The Arbinger Institute originated in the mid 1970s when philosopher Dr. C. Terry Warner, a Yale alumnus, gathered a team of scholars to explore the concept of self-deception. Self-deception, as they came to understand it, centered on how we as human beings create and sustain problems we don’t know we’re causing, and how and why we often resist helpful solutions.
Early in his career, Dr. Warner spent time seeking for answers in the field of psychology, eventually arriving at a crossroads that altered his career and life path. “I made a decision that rather than try to research and publish on material that I knew in my heart was on a shaky foundation, I would attack this cluster of problems,” he shared at Arbinger’s Annual Facilitator Conference in November. “And it didn’t matter what happened to my career, I couldn’t do it in a phony way so I was going to do everything I could.”
Initially, all attempts to understand the phenomenon of self-deception failed. After years of work, however, the research team discovered a solution no one expected. They discovered that people begin to evade responsibility without thinking that they are doing so, and therefore end up blaming others or circumstances they, themselves, are helping to create. More importantly, they discovered how this could be corrected.
Following this discovery, Arbinger’s founding members began teaching the principles in academic circles and within the university environment. This soon led to demand from individuals and families, and then to requests for organizational applications. As more and more people and organizations experienced the profound changes that were enabled by Arbinger’s work, Arbinger evolved into a full-service consultancy that helps individuals and organizations solve problems through exploring what undergirds our thinking and behavior.
The Oxford Papers
To explore Warner’s work further, check out The Oxford Papers, a compilation of papers prepared by Warner to be presented in lectures, prepared for presentation or publication, or prepared in response to colleagues during his time at Oxford.