Psychology

Authentic Happiness, Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.
    "A revolutionary perspective on psychology, Seligman’s Authentic Happiness is a beacon for human behavior in the new century. Laypersons and professionals alike will find this book enormously enriching. It summarizes a huge literature, it provides concrete self-assessment tools, and it speaks with a joyful voice about what it means to be fully alive." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Personality Factors | Four Stages of Group Development | DeBono's Six Thinking Hats | Transactional Analysis |

 

THE 16 Cattell PERSONALITY FACTORS

Factor

Descriptors
Warmth Reserved Outgoing
Reasoning Less Intelligent More Intelligent
Emotional Stability Affected by feelings Emotionally stable
Dominance Humble Assertive
Liveliness Sober Happy-go-lucky
Rule Consciousness Expedient Conscientious
Social Boldness Shy Venturesome
Sensitivity Tough-minded Tender-minded
Vigilance Trusting Suspicious
Abstractedness Practical Imaginative
Privateness Straightforward Shrewd
Apprehension Self-Assured Apprehensive
Openness to Change Conservative Experimenting
Self-Reliance Group-dependent Self-sufficient
Perfectionism Self-conflict Self-control
Tension Relaxed Tense

Factor

Descriptors
EXTRAVERSION Introverted, socially inhibited Extroverted, socially participative
ANXIETY Low anxiety, unperturbed Easily worried and generally tense
WILL Open minded, receptive to ideas Resolute and determined
INDEPENDENCE Accommodating and selfless Independent and persuasive
SELF CONTROL Free-thinking and impulsive Structured and inhibited

Bruce Tuckman's FOUR STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT

Stage 1: Forming

Individual behaviour is driven by a desire to be accepted by the others, and avoid controversy or conflict.  Serious issues and feelings are avoided, and people focus on being busy with routines, such as team organisation, who does what, when to meet, etc.  But individuals are also gathering information and impressions - about each other, and about the scope of the task and how to approach it.  This is a comfortable stage to be in, but the avoidance of conflict and threat means that not much actually gets done.

Stage 2: Storming

Individuals in the group can only remain nice to each other for so long, as important issues start to be addressed.  Some people's patience will break early, and minor confrontations will arise that are quickly dealt with or glossed over.  These may relate to the work of the group itself, or to roles and responsibilities within the group. Some will observe that it's good to be getting into the real issues, whilst others will wish to remain in the comfort and security of stage 1.  Depending on the culture of the organisation and individuals, the conflict will be more or less suppressed, but it'll be there, under the surface. To deal with the conflict, individuals may feel they are winning or losing battles, and will look for structural clarity and rules to prevent the conflict persisting.

Stage 3: Norming

As Stage 2 evolves, the "rules of engagement" for the group become established, and the scope of the group's tasks or responsibilities are clear and agreed.  Having had their arguments, they now understand each other better, and can appreciate each other's skills and experience.  Individuals listen to each other, appreciate and support each other, and are prepared to change pre-conceived views: they feel they're part of a cohesive, effective group.  However, individuals have had to work hard to attain this stage, and may resist any pressure to change - especially from the outside - for fear that the group will break up, or revert to a storm.

Stage 4: Performing

Not all groups reach this stage, characterised by a state of interdependence and flexibility. Everyone knows each other well enough to be able to work together, and trusts each other enough to allow independent activity.  Roles and responsibilities change according to need in an almost seamless way.  Group identity, loyalty and morale are all high, and everyone is equally task-orientated and people-orientated.  This high degree of comfort means that all the energy of the group can be directed towards the task(s) in hand.

Stage 5: Adjourning

This is about completion and disengagement, both from the tasks and the group members.  Individuals will be proud of having achieved much and glad to have been part of such an enjoyable group.  They need to recognise what they've done, and consciously move on.  Some authors describe stage 5 as "Deforming and Mourning", recognising the sense of loss felt by group members.

