Thursday, April 04, 2013

A Few Quotes from- You Are Not So Smart

By David McRaney

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Chapter 3 Confirmation Bias
THE MISCONCEPTION: your opinions are the result of years of rational objective analysis.
THE TRUTH: Your opinions are the result of paying attention to information that confirmed what you believed, while ignoring information that challenged your preconceived notions.
Chapter 10 The Bystander Effect
THE MISCONCEPTION: When someone is hurt, people rush to their aid.
THE TRUTH: the More people who witness someone in distress, the less likely it is that any one person will help.

The Help                                       

Chapter 14 the Argument from Authority
Neurologist Walter Freeman won the 1949 Nobel prize for medicine in honour of his work- lobotomizing mentally ill people by jabbing a spike behind their eyeballs. Some reports say he performed this technique around 2500 times, often without anaesthesia.1 ...At first he used an ice pick but eventually he developed short thin metal spears he drove through the back of the eye socket with a mallet. The technique made formerly unruly2 patients calmer, as you might imagine severe brain damage would do. Somewhere around 20,000 people were lobotomized in this way before science corrected itself. Freeman was criticized by many in his heyday, but for two decades his work continued and it earned him the highest accolade possible...the rise and fall of the ice pick lobotomy had a lot to do with the argument from authority...his authority went unquestioned as one after another, he pulled patients aside who needed help and turned them into zombies.3
...Just two decades later the science caught up to Freeman and revealed that what he was doing was unnecessary from a medical standpoint and horrific from a moral one. His license to practice was revoked and he died an outcast. The same community who lauded him in one era rejected him in another. 4
...This sort of turnover in science is common...whether in churches or legislatures, botany or business, those who are held in high regard can cause a lot of damage when no one is willing to question their authority. 5
If you feel more inclined to believe something is true because it comes from a person with prestige,6 You are letting the argument from authority spin your head.

Spin Till Dizzy and Nauseated
Personal Experience in Being “Spun”
By Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic
A psychiatrist says that when psychiatrists are thinking like psychiatrists, they never take ANYTHING the patient says at face value. How do you get identified as the patient?
Usually, these days, by the label planted on you, identifying you as such, from within ten to fifteen minutes after you say “how do you do”?
Even better, some big bio psych enthusiasts were first labelled as patients THEMSELVES and then decided to become psychiatrists promoting their own belief in the labelling process, and all of the wisdom that goes with it, as perceived by them, often INCLUDING their acceptance that they have a perception problem.7
So DO these psychiatrists still have “perception problems”?
Should we, who are being legally controlled BY them take anything THEY say at face value? Or should we, LIKE them, look for the hidden meaning behind what they are saying? Of course, according to them, looking for hidden meaning means you're psychotic....8
So is the psychiatrist psychotic, are you psychotic, are neither psychiatrist nor patient psychotic, or are you BOTH psychotic? Don't worry about an answer to this question. The incurable psychotic psychiatrist will decide what the answer should be for both of you. S/he may be crazy him/herself but s/he has something that you don't have... the legal power to control you and to impose his/her own beliefs on you.
This is what I like to call anti-logic. It looks and sounds just like logic for as long as you don't look too closely. In reality, it is a kind of mirror image of logic, not unlike Alice's old trip through “Wonderland.”

