PsychologyOn this page
These notes go way back and some are dated. My main champion of the left/right brain thesis (below) has since recanted (see Robert Orstein, The Right Mind.)
(right side of body)
(left side of body)
reading, writing, naming
perception of signicant order
complex motor sequences
perception of abstract patterns
recognition of complex figures
The User Illusion
In mid-1999, The User Illusion convinced me that conscious vs. unconscious is a more important split than left vs. right brain. "Inside us, in the person who carries consciousness around, cognitive and mental processes take place that are far richer than consciousness can know or describe. Our bodies contain a fellowship with a surrounding world that passes right through us, in through our mouths and out the other end, but is hidden from our consciousness." The nonconscious is largely in control but the conscious thinks it's in control. An amazing book. It will take me a while to propogate its concepts into the Jayhoo Way.
Don't worry. Be happy.
Relativity theory is deterministic, meaning that when given a specific set of conditions, precise outcomes are predictable. Quantum physics, on the other hand, is probabilistic, meaning that when observing a specific set of conditions, change enters into the picture, and predictions can be made only of probable outcomes. Current thinking is that both types of processing, programmed and learned, go on in the brain and similar compatibilities will occur in the marketplace (with today's and neural network computers.)
From a review of In Pursuit of Happiness: "the invisible foot," says Milton Friedman. "That's the law of unintended consequences."
Life is about happiness -- which people (when pressed) generally concur isn't a new BMW or an orgasm, but rather lasting and justified satisfaction with one's life as a whole. Happiness includes the self-respect that comes from accepting responsibility for one's life and earning one's way in the world. It flows from realizing your innate capacities by doing productive work and overcoming ever more challenging obstacles, impelled more by your own inner imperatives than by the mere need to make a living.
See Finding Flow
You might also look at my thoughts on taking your own advice
From Healthy Pleasures, by Ornstein and Sobel...
Happiness changes little even after delightful or devastating life changes.
Man's plight... Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy; happiness is the longing for repetition.
Happiness springs from how much of the time a person spends feeling good, not from the momentary peaks of ecstasy. Simple pleasures are more allied with happiness than are strong, momentary feelings.
When we are in a given mood, such as sadness, anger, or joy, we are more likely to recall other times when we were in a similar mood. This is probably why seemingly minor uplifts such as receiving flowers can "make your day." The mind tends to overgeneralize... Small changes in our current contents of mind have great future consequences.
Make it a weekly goal to think about positive current events and daily experiences as much as possible. Focus on what you have, not on what you lack. The good feelings are likely to spill over into a healthy, optimistic view of your future.
Expecting to be pleased, healthy people cultivate a set of positive illusions. They inflate their own importance and have an exaggerated belief in their ability to control their destiny. They believe that other people hold them in high regard. Human beings never directly perceive the outside world; most judgments are comparative.
When bad things happen, as they will, pessimists explain the causes in stable, global, internal terms.
We often bet our lives on the stories we tell ourselves about the world, but rarely hear them while they are being told. Try to listen carefully to your continuous internal monologue. If we know that our story of the world controls our life, we can choose to rewrite the unpleasant elements.
There is a direct link between good health and knowing what is going on around us, understanding how economic and social forces operate to affect one's life and in general understanding how things work.
Some people have censored so much of themselves for so long that they forget what it is they do feel and think.
from Multimind by Robert Ornstein
"Our illusion is that each of us is somehow unified, with a single coherent purpose and action. That we are consistent and single-minded is a built-in delusion." We do not hear or observe ourselves the way we experience others.
"I know my own mind." But we don't know it very well.
Some conflicts are nobody's fault -- not caused by the badness or madness of one person; it's between the people. linear cause and effect do not apply here. (generally, if something good comes from a relationship, i figure the contribution is mine; if it doesn't work, that's your fault. it's never my fault, i'm merely reacting.) actually, the problems are the product of the relationship. it's just as you can't reduce the properties of water to the properties of either hydrogen or of oxygen.
Ornstein and Erlich: Human culture shaped over a million years; man a sight animal. Focus is on the short-term, visual (mastodon coming); we miss the gradual, invisible (greenhouse effect).
