Samstag, 31. März 2018


"Die zentrale Rolle des Selbsterlebens für die schizophrenen Psychosen war von Psychiatern bereits zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts betont worden. Kraepelin (1913, 668) charakterisierte die Schizophrenie als „eigenartige Zerstörung des inneren Zusammenhanges der psychischen Persönlichkeit“ und als „Zersplitterung des Bewusstseins“ („Orchester ohne Dirigent“). Bleuler, der der Krankheit den heutigen Namen gab, sah ihre „[…] elementarsten Störungen in einer mangelhaften Einheit, in einer Zersplitterung und Aufspaltung des Denkens, Fühlens und Wollens und des subjektiven Gefühles der Persönlichkeit“ (Bleuler 1983, 411). Die Krankheit sei durch eine Dissoziation psychischer Vorgänge bestimmt, die zu einer „Spaltung der Persönlichkeit“ führe und das Ich nie „ganz intakt“ lasse (Bleuler 1911, 58). Berze nahm wenig später eine „basale Veränderung des Selbstbewusstseins“ und eine „Hypotonie des Bewusstseins“ an (Berze 1916). Jaspers schließlich resümierte die von verschiedenen Autoren genannten Grundstörungen der Schizophrenie in den Begriffen von „Inkohärenz, Spaltungen, Zerfall des Bewusstseins, […] Schwäche der Apperzeption, Insuffizienz der psychischen Aktivität, Störung der Assoziationsspannung“ und fügte selbst das Erlebnis des von außen „Gemachten“ hinzu, das die Gedanken, Wahrnehmungen oder Handlungen der Kranken erfasse (Jaspers 1946/1973, 484, 486)."

Freitag, 30. März 2018

The movement from one search space to another:

"As mathematical derivations from a set of axioms cannot lead to a theorem that contradicts those axioms, so analytical thinking cannot find any solution that is not included in the search space in which it moves. To reach all possible solutions, the mind must be able to jump over its own axioms and move sideways from one search space to another."

Stellan Ohlsson

Why Are So Many Muses Women?

Scott Barry Kaufman:

>Many readers are probably wondering (rightly so) why there seems to be such a focus here on men being inspired by women. Indeed, Francine Prose notes in her book that all of the Muses in history and mythology are female. (In Greek mythology, nine godly muses --all women-- travelled the land, inspiring the creativity of mortal artists and scientists). Certainly, in the words of Prose, "there is no biological reason why a man can't provide the elements of inspiration." This is a very good point, and I'm sure there have been many real life cases of Muses who are men (and cases of men inspiring men and women inspiring women).

But why in both studies I reported (in this post and the last one) did the mating motive have a more powerful effect on men than women? Why are women in these studies so unaffected by the mating motive? There are many potential reasons for this ..., but Griskevicius's study offers some insight into this puzzle.

To dig deeper into this question, the researchers introduced additional conditions, varying the level of commitment of the potential romantic partner in the imagined romantic scenarios. They found that while men increased their creativity in every single condition, only women increased their creative output in one specific condition -- after imagining wanting to attract a clearly trustworthy and committed long-term mate. Women did not show a creative increase when primed to think about attracting a shorter-term mate or a potential long-term mate who had yet to prove his worth as good relationship material.

These results suggest that women do indeed respond to the mating motive, but just require a bit more assurance that the partner is a good partner before they invest in creativity. The researchers describe these findings within the context of differential parental investment. When pursuing a short-term mating strategy, women tend to be more guarded than men since they have a lot more at stake reproductively speaking (women risk getting pregnant, whereas men don't have this risk). But when pursuing a long-term mate, both men and women are a lot more similar than different in their mating goals and preferences -- both expect to invest significantly in the offspring and therefore want a partner that shows signs of dependability. According to the researchers, "In this light, it makes some sense that women require assurance that a prospective mate is really going to invest in offspring before investing the energy in creative displays." So according to this logic, there are more female Muses than male Muses simply because it is easier and faster to turn on a male's mating motive.<

Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship

Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship
Peter D. Sozou and Robert M. Seymour, 2005


