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Psychology

EVIDENCE FOR BILOGICAL BASES OF PERSONALITY

For centuries humans tried to understand the relation between body and mind, between constitution and personality.

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Psychology

Helping Yourself with Depression

If you’re currently feeling so out of it, totally out of your normal system and just basically hating and ignoring almost, always everything and anyone that comes along, try to get yourself checked by a psychiatrist because you those little mood swings and erratic Ally McBeal-ish behavior that you’re trying to ignore for some long may actually be symptoms of depression. Act fast because if you do, it’ll certainly be a lot harder for you to be able to have yourself cured from this illness, especially once self-delusion starts to kick in.

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Psychology

Psychological Disorders

There are a lot of reasons people behave oddly, but most put it down to attitude.

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Psychology

Coeficientul de inteligenta – IQ (Romanian)

Everything you need to know about the IQ. This article is available in Romanian.

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Psychology

How to perform Astral Projection

If you are thinking about detaching your consciousness from your body, better read what the Don has to say about it. Do not use any state altering drugs and try to be as calm as possible if you happen to be in a nightmare.

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Psychology

The Real Self in a Virtual World: Popular Culture as an Expression of Human Nature

Do you know who you are or have you lost yourself so far?

Sims3 - A virtual you in a virtual world, do you keep your self or change as the society orders?
Sims3 – A virtual you in a virtual world, do you keep your self or change as the society orders?

Everyone– at least everyone with a reasonably normal mind and brain — has a true self that is partly buried beneath their everyday personality. This self is who each o us is and can become when our natural growth isn’t interfered with by personal and cultural neurosis. It is us at those times when we feel whole and are psychologically strong enough to hear and speak the truth; when we are naturally assertive rather than fearful and aggressive; when we are open to other people and compassionate rather than being manipulative and secretive; and when we are capable of embracing life and enjoying the moment, without regressing into a neurotic secondary personality that is distorted by a defensive battle between fake desires on one side, and self-reproaches, prohibitions, and taboos on the other. It is us when we have a natural, aesthetic, revulsion to evil, including a revulsion to all those behaviors that violate and diminish ourselves and others. And it is us when we express our inherent desire to create and build and care for things,instead of destroying.

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Psychology

Instant Fact: How To Get The Truth Out of Anyone!

In an ideal society there would be no need for lies. But we live in a world of deception. And whether you want to play or not, you’re in the game. The question is, do you want to win?
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Compiled By: John J. Webster
I. Signs of Deception
Once you realize that you’re being lied to, should you confront the liar immediately? Usually not. The best approach is to note the fact in your mind and continue with the conversation, trying to extract more information.
Once you confront someone who has lied to you, the tone of the conversation changes and gathering additional facts becomes difficult. Therefore, wait until you have all the evidence you want and then decide whether to confront the person at that time or hold off to figure how you can best use this insight to your advantage.
Section 1: Body Language

  • The person will make little or no eye contact. A person who is lying to you will do everything to avoid making eye contact.
  • Physical expression will be limited, with few arm and hand movements. What arm and hand movements are present will seem stiff, and mechanical. Hands, arm and legs pull in toward the body; the individual takes up less space.
  • His hand(s) may go up to his face or throat, especially to the mouth. But contact with his body is limited to these areas. He is also unlikely to touch his chest with an open hand gesture. He may also touch the nose or scratch behind the ear.
  • If he is trying to appear casual and relaxed about his answer, he may shrug a little.

Section 2: Emotional States: Consistency and Contradiction

  • The timing is off between gestures and words. If the facial expression comes after the verbal statement (“I am so angry with you right now” … pause … and then the angry expression), it looks false.
  • The head moves in a mechanical fashion without regard to emphasis, indicating a conscious movement.
  • Gestures don’t match the verbal message, such as frowning when saying “I love you.” Hands tightly clenched and a statement of pleasure are not in sync with each other.
  • The timing and duration of emotional gestures will seem off. The emotion is delayed coming on, stays longer than it should, and fades out abruptly.
  • Expression will be limited to the mouth area when the person is feigning certain emotions – happiness, surprise, awe, and so on – rather than the whole face.

Section 3: Interpersonal Interactions – When we are wrongfully accused, only a guilty person gets defensive. Someone who is innocent will usually go on the offensive.

  • He is reluctant to face his accuser and may turn his head or shift his body away.
  • The person who is lying will probably slouch; he is unlikely to stand tall with his arms out or outstretched.
  • There’s movement away from his accuser, possibly in the direction of the exit.
  • There will be little or no physical contact during his attempt to convince you.
  • He will not point his finger at the person he is trying to convince.
  • He may place physical objects (pillow, drinking glass, et cetera) between himself and his accuser to form a barrier, with a verbal equivalent of “I don’t want to talk about it,” indicating deception or covert intention.

Section 4: What Is Said: Actual Verbal Content

  • He will use your words to make his point. When asked, “Did you cheat on me?” The liar answers, “No, I didn’t cheat on you.”
  • In addition, when a suspect uses a contraction – “It wasn’t me” instead of “It was not me” – statistically, there is a 60% chance he is truthful.
  • He may stonewall, giving an impression that his mind is made up. This is often an attempt to limit your challenges to his position. If someone says right up front that he positively won’t budge, it means one thing: He knows he can be swayed. He needs to tell you this so you won’t ask, because he knows he’ll cave in. The confident person will use phrases like “I’m sorry, this is pretty much the best we can do.”
  • Watch out for the good old Freudian slip.
  • He depersonalizes his answer by offering his belief on the subject instead of answering directly. A liar offers abstract assurances as evidence of his innocence in a specific instance.

Example: “Did you ever cheat on me?” and you hear, “You know I’m against that sort of thing. I think it morally reprehensible.”

  • He will keep adding more information until he’s sure that he has sold you on his story.
  • The guilty are uncomfortable with silence. He speaks to fill the gap left by the silence.
  • He may imply an answer but never state it directly.