Ernest Poser of McGill University in Montreal found in treating schizophrenic patients that randomly selected undergraduates produced more positive change than did psychiatrists and psychiatric social workers.
Robert Ornstein, The Mind Field
from Do What You Live, the Money will Follow
The more we see ourselves as courageous, even in the tiniest choices, the more self-respect we gain and the more distinctive we become. In addition, acting out our authentic desires and values quickly erases a history of holding back and self-abandonment.
from a talk by Robert Ornstein:
Humans were designed to operate in a world of 20,000 years ago.
We're good at dealing with change (e.g. crack), not constancy (e.g. cigarettes). Cigarettes are six times as addictive as crack!
Consciousness is a weak force in many people's mind. There are many selves inside.
Half the people ever born in the history of the earth were born in my lifetime.
Response after failure shows conquest of embarrassment and confidence in the future; it is a mark of dignity and basic health. Moreover, the analysis of failure is an indispensable activity which demands leisure and time.
Successful people generally have more errors to their credit, and often bigger ones, than unsuccessful people. They view these in the same way that scientists view failed experiments: not as moral setbacks but as the necessary concomitants of discovery.
...one of the most difficult problems we face in life: that of distinguishing between the temporary and the lasting things; between the truly urgent issues and the clamor of trifles.
from a later talk by Robert Ornstein on his newly released The Evolution of Consciousness:
The mind is a squadron of simpletons.
Rationality is only one small facet of mind. It's impossible anyway. (A comprehensive truth table will take a lifetime to figure out anything.)
The primary ability of mind is to adapt to the world. The finishing touches of mind development took place before the cave paintings at Lascaux.
Our self image of rationality leads us down the wrong path. "Cultural literacy" doesn't help anyone adapt or stay safe in the world.
Experiment: People asked to contribute to a good cause; 20% give. People get same pitch + "even a penny would help," 60% give. Explanation: one of the simpletons let the guard down. * * * Similarly, Jim Jones requested that folks "Help the poor for just five minutes." He said that once you got 'em, you can get 'em to do just about anything. Foot in the door. * * * Same situation if people asked whether folks can put up a 6' x 8' Drive Safely sign in their front yard (60% yes), IF they've first put up a 3" x 5" card in their window promoting the beauty of California!
We don't see trends. 540 people die of handgun murders every week in this country and no one cares. 10,000 die every week from smoking tobacco.
We're only 100 generations from the birth of Christ; no time at all in biological time.
There are 450 billion tons of humans on earth. (Something's off here: we'd each weigh 90 tones.... Maybe he's counting our dwellings and factories.)
More people are added to the population every month than existed worldwide at the time of Christ. We need ever-evolving systems of education to cope with these changes.
Self-consciousness is one of the simpletons. It creates resumes: "I did this, I did that...."
(At this point, I read The Evolution of Consciousness. My notes follow.)
SOB - Same Old Brain
Earliest mental routines were developed for quick action and survival.
The idea most people have that they are consistent is an illusion. The self is just one of the simpletons--one with a small job.
Our real history is "written" in our bones, our blood, our neural systems00and was written before we were writers. Physical evolution has had millions of generations to work and we are a mere 100 generations since the time of Christ.
Mind is on-line, responds to changes. Unexpected or extraordinary events have fast access to consciousness.
People misjudge others greatly because they interpret temperamental differences--speed of action, cleanliness, messiness, as reflections of the conscious mind. But we have little or no control over these things.
The world we experience is all a dream of the mind.
Memories go through a lossy compression algorithm. We uncrunch memories from fragments much as the anthropologist reconstructs the whole skeleton from a few bone fragments.
The mind ignores large changes because our ancestors could do little about them. A terrible approach in a crowded environment or a long-term relationship.
You have to learn to observe yourself as though you were another person. This way, you don't keep explaining why you did something, as we usually do. You develop a detachment and start to think of your selves as him and her.
At the time of the agrarian revolution the total human population was less than 10 million. Today, almost that many people are born each month. (About 10,000 years back)
We're 2000 generations form Neanderthal, 750 from Lascaux.
from Ornstein's The Roots of the Self
Three main roots:
The high gain person is internally aroused; there's enough going on inside. Thus better at tasks that require attention. Not into parties, sex, danger.
