Why It Works

The Structure is the Message: Can You Imagine if They Were Called The Knights of the ‘Square’ Table?

Archetype Discoveries Worldwide uses a unique combination of psychology, cultural anthropology, biology, and advanced learning theories to uncover the hidden cultural forces and the unaddressed, unspoken or unconscious needs of consumers. This determines how individuals behave and react towards specific concepts, services, products, words, images etc.

“You never get a second chance to have a first experience”

Dr. G. Clotaire Rapaille 

When an individual has a ‘first’ experience, emotion is the energy that imprints the mental structure and the unconscious reference system.

These unconscious structures hold the key to all of our decision-making processes. To discover these structures, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide organizes imprinting sessions, where participants reactivate their first imprint and the emotion used to create that imprint.

The 3-hour long sessions guide participants through a well-established process that takes them through different parts of the brain from the Cortex, to the Limbic to the Reptilian.

This information gathered during the sessions is subsequently analyzed, placing an emphasis on structure over content. The structure transcends the individual experiences and uncovers the Code.

The Code can be thought of as a key to accessing the cultural archetype, which is imprinted at an early age. The cultural archetype includes the intellectual alibi, the logic of emotion and the reptilian “hot button”.

Understanding this Code is indispensable for organizations seeking to communicate with their stakeholders at the most fundamental, reptilian level. 

Below are some of the theories that guide our methodology.


Triune Brain Model

  • One of the most fascinating theories upon which we construct our methodology is the Triune Brain (or Three Brains) Theory.

    According to this theory, first introduced by Paul MacLean in the 1960’s, three distinct brains have successively developed during the course of evolution, which now reside together in the human skull: The Reptilian Brain, The Limbic Brain and the Cortex Brain.

    The implications of this theory for marketing, brand loyalty, product development, product design, and communication are imperative to understanding and anticipating stakeholder and consumer needs.


The reptilian brain, the oldest of the three, controls the body’s vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance. The main structures that comprise this brain, the brainstem and the cerebellum, is also found in reptiles, hence the name Reptilian Brain.

We are born with our Reptilian Brain; it is not acquired or developed. This brain represents the center for our most hardwired instincts (reflexes, sexual impulses, fight or flight, etc.).

The Reptilian always wins, and at the subconscious level, individuals are guided by their most basic instincts. In order to tap into this brain, we must discover the reptilian “hot button”, the trigger that activates an individual’s most basic relationship with the object, person, place or concept we are trying to communicate about.

The Limbic Brain emerged in the first mammals, and is comprised of the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus. It can record memories of behaviors that produced agreeable and disagreeable experiences, it is at the root of emotions in human beings.

The limbic brain is acquired, during the beginning of human life, between birth and the age of 5, it is heavily influenced by a child’s relationship to its mother. The limbic comprises the brain’s emotional center, representing feelings, tensions and contradictions. This brain controls our logic of emotion, the structure in which archetypes and the emotions associated with them are imprinted.

The neo-cortex (or cerebral cortex) first assumed prominence in primates and culminated in the human brain’s two dominating cerebral hemispheres. These hemispheres have been responsible for the development of human language, abstract thought, imagination, and consciousness.

The Cortex is not fully developed until about the age of 7. The Cortex represents our relationship to logic, how we view the world and how we operate in it. Science, logic, control, numbers, statistics, money, and intellectual alibi are examples of the cortex brain priorities.

These three parts of the brain do not operate independently of one another; they have established numerous interconnections through which they influence one another.

In order to appeal to the consumer in every possible, all communication in theory should have a reptilian, limbic and cortex aspect. At the root, however, it is the reptilian is what marketers must appeal to if they wish to be successful. 

The reptilian always wins!


Pyramid of the Unconscious

    the_pyramid_of_the_unconscious (11)

    This diagram represents the divisions between the conscious and unconscious mind.

    At the root if it all lies our DNA, the genetic program for our development and survival.

    The broad base of the pyramid is occupied by what Jung described as the Collective Unconscious. This is based on the premise that biology pre-organize human life according to Universal Archetypes (these common structures, which we have termed Universal Schemes relate to our basic needs: survival, reproduction, nourishment etc.).

    Universal archetypes only change with evolution, and can last millions of years.

    The Cultural Unconscious occupies the next level of the Pyramid. This based on the premise that cultural forces structure human behavior according to Cultural Archetypes.

    Cultural Archetypes should be thought of as a survival toolkit inherited at birth, which is specific to a time period and a geographical area. Cultural archetypes are passed down from one generation to another. 

    The next level of the pyramid represents what Freud first defined as the Personal Unconscious. This is based on the premise that each individual has a unique script to deal with his or her unconscious wants.

    Accessible through psychoanalysis, the individual unconscious lasts the length of a person’s life.

    The superior portion of the pyramid represents the Conscious Mind, which is based on what individuals can recall. What people are able to recall influences what they say and shapes their opinions.

    Opinions can be influenced and changed in the blink of an eye, whenever new information is presented. 

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