Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_TopicIcon
Man's Search for Meaning III
January 26, 2000
8:39 am
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Tez, Eve...

Here's an interesting principle from the realms of social psychology (studying the individual as he interacts with a group).

Social influence has been studied since 1898, actually as the first social psychological experiment. It was abandoned in the 1920s because there was no scientific consensus: do people perform better in groups or worse? Experiments showed that both conclusions were correct.

In 1965, animal researcher Bob Zajonc (pronounced zience, like science) discovered a simple principle that was in later research found to solve the dilemma: The presence of others increases physiological arousal, arousal enhances the dominant response.

Why is this applicable to you? In heated discussions or arguments, even slight irritations in the presence of others causes physiological arousal. The dominant response for us is the learned response. However we have handled arguments consistently before in the past is how we will be inclined to handle it presently. Thus the whole idea of not thinking clearly when angry.

Although we can make suggestions and give tips for productive discussions, couples in anger will revert back to old habits of shouting and name-calling, sometimes physical action, all because it's a learned response. The good news is that simply by learning this principle, ackowledgeing it and understanding/internalizing it, we can prevent ourselves form reverting completely back to old coping mechanisms.

Interesting?

January 26, 2000
1:38 pm
Avatar
eve
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cici, Tez, all

Cici, yes veryyyy interesting.

I’m not sure if I understand this correctly: „The presence of others increases physiological arousal, arousal enhances the dominant response.“ Does it mean: as soon as somebody else is present, we (strictly speaking Zajonc’s experimental animals) try to be dominant, get higher in the hierarchy? Are you, by chance, refering to our discussion here? 🙂

And: are Tez and I having a heated argument? Tez? I understood that you were not „heated“ about our argument ;-). I think I am/was, somewhat. And I think we haven’t succeeded in communicating what we mean to the other. At least I have the feeling that I get answers but not to my questions / to the point I was trying to make (Tez? same for you, I suppose); likely because I didn’t put my question in a form that transports what I want to say. This I find slightly frustrating (because I try to say what I want to say as clearly as I can, and I still don’t come over), but I don’t think we try to dominate each other?

But back to this social psychology thing: that something enhances the dominant response could also mean that it brings out what’s on „top of“ our mind (?). I’ll just talk about animal studies and dominant behaviour a bit

I think if we are talking about social groups organized in hierarchies we have to look at experimental results at least twice: did the experiment change hierarchical structures in the animal group examined, did it group results for the animals by „on top“ „low down“ „intermediate“ positions? Pharmacological studies showed that major (side) effects of drugs were completely different for these different groups (e.g. mortality in toxicity studies, severity of clinical signs in toxicity studies, dose required for the desired effect, time to onset of desired effect... ). And: hierachical behaviour is highly species specific, and has a lot to do with the husbandry conditions. Results from dogs, mice, ferrets and hamsters will more often than not be completely controversial. Any conclusions from animal experiments to human behaviour are analogies (and not proof, maybe evidence) as long as there is no additional evidence from tests or observations on people. I don’t want to talk down on these results from animal tests, I think they are often interesting and can be a great help in understanding people. But some of these tests tell us more about how the experimenting scientist thought than about other things.

But then: I’m totally fascinated by science, AND by how science is reflected in the media. Often scientists seem to market their results, maybe to get funding, and often media people seem to take scientific results and interpret them in their own ways, most likely to market their newspaper, TV-channel or whatever. And while science reports in the media usually don’t tell me a lot about what the results were, what they mean, and whether the methodology used was sound, the do tell me a lot about our society, don’t they? 🙂

Eve

January 26, 2000
3:50 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.

What an excellent and well written response. I wholeheartedly agree with every part of it.

You said, "The good news is that simply by learning this principle, ackowledgeing it and understanding/internalizing it, we can prevent ourselves form reverting completely back to old coping mechanisms." Yes, we certainly can. However, sometimes our arousal levels seem to pass a 'threshold' above which we seem to spontaneously react without any apparent cognitive influence upon that resulting behaviour. Other times we do control our behaviour and suffer the arousal to go unexpressed.

