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50 Psychology Classics

Tipo: Lista pré-estabelecida criada por PlaidStallion

Descrição: Books listed in 50 Psychology Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon

Membros: 2 membros participantes (mostrar todos)

Lista de todos os membrosOrdenar: Pontuação | Título | Autor | Data
2,692 membros, 71 críticas
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PlaidStallion (34): Thinking better, feeling better: Depression can afflict anyone, and its causes are sometimes mysterious.

In rereading, for the first time in years, sequences from my novels—passages where my heroines have lurched down the pathways towards doom—I was stunned to perceive how accurately I had created the landscape of depression in the minds of these young women . . . Thus depression, when it finally came to me, was in fact no stranger, not even a visitor unannounced; it had been tapping at my door for decades.

Even those for whom any kind of therapy is a futile exercise can look forward to the eventual passing of the storm. If they survive the storm itself, its fury almost always fades and then disappears. Mysterious in its coming, mysterious in its going, the affliction runs its course, and one finds peace.
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19,043 membros, 359 críticas
3.74 estrelas (3.74 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (17): Tapping the unconscious mind: Assessments we make in the blink of an eye can be as good as those we make after much deliberation.

They didn’t weigh every conceivable strand of evidence. They considered only what could be gathered in a glance. Their thinking was what the cognitive psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer likes to call “fast and frugal.” They simply took a look at the statues and some part of their brain did a series of instant calculations, and before any kind of conscious thought took place, they felt something, just like the sudden prickling of sweat on the palms of the gamblers ... Did they know why they knew? Not at all. But they knew.”

[There] can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.
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9,959 membros, 179 críticas
3.94 estrelas (3.94 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (30): Behavior, biology, and genes: The genius of the human brain is its continual creation of a sense of self, which persists even in the face of terrible neurological disease.

Neurology and psychology, curiously, although they talk of everything else, almost never talk of “judgment”—and yet it is precisely the downfall of judgment . . . which constitutes the essence of so many neuropsychological disorders.

The super-Touretter, then, is compelled to fight, as no one else is, simply to survive—to become an individual, and survive as one, in face of constant impulse . . . The miracle is that, in most cases, he succeeds—for the powers of survival, the will to survive, and to survive as a unique inalienable individual are, absolutely, the strongest in our being; stronger than any impulses, stronger than disease. Health, health militant, is usually the victor.
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9,291 membros, 435 críticas
4.02 estrelas (4.02 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (6): Why we are how we are: As appealing as it may be, extraversion has become “an oppressive standard,” preventing millions of quieter people from expressing their natural personality and power.

Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness—is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.

Depending on which study you consult, one third to one half of Americans are introverts—in other words, one out of every two or three people you know ... If you’re not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one.
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8,768 membros, 189 críticas
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PlaidStallion (22): Tapping the unconscious mind: Awareness of common errors and biases in human thinking frees us to make better decisions and more accurate judgements.

We pay more attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability, and as a result end up with a view of the world around us that is simpler and more coherent than the data justify . . . many facts of the world are due to chance . . . Causal explanations of chance events are inevitably wrong.

Extreme predictions and a willingness to predict rare events from weak evidence are both manifestations of System 1 . . . And it is natural for System 1 to generate overconfident judgements, because confidence . . . is determined by the coherence of the best story you can tell from the evidence at hand. Be warned: your intuitions will deliver predictions that are too extreme and you will be inclined to put far too much faith in them.

My personal hindsight-avoiding policy is to be either very thorough or completely casual when making a decision with long-term consequences.
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4,376 membros, 38 críticas
3.55 estrelas (3.55 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (14): Tapping the unconscious mind: Dreams reveal the desires of the unconscious mind, and its great intelligence.

The dream never wastes its time on trifles; we do not allow a mere nothing to disturb our sleep. The apparently innocuous dreams turn out to be pretty bad when we take the trouble to interpret them: if I may be permitted the expression, the dream “wasn’t born yesterday.”

What animals dream of I do not know. There is a proverb, mentioned to me by one of my students, which claims to know, for it asks the question: What does a goose dream of? And answers: Corn. The entire theory that the dream is a wish-fulfillment is contained in these two sentences.

