The Magic Word Syndrome / Psychology Re-Post

not_my_pipe___by_hollowvalentyne-d35sqpa

People come up with persuasive words and phrases to introduce concepts; words control the message as it makes its way into common usage. As a result, we now have more word-concepts than anyone actually knows what to do with. There’s a catch to human language: words are not things.  Words are tools of language that vary from culture to culture. Chien in French refers to a Dog; no one can claim that either word is correct. A person can examine a dog, photograph a dog, or do an autopsy on a dog, but never will the word Chien or Dog or any other word description be found in or on that animal. Even if you could convince everyone on earth to use the generic English label “Dog” you would not be able to find a generic dog; there are only individual dogs.

There is a glitch in the human language system: it’s as if the brain is confused by its ability to use language, as if we experience the words as a message from a dimension outside reality – a supernatural dimension. Language creates ideas (the supernatural dimension) and manipulates thought: modern humans believe that words create reality. So strong is this illusion, that people make decisions based on utterly insubstantial and incorrect social, economic, religious, nutritional, political and health concepts. This has serious and devastating real world consequences.

Water in a bottle: Bottled water; water that comes from a regular tap, inside a building, in a city. This water is the same as that which is dispensed in kitchens around the city, but once packaged in a plastic bottle and falsely labeled spring water, natural water, or pure water, with a clean-looking graphic, consumers will believe the words on the label and argue that the water comes from a pure cold spring in a virgin wilderness, uncontaminated in any way by humans.

Even when people are confronted by the absurdity of the assumptions and are shown photographs of “Holy water” being filled inside a bottling plant, people will claim that it can’t be so: bottled water “tastes better” than the water at home. This self-delusion that tap water, once it is contained in a plastic bottle with a pretty label, magically becomes health-promoting is not benign: the Earth’s oceans and vast landfills are clogged by plastic bottles and other devastating trash.

This is not a woman strangling a cat.

This is not a woman strangling a cat.

This illusion that words create reality applies to things that are not things: to nonexistent properties, such as empathy: Just what are we talking about? Empathy is a name for…..what? An imaginary aspect of human behavior that all humans must display in order to be labeled as fully human? Psychologists are already deep into the supernatural dimension with the assumption that the word Normal describes a majority of human beings, when the condition Normal is a subjectively constructed concept that they themselves have invented, and which changes from culture to culture and over time.

Like wizards and priests that practiced conceptual labeling before them, psychologists claim to “see” into the brains of individuals (using the magic power of technology) and to “see” a label that says “normal human brain” or “subhuman human brain” stamped into blood flow, electrical activity and eye movement – socially imposed “symptoms” (subjective defects) that have been elevated to scientific fact by deceptive manipulation of bad data and the promotion of the attitude that human beings are objects that can be sorted and categorized into acceptable and defective bins.

But what is normal? Normal is an idea that requires massive manipulation of information; it is an artificial construct. Where does information come from? In the case of psychology, from a very small sample of select individuals (college students) who fill out surveys that rely heavily on self-reporting. Tests (another word concept) that test psychological assumptions about human behavior, are designed to prove those assumptions. Normal parameters are in fact nonexistent; only individuals exist. In nature, there are only individuals and that is true of the human animal. Psychology regard human beings as OBJECTS that can be arranged by supernatural concepts. In other words, the foundational concepts of psychology lack empathy.

Normal behavior, as conceived by psychologists, is a clever substitute for acceptable or required behavior. Normal sounds scientific and objective, as if each infant arrives with the same package of instructions, which coincidentally match a list of (religious, supernatural) behaviors, which appear to come from an all-powerful but invisible entity that created and possesses the BLUEPRINT of the universe, and who has handed down the details of this blueprint to psychologist – priests. The idea today (pseudoscientific update from superstition) is that certain children and adults fail to live up to nature’s standard template, but the standards used by psychologists are socially constructed and are never found in nature. It’s the same old religious routine: condemnation of people who are different and ‘refuse’ to obey. Ideas about acceptable human behavior have their origin in human concepts that are attributed to an absolute and permanent supernatural template that is in fact a socially acceptable hallucination.