We each have a set point on these dimensions.
"Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them...." Gabriel Garcia Marquez
We grow through reduction. We are continually pruning our neural connections. Danny Hillis on consciousness from Wired, January 1994
We'll end up with intelligent beings and not be able to tell any more about how they think than we can tell about how we think. And I think that once the bishop has had a long conversation with them, it will be a very natural step to extend moral law to them.
Consciousness is just a stupid hack. We have a lot of specialized hardware to code and decode grunts--conversation. Presumably you've had this experience of somebody explaining something to you and you misunderstand them, but your misunderstanding is actually much better than what they were trying to explain to you! That's taking advantage of your understanding hardware. Well, ti turns out, since you've got all this hardware sitting around, you use the following stupid hack: Whenever you're thinking, you play the idea out on yourself and you explain it to yourself in hopes that you misunderstand it. You compress it into sort of this encoded representation, and that compressed representation is consciousness. In fact, if you disconnected it, you would only get slightly stupider. But not so as anybody would notice.
Ornstein, The Right Mind
Alexithymia is Greek for "no word for emotions." This is a mental disorder in which a person has extreme difficulty in verbally expressing feelings and fantasies. Alexithymia is thought to contribute to psychosomatic illness, alcoholism and drug addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sociopathic personality. And this difficulty is present to a great or lesser degree in many people who are healthy as well as ill. I think that most women consider it a pretty normal male condition…
Facts are stored and processed in the left hemisphere but the right mind sets the context and makes sense of it all.
Leader traits from Warren Bennis
Leaders operate on instinct, leader strike hard and try everything, leaders are ready to put themselves at some risk, and leaders use chaos to make changes.
Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman
The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault.
Learned helplessness is the giving up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn't matter. Explanatory style is the manner in which you habitually explain to yourself why events happen.
Inescapable events produced giving up. Clearly, animals can learn their actions are futile, and when they do, they no longer initiate action....
People who give up easily believe the causes of the bad events that happen to them are permanent: The bad events will persist, will always be there to affect their lives. People who make universal explanations for their failures give up on everything when a failure strikes in one area.
Depression is pessimism writ large. Normal depression is extremely common . .it's the common cold of mental illness. (The belief that your actions are futile is the cause of depression.)
Pessimists' explanations for bad events are personal, permanent, and pervasive.
The belief in self .improvement is a prophecy just as self-fulfilling as the old belief that character could not be changed.
A = Adversity
Use optimism/pessimism scale in choosing sales people.
High IQ Clubs
Mensa 1 in 50 132 IQ
Intertel 1 in 100 137 IQ
International Society for Philosophical Enquiry 1 in 1,000 150 IQ
Triple Nine Society 1 in 1,000 150 IQ
Prometheus Society 1 in 10,000 160 IQ
Four Sigma 1 in 30,000 164 IQ
Titan Society 1 in 100,000 168 IQ
Mega Society 1 in 1,000,000 177 IQ
Notes from Zimbardo's Shyness
"Reticence" is the term that best describes a shy person's reluctance to relate to others. Reticence is an unwillingness to speak unless prodded, a disposition to remain silent, an inclination not to speak freely.
While publicly the shy person seems to be going nowhere quietly, inside is a maze of thought highways cluttered with head-on collisions of sensations and noisy traffic jams of frustrated desires. The same tendency toward self-analysis and appraisal of one's thoughts and feelings signals psychological disturbance when in becomes obsessive. Shy people often carry it that far.
Too much nervous energy is expended in anticipation of an event and wasted on minor details of its execution (like me planning out phone calls in elaborate detail).
Military brats are often shy as a result of having moved around a lot.
Being able to step out of yourself and into a role, a character behind a mask of anonymity enables a basically shy person to perform in person (Carol Burnett).
If you are tired of being shy, no longer want to survive on a diet of social leftovers, or feel unhappy seeing people you care about too shy to enjoy the opportunities life is offering, the time has come to change all that.Four basic kinds of charge are called for. Changes in
At the core of shyness is an excessive preoccupation with the self, an overconcern with being negatively evaluated. Shyness and low self-esteem go together.