It concerns a set of dreams which have their basis in my longing to go to Rome … So I dream on one occasion that I am seeing the Tiber and the Ponte Sant’ Angelo through a train window; then the train starts moving, and it occurs to me that I have not even set foot in the city. The view I saw in the dream was copied from a familiar engraving which I had noticed briefly the previous day in the drawing-room of one of my patients. Another time someone is leading me to a hill and showing me Rome, half-veiled in mist and still so far away that I wonder at the clarity of the view ... The motif to “see the Promised Land from afar” is easy to recognize.
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4,084 membros, 50 críticas
4.09 estrelas (4.09 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (27): Behavior, biology, and genes: Genetic science and evolutionary psychology show that human nature is not simply a result of socialization by our environment.

To acknowledge human nature, many think, is to endorse racism, sexism, war, greed, genocide, nihilism, reactionary politics, and neglect of children and the disadvantaged. Any claim that the mind has an innate organization strikes people not as a hypothesis that might be correct but as a thought it is immoral to think.

Everyone has a theory of human nature. Everyone has to anticipate the behavior of others, and that means we all need theories about what makes people tick. A tacit theory of human nature—that behavior is caused by thoughts and feelings—is embedded in the very way we think about people.
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3,801 membros, 98 críticas
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PlaidStallion (16): Thinking better, feeling better: Due to way the brain works, our predictions of how we will feel in the future are not always accurate, and that includes what will make us happy.

Before we can decide whether to accept people’s claims about their happiness, we must first decide whether people can, in principle, be mistaken about what they feel. We can be wrong about all sorts of things—the price of soybeans, the life span of dust mites, the history of flannel—but can we be wrong about our own emotional experience?
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3,291 membros, 50 críticas
4.2 estrelas (4.2 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (7): Working at our peak: Know the techniques of psychological influence to avoid becoming their victim.

Just what are the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person? And which techniques most effectively use these factors to bring about such compliance? I wondered why it is that a request stated in a certain way will be rejected, while a request that asks for the same favor in a slightly different fashion will be successful.

When viewed in this light, the terrible orderliness, the lack of panic, the sense of calm with which these people moved to the vat of poison and to their deaths, seems more comprehensible. They hadn’t been hypnotized by Jones; they had been convinced—partly by him but, more importantly, also by the principle of social proof—that suicide was correct conduct.
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2,888 membros, 60 críticas
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PlaidStallion (11): Why we are how we are: There are two fundamentally different ways of seeing intelligence, ability and success: people with a “growth” mindset see life in terms of fulfilling their potential; those with a “fixed” mindset are concerned with proving they are smart or talented.

Whether human qualities are things that can be cultivated or things that are carved in stone is an old issue. What these beliefs mean for you is a new one: What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait?

In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome. They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.
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2,529 membros, 31 críticas
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PlaidStallion (3): Why we love the way we do: People play games as a substitute for real intimacy, and every game, however unpleasant, has a particular payoff for one or both players.

[The] marital game of “Lunch Bag.” The husband, who can well afford to have lunch at a good restaurant, nevertheless makes himself a few sandwiches every morning, which he takes to the office in a paper bag. In this way he uses up crusts of bread, leftovers from dinner and paper bags his wife saves for him. This gives him complete control over the family finances, for what wife would dare buy herself a mink stole in the face of such self-sacrifice?

Father comes home from work and finds fault with daughter, who answers impudently, or daughter may make the first move by being impudent, whereupon father finds fault. Their voices rise, and the clash becomes more acute... There are three possibilities: (a) father retires to his bedroom and slams the door; (b) daughter retires to her bedroom and slams the door; (c) both retire to their respective bedrooms and slam the doors. In any case, the end of a game of “Uproar” is marked by a slamming door.
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2,517 membros, 41 críticas
3.74 estrelas (3.74 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (31): Thinking better, feeling better: Paradoxically, happiness may lie in limiting our choices rather than increasing them.

Unlike other negative emotions—anger, sadness, disappointment, even grief—what is so difficult about regret is the feeling that the regrettable state of affairs could have been avoided and that it could have been avoided by you, if only you had chosen differently.