What are the characteristics of a good courtship gift? We address this question by modelling courtship as a sequential game. This is structured as follows: the male offers a gift to a female; after observing the gift, the female decides whether or not to accept it; she then chooses whether or not to mate with the male. In one version of the game, based on human courtship, the female is uncertain about whether the male intends to stay or desert after mating. In a second version, there is no paternal care but the female is uncertain about the male's quality. The two versions of the game are shown to be mathematically equivalent. We find robust equilibrium solutions in which mating is predominantly facilitated by an ‘extravagant’ gift which is costly to the male but intrinsically worthless to the female. By being costly to the male, the gift acts as a credible signal of his intentions or quality. At the same time, its lack of intrinsic value to the female serves to deter a ‘gold-digger’, who has no intention of mating with the male, from accepting the gift. In this way, an economically inefficient gift enables mutually suitable partners to be matched.

Courtship Duration:

Duration of courtship effort as a costly signal
R. M. Seymour & P. D. Sozou, 2009

"Where long courtship involves a net cost to the female, this raises the question: why does she not avoid (or reduce) this cost by deciding immediately (or more quickly) whether or not to mate with the male? It may be that a female cannot perfectly assess the male’s quality because of random errors in the signal (Luttbeg, 1996); with more observation time or repeat observations these random errors are reduced. There is, however, another possibility: that the duration of a male’s courtship effort may in itself constitute a useful signal to the female."

"We assume that there is a variable which characterizes the male but which is not known a priori to the female. This can be regarded as the male’s type. In common with Sozou and Seymour (2005), for simplicity we will consider this to be a binary variable. The male’s type is either ‘‘good’’ (G) or ‘‘bad’’ (B). ... We assume that a female gets a positive payoff from mating with a good male, and a negative payoff from mating with a bad male. We assume that a male always gets a positive payoff from mating, but that the ratio of his gain from mating to his cost of courtship is higher for a good male: that is, courtship effort is, relatively speaking, more costly for a bad male. ... The most straightforward interpretation of a male’s type is that it is a measure of his condition: a good male is in good condition; a bad male is in poor condition. A female should prefer to mate with a male in good condition if male condition is positively correlated with genetic quality, or in species with paternal care, a female should prefer to mate with a male in good condition if such a male is a better provider of care. If a male in good condition additionally has a lower cost of producing a strong courtship signal relative to his gain from mating, then the signal can act as an honest indicator of his condition, and a female should prefer to mate with a male producing a strong courtship signal (Parker, 1982; Grafen, 1990a, b). In the model presented here, the duration of a male’s courtship effort constitutes the strength of his signal. An alternative interpretation of male type, proposed by Sozou and Seymour (2005), is modelled on species with facultative postmating paternal care, e.g. humans. It is assumed that the male makes a subjective assessment of the female’s attractiveness, and finds her either attractive, or unattractive. The female does not know for sure her own attractiveness to the male. The female’s attractiveness to the male is a noisy indicator of her quality. The male values the chance of mating with her more highly if she is attractive to him, and in this case he will stay after mating and help raise the offspring. If she is unattractive he will still mate with her if given the opportunity, but will then desert, resulting in a negative payoff to the female. In this interpretation, a male discriminates between females: from his perspective they are not all the same. A female should accordingly discriminate between males on the basis of their intentions towards her (Camerer, 1988)."

The Effort Paradox: Effort Is Both Costly and Valued


Prominent models in the cognitive sciences indicate that mental and physical effort is costly, and that we avoid it. Here, we suggest that this is only half of the story.

Humans and non-human animals alike tend to associate effort with reward and will sometimes select objects or activities precisely because they require effort (e.g., mountain climbing, ultra-marathons).

Effort adds value to the products of effort, but effort itself also has value.

Effort’s value can not only be accessed concurrently with or immediately following effort exertion, but also in anticipation of such expenditure, suggesting that we already have an intuitive understanding of effort’s potential positive value.

If effort is consistently rewarded, people might learn that effort is valuable and become more willing to exert it in general.


According to prominent models in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and economics, effort (be it physical or mental) is costly: when given a choice, humans and non-human animals alike tend to avoid effort. Here, we suggest that the opposite is also true and review extensive evidence that effort can also add value. Not only can the same outcomes be more rewarding if we apply more (not less) effort, sometimes we select options precisely because they require effort. Given the increasing recognition of effort’s role in motivation, cognitive control, and value-based decision-making, considering this neglected side of effort will not only improve formal computational models, but also provide clues about how to promote sustained mental effort across time.