Humans were prey animals for most of our existence; once we dealt effectively with predators, we became predators, that is, males became hunters. Pregnant women, women responsible for children, and young children, are unlikely hunters. Females underwent sexual selection for early puberty and the retention of childlike physical and psychological traits into adulthood (if they lived to adulthood), an early step in domestication. That is, women remain prey animals.

Predators, then and now.

Sabre-toothed cats2014-01-500-awesomest-pp-pieces

Modern humans have been changed by 10,000+ years of domestication. Children born into a predator class will be raised to be predators. In American culture, money confers behavioral leeway, so a license to exploit others can be earned, even if a child begins life humbly. It’s the American Dream. People at the bottom are supposed to stay put, which is why obstacles are put in the way of people at the bottom. Predatory behavior is criminal behavior if you live at the bottom; it’s the key to success at the top of the pyramid, which is why activities at the top are left unregulated and top predators rarely pay for their profitable predation.

This then, is why Asperger individuals are so reviled; the taboo of disobedience to the social hierarchy is a very big taboo: a No-No, a travesty, an attack on authority, God, and corporate profits. In the case of Asperger individuals, this is utterly ridiculous. We aren’t even on the pyramid! We inhabit a separate Flatland of equality in which all things and all people simply exist. In order to be fulfilled, we require honesty from other people and justice for everyone.

We are unhappy because our values will never be more than empty words in the social universe. 

Ironically, courtesy of men like Thomas Jefferson, our values are supposed to inform the ‘democratic’ principles that are the foundation of our country. How abused are the notions of equality and liberty, of diversity and happiness!

One couldn’t even organize a cocktail party of Asperger’s types, let alone a political party, and yet we are characterized in the media as dangerous, cunning and aggressive. Mostly, we are told that we need fixed, as if wings ought to be clipped from birds because deer aren’t supposed to fly. It’s bizarre.

Asperger people are not modern social humans, nor can we be socialized. Our brains function more like so-called primitive people (Wild Humans) who inhabited pre-hypersocial environments. Asperger females are unlike modern social females; we often lack “domesticated” behavior, and prefer animals to people. When in the presence of social humans we are mystified – gob smacked by demands that make no sense to our concrete, and decidedly non-supernatural brains.

Brain development and Neoteny / Neuroscience

J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2011 Nov;36(6):412-21. doi: 10.1503/jpn.100138.

Can Asperger syndrome be distinguished from autism? An anatomic likelihood meta-analysis of MRI studies.

Yu KK1, Cheung C, Chua SE, McAlonan GM

Whereas grey matter differences in people with Asperger syndrome compared with controls are sparser than those reported in studies of people with autism, the distribution and direction of differences in each category are distinctive.

Abstract

In development, timing is of the utmost importance, and the timing of developmental processes often changes as organisms evolve. In human evolution, developmental retardation, or neoteny, has been proposed as a possible mechanism that contributed to the rise of many human-specific features, including an increase in brain size and the emergence of human-specific cognitive traits. We analyzed mRNA expression in the prefrontal cortex of humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques to determine whether human-specific neotenic changes are present at the gene expression level. We show that the brain transcriptome (transcriptome includes all mRNA transcripts in the cell; it reflects the genes that are being actively expressed at any given time, with the exception of mRNA degradation phenomena such as transcriptional attenuation.) is dramatically remodeled during postnatal development and that developmental changes in the human brain are indeed delayed relative to other primates. This delay is not uniform across the human transcriptome but affects a specific subset of genes that play a potential role in neural development.

Conclusion

By comparing the gene expression profiles in human, chimpanzee, and rhesus macaque prefrontal cortices throughout postnatal development, we have found that there is no uniform shift in the developmental timing between humans and other primates. We find instead a significant excess of genes showing neotenic expression in humans. This result is in line with the neoteny hypothesis of human evolution (6) and provides insight into the possible functional role of neoteny in human brain development. Specifically, we show that at least in one of the 2 cortical regions studied, the neotenic shift is most pronounced at the time when humans approach sexual maturity, (body matures; brain does not) a process known to be delayed in humans relative to chimpanzees or other primates (6, 24). Furthermore, the neotenic shift particularly affects a group of genes preferentially expressed in gray matter. Intriguingly, the timing of the shift also corresponds to a period of substantial cortical reorganization characterized by a decrease in gray-matter volume, which is thought to be related to synaptic elimination (21, 25, 26). The developmental pace of changes in gray-matter volume has been associated with the development of cognitive skills among humans (e.g., linguistic skills) (27) as well as with the development of disorders (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) (28).