After millions of years of survival based on simple distinctions, it may simply be that we are biologically unprepared for the number of choices we face in the modern world.
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2,503 membros, 55 críticas
4 estrelas (4 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (38): Tapping the unconscious mind: Trust your intuition, rather than technology, to protect you from violence.

Like every creature, you can know when you are in the presence of danger. You have the gift of a brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of hazards and guide you through risky situations.

Though we want to believe that violence is a matter of cause and effect, it is actually a process, a chain in which the violent outcome is only one link.

For men like this, rejection is a threat to the identity, the persona, to the entire self, and in this sense their crimes could be called murder in defense of the self.
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2,205 membros, 29 críticas
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PlaidStallion (5): Thinking better, feeling better: Feelings are not facts; you can change your feelings by changing your thinking.

If you’re willing to invest a little time in yourself, you can learn to master your moods more effectively, just as an athlete who participates in a daily conditioning program can develop greater endurance and strength.

What is the key to releasing yourself from your emotional prison? Simply this: Your thoughts create your emotions; therefore, your emotions cannot prove that your thoughts are accurate. Unpleasant feelings merely indicate that you are thinking something negative and believing it. Your emotions follow your thoughts just as surely as baby ducks follow their mother.
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1,952 membros, 26 críticas
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PlaidStallion (45): Why we do what we do: People allow themselves to be swept up in larger causes in order to be freed of responsibility for their lives, and to escape the banality or misery of the present.

A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following not by its doctrine and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existence.

Mass movements are usually accused of doping their followers with hope of the future while cheating them of the enjoyment of the present. Yet to the frustrated the present is irremediably spoiled. Comforts and pleasures cannot make it whole. No real content or comfort can ever arise in their minds but from hope.
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1,695 membros, 15 críticas
3.49 estrelas (3.49 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (19): Why we love the way we do: If we become more conscious of our ingrained reactions and behavior patterns, our life can begin to be genuinely free.

The purpose of this book is not only the presentation of new data but also an answer to the question of why people do not live as good as they know how already. They may know that the experts have had a lot to say about human behavior, but this knowledge does not seem to have had the slightest effect on their hangover, their splintering marriage or their cranky children.

Once we understand positions and games, freedom of response begins to emerge as a real possibility.
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1,694 membros, 15 críticas
4.25 estrelas (4.25 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (28): Behavior, biology, and genes: Unraveling the weirder cases in neurology can provide insights into how we perceive ourselves.

There is something uniquely odd about a hairless neotenous primate that has evolved into a species that can look back over its own shoulder and ask questions about its origins. And odder still, the brain cannot only discover how other brains work but also ask questions about its own existence: Who am l? What happens after death? Does my mind arise exclusively from neurons in my brain? And if so, what scope is there for free will? It is the peculiar recursive quality of these questions—as the brain struggles to understand itself—that makes neurology fascinating.
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1,588 membros, 21 críticas
3.99 estrelas (3.99 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (41): Why we love the way we do: What makes a marriage or partnership strong is not such a mystery—psychological research provides answers if we care to look.

What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day-to-day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones. They have what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage.

At the heart of my program is the simple truth that happy marriages are based on a deep friendship. By this I mean a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company.
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1,362 membros, 5 críticas
3.49 estrelas (3.49 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (18): Working at our peak: In the vast majority of fields, what makes a star performer is the ability to deploy exceptional emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence matters twice as much as technical and analytic skill combined for star performances ... And the higher people move up in the company, the more crucial emotional intelligence becomes.

People are beginning to realize that success takes more than intellectual excellence or technical prowess, and that we need another sort of skill to survive—and certainly to thrive—in the increasingly turbulent job market of the future. Internal qualities such as resilience, initiative, optimism, and adaptability are taking on a new valuation.
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1,199 membros, 7 críticas
4.12 estrelas (4.12 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (29): Why we love the way we do: A genuine relationship or interaction is one in which you are comfortable to be yourself, and in which the other person clearly sees your potential.