Section 5: How Something Is Said
Deceitful response to questions regarding beliefs and attitudes take longer to think up.
However, how fast does the rest of the sentence follow the initial one-word response? In truthful statements a fast no or yes is followed quickly by an explanation. If the person is being deceitful the rest of the sentence may come more slowly because he needs time to think up an explanation.
Watch out for reactions that are all out of proportion to the question. May repeat points that he has already made. May also be reluctant to use words that convey attachment and ownership or possessiveness (“that car” as opposed to “my car”).
The person who is lying may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous and inexpressive voice. When a person is making a truthful statement, he emphasizes the pronoun as much as or more than the rest of the sentence.
Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off.
In other words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.
Statements sound an awful lot like questions, indicating that he’s seeking reassurance. Voice, head and eyes lift at the end of their statement.
Section 6: Psychological Profile
• We often see the world as a reflection of ourselves.
If you’re being accused of something, check your accuser’s veracity. Watch out for those people who are always telling you just how corrupt the rest of the world is. Beware of those asking you if you believe him. They may respond with, “you don’t believe me, do you?” Most people who tell the truth expect to be believed.
• Look at whether his focus is internal or external. When a person is confident about what he’s saying, he’s more interested in your understanding him and less interested in how he appears to you.
• In a liar’s story, he will usually not give the point of view of a third party. To illustrate giving a point of view of someone else, “My roommate was so shocked that I would…”
• In relating a story, a liar often leaves out the negative aspects (unless the story is used to explain way he was delayed or had to cancel plans). The story of a vacation, for example, should have both positive and negative aspects of what happened.
• A liar willingly answers your questions but asks none of his own.
For example, during their first intimate encounter, Randy asks his new girlfriend if she’s ever been tested for AIDS.
She responds with “Oh, yes, certainly,” and continues on a bit about annual checkups, giving blood, etc. And then nothing! If she was concerned about her health, as her answer implied, then she would have asked him the same question. The liar is often unaware that coming across as truthful means both answering and asking questions.
Section 7: General Indications of Deceit
verbal_priznaki_lzi• When the subject is changed, he’s in a better, more relaxed mood. The guilty wants the subject changed; the innocent always wants a further exchange of information.
• He does not become indignant when falsely accused.
While he is being accused the liar will remain fairly expressionless. The liar is more concerned with how he is going to respond than he is with the accusation itself.
• He uses such phrases as “To tell you the truth,” “To be perfectly honest,” and “Why would I lie to you?”
• He has an answer to your question down pat, such as giving precise detail to an event occurring two months ago.
• He stalls by asking you to repeat the question or by answering your question with a question.
“Where did you hear that?” “Could you be more specific?” or even repeating your question back to you, at an attempt at sounding incredulous. For example, “Did I sell you a puppy with a heart condition? Is that what you’re asking me?”
• What he’s saying sounds implausible, such as “During the past ten years, I have never used a specific racial epithet.”
• He offers a preamble to his statement starting with “I don’t want you to think that…” Often that’s exactly what he wants you to think. Whenever someone makes a point of telling you what they’re not doing, you can be sure it’s exactly what they are doing. Such as, “Not to hurt your feelings, but…”
• He implies through a form of denial. You hear, “He’s having marital problems, but it has nothing to do with his wife’s new job.” What’s the first thing you ask? “What does his wife do?” Suddenly you’re in the exact conversation that is “supposed” to have no bearing on the facts.
• He uses humor or sarcasm to defuse your concerns, rather than responding seriously.
• He offers you a “better” alternative to your request when he is unable to give you what you originally asked for. Before you accept someone at his word that he has something better to offer, first see whether he has what you originally asked for. If he doesn’t, then you shouldn’t believe him.
• All of his facts relating to numbers are the same or multiples of one another. Watch out when facts, figures, and information have unusual similarities.
• There is evidence of involuntary responses that are anxiety based. Anxiety causes many things.
His breather may appear as a deep, audible inhaling in an attempt to control his breathing to calm himself. Swallowing becomes difficult; he may clear his throat. His ability to focus on something is often diminished, unable to pay attention to what’s going on.
• He uses an obvious fact to support a dubious action. For example, let’s say that a guard is standing watch over a restricted area. It’s his job to check ID’s of those who enter. “I’m not sure you have authorization,” he says to a man attempting access. “I’m not surprised,” answered the man, “only a few people are aware of my clearance level. My work here is not supposed to be known by everyone.”
• He casually tells you something that deserves more attention.
• He exclaims his displeasure at the actions of another who has done something similar so that you will not suspect him. For instance, if he is trying to throw you off track of his embezzlement scheme, he may openly chastise another employee for “borrowing” some office supplies for personal use at home. Your impression is that he is moral person who objects to something as minor as stealing office supplies.
Certainly he cannot be responsible for a large-scale embezzlement scheme.
• He may casually tell you something that should deserve more attention. “Oh by the way, I’ve got to go out of town next weekend on business.” If he doesn’t usually travel for work on the weekends, then you would expect her to make a point of how unusual the trip is. Her downplaying the trip makes it suspicious. When something out of the ordinary happens and the person doesn’t draw attention to it, it means that he is trying to draw attention away from it. Another tactic is running off a long list of items in the hope that one will remain unnoticed.
• If he lies about one thing, everything he says is questionable.
• His story is so wild that you almost don’t believe it. But you do, because if he wanted to lie, you think that he would have come up with something more plausible.
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II. Becoming a Human Lie Detector:
The clues to deception can be used with great reliability in everyday situations and conversations. However, if you must know the truth in a given situation, this part provides you with a sequence of questions that virtually guarantees that you will know (a) if you’re being lied to and (b) what the truth is if it’s not obvious from the lie. When used in order, all three phases offer you the greatest opportunity to get at the truth.
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Phase One – Three Attack-Sequence Primers
Primer 1
The objective here is to ask a question that does not accuse the person of anything but alludes to the person’s possible behavior. The key is to phrase a question that sounds perfectly innocent to an innocent person, but like an accusation to the guilty.
Suspicion: You feel that your girlfriend was unfaithful the night before.
Question: “Anything interesting happen last night?”
Suspicion: You think a coworker told your secretary that you have a crush on her.
Question: “Heard any good gossip recently?”
Any answers such as “Why do you ask?” or “Where did you hear that?” indicate concern on the person’s part. He should not be seeking information from you if he does not think that your question is leading. He should also not be interested in why you’re asking the question unless he thinks that you may know what he doesn’t want you to know.
Primer 2
The objective here is to introduce a scenario similar to what you suspect is going on, using specifics.
Suspicion: You suspect one of your salespeople has lied to a customer in order to make the sale.
Question: “Jim, I’m wondering if you could help me with something. It’s come to my attention that someone in the sales department has been misrepresenting our products to customers. How do you think we can clear this up?”
Suspicion: A hospital administrator suspects that a doctor was drinking while on duty.
Question: “Dr. Marcus, I’d like to get you advice on something. A colleague of mine at another hospital has a problem with one of her doctors. She feels he may be drinking while on call. Do you have any suggestions on how she can approach the doctor about this problem?”
If he’s innocent of the charges he’s likely to offer his advice and be pleased that you sought out his opinion. If he’s guilty he’ll seem uncomfortable and will assure you that he never does anything like that. Either way, this opens the door to probe further.
Primer 3
The objective here is to introduce a scenario similar to what you suspect is going on, using general terms.
Suspicion: You think a student has cheated on his exam.
Question: “Isn’t it amazing how someone can cheat on a test and not realize that I was standing behind him the entire time?”
Suspicion: You suspect a coworker of bad-mouthing you to your boss.
Question: “It’s amazing all the backstabbing that goes on around here, isn’t it? And these people doing it think that it won’t get back to the person involved.”
Suspicion: You think that your girlfriend may be two-timing you.
Question: “It’s amazing how someone can be unfaithful and expect not to get caught.”
A change in subject is highly indicative of guilt. However, if he finds your question interesting and he’s innocent, he might begin a conversation about it since he’s unafraid to discuss the subject.
Phase Two – Eleven Attack Sequences
Attack Sequence 1: Direct Questioning
• Stage 1. Ask your question directly.
• Give no advance warning of the subject you’re about to bring up or of any feelings of mistrust.
• Never reveal what you know first. Ask questions to gather information to see if it’s consistent with what you already know.
• The way you present yourself can greatly influence the attitude of the other person. Three powerful tips for establishing building rapport:
1. Matching posture and movements – if he has one hand in his pocket, you put your hand in yours.
2. Matching speech – if he’s speaking in a slow, relaxed tone, you do the same.
3. Matching key words – if he’s prone to using certain words or phrases, use them when speaking.
• Ask a question that you know will produce a response similar to how you expect him to react. In other words, if he waves his arms around no matter what he’s talking about, you want to know this.
• Use a relaxed and non-threatening posture, and square off so that you’re facing each other.
• Never, ever interrupt. You can’t learn anything new while you’re talking. Ask open-ended questions.
• Stage 2. Silence.
• Stage 3. Really? At the end of his answer respond with “Really?”
• Stage 4. Sudden Death. Follow with “Is there anything you want to get off your chest?”
Attack Sequence 2: Lead and Confine
• Stage 1. Ask a leading question. For example, “you were back by two A.M. last night, weren’t you?”
• Stage 2. Reverse course: You’ve got to be kidding! For example, “I was hoping you did, so you would have gotten it out of your system. Please tell me that you’ve done it, so I know that it’s over with.”
• Stage 3. This is not going to work. For example, “I thought you were somebody who had a sense of adventure. Someone who knows how to live a little.”
Attack Sequence 3: Time Line Distortion
• Scenario: You suspect several employees in your store of stealing money
• Stage1. Setting the scene. Let the conversation turn casually to stealing and say, “Oh, I knew right from the start what was going on.”
• Stage 2. It’s no big deal. “You had to know I knew. How else do you think you could have gotten away with it for so long? I hope you don’t think I’m a complete idiot.”
• Stage 3. I appreciate what you’ve done. “I know that you were just going along with it because you were scared of what the others would do. It’s really okay. I know you’re not that kind of person.”
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Attack Sequence 4: Direct Assumption / Shot in the Dark
• Stage 1. Set the scene. Be somewhat curt and standoffish, as if something heavy-duty is bothering you. This will cause his mind to race to find ways to explain the “error of his ways.”
• Stage 2. I’m hurt. Say, “I’ve just found something out and I’m really hurt [shocked/surprised]. I know you’re going to lie to me and try to deny it, but I just wanted you to know that I know.” You establish that (a) he’s guilty of something and (b) you know what it is.
• Stage 3. Holding your ground. Say, “I think we both know what I’m talking about. We need to clear the air, and we can start by your talking.”
• Stage 4. Continue to hold your ground. Repeat phrases such as “I’m sure it will come to you” and “The longer I wait, the madder I’m getting.”
• Stage 5. Apply social pressure. “We were all talking about it. Everybody knows.” Now he begins to get curious about who knows and how they found out. As soon as he tries to find out, you’ll know he’s guilty.
Attack Sequence 5: The Missing Link
• Scenario: You think that your mother-in-law may have hired a private investigator to follow you around.
• Stage 1. List facts. Tell her something that you know to be true. “I know you’re not very fond of me, and that you objected to the wedding, but this time you’ve gone too far.”
• Stage 2. State your assumption. “I know all about the investigator. Why did you think that was necessary?”
• Stage 3. The magic phrase. “You know what, I’m too upset to talk about this now.” The guilty person will honor your request because she won’t want to anger you further. An innocent person will be mad at you for accusing her of something that she hasn’t done and will want to discuss it now.
Attack Sequence 6: Who, Me?
• Stage1. Setting the scene. He suspects that his ex-girlfriend broke into his house. He phoned to let her know in a very non-accusatory way that that there had been a break-in and some items were missing. The following type of conversation would ensue:
Winston: The police are going to want to talk to everyone who had access to the house. Since you still have a key, they’re going to want to speak with you. Just routine stuff, I’m sure. Of course you’re not a suspect.
Ex-Girlfriend: But I don’t know anything about it.
Winston: Oh, I know. Just policy, I guess. Anyway, one of my neighbors said that she got a partial license-plate number on a car that was by my house that day.
Ex-Girlfriend: (After a long pause) Well, I was driving around your neighborhood that day. I stopped by to see if you were home. But when you weren’t, I just left.
Winston: Oh, really? Well, they did a fingerprint test too. That should show something.
Ex-Girlfriend: What test?
Winston: Oh, they dusted for prints and…
• Stage 2. Inform non-accusatorily. Casually inform your suspect of the situation.
• Stage 3. Introduce evidence to be rebutted. As you introduce the evidence, look to see if every one of your statements is met by explanations from him as to how the evidence could be misunderstood. For example, you suspect that a co-worker had shredded some of your files. You would first set the stage by letting him know that you can’t find some important files. Then say, “Well, it’s a good thing my new secretary noticed someone by the shredder the other day. She said she recognized his face but didn’t know his name.” An innocent person would not feel the need to explain in order to avert the possibility that he might be wrongly accused.
• Stage 4. Continue. Continue with more facts that the person can try to explain away. But in actuality, as soon he starts to talk about why the situation might “look that way,” you know you have him.
Attack Sequence 7: Outrageous Accusations
• Stage 1. Accuse him of everything. In a very fed-up manner, accuse him of doing every imaginable dishonest and disloyal act.
• Stage 2. Introduce the suspicion. Now introduce the one thing you feel he really has done, and in an attempt to clear himself of the other charges, he will offer an explanation for his one slip-up. Say, “I mean, it’s not like you just stole a file, that would be fine. But all these other things are unspeakable.” He responds, “No, I just stole that one file because of the pressure to get the job done, but I would never sell trade secrets!”
The only way to prove his innocence to all of your outrageous accusations is to explain why he did what you really suspect of him of doing.
• Stage 3. Step in closer. This increases anxiety in the guilty. He feels he’s being closed in on.
Attack Sequence 8: Is There a Reason?
• Stage 1. Introduce a fact. For example, if you want to know if your secretary went out last night when she said she was sick, “I drove by your house on the way home. Is there a reason your car wasn’t in the driveway?”
Had she been home sick, she would simply tell you that you were wrong – the car was in the driveway.
• Stage 2. One more shot. “Oh, that’s odd, I called your house and I got your machine.” If she’s guilty she will look for any way to make her story fit your facts.
• Stage 3. Stare. Staring makes someone who is on the defensive feel closed in; your glare is infringing on her personal space, inducing a mental claustrophobia. Lock eyes with her and ask again.
Attack Sequence 9: Third-Party Confirmation
• Scenario: You suspect one of your employees is having someone else punch out on the time clock for him.
• Stage 1. Accuse outright. After gaining the assistance of a friend or coworker, you have this person make the accusation for you. Such as “Mel, I was talking to Cindy, and she told me she’s getting pretty tired of your having someone else punch out for you so you can leave work early.” At this point Mel is concerned only with Cindy’s disapproval of his actions. Your friend is thoroughly believable because we rarely think to question this type of third-party setup.
• Stage 2. Are you kidding? “Are you kidding? It’s common knowledge, but I think I know how you can smooth things over with her.” See if he take the bait. A person who’s innocent would not be interested in smoothing things over with someone else for something that he hasn’t done.
• Stage 3. Last call. “Okay. But are you sure? At this point, any hesitation is likely to be sign of guilt because he’s quickly trying to weight his options.
Attack Sequence 10: The Chain Reaction
• Scenario: You suspect several employees in your store of stealing money
• Stage 1. Setting the scene. In a one-on-one meeting with the employee, let them know that you’re looking for someone to be in charge of a new internal theft program for the entire company.
• Stage 2. The iron is… “We’re looking for someone who knows how it’s done. Now don’t worry, you’re not going to get in trouble. As a matter of fact we’ve known about it for some time. We were more interested in seeing how efficient you were. Quite impressive. Anyway, we feel that since you know how it’s done, you’ll know how to prevent it. Granted, it’s pretty unusual, but this is an unusual instance.”
• Stage 3. I told them so. “You know, I told them that you would be too afraid to have an open discussion about this. They were wrong, I was right.” Look for hesitation on his part. If he’s guilty, he will be weighing his options. This takes time. An innocent person has nothing to think about. Only the guilty have the option of confessing or not.
Attack Sequence 11: Condemn or Concern
Stage 1. I’m just letting you know. The key with this sequence is not to accuse, just to inform. Let’s say that you’re working in the customer service department of a computer store. A customer brings back a non-working printer for an exchange, claiming that he bought it just a few days before. He has the all-important receipt and the printer is packed neatly in the original box. Upon inspecting the contents you find that a necessary, expensive, and easily removable component of the machine is missing, a clear indication of why the machine was not functioning properly. Here are two possible responses you might get after informing the customer of your discovery.
Response 1. “I didn’t take it out. That’s how it was when I bought it.” (Defensive)
Response 2. “What? You sold me a printer that has a missing part? I wasted two hours trying to get that thing to work.” (Offensive)
The person who utters Response 2 has every right to be annoyed; it never crosses his mind that he’s being accused of anything. The person who gives Response 1 knows he never even tried to get the printer to work because he took the part out. It doesn’t occur to him to become angry. He assumes that he’s being accused of removing the part and become defensive when you inform him the part is missing.
Phase Three – Eleven Silver Bullets: How To Get The Truth Without Beating It Out Of Them
To convey honesty and truthfulness in your message, use the following techniques:

  • Look the person directly in the eyes.
  • Use hand movements to emphasize your message.
  • Use animated gestures that are fluid and consistent with the conversation.
  • Stand or sit upright – no slouching.
  • Don’t start off with any statements such as “To tell you the truth…” or “To be perfectly honest with you…”
  • Face the person straight on. Don’t back away.

