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Note: This was done some time ago, and is in no way attempting to force anyone into boxes or labels. It was done primarily to counter the rising rate of 'fragment multiples' that were being used as a means to dodge responsibility or attract attention. Thank you.

Hmmm... so.... more research done into the spectrum theory....

For all intents and purposes, let's break this down into more numeric terms and categories. And let the assumption be made that each person--due to any rumored biological capacity to disassociate, as well as the levels of imagination and mental capacity--is disposed towards one of these categories. They cannot /will/ themselves to be in a higher one (How to tell that they have? There is a high number of incidental fragments....more on this in a bit.)

To begin simply, let's cut down the spectrum into approximate categories. (Note: These designations are not for 'wholeness of people' but rather for the extent of time each spends in interaction with up-front areas.)

A. None
B. 1 Central persona with minor/major fragments
C. 2-3 central personas with minor fragments
D. 2-3 central personas, 3-5 secondary personas, with major/minor fragments
E. 7-8 central personas with minor fragments
F. 7-8 central personas, 9-15 secondary personas, with major/minor
G. 10-12 central personas, 20-30 secondary personas, with a wide range of major and minor fragments.

The average person fits into categories A and B. It is once the level of C has been reached that such occurrences as amnesia and conflicting behavior result.

Why no numerical range for the fragments? Quite simply, fragments can be made, remade, and displaced in the drop of a hat by any person who wishes so. If the spectrum were translated into finances, they would hold the role of the penny. People can make them for anything from role-playing characters to facades for business meetings. They can be the most easily misused of all aspects of multiplicity, as the average layman does not understand the difference between a fragment and a full personality, resulting in induced multiples proudly declaring numbers up to the thousands and beyond.

Often, deliberately created fragments (having not been formed from severe traumas) do not have enough strength on their own to exist without attention being paid to them or the backing of another personality. They can easily fade back into the collective unconscious. As such, a multiple who claims 90 personalities may only have 2 or 3 major ones, and 15 fragments--as the others only exist once they remember to think about them, or they may have already dissipated. In some stronger cases, the behavioral pattern is only stored, and the essence and memories of the fragment simply hibernates until the required need draws it out again. Having a high number of fragments means nothing in terms of the numbers game that many wannabe multiples seem to play. Since they emerge--relatively--so rarely, they do not create constant internal struggles. Experienced multiples on the higher ends of the spectrum end up becoming practiced in handling and controlling such instances--although such upsurges may be almost daily occurrences, the unified strength of the dominating personas can work to minimize any damages.

Perhaps that's my personal bias, but I can't seem to understand why anyone would proudly declare that they routinely 'fall prey' to fragments, act out in public, and then wonder why multiplicity has the reputation of being an unstable disorder which /must/ be cured. As for the ones which almost eagerly reach for psychiatrists, using such instances as proof of any 'traumas' they purportedly suffered in their youth, and who casually pass on blame for any of their misdoings onto 'other personalities'... that's just misuse of disassociation. Bah.

Working Definitions:
Fragments are unable to develop or change in response to their environment. They are often only emotional pieces, task-specific, or are memory holders. They are rarely active, if at all, in the overall daily decisions. They often can only emerge once called for or triggered, and often cannot even take over fully. They rarely cause amnesia, save during the exact situations that they may have originally been created for. Fragments can be easily made and can, relatively, be the easiest to be dispensed with. Over time, however, they can become quite durable, resisting any attempts to displace them.

In the case of minor fragments, both these and major fragments are the infamous 'voices in the author's head', as they do not come out and walk around for months on their own (they have no basic personality structure with which to judge appropriate behavior and reactions). Minor fragments are regulated to perhaps another voice that shows up occasionally, or as an impulse with the feeling of being 'not oneself'. Major fragments can be more active, but, once again, tend to only keep company. It may be constant, it may be loud, but it is not a case of subsumation of the identity.

For example, find me a case where an author in category B with, say, Xenogear's Billy in their head suddenly wakes up and finds that they've spent the last 6 hours in prayer at the local chapel, and incidentally donated all the money on them to the church, leaving them with no bus fare home. I'm not sure that those who let original or fan characters ride in their head with them and then claim them to be full personalities would agree to such an occurrence. Very often, if minor--or even major-- fragments are behaving in radically different and conflicting ways to the core personality, the dominant core can push them off. Fragments can even be a way for the primary personality to find the strength to do something that they would normally never have the nerve for, but rarely something that they do not want or have to do at all.

Fragments can also be the condition to which a preexisting personality has faded to; in such a case, it is not the lack of development of the persona which qualifies the personality as a fragment, but rather, the force of mental presence. Such personalities can return with no loss of self if they are simply given time up front.