[h/t Alles Evolution; See also: Effort]


Steve Stewart-Williams: "A simple principle that explains a large number of findings in social psychology: We value stuff more when we work harder for it."

James Watson - My son Rufus, memory and IQ


"In the United States, all mentally ill people were called schizophrenic, whereas in the UK half were called bipolar. Now - so upon, you know, initial hospitalization for being ill for a sort of psychotic thing, you can't decide whether it's bipolar or schizophrenia by use of - insulin has no effect on schizophrenia. So - and when - and people who have schizophrenia are cognitively impaired generally. Their IQ is significantly lower than they would be if they didn't have the disease, and that often reflect a much impaired working memory. And so our son does not, at least now - never psychotic, but he has, he works with a diminished working memory, which leads to really an inability to plan for the next day or - he's just not future-oriented in the way you or I would be. "


"Very hard for things to get into his long-term memory, once there they can be recalled and - so long-term memory, if it get there, is good, but his ability to handle lots of facts coming simultaneously, certainly shown by - he doesn't get any pleasure from what gives me great pleasure, sort of Beethoven's sonatas, things which- or later Prokofiev or something, where they've very subtle and you hear lots of sounds coming at you fast. It's not clear the brain can actually handle it. It becomes blurred. It's certainly important to know, because it's how you try and compensate for these limitations. In Rufus's case, he didn't want to go to school 'cause he couldn't do the work. We thought, you know, it was something much more complicated - he didn't want to go to school 'cause he felt he'd be rejected, etc. No, he just didn't want to be in a situation where he couldn't perform. And as he got older, that became harder for him to see. So - so I've always, when I was young my IQ was not that of a genius or anything, so I thought I would never, you know, be a highly successful academic though I wanted to be one. I think I took sort of security in the fact that biologists seemed to be a lot dumber than theoretical physicists. And so I was going into a field where you didn't have to be as bright. With time, I think my teachers thought I was all bright, even though I didn't feel it. So I'm sure if I had to take an IQ test, I wouldn't do very well, but I wasn't very good in actual visual things, turning things upside down and seeing symmetry, which you could say, well, how did you ever get the DNA thing? Well, the answer is Francis. He had the, you know, thought symmetry, whereas my strengths lay in reading comprehension."

Donnerstag, 29. März 2018

Nase hoch beim Übersetzen:

>Meine Lehrerin hat immer gesagt: "Nase hoch beim Übersetzen." Das heißt, man übersetzt nicht von links nach rechts, wie die Sprache läuft, sondern nachdem man sich den Satz angeeignet hat. Er muss nach innen genommen, ans Herz gelegt werden.<

Swetlana Geier

Bis Seiten Löcher kriegen:

>"Man muss den Atem eines Textes erfassen", war Swetlana Geier überzeugt. "Ich lese das Buch, das ich übersetzen soll, so oft, bis die Seiten Löcher kriegen. Im Grunde kann ich es auswendig. Dann kommt ein Tag, an dem man plötzlich die Melodie des Textes hört. Wenn ich das Buch fast auswendig kann, dann bin ich bereit. Dann sage ich: So! Und jetzt fange ich an."<

[OE1, Swetalana Geier, Übersetzerin]

Mittwoch, 28. März 2018


Wir schätzen den Ordnungsgrad eines Systems ein, indem wir abschätzen, welches Maß an Redundanz, an Vorhersagbarkeit, an Regelmäßigkeit vorliegt.


Die Fähigkeit zur expliziten Bildung und Verknüpfung von Konzepten.

Schlüsselfunktion des Denkens:

Besteht die Schlüsselfunktion des menschlichen Denkvermögens in der Ereignisvorhersage?

[Quelle: Differentielle Psychologie, Kröner, 1971]

Jenseits rationaler Konzepte:

Bestimmte Worte in unserem Kopf, wie Gott, Freiheit, etc., repräsentieren schlichtweg keine rationalen Konzepte.

Dienstag, 27. März 2018

On Philosophy:

>In the preface to that admirable collection of essays of his called ‘Heretics,’ Mr. Chesterton writes these words: “There are some people — and I am one of them — who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe. We think that for a landlady considering a lodger it is important to know his income, but still more important to know his philosophy. We think that for a general about to fight an enemy it is important to know the enemy’s numbers, but still more important to know the enemy’s philosophy. ...”