DeBono's SIX THINKING HATS

WHITE is neutral and objective, concerned with objective facts and figures
RED relates to anger and rage, so is concerned with emotions
BLACK is gloomy, and covers the negative - why things can't be done
YELLOW is sunny and positive, indicating hope and positive thinking
GREEN is abundant, fertile growth, indicating creativity and new ideas
BLUE is the sky above us, so is concerned with the control and organisation of the thinking process

Transactional Analysis

EGO STATES

PARENT Critical Parent

makes rules and sets limits

disciplines, judges and criticises

Nurturing Parent

advises and guides

protects and nurtures

ADULT  

concerned with data and facts

considers options and estimates probabilities

makes unemotional decisions

plans and makes things happen

CHILD Free (Natural) Child

fun-loving and energetic

creative and spontaneous

Adapted Child

compliant and polite

rebellious and manipulative

LIFE POSITIONS

... the "OK Corral"

I'M NOT OK

YOU'RE OK

 

"I wish I could do that as well as you do"

I'M OK

YOU'RE OK

 

"Hey, we're making good progress now"

I'M NOT OK

YOU'RE NOT OK

 

"Oh this is terrible - we'll never make it"

I'M OK

YOU'RE NOT OK

 

"You're not doing that right - let me show you"

People move around the grid depending on the situation, but have a preferred position that they tend to revert to.  This is strongly influenced by experiences and decisions in early life. 

"I'm OK, you're OK" people are in the 'get on with' position.  They're confident and happy about life and work, and interact by collaboration and mutual respect, even when they disagree.

I'm OK, you're not OK" people are in the 'get rid of' position.  They tend to get angry and hostile, and are smug and superior.  They belittle others, who they view as incompetent and untrustworthy, and are often competitive and power-hungry.

I'm not OK, you're OK" is the 'get away from' position.  These people feel sad, inadequate or even stupid in comparison to others.  They undervalue their skills and contribution and withdraw from problems.

I'm not OK, you're not OK" is the 'get nowhere' position.   These people feel confused or aimless.  They don't see the point of doing anything, and so usually don't bother.

TRANSACTIONS

The central concept of TA is that Transactions between people can be characterised by the Ego State of the two participants.  What's more, the Ego State adopted by the person who starts the transaction will affect the way the other person responds.

For example, Mr A says "what time will they arrive?", and Mr B replies "at 2pm."  This is a simple Adult to Adult transaction.

However, if Mr A adopts a Child state: "I'm worried that they might not arrive on time,"  that will tend to produce a Nurturing Parent response from Mr B: "Don't worry, we'll still have plenty of time to talk to them."

STROKES

We all need and seek care, attention, love and recognition from others, and in TA, a stroke is defined as a unit of recognition.  With children, strokes are obviously sought and given: they show off their new toy, or misbehave to get attention, and know the adults will respond right on cue.  But grown-ups do the same: working hard, deliberately making mistakes, arriving late, or simply arriving home and sighing "what a day!"

Strokes can be positive or negative, and it's generally better to give a negative stroke than none at all (because that may be taken as negative anyway).  But in many business organisations, strokes are subject to a set of unwritten rules:

  1. don't give positive strokes freely;

  2. if you give positive strokes, make them conditional;

  3. don't ask for positive strokes - certainly not directly;

  4. most positive strokes are insincere ('plastic');

  5. never give a physical stroke - by touching someone;

  6. don't miss a chance to give a negative stroke.

The result is a cold, unfeeling environment where normal human emotions are generally suppressed.  Even in 'warm' organisations where it's OK to express feelings, strokes are still subject to certain norms - such as not giving them to people above you in the hierarchy.

In the absence of a free exchange of strokes, people manipulate others in order to get the strokes they crave, and start playing games.

GAMES

The complexity of the TA model leaves it open to manipulation, or "Games".  You adopt a Child state because you want someone's help, or a Parent state to make them do something for you.  But often the games end up damaging the relationship, and the type of game someone plays is influenced by his or her life state.

Examples of games players are:

The Persecutor: "if it weren't for you",  "see what you made me do",  "yes, but".

The Rescuer: "I'm only trying to help", "what would you do without me?"

The Victim: "this always happens to me", "poor old me", "go on, kick me".

Left and Right


These notes go way back and some are dated. My main champion of the left/right brain thesis (below) has since recanted (see Robert Orstein, The Right Mind.)



left brain
(right side of body)
right brain
(left side of body)

plan
produce

manage
invent

speech/verbal
logical, mathematical
linear, detailed
sequential
controlled
intellectual
dominant
worldly
active
analytic
reading, writing, naming
sequential
ordering
perception of signicant order
complex motor sequences
spatial/musical
holistic
artistic, symbolic
simultaneous
emotional
intuitive, creative
minor
spiritual
receptive
synthetic, Gestalt
facial recognition
simultaneous comprehension
perception of abstract patterns
recognition of complex figures

The User Illusion

In mid-1999, The User Illusion convinced me that conscious vs. unconscious is a more important split than left vs. right brain. "Inside us, in the person who carries consciousness around, cognitive and mental processes take place that are far richer than consciousness can know or describe. Our bodies contain a fellowship with a surrounding world that passes right through us, in through our mouths and out the other end, but is hidden from our consciousness." The nonconscious is largely in control but the conscious thinks it's in control. An amazing book. It will take me a while to propogate its concepts into the Jayhoo Way.