Now Back to a Few More Quotes from ; You are Not So Smart.
Chapter 18- The Just World Fallacy
The MISCONCEPTION: People who are losing at the game of life must have done something to deserve it.
THE TRUTH: The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences.
Chapter 23- Groupthink
THE MISCONCEPTION: Problems are easier to solve when a group of people get together to discuss solutions.
THE TRUTH: The desire to reach consensus and avoid confrontation hinders progress.
Chapter 33- Conformity
THE MISCONCEPTION: You are a strong individual who doesn't conform unless forced to.
THE TRUTH: it takes little more than an authority figure or social pressure to get you to obey because conformity is a survival instinct.
Chapter 34- Extinction Burst
In the 60's and 70's Burrhus Frederic Skinner became a scientist celebrity by scaring the shit out of America with an invention called the operant conditioning chamber- the Skinner Box.9....he didn't believe that rational thinking had anything to do with your personal life.10
Chapter 37- Learned Helplessness
The Misconception: If you are in a bad situation you will do whatever you can do to escape it.
The Truth: If you feel like you aren't in control of your destiny, you will give up an accept whatever situation you are in.11
...when battered women, or hostages, or abused children, or longtime prisoners refuse to escape, they don't because they have accepted the futility of 1976...a study by Ellen Langer and Judith Rodin showed in nursing homes where conformity and passivity are encouraged and every whim is attended to, the health and well being of the patients declines rapidly.12.... this research was repeated in prisons.
Chapter 38- Embodied Cognition
THE MISCONCEPTION:- your opinion of people and events are based on objective evaluation.
THE TRUTH:-You translate your physical world into words and then believe those words.13
Chapter 42:- Self Fulfilling Prophecies
THE MISCONCEPTION:- Predictions about your future are subject to forces beyond your control.
THE TRUTH:- Just believing a future event will happen can cause it to happen if the event depends upon human behaviour.14
(Psychiatrists also see the Thomas Theorem 1928.)
Sociologist Robert K Merton coined the term 'self fulfilling prophecy' in 1968...initial phase is always a false interpretation of an ongoing situation. The behaviour that follows assumes the situation is real,15 and if enough people act as if something is real it can sometimes make it so. What was once false becomes true...
Self -fulfilling prophecies gain their power from social definitions of reality, and most of your life is defined socially, not logically. Ideas like these .16...are socially defined. They depend upon subjective feelings and a vacillating consensus of beliefs. The social hive mind creates a reality all it's own that is separate from the reality of swim in 18a sea of social ideas and mental constructs....when these ideas become beliefs, and then those beliefs become actions19, the logical and measurable side of reality changes to match.
Chapter 45: The Representative Heuristic
THE MISCONCEPTION:- Knowing a person's history20 make it easier to determine what kind of a person they are.
THE TRUTH:- You jump to conclusions based on how representative a person seems to be based on a preconceived character type.21
Chapter 48:- The Fundamental Attribution Error
THE MISCONCEPTION:-Other people's behaviour is the reflection of their personality.
THE TRUTH:-other people's behaviour is more the result of their situation than their disposition.
The buildup to an experience can completely change how you interpret the information reaching your brain from your otherwise objective senses.22 ... in psychology true objectivity is pretty much considered to be impossible. 23...when you hear about a shooting....what is the first thing you assume about the killer? The most comforting thought is that the killer was crazy...he or she was nuts and one day something just came over that person. In it's own dark way this is comforting. You don't want to think potential killers are all around you or that you, yourself, could lose it in such a grand and total way. Yet most of the time people who snap don't wake up one day with murder on the brain. The rage builds for years. They are usually frustrated and angry because of grievances at work....many of them feel they have been tormented and shamed for too long and want to settle a score. To them life has become a relentless depressing assault and they are powerless...the situation, in their minds 24is driving them see killers on a rampage as lunatics but co-workers and family rarely agree. They say the job and stress drove them to madness...For you, on the outside, it's easier to blame the personality of the murderer as if that person was bound to kill one day no matter what. 25...As distressing as it may be, it is another way the fundamental attribution error drives you to jump to conclusions. You see the person and ignore his or her surroundings and then cast blame only on the individual. 26 ... if it could happen to anyone it could happen to you. It is an unpleasant thought to imagine that evil could be more the result of a series of terrible events and social pressures than the working of a deviant mind. Knowing this is so does in no way excuse those who harm others, but nevertheless it seems to be true.27

A few final comments on this one from me personally-
Did you find this information helpful in some way personally? Could you relate to it in some way in relation to your own life? If you are like me, the answer is most likely “yes.” Now I want to point out something else about it to you that you may not be noticing.
The reason we can find these things personally helpful and can relate to them is because they are written mostly as abstractions. Though our personal experiences are not identical, they are similar on an abstract level of thought. So we can use this kind of information to become more aware personally when connected to our own personal life experiences. The danger in this comes when we decide that our personal life experiences, and the concrete details of our relationships and events, are specifically represenational of everyone else's as well and that anyone who thinks otherswise must be lying, or denying, or only saying theirs' are different to “seek attention” or to make “us” look bad, or are simply our inferiors who are unable to understand their own lives as well as we, who will do their understanding and even their feeling FOR them, are capable of doing.
Now go back to the first quote in this entitled, Chapter 3- Confirmation Bias
THE TRUTH:- Your opinions are the result of paying attention to information that confirmed what you believed, while ignoring information that challenged your preconceived notions.
This is written in absolute terms, although it is also written in the second person. However, if this is true for everyone, in absolute terms, then it is ALSO true for psychiatrists, for psychiatric hospital staff members on all levels and everyone else involved in all of this, right here in my own case.
It is ALSO true for David McRaney who wrote this book.
Will he now ignore what I just said while looking to others to confirm his beliefs for him? According to him, he will, as his truth is understood by him to be an abstraction in absolute terms.
REALITY: there IS NO TRUTH which can be used realistically, as a one size fits all truth in absolute terms. To believe there is, is delusional. I believe it comes from a human desire to simplify thought and to feel safe and confident while doing it.
The DSM in my opinion is an attempt to do just that. Defining “reality” like this comes with a huge cost. It comes at the cost of the real lives of the people so defined, often done now in ten to fifteen cost effective minutes and once labelled by experts, the life of the one labelled is changed forever, and there is nothing s/he can really do about it. It will be the self fulfilling prophecy when no one will admit they are wrong to do this and while those doing it are defining harm as help, the invidvcual on the receiving end of it will only CONFIRM their bias, by “proving” resistant to the “help” which will now be understood to be another “symptom” along with anything esle s/he may say, or feel, or do by objecting to it.
This largely predictable outcome is BUILT INTO the program and exists in it BEFORE any label is ever applied to the one being assessed and evaluated. So if you want to learn more about confirmation bias, an excellent example of that is the DSM a cooked book, which often reads like a book of recipes for disaster.
If you are programmed to hear the words “set up” as symptoms and you believe this is true, in absolute terms, then EVERYONE who says those words will be suspected of being crazy by those who hear that way apart from any differences in CONTEXT which will seem irrelevant to the believer in abstractions.
In reality though, real life is NOT an abstraction and it cannot be judged “as if” it was. 


