Tag: Psychology

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It was interesting to find this article in The Atlantic. While I appreciate the evenhandedness of the magazine to explore a full range of ideas, my thoughts were not about “Left” or “Right” but about a universal principle. The study here referenced “a shared psychological core.” As a theologian I would call this “our shared […]

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So I watched this (sort of) documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma, and I’m wondering if anybody else here has watched it and has any thoughts on it. Its structure is commentary from various individuals who were involved in in social media companies, and a (less successful imho) parallel illustrative story.  And also Matrix […]

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Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the US Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety

 

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How the U.S. Became Obsessed with Physical and Emotional Safety“In America we say if anyone gets hurt, we will ban it for everyone everywhere for all time. And before we know it, everything is banned.” — Professor Jonathan Haidt

It’s a common refrain: We have bubble-wrapped the world. Americans in particular are obsessed with “safety.” The simplest way to get any law passed in America, be it a zoning law or a sweeping reform of the intelligence community, is to invoke a simple sentence: “A kid might get hurt.”

Almost no one is opposed to reasonable efforts at making the world a safer place. But the operating word here is “reasonable.” Banning lawn darts, for example, rather than just telling people that they can be dangerous when used by unsupervised children, is a perfect example of a craving for safety gone too far.

You may think you know the stories of celebrity good deeds, but many examples of celebrity activism have gone horribly wrong. Dr. Cooper Lawrence, doctorate in the psychological study of celebrity culture, Gracie Award winning radio host, expert on MTV’s latest reboot of True Life and bestselling author of The Cult of Celebrity joins Carol Roth to talk about her upcoming book Celebritocracy: The Misguided Agenda of Celebrity Politics in a Postmodern Democracy.

In addition to covering how well-known celebrity activism programs went awry (e.g. Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation; Live Aid), Cooper and Carol also discuss the rise of conservatism in Hollywood, why we treat celebrities as experts, and how celebrities set the global agenda. Plus, a “Now You Know” segment on dogs!

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I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Rising  Star: The Making of Barack Obama by David Garrow.  If you are interested—very, very interested—in the granular details of Chicago politics in the 1980s, this  is the  book for you.  The travails of this  labor boss and that alderman and this activist priest and that graft-prone pol…. […]

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It’s Not a Mask

 

I’m tired but can’t sleep; an experience everyone has at some point. But not everyone fears to close one’s eyes for what thoughts and dreams will rush into the void of sensation. Not everyone screams and mutters without making a sound in a familiar internal battle to “just shut up and go to sleep.”

Mental illnesses are as varied as personalities. We speak of symptoms and causes generally, as with diseases and purely physical ailments, because there is a utility in generalizations and playing the odds. But depression, crippling anxiety, compulsions, hallucinations, and other psychological oddities are not like a rash that looks the same on anyone.

Silly Fears

 

All of us, regardless of how brave and rugged we may appear to others, have to deal with fears of all sorts throughout our lives. This post is about a fear I experienced. At its core, I think the fear I’ll be describing was about my being able to make it through what is a rite of passage in modern life: obtaining a Driver’s License and becoming a legal car driver.

At the time (late 1960s/early 1970s) and place (California) one could secure a Learner’s Permit at age 15-1/2 and a Driver’s License at age 16. The Learner’s Permit allowed you to drive a car only if you were accompanied by a responsible adult, while the Driver’s License allowed you to drive a car without any such restriction.

Bradley T. Klontz, Psy.D., CFP® is a Founder of the Financial Psychology Institute™, an Associate Professor of Practice in Financial Psychology at Creighton University Heider College of Business and a Managing Principal of Your Mental Wealth Advisors. Dr. Klontz has written five books on the psychology of money and sits with Carol to talk about why so many people hate rich people and how it is affecting envy politics. They also cover the psychology of wealth and what separates the ultra-wealthy from the middle class, stereotypes of the rich and how it holds people back and the psychological barriers to climbing the socioeconomic ladder.

You can connect with Dr. Klontz on Twitter and take a quiz to test your own money psychology on his website here. You can view his YouTube channel with videos about the psychology of wealth and money here.

Perpetual Childhood of the Left

 

The last few years, in particular, have demonstrated the increasing polarization between the Left and Right. Demonstrations on college campuses, attacks on Donald Trump and his administration, far-reaching demands for others to succumb to their demands are endless. Many of us have tried to figure out ways to deal with these perpetual attacks: we’ve focused on how to speak to the Left, how to ignore their outrageous behavior, how to ridicule them, ways to fight back, and even how to change them. I think, however, we’ve been going about these efforts in the wrong way.

For the most part, the Right has offered solutions to deal with the demands of the Left, particularly with efforts to communicate with them or to use reason to show them the errors of their ways. Instead of solutions, I suggest we identify the source of their actions. Broadly speaking, they are trapped in Perpetual Childhood and are either unwilling or unable to find their way out. Let me provide an explanation of Perpetual Childhood, suggestions for its domination of so many on the Left, and general suggestions about where we can begin to deal with it. I’d like to begin with a practical list of attributes that I discovered. Think about people on the Left whom you know: do you think that any of these describe their thinking processes or behavior?

