intro

INTRODUCTION

In a profound way each of us is on our own.

In a profound way we are each part of humanity.

We each compete and commune as we experience life.  Our Human Body /Mind is the result of how humans evolved to deal with these opposite demands.

Fig. 251

Each generation has to grow from a zygote — the single cell resulting from the fertilization of the female egg cell by the male sperm cell.

The basic program for our development is in our individual DNA.

See Genetic human traits  — ref 619

A controversial recent development in genetics focuses on Gender Issues — Ref643   —  ref955

GENETICS and —

Evolution has provided us with the means by which a human grows, learns and develops. Our “Apps” include a wide range of the good habits/skills — crucially those needed to relieve us of having to consciously work through routine daily activities — walking, etc.

Initially, we are dependant — helpless — for the first few years.  But generally blessed with the abilities to learn the complex basics in preparation for later sophistication


Fig.112

The early learning rate is curtailed to allow appropriate re-enforcement, by practice.               

Fig.6

We are a combination of Body and Mind.  These are interlinked so that the Body is maintained and responsive to our Needs.  The Mind has to deal with what we perceive whether from the Body and/or our Environs.  The context is a changing, developing one, possibly subject to toxic stresses, demands, failures and successes.

Personality is a major part of this development — ref 485  — What is Personality?

Fig.199 ref 617 — showing a summary of the traits, attitudes from different personalities.

Fig. 183 Emotions, progressively experienced and noted — arousal — motivations — feelings

An Emotion is our initial response to a significant perception, and this enables us to respond quickly and, hopefully, appropriately.  In order to do so we should develop “Emotional Intelligence”.

THE MIND

So we have inherent and learned abilities. These are “on standby ” in our Mind —

The Mind is generally perceived as the Conscious and the Nonconscious (variants — Near, Sub and Un-Conscious)

Freud’s Personality Theory (1923) visualised the Psyche (Mind) structured into three parts — the Id, Ego and Superego, all developing at different stages in our lives — ref907


Fig.252

According to Freud’s model of the Mind/Psyche, the ID is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the SUPER-EGO operates as a moral conscience, and the EGO is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the ID and the SUPER-EGO.

This illuminating model does not clearly address the general motivations/needs — but first —

From — ref738f
The two most powerful functions of the developing Conscious Mind —
1. The ability to imagine — Jokes, acting, etc.
2. The ability to direct your focus — Thinking hard, enjoying a pleasant event, etc.

We “imagine” our awareness through our senses can be supplemented by inputs from our Nonconscious Mind.

Both of these involve dealing with our complex of —
• Emotional reactions
• Realising our Core Human Needs

There exists various theories and observations about the Mind. These are the products of various minds who have felt the compulsion to understand what humans are all about. They are all of interest, and hopefully contain some partial validity, even if not fully illuminating.

Our Conscious thinking, perceiving, and learning account for only a small fraction of our total mental activity — with the rest being entirely Nonconscious

Our Conscious Minds work much more slowly than our Nonconscious Mind, and are overall less adept at processing information, less efficient at the task.

The Nonconscious Mind therefore can be said to be more intelligent than the Conscious Mind.– ref897

Our Conscious thinking, perceiving, and learning account for only a small fraction of our total mental activity — with the rest being entirely Nonconscious

Because the Nonconscious Mind is responsible for the bulk of our mental processing, it can also be said to be responsible for the development of a large part of our personality, tastes, talents, and so on — It determines, in essence, how we function — and here we have to beware !

There are indications  that the Nonconscious will adapt to “your” way of thinking — for example — ref867 –The brain adapts to dishonesty.

However, there may be instances for second thoughts — ref868 — trade-off between honesty, self-interest !

The Nonconscious Mind is thought to be composed only of what it has absorbed from the external environment, and to be responsible for the following processes —
1. Nonconscious learning and the development of personality traits
2. The Nonconscious influence that our Nonconscious learning has on our judgments, decisions, and emotions (both feelings and reactions); and
3. The various organizations and reorganizations that occur spontaneously in Nonconscious knowledge systems.