Although the precise causes and consequences of the human neotenic shift remain unknown, together these observations suggest that ontogenetic timing differences between the human and the chimpanzee prefrontal cortex transcriptomes may reflect differences in sexual and cognitive maturation between the 2 species. According to this logic, delayed gray-matter maturation in the human prefrontal cortex may extend the period of neuronal plasticity associated with active learning, thus providing humans with additional time to acquire knowledge and skills.

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Things to think about:

Maturation of gray matter in the human prefrontal cortex is delayed by neotenic shifts. Developmental delay is neotenic. There is a “fuzzy boundary” (?) between too much / too little grey matter volume for the brain to function well; there also seem to be 2 types of brain organization: social navigation vs. factual and problem-solving. (See today’s Temple Grandin post.) These are probably not ‘separate’ paths, but are developmental stages. (Social is juvenile; factual is adult.)

The gray matter volume in any specific human brain may vary between mature and neotenic states. Humans vary in degrees of neoteny. It might be more accurate to dump “Autism Spectrum” for an inclusive classification “The Neoteny Spectrum” which includes all contemporary homo sapiens.

How do we know which human brains (volume of grey matter) are mature and which are neotenic? What volume of grey matter is the reference for maturity vs. neoteny? We can begin with behavior.

Some changes in grey matter volume occur during puberty: therefore it would be useful to compare the pre-puberty and post-puberty states of grey matter in individuals, especially those diagnosed with a “brain disorder” in early childhood. Mixing data from before and after stages of brain reorganization may be completely misleading do to variations in timing.

Grey matter differences in individuals reflects maturity vs. neoteny (a spectrum of rates of development) and not fundamental developmental disability; if one is ONLY interested in “The Social Brain,” and designates this juvenile stage of development as the ONLY legitimate human brain, then the “problem” of Asperger’s is the product of inattentional blindness and ignorance. Bad science!

CASE IN POINT: It is said that Asperger’s have “less than normal” volumes of gray matter, but if this conclusion has been derived from pre-puberty testing, then it is entirely possible that Asperger children, in terms of specific brain development, (intellect, language, concrete – visual thinking, facts and problem-solving) simply MATURE FASTER – and gray matter volume is reduced to a more effective and efficient volume well before their peers.

Social brains are neotenic; the neurotypical neotenic brain never fully matures. Which means that the social orientation (obsession) of modern social humans is the product of extreme neoteny.   Neoteny is evident in a lack of logic, rationality, analytical thinking and effective problem-solving, which are absent in everyday life and most seriously, in our political leaders.

“Juvenile” neotenic behavior is evident in the inability to recognize that facts and physical reality exist. Instead, emotions are paramount; self absorption is rampant, magical thinking prevails, action is missing, narcissitic orientation is “normal”, and “worship of” childlike celebrities is a substitute for adult models and personal development. Adult children never leave home but remain dependent on parental support. Violence is characteristic of juvenile males; violent behavior usually decreases as males age, but today “frivolous” violence is the perpetual activity of neotenic males and is encouraged by popular culture.

 

The Lunch Theory of Human Social Cognition

You are a “student” of human evolutionary development; you are curious about how “humans” came to be Who we are today – Masters of the Universe. You come to this quest with certain assumptions in mind, which you probably are not “consciously” using, but which form a “filter system” that will not only prejudice the “evidence” you “discover” but which pre-classifies what “evidence” is. This is the way it is, for Homo sapiens.

It is obvious to you that “you” (your thoughts, habit, lifestyle, beliefs) are the culmination of “human” excellence; “you” are where evolution was headed all along. “You” includes all the wonders of Western Civilization, which “you” take to be evidence of “your” intelligence, inventiveness, superior intellect, diligence, eagle-eyed observation and analysis, literacy, artist accomplishment, etc. because “you” studied these things in school and look a lot like all the “big-brained males” (this includes female students today) who have “built” Western Civilization (U.S. version) and proven that, well frankly, It’s the best damn civilization EVER!