Don't worry. Be happy.

Relativity theory is deterministic, meaning that when given a specific set of conditions, precise outcomes are predictable. Quantum physics, on the other hand, is probabilistic, meaning that when observing a specific set of conditions, change enters into the picture, and predictions can be made only of probable outcomes. Current thinking is that both types of processing, programmed and learned, go on in the brain and similar compatibilities will occur in the marketplace (with today's and neural network computers.)


From a review of In Pursuit of Happiness: "the invisible foot," says Milton Friedman. "That's the law of unintended consequences."

Life is about happiness -- which people (when pressed) generally concur isn't a new BMW or an orgasm, but rather lasting and justified satisfaction with one's life as a whole. Happiness includes the self-respect that comes from accepting responsibility for one's life and earning one's way in the world. It flows from realizing your innate capacities by doing productive work and overcoming ever more challenging obstacles, impelled more by your own inner imperatives than by the mere need to make a living.

See Finding Flow

You might also look at my thoughts on taking your own advice


From Healthy Pleasures, by Ornstein and Sobel...

Happiness changes little even after delightful or devastating life changes.

Man's plight... Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy; happiness is the longing for repetition.

Happiness springs from how much of the time a person spends feeling good, not from the momentary peaks of ecstasy. Simple pleasures are more allied with happiness than are strong, momentary feelings.

When we are in a given mood, such as sadness, anger, or joy, we are more likely to recall other times when we were in a similar mood. This is probably why seemingly minor uplifts such as receiving flowers can "make your day." The mind tends to overgeneralize... Small changes in our current contents of mind have great future consequences.

Make it a weekly goal to think about positive current events and daily experiences as much as possible. Focus on what you have, not on what you lack. The good feelings are likely to spill over into a healthy, optimistic view of your future.

Expecting to be pleased, healthy people cultivate a set of positive illusions. They inflate their own importance and have an exaggerated belief in their ability to control their destiny. They believe that other people hold them in high regard. Human beings never directly perceive the outside world; most judgments are comparative.

When bad things happen, as they will, pessimists explain the causes in stable, global, internal terms.

We often bet our lives on the stories we tell ourselves about the world, but rarely hear them while they are being told. Try to listen carefully to your continuous internal monologue. If we know that our story of the world controls our life, we can choose to rewrite the unpleasant elements.

There is a direct link between good health and knowing what is going on around us, understanding how economic and social forces operate to affect one's life and in general understanding how things work.

Some people have censored so much of themselves for so long that they forget what it is they do feel and think.


from Multimind by Robert Ornstein

"Our illusion is that each of us is somehow unified, with a single coherent purpose and action. That we are consistent and single-minded is a built-in delusion." We do not hear or observe ourselves the way we experience others.

"I know my own mind." But we don't know it very well.

Some conflicts are nobody's fault -- not caused by the badness or madness of one person; it's between the people. linear cause and effect do not apply here. (generally, if something good comes from a relationship, i figure the contribution is mine; if it doesn't work, that's your fault. it's never my fault, i'm merely reacting.) actually, the problems are the product of the relationship. it's just as you can't reduce the properties of water to the properties of either hydrogen or of oxygen.

Ornstein and Erlich: Human culture shaped over a million years; man a sight animal. Focus is on the short-term, visual (mastodon coming); we miss the gradual, invisible (greenhouse effect).

Ernest Poser of McGill University in Montreal found in treating schizophrenic patients that randomly selected undergraduates produced more positive change than did psychiatrists and psychiatric social workers.


Robert Ornstein, The Mind Field

from Do What You Live, the Money will Follow


The more we see ourselves as courageous, even in the tiniest choices, the more self-respect we gain and the more distinctive we become. In addition, acting out our authentic desires and values quickly erases a history of holding back and self-abandonment.

Posted by Jay Cross at December 20, 2003 11:47 AM | TrackBack
Comments

awesome !

Posted by: paris hilton sex at June 30, 2004 04:03 AM

Regarding extroverts vs introverts: I believe most philosophers are introverts, which is one reason they are more objective about the world, feeling less of a need for acceptance.

Posted by: Daniel - Medical Transcriptionist at July 3, 2004 04:04 PM

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