Posts Tagged ‘Law of Least Effort’

The Psychology of Socialism: 2 (Modernization)

January 15, 2021

The Psychology of Socialism # 2 ( Modernization)

I judge that the the social and political infestation of Marxist Socialism in America is analogues to any disease that sickens an individual.  When someone’s immune system is sufficiently weakened, they become increasingly susceptible to various diseases; some of which are lethal.

The psychological and spiritual health of our population greatly affects America’s resistance to the killing effects of Marxism on societies and their cultures. 

Factors that affect the psychological health of America’s population is the topic of what follows.

It is critically important to know about the Psychological Laws and Principles that tend to shape a population’s behavior patterns; the ones that I explained in my previous post, “The Psychology of Socialism #1 (The People)”. The psychological Laws and Principles that increase or decrease the frequency of good or bad behaviors; and useful or self-defeating behaviors in individuals and groups of individuals…including societies of individuals.

Please scroll down the list of my topics on this page to refresh or learn these Laws and Principles for the first time. Perhaps you will have to search for its #1’s title in my search box located on the upper right of my home page.

All of these Laws and Principles tend to influence the behaviors of both individuals and populations in much the same ways. They increase or decrease the frequency of occurrence of behaviors within individuals, groups, or entire societies. 

The susceptibility of humans to be influenced by these Laws and Principles of Psychology,  and to show other innate characteristics and tendencies, should be what we mean by “Human Nature”. That is, it is most common for humans to prefer faster, bigger, more frequent and more convenient rewards, rather than rewards that come slower, smaller, less frequent and more difficult to achieve. It is also human nature to tend to avoid and escape unpleasant or painful experiences by any easy and immediately effective way that works.

All of this may sound like common sense…and it is! But, it includes a heck-of-a-lot more than common sense. These scientific facts have been validated by nearly 100 years of effortful replicated psychological research. 

Also, it is easy to see that what we call common sense–is not so common as we once thought! 

Like it or not, deny it or not, these Psychological Laws and Principles are inalterable truths that can increase good behaviors in individuals, all human organizations, and societies. Unfortunately, these laws and principles can also increase harmful and even destructive behaviors in all of these venues. Like nuclear power they can sustain individuals and societies, or destroy them.

From this perspective, it should not be a surprise to learn that the strength and endurance of our behaviors are influenced by the rates and intervals governing how often, or how difficult it is to gain our rewards and avoid or escape unpleasant or painful conditions.

Citizens in primitive societies learn to work very hard to secure their rewards (safe shelter, food, water, warmth and protection from various dangers, etc.). They must learn to cope with the stresses of survival in very difficult, disease-ridden even war-torn environments. They learn, as other animals do , to work very hard to live in these circumstances that demand greater tenacity, perseverance, inventiveness, strength and courage to survive. Furthermore, they tend to adopt comforting religions that help them to cope with a great many stressors over which they have little personal control. This last matter will be discussed in greater detail in a later blog.

It is essential for parents in more primitive cultures to teach their children these skills and beliefs because, during the parent’s old age, they must rely upon their children’s care in order to survive.

As modernizing societies continue to develop through the generations of citizens, the strength and adaptive qualities of the population’s behavior tends to diminish. The once more common levels of tenacity, perseverance, inventiveness, courage to survive hardships, and the solidifying faith in historical traditions and religions tend to be weakened. People become dependent upon the  advances of knowledge, science and new technological conveniences.

However, human wisdom about how to best cope with these evolutions appears to lag very far behind.

In modernizing societies the historically greater demands of life give-way to more frequent, more plentiful, bigger and more easily gained rewards. Simultaneously, more convenient and certain strategies to escape or avoid discomfort, pain and even death become a new and comforting part of life. With these increasing advantages and without formally taught adaptive counter-measures to preserve the older self-sufficient skills; as well as the mental and physical hardiness of former populations; survival skills and abilities weaken. The new relatively easy life-style brings the tendency among an increasing percent of citizens (I.e., the prevalence) of the modernizing society’s population’s to lose former generation’s hardiness, tenacity and perseverance.  It is important to remember that the soft and easy life, is only so…relative to the demands of life-styles. Therefore, this tendency of population and cultural decline, presumably, has been a factor in the decline and collapse of societies throughout history.