If I can provide a certain type of relationship, the other person will discover within himself the capacity to use that relationship for growth, and change and personal development will occur.

It seems that gradually, painfully, the individual explores what is behind the masks he presents to the world, and even behind the masks with which he has been deceiving himself . . . Thus to an increasing degree he becomes himself—not a facade of conformity to others, not a cynical denial of all feeling, nor a front of intellectual rationality, but a living, breathing, feeling, fluctuating process—in short, he becomes a person.
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1,189 membros, 31 críticas
3.67 estrelas (3.67 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (39): Behavior, biology, and genes: Men and women experience the world differently thanks to each gender’s vastly different exposure to sex hormones.

More than ninety-nine percent of male and female genetic coding is exactly the same. Out of the 30,000 genes in the human genome, the variation between the sexes is small. But those few differences influence every single cell in our bodies—from the nerves that register pleasure and pain to the neurons that transmit perception, thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Just as women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion while men have a small country road, men have Chicago’s O’Hare Airport as a hub for processing thoughts about sex whereas women have the airfield nearby that lands small and private planes. That probably explains why eighty-five percent of twenty- to thirty-year-old males think about sex every fifty two seconds and women think about it once a day—or up to every three or four hours on their most fertile days. This makes for interesting interactions between the sexes.
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1,159 membros, 11 críticas
3.89 estrelas (3.89 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (47): Why we are how we are: We take a strong sense of self for granted, but if we won’t have this, life can be torture.

The paranoic has specific persecutors. Someone is against him. There is a plot on foot to steal his brains. A machine is concealed in the wall of his bedroom which emits mind rays to soften his brain, or to send electric shocks through him while he is asleep. The person I am describing feels at this phase persecuted by reality itself. The world as it is, and other people as they are, are the dangers.

Everyone is subject to a certain extent at one time or another to such moods of futility, meaningless and purposelessness, but in schizoid individuals these moods are particularly insistent. These moods arise from the fact that the doors of perception and/or the gates of action are not in the command of the self but are being lived and operated by a false self.
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1,151 membros, 13 críticas
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PlaidStallion (10): Working at our peak: Real creativity can only emerge once we have mastered the medium or domain in which we work.

The real story of creativity is more difficult and strange than many overly optimistic accounts have claimed. For one thing, as I will try to show, an idea or product that deserves the label “creative” arises from the synergy of many sources and not only from the mind of a single person ... And a genuinely creative accomplishment is almost never the result of a sudden insight, a lightbulb flashing on in the dark, but comes after years of hard work.

Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives for several reasons ... First, most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity. We share 98 percent of our genetic makeup with chimpanzees ... Without creativity, it would be difficult indeed to distinguish humans from apes.
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1,077 membros, 7 críticas
4.2 estrelas (4.2 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (21): Tapping the unconscious mind: Our minds are connected to a deeper layer of consciousness that speaks in terms of imagery and myth.

With the archetype of the anima we enter the realm of the gods . . . Everything the anima touches becomes numinous—unconditional, dangerous, taboo, magical. She is the serpent in the paradise of the harmless man with good resolutions and still better intentions. She affords the most convincing reason for not prying into the unconscious, an occupation that would break down our moral inhibitions and unleash forces that had better been left unconscious and undisturbed.

Whether he understands them or not, man must remain conscious of the world of the archetypes, because in it he is still a part of Nature and is connected with his own roots. A view of the world or a social order that cuts him off from the primordial images of life not only is no culture at all but, in increasing degree, is a prison or a stable.
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1,053 membros, 5 críticas
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PlaidStallion (15): Working at our peak: Many different forms of intelligence are not measured by IQ testing.

Only if we expand and reformulate our view of what counts as human intellect will we be able to devise more appropriate ways of assessing it and more effective ways of educating it.

In my view, it is fine to call music or spatial ability a talent, so long as one calls language or logic a talent as well. But I balk at the unwarranted assumption that certain abilities can be arbitrarily singled out as qualifying as intelligence while others cannot.
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1,028 membros, 14 críticas
3.71 estrelas (3.71 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (32): Thinking better, feeling better: Happiness has little to do with pleasure, and much to do with developing personal strengths and character.