Liars need an incentive to confess. The payoff for confessing needs to be immediate, clear, specific, and compelling. You can’t just tell a person what he’ll gain by being truthful or lose by continuing to lie; you must make it real for him – so real, in fact, that he can feel, taste, touch, see, and hear it. Make it his reality. Let him experience fully the pleasure of being honest and the pain of continuing the lie. Involve as many of the senses as you can, particularly visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Create images for the person to see, sounds for him to hear, and sensations that he can almost feel. You want to make this experience as real as possible. First state the positives, then state the negatives, and then present the choice.
Silver Bullet 1: If You Think That’s Bad, Wait Until You Hear This!
This bullet works well because it forces the liar into thinking emotionally instead of logically. It alleviates his guilt by making him feel that he’s not alone, and it throws him off by creating a little anger and/or curiosity. Plus he thinks that you and he are exchanging information, instead of his giving you something for nothing.
Sample question formation: “The reason I’m asking you these questions is that I’ve done some things that I’m not too proud of, either. I can understand why you might have… In a way I’m almost relieved. Now I don’t feel too bad.” At this point he will ask you to get more specific about your actions. But insist that he tell you first. Hold out and he’ll come clean.
Silver Bullet 2: It Was An Accident. Really!
This is a great strategy because it makes him feel that it would be a good thing to have you know exactly what happened. He did something wrong, true, but that is no longer your concern. You shift the focus of your concern to his intentions, not his actions.
This makes it easy for him to confess to his behavior and “make it okay” with the explanation that it was unintentional. He feels that you care about his motivation. In other words, you let him know that the source of your concern is not what he’s done, but why he’s done it.
Sample question formation: “I can understand that maybe you didn’t plan on its happening. Things just got out of control and you acted without thinking. I’m fine with that – an accident, right? But if you did this on purpose, I don’t think that I could ever forgive you. You need to tell me that you didn’t do it intentionally. Please.”
Silver Bullet 3: The Boomerang
This bullet really throws a psychological curveball. With this example you tell him that he did something good, not bad. He’s completely thrown off by this. For example, you want to see if your interviewee has lied on her resume.
Sample question formation: “As we both know, everybody pads his resume just a bit. Personally, I think it shows guts. It tells me that the person isn’t afraid to take on new responsibilities. Which parts were you most creative with on this resume?”
Silver Bullet 4: Truth or Consequences
With this bullet you force your antagonist to work with you or you both end up with nothing. This is the exact opposite of the boomerang. Here the person has nothing unless he cooperates with you. Since you have nothing anyway (the truth), it’s a good tradeoff for you. Let’s say you suspect that your housekeeper has stolen from you.
Sample question formation: “I’d rather hear it from you first. I can live with what you did/what happened, but not with your lying to me about it. If you don’t tell me, then it’s over. If you tell me the truth, things can go back to how they were. But if you don’t, then we have no chance here, and you’ll have nothing.”
Silver Bullet 5: Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
Human beings place a premium on that which is scarce. Simply put, rare equals good. You can dramatically increase your leverage by conveying that this is the only time that you will discuss this. Let him know that (a) this is his last chance he’ll have for explaining himself, and (b) you can get what you need from someone else. Try increasing the rate of your speech as well. The faster you speak, the less time he has to process the information, and
it conveys as stronger sense of urgency. Give a deadline with a penalty for not meeting it. Deadlines force action.
If the guilty party think that he can always come clean, then he will take a wait-and-see approach before tipping his hand. Let the person know that you already know and have proof of his action. And admitting his sins now will give him the opportunity to explain his side.
Sample question formations: “I want to hear it from you now. After tomorrow, anything you say won’t make a difference to me.” –––– “I know what happened/what you did. I was hoping I would hear it from you first. It would mean a lot to me to hear your side of it. I know there are two sides to every story, and before I decide what to do, I want to hear yours.” Hearing this gives him the feeling he still has a chance if he confesses. After all, what really happened can’t be as bad as what you heard. Confessing now is a way of cutting his losses.
Silver Bullet 6: Reverse Course
You convey to him what happened or what he did was a good thing insofar as it allows you and he to establish an even better relationship – personal or professional. You give him an opportunity to explain why he took that choice.
You also blame yourself.
Sample question formation: “I understand why you would have don’t that. Clearly you wouldn’t have unless you had a good reason. You were probably treated unfairly or something was lacking. What can I do to help so that it doesn’t happen again?” Keep interjecting the following phrases: “I take full responsibility for your actions. Let’s work together to see how we can avoid this from happening again. I understand completely.
You were right to do what you did.”
Silver Bullet 7: I Hate To Do This, But You Leave Me No Choice
This is the only strategy that involves threat. You let him become aware that there are going to be greater ramifications and repercussions than just lying to you – things that he never thought about. You rely on his imagination to set the terms of the damage that you can inflict. His mind will race through every possible scenario as his own fears turn against him.
• Sample question formation I: “I didn’t want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice.” This will propel him to respond: “Do what?” At this point he’s waiting to see what the tradeoff will be. But do not commit yourself to an action. Let him create in his own mind scenarios of what you will do unless he confesses.
• Sample question formation II: “You know what I can do, and I’ll do it. If you don’t want to tell me now, don’t. I’ll just do what I have to do.” After this statement, pay close attention to his response. If he focuses on what you will do to him, the odds lean more toward guilty. However, if he reasserts that he’s done nothing, he may in fact be innocent of your accusation. The guilty person needs to know the penalty to determine if it makes sense for him to stick to his story.
Silver Bullet 8: I Guess You’re Not Allowed
Never underestimate the power of appealing to a person’s ego. Sometimes you want to inflate it, and others times you want to attack it. This bullet is for attacking. It’s truly saddening how fragile some people’s egos are.
Sample question formations: “I think I know what it is – you’re not allowed to tell me. Somebody else is pulling the strings and you’ll get in trouble. You’d tell me the truth if you could, but you don’t have the power to do so.”
Silver Bullet 9: Higher Authority
As long as the person believes that you are on his side, he’ll take the bait. All you have to do is let him know that anything he’s lied about can now be cleared up in seconds. However, if anyone else finds out about it later, it’s too late. Let’s say that you want to know if your secretary leaves early when you’re out of the office.
Sample question formation: “The vice president from corporate is coming in today. He’s asked about your hours, so I’m going to tell him that you come in early on the days that you leave early. Do you remember what days last month you finished up early and took off?” This is disarming, and you’re not yelling at her or demanding answers.
You’re on her side, and you’re going to work together to smooth things over.
Silver Bullet 10: The Great Unknown
You can obtain maximum leverage by explaining how the ramifications of his deceit will be something that the suspect has never known before. Even if he believes that you are limited in what you can do to him and in what the penalty will be, the severity of the penalty can be manipulated in two major ways to make it appear much more severe: time and impact.
• Time: Give no indication of when the penalty will occur. When things happen unexpectedly, the degree of anguish is more potent.
• Impact: Convey that his entire life will be disrupted and drastically altered for the worse. He needs to see that this event is not isolated and will instead have a ripple effect. When bad things happen we are often comforted in knowing that it will soon be over and the rest of our life will remain intact and unaffected. But if these things are not assured, we become increasingly fearful and concerned.
Silver Bullet 11: I Couldn’t Care Less
A primary law governing human nature is that we all have a need to feel significant. Nobody wants to be thought of as unimportant, or feel that his ideas and thinking is irrelevant. Take away a person’s belief that he has value and he’ll do just about anything to reassert his sense of importance. Your apathy toward the situation will unnerve him immensely. He will begin to crave recognition and acceptance, in any form.
He needs to know you care what happens, and if talking about his misdeeds is the only way he can find out, he will.
Sample question formations: “I know and I just don’t care. This is not for me.” ––– “I’ve got other things to think about. Maybe we’ll talk some other time.” ––– “You do what you have to do, that’s fine with me.” To be more powerful, stare at him. When you stare at someone he often feels less significant and will seek to reassert his value.
III. Tactics For Detecting Deceit and Gathering Information In Casual Conversations
General Conversations
1. Ask-a-Fact
• During the conversation simply ask general, clear questions pertaining to your suspicion. This causes the person you are questioning to recall information. If he’s lying, he’ll take a while to answer because he first has to check his response mentally to be sure it makes sense. Made-up stories do not have details because they never happened!
• Ask questions that will give you an objective, not a subjective response. For instance, if you think an employee was home when he said he would be away on vacation, don’t ask him how he enjoyed the weather in Florida, but rather ask “Did you rent a car?” Once he answers yes to any question, ask for more detail. If he’s lying, he’ll try to keep the facts straight and will take his time answering further questions.
2. Add-a-False Fact
• Add a fact and ask the person to comment on it. This fact is one that you’ve made up, but one that sounds perfectly reasonable. For example, if you wanted to know if someone really indeed went on a safari to Africa, you mention that your uncle who works as a customs officer at the Nairobi airport told you that everyone going to Africa was given special instructions on how to avoid malaria. As soon as he validates your claim in an attempt to back up his assertion that he has gone to Africa, you know that his story is
untrue.
Otherwise he would simply say that he doesn’t know what your uncle is talking about.
Here are the criteria:

  • • Your statement has to be untrue
  • • It has to sound reasonable

• Your assertion has to be something that would directly affect the person, so he would have firsthand knowledge of this “fact.”
3. Support-a-Fact
• In this sequence you take what the person says and request proof, but in a very non-threatening manner.
For example, in the case of the person who claimed he had gone on safari, you might let him know that you would love to see pictures of the trip. If he offers up a reason why you can’t see the pictures, then this should arouse some suspicion.
4. Expand-a-Fact
• Use this clue to determine how far someone is willing to go to get what she wants. All you do is expand on a fact that she has already offered. If she just goes on without correcting you, then you know that she may be lying about what she’s said so far and/or is willing to lie to get you to see her point. For example, your secretary asks you for the rest of the day off because she’s not feeling well. You might say, “oh, of course, if you’ve got a fever and a bad headache, by all means take off.” She never claimed to have these symptoms. You merely expanded on her statement.
Special Occasions
1. Third-Party Protection
• This tactic is used if someone is reluctant to tell you something that involves another person. You have to appeal to his ego and let him forget that he’s telling tales out of school. The conversation needs to be positive. The other person must feel as if he’s doing a good thing by answering your question.
• Scenario A: Your attorney is telling you about a case that a fellow attorney screwed up on. Simply asking, “What did he do wrong?” would probably get you nowhere. However, by turning it around you create an incentive for him to tell you. Ask, “Had you handled the case, what would you have done differently?”
• Scenario B: While chatting with Brad, one of your sales people, you would like to find out why Susan’s sales figures are low. But simply asking him why she’s not doing well might prove fruitless.
Ask, “What areas do you think Susan can improve in?”
2. The Power Play
• Sometimes the person reluctant to tell the truth is in a position of power. In these situations it’s usually inappropriate and futile to become argumentative. In these instances you want to bring the conversation to a personal level.
• Scenario: You’re trying to sell to a buyer who doesn’t want to buy and is not giving you a reason that you truly believe. Your objective will be to get to the real objection. “I do this for a living. My family relies on me to support them. Clearly we have a fine product and you’re a reasonable man. Would you mind telling me what I did to offend you?” Now your buyer is caught off guard and will undoubtedly follow with “Oh, you didn’t offend me. It’s just that…”
3. Hurt Feelings
• Someone is lying to you to protect your feeling – perhaps one of those little white lies. A touch of guilt makes the other person reevaluate his approach.
• Scenario: You feel that the truth is being withheld from you for your own benefit. “I know you don’t want to offend me, but you’re hurting me more by not being perfectly honest.” “If you don’t tell me, no one else will. If I can’t count on you for this, I don’t know what I would do.”
4. It’s A Matter of Opinion
• The following is an excellent method for detecting deceit in a person’s opinion.
• Scenario: You’re not sure if your boss really likes your idea for a new advertising campaign, even though she says she does. “Do you like the concept for my new idea?” “Sure. It’s very original.”
“Well, what would it take for you to love the idea?”
5. I Don’t Know
• This response can stall a conversation and leave you searching for answers. Sometimes it’s just easier to say, “I don’t know,” which is often why we say it in the first place. Either way, when you hear “I don’t know,” try some of the following responses:
1. “Okay, then why don’t you tell me how you’ve come to think the way yo

Categories
Psychology

A battle for your mind

Here’s a good article by Dick Sutphen explaining how easy it would be for someone to hi-jack our minds and make us unconsciously obey their commands.

I think, I am not a lamb
I think, I am not a lamb

Persuasion & Brainwashing Techniques Being Used on the Public Today

SUMMARY OF CONTENTS

I’m Dick Sutphen andthis tape is a studio-recorded, expanded version of a talk I delivered at the World Congress of Professional Hypnotists Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Although the tapecarries a copyright to protect it from unlawful duplication for sale by other companies,in this case, I invite individuals to make copies and give them to friends oranyone in a position to communicate this information.

Although I’ve beeninterviewed about the subject on many local and regional radio and TV talkshows, large-scale mass communication appears to be blocked, since it couldresult in suspicion or investigation of the very media presenting it or thesponsors that support the media. Some government agencies do not want thisinformation generally known. Nor dothe Born-Again Christian movement, cults, and many human-potential trainings.

Everything I willrelate only exposes the surface of the problem. I don’t know how the misuse ofthese techniques can be stopped. I don’t think it is possible to legislateagainst that which often cannot be detected; and if those who legislate areusing these techniques, there is little hope of affecting laws to govern usage.I do know that the first step to initiate change is to generate interest. Inthis case, that will probably only result from an underground effort.

In talking about thissubject, I am talking about my own business. I know it, and I know how effectiveit can be. I produce hypnosis and subliminal tapes and, in some of my seminars,I use conversion tactics to assist participants to become independent andself-sufficient. But, anytime I use these techniques, I point out that I amusing them, and those attending have a choice to participate or not. They alsoknow what the desired result of participation will be.

So, to begin, I want to state the most basic of all facts aboutbrainwashing: IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF MAN, NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN BRAINWASHEDAND REALIZED, OR BELIEVED, THAT HE HAD BEEN BRAINWASHED. Those who have beenbrainwashed will usually passionately defend their manipulators, claiming theyhave simply been “shown the light” . . . or have been transformed inmiraculous ways.

The Birth of Conversion

CONVERSION is a “nice” word for BRAINWASHING . . .and any study of brainwashing has to begin with a study of Christian revivalismin eighteenth century America. Apparently, Jonathan Edwards accidentally discovered the techniques during a religiouscrusade in 1735 in Northampton, Massachusetts. By inducing guilt and acuteapprehension and by increasing the tension, the “sinners” attending his revival meetings would break down and completely submit. Technically, what Edwards was doing was creating conditions that wipe the brain slate clean so that the mind accepts new programming. The problem was that the new input was negative. He would tell them,

“You’re a sinner!You’re destined for hell!”

As a result, one person committed suicide and another attempted suicide. And the neighbours of the suicidal converts related that they, too,were affected so deeply that, although they had found “eternal salvation,” they were obsessed with a diabolical temptation to end their own lives.

Once a preacher, cult leader, manipulator or authority figure creates the brain phase to wipe the brain-slate clean, his subjects are wide open. New input, in the form of suggestion, can be substituted for theirprevious ideas.

Because Edwards didn’t turn his message positive until the end of the revival, many accepted the negative suggestions and acted, or desired to act, upon them.

Charles J. Finney was another Christian revivalist who usedthe same techniques four years later in mass religious conversions in New York.The techniques are still being used today by Christian revivalists, cults,human-potential trainings, some business rallies, and the United States Armed Services. . . to name just a few.

Let me point out here that I don’t think most revivalist preachersrealize or know they are using brainwashing techniques. Edwards simply stumbled upon a technique that really worked, and others copied it and have continued to copy it for over two hundred years. And the more sophisticated our knowledge and technology become, the more effective the conversion. I feel strongly that this is one of the major reasons for the increasing rise in Christian fundamentalism, especially the televised variety, while most of the orthodox religions are declining.

The Three Brain Phases

The Christians may have been the first to successfully formulate brainwashing, but we have to look to Pavlov, the Russian scientist, for a technical explanation. In the early 1900s, his work with animals opened thedoor to further investigations with humans. After the revolution in Russia, Lenin was quick to see the potential of applying Pavlov’s research to his own ends.

Three distinct and progressive states of transmarginal inhibition were identified by Pavlov. The first is the EQUIVALENT phase, in which thebrain gives the same response to both strong and weak stimuli. The second is the PARADOXICAL phase, in which the brain responds more actively to weak stimuli than to strong. And the third is the ULTRAPARADOXICAL phase, in which conditioned responses and behaviour patterns turn from positive to negative or from negative to positive.

With the progression through each phase, the degree of conversionbecomes more effective and complete. The way to achieve conversion are many andvaried, but the usual first step in religious or political brainwashing is towork on the emotions of an individual or group until they reach an abnormallevel of anger, fear, excitement, or nervous tension.

The progressive result of this mental condition is to impair judgement and increase suggestibility. The more this condition can be maintained or intensified, the more it compounds. Once catharsis, or the first brain phase, is reached, the complete mental takeover becomes easier. Existingmental programming can be replaced with new patterns of thinking and behaviour.

Other often-used physiological weapons to modify normal brain functions are fasting, radical or high sugar diets, physical discomforts,regulation of breathing, mantra chanting in meditation, the disclosure of awesome mysteries, special lighting and sound effects, programmed response to incense, or intoxicating drugs.

The same results can be obtained in contemporary psychiatric treatment by electric shock treatments and even by purposely lowering a person’s blood sugar level with insulin injections.

Before I talk about exactly how some of the techniques are applied,I want to point out that hypnosis and conversion tactics are two distinctly different things–and that conversion techniques are far more powerful.However, the two are often mixed . . . with powerful results.

How Revivalist Preachers Work

Pastor_Apollo_Quiboloy_PreachingIf you’d like to see a revivalist preacher at work, there are probably several in your city. Go to the church or tent early and sit in therear, about three-quarters of the way back. Most likely repetitive music willbe played while the people come in for the service. A repetitive beat, ideallyranging from 45 to 72 beats per minute (a rhythm close to the beat of the humanheart), is very hypnotic and can generate an eyes-open altered state ofconsciousness in a very high percentage of people. And, once you are in analpha state, you are at least 25 times as suggestible as you would be in full betaconsciousness. The music is probably the same for every service, orincorporates the same beat, and many of the people will go into an alteredstate almost immediately upon entering the sanctuary. Subconsciously, they recall their state of mind from previous services and respond according to thepost-hypnotic programming.

