Attractors in psychological state space?

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Dan Bolser, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. Dan Bolser

    Dan Bolser Guest

    Ever met someone and known how they would think in general given a few specific examples of
    their thoughts?

    Given the massive number of variables underlying 'psychology', do a few stable psychotypes emerge
    out of the chaos?

    Can we look at these attractors as self reproducing, self reinforcing, co-evolving entities in a
    psycological ecosystem?

    Does the 'systematic metaphor' make sense in this case? For example can we look at a well armoured
    beatle - and see its analogue in certain human psycotypes?

    Are cultures ecosystems?

    Does it make any sense to ask these questions?

    Ta, Dan.
     
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  2. << Ever met someone and known how they would think in general given a few specific examples of
    their thoughts?

    Given the massive number of variables underlying 'psychology', do a few stable psychotypes emerge
    out of the chaos?

    Can we look at these attractors as self reproducing, self reinforcing, co-evolving entities in a
    psycological ecosystem?

    Does the 'systematic metaphor' make sense in this case? For example can we look at a well armoured
    beatle - and see its analogue in certain human psycotypes?

    Are cultures ecosystems?

    Does it make any sense to ask these questions?

    Ta, Dan.
    >>

    Yes, and I think at the bottom of all these behaviors is a very simple system of 4 options based on
    cell membrane (and that may in turn be based on heat moderation)

    If my hypothesis is correct all behavior or actions of any living thing are based on 4 options that
    are set up when you have a cell membrane. These 4 evolve to all behaviors that you speak of. 3 of
    which are eloquently described by noted pioneering psychologist Karen Horney a disciple of Freud. 4
    Options Options 1 and 2 deal with what is outside the membrane:

    1. move toward what nurtures or does not have + wants
    2. move against what does not nurture or harms does not have + does not want

    Options 3 and 4 deal with what is inside the membrane
    3. take in and hold or does have + wants
    4. excrete out as waste or does have + does not want.

    In most simple terms every action is one of these 4 Want - don't have Don't want - don't have Want -
    have Don't want - have.

    These 4 simple bio categories have evolved to all behaviors. When you find a pattern it is most
    often a pattern of one of these 4 OR one set of these 4 (1and 3 - or 2 and 4 for ex.)

    Ex. female behavior under stress or tend and befriend is 1 and 3 options Male behavior under stress
    is most often fight or flight which is 2 and 4 options.

    Something basic and simple evolves to all the rest IMO.
     
  3. John Wilkins

    John Wilkins Guest

    Dan Bolser <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ever met someone and known how they would think in general given a few specific examples of their
    > thoughts?
    >
    > Given the massive number of variables underlying 'psychology', do a few stable psychotypes emerge
    > out of the chaos?
    >
    > Can we look at these attractors as self reproducing, self reinforcing, co-evolving entities in a
    > psycological ecosystem?
    >
    > Does the 'systematic metaphor' make sense in this case? For example can we look at a well armoured
    > beatle - and see its analogue in certain human psycotypes?
    >
    > Are cultures ecosystems?
    >
    > Does it make any sense to ask these questions?
    >
    > Ta, Dan.

    Scott Atran has made these sorts of claims in one or both of these articles (I don't have them to
    hand right now):

    Atran, Scott. 1995. Causal constraints on categories and categorical constraints on biological
    reasoning across cultures. In Causal cognition: a multidisciplinary debate, edited by D. Sperber, D.
    Premack and A. J. Premack. Oxford, UK: New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press. ---.
    1998. Folk biology and the anthropology of science: cognitive universals and the cultural
    particulars. Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    21 (4):547-609.

    I don't think so - psychological categories are either predetermined in the very old parts of our
    brain such as the limbic system, or they are culturally acquired as conventions, or some mix of
    both. There will be a sense in which the latter are stable states (as cultural evolutionarily stable
    equilibria) but I doubt they form attractor points in the mathematical sense.

