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science

It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism

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This is a reblog from psychcentral

Ohio State researchers believe they have developed and validated a new method to identify which people are narcissistic.

And, the beauty is that the tool is only a single question.

In a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, the researchers found they could reliably identify narcissistic people by asking them this exact question (including the note):

To what extent do you agree with this statement: “I am a narcissist.” (Note: The word “narcissist” means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)

Participants rated themselves on a scale of one (not very true of me) to seven (very true of me).

If you are curious about the test or want to know how narcissistic are you? The test is found at http://tinyurl.com/ovsf54v.

Results showed that people’s answer to this question lined up very closely with several other validated measures of narcissism, including the widely used Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI).

The difference is that this new survey — which the researchers call the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) — has one question, while the NPI has 40 questions to answer.

“People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

“People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.”

Bushman conducted the study with Sara Konrath of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (formerly of the University of Michigan) and Brian Meier of Gettysburg College.

The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

“Understanding narcissism has many implications for society that extend beyond the impact on the individual narcissist’s life,” Konrath said.

“For example, narcissistic people have low empathy, and empathy is one key motivator of philanthropic behavior such as donating money or time to organizations.”

“Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great don’t try to improve themselves,” Bushman said.

“And narcissism is bad for society because people who are only thinking of themselves and their own interests are less helpful to others.”

Bushman emphasized that the one question tool (SINS) shouldn’t be seen a replacement for the longer narcissism questionnaires (NPI, etc) as other instruments can provide more information to researchers, such as which form of narcissism someone has.

“But our single-item scale can be useful for long surveys in which researchers are concerned about people getting fatigued or distracted while answering questions and possibly even dropping out before they are done,” Bushman said.

He noted that if it takes a person 20 seconds to answer the single question in the SINS measure, it would take him or her 13.3 minutes to answer the 40-question NPI.

“That is a big difference if you’re doing a study in which participants have to complete several different survey instruments and answer a long list of other questions,” he said.

The 11 different experiments took a number of different approaches to determine the validity of SINS. Some used undergraduate college students, while others involved online panels of American adults.

One experiment found that SINS was positively related to each of the seven subscales of the NPI which measure various components of narcissism (vanity, exhibitionism, exploitativeness, authority, superiority, self-sufficiency, and entitlement).

Another study found that that participants tended to have similar scores on SINS when tested 11 days apart.

One experiment replicated past work that showed people scoring high in narcissism were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and had difficulty maintaining long-term committed romantic relationships.

“People who scored higher on narcissism on the SINS had both positive and negative outcomes,” Bushman said. They reported more positive feelings, more extraversion, and marginally less depression.

But they also reported less agreeableness, and more anger, shame, guilt, and fear. In addition, people scoring high on SINS showed negative interpersonal outcomes, such as having poor relationships with others and less prosocial behavior when their ego was threatened.

“The advantage of SINS compared to other measures,” Bushman said, “is that it allows researchers to identify narcissists very easily.”

“We don’t think SINS is a replacement for other narcissism inventories in all situations, but it has a time and place,” he said.

Source: Ohio State University

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APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 1, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/08/06/it-takes-just-one-question-to-identify-narcissism/73260.html

The brain of a serial killer

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Warning: If you have been abused this post might be triggering. The picture underneath offers a lot of information based on science and knowledge gathered over time. It is easy to understand, and might help us in understanding what contributes to psychopathy. It also created some questions: Why is psychopathy more prevalent in USA and in white people? Evolutional theorists have discussed it psychopathy is relatively rare because psychopathic behavior would be “discovered” and for that reason not lead to any evolutionary advantages. USA and other individualistic countries are known for becoming more “egoistic”, and USA is known for more lenient attitudes towards weapons. This is just loud thinking on my part, so don`t take it as truths.
The Brain of a Serial Killer

 

The picture is reproduced from this link: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1cXNdb/:2mHUbAkb:TeSCEaSC/www.bestcounselingdegrees.net/serial-killerhttp://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1cXNdb/:2mHUbAkb:TeSCEaSC/www.bestcounselingdegrees.net/serial-killer

Mass suggestion: A way to save the world? 

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Psychological research has had a tendency to study negative effects of behavior both on the individual and cultural level. But new research has started to focus more on the positive aspects of behavior. I like this shift, as I think it will change how we interact with the world. In one TED talk I watched, scientists were studying genetic superhumans. That is, people with genetic ‘flaws’ that has proven to give these people abilities normal people don’t have. By getting more knowledge about these ‘superhumans’ we are also a step closer to knowing which environmental, psychological and biological factors contribute to their genetic make-up.

Mass suggestion 

Humans in a big crowd have an inclination to behave the same way. It is difficult to resist the force of it. This is why people, who ordinarily are sensible, can do things that they regret afterwards . It is also the reason people who normally are harmless can become violent.  

There are thousand different ways we can be affected by mass suggestion, both in a negative and positive sense.

A mass-suggestion experiment

If I could do a study as a researcher, I would want to look at how positive mass-suggestion could affect us . Let’s for fun’s sake call it a social media experiment. If every person shared the research hypothesis I’m about to present with one person, it would be interesting to see what would happen next.