The good that we would do, we often do not; the evil that we would do not, we often do. Ahh! The conflict between the our emotions and cognitions. The question of interest to me is this: What factor(s) enable(s) or disable(s) the expression of our arousal in the form of inappropriate behaviour; often inappropriate even from our own perspective?

January 26, 2000
4:12 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Eve.

I am certain that Cici was not inferring that our discussion was heated. I believe that she was making a general statement about human behaviour. Cici, am I right in my understanding of your statement?

As for me, I never respond during an aroused state. Whenever I become emotional about a response, I cut and paste the response to my wordprocessor and then reflect upon what it is within me that has caused my arousal. After several hours reflection. After realising which of my buttons was pushed, I then respond as positively as I can in an attempt to clarify the issue. I believe that if I understood all, and knew all, it would be impossible for me to take offense at anything. Of course, then I would have the awareness of God, which I do not have. 🙂

I believe that it is only my ignorance of both my own inner psychological processes and those of others that causes my erroneous interpretations and attributions of motives in others. Hence my interest in my own psyche and that of others. An additional bonus of this belief of mine is that it tends to heighten the threshold above which I become aroused and 'offended'.

January 27, 2000
9:06 am
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Eve, Tez:

Dominant response refers to the response that is habitual. For example, in couples where anger is dealt with by abuse, no matter what couseling he does, the man will revert back to abusive tendencies until his dominant response is re-learned to be constructive discussion.

I agree that arousal can be an all-or-nothing situation. Passing a certain threshold removes logical thinking from the equation.

Strangely enough, it is often unexpected reactions or circumstanes that allow us to break out of hte dominant response cycle.

I wasn't referring to your discussion, I was remembering Tez's reaction to his father many moons ago. I noticed the discussion had turned to that of physiological arousal as it relates tointeraction, so I decided to share my newly learned tidbit with the class.

January 27, 2000
7:24 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.

Thanks for your 'food for thought'.

I agree that in my own case, I have learned to react differently to my father by not choosing my dominant (childhood and adolescent) response to him.

My father has removed all the family portraits and paintings from the walls and together with all his library books has thrown them in the rubbish bin.

The other day, I had to take him to the doctors for his periodic check up. He asked me where all the paintings and portraits had gone. I told him the truth. He glared at me with fire in his 90 year old eyes, and said with a loud angry voice"Bullllll Shitttttt". Again I flipped into my fear arousal state. I responded by saying, "Believe what you like" and walked out of the room. This was my dominant response. However this time I unexpectedly picked up an old newspaper and took it to the rubbish bin. Whilst there I recovered my composure. I 'saw' that yet again my emotional memories (inner child) had been triggered into full arousal. Knowing that he would not remember the incident, I walked straight back into the room and said with a quiet but firm adult voice, "Let's go. It's time to go for your doctor's visit." He went straight into 'little child' mode himself and followed me to the car as if nothing has happened. The doctor agreed with me that dad's behaviour, in throwing everything out, was about seeking control over his environment. I understand that 'seeking control' is just one emotionally driven response to fear arousal.

I clearly saw that now my father's behaviour is governed largely by a collection of emotional memories without any contexts to associate with them when they are retriggered yet again and again into recall. He has no hope of doing other that respond emotionally to every trigger. His cognitive processing abilities have all but gone. My dad is a slave to his dominant responses. In regard to my father, I have somehow learnt to quickly override my 'dominant' response. Observing my father's behaviour and emotional responses has been very instructive for me.

If you get the opportunity, would you ask your lecturers how they would advise raising one's emotional trigger 'threshold' above which the dominant emotional response is inevitable and below which cognitions can have a large influence behaviour?

January 28, 2000
1:59 pm
Avatar
eve
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cici, Tez,

how come that one response is our dominant response? I think that all the real „successful“ dominant responses contain a self fulfilling prophecy. With „successful“ i mean the ones that are really hard to get rid of, that we do again and again, contrary to the best of our knowledge :-).