1. Homo sapiens (males) have big-brains; size is everything. Therefore, any and all evidence” for “evolutionary progress” depends on signs and omens of “cognitive abilities” in those “fossil species” that LED to US. “Dumb” species, de facto, cannot be our ancestors.

fig. 1 The Supreme Species. If wealthy, individuals from subspecies of various skin color may be included.

Fig. 1 The “supreme” species and attendant females and offspring. The prime evolutionary question is, “How did this glorious species come to be?” It used to be simple enough: A Supreme Male created everything in the universe, including Man, to whom he handed over all of Creation, with “Man” as the master of all Nature. But the invention of Science threw a monkey-wrench into the plot: it seems “man” was not really the center of the Universe, after all… unless… of course, all 3.5 billion years of life on earth could be directed into producing “The Last Ape Standing” What a coup – even better than “special creation” by a supreme male God! We’ll prove that all the forces and processes at work in the universe were necessary to produce “US”.

2. Let’s get to work establishing our superiority to all other species. We can automatically dismiss any life form previous to “humanoids” as unimportant, and fossil humanoids “that count” as ancestors can be identified by “signs”  which point in our direction. We can easily define “humanoid” by the categorizing “things we eat”. (Cannibalism is a no-no. You can’t eat the Supreme Species, like it was just another food source)

Fig 2. Lunch. This organized, processed and prepared “nutrition” demonstrates “cognitive abilities” found in no other life form. The sheer amount of brain-power needed to exploit natural resources (fossil fuels) to design, manufacture and transport “plastic” containers, with uniform subdivisions, that create the illusion that $1.50 worth of “food items” is worth $39.95″ is genius! And what about decorating two sacrificial crab claws elevated on a slice of bread with wildflowers sourced from a meadow in Mongolia? Just $49.95. Brilliant.

Let’s see what “the rest of” American humanoids are having for lunch.

Another sign of superior intelligence: The American food industry is paid billions $$ to transform “surplus storage” food into meals for children; and it’s free. How much more compassionate can a supreme species become? Why waste “good brain food” (and good education) on “lesser beings” who will never be intelligent anyway? In fact, we can guarantee impaired cognitive function and stunted development using this brilliant strategy. Note the wonderful array of fossil fuel containers provided, which can be used once and disposed of immediately into landfills. More profit! More socially savvy behavior that creates environmental destruction and millions of defective, low status humanoids. No Neanderthal could accomplish that. Thank God and evolution that we exterminated them just in time!

3. Evidence that Neanderthal didn’t stand a chance of being intelligent enough to compete with us. When the supreme species “goes wild” they do it with superior social cognition. Who needs survival skills when amazing fossil fuel-based non-recyclable immortal plastic products can be purchased at a “wilderness” adventure store? Stupid Neanderthals!

fig. 3a AMH “outsmarting” Neanderthals using superior social skills: “You bring the hot dogs and Gatorade, we’ll bring the tent” social strategy.

Fig. 3a, 3b Lunch ca. 40,000 y.a. Anatomically Modern Humans (just like Modern Social Humans in every way) take over Eurasia from the Neanderthals with superior social networking.

fig 4b No evidence has been found for AMH having developed smart phones, but the “conceptual” ability to communicate effectively was just like that of modern humans.

Neanderthals: too dumb to make Margaritas for brunch guests. Lack of social cognition led to extinction. (BTW – Thanks for the casual sex!)

4. Social behavior explains why AMC became Masters of the Universe: Neanderthals had open “caves” while highly social AMH had open “concept” floor plans with kitchen islands and granite counter tops that facilitated the acquisition of social status. How could Neanderthals have competed with such advanced innovation, which clearly depends on social networking, direct eye contact, empathy, “mind-reading” and high-end finishes?

fig. 4a Neanderthal “open” cave. Primitive housing = primitive brain.

fig. 4b “Primitive” Neanderthal cave under renovation with advanced AMH upgrades: Open concept floor plain for “flow” when entertaining, and high-end finishes; granite countertops and slate flooring.

WOW! “Scientific” proof that not even GOD could create a species that’s as intelligent as modern social humans.

File this video under, “What Asperger’s mean when we say that neurotypicals are stooopid.”

 

What “The World” Sounds like to (Many) Asperger People

The woman who made this audio track is correct! I could not bear to listen longer than a few seconds. If you can listen to this COMFORTABLY, you will likely not be able to understand what an Asperger person goes through daily, when trapped in social typical environments.