I think with Mr. Chesterton in this matter. ... For the philosophy which is so important in each of us is not a technical matter; it is our more or less dumb sense of what life honestly and deeply means. It is only partly got from books; it is our individual way of just seeing and feeling the total push and pressure of the cosmos.<

William James

Scientists - Foxes and Hedgehogs:

"Great scientists come in two varieties, which Isaiah Berlin, quoting the seventh-century-BC poet Archilochus, called foxes and hedgehogs. Foxes know many tricks, hedgehogs only one. Foxes are interested in everything, and move easily from one problem to another. Hedgehogs are interested only in a few problems which they consider fundamental, and stick with the same problems for years or decades. Most of the great discoveries are made by hedgehogs, most of the little discoveries by foxes. Science needs both hedgehogs and foxes for its healthy growth, hedgehogs to dig deep into the nature of things, foxes to explore the complicated details of our marvelous universe."

Freeman Dyson
"I seized every opportunity to listen to Feynman talk, to learn to swim in the deluge of his ideas. He loved to talk, and he welcomed me as a listener. So we became friends for life."

Freeman Dyson


"Like a warm rain, facts and ideas need time to sink in."


Time to forget (II):

"Early in 1982, I received an unexpected packet from London containing a letter from Harold Pinter and the manuscript of a new play, A Kind of Alaska, which, he said, had been inspired by a case history of mine in Awakenings. In his letter, Pinter said that he read my book when it originally came out in 1973 and had immediately wondered about the problems presented by a dramatic adaptation of this. But, seeing no ready solution to these problems, he had then forgotten about it. One morning eight years later, Pinter wrote, he had awoken with the first image and first words ("Something is happening") clear and pressing in his mind. The play had then "written itself" in the days and weeks that followed.
I could not help contrasting this with a play (inspired by same case history) which I had been sent four years earlier, where the author, in an accompanying letter, said that he had read Awakenings two months before and been so "influenced," so possessed, by it that he felt impelled to write a play straightaway. Whereas I loved Pinter's play - not least because it effected so profound a transformation, a "Pinterization" of my own themes - I felt the 1978 play to be grossly derivative, for it lifted, sometimes, whole sentences from my own book without transforming them in the least. It seemed to me less an original play than plagiarism or a parody (yet there was no doubting the author's "obsession" or good faith).
I was not sure what to make of this. Was the author too lazy, or too lacking in talent or originality, to make the needed transformation of my work? Or was the problem essentially one of incubation, that he had not allowed himself enough time for the experience of reading Awakenings to sink in? Nor had he allowed himself, as Pinter did, time to forget it, to let it fall into his unconscious, where it might link with other experiences and thoughts."

Oliver Sacks - The River of Consciousness


Eccentrics, David J. Weeks:

Montag, 26. März 2018


"What [society] has to dread is that each one of us, content with paying attention to what affects the essentials of life, will, so far as the rest is concerned, give way to the easy automatism of acquired habits. Another thing it must fear is that the members of whom it is made up, instead of aiming after an increasingly delicate adjustment of wills which will fit more and more perfectly into one another, will confine themselves to respecting simply the fundamental conditions of this adjustment: a cut-and-dried agreement among the persons will not satisfy it, it insists on a constant striving after reciprocal adaptation. Society will therefore be suspicious of all inelasticity of character, of mind and even of body, because it is the possible sign of a slumbering activity as well as of an activity with separatist tendencies, that inclines to swerve from the common centre round which society gravitates: in short, because it is the sign of an eccentricity. And yet, society cannot intervene at this stage by material repression, since it is not affected in a material fashion. It is confronted with something that makes it uneasy, but only as a symptom--scarcely a threat, at the very most a gesture. A gesture, therefore, will be its reply. Laughter must be something of this kind, a sort of social gesture. By the fear which it inspires, it restrains eccentricity, keeps constantly awake and in mutual contact certain activities of a secondary order which might retire into their shell and go to sleep, and, in short, softens down whatever the surface of the social body may retain of mechanical inelasticity. Laughter, then, does not belong to the province of esthetics alone, since unconsciously (and even immorally in many particular instances) it pursues a utilitarian aim of general improvement. And yet there is something esthetic about it, since the comic comes into being just when society and the individual, freed from the worry of self-preservation, begin to regard themselves as works of art. In a word, if a circle be drawn round those actions and dispositions--implied in individual or social life--to which their natural consequences bring their own penalties, there remains outside this sphere of emotion and struggle--and within a neutral zone in which man simply exposes himself to man's curiosity--a certain rigidity of body, mind and character, that society would still like to get rid of in order to obtain from its members the greatest possible degree of elasticity and sociability. This rigidity is the comic, and laughter is its corrective."

