability to the other scale.

Another study was done to show four later levels of development in what we call “The MetAware tier”. Because there was no other scale that had all four of these stages we did an inter-rater reliability study which also gave us a very respectable reliability rating at each of the four later levels. To shore this up we have been doing a longitudinal study over the past 13 years testing and retesting research clients every two years to follow their development. This study has shown that these research clients move from stage to stage into and through the four MetAware stages. This supports the developmental trajectory of these four later stages which an inter-rater reliability can’t show.

For the purpose of triangulation a rich and rigorous literature review was done on all parts of the scale and the theory it was built upon.

Lastly as a support to the STAGES scale we have done a study on a million and a half words, following their placement within developmental levels. We have created a four quadrant rubric to pour every client’s completions through, and this is a another test for the accuracy of the scoring process. It helps us take another look from a completely different lens at the developmental level of the client.

We also create specialty inventories in which the general inventory is altered by taking out 6 sentence starters and adding in 6 specialty sentence starters. We have a number of people take the new specialty inventory and then submit them to our statistician who does a Cronbach’s Alpha to ensure that we are still testing what this test is supposed to test; ego development and the perspectives that arise out of that. Below you will see the different types of inventories that are available for taking.

What People are Saying

There are many wonderful approaches to understanding human development and the evolution of meaning-making. But forced to choose one, I would give my recommendation to the STAGES assessment and the team at Pacific Integral. Their grasp of identity growth over the lifespan is unmatched in both the psychological and spiritual dimensions. Further, their model is deeply grounded in the work of Ken Wilber and Integral Theory, while extending and sharpening those insights in novel and impressive ways. Whether you are seeking a professional-level understanding of how people change over time, or a personal assessment to guide your own growth-process, the STAGES approach will serve you deeply. Mark Forman PhD

Author, A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy and Lead Instructor, the Certified Integral Psychotherapist (CIT) Professional Training Program

As a founding member of the Integral Institute, a founding teacher at the Integral Spiritual Center and as a part of the STAGES research team it is clear to me that in unparalleled ways STAGES honors, weaves together, and builds on Ken Wilber’s integral theory and the work of Jane Loevinger and Susanne Cook-Greuter on stages of human development. Through STAGES, Dr. Terri O’Fallon has developed the cutting edge theoretical and practical approach to provide the world the best means yet to understand, measures and pursue the interrelated quest of growing up and waking up into the highest reaches of human potential.

John Kesler

I have been working with the MAP/STAGES model for many years and find the assessments and underlying theory to be invaluable in working with leaders to better understand themselves and improve their effectiveness. When leaders understand their center of gravity and can assess others, they are able to modulate their leadership approach and communication style to resonate with those being led. This understanding and ability to adjust can significantly improve the leader’s ability to deliver against the organization’s mission. Maureen Metcalf

CEO, Metcalf & Associates, Inc.

When looking at what you see, and seeing what you are looking at becomes an important part of who you are, few have been able to include language as an important clue for holding such an Inquiry. While holding this lightly, the tensegrity between resilience and robustness in Terri’ devotional work has contributed significantly to my own ongoing inquiry about trusting trustworthiness. Terri’ work makes such an endeavour potentially generative, allowing staying with not knowing, and enables all that accompanies the experience of that, and the nuances and distinctions we find there, increasingly closer to now. Jean Trudel

Terri’s work brings the opportunity to appreciate the stages of ego development in a different register – beyond the usual cognitive way of knowing, Terri puts within our reach a heart and body sense, of our individual and universal becoming, in STAGES, a way to connect in which is at once accessible, and expansive. David Ford

Former CEO, CareOregon

Terri’s work brings the opportunity to appreciate the stages of ego development in a different register – beyond the usual cognitive way of knowing, Terri puts within our reach a heart and body sense, of our individual and universal becoming, in STAGES, a way to connect in which is at once accessible, and expansive. Trish Nowland

I have been privileged to study closely with Terri as she has been developing her STAGES work and that process has been and continues to be like staring out through the diamond eyes of countless individuals. When we learn to look through the perspectives of others by this lens, the world that is revealed is one of harmony and majesty, replete with all of the suffering and sadness and joy and wisdom that it is to be human. I have found over the years that the leading benefit I derive from an enriched understanding of these stages of development is an increased capacity for compassion through insight into myself and into the others with whom I engage. Kabir Kadre


This is the recommended Assessment for most people. It defaults to the Standard Inventory but you may choose the Inventory of your choice (details below) Included is a detailed report with 2-3 recommended practices, plus a one hour Debrief. Scoring and Debriefing are done by Certified Scorers and Debriefers.

Assessment Report and Debrief: XXX

Entry Level

This Assessment is best for those who want to get an accurate assessment of their developmental level, but aren’t ready to commit to a full Assessment.