As point three suggests, our Nonconscious knowledge systems are far from rigid; they constantly change, and we change with them, leading to what we interpret as the growth and alteration of the personality.

Generally, these changes can be seen as a computer re-ordering itself to become more and more efficient in its processing of the external environment, but in some circumstances, the same processes may lead to the state of maladaptation that we refer to as mental illness.

NEEDS — Motivations

Abraham Harold Maslow (1908 –  1970) was an American psychologist who studied Human Motivations/Needs — ref926

Maslow first developed his famous theory of individual development and motivation in the 1940’s. He suggested that human beings have a hierarchy of needs. That is, that all humans act in a way which will address basic needs, before moving on to satisfy other, so-called higher level needs.

Maslow represented this theory as a hierarchical triangle. This shows how basic needs must be met before one can “climb” the hierarchy, to address more complex needs.

  • Physiological needs – such as hunger, thirst and sleep
  • Safety needs – such as security, protection from danger and freedom from pain.
  • Social needs – sometimes also referred to as love needs such as friendship, giving and receiving love, engaging in social activities and group membership.
  • Esteem needs – these include both self-respect and the esteem of others. For example, the desire for self-confidence and achievement, and recognition and appreciation.
  • Self-actualization – This is about the desire to develop and realize your full potential. To become everything you can be.

Fig 4

A different aspect of these Needs/Motivations is offered by Rick Hanson in his book “Hardwiring Happiness”

He observed that humans have 3 Core Needs or Operating Systems (Freud?):
• Safety ————Avoiding Harm
• Connection —– Attaching/relating to others
• Satisfaction —– Using our Rewards system.

These Operating Systems are defined by their function and not the evolved anatomy — Each operating system has its own set of capabilities, and they can be running at the same time.

They are complex, each individual has a different version of a range of Needs.

Each has two modes of responding to circumstances:
• The Responsive Mode — Controlled, Mindful
• The Reactive Mode — Alert, Stressed. Emotional — Insecure people, and those affected by trauma are more prone to this mode.

Avoiding harm seems to have evolved a Human Brain that has a negativity bias, tending to simulate —
• Velcro for negative experiences — an expectation or precaution
• Teflon for positive ones.

In past and some current societies there was the expectation of physical danger.

Currently toxic stress, bullying (such as from Social Media), loneliness due to loss of Family links — seem to be creating serious Psychological pressures.

Attaching/relating to others

According to the Attachment theory, approximately 50% of economically “comfortable” people in Western Society enjoy good relationships with others, 20% tend to avoid relationships with others, another 10% tend to cling to relationships, the remaining 10% swing between clinging and avoiding — however it should noted that we all probably experience Avoiding and Clinging in some relationships.

The “belongingness hypothesis” states that people have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behaviour — ref778

We have a Need for:
• Forming social bonds
• Not breaking bonds
• Cognition –- feeling close to others
• Emotional highs and lows
• Avoiding the Consequences of deprivation
• Avoiding Partial deprivation
• Avoiding Satiation and substitution

There is such a thing as too many close relationships. People strongly prefer to have (and are only capable of having) a few very close friendships and a larger number of casual friendships. In this case, quality is more important than quantity.

ref779 — Why We Are Wired to Connect

Satisfaction (Reward).

Emotions are a reward or punishment for a specific motivated behaviour  — ref360

The School at Medicine at Mt Sinai explains that we have “reward pathways” — ref 291
The most important reward pathway in brain is a dopamine system.

Under normal conditions, the pathway controls an individual’s responses to natural rewards, such as food, sex, and social interactions, and is therefore an important determinant of motivation and incentive drive.


FIG.187 Reward Cycle Eating

From — ref806 The neurobiology of pleasure, reward processes, addiction and their health implications

Natural rewarding or pleasurable activities are necessary for survival and appetitive motivation, usually governing beneficial biological behaviors like eating, sex and reproduction.

Thus, pleasure is much needed.

However, artificial stimulants (e.g., addictive drugs) or ‘too much’ of a pleasurable activity may not be as beneficial, since flexibility and natural control of behaviours may be deteriorated.