This was an epiphany for me. In terms of my own life, Nikki hit the nail right on the head. I was a grouch. I had spent fifty years enduring mostly wet weather in my soul, and the last ten years as a walking nimbus cloud in a household radiant with sunshine. Any good fortune I had was probably not due to being grumpy, but in spite of it. In that moment, I resolved to change.

[Very] happy people differ markedly from both average and unhappy people in that they all lead a rich and fulfilling social life. The very happy people spend the least time alone and the most time socializing, and they are rated highest on good relationships by themselves and also by their friends.
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985 membros, 8 críticas
3.49 estrelas (3.49 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (33): Why we do what we do: Like all animals, humans are creatures shaped by their environment—but we also have the ability to adjust or create new environments.

Twenty-five hundred years ago it might have been said that man understood himself as well as any other part of his world. Today he is the thing he understands least. Physics and biology have come a long way, but there has been no comparable development of anything like a science of human behavior.

The nomad on horseback in Outer Mongolia and the astronaut in outer space are different people, but, as far as we know, if they had been exchanged at birth, they would have taken each other’s place.

Although cultures are improved by people whose wisdom and compassion may supply clues to what they do or will do, the ultimate improvement comes from the environment which makes them wise and compassionate.
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776 membros, 8 críticas
4.26 estrelas (4.26 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (24): Why we do what we do: Awareness of our natural tendency to obey authority may lessen the chance of blindly following orders that go against our conscience.

Gas chambers were built, death camps were guarded, daily quotas of corpses were produced with the same efficiency as the manufacture of appliances. These inhuman policies may have originated in the mind of a single person, but they could only have been carried out on a massive scale if a very large number of people obeyed orders.

Men do become angry; they do act hatefully and explode in rage against others. But not here. Something far more dangerous is revealed: the capacity for man to abandon his humanity, indeed, the inevitability that he does so, as he merges his unique personality into larger institutional structures.
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745 membros, 19 críticas
3.71 estrelas (3.71 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (48): Tapping the unconscious mind: New research is helping to realize Freud’s dream of a science of the unconscious mind.

Once attention is called to them, it is easy to accept many of our simple behaviors . . . as being automatic. The real issue is the extent to which more complex and substantive behaviors with the potential to have a much greater impact on our lives, are also automatic—even though we may feel sure that they are carefully thought through and totally rational.

We have an unconscious mind and, superimposed upon it, a conscious brain. How much of our feelings, judgements and behavior is due to each can be very hard to say, as we are constantly shifting back and forth between them.
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681 membros, 4 críticas
3.85 estrelas (3.85 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (4): Why we are how we are: If you know a person’s personality type their behavior begins to make sense.

[We] cannot safely assume that other people’s minds work on the same principles as our own. All too often, others with whom we come in contact do not reason as we reason, or do not value the things we value, or are not interested in what interests us.

Well-developed introverts can deal ably with the world around them when necessary, but they do their best work inside their heads, in reflection. Similarly well-developed extraverts can deal effectively with ideas, but they do their best work externally, in action. For both kinds, the natural preference remains, like right- or left-handedness.
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637 membros, 0 críticas
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PlaidStallion (9): Why we are how we are: Crises of identity, while painful at the time, are necessary to forge a stronger, more commanding self.

l have called the major crisis of adolescence the identity crisis; it occurs in that period of the life cycle when each youth must forge for himself some central perspective and direction, some working unity, out of the effective remnants of his childhood and the hopes of his anticipated adulthood.

No doubt when Martin learned to speak up, much that he had to say to the devil was fueled by a highly compressed store of defiance consisting of what he had been unable to say to his father and to his teachers; in due time he said it all, with a vengeance, to the Pope.
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587 membros, 24 críticas
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PlaidStallion (43): Thinking better, feeling better: We cannot outrun psychological issues; they will manifest one way or another.

Boredom can be a useful tool for a psychoanalyst. It can be a sign that the patient is avoiding a particular subject; that he or she is unable to talk directly about something intimate or embarrassing.

When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us—we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don't understand.