One particular point: It’s nearly impossible to pay attention to and to understand what a person is saying when “background noise” is not in the background! It’s competing with the person speaking; the impulse is to get away from the discordant “sounds” – the effect is like being tortured. Truly!

 

Misdiagnosis of Gifted Children as Asperger and Mentally Ill

  When intensity and sensitivity are combined with idealism, as so often happens with bright children and adults, good things can happen because they can keenly see how things might be. But this can also lead to frustration, disillusionment, and unhappiness. Sometimes this prompts perfectionism; other times it results in existential depression. Through our relationships, we must provide understanding and nurturance so that they do not feel alone and helpless in a world that seems so paradoxical, arbitrary, and even absurd. We can help nurture their idealism, and indeed we must if the world is to become a better place.

The Elites Complain about the Inequality they Create!

The New York Times The Great Divide / a series about inequality

Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth

February 16, 2013

By: Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, a professor at Columbia and a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and chief economist for the World Bank, is the author of “The Price of Inequality.”

Here goes the Blah, Blah, Blah!

President Obama’s second Inaugural Address used soaring language to reaffirm America’s commitment to the dream of equality of opportunity: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.” (WOW! I agree. What a whopper of a lie!)

The gap between aspiration and reality could hardly be wider. Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity. This is especially tragic: While Americans may differ on the desirability of equality of outcomes, there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity.

Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere. (We must remember how inhuman and devastating conditions were for poor people in Europe and other parts of the world, which caused mass emmigration to occur) But not for at least a quarter of a century. Horatio Alger-style rags-to-riches stories were not a deliberate hoax, but given how they’ve lulled us into a sense of complacency, they might as well have been.

It’s not that social mobility is impossible, but that the upwardly mobile American is becoming a statistical oddity. According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top. Economic mobility in the United States is lower than in most of Europe and lower than in all of Scandinavia.

Another way of looking at equality of opportunity is to ask to what extent the life chances of a child are dependent on the education and income of his parents. Is it just as likely that a child of poor or poorly educated parents gets a good education and rises to the middle class as someone born to middle-class parents with college degrees? Even in a more egalitarian society, the answer would be no. But the life prospects of an American are more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in almost any other advanced country for which there is data.

How do we explain this? Some of it has to do with persistent discrimination. Latinos and African-Americans still get paid less than whites, and women still get paid less than men, even though they recently surpassed men in the number of advanced degrees they obtain. Though gender disparities in the workplace are less than they once were, there is still a glass ceiling: women are sorely underrepresented in top corporate positions and constitute a minuscule fraction of C.E.O.’s.

Discrimination, however, is only a small part of the picture. Probably the most important reason for lack of equality of opportunity is education: both its quantity and quality. After World War II, Europe made a major effort to democratize its education systems. We did, too, with the G.I. Bill, which extended higher education to Americans across the economic spectrum.

But then we changed, in several ways. While racial segregation decreased, economic segregation increased. After 1980, the poor grew poorer, the middle stagnated, and the top did better and better. Disparities widened between those living in poor localities and those living in rich suburbs — or rich enough to send their kids to private schools. A result was a widening gap in educational performance — the achievement gap between rich and poor kids born in 2001 was 30 to 40 percent larger than it was for those born 25 years earlier, the Stanford sociologist Sean F. Reardon found.

Of course, there are other forces at play, some of which start even before birth. Children in affluent families get more exposure to reading and less exposure to environmental hazards. Their families can afford enriching experiences like music lessons and summer camp. They get better nutrition and health care, which enhance their learning, directly and indirectly.

Unless current trends in education are reversed, the situation is likely to get even worse. In some cases it seems as if policy has actually been designed to reduce opportunity: government support for many state schools has been steadily gutted over the last few decades — and especially in the last few years. Meanwhile, students are crushed by giant student loan debts that are almost impossible to discharge, even in bankruptcy. This is happening at the same time that a college education is more important than ever for getting a good job. (Isn’t it massively insulting for one of the ELITES to point out what “they” did to “us” as if it “just happened” somehow? )

Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink. And increasingly even a college degree isn’t enough; one needs either a graduate degree or a series of (often unpaid) internships. Those at the top have the connections and social capital to get those opportunities. Those in the middle and bottom don’t. The point is that no one makes it on his or her own. And those at the top get more help from their families than do those lower down on the ladder. Government should help to level the playing field. (Wow! Since “the government” IS THE ELITES, why would they do something totally against their own supremacy?)