The so called “law of least effort” facilitates the weakening of population behavior. This tends to show-up in behavior patterns we may label as laziness, impatience, low frustration tolerance, poor self-control, and decreased inventiveness, etc..

Look at our own behavior patterns today.

Why warm stuff in the oven when there is microwave? Why wash the dishes by hand when there is the dish washer? Why shovel the driveway when you have a snow blower? Why climb the stairs when there is an elevator? Why abstain from sex when easy birth control medication and abortions-on-demand are easily available? Why practice common courtesies when population density and mobility ensures you will never see a person again? Why not eat what you wish when there is medicine to treat high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease? Why walk when you can ride? Why take time and effort to shop at a store when you can order stuff over the internet? Why go to school when you can do computer assisted education? Why work when you can get welfare? Why get married when you can “hook-Up” and have sex, all the advantages of a home, and irresponsibly come and go as you please?  Why have children and raise them with great care, when it costs so much, is inconvenient and stressful, interferes with earning more money, and achieving a great career,  and so on?

It is often said that humanity has made great gains through science and technology. This is obviously True!

But what is also true, but not so obvious, is that science and technology have also had many negative psychological effects upon the the behavior patterns of the citizens within modernizing societies. It is essential to understand that the quality of citizen’s behavior patterns is influenced by sociocultural evolution, and Sociocultural evolution is influenced by the quality of citizen’s behavior patterns. 

All of this, and more of course, has been an important part of the rise and fall of the greatest societies in the history of planet earth.

It is now essential to further evaluate the effects of America’s cultural evolutions upon the psychological health and viability of our society’s citizens, and visa-versa. 

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 1/15/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legalized Prostitution: Sex Robots Lead the Way

January 1, 2019

Legalized Prostitution: Sex Robots Lead the Way.

Prostitution is illegal in every state in America, except Nevada. You might find it interesting to review the state and federal laws against Prostitution. Please see below.

https://prostitution.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000119

You should know that prostitution, like gambling, pornography and recreational drugs were outlawed for good reasons. They were once called “vices” because they ruin families, businesses and individual’s lives. Separately each of these legalized activities is a great cost to society that should supersede hedonistic quests for more personal pleasures. Taken together, I judge that their synergistic costs to America are, or soon will be, disastrous.

On a strongly related matter: “technological determinism” is a term used by those who wish to illustrate how advancing technology shapes the perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors of populations within civilizations. When perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors change they can spread through populations via well-known biopsychosocial scientific laws and principles.  I call these laws and principles the mechanisms of change. I call the changes they cause within populations, behavioral contagion. The effects of behavioral contagion can be good or bad for populations, cultures, and societies.

Technological determinism is only one important source of the many summating and multiplicative changes in societies that, when viewed at-large, are identified as cultural evolution. Behavioral contagion is an important component of many chains of causes (war, depletion of resources, disease, natural disasters, religion changes, technological developments, politics and more) that drive good and bad cultural evolutions. Therefore, behavioral contagion can also be an important force in the rise and decline of civilizations. Changing and even clashing subcultures can easily be observed in societies.

Unfortunate, the workings of the biopsychosocial mechanisms that drive behavioral contagion for better and for worse, are not easily observed. In fact, from what I can tell almost everyone is oblivious to them. Even most scientists that I know do not think much about their involvement in sociocultural evolution and the survival value of  societies

The video below is a perfect example, among countless others, of technological innovations that can catalyze destructive forms of behavioral contagion in America.