Why? I found with some of my more unpleasant dominant responses that they have a circular pattern: They provoke a response that confirms that this response was really „necessary“, and also „not enough, yet“. So I do „more of“ my dominant response behaviour. When the other person involved simply shrugs and doesn’t respond „properly“ to my response (i.e. confirming that my response was right), nothing happens. But when I find somebody who answeres my dominant response with a complementary dominant response of their own, wawrooooom, boom. These are arguments that start small about nothing, really and go quickly and reliably beyond the point of no return. Usually both sides don’t realize what happens until they limped away to a corner to lick their wounds (figure of speach, it doesn't get physical). I had quite a lot of these circular explosive patterns with members of my family, I think because with family we have a lot of time for training and retraining these responses untill they go off almost with nothing to run on. Yeah, I think they evolve somehow, and the more self confirming they are, the more „successful“. But I didn’t use most of them for a long time now. At the momtent I’m trying to find out how I got rid of them, because I seem to have found yet one more situation where just that happens, more civilized and much more moderate than when I was a teenager, but just as „inevitable“ (and just as absurd when viewed with a clear head and some distance).

Example? I was thinking of an example, but I chicken out. Don’t want to put it down in writing at the moment.

Tez you suggest that the only way to get away from that dominant response is not to get over the triggering threshold. I’d rather not agree to the „only“ here, mainly because I hope there are other ways, too. What about making the alternative more attractive? Of course this doesn’t work at once, but when we do it repeatedly, and go and look repeatedly at how well we can do with the alternative behaviour? I think a really thorough releraning process is posible, if the alternative is „real great“. It is much more difficult when the alternative is boring, or tedious. But then again: it’s sometimes just a way of looking at things, that changes them from being boring to being pretty great, isn’t it? And more: I think sometimes it is just negative self talk that lets us find the alternative behaviour boring or tedious, when „in fact“ it is great.

Ok, I found a harmless example for that: I’m very tall for a woman, in a crowd my head and shoulders will stick out above the others, and I have „huge“ feet, the second largest normal men’s size will fit me nicely. I have been this size since I was 14. So my dominant response to a lot of situations was: „it’s not fair, I’m, just too tall for that and so I will never...“. When somebody tried to console me, by stating that being tall wasn’t so bad, my response was: Even you, who are my friend think that I am too tall, otherwise you wouldn’t bother to console me about it. And get really disconsolate. One person went so far as to suggest, that I could have surgery to shorten my legs if I feel so bad about being tall (he was trying to console me, and I was horrified by just one more evil that came to me by being so tall: somebody even suggested mutilation!). So far the self fulfilling prophecy part.

When I was 18 I thought that I had worked it out: I’m tall, therefore I’ll never be able to buy normal clothes or normal shoes but that isn’t so bad really, I can cope with that. I’ll just try to blend in as inconspicously as possible (and I got really good at that), and when somebody does notice, and makes an odd joke, I’ll cope. (this was the boring and tedious way of trying to get rid of feeling bad about being too tall)

When I got older I started to realize, that there are some situations where being tall really helps. The best thing that happened was that I started basketball: I met more girls who were nearly as tall as I, I was actually wanted because I was so tall. This encouraged me to look for other „tall is wonderful“ situations: tell you what, there are plenty - as soon as I was prepared to see them. Now I wouldn’t even dream of fretting about being too tall, not even when my favorite overlength clothes store closes down, or the man I’m falling in love with is a lot shorter than I am. I simply forgot my old dominant response to my height and now I sometimes have to worry about not being too „high nosed“ about being tall, I think that happened, because it feels much better this way.

Anybody understand what I want to say? Any chance that this complete relearning can be applied to all / most / a lot of our problems? And: perhaps we could skip the „boring and tedious“ phase in between and go straight for the „this feels great“ solution, when we have a dominant response that we want to get rid of?

Eve

January 31, 2000
8:43 am
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Eve, Tez,

Eve, I think I understand what you're trying to say. The thing is, you didn't raise your trigger threshold for the dominant response. As yo umature, your coping mechanisms become more effective in dealing with sensitive issues. As you grow and experience, your mind is more able to tailor your coping strategies to make them more effective.