Above all, paranoid fantasies are a response to the feeling that we are being treated with indifference. In other words, paranoid fantasies are disturbing, but they are a defence. They protect us from a more disastrous emotional state—namely, the feeling that no one is concerned about us, that no one cares. The thought “so-and-so has betrayed me” protects us from the more painful thought “no one thinks about me”.
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565 membros, 14 críticas
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PlaidStallion (42): Behavior, biology, and genes: Autistics were once seen as baffling, antisocial beings who needed institutionalization. Advances in science, combined with more enlightened social attitudes, mean that autistics traits can be recast as differences or even strengths.

As late in life as my early thirties, when I was pursuing my doctorate ... I could still overlook the role that autism played in my life. One of the requirements was a statistics course, and I was hopeless. I asked if I could take the course with a tutor instead of in a classroom, and I was told that in order to get permission to do that, I would have to undergo a “psychoeducational assessment.” On December 17 and 22, 1982, I met with a psychologist and took several standard tests. Today, when I dig that report out of a file and reread it, the scores practically scream out at me, “The person who took these tests is autistic.”

Autism, depression, and other disorders are on a continuum ranging from normal to abnormal. Too much of a trait causes severe disability, but a little can provide an advantage. If all genetic brain disorders were eliminated, people might be happier, but there would be a terrible price.
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529 membros, 4 críticas
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PlaidStallion (36): Thinking better, feeling better: If we know how we generate negative emotions through particular thoughts, especially irrational ones, we have the secret to never being desperately unhappy again.

You can never expect to be deliriously happy at all times in life. Freedom from all physical pain is never likely to be your lot. But an extraordinary lack of mental and emotional woe may be yours—if you think that it may be and work for what you believe in.

Man is a uniquely language-creating animal and he begins to learn from very early childhood to formulate his thoughts, perceptions, and feelings in words, phrases, and sentences ... If this is so (and we know of no evidence to the contrary), then for all practical purposes the phrases and sentences that we keep telling ourselves usually are or become our thoughts and emotions.
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458 membros, 3 críticas
4 estrelas (4 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (23): Why we do what we do: Our view of human nature must expand to incorporate the features of the most advanced and fulfilled people among us.

On the whole I think it fair to say that human history is a record of the ways in which human nature has been sold short. The highest possibilities of human nature have practically always been underrated.

People selected as self-actualizing subjects, people who fit the criteria, go about it in these little ways: They listen to their own voices; they take responsibility; they are honest; and they work hard. They find out who they are, not only in terms of their mission in life, but also in terms of the way their feet hurt when they wear such and such a pair of shoes and whether they do or do not like eggplant or stay up all night if they drink too much beer. All this is what the real self means. They find their own biological natures, their congenital natures, which are irreversible or difficult to change.
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402 membros, 13 críticas
3.66 estrelas (3.66 estrelas)


PlaidStallion (25): Why we are how we are: Self-control is strongly linked to success and emotional stability. Some people have it more innately that others, but it it something we can learn.

The traditional belief that willpower is an inborn trait that you either have lot of or you don’t is false. Instead, self-control skills, both cognitive and emotional can be learned, enhanced, and harnessed so that they become automatically activated when you need them. This is easier for some people because emotionally hot rewards and temptations are not as hot for them, and they also more readily cool them. But no matter how good or bad we are at self-control “naturally,” we can improve our self-control skills and help our children to do the same.

Self-control skills are essential for pursuing our goals successfully, but it is the goals themselves that give us direction and motivation . . . the goals that drive our life stories are as important as the EF (Executive Function) we need to try to reach them . . . without compelling goals and drive, EF can leave us competent but aimless.
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PlaidStallion (8): Tapping the unconscious mind: The unconscious mind is a well of wise solutions and forgotten personal power.

If one reads these stories in the so-called waking state, one might dismiss them as being “clichéd,” “corny,” or “of interest, but not enlightening.” Yet, in the hypnotic state, where everything that is said by the therapist is heightened in meaning, a story, or a single word in a story, may trigger a mini satori—the Zen term for enlightenment.
           Sidney Rosen

It is really amazing what people can do. Only they don’t know what they can do.
           Milton Erickson
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PlaidStallion (37): Tapping the unconscious mind: Racial prejudice seems deeply rooted it the human mind, thanks to our focus on visual differences. Education and contact with other groups can inform us that these differences are literally skin deep.