Watch the people waiting for the service to begin. Many willexhibit external signs of trance–body relaxation and slightly dilated eyes.Often, they begin swaying back and forth with their hands in the air while sittingin their chairs. Next, the assistant pastor will probably come out. He usuallyspeaks with a pretty good “voice roll.”

20130124_lostchildren-promo1

Voice Roll Technique

A “voice roll” is a patterned, paced style used byhypnotists when inducing a trance. It is also used by many lawyers, several ofwhom are highly trained hypnotists, when they desire to entrench a point firmlyin the minds of the jurors. A voice roll can sound as if the speaker weretalking to the beat of a metronome or it may sound as though he were emphasizingevery word in a monotonous, patterned style. The words will usually bedelivered at the rate of 45 to 60 beats per minute, maximizing the hypnoticeffect.

Now the assistant pastor begins the “build-up”process. He induces an altered state of consciousness and/or begins to generatethe excitement and the expectations of the audience.

Next, a group of young women in “sweet and pure”chiffon dresses might come out to sing a song. Gospel songs are great forbuilding excitement and INVOLVEMENT. In the middle of the song, one of thegirls might be “smitten by the spirit” and fall down or react as ifpossessed by the Holy Spirit. This very effectively increases the intensity inthe room. At this point, hypnosis and conversion tactics are being mixed. And theresult is the audience’s attention span is now totally focused upon thecommunication while the environment becomes more exciting or tense.

Right about this time, when an eyes-open mass-induced alphamental state has been achieved, they will usually pass the collection plate orbasket. In the background, a 45-beat-per-minute voice roll from the assistantpreacher might exhort, “Give to God. . . Give to God . . . Give to God . . .” And the audience does give.God may not get the money, but his already wealthy representative will.

Next, the fire-and-brimstone preacher will come out. He inducesfear and increases the tension by talking about “the devil,””going to hell,” or the forthcoming Armageddon.

In the last such rally I attended, the preacher talked aboutthe blood that would soon be running out of every faucet in the land. He wasalso obsessed with a “bloody axe of God,” which everyone had seenhanging above the pulpit the previous week. I have no doubt that everyone sawit–the power of suggestion given to hundreds of people in hypnosis assures thatat least 10 to 25 percent would see whatever he suggested they see.

In most revivalist gatherings, “testifying” or “witnessing”usually follows the fear-based sermon. People from the audience come up onstage and relate their stories.

“I was crippledand now I can walk!” “I had arthritis and now it’s gone!” Itis a psychological manipulation that works.

After listening to numerous case histories of miraculous healings,the average guy in the audience with a minor problem is sure he can be healed.The room is charged with fear, guilt, intense excitement, and expectations.

Now those who want to be healed are frequently lined up aroundthe edge of the room, or they are told to come down to the front. The preachermight touch them on the head firmly and scream, “Be healed!” Thisreleases the psychic energy and, for many, catharsis results. Catharsis is apurging of repressed emotions. Individuals might cry, fall down or even go intospasms. And if catharsis is effected, they stand a chance of being healed. Incatharsis (one of the three brain phases mentioned earlier), the brain-slate istemporarily wiped clean and the new suggestion is accepted.

For some, the healing may be permanent. For many, it will lastfour days to a week, which is, incidentally, how long a hypnotic suggestiongiven to a somnambulistic subject will usually last. Even if the healingdoesn’t last, if they come back every week, the power of suggestion maycontinually override the problem . . . or sometimes, sadly, it can mask a physicalproblem which could prove to be very detrimental to the individual in the longrun.

I’m not saying thatlegitimate healings do not take place.

They do. Maybe the individual was ready to let go of the negativitythat caused the problem in the first place; maybe it was the work of God. Yet Icontend that it can be explained with existing knowledge of brain/mindfunction.

The techniques and staging will vary from church to church.Many use “speaking in tongues” to generate catharsis in some whilethe spectacle creates intense excitement in the observers.

The use of hypnotic techniques by religions is sophisticated,and professionals are assuring that they become even more effective. A man inLos Angeles is designing, building, and reworking a lot of churches around thecountry.

He tells ministers what they need and how to use it. This man’strack record indicates that the congregation and the monetary income willdouble if the minister follows his instructions. He admits that about 80percent of his efforts are in the sound system and lighting.

Powerful sound and the proper use of lighting are of primaryimportance in inducing an altered state of consciousness–I’ve been using themfor years in my own seminars. However, my participants are fully aware of the processand what they can expect as a result of their participation.

Six Conversion Techniques

Cults and human-potential organizations are always looking fornew converts. To attain them, they must also create a brain-phase. And theyoften need to do it within a short space of time–a weekend, or maybe even aday. The following are the six primary techniques used to generate theconversion.

The meeting or training takes place in an area where participantsare cut off from the outside world. This may be any place: a private home, aremote or rural setting, or even a hotel ballroom where the participants areallowed only limited bathroom usage. In human-potential trainings, the controllerswill give a lengthy talk about the importance of “keeping agreements”in life. The participants are told that if they don’t keep agreements, theirlife will never work.

It’s a good idea to keep agreements, but the controllers are subverting a positive human value for selfish purposes. The participants vow tothemselves and their trainer that they will keep their agreements. Anyone who does not will be intimidated into agreement or forced to leave. The next step isto agree to complete training, thus assuring a high percentage of conversions for the organizations. They will USUALLY have to agree not to take drugs,smoke, and sometimes not to eat . . . or they are given such short meal breaks that it creates tension. The real reason for the agreements is to alter internal chemistry, which generates anxiety and hopefully causes at least a slight malfunction of the nervous system, which in turn increases theconversion potential.

Before the gathering is complete, the agreements will be usedto ensure that the new converts go out and find new participants. They areintimidated into agreeing to do so before they leave. Since the importance ofkeeping agreements is so high on their priority list, the converts will twistthe arms of everyone they know, attempting to talk them into attending a freeintroductory session offered at a future date by the organization. The newconverts are zealots. In fact, the inside term for merchandising the largestand most successful human- potential training is, “sell it byzealot!”

At least a million people are graduates and a good percentage have been left with a mental activation button that assures their future loyalty and assistance if the guru figure or organization calls. Think aboutthe potential political implications of hundreds of thousands of zealotsprogramed to campaign for their guru.

Be wary of anorganization of this type that offers follow-up sessions after the seminar.Follow-up sessions might be weekly meetings or inexpensive seminars given on aregular basis which the organization will attempt to talk you into taking–orany regularly scheduled event used to maintain control. As the early Christian revivalists found, long-term control is dependent upon a good follow-up system.

Alright. Now, let’s look at the second tip-off that indicates conversion tactics are being used. A schedule is maintained that causes physical and mental fatigue. This is primarily accomplished by long hours in which the participants are given no opportunity for relaxation or reflection.

The third tip-off: techniques used to increase the tension in the room or environment.

Number four: Uncertainty. I could spend hours relating various techniques to increase tension and generate uncertainty. Basically, the participants are concerned about being “put on the spot” or encountered by the trainers, guilt feelings are played upon, participants are tempted to verbally relate their innermost secrets to the other participants or forced to take part in activities that emphasize removing their masks. 192_4-steps-give-an-impromptu-speech_flash2One of the most successful human-potential seminars forces the participants to stand on a stage in front of the entire audience while being verbally attacked by the trainers. A public opinion poll, conducted a few years ago, showed that the number one most-fearful situation an individual could encounter is to speak to an audience. It ranked above window washing outside the 85th floor of an office building. So you can imagine the fear and tension this situation generates within the participants. Many faint, but most cope with the stress by mentally going away. They literally go into an alpha state, which automatically makes them many times as suggestible as they normally are. And another loop of the downward spiral into conversion is successfully effected.

The fifth clue that conversion tactics are being used is the introduction of jargon–new terms that have meaning only to the”insiders” who participate. Vicious language is also frequently used,purposely, to make participants uncomfortable.

The final tip-off is that there is no humour in the communications. . . at least until the participants are converted. Then, merry-making and humourare highly desirable as symbols of the new joy the participants have supposedly”found.”

I’m not saying that good does not result from participationin such gatherings. It can and does. But I contend it is important for peopleto know what has happened and to be aware that continual involvement may not bein their best interest.

Over the years, I’ve conducted professional seminars to teachpeople to be hypnotists, trainers, and counsellors. I’ve had many of those whoconduct trainings and rallies come to me and say, “I’m here because I know that what I’m doing works, but I don’t know why.”After showing them how and why, many have gotten out of the business or have decided to approach it differently or in a much more loving and supportive manner.

Many of these trainers have become personal friends, and it scares us all to have experienced the power of one person with a microphone and a room full of people. Add a little charisma and you can count on a high percentage of conversions. The sad truth is that a high percentage of people want to give away their power–they are true “believers”!

Cult gatherings or human-potential trainings are an ideal environment to observe first-hand what is technically called the “Stockholm Syndrome.” This is a situation in which those who are intimidated, controlled, or made to suffer, begin to love, admire, and evensometimes sexually desire their controllers or captors.

But let me inject a word of warning here: If you think you canattend such gatherings and not be affected, you are probably wrong. A perfectexample is the case of a woman who went to Haiti on a Guggenheim Fellowship tostudy Haitian Voodoo. In her report,she related how the music eventually induced uncontrollable bodily movement and an altered state of consciousness. Although she understood the process and thought herself above it, when she began to feel herself become vulnerable to the music, she attempted to fight it and turned away. Anger or resistance almost always assures conversion. A few moments later she was possessed by the music and began dancing in a trance around the Voodoo meeting house. A brain phase had been induced by the music and excitement, and she awoke feeling reborn. The only hope of attending such gatherings without being affected is to be a Buddha and allow no positive or negative emotions to surface. Few people are capable of such detachment.

Before I go on, let’s go back to the six tip-offs to conversion.I want to mention the United States Government and military boot camp. The Marine Corps talks about breaking men down before “rebuilding” them as new men–as marines! Well, that is exactly what they do, the same way a cult breaks its people down and rebuilds them as happy flower sellers on your local street corner. Every one of the six conversion techniques are used in boot camp. Considering the needs of the military, I’m not making a judgement as to whether that is good or bad. IT IS A FACT that the men are effectively brainwashed.Those who won’t submit must be discharged or spend much of their time in the brig.

Decognition Process

Once the initial conversion is effected, cults, armed services,and similar groups cannot have cynicism among their members. Members mustrespond to commands and do as they are told, otherwise they are dangerous tothe organizational control. This is normally accomplished in a three step Decognition Process.

Step One isALERTNESS REDUCTION: The controllers cause the nervous system to malfunction,making it difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality. This can be accomplishedin several ways. POOR DIET is one; watch out for Brownies and Koolaid. Thesugar throws the nervous system off.

More subtle is the “SPIRITUAL DIET” used by manycults. They eat only vegetables and fruits; without the grounding of grains,nuts, seeds, dairy products, fish or meat, an individual becomes mentally”spacey.” INADEQUATE SLEEP is another primary way to reducealertness, especially when combined with long hours of work or intense physicalactivity.

Also, being bombarded with intense and unique experiences achievesthe same result.

Step Two isPROGRAMED CONFUSION: You are mentally assaulted while your alertness is beingreduced as in Step One. This is accomplished with a deluge of new information,lectures, discussion groups, encounters or one-to-one processing, which usuallyamounts to the controller bombarding the individual with questions. During thisphase of decognition, reality and illusion often merge and perverted logic islikely to be accepted.

Step Three isTHOUGHT STOPPING: Techniques are used to cause the mind to go “flat.”These are altered-state-of-consciousness techniques that initially inducecalmness by giving the mind something simple to deal with and focusingawareness. The continued use brings on a feeling of elation and eventuallyhallucination. The result is the reduction of thought and eventually, if usedlong enough, the cessation of all thought and withdrawal from everyone and everythingexcept that which the controllers direct. The takeover is then complete. It isimportant to be aware that when members or participants are instructed to use “thought-stopping”techniques, they are told that they will benefit by so doing: they will become”better soldiers” or “find enlightenment.”

There are three primary techniques used for thought stopping.The first is MARCHING: the thump, thump, thump beat literally generatesself-hypnosis and thus great susceptibility to suggestion.

The second thought stopping technique is MEDITATION. If you spendan hour to an hour and a half a day in meditation, after a few weeks, there isa great probability that you will not return to full beta consciousness. Youwill remain in a fixed state of alpha for as long as you continue to meditate.

I’m not saying this is bad–if you do it yourself. It may bevery beneficial. But it is a fact that you are causing your mind to go flat.I’ve worked with meditators on an EEG machine and the results are conclusive:the more you meditate, the flatter your mind becomes until, eventually and especially if used to excess or in combination with decognition, all thought ceases.Some spiritual groups see this as nirvana–which is bullshit. It is simply a predictable physiological result. And if heaven on earth is non- thinking and non-involvement, I really question why we are here.

The third thought-stopping technique is CHANTING, and often chanting in meditation. “Speaking in tongues” could also be included in this category.

All three-stopping techniques produce an altered state of consciousness.This may be very good if YOU are controlling the process, for you also control the input. I personally use at least one self-hypnosis programming session every day and I know how beneficial it is for me. But you need to know if you usethese techniques to the degree of remaining continually in alpha that, althoughyou’ll be very mellow, you’ll also be more suggestible.

True Believers & Mass Movements

Before ending this section on conversion, I want to talk aboutthe people who are most susceptible to it and about Mass Movements. I amconvinced that at least a third of the population is what Eric Hoffer calls”true believers.” They are joiners and followers . . . people whowant to give away their power. They look for answers, meaning, and enlightenmentoutside themselves.

Hoffer, who wrote THETRUE BELIEVER, a classic on mass movements, says, “true believers are not intent on bolsteringand advancing a cherished self, but are those craving to be rid of unwantedself. They are followers, not because of a desire for self-advancement, butbecause it can satisfy their passion for self-renunciation!” Hofferalso says that true believers “areeternally incomplete and eternally insecure“!