    A nice book on psychological categories is:

    Griffiths, Paul E. 1997. What emotions really are: the problem of psychological categories. Chicago,
    Ill.: University of Chicago Press.
    --
    John Wilkins wilkins.id.au "Men mark it when they hit, but do not mark it when they miss"
    - Francis Bacon
     
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Guest

    "Dan Bolser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > Ever met someone and known how they would think in general given a > few
    specific examples of their thoughts?
    >
    I know what you mean here. Of course you can't predict exact actions, but you can have a good idea
    what sort of guy you are dealing with.
    >
    > Given the massive number of variables underlying 'psychology', do a few stable psychotypes emerge
    > out of the chaos?
    >
    This is a good question. Everyman and his dog from astrologers to Jesuits (nonagrams) tries to
    define some sort of psychological system.
    >
    > Can we look at these attractors as self reproducing, self reinforcing, co-evolving entities in a
    > psycological ecosystem?
    >
    Only if they show Mendelian inheritance, which isn't likely.
    >
    > Does the 'systematic metaphor' make sense in this case? For example > can
    we look at a well armoured beatle - and see its analogue in certain
    > human psycotypes?
    >
    The first question is, can you define the psycotype? Eg, can you and your assistant assign unseen
    subjects to the same categories with any degree of reliability?
    >
    > Are cultures ecosystems?
    >
    Not for organisms, but maybe for memes.
    >
    > Does it make any sense to ask these questions?
    >
    It makes sense. However you should be aware that hundreds of attempts have been made to classify
    psychological types. Unless your particular scheme has some merit that makes it stand out from the
    crowd, you will just be adding to the heap of speculation.
     
  5. Dan Bolser

    Dan Bolser Guest

    On Tue, 3 Feb 2004, TomHendricks474 wrote:

    > << Ever met someone and known how they would think in general given a few specific examples of
    > their thoughts?
    >
    >
    > Given the massive number of variables underlying 'psychology', do a few stable psychotypes emerge
    > out of the chaos?
    >
    >
    > Can we look at these attractors as self reproducing, self reinforcing, co-evolving entities in a
    > psycological ecosystem?
    >
    >
    > Does the 'systematic metaphor' make sense in this case? For example can we look at a well armoured
    > beatle - and see its analogue in certain human psycotypes?
    >
    >
    > Are cultures ecosystems?
    >
    >
    > Does it make any sense to ask these questions?
    >
    >
    > Ta, Dan.
    > >>
    >
    > Yes, and I think at the bottom of all these behaviors is a very simple system of 4 options based
    > on cell membrane (and that may in turn be based on heat moderation)
    >
    > If my hypothesis is correct all behavior or actions of any living thing are based on 4 options
    > that are set up when you have a cell membrane. These 4 evolve to all behaviors that you speak of.
    > 3 of which are eloquently described by noted pioneering psychologist Karen Horney a disciple of
    > Freud. 4 Options Options 1 and 2 deal with what is outside the membrane:
    >
    > 1. move toward what nurtures or does not have + wants
    > 2. move against what does not nurture or harms does not have + does not want
    >
    > Options 3 and 4 deal with what is inside the membrane
    > 3. take in and hold or does have + wants
    > 4. excrete out as waste or does have + does not want.
    >
    > In most simple terms every action is one of these 4 Want - don't have Don't want - don't have Want
    > - have Don't want - have.
    >
    > These 4 simple bio categories have evolved to all behaviors. When you find a pattern it is most
    > often a pattern of one of these 4 OR one set of these 4 (1and 3 - or 2 and 4 for ex.)
    >
    > Ex. female behavior under stress or tend and befriend is 1 and 3 options Male behavior under
    > stress is most often fight or flight which is 2 and 4 options.
    >
    > Something basic and simple evolves to all the rest IMO.

    I agree. I heard a similar argument based on Creation, Reproduction and Control.

    http://www.calresco.org/kalmykov/vlkiaoe.txt

    And another based on 'communication' - All of life is a language process. This was a book called
    'Life, the communicative structure'.

    Cheers, Dan.
     
  6. Dan Bolser

    Dan Bolser Guest

    On Tue, 3 Feb 2004, Malcolm wrote:

    >
    > "Dan Bolser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >
    > > Ever met someone and known how they would think in general given a > few
    > specific examples of their thoughts?
    > >
    > I know what you mean here. Of course you can't predict exact actions, but you can have a good idea
    > what sort of guy you are dealing with.
    > >
    > > Given the massive number of variables underlying 'psychology', do a few stable psychotypes
    > > emerge out of the chaos?
    > >
    > This is a good question. Everyman and his dog from astrologers to Jesuits (nonagrams) tries to
    > define some sort of psychological system.

    you mean 'so there must be some types out there' ?

    > >
    > > Can we look at these attractors as self reproducing, self reinforcing, co-evolving entities in a
    > > psycological ecosystem?
    > >
    > Only if they show Mendelian inheritance, which isn't likely.

    Hmmm.... I warn my young child about the dangers of the world - he grows up conservative... does
    that count?