Consists of a an abbreviated Standard Inventory (16 stems) and a more concise report. Does not include a Debrief. Scoring is done by Certified Scorers.

If after taking the Entry Level Assessment you would like to take the Standard or Premium Assessment with Debrief, we will give you a discount of $150 you can apply if you order either of them within _6_ months.

Assessment Report Only: XXX


This is an enhanced version of Standard Assessment:

  • Scoring and Debriefing are done by Terri O’Fallon PhD. Terri is the developer and principal researcher of the STAGES Model, and she has trained and certified all of our Scorers and Debriefers.
  • The report is more detailed and has more recommended practices
  • The Debrief is 75 minutes (vs. 60 for Standard)

Assessment Report and Debrief: XXX

Certified Practitioners

Most people find that once they have completed an Assessment it is very helpful to get ongoing support from a coach, therapist or other counsellor. This support is particularly helpful in working with Shadow material, which by definition can be very hard to see.

We maintain a network of coaches, mentors, consultants and therapists who use STAGES in their work with clients. All practitioners in this network are Certified Debriefers and we have formal agreements to insure their use of STAGES conforms to high professional and ethical standards. We nourish this network with ongoing training, and we encourage practitioners to share their experience so that we can continually refine STAGES and its applications.

Click here for a list of our certified Practitioners.


How is STAGES different from other developmental models?
While the developmental research on which it is based grew out of the Loevinger/Cook-Greuter developmental lineage, the theory and scoring method are completely new. STAGES statistical research supports three new, later stages of development; it is an integrally based model, incorporating quadrants, levels and zones, assessing both context and whole person. Based on essential patterns of development, STAGES articulates both the wave-like patterns, as well as vertical stage aspects of development.
I am concerned about labeling people with a stage of development and placing some people higher than others. How do you address this?
Your stage of development is not you. By seeing yourself through this assessment, you are seeing into a certain aspect of yourself. Who you really are is much more than any theory anyone can ever have about you. This stage is a kind of center we balance ourselves around, while in different situations we may respond from earlier or later stages. We therefore have both a tendency towards a center of gravity and also a contextual response to the situation at hand. Development does not progress step-by-step, but in a much more complex pattern. In short, it is important to hold any model lightly and use it to support yourself in ways that are beneficial, and of course, not label yourself or anyone else with a developmental stage.
Are the higher stages better, more valuable, more important, etc?
The later stages are just that – later. We say this because people go through previous stages to get to the new ones, and this implies more experience. However you live the stage you are in, how happy, generous, compassionate, will determine more about whether the stage you are in is more valuable or more important. Later stages may have capacities that earlier stages don’t have, but they can have pathologies that limit those capacities. It’s all about what you do with where you are.
Why are the models so linear and concrete? Development seems like a much messier process and doesn’t seem to follow these linear, stair-step kind of models?
This model isn’t a stair-step model. It is vertical, horizontal and diagonal, and it includes states as a part of development. We see the stages developing in a wave like fashion. No two waves are exactly the same. Nonetheless if we use the human body as a metaphor, humans all have the same number of bones in their skeleton. On top of that are their organs, their muscles and circulatory and nervous system, skin, etc., as well as the human personality. This model works more on the level of the skeleton. It won’t tell you what someone’s personality is like, or if their face is “beautiful,” black or brown, male or female—it simply describes the skeleton. Everything else is unique.
How do I take the Assessment?
It is a web-based system. After purchasing your Assessment, you will receive an invitation with full instructions to take the inventory. You your responses to 36 sentence starters will be securely recorded online. After the scoring is complete, you will receive your report online. We have been working with web-based scoring and reporting for the past 5 years.
How are results collated?
We have implemented a statistical formula into the platform so that once the scoring has been completed, it will generate the “ogive” statistical score. But our analysts spend a lot of time looking at the strength of the responses in addition to that statistical score, and their input is a valuable part of the final scoring process.
Are results interpreted by the assessor initially or is it an automatically generated profile?
Although the statistics are automatically generated, the analyst scores each individual sentence, generates the comments by looking at the patterns in the writing of the participant, and generates recommendations that are specific to the particular responses of the participant.
What does the final report look like?
The final report is an electronic report and indexed so that you can go back and forth between the comments, the stages descriptions, your responses, and the statistical results, seamlessly. The online report will always be indefinitely accessible to you online. Any part of the report can be printed.
Is it only for individuals or can you stage assess teams or organizations?
We score individuals, but we can collate individual inventories for a team or an organization so that you can learn the center of gravity of your organization, and the range of levels the organization or team has within them, and compare to other samples.

Certified Analysts

Terri O’Fallon PhD, Founder of the STAGES Model & Research Director
Geoff Fitch, Certified Analyst & Coach
Venita Ramirez, Certified Analyst
John Kesler, Certified Analyst

If you have questions about the Assessment process or need help registering, please contact us.