The following  video is only soft-pornography But, I warn you that your own imagination will rapidly convert it to XXX rated hardcore-pornography. If you are offended by this video, and your own naturally occurring imagination, I will invite you to “grow-up” and face reality. You will have to politically defend against this reality, or you and your loved ones will be hurt to varying degrees by it.

Psychology is very much at play in this robotic example of technological determinism, its resulting behavioral contagion, and also resulting cultural evolutions will likely produce . I will explain in brief.

All animals are generally influenced by the same Psychological laws and principles. One of these principles is the Law of Effect. This law states that behaviors that produces rewards for individuals will normally cause them to repeat the same behaviors more often in the future. These behavior patterns, with repeated rewarding consequences, can become deeply ingrained within the in individuals and greatly increase in future frequency. Such high rates of behaviors have, in lay language, been called “psychological addictions”. When the rewards are actually biologically addicting, both psychological and physiological addictions present concurrent problems to individuals, families, businesses, etc., and entire societies. The psychologist B. F. Skinner researched and promulgated these laws and principles he called Operant Conditioning and Learning.

Basic Laws of Association increase the likelihood that stimuli, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors that occur together with individuals will be psychologically linked together and will be more likely to occur together more often in the future. If the stimuli are closely associated with pleasure, individuals will be more likely to be motivated to work to produce them more often in the future. Conversely, the stimuli, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and actions are closely associated with pain or discomfort will be more likely to be escaped and avoided. Ivan Pavlov’s discovery of Classical (Respondent) Conditioning helped psychologist to understand how, for better or worse, new learned (conditioned) emotions and reflexes can be learned in humans and other animals. 

The Principle of Least Effort often leads to people and other animals seeking the least effortful ways to obtain their rewards and the least effortful ways to escape or avoid pain and discomfort. The implications for sex with robots as opposed to all that one must do to find and retain sexual partners should be clear. The more realistic the sexual robots become the more powerful their attractiveness is likely to become.

It is critically to note that behavioral scientists have demonstrated that humans and other animals are generally highly motivated get their rewards more immediately, more frequently and in larger magnitudes.  

Albert Bandura, conducted important research into the psychological field of Social Learning Theory. There are a great many social influences upon perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors the individuals within societies. These influences include all of the previous laws and principles, and more. These influences are spread through language, written words, popular media, and the imitation of other’s behaviors that are perceived in some fashion. All of this presents another level of complexity of influences upon individual’s perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors.  The principles of social learning theory present countless other avenues of behavioral contagion with good or bad effects upon individuals, cultures and societies.

All of this, and much more, is part of human and animal nature.

Historically, in Western Civilization Judeo/Christian religion’s stimuli, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, behaviors and sacred values have militated against bad behavioral contagion. Also, Western Civilization’s, more’s, folkways and governmental laws; largely based upon these religious values, punished the spread of bad behaviors within the populations. All of this and the population’s own social controls (encouragement, praise, material rewards; or, criticism, social censure, rejection and physical punishment) also militated against bad behavioral contagion and strengthened good behavioral contagion. 

Finally, it is now increasingly clear that genetics is a very important factor in the inheritance of tendencies towards a host of diseases, both physical and psychological; as well as a number of personality features that often produce maladaptive behaviors in individuals. 

All of this provides fodder for the behavioral contagion of bad or good outcomes for individuals, culture and society. 

Perhaps you are beginning to understand that psychology is one of our most important sciences and technologies for future human social and political survival. 

Finally, please note that all levels of America’s governments have been suppressing the power of Judeo/Christian influences. Also, our corrupt governments  have been legalizing the behaviors that were formerly labeled as sinful and illegal. Governments are doing this in order to augment their tragically depleted revenues. Governmental revenues horrifically depleted by unprincipled spending designed to secure a dependent electorate dedicated to furthering politician’s personal wealth and political power. 

Sex robots are perfect technological symbols of secular post-modern nations now in steep decline.