Tez, I don't know that you can avoid hitting the trigger threshold. That's the thing about psychology. Manipulating your environment is usually the more difficult road. Manipulating yourself and your learned responses is much easier. It's normal to have the reactions that you're having to your father. The thing is, you're ARE re-learning your coping strategies with him, and the incident with him throwing away all the pictures and you not reacting is a perfect example. You have internalized that he is suffering from dementia and operationalized your new coping mechanisms. After the initial knee-jerk reaction of anger/fear, you calmed yourself.

In some ways, we seek to simply eradicate anger from our lives. This is an impossibility. Even Buddhist monks realize that. What is important, I always thought, was utilizing the energy of that anger for constructive interaction, which can involved heated debate or discussion.

I don't know if this makes any sense. Hell, I don't know if I use this advice myself. On friday night I went to see a band that my friend plays in at a local bar. I ran into the guy who took my virginity, who I dislike in the extreme due to the way he went about the procedure (i was drunk and passed out those many moons ago when the whole thing went down). So I became very irritable. I eventually took out my discomfort at seeing this man on my boyfriend, who didn't deserve my anger whatsoever. That's definately not constructive.

February 1, 2000
4:35 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.

It seems to me that we have 'scripts' in our heads which define how we think we should behave to a given situation; that is, our cognitively preferred response. Then we have our emotional memories which, when recalled, usually provoke our 'dominant' emotional response.

We then seem to go to great lengths to reconcile the chasm between the the two responses. If we let our emotions rule, we suffer guilt. If we follow our scripts we feel emotionally dissatisfied for not 'sticking it to them'. Oh, wouldn't it be great to have a set of emotional memories that were in concurrence with our 'script's. That is, after the event and our response, wouldn't it be great if what we felt like doing at the time, coincided with what we think we should have done.

In my experience, it seems to me that people in the last few weeks of their lives really revert to 'type'; 'scripts' have little impact on behaviour and emotions govern. Biological drives for survival seem to take over up until the final acceptance of death makes these survival drives redundant. Then, peace really reigns supreme. Without trivialising our survival drives, this would seem to indicate the veracity of the maxim that states 'we have to come to terms with death to really live'.

Oh, to have the power over our emotions and the wisdom of insight into the nature of our scripts to ensure the appropriate responses to all situations. That most of us do not have this ability, seems to me to be a prerequisite for creating the diversity of the drama of human interaction. It seems that diversity of experiences is in the nature of life on this planet. There seems to be intrinsic value in experiencing; that is, the experience is its own reward, independent of any outcome.

Am I going around in 'cognitive' circles? What do you think?

February 1, 2000
4:58 pm
Avatar
gst
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The place where "scripts" combine with emotions is called our values. Make sense?

February 1, 2000
5:04 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Eve.

you said, "...you suggest that the only way to get away from that dominant response is not to get over the triggering threshold. I’d rather not agree to the „only“ here, mainly because I hope there are other ways,..."

Well... it seems to me that the borderline between some and no control over our emotions lies in controlling the emotional threshold level. As Cici says, and it is also my experience, it is very much harder to control our environment and the intensity of the emotional triggers therein. Conscious control over the emotional threshold level seems to me to be both a function of our cognitions and the only way that I can see to effect control over the 'borderline'. What else do you see that can modify the 'borderline' between having some control over our emotions and none?

Some people say that we always have control over our emotions. They say that anger is a choice over which we have control. This has not always been my experience. Even now, after many years of progress, I am still capable of flying into a rage. All that is required is that I let my guard and my emotional threshold drop, and a high enough intensity trigger appear. I can't stop the appearances of the triggers, however I can constantly and vigilantly work at raising the 'threshold'.

Eve, please note that I am only talking about how I am, and how I perceive others around me; I am not trying to be didactic about how you or anyone else should 'think' or 'behave'.

February 2, 2000
9:27 am
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Ahhhhh. Sociology terminology! Tez, you refered to "scripts." I wondered if you distinguish between intrapsychic (internal), interpersonal scripts and social scripts. Sometimes these can differ greatly, as what we think in our head and what others prceive as the norm can be oceans apart.