I know this from my own experience. In my years of communicatingconcepts and conducting trainings, I have run into them again and again. All Ican do is attempt to show them that the only thing to seek is the True Selfwithin.

Their personal answers are to be found there and therealone.

I communicate that the basics of spirituality are self-responsibilityand self-actualization. But most of the true believers just tell me that I’mnot spiritual and go looking for someone who will give them the dogma andstructure they desire. Never underestimate the potential danger of thesepeople. They can easily be moulded into fanatics who will gladly work and diefor their holy cause. It is a substitute for their lost faith in themselves andoffers them as a substitute for individual hope. The Moral Majority is made upof true believers. All cults are composed of true believers.

You’ll find them in politics, churches, businesses, andsocial cause groups. They are the fanatics in these organizations.

Mass Movements will usually have a charismatic leader. The followerswant to convert others to their way of living or impose a new way of life–ifnecessary, by legislating laws forcing others to their view, as evidenced bythe activities of the Moral Majority. This means enforcement by guns or punishment,for that is the bottom line in law enforcement.

A common hatred, enemy, or devil is essential to the successof a mass movement. The Born-Again Christians have Satan himself, but that isn’tenough–they’ve added the occult, the New Age thinkers and, lately, all thosewho oppose their integration of church and politics, as evidenced in theirpolitical re-election campaigns against those who oppose their views. Inrevolutions, the devil is usually the ruling power or aristocracy. Somehuman-potential movements are far too clever to ask their graduates to joinanything, thus labelling themselves as a cult–but, if you look closely, you’llfind that their devil is anyone and everyone who hasn’t taken their training.There are mass movements without devils but they seldom attain major status.The True Believers are mentally unbalanced or insecure people, or those withouthope or friends. People don’t look for allies when they love, but they do when theyhate or become obsessed with a cause. And those who desire a new life and a neworder feel the old ways must be eliminated before the new order can be built.

Persuasion Techniques

Persuasion isn’t technically brainwashing but it is the manipulationof the human mind by another individual, without the manipulated party beingaware what caused his opinion shift. I only have time to very basicallyintroduce you to a few of the thousands of techniques in use today, but thebasis of persuasion is always to access your RIGHT BRAIN. The left half of yourbrain is analytical and rational. The right side is creative and imaginative.That is overly simplified but it makes my point. So, the idea is to distractthe left brain and keep it busy. Ideally, the persuader generates an eyes-openaltered state of consciousness, causing you to shift from beta awareness intoalpha; this can be measured on an EEG machine.

First, let me give you an example of distracting the left brain.Politicians use these powerful techniques all the time; lawyers use manyvariations which, I’ve been told, they call “tightening the noose.”

Assume for a moment that you are watching a politician givea speech. First, he might generate what is called a “YES SET.” These are statements that will cause listeners toagree; they might even unknowingly nod their heads in agreement. Next come theTRUISMS. These are usually facts that could be debated but, once the politicianhas his audience agreeing, the odds are in the politician’s favour that theaudience won’t stop to think for themselves, thus continuing to agree. Last comesthe SUGGESTION. This is what the politician wants you to do and, since you havebeen agreeing all along, you could be persuaded to accept the suggestion. Now,if you’ll listen closely to my political speech, you’ll find that the first threeare the “yes set,” the next three are truisms and the last is thesuggestion.

Ladies andgentlemen: are you angry about high food prices? Are you tired of astronomicalgas prices? Are you sick of out-of-control inflation? Well, you know the OtherParty allowed 18 percent inflation last year; you know crime has increased 50percent nationwide in the last 12 months, and you know your pay check hardlycovers your expenses any more. Well, the answer to resolving these problems isto elect me, John Jones, to the U.S. Senate.”

And I think you’ve heard all that before. But you might alsowatch for what are called Imbedded Commands. As an example: On key words, thespeaker would make a gesture with his left hand, which research has shown ismore apt to access your right brain. Today’s media-oriented politicians and spellbindersare often carefully trained by a whole new breed of specialist who are usingevery trick in the book–both old and new–to manipulate you into acceptingtheir candidate.

The concepts and techniques of Neuro-Linguistics are so heavily protected that I found out the hard way that to even talk about them publicly or in print results in threatened legal action. Yet Neuro- Linguistic training is readily available to anyone willing to devote the time and pay the price. It is some of the most subtle and powerful manipulation

I have yet been exposed to. A good friend who recently attended a two-week seminar on Neuro-Linguistics found that many of those she talked to during the breaks were government people.

Another technique that I’m just learning about is unbelievably slippery; it is called an INTERSPERSAL TECHNIQUE and the idea is to say one thing with words but plant a subconscious impression of something else in the minds of the listeners and/or watchers.

Let me give you an example: Assume you are watching a television commentator make the following statement: SENATOR JOHNSON is assisting local authorities to clear up the stupid mistakes of companies contributing to the nuclear waste problems.” It sounds like a statement of fact, but, if the speaker emphasizes the right word, and especially if he makes the proper hand gestures on the key words, you could be left with the subconscious impression that Senator Johnson is stupid. That was the subliminal goal of the statement and the speaker cannot be called to account for anything.

Persuasion techniques are also frequently used on a much smaller scale with just as much effectiveness. The insurance salesman knows his pitch is likely to be much more effective if he can get you to visualize something in your mind. This is right-brain communication. For instance, he might pause in his conversation, look slowly around your living room and say,

Can you just imagine this beautiful home burning to the ground?” Of course you can!It is one of your unconscious fears and, when he forces you to visualize it,you are more likely to be manipulated into signing his insurance policy.

The Hare Krishnas, operating in every airport, use what I callSHOCK AND CONFUSION techniques to distract the left brain and communicatedirectly with the right brain. While waiting for a plane, I once watched oneoperate for over an hour. He had a technique of almost jumping in front ofsomeone.

Initially, his voice was loud then dropped as he made his pitchto take a book and contribute money to the cause.

Usually, when people are shocked, they immediately withdraw.

In this case they were shocked by the strange appearance, suddenmaterialization and loud voice of the Hare Krishna devotee. In other words, thepeople went into an alpha state for security because they didn’t want toconfront the reality before them. In alpha, they were highly suggestible sothey responded to the suggestion of taking the book; the moment they took thebook, they felt guilty and responded to the second suggestion: give money. We areall conditioned that if someone gives us something, we have to give themsomething in return– in that case, it was money. While watching this hustler,I was close enough to notice that many of the people he stopped exhibited anoutward sign of alpha–their eyes were actually dilated.

Subliminal Programming

Subliminals arehidden suggestions that only your subconscious perceives. They can be audio,hidden behind music, or visual, airbrushed into a picture, flashed on a screenso fast that you don’t consciously see them, or cleverly incorporated into apicture or design.

Most audio subliminal reprograming tapes offer verbal suggestionsrecorded at a low volume. I question the efficacy of this technique–ifsubliminals are not perceptible, they cannot be effective, and subliminalsrecorded below the audible threshold are therefore useless. The oldest audio subliminaltechnique uses a voice that follows the volume of the music so subliminals areimpossible to detect without a parametric equalizer. But this technique ispatented and, when

I wanted to develop my own line of subliminalaudiocassettes, negotiations with the patent holder proved to be unsatisfactory.My attorney obtained copies of the patents which I gave to some talentedHollywood sound engineers, asking them to create a new technique. They found away to psycho-acoustically modify and synthesize the suggestions so that theyare projected in the same chord and frequency as the music, thus giving themthe effect of being part of the music.

But we found that in using this technique, there is no wayto reduce various frequencies to detect the subliminals. In other words,although the suggestions are being heard by the subconscious mind, they cannotbe monitored with even the most sophisticated equipment.

If we were able to come up with this technique as easily aswe did, I can only imagine how sophisticated the technology has become, withunlimited government or advertising funding.

And I shudder to think about the propaganda and commercial manipulationthat we are exposed to on a daily basis. There is simply no way to know what isbehind the music you hear. It may even be possible to hide a second voicebehind the voice to which you are listening. The series by Wilson Bryan Key,

Ph.D., on subliminals in advertising and political campaignswell documents the misuse in many areas, especially printed advertising innewspapers, magazines, and posters.

The big question about subliminals is: do they work? And I guaranteeyou they do. Not only from the response of those who have used my tapes, butfrom the results of such programs as the subliminals behind the music indepartment stores.

Supposedly, the only message is instructions to not steal:one East Coast department store chain reported a 37 percent reduction in theftsin the first nine months of testing.

A 1984 article in the technical newsletter, “Brain-MindBulletin,” states that as much as 99 percent of our cognitive activity maybe “non-conscious,” according to the director of the Laboratory for CognitivePsychophysiology at the University of Illinois. The lengthy report ends withthe statement, “these findings support the use of subliminal approachessuch as taped suggestions for weight loss and the therapeutic use of hypnosisand Neuro-Linguistic Programming.”

Mass Misuse

I could relate many stories that support subliminal programming,but I’d rather use my time to make you aware of even more subtle uses of suchprogramming.

I have personally experienced sitting in a Los Angeles auditoriumwith over ten thousand people who were gathered to listen to a currentcharismatic figure. Twenty minutes after entering the auditorium, I becameaware that I was going in and out of an altered state. Those accompanying meexperienced the same thing. Since it is our business, we were aware of what washappening, but those around us were not. By careful observation, what appearedto be spontaneous demonstrations were, in fact, artful manipulations? The onlyway I could figure that the eyes-open trance had been induced was that a 6- to7-cycle-per- second vibration was being piped into the room behind the airconditioner sound. That particular vibration generates alpha, which would render the audience highly susceptible. Ten to 25 percent of the population is capable of a somnambulistic level of altered states of consciousness; for thesepeople, the suggestions of the speaker, if non-threatening, could potentiallybe accepted as “commands.”

Vibrato

This leads to the mention of VIBRATO. Vibrato is the tremulous effect imparted in some vocal or instrumental music, and the cyle-per- secondrange causes people to go into an altered state of consciousness. At one period of English history, singers whose voices contained pronounced vibrato were notallowed to perform publicly because listeners would go into an altered stateand have fantasies, often sexual in nature.

People who attend opera or enjoy listening to singers like MarioLanza are familiar with this altered state induced by the performers.

ELFs

Now, let’s carry this awareness a little farther. There are also inaudible ELFs (extra-low frequencywaves). These are electromagnetic in nature. One of the primary uses ofELFs is to communicate with our submarines. Dr. Andrija Puharich, a highly respected researcher, in an attempt to warn U.S. officials about Russian use ofELFs, set up an experiment.

Volunteers were wired so their brain waves could be measured on an EEG. They were sealed in a metal room that could not be penetrated by anormal signal.

Puharich then beamed ELF waves at the volunteers. ELFs go rightthrough the earth and, of course, right through metal walls. Those inside couldn’t know if the signal was or was not being sent.

And Puharich watched the reactions on the technicalequipment: 30 percent of those inside the room were taken over by the ELFsignal in six to ten seconds.

When I say “taken over,” I mean that theirbehavior followed the changes anticipated at very precise frequencies.

Waves below 6 cycles per second caused the subjects to become very emotionally upset, and even disrupted bodily functions.

 At 8.2 cycles, they felt very high… an elevated feeling, as though they had been in masterful meditation, learned over a period of years. Eleven to 11.3 cycles induced waves of depressed agitation leading to riotous behavior.

The Neurophone

Dr. Patrick Flanagan is a personal friend of mine. In the early 1960s, as a teenager, Pat was listed as one of the top scientists in the world by “Life” magazine. Among his many inventions was a device he called the Neurophonean electronic instrument that can successfully program suggestions directly through contact with the skin. When he attempted to patent the device, the government demanded that he prove it worked. When he did, the National Security Agency confiscated the neurophone. It took Pat two years of legal battle to get his invention back.

In using the device, you don’t hear or see a thing; it is applied to the skin, which Pat claims is the source of special senses. The skin contains more sensors for heat, touch, pain, vibration, and electrical fields than any other part of the human anatomy.

In one of his recent tests, Pat conducted two identical seminars for a military audienceone seminar one night and one the next night, because the size of the room was not large enough to accommodate all of them at one time. When the first group proved to be very cool and unwilling to respond, Patrick spent the next day making a special tape to play at the second seminar. The tape instructed the audience to be extremely warm and responsive and for their hands to become “tingly.” The tape was played through the neurophone, which was connected to a wire he placed along the ceiling of the room. There were no speakers, so no sound could be heard, yet the message was successfully transmitted from that wire directly into the brains of the audience. They were warm and receptive, their hands tingled and they responded, according to programming, in other ways that I cannot mention here.

The more we find out about how human beings work through today’s highly advanced technological research, the more we learn to control human beings. And what probably scares me the most is that the medium for takeover is already in place! The television set in your living room and bedroom is doing a lot more than just entertaining you.

Before I continue, let me point out something else about an altered state of consciousness. When you go into an altered state, you transfer into right brain, which results in the internal release of the body’s own opiates: enkephalins and Beta-endorphins, chemically almost identical to opium. In other words, it feels good . . . and you want to come back for more.

Recent tests by researcher Herbert Krugman showed that, while viewers were watching TV, right-brain activity outnumbered left-brain activity by a ratio of two to one. Put more simply, the viewers were in an altered state . . . in trance more often than not. They were getting their Beta-endorphin “fix.”

To measure attention spans, psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland of the Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, attached young viewers to an EEG machine that was wired to shut the TV set off whenever the children’s brains produced a majority of alpha waves. Although the children were told to concentrate, only a few could keep the set on for more than 30 seconds!

Most viewers are already hypnotized. To deepen the trance is easy. One simple way is to place a blank, black frame every 32 frames in the film that is being projected. This creates a 45-beat-per-minute pulsation perceived only by the subconscious mindthe ideal pace to generate deep hypnosis.

The commercials or suggestions presented following this alpha- inducing broadcast are much more likely to be accepted by the viewer. The high percentage of the viewing audience that has somnambulistic- depth ability could very well accept the suggestions as commandsas long as those commands did not ask the viewer to do something contrary to his morals, religion, or self-preservation.