    > > Does the 'systematic metaphor' make sense in this case? For example > can
    > we look at a well armoured beatle - and see its analogue in certain
    > > human psycotypes?
    > >
    > The first question is, can you define the psycotype? Eg, can you and your assistant assign unseen
    > subjects to the same categories with any degree of reliability?
    > >
    > > Are cultures ecosystems?
    > >
    > Not for organisms, but maybe for memes.

    I am not really talking about memes, but rather memetic organisms - whole sets of self reinforcing
    stable ideas - like, for example, (*fingers crossed*) religion.

    In this sense taking one memetic organism and transplanting it into a different culture could be
    disasterous.

    > > Does it make any sense to ask these questions? > It makes sense.
    > However you should be aware that hundreds of attempts have been made to classify psychological
    > types. Unless your particular scheme has some merit that makes it stand out from the crowd, you
    > will just be adding to the heap of speculation.

    Yup, and I am sure psychology is a much faster moving target than 'species'. You tell me I have a
    mother fixation - I learn this and change
    - I become neurotic, and use pop-freud to diagnose myself... Tons of changing categories.
    However, the very first taxonomists (morphologists?) were cluless... perhaps we can develope a
    system in time.

    Interesting concept, but perhaps ultimatly usless.

    Cheers, Dan.

    >
     
  7. Malcolm

    Malcolm Guest

    "Dan Bolser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > you mean 'so there must be some types out there' ?
    >
    People are psychologically different. Tony Blair is a very different person to George W. Bush,
    despite the fact that both are heads of state. The problem is, how can you quantify these
    differences?
    >
    > > Only if they show Mendelian inheritance, which isn't likely.
    >
    > Hmmm.... I warn my young child about the dangers of the world - he > grows
    up conservative... does that count?
    >
    You'd have to have four children, one of whom grew up conservative, one liberal, and two middle
    of the road.
    >
    > I am not really talking about memes, but rather memetic organisms - whole sets of self reinforcing
    > stable ideas - like, for example, (*fingers crossed*) religion.
    >
    This leads us to the question of "what is a meme". It's a unit of imitable behaviour, and it must
    have some sort of physical substrate, but we don't know what it is. i.e. all people who say "can't
    hardly" must have something in common in their brains, but what is that something?
    >
    > In this sense taking one memetic organism and transplanting it into a different culture could be
    > disasterous.
    >
    Protestantism couldn't survive in a non-literate culture, for example. The meme for "sola scriptura"
    is quite closely tied to the meme for reading.
    >
    > Yup, and I am sure psychology is a much faster moving target than 'species'. You tell me I have a
    > mother fixation - I learn this and change
    > - I become neurotic, and use pop-freud to diagnose myself... Tons of changing categories.
    > However, the very first taxonomists (morphologists?) were cluless... perhaps we can develope a
    > system in >
    time.
    >
    > Interesting concept, but perhaps ultimatly usless.
    >
    The point is that simply sitting down and saying "well I call my "A" type very ambitious, competive
    people, and my "B" type people who are aggressive but not necessarily intelligent or ambitious" etc
    just lands you in the company of Tarot card readers, astrologers, and other assorted pseudo-
    scientists. There has to be more substance to any scheme of classification.
     
  8. "Malcolm" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > "Dan Bolser" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > People are psychologically different. Tony Blair is a very different person to George W. Bush,
    > despite the fact that both are heads of state. The problem is, how can you quantify these
    > differences?

    >> Hmmm.... I warn my young child about the dangers of the world - he > grows
    > up conservative... does that count?

    (snip)

    > The point is that simply sitting down and saying "well I call my "A" type very ambitious,
    > competive people, and my "B" type people who are aggressive but not necessarily intelligent or
    > ambitious" etc just lands you in the company of Tarot card readers, astrologers, and other
    > assorted pseudo-scientists. There has to be more substance to any scheme of classification.

    This is not really my forte, but Pinker refers in "The Blank Slate" to the "five major ways in which
    personality can vary (summarized by the acronym OCEAN): openness to experience, conscientiousness,
    extroversion- introversion, antagonism-agreeableness, and neuroticism". He goes on to discuss the
    evidence that personality is largely independent of parental influence, but doesn't talk much more
    about the actual factors. However a quick search on the net led to the site
    www.personalityresearch.org which seemed to be a good starting point to learn more about OCEAN as
    well as competing theories.

    Yours,

    Bill Morse
     
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