My hypothesis would be something like: Can we by mass-suggestion, make people around the world do the same thing on the same day?

For example I could propose that the 30th of september, every one of us tried to do one random act of kindness. What do you think would happen? Could it affect us all in a positive way?

The date could be set one year in advance to make sure that many get the message, but as information can spread like fire in the right circumstances maybe it would not be necessary to wait that long.

So, would somebody be interested in an experiment like that? What can each and all of us do by simply being kind towards others?

Why not try? We got nothing to lose.


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Mass suggestion ideas

Mass suggestion in society

Mind Control Researchers Create Fake Link Between Unrelated Memories

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Nicholas West 
Activist Post
 

Advancements in genetics and neuroscience are undoubtedly leading toward direct methods of mind control, albeit only with good intentions … if government and establishment science can be believed. However, an array of hi-tech methods have been announced which show clear potential for negative manipulation.


Bold claims have been made by scientists that they now can use “neural dust,”  high-powered lasers, and light beamed from outside the skull to alter brain function and even turn off consciousness altogether.

But it is memory research that might be among the most troubling.

As I’ve previously suggested in other articles, our memories help us form our identity: who we are relative to where we have been. Positive or negative lessons from the past can be integrated into our present decisions, thus enabling us to form sound strategies and behaviors that can aid us in our quest for personal evolution. What if we never knew what memories were real or false? What if our entire narrative was changed by having our life’s events restructured? Or what if there were memories that were traumatic enough to be buried as a mechanism of sanity preservation, only to be brought back to us in a lab?

Research has commenced into many facets of how memory can be restructured, whether it is erasing memories, the implantation of false memories, or triggering memories of fear when none previously existed. (Source)

MIT researchers, for example previously claimed to have found the specific brain switch that links emotions to memory. MIT went on to admit that these findings could lead not only to direct intervention via manipulation of brain cells through light, but a new class of drugs to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.



Once again, memory tinkering is making the news. This time it comes from the University of Toyama, Japan, where researchers claim to have for the first time, “linked two distinct memories using completely artificial means.” I have highlighted areas of the press release below which are consistent with similar research into supposed solutions for PTSD. The same disturbing language is present that seems to indicate a desire to reverse engineer the process and create fear-based trauma.


So far, ethical boundaries seem fuzzy at best, and downright non-existent in various areas of brain study. It is a time when more light needs to shine upon this research, who is funding it, and what is permissible. Given the outrageous abuses already committed by government-directed science, and a global climate of centralized health control, we would do well to read between the lines of these announcements and prepare to become very critical of their pursuits.  


Press Release

The ability to learn associations between events is critical for survival, but it has not been clear how different pieces of information stored in memory may be linked together by populations of neurons. In a study published April 2nd in Cell Reports
, synchronous activation of distinct neuronal ensembles caused mice to artificially associate the memory of a foot shock with the unrelated memory of exploring a safe environment, triggering an increase in fear-related behavior when the mice were re-exposed to the non-threatening environment. The findings suggest that co-activated cell ensembles become wired together to link two distinct memories that were previously stored independently in the brain.


Memory is the basis of all higher brain functions, including consciousness, and it also plays an important role in psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder,” says senior study author Kaoru Inokuchi of the University of Toyama. “By showing how the brain associates different types of information to generate a qualitatively new memory that leads to enduring changes in behavior, our findings could have important implications for the treatment of these debilitating conditions.”

Recent studies have shown that subpopulations of neurons activated during learning are reactivated during subsequent memory retrieval, and reactivation of a cell ensemble triggers the retrieval of the corresponding memory. Moreover, artificial reactivation of a specific neuronal ensemble corresponding to a pre-stored memory can modify the acquisition of a new memory, thereby generating false or synthetic memories. However, these studies employed a combination of sensory input and artificial stimulation of cell ensembles. Until now, researchers had not linked two distinct memories using completely artificial means. 


With that goal in mind, Inokuchi and Noriaki Ohkawa of the University of Toyama used a fear-learning paradigm in mice followed by a technique called optogenetics, which involves genetically modifying specific populations of neurons to express light-sensitive proteins that control neuronal excitability, and then delivering blue light through an optic fiber to activate those cells. In the behavioral paradigm, one group of mice spent six minutes in a cylindrical enclosure while another group explored a cube-shaped enclosure, and 30 minutes later, both groups of mice were placed in the cube-shaped enclosure, where a foot shock was immediately delivered. Two days later, mice that were re-exposed to the cube-shaped enclosure spent more time frozen in fear

than mice that were placed back in the cylindrical enclosure.
The researchers then used optogenetics to reactivate the unrelated memories of the safe cylinder-shaped environment and the foot shock. Stimulation of neuronal populations in memory-related brain regions called the hippocampus and amygdala, which were activated during the learning phase, caused mice to spend more time frozen in fear when they were later placed back in the cylindrical enclosure, as compared with stimulation of neurons in either the hippocampus or amygdala, or no stimulation at all. 

