Systems Psychology

The Emotional Perceptive Cycle Theory of Creative Thought Formation

The Emotional Perceptive Cycle Theory of Creative Thought Formation

Feeling tone theory offers new insights into understanding how we form creative thoughts and points out new ways for improving education. It comprises the synthesis of William Gray’s emotional-cognitive structure theory and Paul LaViolette’s emotional-perceptive cycle theory.

In 1983, Dr. LaViolette served as consultant to Hughes Aircraft Corporation in Los Angeles in which he described the feeling tone theory of creative thought formation to upper and mid management personnel suggesting ways they could stimulate employee creativity. Dr. William Gray, Lucille Gray, and Aristide Escher were also part of the consulting team. One Hughes CEO later disclosed that they had saved over $40 million by applying these creativity stimulating principles to their work force. This individual also said that he had shared these creativity-stimulating ideas with CEOs of other major corporations.

To learn more about feeling tone theory explore the cyber portals below.


Portal Alpha

The article "Teaching with Feeling in Mind" by Paul LaViolette

Portal Beta

Comments about LaViolette's emotional-perceptive cycle theory

Portal Gamma

Musician Steve Roach describes his creative process in terms of feeling tones

Portal Delta

Book: A Systems View of Man, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, edited by P. LaViolette


Discussion of the LaViolette-Gray Feeling Tone Theory in the Literature

  1. The book by John Briggs entitled Fire in the Crucible: Understanding the Process of Creative Genius sites LaViolette’s ideas on creative thought formation. See book excerpt.
  2. The LaViolette-Gray feeling tone theory is also discussed in the book by John McCarthy entitled Remapping Reality: Chaos and Creativity in Science and Literature. See book excerpt.
  3. The feeling tone theory is also reviewed in the book by Barbara Martin and Leslie Briggs entitled The Affective and Cognitive Domains: Integration for Instruction and Research. See book excerpt.
  4. The theory is mentioned in Charles Reigeluth’s book (1999) entitled Instructional-design Theories and Models: Vol. 2, A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory. See book excerpt.
  5. The feeling tone theory is discussed in the paper by Kerry O’Regan, “Emotion and E-Learning.” published in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. Vol. 7 (2003): 78-92.
  6. The theory is discussed in Ngiom Lim’s 2009 doctoral thesis entitled “A structure for architectural innovation: Mindshaping,” on pp. 112-113, 195-196, and 203.
  7. The theory is also examined in Van Tharp’s article entitled “Feeling and Trading.”
  8. The theory is also examined by John Briggs in his article “Nuance, Metaphor and the Rythym of the Mood Wave in Virginia Woolf.
  9. The theory is briefly mentioned in Dee Dickinson’s article “New Horizons.”
  10. The theory is also mentioned briefly by Dr. Henry Stein, Director of the Alfred Adler Institute in his lecture entitled “Adler’s legacy: Past and future.” He mentions it in his paragraph Brain Functioning.
  11. It is one of the theories that was instrumental in the development of the Optima Learning accelerated learning method.

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