You must come to recognize the extent to which you are living out other people's scripts. You cannot have a well developed sense of self if you are acting out programs written by or for others.
If you have but one life to live, live it with high self-esteem!
Decide what you value, what you believe in, what you realistically would like your life to be like. Take inventory of your library of stored scripts and bring them up to date, in line with the psychological space you are in now, so they will serve your where you are headed.
Look for the causes of your behavior in physical, social, economic, and political aspects of your current situation and not in personality defects in you.
Remind yourself that there are alternative views to every event.
Never say bad things about yourself.
Instead of thinking and saying, "I am a shy person," start thinking and talking about yourself in more specific terms; describe specific situations and specific reactions.
Anxiety, boredom and passivity generate more fatigue than does the heaviest of labors. "Good to see you around." A nod of recognition, a smile, a wave of the hand, a look in the eye. that little action starts your new career as an actor.
Like a method actor, you must learn to dissolve the boundary between the so-called real you and the role you play. Let your actions speak for themselves and eventually they will be speaking for you.
Role playing is a vital ingredient in the development of social skills. It involves taking action and experiencing how it feels to take those actions. by suspending the "self" for the "rote," you are granted permission to engage in behaviors that are normally off-limits. Your overbearing, all-monitoring consciousness is not allowed into the show. Enacting a role different from that which is usually for the person results in corresponding private changes in attitudes and values.
Emotional IntelligenceWe are of two minds – the emotional mind in the old reptilian brain and the logical mind in the modern neocortex.
The emotional mind is associative. It confuses reality and symbols of reality. Perception is reality. It indiscriminately connects things that merely have striking features. The emotional mind reacts to the present as though it were the past.
The rational mind makes logical connections between causes and effects.
Because it takes the rational mind a moment or two longer to register and respond than it does the emotional mind, the first impulse in an emotional situation is the heart’s, not the head’s. There is also a second kind of emotional reaction, slower than the quick response, which simmers and brews first in our thoughts before it leads to feeling. This second pathway to triggering emotions is more deliberate, and we are typically quite aware of the thoughts that lead to it. In this kind of emotional reaction there is a more extended appraisal; our thoughts—cognition—play the key role in determining what emotions will be roused. Once we make an appraisal—"that taxi driver is cheating me" or "this baby is adorable." A fitting emotional response follows. In this slower sequence, more fully articulated thought precedes feeling. More complicated emotions, like embarrassment or apprehension over an upcoming exam, follow this slower route, taking seconds or minutes to unfold—these are emotions that follow from thoughts.
The results reported in emotional intelligence seem too good to be true. Children in Oakland were found more responsible, assertive, popular, helpful, understanding, considerate, harmonious, and democratic. Kids in Washington had better social cognitive skills, self-con troll, effectiveness resolving conflicts, tolerating frustration, working with peers, sharing, socializing, etc. kids in new york city were less violent, more caring, more cooperative, more empathic, and better communicators.
RELATIONSHIPS Getting Together -- a framework for improving relationships...
The goal is a relationship that can deal well with differences. (For some, the goal of a relationship is a make-believe world without any differences.) To achieve our substantive goals, we need effective working relationships, relationships that have a high degree of rationality, understanding, communication, reliability, non-coercive means of influence, and acceptance.
Be unconditionally constructive. Follow guidelines that will be both good for the relationship and good for me, whether or not you follow the same guidelines. Beware of partisan perceptions; don't forget how differently people see things. ("Where you stand depends on where you sit." We remember information so that it fits a coherent story.)
Accept responsibility and apologize. We often fail to take responsibility for our feelings because we blame them on the other person in a relationship. Emotions likely to have a constructive impact: security, optimism, confidence, acceptance, respect, concern.
One way to instill a constructive emotional state in ourselves is to recall a time, place, and circumstances when our morale was high -- and then mentally step back into that situation....
In some cases, our understanding of a situation creates a problem in our heads that is not there in reality.
Ongoing relationships often need a fresh look.
HOW GOOD IS OUR RELATIONSHIP?
GOAL Am I trying to win the relationship or improve it? How well do we resolve differences? How often do I think about improving the process of working together over the long term?