I think you make an interesting point, Tez, about reconciling the emotional trigger response with the said scripts. It sort of harkens back to Freudian Id, Ego, Superego, with a more modern twist. although, the primary principle of any observational research in sociology or psychology is that things as they are are not necessarily as they should be (for example, the classic fallacy that many take for granted: male behavior as the norm, female behavior as a side-shoot. We all know that sex-typed behavior is culturally dictated).

So i think sometimes we make the mistake of trying to reconcile the social script, which is externally imposed, with our intrapsychic script. The clash between how we think we should react and how scoeity dictates that we react can cause so much internal conflict, when you also have to consider the person you're interacting with (interpersonal scripting) AND your emotional trigger response.

Is this making sense at all?

February 2, 2000
7:04 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.

Yes. I understand. You differentiated the categories of scripts very well.

I think that scripts are a cortical manifestation and as such can be changed. I suspect that as we gain more insight into the differing and sometimes conflicting scripts and 'see through them' as it were, we are able to rewrite them to some extent.

However, existing emotional memories, residing in the sub-cortical amygdala, seem to be somewhat permanent. Further, I think that some emotional memories when triggered into recall have the power to produce behaviour that is contrary to our 'scripted' behaviour. France's legal system seems to have taken this into account by allowing the concept of 'crimes of passion' as a defense based on uncontrollable emotional arousal.

One of my primary interests at the moment is in how to prevent the rise of our emotional arousal levels to that of psychic pain. Associated with this pain is the lowering of the emotional trigger threshold for certain emotional memory recall. By constant and vigilant monitoring of our feelings for signs of increase in background, diffused and unfocussed anxiety levels, I see that the application of timely self-nurturing of the emotional self can possibly prevent lowering of the emotional trigger threshold. The application of self nurturing counter measures such as reassuring, fact based self-talk seems to holding out promise and hope in this regard.

In your own personal experiences, what do you see as being effective in this regard?

February 2, 2000
7:11 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

GST.
In Australia the acronym 'gst' is a dirty word. It stands for Goods and Services Tax. 🙂

About your thoughts about the combination of emotions and scripts being our values, well... I will have to think about that.

February 2, 2000
8:52 pm
Avatar
gst
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Tez,

I've been called worse!!!!:))

(That's someone smiling back at you who has a double chin, ya know, a good natured fellow.)

Hey, I thought you were from Canada?

In any event, let me know what you think.

February 2, 2000
9:08 pm
Avatar
gst
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Tez

Mixed you up with VRJ - Now I got it right.

February 3, 2000
4:04 pm
Avatar
eve
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Tez, Cici, gst,
I really like this discussion 🙂

I read something about old fashioned Freudianism. This guy writes that a lot of people think that the purpose of Freudian psychotherapy is to enable the ego to control the emotional Id. He states that - to the contrary - the aim of psychotherapy is to give the ego control over the superego, and thus allow the ego to reconcile with the id and integrate the emotions.

I like this way of seeing it - because it gives me the chance to have a quiet and civilized discussion with my superego (well, kind of), and try to find out what I think I should want or how I think I should feel or even how I think I should think - Maybe also why I came to want / feel / think so. And let my ego have one word or the other in defense of my emotions (Would you call that nurturing?).

And what also helps me when I spot a problem that I can’t place (knots in my stomach, behaving „unlike myself“, negaive self talk.... why on earth do I react this way, uneasiness, fear, anger) - I try to get into „search“ mode: I try to focus on What is it / How come / Why now / Why in this situation ..... . And because I’m a very inquisitive person I don’t ask this questions in a paranoid way, more like a hunter roaming for prey. And I drag little pieces of evidence out of every available corner - and I get considerable pleasure out of finding an answer that clicks. This is what helps me most. Maybe I should try to make „search“ my dominant response?

Eve

February 3, 2000
6:28 pm
Avatar
gst
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi eve,

Interesting guy. I don't want to come off sounding to "Berkley Campus" ut I wonder what it would be like if more people better understood and catered to their id?

So you don't control your emotions but let your emotional needs be fed by ego, or maybe a better way of stating that is leading your ego with your id. Just a thought.