The medium for takeover is here. By the age of 16, children have spent 10,000 to 15,000 hours watching televisionthat is more time than they spend in school! In the average home, the TV set is on for six hours and 44 minutes per dayan increase of nine minutes from last year and three times the average rate of increase during the 1970s.

It obviously isn’t getting better . . . we are rapidly moving into an alpha-level worldvery possibly the Orwellian world of “1984”placid, glassy-eyed, and responding obediently to instructions.

A research project by Jacob Jacoby, a Purdue University psychologist, found that of 2,700 people tested, 90 percent misunderstood even such simple viewing fare as commercials and “Barnaby Jones.” Only minutes after watching, the typical viewer missed 23 to 36 percent of the questions about what he or she had seen. Of course they didthey were going in and out of trance! If you go into a deep trance, you must be instructed to rememberotherwise you automatically forget.

I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. When you start to combine subliminal messages behind the music, subliminal visuals projected on the screen, hypnotically produced visual effects, sustained musical beats at a trance-inducing pace . . . you have extremely effective brainwashing. Every hour that you spend watching the TV set you become more conditioned. And, in case you thought there was a law against any of these things, guess again. There isn’t! There are a lot of powerful people who obviously prefer things exactly the way they are. Maybe they have plans for us?

This article was reproduced in Fact, Fiction and Fraud in Modern Medicine in February 1999

Categories
Psychology

All about Stress

We live in the most stressful and demanding country in the world. We are constantly in fierce competition with others. Stress manifests physiological changes in the body.
stressed-student
Psychological stress is a result of many factors and should be dealt with very carefully.  Stress can be defined as a set of interactions between the person and the environment that result in an unpleasant emotional state, such as anxiety, tension, guilt, or shame (swin pg 1).  Another way of putting it, is that there are somethings that put certain demands on us. The effects of stress should not be limited to unpleasant emotional states.  Many studies have concluded that the effects on our physical health from stress can be extremely detrimental.  These adverse physical effects include heart disease and formations of cancer.  There are also some societal issues that psychological stress can hamper.
There are numerous elements that trigger the effects of psychological stress.  Frustration is one of these elements that will trigger stress.  Frustration is one of the most prevalent sources of stress in my life at this moment.  A lot of different events will cause frustration.  Frustration occurs from something blocking our attainment of  certain goals or needs (Corey 207).  All of the little things that frustrate us include waiting in lines or traffic, sense of failure or inadequacies, bad relationships, deaths, and loneliness.  Self-defeating thoughts are a way in which we almost deliberately block attainment of our needs.  If in our heads, we have this preconceived notion that we are incapable of obtaining something that we want or that others could not possibly love us, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I used the word “deliberately” in describing self-doubt because we have the ability to change these misinformed thoughts.
Major life changes whether it be positive or negative can lead to very stressful situations.  In our society, many people fall into a rut of everyday life and fear change to their daily routines.  When any kind of change occurs it is very traumatic.  There are many changes in ones career that can cause stress.  Starting a new career or getting a new job is a major change that will produce stress.  The feeling of being accepted in the organization and learning the companies ways of doing things are stressful.  Other changes in one’s life resulting in stress include a change in a personal relationship or financial changes.  You might think that hitting the lottery and being a multi-millionaire would relieve any possible stress in one’s life.  That fact is that it is a major change and you are going to have many different issues that you never had before.  There are issues of what to do with the money and how to invest it.
Pressures that are brought about in our society are imposed by ourselves and by others.  If one has too high of expectations for oneself it is inevitable that they will burn themselves out.  These expectations are derived out of our gender roles as men.  Men are thought of in our society to be the provider of money and security to their families.  It is one way we measure or “manlyhood”.  Unrealistic pressures such as this, and pressures from school, work and social life will lead to high levels of stress.
Conflict happens when two or more incompatible motivations or behavioral impulses compete for expression.  There are three classifications of conflict; approach/approach, avoidance/avoidance, approach/avoidance.  Approach/approach conflicts occur when we have two attractive options from which we have to chose.  This can happen when we have two group of friends going out for New Year’s Eve, both with exciting plans.  It is tough to decide which group of friends you want to hang out with.  Avoidance/avoidance is the opposite of approach/approach.  When you have to decide between two unattractive choices or goals, stress sets in.  This has occurred to me this past month or so in deciding what I am going to take for my accounting elective.  All of my options are very unappealing.  Decisions may arise where both objects that you are to chose from have both attractive and unattractive components.  This type of conflict can be categorized as approach/avoidance conflict.  An example of this type could be in finding a house.  If you have found the house of your dreams for an amazingly low price but it is very far away from your place of employment, you have approach/avoidance conflict (Corey pg. 207-208).
Other sources of stress include ambiguity in a certain situation.  If you are unsure of what to do or how to act in a situation it can cause stress.  If you get into a fight with someone it can cause stress.  Contradictions to your value systems can produce some unwanted stress.
I have never before in my life been under so much stress that it has caused serious questions of hopelessness.  Throughout my entire life, I have been very good with coping with stressful situations, but something happened on October 12 that will change my life forever.  A couple of policeman came to my door with a complaint.  Apparently, a friend of mine and I had been accused of a crime that we did not commit.  The threat that we could possibly get expelled from school or even worse get put in jail for a very long time comes with a very high level of stress.  The investigation has been going on ever since they first came to our door.  They have decided to postpone the investigation over the winter break which has caused a great deal of anxiety and ambiguity for me.  If I had committed this crime than I would have no problem facing the consequences.  The fact is, that I did not commit the crime and this has left me very angry and upset.  This situation has caused a lot of pain and money for my parents that I caused.  Having to tell them and seeing how upset they are have left me extremely stressful and full of unnecessary anxieties.
About a month or so after this incident in October, I received a call from a friend of mine.  He had just found out that my roommate from sophomore year and very good friend was found in his grandmothers barn dead.  Two days later, a friend of the family lost his battle to lung cancer.  Some other frustrations that I am having include school.  I have only five options left for classes next semester.  I am having trouble getting in to some of the classes that I want.  I have yet to start looking for a job for many reasons.  I feel pressure from my parents and peers to start the process of finding a job.  Many of my friends have already received offers and I have yet to begun writing my resume.  Those are just some of the major issues, but there are many other everyday demands in my life that cause unwanted stress.
The effects of these stresses have left me emotionally bewildered.  I am chronically depressed and a short time after the incident I had a panic attack.  My heart started racing frantically and I could not stop shaking.  My best friend was on the couch across from me watching a movie.  I was so afraid of what was happening that I couldn’t speak.  I have been emotionally scarred for life.
This incident has left me with serious issues of trusting others.  This lack
of trust has hurt my ability to form interpersonal relationships.  When we go out into Boston I have a lot trouble talking to other people.  Normally, I am the one out of my friends that like to go out and meet new and interesting people.  Ever since that incident, I have not been able to figure out what is wrong with my social skills.  I have become very shy around people that I do and don’t know.  I have lost contact with  a lot of my friends because of this.
It has also been found that prolonged stress can cause many disorders from minor to life threatening.  Some of the minor reactions from the body to stress are headaches, asthma, digestive disorders and sleep deprivation.  Sleep deprivation was a major problem for me right after this all occur but it is no longer a problem.  One of the effects it has had on me is weight loss.  Before the incident I was eating very healthy foods and lifting weights at the gym.  I have lost almost fifteen pounds and have trouble eating well.
Doctor Abbot in I Never Knew I Had a Choice states that about 75 percent of ailments that he treats are related to stress (Corey pg. 209).   It has been found that stress activates the body’s hormone system.  This in turn has an effect on our immune system’s capabilities to fight of infectious diseases including cancer.  There have been cases were people who have experienced the loss of a loved one shortly after develop cancer (cancernet).  Stress and its impact on breast cancer has received a lot of attention as of late.  Studies have shown that an alarming number of  women with breast cancer had experienced some sort of traumatic life experience or loss several years before their diagnosis (cancernet).
It is no coincidence that heart disease is one of the highest causes of death among Americans.  We live in the most stressful and demanding country in the world.  We are constantly in fierce competition with others.  Stress manifests physiological changes in the body.  The evidence that stress causes coronary disease has yet to be conclusive but most professionals believe there is a direct correlation.  There are many different hypothesis including Blascovich and Katkin.  The examine many studies to the effects of stress on the heart in their book, Cardiovascular Reactivity to Psychological Stress and Disease (www.apa.com).
The best way to cope with the many stresses that we have throughout a day is to have different attitudes towards life.  I must slow down and question many of the beliefs that this country has instilled in us.  Many people believe that work and money are the most important things to obtain through life.  People have got understand the importance of leisure time and rest.  Developing a sense of humor goes a long way in dealing with stress.  Proper time management is something that I, in particular, must employ to remain less stressful.  I must also continue my old eating habits.  Food can give us the energy needed to deal with stress.  Exercise is a very important part of reducing stress.  There is actual physical evidence that exercise helps people recover from stress.  According to Professor Kubitz of Kansas State University,  stress releases hormones that cause the heart to beat faster.  If we exercise, our heart will become stronger and will be better able to deal with stress.
Works Cited
I Never Knew I Had a Choice, 6th ed.  Gerald and Marianne Corey.  Brooks/Cole Publishing 1997.
www.apa.org
www.cancernet.com
www.geocities.com
www.swin.edu

Categories
Psychology

Biotypes for Basic Personality Dimensions?

Personality traits are elaborations of what once were relatively simple reflexive mechanisms.

“The Twilight Zone” between Genotype and Social Phenotype

The nineteenth-century “science” of phrenology proposed that each personality trait had a particular locus in the brain that shaped the skull above it. Today, we view this kind of brain localization as fallacious. But in the search for simplicity we may be creating a new kind of phrenology, one more in accord with real brain entities and modern neu­rophysiology, but still inaccurate. The new “phrenology” suggests that each personality trait is based on one particular brain structure or system or one biochemical.

Personality traits are elaborations of what once were relatively simple reflexive mechanisms. A simple organism like a paramecium has two basic “personality traits”: approach and withdrawal. While these are largely a function of external stimuli they are conditionable, and one could conceive of individual differences in the traits based on variations in the stimulus-response mechanisms or “life experiences.” Analogous ten­dencies like impulsivity and anxiety traits in higher organisms may have origins in early evolution, but the mechanisms mediating them have become quite complex. Anxiety, for instance, requires “anticipation,” including abstraction from the common elements of past situations of danger, storage of them in memory, their control over behavior in the appropriate circumstances, and a rapid shift in the physiology of the body toward the demands of defense and survival. Any personality trait involves a variety of behavioral mechanisms and each behavioral mechanism is likely to be mediated by a number of biological mechanisms. It is these biological mechanisms that are most directly under the control of the genotype through its assembling of chemical components.

Given this kind of complexity in brain behavior relationships, a “top down” rather than a “bottom up” approach to defining basic personality traits may be best. A ”top down” approach (e.g., Eysenck) is (1) definition of personality dimensions at the highest or broadest level; (2) delineation of narrower traits composing them; (3) identification of behavioral mechanisms involved in the personality traits; and (4) finding the biological mechanisms controlling the behavioral ones and thereby the personality traits. A “bot­tom up” approach (e.g., Gray) starts with the biological bases of behavioral mecha­nisms, as developed from comparative studies of other species, followed by extrapola­tion to the behavior and personality traits of humans. Theoretically, both approaches could yield the same isomorphic solution. Because of the problem of finding the appropriate animal models for human traits, it is more likely that different solutions will be reached by those starting from the top and those working up from the bottom. Gray (in press), for instance, has attempted to redefine the basic dimensions of personality within Eysenck’s (Eysenck, 1967; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985) model by drawing the axes at peculiar angles through the three-dimension space without regard for the empirically derived structure of personality traits as revealed in factor-analytic studies. While Gray has identified basic biobehavioral mechanisms in rats, their involvement in human personality traits is open to question. What will be described in this chapter is a more complex hypothetical relationship between basic personality traits and their biological substrates at several levels between the genotype and the social phenotype as shown in Figure 8.1.

Personality Traits

Personality trait dimensions, based on self-report questionnaires or ratings by oth­ers, represent the most abstract level of description. A recent factor analysis of question­naire scales (Zuckerman, Kuhlman, & Camac, 1988) has shown that the three broad personality dimensions postulated by Eysenck (1967) can be identified in both men and women. Eyscnck’s scales, Extraversion (E), Neuroticism (N), and Psychoticism (P) are good markers for these dimensions. Data in this study and a more recent one suggest that Aggression (Agg) and Hostility may constitute an equally reliable fourth factor, located between the P and N dimensions, although somewhat closer to N than to P.  Activity, suggested by Buss and Plomin (1984) as a primary dimension of temperament, particu­larly in children, can also be reliably identified in a five-factor analysis; but at higher levels it tends to divide up into the other factors. The major component of the E factor is consistently Sociability. The N factor at the broadest level consists of scales measuring negative affectivity: anxiety, hostility, and anger. Although markers for trait depression were not included they would probably fall into this factor. While the factor is labeled General Emotionality, it should be understood that this pertains primarily to dysphoric emotions, not to positive affect. The latter emotional trait is primarily related to the E dimension, and when it is related to the N dimension, the relationship is an inverse one. “Personality in the third dimension” (Zuckerman, 1989) or P is more complex in terms of its constituent personality traits.

I have argued that Eysenck’s label “Psychoticism” is not an accurate description of the trait. If a clinical term must be used, “Psychopathy” or “Antisocial Personality” would be more appropriate, since this disorder incorporates the traits and many of the biological constituents of the dimension better than psychotic disorders like schizo­phrenia. I have called the dimension “Impulsive, Unsocialized Sensation-Seeking” (ImpUSS) to summarize the narrower traits involved. Impulsivity can be distinguished from the other traits in the     P-ImpUSS dimension in factor analyses rotating six or seven factors, but at these levels there is less reliability of the factors across gender or samples. The clustering of narrower factors within broader ones does not mean that there is no point in assessing narrow as well as broad ones because some of them seem to be more closely related to behavior mechanisms or biological factors, as will be shown.