The findings show that synchronous activation of distinct cell ensembles can generate artificial links between unrelated pieces of information stored in memory, resulting in long-lasting changes in behavior.

By modifying this technique, we will next attempt to artificially dissociate memories that are physiologically connected,” Inokuchi says. “This may contribute to the development of new treatments for psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, whose main symptoms arise from unnecessary associations between unrelated memories.”
Recently by Nicholas West:

Psychopath vs. Sociopath

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Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Psychopathy and sociopathy are anti-social personality disorders. While both these disorders are the result of an interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors, psychopathy is used when the underlying cause leans towards the hereditary. Sociopath is the term used when the antisocial behavior is a result of a brain injury or belief system and upbringing. In recent years, the term psychopath has acquired a specific meaning and the condition is now more widely understood.

Psychopaths are born with temperamental differences such as impulsiveness, cortical under-arousal, and fearlessness that lead them to risk-seeking behavior and an inability to internalize social norms. On the other hand, sociopaths have relatively normal temperaments; their personality disorder being more an effect of negative sociological factors like parental neglect, delinquent peers, poverty, and extremely low or extremely high intelligence.

Anti-social personality disorder results in extremely violent acts. Though psychiatrists often consider and treat sociopaths and psychopaths as the same, criminologists treat them as different because of the difference in their outward behavior.

Comparison chart

Psychopath

Sociopath

Suffers from Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD); lack of empathy or conscience, delusional. Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
Origin of illness Psychologists generally use the term psychopathy to imply an innate condition of the individual. It’s derived from the nature part of the nature vs. nurture debate. The term sociopathy generally implies that environmental factors, such as upbringing, have played a role in the development of the ASPD.
Predisposition to Violence High Varied
Impulsivity Varies; generally low High
Behavior Controlled Erratic
Criminal behavior Tendency to participate in schemes and take calculated risks to minimize evidence or exposure. Tendency to leave clues and act on impulse.
Criminal Predispositions Tendency for premeditated crimes with controllable risks, criminal opportunism, fraud, calculated or opportunistic violence. Tendency for impulsive or opportunistic criminal behavior, excessive risk taking, impulsive or opportunistic violence.
Social relationships Unable to maintain normal relationships. Values relationships that benefit themselves. May hurt family and friends without feeling guilty. Tendency to appear superficially normal in social relationships, often social predators. Can empathize with close friends or family; will feel guilty if they hurt people close to them.

Differences in Outward Behavior of a Psychopath and a Sociopath

Social Relationships

Both sociopaths and psychopaths are capable of forming relationships. The neurology of psychopaths makes it hard for them to feel empathy. They value relationships that benefit them but do not feel guilty about taking advantage of close friends and family. Both psychopaths and sociopaths can be extremely charming but sociopaths are generally capable of empathy and guilt. To that extent, their relationships — at least with people they end up getting close to — can be “normal”.

psychopathy

Psychopath vs Sociopath,

Psychopaths can be very manipulative and pernicious in their abuse of the people around them. Unlike sociopaths, they can be almost obsessively organized and give the appearance of normal in their social relationships, often forming symbiotic or parasitic relations.

Career

Psychopaths often have successful careers and try to make others like and trust them. This is because they understand human social emotions quite well but are unable to experience them. This allows them to be master manipulators of human emotions.

Sociopaths often find it hard to maintain a steady job and home.

Violent tendencies

Even though psychopathy is characterized by impulsiveness, psychopaths are usually very meticulous in planning their crimes. Their crimes can go undetected for a long time. Violent crimes are rare; most psychopaths either take advantage of those around them without doing anything illegal, or engage in white collar crime such as fraud.

A sociopath’s outbreaks of violence tend to be erratic and unplanned. They also tend to leave more clues.

Both sociopaths and psychopaths commit crime because they are motivated by greed or revenge. But psychopaths feel no remorse after their crimes because they lack the ability to empathize.

Similarities between Psychopaths and Sociopaths

Sociopaths and psychopaths both face medical disorders that can be treated or alleviated if properly diagnosed. Treatment involves therapies and may involve proper medication. In fact, psychiatrists often don’t distinguish between the two based on behavior; instead, they label a person with ASPD a sociopath if their mental condition is a result of mainly social conditions like abuse during childhood and a psychopath if the condition is mainly congenital.

The symptoms in both cases begin to establish and surface at approximately fifteen years of age. The initial symptom can be excessive cruelty to animals followed by lack of conscience, remorse or guilt for hurtful actions to others at a later stage. There may be an intellectual understanding of appropriate social behavior but no emotional response to the actions of others. Psychopaths may also face an inability to form genuine relationships, and may show inappropriate or out of proportion reaction to perceived negligence.

WoRk

Treatment and Support

Antisocial Personality Disorder is a mental illness that can be managed with drugs and therapy.

The Mayo Clinic also has information on the illness and resources for support.

Psychopath vs Psychotic

It should be noted that psychopaths are not “insane” or mentally disabled. A psychotic person suffers a break from reality, characterized by delusions and hallucinations. This usually renders the individual unable to function normally. But psychopaths are not mentally disabled and do not lose contact with reality.

References

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