Secondary Personas are those personalities which are capable of observation, deduction, and response with the environment and time. They remain largely inside, however, rarely taking over for events which do not specifically interest or involve them. They have full emotional ranges, but may tend to be inclined towards a specific emotional set. They can be triggered, but can emerge on their own with no such stimulus. This group also includes fragments which have had enough time and experience that, although they may be limited, have enough of a mental niche carved that they remain stable despite pressure.

Secondary personalities are still quite capable of walking your body to Peru and then leaving you there with no idea of how you arrived. They can behave in ways which they are aware are contrary to the primary intent of the overall body--for example, quitting the job which you worked for years to get, when doing so will leave you literally penniless. (Fragments tend to be unable to act consciously and so directly against the will of the many other personalities in roles which do not concern them and which relate to matters in which they are unfamiliar and have no jurisdiction.) They do not, however, tend to keep up months up front without other personalities to help them, or without moving into a more central role (even temporarily).

Hence, characters that are held in an author's/actor's/whoever's head are not secondary personalities, unless a person is already predisposed towards further disassociation and they then assume those roles. This requires them to become developed in other ways, however--they must be able to handle more circumstances--and so they do.

Central Personas are the personalities which are in primary control of the body and the daily agenda. They need no triggers to emerge, often doing so whenever they feel the wish. They can change and develop without fragmenting themselves, and can become radically different from their original intended roles. They have full emotional ranges, and each reacts to the same stimuli in dissimilar ways from one another.

Much like secondary personalities, central personas can descend to the level of secondary or fragment with little loss of their complexity. On a wider scale, multiples can do the same; a case D multiple may become partially integrated, or have one personality stay out for so long that they behave at the level of C or even B. This does not, however, affect their maximum capacity, which is what the chart is focused around. It is a basic keystone of this theory that a multiple can travel up and down the scale, but cannot  exceed their own maximum rating. In other words, a C multiple performing at level B is not a B multiple.

This is not to imply that central personalities which have faded to the level of fragments should be considered as two-dimensional as fragments usually are. It is not complexity and sophistication which is always lost, but merely the dominating presence of this personality in the mind. Very often, personas may recede for privacy and return later on their own in full force. It actually common for the internal mental standings to be fluid, with some central personas yielding the floor to secondaries for a time, and with other fragments to be shuffled out to secondary status.

Why 2 to 3 for categories C and D? Multiple patterns and mental social structures tend to balance more easily in either dual paradigms or trinities--not by any especial quality due to multiplicity, but simply because those numbers are stable overall.

Why 7-8 for categories E and F? Even for multiples on the higher end of the scale, it is observed that there are approximately only that range who are active and in a position of mental strength at any given time. Personas in that position may step back for a time and not be as active; others from the secondary rank tend to step forward and take the role.

Why 10-12 for category G? Allowances made for multiples who may be able to balance more than D. Bell curves, after all.

Why do the secondary persona numbers increase exponentially? Multiple personality structures tend towards pyramids--the more the active personas, the more the primarily internal ones. This is primarily a result from internal checks and balances.

As a note for all categories, the numbers referred are for personalities which are active and present, not those which have regressed or disappeared. This is the same for fragments, as here, the numbers can reach their values of easily over 100 simply by having fragments declared and then forgotten, or so finely split that there is negligible difference between them (aka, this is the fragment Bill at age 12, and this is another fragment of Bill at age 13). Many times, if research is done on cases who claim literally hundreds, the results show that a large number of them are either fragments to the point of simple and specific impulses or memories, or full personas who have fallen back to fragment level due to the sheer physical limitation of a lack of time spent out. Hence, the main controlling structure resembles case G.

As another side note, it drives me nuts when a supposed multiple claims such high numbers, and then states that many of them no longer exist--and yet they still count them in their current total as if it's some sort of cumulative badge of honor. When did high numbers somehow equate a multiple with being worth any or more less than another multiple?

Although many multiples may be able to increase the number of what seems to be the central personalities, such a raise is performed at the cost of shifting the centrals down to secondaries. Central personas are such because of physical restrictions such as hours in the day--they must be able to spend enough time out that their identity structures are maintained. Personalities who spend less time either outside or interacting with those outside become, by definition and practice, secondary.

In the case of the earlier point, such a multiple would indeed have many more people than simply 8 or 10 running around; ergo, one would think that the central count is higher. Yet those personalities become weaker because of the time that must be divided up, and the amount of coexisting and cocommunication that is required for a harmonious routine--such behavior leads to personas merging, once more settling the multiple back into the set of central and noncentral numbers.

While disassociation may be relatively common, it does exist within a range--having three personalities does not automatically mean you have hundreds.