Clearly, addiction includes a loss of control over normal behaviors and appetitive motivational goals. Addictive drugs, in addition, are capable of directly and strongly acting on reward pathways, thereby influencing motivation physiology.

Moderate pleasurable experiences, nonetheless, are able to enhance biological flexibility, complexity and health protection. Thus, pleasure can be a resistance resource, or it may serve

AGE STAGES and Hazards

Human Development has important stages — notably the early months and years — and adolescence.

In most Societies good parenting is largely left to chance.

Fig.8

Human Development has important stages — notably the early months and years — and adolescence.

At adolescence there is a re-alignment of the brain to cater for our emerging dispositions.

These seem likely to be carried forward to adulthood.

The Psychologist Oliver James in his book “They Fxxx You Up”, presents his version of Early Human Developments and relates these to Adult Personality Types:

He considers Genetics and Nurtures but maintains that we can and should focus on Nurture – because it can be changed!

Although no one can directly remember their earliest experiences, in infancy, it is back in this forgotten time that “personality disorder” may develop.

The psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott claimed that this could result from the sort of care given and responded to in the first few months of life.

See Personality Disorders —  ref486

A main focus is on emotional and social aspects, developed over 3 early stages:

Aspects of personality are developed in the following stages  ­­–

  • Becoming aware – to 6 months
  • Developing how to Relate to others – to 3 years
  • Realising a Conscience (morality) – 3 to 6 yrs

These are stages for sound development, but also when development can go wrong — ref749

The theory separates these working models of relationships into two main categories, secure attachment and insecure attachment, according to the degree of safety and security present within the relationships represented by the models. The category of insecure attachment is further subdivided based on how children react to others as a result of their working models: ambivalent,  avoidant, or disorganized

Fig.117

Sound development is as follows —

  • Becoming more aware of being separate from parents.
  • Recognising strangers and can react in a distressed way if stranger tries to interact too quickly.
  • Starting to be able to distract themselves when things go wrong.
  • More persistent in pursuing their own goals especially in play.

The Psychologist Oliver James visualised an ideal/Mature Human Adult as follows:

If you are this type it is relatively easy for you to become emotionally close to others. You are comfortable depending upon others and being depended upon by them, and don’t worry greatly about being alone or having others not accept us.

Adult romantic partners tend to be secure. When set a problem to solve with their partner, secure men are positive and supportive, trying to help rather than acting as a competitor or getting annoyed. Secure women are likely to seek emotional support from their man and to be happy to receive embraces or other physical expressions of affection and encouragement.

Secure couples have the least negative relationships of any combination of patterns – less critical, less conflict-ridden, more warm and friendly. The most common causes of rancour, like the man not spending enough time with the woman or disputes over the division of domestic labour, are less likely to be a problem. Followed over time, their relationships last longer and, if they include marriage, are less likely to end in divorce.

Such a person would be the beneficiary of sound genes, thoughtful nurture, a safe environment freedom from mental and physical ailments and addictions, etc. — This Utopia, even if wholly desirable, would take generations to achieve.

But our ability to learn these and further life enhancing Apps also means that we can acquire bad Apps – damage-prone habits and antagonizing attitudes. These may emerge in response to unfortunate experiences such as Toxic Stresses.

Although no one can directly remember their earliest experiences, in infancy, it is back in this forgotten time that “personality disorder” may develop. The psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott claimed that this could result from the sort of care given and responded to in the first few months of life – – Ref486 PersonalityPersonality Disorders

A baby starts of as a self-centred being in need of socialisation

80 per cent of criminals and about 13 per cent of the general population are significantly affected by personality disorder – but so do the majority of high achievers, be they in politics, business, the arts or show business.

However, far more than the 13 per cent of people have some personality disorder – all of us do, to some extent, in some situations.

Language is our basic means whereby we identify & recall what has to be dealt with.

Mindfulness seems to be providing ways of dealing with problem situations.  But even a basic concept such as “Acceptance”  — ref954

An Introduction — a narrative — but lots more to ponder !