 Figure 8.1. A psychobiological model for personality. Dopamine refers particularly to the A10 dopaminergic pathway from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens via the medial forebrain bundle and the A9 pathway from the substantia nigra to the caudate putamen. Low levels of type B monoamine oxidase (MAO) may deregulate these systems. High levels of gonadal hormones, particular­ly testosterone, may furnish a basis for both sociability and disinhibition. High levels of serotonin in conjunction with high levels of both type A and B MAO may provide the basis for strong inhibition; low levels of serotonin together with high activity of dopaminergic systems may be involved in disinhibition, impulsivity, and aggression or hostility. Regions of the septal area are particularly involved in inhibition­-disinhibition of behavior. Norepinephrine (Norepi), particularly in the dorsal ascending noradrenergic pathways from the locus coeruleus, is also involved in the adrenergic arousal found in both anxiety and anger. Low levels of norepinephrine, perhaps related to low levels of the enzyme dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH), may be involved in the traits of disinhibition and impulsivity. Stimulation from the central nucleus of the amygdala to the ventral tegmental areas and the locus coeruleus may increase activity in dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems. At low levels this catecholamine system activity may be rewarding and facilitating, but at high levels may be associated with anxiety, distractibility, inhibition, and adrenergic arousal. When adrenergic arousal is combined with high activity of ben­zodiazepine receptor inverse agonists and low levels of GABA inhibition, the result may be anxiety. Specific combinations of these biological traits may underlie the disposition of trait anxiety and emo­tionality in general.

Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Mechanisms

The model I am proposing would characterize the mechanisms underlying the E and N dimensions in cognitive terms rather than conditioning ones. Extraverts can be charac­terized in terms of a strong “Generalized Reward Expectancy” and introverts in terms of a weaker one. The normal (average N and P) extravert is generally an optimist, with high self-esteem and self-efficacy beliefs, particularly in search of social reinforcements. Neurotics or high anxiety-trait persons can be characterized in terms of a strong “Gener­alized Punishment Expectancy.” Generalized anxiety is associated with a cognitive component (worry) which involves excessive apprehension about possible negative out­comes and a feeling low efficacy (helplessness) in coping with stress. Recent data correlating scales of “Generalized Reward and Punishment Expectancies” (GRAPES) with the E and N scales from the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) tend to support these hypotheses (Ball & Zuckerman, 1990).

The basic mechanism underlying the P dimension is hypothesized to be one of Disinhibition vs. Inhibition. The combination of sensation-seeking (incautious risk ­taking in pursuit of reward), impulsivity (inability to restrain behavior even where it might lead to punishment) and a lack of socialization (need or desire to follow the rules and abide by the values of society) all suggest a deficit in inhibition and a low threshold fur disinhibition. The defect in behavioral restraint may operate at a brain level that short-circuits cognitive analyses. The impulsive and incautious person typically thinks after acting, rather than before. The characteristic learning problem in psychopaths is one of learning when not to act (passive avoidance), rather than learning when to act (Newman & Kosson, 1986). Their failure to learn from punishment experience may reflect a classical conditioning deficit when the unconditioned stimulus is aversive (Lykken, 1957; Hemming, 1981). Originally, Eysenck (1965) proposed a deficiency in general “conditionability” as the basis for extraversion. At that time extraversion was conceived of and assessed as a dual component trait including sociability and im­pulsivity. Eyelid-conditioning studies (Barratt, 1971; Eysenck & Levey, 1972) showed that conditioning was only related to the impulsivity component of E, particularly to a measure of narrow impulsivity (Frcka & Martin, 1987). However, the introduction of the P dimension into the personality instrument resulted in a dropping of impulsivity type items from the E scale and the closer alignment of impulsivity with P. The P scale itself predicted conditioning in a study where paraorbital shock was used instead of an air puff as the unconditioned stimulus (Bytes, Frcka, Martin, & Levey, 1983). Perhaps the more aversive nature of the UCS provided clearer evidence of the influence of P than an earlier study (Frcka, Beytes, Levey, & Martin, 1983). Impulsive and high P individuals seem to be poor conditioners in response to aversive UCSs. This would mean that they would have a difficult time in learning inhibition from physical punishment of the type that is often used in an attempt to discipline them.

Tellegen (1985) has suggested that basic dimensions of personality are strongly related to independent dimensions of positive and negative affect. Meyer and Shack (1989) have shown that both trait and state positive affect are aligned with extraversion, while negative affect items fall on a dimension defined by neuroticism. As shown in Figure l, the present model accepts this idea that there is a tendency of sociable persons to experience frequent states of positive affect which may account for their high reward expectancy. Given the same positive reinforcement, reward effects (positive affect) would be stronger in the extravert than in the introvert. The punishment expectancy in neurotics would be based on their more frequent experience of states of negative affect. One could cogently argue that the generalized expectancies affect the occurrence of positive or negative affects more than the other way around. Affect and expectancy undoubtedly influence each other. However, emotions stem from more basic and earlier evolved parts of the nervous system than cognitions. Emotional discriminations may be made on the basis of partial, incomplete stimulus processing. While cognitions may modify and direct emotional responses, the initial emotional reactivity occurs at a lower level of the nervous system (Le Doux, 1987). As Zajonc (l980) says, “Preferences need no inferences.” This question will be addressed again when I discuss a neuropsychologi­cal basis fur the N dimension.

Psychophysiology

Most of the research with humans on the biological basis of personality has come from the field of psychophysiology, primarily because these non-invasive bioelectrical recording techniques are more accessible to psychologists than biochemical methods. Much of the research has been based on arousal theories of personality (Strelau & Eysenck, 1987) which have survived and even flourished despite criticisms. Eyscnck’s (1967) theory postulates that arousal and arousability of the reticulocortical activation system are the biological basis of extraversion and introversion.

The most relevant evidence for a cortical arousal theory of E-I comes from EEG studies since these provide the most direct psychophysiological measure of cortical arousal. The results from these studies have been equivocal (Gale & Edwards, 1986; O’Gorman, 1984). There are many methodological problems in this type of research, like defining the conditions in which to measure tonic arousal. But even when the analysis of the literature is limited to the most conceptually and methodologically sound studies, as agreed on by Gale and O’Gorman, the results are still inconclusive (Zucker­man, 1991).

Recent evidence suggests that the cortical arousal hypothesis may be relevant for some traits involved in the P dimension rather then the E dimension. O’Gorman and Lloyd (1987) used the EPQ-E scale, which unlike previous versions of E is largely devoid of impulsivity items, and the Eysenck and Eysenck’s (1977) broad Impulsivity scale. They measured EEG in two conditions, one of which was suggested by Gale to be optimal for revealing differences between introverts and extroverts. While E and broad impulsivity measures were not related to EEG arousal, narrow impulsivity was related: impulsives were less aroused. Narrow impulsivity (responding quickly without restraint) was also the type related to eyelid conditioning, as discussed previously. Since arousal may be a primary basis for conditionability, the findings are consistent, but the emphasis must be shifted from E, as currently defined, to a specific component of the P dimen­sion. Goldring and Richards (1985) also report that the P scale itself is related to low cortical arousal.

 Eysenck’s theory suggests an interaction between stimulus intensity and cortical arousability due to the sensitivity of introverts to stimulation in the lower range of intensity and their transmarginal (cortical) inhibition in response to high intensity stim­uli. The cortical evoked potential (EP) augmenting-reducing paradigm developed by Buchsbaum and Silverman (1968) provides an ideal way of testing this hypothesis, since it measures the cortical responsivity at each of several stimulus intensities covering a range of intensity. Augmenting describes the tendency for a linear increase in EP ampli­tude with increasing stimulus intensity, while reducing refers to either the lack of increase or a reduction of EP amplitude at the highest stimulus intensities.

No relationship has been found between extraversion and EP augmenting-reducing, but a very robust relationship has been found between the Disinhibition sensation-­seeking scale and augmenting of visual and auditory EPs. This literature involving 15 studies has been recently summarized (Zuckerman, 1990). In 5 of 7 analyses of the visual EP and 7 of 9 analyses of the auditory EP there was a significant relationship between at least one of the sensation-seeking scales (usually Disinhibition) and augment­ing: high disinhibitors tend to be augmenters, while low disinhibitors tend to be re­ducers. Barratt, Pritchard, Faulk, and Brandt (1987) found a similar relationship be­tween impulsivity, particularly “cognitive impulsiveness,” and augmenting.

The augmenting-reducing source of individual differences has also been demon­strated in cats (Hall, Rappaport, Hopkins, Griffin, & Silverman, 1970; Lukas & Siegel, 1977; Saxton, Siegel, & Lukas, 1987) where it has been related to natural behavior characteristics. Augmenter cats tend to be active and exploratory while reducers are inhibited and tend to withdraw from novel stimuli. The augmenter cats performed poorly on an experimental task requiring the animal to delay or inhibit response in order to get reward, despite the fact that they performed better than reducers on a simple fixed interval reward schedule. The pattern of performance seen in augmenter cats is also one seen in septal-lesioned rats and Gorenstein and Newman (1980) have suggested a paral­lel between the behavior of these rats and the “disinhibitory psychopathology” in hu­mans, particularly in the antisocial personality. Another part of the pattern in septal-­lesioned rats is enhanced “stimulus-seeking” behavior.

The evidence strongly suggests that the cortical augmenting-reducing paradigm is a marker for at least some of the traits in the P dimension, particularly disinhibition and impulsivity. Reducing represents the capacity for behavioral inhibition and augmenting is associated with a deficit in this capacity. This interpretation is consistent with the clinical correlates of EP augmenting including alcoholism, delinquency, drug use, and bipolar disorders (Zuckerman, Buchsbaum, & Murphy, 1980).

A particularly challenging line of research has been conducted by Pivik, Stelmack, and Bylsma (1988). They measured excitability of a spinal motoneuronal reflex with stimulation applied to the leg. High scorers on both E and disinhibition scale showed reduced motoneuronal excitability as assessed by reflex recovery functions. The arousal hypothesis has been centered on the cortex, but there is a possibility that it might apply to neurons at subcortical levels as well. While the functional significance of reduced motoneuronal excitability is not clear, it has been associated with increased dopaminergic function, suggesting a possible link with the biochemical level.

Autonomic Arousal and Arousability

 

Eysenck (1967) hypothesized that the N dimension is biologically based on the limbic brain which regulates emotionality and the peripheral adjustments of the autono­mic nervous system in reaction to stress. Adrenergic arousal is reflected in a variety of measurable psychophysiological changes such as heart rate, blood pressure, peripheral vasoconstriction, respiration rate, and skin conductance fluctuations and level. How­ever, must studies have not shown a relationship between levels of adrenergic phys­iological activity and N in normal populations (e.g., Fahrenberg, 1987). Eysenck and Eysenck (1985) acknowledged the general failure of the hypothesis linking N with sympathetic-autonomic arousal, but said that this might be due to the fact that most studies did not expose subjects to stress or aversive stimuli. However, Fahrenberg (1987) describes large-scale studies where physiological measures were taken during resting, basal conditions, and during a variety of stressor situations, including physical stress (blood taking, cold-pressor tests) and social stress (interview, performance). While the stressors were effective in increasing physiological responsivity in all subjects, there was no evidence of a relationship with N.

However, a survey of studies (Zuckerman, 1991) comparing controls and patients shows that all groups of anxiety disorders, except those with simple phobias, have higher levels of basal heart rate and skin conductance fluctuations than normals. Physiological reactivity in response to general kinds of stress does not differentiate normals from anxiety patients; in fact, normals tend to show greater response to stress situations simply because they start at a lower level than patients. However, when phobic patients are exposed to objects or situations which normally elicit their fears, they do show heart rate reactions that are greater than those of normals exposed to the same stimuli. Unlike patients with anxiety disorders, high N subjects from the normal popula­tion cannot be characterized by a general dysregulation of the adrenergic arousal sys­tems. Like the phobic patients among the anxiety disorders, their anxiety response may be only to specific kinds of stressors or persons, or the trait of neuroticism in normals may be more related to cognitive mechanisms than to arousal ones.

Biochemistry

Catecholamines (Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Epinephrine)

Many theorists have suggested that the neurotransmitter dopamine is the basis of some kinds of general motivational trait involving exploration directed toward primary rewards in animals (Gray, in press; Stein, 1978) and novelty and sensation seeking in humans (Cloninger, 1987; Zuckerman, 1979). Moderate doses of dopamine agonists, like stimulant drugs, increase social behavior and activity; higher doses may reverse these effects (Zuckerman, 1984). Dopamine is vital to the intrinsic reward effects pro­duced by self-stimulation or self-infusion of stimulant drugs (Bozarth, 1987). When dopamine is depleted, as in Parkinsonism, the result is an anhedonic, apathetic personality, not interested in the environment and lacking in positive emotionality or joy. All of the effects of dopamine depletion or release suggest that it must be involved in the positive affect, high activity, and sociability of extraversion.

However, there are also suggestions of a link to sensation-seeking and impulsivity found in the P dimension. Drug abusers tend to show high levels of sensation-seeking and antisocial tendencies (Zuckerman, 1987) and many of the drugs abused act through the dopaminergic systems, stimulants like cocaine and amphetamine having their pri­mary effects on the nucleus accumbens, while opiate reward is mediated in the ventral tegmental area (Bozarth, 1987). Perhaps the non-drug using extravert has a high level of tonic activity in one or more of the dopamine systems, while the disinhibiting or boredom susceptible individual has a low level and therefore is particularly attracted to drugs or exciting activities that act on brain dopamine systems. But the only empirical correlations found thus far are between norepinephrine (in cerebrospinal fluid) and plasma dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (the enzyme which converts dopamine to epine­phrine in the neuron) and sensation-seeking. Both correlations are negative, suggesting that high sensation-seekers have low levels of both the neurotransmitter and the enzyme involved in its production.