GENERAL STRATEGY Do serious substantive issues disrupt our ability to work together? Do I tend to retaliate by doing things that weaken our ability to deal with each other in the future? Do I ignore problems or sweep them under the rug rather than deal with them?
pp. 178-79 for more
* * * *As mediator, get each side to present the other side's point of view until the other side agrees they've got it right.* * * *
FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN DESIRES AND VALUES
At least 12 of the 15 fundamental desires seem to have a genetic basis, Reiss said. Only the desires for citizenship, independence and fear of rejection don't appear to have a genetic component. "Most of these desires are similar to those seen in animals, and seem to have some survival value," Reiss said. "This indicates they are genetic in origin." Myers-Briggs Types I'm an INTJ; Uta is an ESFP.
Source of Energy
E Extrovert 75% of the populationenergized by people, need lots of contactshoot from the hip, spontaneouswants to change the worldgeneralists, lots of interest, lots of balls in the air, superficialedits on the fly
I Introvert 25% of the populationenergized by thoughts, need time to reflectthink twice before they talk oncegreat actorswants to understand the worldspecialists, depth, focusedneed time to preparethe "internal messenger"...wannabe correct
according to the Chronicle's Grab Bag on 4/27/91, time passes quicker for the introvert
How Things are Found Out
S Sensing 75% of the populationexperience things from the senses, practical, need lots of datanow people, grounded in reality, focus on the actualfacts, just the factsinductive/Edison
N Intuition 25% of the populationintution, inspiration, innovation, want little datadeductive/Einsteinfuture-oriented, speculative, hunchesideas, not factsimagination
The Deciding Process
T Thinking 50% of the populationlogical, objective decision-making, impersonalprinciples: laws, policy, justice, standardsdoesn't show feelingsfocus on task
F Feeling(s) 50%subjective decision-makerlikes harmonyvalues: social values, extenuating cirucmstances, devotionfocus on relationshipshows emotion easily, warm
How We Structure Our World
J Judging 50% of the populationsettled, seeks closure, decisivefixed, quick to judge, get show on the roadwork ethic, outcome-orientedplanner
P Perceiving 50%pending, keep options open, tentativeflexible, plenty of time, gray areasplay ethic, less seriouslet it happen
Exercises to Develop Extraverted Preference Skills
become actively involved in a grouptalk out an idea with someone as it's being formulatedintroduce self to strangersshare a private thought with a non-friendshare process as it is happening--feelings, thoughts, desires, fantasies
INTJ's order of preference is intuition, thinking, feeling, sensing. In other words, feeling and sensation are de-emphasized.
Common pitfalls are appearing so unyielding that others are afraid to approach or challenge me. Criticizing others in their striving for the ideal. Ignoring the impact of my ideas or style on others.
To develop, I need to solicit feedback and suggestions, learn how to appreciate others, learn to give up impractical ideas, focus more on the impact of my ideas on people.
Topic 95: Re .design the sdc conference?# 57: Tue, Sep 8, '92 (19:17)
Introverts and Extroverts...
Introverts essentially feel their internal worlds (and the internal worlds of others) are relatively static, and the external world needs to be "adjusted" in order to compensate for discrepancies between their internal state and the outer world. That is to say, an introvert feels that changing the outer world is easier than changing their inner world. This compensation can often occur simply via withdrawal, which is why the introvert is commonly thought to be inward .directed, though this is somewhat misleading, as my wife noted later. Extroverts, on the other hand, view the external world as relatively static, and their internal worlds (and that of others) as essentially dynamic. In the face of external pressure their first assumption is to either adjust themselves, or attempt to convince others to adjust themselves (usually via dialogue or debate of some kind).
To my mind, introverts and extroverts can have successful interactions when and if both types respect the other's dynamics. Introverts often find extroverts to be insensitive and painful to interact with; this is because the extrovert is often asking the introvert to change themselves, something seen often as almost a physical threat to an introvert, and they perceive the extrovert's request for change as a fundamental lack of respect. Extroverts, on the other hand, find introverts to often be stubborn and "selfish"; an extrovert may feel that the introverts' attempts to control their external environment as insensitive in itself. However, both perceptions are simply misunderstandings. The introvert is not being selfish, but simply reacting to what seems to be a direct threat to their personal integrity and self .image; the extrovert is not being insensitive, but simply asking the introvert to do what seems to them to be quite reasonable (something they are able to do themselves quite easily).
introverts prefer to interact with people who either already share their views, or with other introverts who will respect the sanctity of their internal worlds and not "invade" them (or "violate" them) with invasive ideas or presentations.