It required years of labor and billions of dollars to gain the secret of the atom. It will take a still greater investment to gain the secrets of man’s irrational nature. It is easier, someone has said, to smash an atom than a prejudice.

When people confuse racial with ethnic traits they are confusing what is given by nature and what is acquired through learning. The confusion has serious consequences . . . for it leads to an exaggerated belief in the fixity of human characteristics. What is given by heredity can be changed only gradually. What is learned can . . . be completely altered in one generation.
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PlaidStallion (1): Why we do what we do:What we think we lack determines what we will become in life.

It is the feeling of inferiority, inadequacy and insecurity that determines the goal of an individual’s existence.

One motive is common to all forms of vanity. The vain individual has created a goal that cannot be attained in this life. He wants to be more important and successful than anyone else in the world, and this goal is the direct result of his feeling of inadequacy.

Every child is left to evaluate his experiences for himself, and to take care of his own personal development outside the classroom. There is no tradition for the acquisition of a true knowledge of the human psyche. The science of human nature thus finds itself today in the position that chemistry occupied in the days of alchemy.
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PlaidStallion (12): Why we do what we do:The conscious acceptance of suffering or fate can be transformed into one of our greatest achievements.

What I term the existential vacuum constitutes a challenge to psychiatry today. Ever more patients complain of a feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness, which seems to derive from two facts. Unlike an animal, man is not told by instincts what he must do. And unlike man in former times, he is no longer told by traditions what he should do. Often he does not even know what he basically wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism), or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).
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PlaidStallion (35): Behavior, biology, and genes: Psychology is the science of mental life, which means the science of the self.

Consciousness, then, does not appear to itself chopped up in bits. Such words as “chain” or “train” do not describe it fitly as it presents itself in the first instance. It is nothing jointed; it flows. A “river” or a “stream” are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness, or of subjective life.

The only thing which psychology has a right to postulate at the outset is the fact of thinking itself.

The most peculiar social self which one is apt to have is in the mind of the person one is in love with. The good or bad fortunes of this self cause the most intense elation and dejection. To his own consciousness he is not, so long as this particular social self fails to get recognition, and when it is recognized his contentment passes all bounds.
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PlaidStallion (13): Why we are how we are: We do just about anything to avoid pain and preserve a sense of self, and this compulsion often results in us creating psychological defenses.

In all these situations of conflict the ego is seeking to repudiate a part of its own id. Thus the institution which sets up the defence and the invading force which is warded off are always the same; the variable factors are the motives which impel the ego to resort to defensive measures. Ultimately all such measures are designed to secure the ego and to save it from experiencing “pain”.

My patient was an exceptionally pretty and charming girl and already played a part in her social circle, but in spite of this she was tormented with a frantic jealousy of a sister who was still only a child. At puberty the patient gave up all her former interests and was thenceforth actuated by a single desire—to win the admiration and love of the boys and men who were her friends.
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PlaidStallion (20): Why we are how we are: The neurotic tendencies we may have acquired in childhood are no longer necessary—if we leave them behind we can fulfill our potential.

Living with unresolved conflicts involves primarily a devastating waste of human energies, occasioned not only by the conflicts themselves but by all the devious attempts to remove them.

Sometimes neurotic persons show a curious single-mindedness of purpose: men may sacrifice everything including their own dignity to their ambition; women may want nothing of life but love; parents may devote their entire interest to their children. Such persons give the impression of wholeheartedness. But, as we have shown, they are actually pursuing a mirage which appears to offer a solution of their conflicts. The apparent wholeheartedness is one of desperation rather than of integration.
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PlaidStallion (46): Behavior, biology, and genes: There is a gap between the variety and extent of our sexual lives and what society or religion permits.

