Paradigms of Inclusion Model

Division operating structure: Paradigms of inclusion model (PIM)

What is the PIM philosophy?

DDI uses the PIM in parallel to the Whole Brain model developed by Ned Herrmann. Ned Herrmann is considered the "Father of brain dominance technology." He drew on the work of Sperry and developed the theory brain dominance where people develop a dominant mode of thinking preference. DDI programs and services are designed to celebrate and empower dominant thinking in order to unveil the unlimited power of diversity. Thinking preferences have their own roots in our genetic makeup and they affect our underlying cognitive capabilities and ultimately our motives for productive and unproductive behaviors. As we develop, we tend to respond with our strongest abilities as these lead to quicker short-term rewards (gratification). Once stronger abilities are identified, DDI programs can create a positive feedback system that will strengthen those abilities. Eventually, this can lead to a powerful preference for one behavior over the other and a dislike and discomfort for other modes of thinking.

Herrmann developed the four-quadrant model of cognitive preferences and a questionnaire called the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). The HBDI divides the brain into four different quadrants with four preferred styles of thinking...and behaviors. The quadrants are:

  1. Left cerebral hemisphere - analytical
  2. Left limic system - sequential
  3. Right limbic system - interpersonal
  4. Right cerebral hemisphere - imaginative

Each quadrant is associated with a color based upon instructions from "The Diversity Game," a game which causes participants to identify their strongest cognitive style and associated behaviors. The color association is: Red for interpersonal, Yellow for imaginative, Blue for analytical and Green for sequential.

The DDI programs and services are designed to collectively represent "whole brain thinking" - the ultimate goal of Herrmann's research, and to transform traditional educational practices. Individually, our programs are housed withing paradigms associated with one of the four brain quadrants. Together, they draw on one another's strengths to effect systemic change in day-to-day university operations (thought) and functionality (creative problem solving). Learn more by visiting the HBDI website.

DDI Paradigms of Inclusion Model (PIM): Why use it at MSU?

  1. DDI mission and vision are berth from responsibility for:
    1. Campus readiness for change (infrastructure)
    2. Influx of a 21st century student body and educators (demographics)
    3. Faculty development for 21st century education (impact of world paradigm shifts)
  2. The Whole Brain Model, since 1992, has been a research-based approach to diversity that lends itself well to creation of programs based upon cognitive preferences.
  3. PIM provides foundation nand frames recent research findings that identify diversity as a driver of innovation and increased returns on investments.
  4. Assessment of DDI programs may be more easily completed when associated with cognitive patterns and behavior transformations.
  5. PIM can be used by the DDI to further research on matters of team productivity, engagement and retention.
  6. PIM can be a groundbreaking model for national issues such as:
    1. Student programs
    2. Institutional change management
    3. Prevention initiatives
    4. Diversity/leadership management
  7. Behavior can be regulated through direction of thought - MLK, CGW

PIM major components and programs


  • Cultural competence programs that foster interpersonal, emotional, kinesthetic and feeling-based engagement
    • Multicultural Programs
    • STEP Conference
    • Youth Empowerment Conference
    • Giving Voice Theater
    • Diversity Coordination Task Force
  • Pedagogy programs that help enhance ability to become more sequential, organized and detailed about educational activity
    • Faculty Development Series
    • Faculty Recruitment and Mentoring Education (FRAME)
    • NCATE support initiatives
    • Collaborative Diversity Conference
  • Research logical, analytical, fact-based and quantitative programs
    • Student Tuition and Research Training for Underrepresented Populations (START UP)
    • Inclusive exclusive excellence
    • Enrollment persistence analyses
  • Intervention programs that foster holistic, intuitive, integrating and synthesizing development
    • Student support services
    • Co-curricular ombudsperson
    • Assistive Technology
    • Disability Resource Center
    • Upward Bound
    • Institutional Equity and Compliance


Division Operating Structure: Paradigms of Inclusion Model (PIM) (PDF)