Henri Bergson

The Comic Spirit:

"For the comic spirit has a logic of its own, even in its wildest eccentricities. It has a method in its madness."

Herni Bergson 

Regelmäßigkeit und Zufall:

Auch bei nicht-vorhandener Regelmäßigkeit, werden sich dennoch, rein zufällig, nicht-zusammenhängende Ereignisse in räumlich-zeitlicher Nähe zueinander ereignen. Räumlich-zeitliche Nähe, allein und für sich genommen, gewährt uns keinen sicheren Aufschluss über die Existenz einer Regelmäßigkeit.

Teaching Ramanujan ...

>Teaching Ramanujan, mathematician Laurence Young has written, "was like writing on a blackboard covered with excerpts from a more interesting lecture."<


"teaching him was like writing on a blackboard covered with excerpts from a more interesting lecture."

Sonntag, 25. März 2018

Disappointment & Regret:

"after failure, disappointment is more intense after an investment of higher levels of instrumental effort, whereas regret is more intense after an investment of less instrumental effort."

Wilco W. van Dijk et al., 1999


"The difference between disappointment and regret is the source of comparison from which they arise. Disappointment is assumed to originate from a comparison between the actual outcome and a prior expectation; regret is assumed to stem from a comparison between the actual outcome and one that might have been had another option been chosen."

Sammlung - Freies Nachdenken - Freie Beschäftigung:

Nach Möglichkeit tagtäglich demjenigen eine volle Stunde Aufmerksamkeit widmen, sich eine volle Stunde auf dasjenige konzentrieren, was einem persönlich als wahrhaft wesentlich, relevant und wichtig, was einem maximal relevant erscheint.

Task Complexity:

Linda Gottfredson:

"task complexity increases when tasks require more mental manipulation, for example, when the information to be processed is more voluminous, abstract, ambiguous, uncertain, incomplete, novel, or embedded in distracting material, and when the task requires spotting regularities, judging relevance, drawing inferences, integrating information, or otherwise evaluating and mentally transforming information to some end."


"the job descriptions of managerial, executive, and professional workers themselves suggest that high-IQ, self-trainable individuals are essential: that is, individuals who are better able to “learn much on their own” and from the “typical college format” (WPT 26-30, IQs over 110) and to “gather and synthesize information” and “infer information and conclusions from on-the-job situations” (WPT 28 and above, IQs over 116)."

Samstag, 24. März 2018

Two kinds of science:

"A well-known German chemist, W. Ostwald, once wrote a book on the two types of scientist he considered to be representative of alternate ways of doing science; he called them the ‘romantics’ and the ‘classics’. The romantics were the more extraverted, creative types of scientist, constantly producing new ideas, innovative and original; the classical type of scientist was more likely to be introverted, concentrating on single issues, and trying to achieve perfect closure. This theme was taken up by the German psychiatrist, E. Kretschmer, in his book on genius. Following his theories of personality and body build, he postulated two extreme types of genius, the cyclothyme (extraverted) and the schizothyme (introverted). His description of these two types is not too dissimilar to that given by Ostwald. Last but not least, we have the distinction made by the philosopher of science, Thomas S. Kuhn, whose theories postulate a clear-cut division between ordinary science and revolutionary science, with the former resembling Ostwald’s classical and Kretschmer’s schizothyme types, and the latter Oswald’s romantic and Kretschmer’s psychothyme types.
Clearly my own contribution has been of the romantic, cyclothyme, revolutionary variety, and this perhaps inevitably had led to a considerable amount of misunderstanding and controversy escalating in the manner described above to physical assaults and verbal misrepresentations."