1 It has been widely accepted in the past and still heard today, that those defined as “schizophrenic” don't feel pain, despite the fact that they 'claim' they do. PL

2 I wonder how that always got defined in that way? PL

3 Now though the kinder, gentler lobotomy known as the chemical lobotomy is used on those who often fight against their labels and being drugged against their will. I wonder what the books of fift years from now will say about it. PL Ironically these drugs appeared on the scene after alienists went in search of the drugs “zombies,” who had been drugged by practioners of voodoo “ turned them onto. What is this obsession with creating ”zombies” one wonders?....

4 And this TOO is about Groupthink, not logic .PL

5 Of course with bio psych it is even more powerful since those who “resist” authority can have their resistance pathologized in a way that “proves” how right that authority is to do what it does. PL

6 Or perhaps believe that something is NOT true because it comes from a person without any prestige....PL

7 Try not to guffaw too openly...

8 Oh good...a psychotic person has me under his or her total control...and it's legal too.

9 It's about changing “behaviour” through “conditioning,” an older gentler word for brainwashing using reward and punishment....

10 This is the basis of behaviourist “therapy.” Now remember he is talking about this as an abstraction applied to all humans so here is is my question...was what Skinner was doing rational or not? Had he been conditioned to think the way he was thinking when he invented the Skinner Box? If something is accepted as universally true then it is ALSO true for him is it not? Or am I being too rational for all you conditioned people?

11 Well unless you are a bit of a “weirdo” and decide to expose the situation itself so we can all “enjoy” the experiment on the Subject together.....

12 The sense of self as an INDIVIDUAL disappears with the pressure to “socialize” all the time, with others pressured to do the same and having virtually NO PIRIVACY or alone time at all.

13 When it really gets messy is when you do this for others and not just yourself. Like when you say, “she just thinks” even though the she you are talking about has not told you a thing and does not think what you believe. Then you pass that along as though the thought was “hers” when in fact, it is all your own fabrication.

14 Unless some other human decides to change that future of course by engaging in behaviour that the expectant one does not understand and does not expect.

15 People acting out based in a false premise. Say now THAT sounds familiar... doesn't it locals

16 Best product ...normal etc.

17 Evidence based proofs

18 Sort of like someone integrating an abstract plan of action with concrete detail...isn't it/

19 You know like accepting an instruction to use them “out there in the world of reality”???

20 Or believing that you do anyway...

21 Isn't that just what the DSM is designed to do?

22 Especially I think if you have been pre-programmed to HEAR things in a specific way which you have not questioned..

23 In bio psychiatry though it is considered to be the normal and is represented by the abstractions/generalizations of the DSM. One must leave psychology behind if one wants to embrace bio psychiatry without becoming totally confused by the contradictions of it.

24 When you read this description, i want you to read it as if there were two premises. First assume that the situation that is driving the individual “mad' exists only in the mind of the individual. Then assume that the situation is in fact real in external reality but is being denied by those creating it and then attributed TO the bad brain of the individual on whom ALL participants are focused as THE problem. FEEL it as a group member and then feel it as the INDIVIDUAL being defined in this way. I have long maintained that most of the time this is the final act of someone who sees no way out and reaches the end point of murder and/or suicide as the final act that ends the situation for him or her.

25 Bio psych of course supports this view by perceiving individuals as self contained “disease processes” without relationship to external reality, events or other people and in DOING so CREATES isolation and increases the stress, and social pressure on the one so labelled.

26 Often while telling the individual that s/he '”can't blame others.”

27 If it is true, and I tend to see this as well, based on my own experience of it, which is STILL being denied, do you think that maybe it might be worthwhile to acknowledge this as reality and do something to actually CHANGE these kinds of semi- predictable outcomes? If you could actually save the lives of both individuals and dysfunctional group members, would you then be motivated to change your minds or is appearances and sound bites going to remain at the top of your priority list?

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