Americans are coming to realize that their cherished narrative of social and economic mobility is a myth. Grand deceptions of this magnitude are hard to maintain for long — and the country has already been through a couple of decades of self-deception. (To the contrary: self-deception and deception are social typical high accomplishments!)

Without substantial policy changes, (which will never occur) our self-image, and the image we project to the world, will diminish — and so will our economic standing and stability. Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunity reinforce each other — and contribute to economic weakness, as Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton economist and the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has emphasized. We have an economic, and not only moral, interest in saving the American dream.

Policies that promote equality of opportunity must target the youngest Americans. First, we have to make sure that mothers are not exposed to environmental hazards and get adequate prenatal health care. Then, we have to reverse the damaging cutbacks to preschool education, a theme Mr. Obama emphasized on Tuesday. We have to make sure that all children have adequate nutrition and health care — not only do we have to provide the resources, but if necessary, we have to incentivize parents, by coaching or training them or even rewarding them for being good caregivers. The right says that money isn’t the solution. They’ve chased reforms like charter schools and private-school vouchers, but most of these efforts have shown ambiguous results at best. Giving more money to poor schools would help. So would summer and extracurricular programs that enrich low-income students’ skills.

Finally, it is unconscionable that a rich country like the United States has made access to higher education so difficult for those at the bottom and middle. (Actually, predatory student loans have made it EASY for students to “go to college” but not to get a valuable education; most degrees at this point are “remedial” high school diplomas. Too few students complete degrees, but leave with enormous debt, and no  job skills.) There are many alternative ways of providing universal access to higher education, from Australia’s income-contingent loan program to the near-free system of universities in Europe. A more educated population yields greater innovation, a robust economy and higher incomes — which mean a higher tax base. Those benefits are, of course, why we’ve long been committed to free public education through 12th grade. But while a 12th-grade education might have sufficed a century ago, it doesn’t today. Yet we haven’t adjusted our system to contemporary realities. (The “contemporary reality” is traditional reality: profit and greed are important; human well-being is not.)

The steps I’ve outlined are not just affordable but imperative. Even more important, though, is that we cannot afford to let our country drift farther from ideals that the vast majority of Americans share. We will never fully succeed in achieving Mr. Obama’s vision of a poor girl’s having exactly the same opportunities as a wealthy girl. But we could do much, much better, and must not rest until we do.

Blah, Blah, Blah

Wolf vs. Dog / Wild vs. Domestic Intelligence

Wolf uses “digging” instinct to “dig” – (displace) water. What’s notable is it’s persistence – dogs “give up” and manipulate a human to do things for them. (As do human children LOL) Which animal is more intelligent? The important observation is that each uses its intelligence in accord with “what works” in its particular environment. This applies also to humans.

Wolves are the wolf’s environment; humans are the domestic dog’s environment.

Fixation and persistence in the wild animal; fascinating contrast with domesticated (tame) behavior in dogs and humans. In humans, there is a range of behavior from wild predator to tame prey, also due to degree of domestication.

Stereotypic repetitive behaviors: Stimming / Environmental Causes

Why do psychologists ignore the facts? We are animals! What are Autistic (and typical) children trying to tell us about modern environments? That these environments are  STRESSFUL for children; humans evolved in stimulating NATURAL environments, not in restrictive, violent, emotionally barren and anxiety-driven social prisons.

If an animal is prevented from performing its “natural behaviors” it will invent abnormal compulsive behaviors to stimulate itself. Modern environments are ABNORMAL.

Chimps / Similar Personality Traits to Humans


Also from Yerkes National Primate Research Center: Chimps’ Gestures Explain how Human Languages Appeared

Weasel words in green. My comments.

Chimpanzees Show Similar Personality Traits to Humans

May 6, 2014 / Georgia State University
Chimpanzees have almost the same personality traits as humans, and they are structured almost identically, according to new work led by researchers at Georgia State University.