While adrenergic arousal may be an essential component of clinical anxiety, it is not the entire story. Adrenergic arousal can be pleasurable when it occurs at an optimal level in sensation-seeking or sexual activities, neutral when it occurs in physical exercise, or displeasurable when it occurs during a panic attack. Drugs, like yohimbine, that stimu­late activity of the norepinephrine system in the brain, produce anxiety and panic attacks in persons who already have these disorders. But other drugs like lactate and caffeine, which do not stimulate catecholamine activity, also produce anxiety in these patients (Gorman, Fyer, Liebowitz, & Klein, 1987). All of these drugs do not produce panic and major anxiety in most normals, even though they do increase their physiological arousal.

The common denominator of all drugs which have an anxiogenic effect is that they produce peripheral sympathetic nervous system effects such as tachycardia. However, such arousal is not intrinsically associated with the subjective dysphoria characterizing anxiety. Perhaps recurrent arousal may result in the internal sensations of arousal becoming conditioned cues for the full panic or anxiety attacks. This would produce a positive feedback in which apprehension of arousal would increase arousal.

Benzodiazepine-GABA System

Something else must dispose the person to perceive internal arousal as a sign of threat. Is there a particular mechanism for the emotion of fear or anxiety, as distin­guished from general emotionality? The benzodiazepines seem to reduce the subjective sense of anxiety without the generalized, intensive, sedative effects of barbiturates or alcohol. They act on recently discovered receptors in the brain called “benzodiazepine receptors.” These receptors work by potentiating the effects of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter widely distributed in the nervous system. However, the ben­zodiazepines (BZs) do not work by general sedation, so the GABA effects must be specific to certain pathways. These will be discussed in a subsequent section. The very existence of the BZ receptors suggests that there must be natural receptor agonists (which would dampen anxiety) or inverse agonists (which would be anxiogenic). A natural polypeptide produced from rat brain, called diazepam-binding inhibitor (DBI) has an affinity for the BZ receptor and also facilitates suppression of behavior in a conflict situation (Guidotti, Forchetti, Corda, Konkel, Bennett, & Costa, 1983). Beta­carbolines produced in the laboratory, but with a natural affinity for benzodiazepine receptors, have been shown to produce “apprehension” in normal subjects (Dorow, Duka, Holler, & Sauerbrey, 1987).

These early studies suggest that a balance between natural BZ receptor agonists and inverse agonists, when combined with catecholamine-mediated arousal may produce the full-blown phenomenon of anxiety. An inverse agonist like DBI could be what “tags” arousal as “fear.” Another possibility is that the number and distribution of BZ receptors may be what underlies the vulnerability to anxiety or N trait. Decreased concentrations of BZ receptors have been found in an anxious strain of mice and BZ-binding is higher in an emotionally nonreactive strain of rats than in one characterized by high emotionality (Robertson, Martin, & Candy, 1978). Whatever their precise role in emotionality in general or anxiety in particular, endogenous biochemicals acting on the BZ receptor sites are likely to playa crucial role in the generalized apprehensiveness characterizing the N dimension of personality.

Serotonin

 

The case for serotonin as a mediator of anxiety (Cloninger, 1987; Gray, 1982, in press) is largely based on its role in inhibition of approach behavior in conflict situations (Soubrie, 1986) or emotional systems in general (Panksepp, 1982). The case for anxioly­tic effects of serotoninergic drugs is far less conclusive (File, 1988). As a matter of fact, the comparative and human clinical literature suggests that it is low levels of serotonin that are related to anxiety and more so to depression. But serotonin is primarily corre­lated with the P dimension, impulsivity and aggressiveness. Persons with low levels of the serotonin metabolite 5 hydruxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) tend to score high on Eysenck’s P scale (Schalling, Asberg, & Edman, 1984), and on hostility and psychopa­thy scales (Brown, Ebert, Goyer, Jimerson, Klein, Bunney, & Goodwin, 1982). Such persons also are found among those personality disorders who are behaviorally aggres­sive (Brown, Goodwin, Ballenger, Goyer, & Major, 1979) in contrast to more passive forms of disorders. Low levels of 5-HIAA are found in parsons who have attempted or committed suicide in impulsive, violent ways, and in impulsive murderers (Van Praag, 1986). Van Praag, Kahn, Asnis, Wetzler, Brown, Bleich, and Korn (1987) have sug­gested that low 5-HIAA is more indicative of aggressive disregulation than depression. The human data suggest that low serotonin is related primarily to the disinhibition of behavioral impulse associated with the P dimension and only secondarily to anxiety and depression characteristic of the N dimension. These findings are consistent with the animal data suggesting that serotonin regulates impulsive behavior associated with the possibility of punishment.

Testosterone

Eysenck (1967) proposed that testosterone may be involved in the p dimension of personality, largely on the basis of the human sex difference in violent aggressiveness and the well-demonstrated association of aggressiveness with testosterone in other species. Studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between testosterone in male, and the sensation-seeking trait of Disinhibition (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980; Daitzman, Zuckerman, Sammlelwitz, & Ganjam, 1978), and Monotony Avoidance (Schalling, 1987). Testosterone also correlates with social extraversion (Daitzman & Zuckerman, 1980; Schalling, 1987).

The evidence from both normals and prisoner samples suggest that testosterone in both sexes is related to dominant sociability and interest in sex as well as sexual experience. In the prisoner samples, testosterone also seems to be associated with a high degree of unprovoked violence (Dabbs, Ruback, Frady, Hopper, & Sgoutas, 1988; Ehrenkrantz, Bliss, & Sheard, 1974; Mattson, Schalling, Olweus, Low, & Svensson, 1980; Rada, Laws, & Kellner, 1876). But in the normal population the association with aggressiveness of this type is not found; instead testosterone is associated with both the E and P dimensions, the latter through sensation-seeking and the capability for normal aggressiveness as a defensive reaction in adolescent boys (Olweus, 1987).

Monoamine Oxidase (MAO)

While the implications of platelet measures MAO for activity in the three mono­amine systems are not certain, its relationships to at least two major dimensions of personality are clear from a wealth of correlational data. Low MAO levels have been related to high levels of general activity in neonates during the first three days of life (Sostek, Sostek, Murphy, Martin, & Born, 1981), and high levels of social activity in adult humans (Coursey, Buchsbaum, & Murphy, 1979), and general and social activity in colony-dwelling monkeys (Redmond, Murphy, & Baulu, 1979). MAO has been found to be negatively correlated with extraversion or positively correlated with introversion scales in several studies, but not in some others. If we weigh the behavioral data more highly than the questionnaire findings, there does seem to be a relationship between MAO and the E or sociability dimension.

There also appears to be a relationship between MAO and some traits within the P dimension. In the Coursey et al. (1979) study contrasting high and low MAO types in the normal population, the low MAO group reported more convictions for criminal offenses and more alcohol and drug use. The low-MAO male monkeys in the Redmond et al. (1979) study engaged in more aggressive and sexual activity than the high MAO ones. General sensation-seeking and Monotony Avoidance scales have been found to be negatively correlated with MAO in males in a number of studies (see Zuckerman, 1987, for review). While the results are not always significant, and the correlations tend to be low, the total pattern confirms an inverse relationship between MAO and sensation-seeking. To these personality trait findings we may add the fact that low MAO levels are also found in alcoholics and chronic marijuana users.

While the relation of MAO to sensation-seeking in particular and the E and P dimensions in general is clear, the mechanism is not. MAO is not a direct behavioral inhibitor or activator but only affects behavior through its effects on the monoamine systems. All we can infer is that the monoamine systems are somehow involved in the biological substrates for personality. Perhaps the rule of MAO is one of regulating or stabilizing these systems in response to environmental stimulation. Bipolars, who already have low levels of MAO even in the depressed state, tend to shift to the manic state when given monoamine oxidase inhibitors, perhaps due to a buildup of dopamine with insufficient MAO to metabolize the neurotransmitters accumulating in the neurons. Dopamine-beta-hydroxlase (DBH) is an enzyme involved in the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine in the neuron. Plasma DBH has been found to be negatively related to sensation-seeking in several studies. Low DBH has been associated with severe psychopathic disorder in alcoholics (Major, Lerner, Goodwin, Ballenger, Brown, & Lovenberg, 1980) and emotionally disturbed boys (Rogeness, 1984). The relationship of DBH to the P dimension must be mediated through its limiting effect on production of norepinephrine. Perhaps there is a link with the low adrenergic levels which are predic­tive of adult criminality and aggressiveness (Olweus, 1987).

Neuropsychology

The designation of particular brain structures as the locus of personality traits is a dangerous flirtation with the type of thinking that produced 19th century phrenology. A structure like the amygdala contains many types of neurotransmitters, and different nuclei within the discernible structure mediate different functions.

Reward and Activity

On the assumption that the trait of extraversion is specifically associated with reward sensitivity or expectancy and activity, three dopamine systems in the brain are likely candidates to be involved with this trait, as well as having some involvement in sensation-seeking (Zuckerman, 1979). The A l0 system originates in the ventral tegmen­tum and projects to the nucleus accumbens via the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). About 85% of the projections from ventral tegmen­tum to accumbens are dopaminergic (Stellar & Stellar, 1985). The MFB is a highly active site of self-stimulation reward effect, and the nucleus accumbens is the primary site of action for reward by stimulant drugs (Bozarth, 1987). Another dopamine system originates in the subtantia nigra (A9) and projects to the neostriatum, caudate nucleus, and putamen. This system is necessary fur regulation of activity and is the one severally damaged in Parkinson’s disease. It is also largely dopaminergic. The subtantia nigra and caudate also support brain stimula­tion (Stellar & Stellar, 1985). Projections from both systems reach the lateral and medial prefrontal cortex as well as limbic areas such as the septum and amygdala. Since the Al0 system is vital in reward and the A9 in motivated activity, individual differences in their physiology could very well be tile source for the activity and search for reward typical of extraversion and sensation-seeking.

Behavioral Inhibition

Gray suggested that the core of anxiety is a “behavioral inhibition system” (BIS) in which the underlying neurological substrate is the septohippocampal system. The func­tion of the BIS is to check incoming stimuli against the memory of the previous experi­ence with those stimuli. If the stimuli are novel or associated with past punishment, the system is activated producing arousal, inhibition of ongoing behavior, and orienting (diversion of attention) to the stimulus.

While inhibition is an immediate reaction involved in anxiety, it is also involved in other kinds of activity including approach behavior. Orienting to novel stimuli is not necessarily associated with anxiety. Strong orienting responses (ORs) have been positively associated with sensation-seeking and state anxiety seems to dampen ORs to neutral but novel stimuli (Zuckerman, 1990). The inhibition of behavior in at) approach­-avoidance conflict situation may be a function of anxiety, but it is also a function of the disinhibition tendency postulated to be the core of the P dimension. This is why Gray (in press) regards anxiety and psychopathy traits as the two ends of a bipolar dimension of personality.

The septohippocampal system may be more relevant for the disinhibition vs. inhibi­tion mechanism than for an anxiety mechanism and therefore more related to the P dimension than to the N dimension of personality. The inhibition mechanism, triggered by signals of punishment, would be weakened in persons with high P traits like im­pulsivity and sensation-seeking. Serotonin pathways may be the main ones involved in inhibition of behavioral approach.

Emotionality

Where then should we look for a locus for the system underlying general emo­tionality or N? The amygdala seems to be at the center of such a system. The amygdala has been called the “sensory gateway to the emotions” by Aggleton and Mishkin (1986). This term is used because this structure serves as the central target for converging inputs from several cortical processing areas involving all of the sensory modalities. The olfactory input is even more direct, reflecting the early evolutionary control of emotional and behavioral response from this modality. LeDoux (1987) points out that there are direct pathways between the thalamus and amygdala which would allow emotional reactions to stimuli before they are fully processed by higher centers in the hippocampus and cortex. The amygdala seems to serve as a comparator, as does the hippocampus, but probably begins the process at an earlier stage than the hippocampus. Human anxiety of the panic and generalized type is often triggered by unknown stimuli. The amygdala may respond to partial cues that can not be identified in consciousness, perhaps accounting for its important rule in classical fear-conditioning.

The temporal lobe is a major source of input to the amygdala. Reiman, Raichie, Robins, Mintun, Fusselman, Fox, Price, and Heikman (1989) used positron emission topography on patients with panic disorders before and after lactate infusion. Those who panicked showed significant increases in regional blood-flow in the bilateral tem­peropolar cortex as well as deeper limbic structures. The original Kluver-Bucy (1939) effect of removal of the temporal lobes was produced by damage to the amygdala lying within them. The syndrome was one of “psychic blindness”; animals could perceive stimuli but seemed ignorant of their emotional significance. The operated animals were also usually tame (no fear of handlers) and did not show fear of snakes. The amygdala receives such information from the inferotemporal cortex via the entorhinal cortex, a region of limbic cortex that is the major source of input into the hippocampus. Many of the input sources for the amygdala are also sources of input for the hippucampus. LeDoux’s (1987) view is that the hippocampus mediates the more cognitive aspects of emotions transmitting thoughts or memories to the amygdala for reappraisal of emotion­al significance. But is this role of the hippocampus in emotions a primary one, or just one of its memory-related functions? The amygdala seems to be more central to an emotion-generating system, and therefore a likely basis for the dimension of personality based on emotionality.

Behavior Genetics

The direction of this chapter has been downward from the social trait through the different levels of the biotypes to the genotypes. The usual question asked by behavior geneticists is the extent to which a behavioral or biological phenomenon is determined by heredity and to what extent by environment. Questions asked by the more sophisti­cated analyses concern the kinds of genetic mechanisms and environmental factors involved. Given that we do not inherit personality traits as such, what is it (the biological characteristic) that we do inherit that influences them?

Personality Traits

Various large-scale studies of identical twins (ITs) and fraternal twins (FTs) reared together, come involving thousands of each type, have shown a fair uniformity of results. For most broad traits, such as E (Extraversion), N (Introversion), and P (Psychotocism), the estimate of heritablity range from 40% to 60% with the typical figure around 50%. Usually the correlation for ITs is about .50, while that for FTs ranges from ) to .3. For E there is some evidence of nonadditive genetic factors, as indicated by very low FT correlations. The heritability is the same for the N and P dimensions traits, but the genetic mechanism is purely additive. The results suggest little effect of shared environment; the main environmental effects seem to be specific