February 5, 2000
1:20 pm
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have spent many hours trying to masticate and digest the complex palate of emotions that usually result in completely irrational responses, as emotional responses seem dominant for me. Although I have spent hours trying to monitor my own feelings (why do I feel this unsettled feeling in my stomach?) I have not yet found an answer that I consider satisfactory. If the answer is never found, I never truely achieve my goal of reducing the levels of emotional arousal.

I suppose it comes down to knowing yourself and your own limits. Those with addicitve personalities are often the ones who ruthlessly self-examine yet are never able to integrate the information enough to come to some conclusion. So they instead make themselves numb. I have heard that story over and over again from friends who have addiction problems similar to my own. They see themselves through a microscopic lens. Each component and emotional color is bright and distinct in their eyes. But the ability to see yourself so minutely can drive you mad. I've known men who sleep for a few hours a night, waking up and spending the dark times staring at the ceiling, thoughts whirling in their heads.

Perhaps that is the key to drug addiction? I'm sorry I answered your quetion with a question, Tez. I have to say my success in lowering my emotional trigger response has probably been based most strongly in my dependence and addicitions. What a healthy way to be!!

February 5, 2000
6:30 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.
Thanks for your response. You seem to be 'very bright', insightful and wise beyond your years.

I have read that alcoholics have a deficiency in a particular neurotransmitter that triggers the endorphins that damps down our fear arousal. Alcohol apparently stimulates production of this particular neurotransmitter. For the first few drinks at least, relaxation and feelings of well being then ensue . It seems that when the alcoholic then stops drinking the production of the relaxing neurotransmitter is even lower than before drinking started. Now intense fear arousal is experienced in the form of 'the shakes'; intense cravings for alcohol and the accompanying fear relief follows alcohol withdrawal. Being a recovered alcoholic, I know the feelings well.

Since many years have passed since my last drink, I guess that my production of the natural endorphin releasing neurotransmitter has increased. I now suspect that it is possible to exert 'mind' over 'matter'influence over the said production. I am starting to believe that we can 'think' ourselves into a better way of 'feeling'. The question is: how do we do this?

Well... by using the twelve step program AA members come to believe in a Higher power that will restore them to sanity. This seems to me to be another way of saying that a God of their understanding will reduce their fear and anxiety levels to that of 'normality'. But, it seems to me that a much more practical therapeutic approach is required for those of us who believe that 'God helps those who help themselves'. 🙂

My 'research' into emotional memories has resulted in a belief that we have an 'emotional self' that is very separate from our 'thinking self'. If our 'thinking self' thinks fearful thoughts, our eves dropping 'emotional self', not knowing the difference between 'imagination' and 'reality', goes into panic mode. Thus, in order to maintain low levels of fear arousal, the secret seems to be in understanding the nature of our own personalized emotional triggers combined with constant vigilance in monitoring our feelings for signs of disturbances in this emotional self. When disturbances are detected, 'reality checking' and self-nurturing 'thoughts' (counting one's blessings) seems to dissipate these small levels of arousal. Taking care of the 'pennies' seems to automatically look after the 'pounds'. Thus, the the emotional trigger threshold seems to rise. Major triggerings are thence often avoided - but not always.

Though I have spectacular failures, I am by and large having some success in doing this. However, I too, like those other guys that you mentioned, often awake in the early hours of the morning in fear and stare at the ceiling. I then practice my above mentioned strategy with some success; I generally go back to sleep.

Of course, the idea is not new. I know that Dr Aaron Beck and Dr Albert Ellis proposed the concept of 'self-talk' many years ago. But it seems that research is now vindicating their therapeutic approaches by finding a physiological basis for the emotional self that includes childhood emotional memories of rejection, abandonment etc. These findings seem to also justify John Bradshaw's analogy for the existence of the 'inner child' in all of us. In terms of long forgotten childhood emotional experiences being relived in the present, this to me seems to hold the promise of explaining a lot of irrational adult behaviour.

Your thoughts?