Will America be one of these?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Health Services Provider in Psychology

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

 

For more “Big Picture” thinking, I invite you to study two of my professional publications below. There I detail a few (just a few) of the determinants of human behavior, cultural evolution and potentially the rise and decline of civilizations.

Also, you undoubtedly note that I have not specified what is good or bad behavior, or good and bad behavioral contagion. I invite you to think about your own value judgments about these matters. However, I ask that you put these judgments within the context of the biopsychosocial laws and principles discussed in this blog. If you wish to know my own thoughts on this difficult matter, you will find them in my publications below.  

http://uncommonculture.org/ojs/index.php/bsi/article/view/328

https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zKtoOt2Vvb8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA45&dq=behavioral+contagion+of+gambling+v.t.+mawhinney&ots=F8rOYqs1Or&sig=e07hs19rcrN6pIPXg1QEw4D8KsQ#v=onepage&q=behavioral%20contagion%20of%20gambling%20v.t.%20mawhinney&f=false

 

 

Why Progressive/Socialism (A Forshadow of Communism in Disguise) Always Fails and Always Will: A Psychological Perspective

July 9, 2014

Why Progressivism/Socialism (Communism in Disguise) Aways Fails and Always Will: A Psychological Perspective

I am representing an older blog today because it is particularly Germane and it is the truth that underlays almost all of America’s problems now reaching horrific proportions.

Those who will not admit this truth are dishonest, rendered ignorant by public education’s propaganda machine, blinded by the lies of liberal dogma, or perhaps they are already effortlessly suckling copious rewards from the many giant governmental teats aggressively extended for their pleasure (sorry, I just could not help myself regarding this last metaphor).

Please read the following explanation of America’s present steep social and cultural decline. It all has to do with the psychopathology of Liberal Ideology and the individuals who practice it.

The following is a re-blog from 9/24/12.

The answer is clear and simple. The psychological contingencies of positive reinforcement (rewards), punishment (painful consequences) and extinction (no rewards) that are governmentally imposed are ass-backward and they produce incompetent and self-defeating behavior patterns within populations. The Law of Effect will provide no other outcome. Consequences control behavior.

This assertion can be illustrated with two basic psychological principles, from among others.

The first is the Law of Effect. This Law states that behavior (a great deal of very important human behavior) is controlled by its consequences.

The Second is the Principle of Least Effort. The principle of least effort states that animals and humans tend to learn to obtain their rewards, or escape and avoid pain, in the least effortful ways available.

When the rewards of the have-more people who have worked very hard for delayed rewards, behaved responsibly and avoided the many human foibles (immediately rewarding sex, drugs, alcohol, other self-destructive and irresponsible behaviors, that do immediate or delayed damage) are confiscated through taxation and given freely (i.e., non­-contingently) to the have-nots…..the have-nots will increase in frequency. This will occur simply because the government has reinforced the population’s have-not behavior patterns and this will predictably strengthen the have-not behavior patterns and lead to more have-not people applying to the government for free rewards. Modeling and imitation and direct reinforcement of have-not behavior patterns will predictably increase the future frequency of such behaviors within the population.

Also, increasing numbers of new people will join the have-not undereducated, low socioeconomic class because the have-nots are more likely to reproduce at higher rates than the have-more people. This outcome is dramatically increased when the government pays various material rewards to those have-nots for having children that they cannot afford.

It is just this simple, when the wealth-maker’s money is given to the wealth-takers for simply having more babies, they predictably have more babies than the wealth-makers do. The wealth-makers are just too busy getting educated, working in professions and businesses, making money and behaving responsibly to match the wealth-takers reproductive rates.

Now the plot thickens again. The basic psychological principles of Modeling and Imitation insure that the majority of children raised by have­-not/wealth­-taking parents will watch and learn to think, believe and to behave much as their parents do.