The research also shows some of those traits have a neurobiological basis, and that those traits vary according to the biological sex of the individual chimpanzee.

“Our work also demonstrates the promise of using chimpanzee models to investigate the neurobiology of personality processes,” said Assistant Professor Robert Latzman of Psychology, who led the research team. “We know that these processes are associated with a variety of emotional health outcomes. We’re excited to continue investigating these links.”

The team, which also included Professor William Hopkins of Neuroscience, started with a common tool for analyzing chimp personalities called the Chimpanzee Personality Questionnaire.

The questionnaire is filled out by the chimpanzees’ caregivers, (just like Autism questionnaires) who rate individual chimps in 43 categories based on their observation of the animals’ daily behavior. Is the chimp excitable? Impulsive? Playful? Timid? Dominant? (Note that these are human emotion-behavior words – the assumption being that chimps are “just like us” – which is what the psychologists are trying to prove / another “conclusion as hypothesis” error. Also, these “emotions” are highly subjective depending on the human caretaker’s relation to the chimp and degree of anthropomorphic bias. Again! – just like bias in Autism questionnaires. THESE ARE NOT WILD CHIMPS, but thoroughly contaminated-by-humans LABORATORY ANIMALS.

When you think about it, maybe research on enslaved, depressed and zoochotic chimps does produce great models for social typical human personalities and behaviors.

The researchers analyzed complete questionnaires for 174 chimpanzees housed at the Yerkes National Primate Center at Emory University. They ran extensive individual analyses to find out which traits tend to go together, and which combine to make more basic, fundamental “meta-traits.”

The analysis showed that the most fundamental personality trait for chimpanzees is dominance — that is, whether an animal is a generally dominant and under controlled “Alpha,” or a more playful and sociable “Beta.”

But those two big categories can be broken down statistically into smaller personality traits in ways that echo the personality structures researchers have repeatedly found in child and adult human subjects. (Well, duh! If you use a system of human personality traits to evaluate chimps, you are going to get “human” personality traits in chimps. Same goes for dogs… Is the dog excitable? Impulsive? Playful? Timid? Dominant? )

Alpha personalities, for example, statistically break down into tendencies toward dominance and disinhibition. Beta personalities, on the other hand, show low dominance and positive emotionality. (Alpha-Beta are BORROWED from Wolf Pack hierarchy; jargon now transferred to any and all “social” species – really not kosher)

Further analysis shows these lower order traits also can be statistically broken down into their constituent parts. (Which came first? “Analysis – guess” that 5 factors “exist” or are the 5 factors the result of statistical manipulation that “reveals” 5 factors?) The research team identified five personality factors that combine differently in each individual chimpanzee: conscientiousness, dominance, extraversion, agreeableness and intellect. This echoes a well-known five-factor model of the human personality, although the specific factors are slightly different. (Wow! How unconvincing this leap is!)

Now, for the neurobiology: many of those chimpanzee traits statistically correlate with the function of a neuropeptide called vasopressin. (The “love” hormone in monogamous prairie voles) Chimps who were born with a common variant in the genes that control vasopressin behaved differently than their peers, the males showing more dominance and more disinhibition, but the females less of both.

This research shows not only a neurobiological basis for personality, but an evolutionary basis as well. (Sweeping generalization of the type so common in psychology: claim that your flimsy subjective pre-conclusion is “valid” by tacking on “neuro” and “evolution” – so it ‘sounds’ like Science. In fact, it would be impossible for personality TO NOT BE neurobiological, since personality arises in the physical organism: it’s not a “supernatural thing” stuffed into the brain body by imaginary entities – space aliens or elves, or Jesus. – but maybe, since this is Georgia…LOL) The neurobiological bases of personality can vary according to the biological sex of the subject, at least in chimpanzees. Chimpanzee personality appears to have almost the same ingredients as human personalities, and that similarity seems to arise from the species’ similar neurobiology. (Humans and most species equipped with nervous systems have ‘similar’ neurobiology.)

“These results are particularly significant in light of the striking parallels between the major dimensions of personality found between chimpanzees and humans,” said Sam Gosling, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and an internationally known researcher in cross-species personality research.

“Personality in Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes): Exploring the Hierarchical Structure and Associations with the Vasopressin V1A Receptor Gene,” appeared in the April 21 issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Research Resources.