  • Emotional escalations—think of the temper tantrums you have seen on college campuses, at demonstrations, in Congressional elevators (as in the attacks on Senators Flake and Graham).
  • Blaming—it’s always someone else’s fault: conservatives, the government, and efforts to be successful, described as greed, setting limits and rules, simply saying no, or cutting back on what the Left describes as “necessary” resources. Accepting reality or taking responsibility are not concepts they understand.
  • Lies—most of these lies are generated by people who’ve accepted the Leftist propaganda and have no desire to seek the truth. Confirmation bias is always important. (Looking for information that confirms their pre-existing views.) If they’ve heard it on the TV news they watch, read it on the internet or seen it in the newspaper, it must be true.
  • NameCalling—greedy, bigoted, hateful, homophobic, Nazis are some favorites used against their “enemies.” The flavor of the day and all-encompassing term is “racist.”
  • Impulsivity—acting out without considering the possible consequences or the needs of others, often jeopardizing safety and compromising free speech.
  • Need to be the center of attention—this might involve individual attention, but being part of a group protest against other hateful people might be very satisfying and empowering.
  • Bullying—this behavior not only happens on college campuses, but in businesses, and especially on social media.
  • Budding narcissism—this happens when people see themselves as the center of the world, when everyone—parents, teachers, coaches, and even peers–repeatedly defer to them. They don’t think that others have anything worthwhile to offer them.
  • Immature defenses—shouting others down, degrading their ideas, and rejecting their input provide emotional barriers to protect themselves against others who may want to engage with them. Denial of having said something, in particular, is another strategy.
  • Inability to learn from their mistakes—they are unable to self-reflect on their actions to determine if they were helpful or appropriate.

Now the Leftists you know may not have all of these characteristics; in fact, those who are less belligerent may not seem so out-of-control. I have a good friend who is a Leftist who is not very outspoken, but if you dig under the surface, she shows a number of these characteristics.

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Weeks ago, Ricochet members discussed talents and aptitudes. It is generally acknowledged that some people are better than others at particular skills and trades. But there was debate about nature versus nurture; if excellence is available to any practicioner with enough hard work and training.  Today, let’s change the focus slightly. Can anyone be trained […]

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Get Off of Twitter

 

Who Are These People?

Do you get that impression? You’re listening to a podcast where they’re talking about this minute’s controversy. The podcaster laboriously stakes out a position in the center. “That’s reasonable,” you think. “I disagree but I can see how he’d get to that conclusion.” Then the podcaster goes on to say “Therefore the people who worship Trump as the twelfth Imam are wrong.” Wait, what? These pundits aren’t ever arguing with me, or with someone with an intelligent, nuanced opinion. They’re always arguing with Twitter.

Ten years after the release of Nudge, the volume that popularized behavioral economics, Richard Epstein considers the shortcomings of the behaviorist school and the concept of “libertarian paternalism.”

“Deplorables” Pwning the Info Wars? Blame Canada!

 

Fans of Brexit’s Vote Leave campaign might remember Dominic Cummings’s reflections on the uses (and abuses) of data in politics. Cummings, often hailed as the mastermind behind Vote Leave, is an eloquent advocate for how getting the data science right contributed to Vote Leave‘s success, and he has a prickly – even “psychopathic” – reputation as a man who won’t suffer data-science fools (or at least those whom he deems foolish) gladly.

No doubt Cummings is right that charlatanism infests the ranks of political “data scientists”, but a more charitable term than “charlatanism” for much iffy “data science” might be “ad-hockery”: Adventurous wunderkinds promote ad-hoc heuristics which seem to work well enough, or which work until they don’t, or which may work, but which haven’t yet been vetted by systematic scientific reasoning. Ad-hoc heuristics aren’t inherently deceptive, or incapable of delivering what they claim to deliver. They deserve to be met with plenty of skepticism, of course, but skepticism needn’t always include suspicion of fraud.

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(NOTE: The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire’s original free-market think tank, publishes a weekly email newsletter.  This week’s newsletter is a little rumination on partisanship. It’s posted below, in full, for your consideration.  If you enjoyed this essay, you can sign up for the free Friday newsletter here.)   Preview Open

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The Shooters: They Think They’re the Victims

 

As usual, the cries for getting to the root of these terrible mass shootings are dominating the media landscape. It’s guns! It’s mental illness! It’s the lone wolf syndrome! I’m not against trying to understand the perpetrators of these horrifying events. In fact, this post is an effort to look at one other possible source of the problem—although if there’s any truth to my proposition, dealing with it may be more complex than we can imagine.

The problem? The mentality of the shooter: his victimization and our indulgence of it.

To better understand a victim mentality, I found this source:

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People everywhere are debating Trump’s mental and emotional state. Is he delusional? Is he a narcissist? Why is he out of control? Doesn’t he have empathy? Is he cognitively impaired? The list goes on and on. Finally, why does he keep doing the things he does? It came to me in a flash: what people […]

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