February 7, 2000
8:32 am
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Beck and Ellis' self-talk probably is a good way of reconciling the emotional self and the rational self. i have to tend to agree with you on this one. I never really thought that the id, ego, superego thing was on the money. I have negative, animalistic impulses, yes, but to say that personality is that fragmented is to over simplify the human psyche.

I have recently been reading about male sexuality, which of course you may be familiar with, Tez (ha ha ha). After reading Morris' "The Male Heterosexual" and Marsiglio & Greer's "Older Men's Sexuality," I have a question to pose to you and of course anyone else, male or female, who wishes to respond. Female sexuality has often been characterized as "complex" or "mysterious." This of course is due to the fact that we menstruate, carry and bear children, and our genitalia is internal. But to say that male sexuality is simple is to fall into the naturalistic fallacy that the overt expression of arousal (erections) is the same as the overt expression of the sexual identity. Do you think that the palate of male sexuality and gender roles is as complex as women's? (ie the peer-group reinforced idea of male as "sexual conqueror" vs. the idea of the male as committed partner and provider)

February 7, 2000
6:54 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.
You asked, "Do you think that the palate of male sexuality and gender roles is as complex as women's?" Yes I do. I think that it is different but just as complex. I think that both the differences and the complexity comes from the early influences of individuation from the mother at infancy that continues through childhood into adulthood. I believe that emotional memories laid down during this period of early childhood development have a major influence on the sexual behaviour of men. In an extreme example, I believe that the origins of rape lie in the unresolved childhood fears and resentments that are retained into adulthood as emotional memories. Once triggered by a suitable set of circumstances, these horrific emotional memory arousals drive the perpetrator to wreck vengence on 'mom' for rejecting him. Of course the processing is unconscious. I doubt that the rapist is aware of why he hates women.

Of course all men are not so fixated and traumatised in their early development. But I believe that, for most men, to a very much lesser degree the individuation influence is still there.

In addition, there is the influence of the father as a sexual role model for the son.

Sexuality is such a pervasive thing. One year of both voluntary physical and mental celibacy showed me the truth of this statement. I was practicing yoga at the time and highly committed to the yogi way of life. Even simple interactions with female shop assistants were markedly different. The unconscious channels of communication somehow communicated my celibacy, therein affecting the behaviour of the women. They somehow seemed much more open and friendly to me and much less defensive.

Also, I believe that inherent is the sexuality of both men and women is the desire for the recapturing of the feelings of security and intimacy of the womb and the mother's breast. This feeling, I believe, is experienced upon recall of those pre- and anti-natal emotional memories. It has been shown that motherstend to treat boy and girl babies differenty. This partially accounts for later gender differences in this aspect of our sexuality.

Then there are the differences between the hormonal effects of testosterone and estrogen. One promotes aggression the other nurture. The effects on our sexuality will be of this nature.

Yes, I do think that male sexuality is just as complex as that of women. However, most men want much more than to just shove their ....... in a ...... If this was not so there would be a brothel on every corner and hardly any permanent relationships. I know that culture has a major influence here. But the desire for intimacy with that 'special' woman, who unconsciously and emotionally 'reminds' the man of his childhood image of his 'mom', is strong. This accounts for the vast differences in tastes in men for the type of woman they seem to pursue.

And there are also the early childhood influences that are also culture related. I often wonder if any studies have been done on the American Indians. I think that their practice of carrying a baby in a papoose at all times must have had a remarkable effect on the early emotional memories of the child. So another variable of race enters the equation.

Does this answer your question?

February 8, 2000
9:27 am
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Very well! I like the way you concisely summarize the precursors to adult gener roles.

I have heard of some studies, the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, for example, that indicate that the more androgenous your gender identity is, the more psychologically stable you are. Androgenous gender identity refers to a more balanced way of thinking about yourself. We associate aggressiveness with masculitity and passivity with feminitity.

(Here's a website if you're interested in your leanings: ..http://transsexual.org/bem.html)

The Mean score indicates your leaning on a 0-7 scale, I think. Mine were about 3.45 Male and 5.65 female, so I have a more feminine gender identity. These psychological theorists believe that my gender identity leads to my problems...why I cry when I'm angry, why I cannot express aggressiveness without feeling all askew. The more androgenous I strive to be in my attitudes, the more stable I'll become. What do you think? Does this sound like hooey to you?