Within the span of several generations, this complex and spreading vicious cycle of bad behavioral contagion will shift the socio/political demographics and power to a rapidly growing proportion of the have-not/wealth­-taking population. Unfortunately, this undereducated group will believe almost anything they are told by their political curators. After-all the have-not/wealth-takers are under-educated in reading, writing, math, science, history and economics, etc., they have been taught by their families and the government to behave in these ways.  On what basis would anyone expect otherwise?

Initially, the political outcome for a voting Democratic Republic such as America, will be that increasing numbers have-not/wealth-takers will vote increasing numbers of their intelligent, but devious, political curators into office. In this way political curators can take more from the have-more/wealth-makers and give it to them. In this way they will rapidly grow their have-not/wealth-taking constituents . Of course the political curators are doing this at this moment, to solidify their own political base and power.

Over time the productivity of the have-more/wealth-makers will be reduced due to political contingencies of response cost punishment (the more you work the more the government takes to give away) focused upon them by the dominant have-not/wealth-takers and their increasingly dominant political representatives­.

Of course there must be a mathematical end to this form of social, political and economic psychopathology. When the money runs out, there will most likely be hell to pay in the currency of social rioting resulting from the psychological principle of extinction-produced aggression, as is now seen in Europe in the first decade of the 21st Century.

Basic 20th Century principles of human behavior (the science of psychology), easily predicts such socioculturally destructive outcomes. The history of failed Marxist/Leninist-Communist, Socialist, Progressive revolutions and evolutions provide strong corroborating testimony to these psychological predictions.

So now the greatest question emerges: Why do obviously intelligent social and political social leaders embrace the unattainable Marxist/Leninist­­-Communist, Socialist, Progressive pipe-dream?

The obvious answer is that they are not interested in long-term outcomes for their Socioculture. Rather, they are interested in the personal gains of power and self-aggrandizement. But there is a much more elemental problem involved.

I judge that the most fundamental answer is that they disproportionately suffer from psychological disorders that predispose them to such irrational behavior.

Certain forms of human psychopathology best fit with the Marxist/Leninist/progressive impossible dream.  Where reality-testing, the human conscience, and social reciprocity fails, human psychopathology too often succeeds.

Psychopathology can take many forms and I will only mention the forms that appear to me to be most frequently associated with both the impossible dream-leaders and their followers. No one that I know of has done systematic norm-referenced personality testing on these populations to empirically derive such information. Therefore, my theory is only based upon my readings in history, training and experiences as an academic and practicing psychologist, and my 70 years of life-experiences.   I suggest the following:

Marxist/Leninist/socialist leaders frequently show an all-consuming obsessive/compulsive quest for domination and control of the masses. They seek self-aggrandizement, as most leaders do, but they commonly show Narcissistic Personality Disorder levels of self-love, adoration and the need to be worshipped by others.

That they often lie, cheat, and deceive; or persecute, imprison and kill their opposition; or foment civil or interstate war to achieve their goals is suggestive of Antisocial Personality Disorder. That they often torture and even kill thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of their fellow-citizens who they suspect may threaten their dream suggests features of Paranoid Personality Disorder, and also Sadistic Personality Disorder.

Marxist/Leninist Followers seek to have their pathological dependency (Dependent Personality Disorder) needs met by relying on others for their sustenance and well-fare. There are numerous psychopathologies that tend to be associated with Dependent Personality Disorder. These are Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorders, and Alcohol or Substance Abuse and Dependency Disorders to name only a few.

I am deeply saddened that the science of psychology commonly does not get the attention and respect that it deserves and that it’s products are not more often used to improve our lives. You may wonder why I am deeply saddened, rather than just simply saddened.

I am deeply saddened that humanity’s ignorance about psychology’s basic principles of human conditioning, learning and motivation condemns countless billions of humans to tragic, even horrific sociocultural outcomes, over and over again, like a broken record…with no end in sight.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

9/24/12


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