Posts Tagged ‘Cognitive Behavior Therapy’

The Psychology of Socialism #1 (The People )

January 3, 2021

The Psychology of Socialism #1 (The People)

Why is Socialism so resurgently popular around the world?!

How could this ever happen in America…”The Land of The Free and The Home of The Brave”?!

Why does it keep reoccurring in spite of Socialism’s countless failures?

Why does Socialism keep reoccurring in spite its certain progress into tyrannical and all-controlling bloated central governments.

Why does it keep reoccurring in spite of the great tendency of Socialism to morph into an even more tyrannical and murderous  form of government, called Communism?  Read: “The Road To Serfdom”, by Friedrich Hayek. 

Why does Socialism keep reoccurring in the face of indisputable historical evidence that Socialism/Communism has caused the death of around 94 million citizens (some say 100 million)?! The statistics of these victims include deaths through executions, man-made hunger, famine, war, deportations, and forced labor. See Wikipedia, “The Black Book of Communism”.

Many answers to these questions are far from simple; but they are very clear and easily found within the Laws and Principles of the Science of Psychology. One of these main Laws is the “Law of Effect”.  The Law of Effect simply states that Consequences Control Behavior.  Read: “Elementary Principles of Behavior”, by Dick Malott and Co-Authors.

These basic principles were first observed with various animals, and were found to also greatly influence the thoughts, beliefs and emotions and behaviors of humans. 

Unfortunately, our sense of superiority and vanity has historically blinded many of our leaders and the rest of us to this critically important fact-of-life. But, unless we wish to conclude that we are minerals, vegetables, fungi or bacteria, etc., we we must accept the fact that we are animals.  This perception is a great advantage because it confirms critical aspects of our nature and points the way to understanding the social, cultural, and political systems that can strengthen our best human characteristics and avoid those that catalyze our worst.

For individuals to improve themselves though cognitive behavior therapy it is important that they come to know and understand their own behaviors and the Psychological Laws and Principles of behavior that influence them. The challenge then is learn new beliefs, rewards and their environments to achieve beneficial results. It is no different with entire societies and the political systems that govern them.

Given all of the above understood, let us return to the penultimate questions:  Why do humans, like moths, repeatedly fly into the destructive fires of socialism? Why do we repeatedly leap into the deadly Venus-Fly-Traps of Socialism and Communism? 

The answers are contained within the fact that, like all other animals, we tend to work to obtain things and activities that are rewarding to us. Just as importantly, we tend to work, escape, and avoid things and activities that are unpleasant, painful, demand  greater effort, or deprive us of rewards. We move about (forage) to obtain, escape, or avoid such things and activities; just like other animals.

Moreover, we tend to forage to get, escape, or avoid such events as fast and as conveniently as possible.

When we experience pain, or the deprivation of rewards, we may be motivated to remain where we are located and try to remedy our situation. Or, we may forage in search of safer and/or more rewarding environments to inhabit. For example, observe the current movement of America’s populations from high crime, high blight and high tax-rate cities and states to more rewarding/less unpleasant social and political environments.

We love our rewards to occur as immediately as possible (i.e., fast food, microwaves, faster computers, 5g phones, etc., etc.). We do not like it when rewards are terminated, reduced, or delayed; or we experience pain (i.e., pay checks, mechanical/technological failures; or job loss, friends lost, injury, sickness, death, etc., etc.).

Tragically, humans easily fall prey to behaving in ways that bring the joys of immediate rewards, but often lead to painful delayed consequences (gambling, lying, cheating, stealing, drug/alcohol abuse, gluttony, disloyalty in social relationships/marriage, “buy now but pay later” acquisitions, and other forms of immediately rewarding; but ultimately harmful impulsive behaviors. Behavioral Psychologists refer to this all to common behavioral trap as: “The Tyranny of Deferred Consequences”. 

We easily fall prey to novel and addictive things and activities (sex, drugs, pornography, and gimbling. We also become addicted to the stimulating adrenalin and dopamine highs produced by many these and other activities such as fighting, war, rule-breaking and escape from various dangers.

Science and Technology has allowed us to experience all of the highly arousing harmful and addictive activities listed above, and more. Psychologist Albert Bandura and others have demonstrated, without a shadow of doubt, that one of the most important ways that humans learn their behaviors and appetites is through modeling and imitation.

By now, dear reader, you should be thinking about some these powerful Laws and Principles of the science of Psychology and how they can help or hurt or the successful evolution of America. 

There is more of this analysis to come. 

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 1/3/2021

Recommendations for a Wonderful New Year!

January 5, 2020

Recommendations for a Wonderful New Year!

The aging process presents many new frustrations, disabilities and sadness’s. All are challenges to the self-control of anxiety, depression, fear, anger, aggression and our ability to avoid the damaging excesses that will accelerate our decline (alcohol, drugs, gluttony, and other forms of habitual self-indulgences.

This is true for the young and the old.

I believe that the wisdom’s contained within the pro-social religions of this world, in conjunction with the secular philosophy of Stoicism, if learned and put into daily practice, can bring the great rewards of personal growth throughout ones life-time, even during our inevitable journey of eventual decline and demise.

No matter your religion, or lack of it; the philosophy of Stoicism, designed and professed about 300 years before the birth of Christ, can help you to achieve a life-time of reasonable happiness and emotional stability.

I recommend that you Google information about Stoicism and learn its main features. Features that foreshadowed the development and scientific validation of Cognitive Behavior Therapy….by around 2320 years.

It is important to note that what we think most about is likely to be integrated into our beliefs, thoughts and actions.

Therefore people of faith have normally benefited from the reading of daily devotions.

I will recommend in addition to religious devotions, or singularly if you are not religious, that you consider purchasing and reading The Daily Stoic: 336 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living (2016), by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.

This book also features new translations of Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius; philosophers practicing and teaching effective psychotherapy in ancient Greece and Rome.

Best wishes to you for a wonderful New Year, 2020!

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 1/5/20

Psychology with Dr. Tom: Specific Phobias

April 29, 2018

Psychology with Dr. Tom: Specific Phobias.

Today’s assignment is to learn more about human Specific Phobias.

Specific Phobias can be effectively treated through Cognitive Behavior Therapy. However, successful treatment requires a motivated client who is willing to work hard and do homework assignments.

Please learn the DSM-5 definition of a Specific Phobia and then study more on the web page below. Notice that Phobias are irrational fears. From a practical perspective, if the fear does not interfere with living life effectively and gaining its important rewards, individuals are generally not motivated to undergo treatment.

A specific phobia is an intense, persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, situation, or activity, or person. Usually, the fear is proportionally greater than the actual danger or threat. People with specific phobias are highly distressed about having the fear, and often will go to great lengths to avoid the object or situation in question. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the year-long community prevalence estimate for specific phobias is approximately 7%-9%.”

https://www.med.upenn.edu/ctsa/phobias_symptoms.html

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 4/29/18

Practicing Psychologist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend


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