February 8, 2000
4:57 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guests

Cici.

Do I think the Bem Test is hooey? Well... I am very sceptical of such simplistic questions and the subjective selection of a rating on a Likert scale by the subjects. I suspect that if 100 people read a particular question, you would probably get 100 different interpretations about what it is that the question is actually asking. Under those circumstances, how can the experimenter know exactly what he/she is measuring? Anyway, I scored 5.150, Masculine and 3.85, Feminine.

You said that some studies indicate that , "...the more androgenous your gender identity is, the more psychologically stable you are..." I believe this to be true. The Hindi religion has an image of a four armed God-Goddess called Vishnu, the sustainer. It is supposed to represent the nurturing aspect, the second face of the divine nature of God. The statue has the male and female forms combined. It has deep psychological implications for humanity, best expressed by Jung in his propositions about the existence of the animus and anima in both sexes. Jung felt that men had to get more in touch with their feminine side and women their masculine side; a balance being the optimum.

I believe that if a child were idealistically reared, such a balance between the animus and anima would result. This imaginary child would feel very secure, very loved, intrinsically invaluable, at peace with the world, very accepting of others, self-less and a joy to be around. Such a child would love nature and have little ambition to dominate or aspire to positions of power. All learning for such a child would be mostly curiosity motivated, with fear motivation being non-existent. This childs core worth would be such that estimations of self-worth would be redundant. The term self-esteem would be meaningless to such a child. In fact such a child could have only existed before the fall of 'Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden'. The 'weeds' in the psyche reproduce abundantly from generation to generation. The question is: Why would God have permitted the introduction of psychological 'weeds' into the psyche of prehistoric man- as symbolised by the mythological 'Adam and Eve' - therein precluding any future possibility of children of this ideallic nature?

From these 'weeds' is born the suffering of the world. If there is a God and such a God is truly loving, then there must be infinite value in all experiences. Finding that meaning and value is the quest of man's search for meaning, the title of this thread. Else if all is a randomised result of a blind and indifferent Nature, where is the meaning and value in anything. Under such circumstances, all is vanity and Hedonism is triumphant.

February 9, 2000
5:47 pm
Avatar
Cici
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Wow, Tez. I suddenly feel like the point of this thread is moot! You have a very unique ability to condense the blather of newspeak that most people spout in response to seriously posed philosophical questions.

A funny thing, about philosophy. Philosophy has been an area of study that has been persued by all cultures throughout history. In ancient Greece and Rome, all subjects fell under the motherly umbrella of the persuit of understanding the human mind. Even mathematics seemed to reveal some absolute truth about humanity.

Asian philosophy tends toward collectivism, correct? It is a refelction of the tenents that are stressed by the culture. But why is it that asian culutre developed in this vein, whereas western thought is more individualistic? Could you say one is better than another? We always picture the Buddhist monk as one who is infinitely serene, content to quietly persue a personal understanding of nature and all things divine. Yet we don't associate the same things with Western thought. My favorite philosophers have been the existentialists, who, with the exception of Frankl, seem not serene so much as, well, dispassionate with a flat-affect. More like acceptance of the inevitable. What is your opinion regarding the vast differences between eastern and western philosphy?

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: UTC -8

Most Users Ever Online: 247

Currently Online:
45 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

onedaythiswillpass: 1134

zarathustra: 562

StronginHim77: 453

free: 433

2013ways: 431

curious64: 408

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 49

Members: 109487

Moderators: 5

Admins: 3

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 74

Topics: 38532

Posts: 714181

Newest Members:

lesleypq2, chip-xxx, rfvbkmrfVar, Denicedop, gtnhzyzVar, tourprofi

Moderators: arochaIB: 1, devadmin: 9, Tincho: 0, Donn Gruta: 0, Germain Palacios: 0

Administrators: admin: 21, ShiningLight: 572, emily430: 29

Copyright © 2019 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Health Disclaimer