One may become conscious of an increase in temperature in his own or the sexual partner’s body surfaces, partly due to this peripheral circulation of blood, and perhaps in part due to the neuromuscular tensions which develop when there is any sexual response. Even very cold feet may become warm during sexual activity. The identification of sexual arousal as a fever, a glow, a fire, heat, or warmth, testifies to the widespread understanding that there is this rise in surface temperatures.

Among the married females in the sample, about a quarter (26 per cent) had had extra-marital coitus by age forty. Between the ages of twenty-six and fifty, something between one in six and one in ten was having extra-marital coitus . . . Since the cover-up on any socially disapproved sexual activity may be greater than the cover-up on more accepted activities, it is possible that the incidences and frequencies of extra-marital coitus in the sample had been higher than our interviewing disclosed.
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PlaidStallion (26): Thinking better, feeling better: Be alive every minute in your physical world. Listen to your body; don’t live in abstractions.

Much of the constant effort you supposed to hold yourself together is actually unnecessary. You do not fall apart, go to pieces, or “act crazy,” if you let up on your deliberate holding back, forcing attention, constant “thinking” and active interference with the trends of your behavior. Instead, your experience begins to cohere and to organize into more meaningful wholes.

Some of us have no heart or no intuition, some have no legs to stand on, no genitals, no confidence, no eyes or ears.
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PlaidStallion (50): Behavior, biology, and genes: Children are not simply little adults, thinking less efficiently—the think differently.

Child logic is a subject of infinite complexity, bristling with problems at every point—problems of functional and structural psychology, problems of logic and even of epistemology. It is no easy matter to hold fast to the thread of consistency throughout this labyrinth, and to achieve a systematic exclusion of all problems not connected with psychology.

The child . . . seems to talk far more than the adult. Almost everything he does is to the tune of remarks such as “I’m drawing a hat,” “I’m doing it better than you,” etc. Child thought, therefore, seems more social, less capable of sustained and solitary research. This is true only in appearance. The child has less verbal continence simply because he does not know what it is to keep a thing to himself. Although he talks almost incessantly to his neighbours, he rarely places himself at their point of view.
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PlaidStallion (2): Why we are how we are: People’s beliefs about their abilities to achieve certain ends in often decisive in what they do end up achieving.

Beliefs of personal efficacy constitute the key factor of human agency. If people believe they have no power to produce results, they will not attempt to make things happen.

Because of the capacity for self-influence, people are at least partial architects of their own destinies. It is not the principle of determinism that is in dispute, but whether determinism should be treated as a one-sided or a two way process.

Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.

In short, human behavior is determined, but it is determined partly by the individual rather than solely by the environment.
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PlaidStallion (49): Why we do what we do: In the way that our minds are conditioned, we are less autonomous than we think.

Conditioned reflexes are phenomena of common and widespread occurrence: their establishment is an integral function in everyday life. We recognize them in ourselves and in other people under such names as “education,” “habits,” and “training”; and all of these are really nothing more than the results of an establishment of new nervous connections during the post-natal existence of the organism.

If the animal were not in exact correspondence with its environment it would, sooner or later, cease to exist . . . To give a biological example: if, instead of being attracted to food, the animal were repelled by it, or if instead of running from fire the animal threw itself into the fire, then it would quickly perish. The animal must respond to changes in the environment in such a manner that its responsive activity is directed towards the preservation of its existence.
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PlaidStallion (40): Why we are how we are: All personalities can be measured according to two or three basic biologically determined dimensions.

Personality is determined to a large extent by a person’s genes; he is what the accidental arrangement of his parents' genes produced, and while environment can do something to redress the balance, its influence is severely limited. Personality is in the same boat as intelligence; for both, the genetic influence is overwhelmingly strong, and the role of environment in most cases is reduced to effecting slight changes and perhaps a kind of cover-up.
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PlaidStallion (44): Why we love the way we do: Warm physical bonds in infancy are vital to our becoming healthy adults.

The little we know about love does not transcend simple observation, and the little we write about it has been written better by poets and novelists. But of greater concern is the fact that psychologists tend to give progressively less attention to a motive which pervades our entire lives. Psychologists, at least psychologists who write textbooks, not only show no interest in the origin and development of love or affection, but they seem to be unaware of its very existence.
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