Introverts have a hard time accepting the behavior of extroverts as anything but invasive and rude; extroverts have a hard time accepting introverted behavior as anything but selfish and stubborn. Both concepts have to be thrown out the window before real progress can be made. Extroverts have to cool it, introverts can try to ignore the more annoying aspects of extroverted behavior.
reading david keirsey's please understand me II, I'm glad to see him both build on and distance himself from isabelle myers and her jungian theory trip.
· the starting point for keirsey (as for myers, earlier) is delightfully
humanist. we are indeed different from one another. and there's nothing
wrong with that. but of course. what carter saw as weaknesses were probably
my strong points. more important for me to find a fertile and appreciative
environment than to try "shape up" to someone else's standards.
· taking keirsey's measurement device, I come up more solidly INTJ than ever before:
"Thinking like a professional means sticking to the basics. The basics are founded on common sense, and they include: being on time, never missing a deadline, speaking when spoken to, shutting up when not spoken to, being honest about expenses and other funds, giving your time and entry to the job without reservation while you are on the job, showing consideration for your colleagues, seeking solutions, not perpetual conflict--and last but not least, being willing to go out on a limb and push for an idea you truly believe in.
Shared Understanding "Genuine knowledge resides and proliferates where people live and work, not in some abstract formal realm. Good tools should support and augment that knowledge as it is rather than attempting to 'engineer' it to fit some model-theoretic framework entirely divorced from the work itself. We desperately need more and better software tools whose design reflects this fundamental insight, and that will therefore aid our best people in articulating, modifying and improving their understanding of the work environments they inhabit. Most crucially, we need tools that will substantially assist knowledge workers -- and today this category should include nearly all workers -- in sharing their understanding across the currently rigid boundaries of functional specialization."
Christopher Locke and John West, "Concurrent Engineering in Context," Concurrent Engineering, November-December, 1991.
Teaming and Learning
"Business is finally recognizing that division of labor is increasingly ineffective as the basis for an organization in an environment of constant rather than occasional change.... Management control is replaced by management coordination of the work of others who may know more than the manager, and decision making occurs in the team rather than in the hierarchy."
Peter G.W. Keen, Shaping the Future: Business Design Through Information Technology, Harvard Business School Press, 1991.
"The growing emphasis on high-technology production means greater demands on the competence of each individual employee. And so the element of comprehensive, life long learning for all members of the enterprise will probably turn out to be the most characteristic feature of work in the 21st century."
Robert B. McKersie and Richard E. Walton, "Organizational Change," in The Corporation of the 1990s, Oxford University Press, 1991.
Cognitive psychology--which treats people as information-processing creatures--was not a field until recently.
"Know thyself," advised an inscription on the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi. But what is it that you know when you know yourself? How do you gain this knowledge, and what should you do with it? Such questions are at the core of personality psychology, which explores both self-knowledge and knowledge of others.
Some personality psychologists compare everyday life to a play in which we put on different faces or play different roles for different audiences. In fact, the word personality comes from the Latin root persona, meaning "mask." The impression we make on others-or the mask we present to the world-determines how people feel about us.
Our everyday "performances" have a profound effect on our lives, so it pays to understand how others see us. But are the acts we put on for others an indication of who we really are? Do our outward behaviors reflect our true personality? A complete picture of personality includes a look at thoughts and feelings, the unconscious, genetics, and society.
When our own opinion of ourselves is at odds with what other people think, we tend to assume that no one knows us better than we know ourselves--I must be right, and they must be wrong. This egocentric position makes little sense, especially when a large number of people all agree about what kind of a person you are. Perceptions from one observer are inherently less reliable than the consensus from ten observers, even when you are the one observer.
Internet Time Group
learning, collaboration, and time