"The fact that I am, as it were, on the ‘revolutionary’ side of science, rather than the ‘ordinary’ side, immediately suggests that while my contributions may be original in many ways, they are unlikely to be correct in every detail. It is, as Kuhn has pointed out, characteristic of revolutionary ideas that at the time they arise they have comparatively little support, they confront an established array of facts which have to be reinterpreted (not always to the delight of those who have worked with them along traditional lines!), and they are liable to change very quickly under the impact of the new facts that are being unearthed as a result of the presentation of the new theories. I never had any illusions that the new ideas I was putting forward, and the new theories I was elaborating, would be ‘correct’ even in the rather limited sense which philosophy allows to apply to scientific theories. They were usually, if not always, in the right direction, part of what Imre Lakatos, a well-known philosopher of science, called ‘a progressive problem shift’, as opposed to a ‘degenerative problem shift’, i.e., programmes of research that advance knowledge, rather than programmes of research that fight a rear-guard action by ad hoc explanations of anomalies which proved destructive to the programme."

Hans J. Eysenck

(Hans Eysenck: Consensus and Controversy)


"I think to be successful at almost anything, you have to do the tough stuff as well as the enjoyable stuff. You have to do the boring stuff as well as the non-boring stuff. And if you don’t do your chores, then bad things will happen. ... it’s more fun to cook the meal than to clean the dishes, but you need to clean the dishes."

Elon Musk

Erfahren und Nachdenken:

In welchem Ausmaß lernen wir bereits durch die bloße Akkumulation von Erfahrung, d.h. durch die Berührung mit Ereignissen, und in welchem Ausmaß sind wir bei Lernvorgängen auf die bewusste Analyse, auf das bewusste Durchdenken von Ereignissen angewiesen?

Freitag, 23. März 2018


"Does measurement of creativity throw some light on the rather nebu­lous concept of intuition? Can we measure intuition? Professor M. Westcott has shown that even elusive traits like intuition can be mea­sured. He argued that what we mean by intuition is essentially the ability to jump to conclusions on the basis of insufficient evidence; we literally take an intellectual leap instead of plodding along lines of logic to a predestined conclusion. This brief argument led to his experimental de­sign. Set your subject a problem that is insoluble as it stands. It can be solved logically if you are given a number of cues. But these are hidden, and you can ask for the first one to be disclosed, making solution a little easier. You can then ask for the second one, then the third, and so on until you feel you can guess the answer. Some people (the plodders) require to look at all or most of the cues; your intuitive person takes a leap at the solution after only receiving a few cues. This tendency can be measured reliably; in other words, a given person behaves in the same fashion time after time. And it has nothing much to do with intelligence; dull people can be intuitive, bright ones can be plodders.
But of course you can arrive at the wrong solution, whether you are intuitive or a plodder. Hence Westcott finished up with four groups: Intuitive-correct, Plodder-correct, Intuitive-wrong; Plodder-wrong. The personality characteristics showed that the intuitives were similar to creative people, the plodder to noncreative ones. Thus, this test of intu­ition could also be used to identify creativity. When we look at ge­niuses, do we find a similar distinction between those who get the answer right, and those who get it wrong? Newton and Einstein were hugely intuitive, and mostly right; Marx and Freud were hugely intuitive, and mostly wrong."

Intelligence - A New Look, Hans Eysenck

Work & Play:

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."

Arnold Toynbee

Creative minorities:


"The basic idea of a creative minority ... seems sound."

Martin Hewson


"The creative minority is a small group of individuals that is part of the genesis of a civilization and that develops solutions to challenges presented to the civilization."

Stephen Blaha


"the nature of the breakdowns of civilizations can be summed up in three points: a failure of creative power in the minority, an answering withdrawal of mimesis on the part of the majority and a consequent loss of social unity in the society as a whole."

Arnold Toynbee


"schizophrenic thinking is typically overinclusive in the sense that associations very far removed from the original set of ideas are customarily included in their thinking. Similarly creative persons are often overinclusive in that sense; they report as relevant ideas that to other, more conservative and orthodox people seem quite out of line."

Hans Eysenck
"A person totally without emotions has no guidance and warning system, that is, no immediate evaluative guidelines determining relevance and importance."

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001


"When we describe someone as emotional we refer, among other things, to the great sensitivity of the person: emotional reactions are easily invoked in the person. Highly emotional people perceive the events of their daily lives as being more significant than do those with less emotional sensitivity. The world of highly emotional people is a place where many events assume great significance. These people do not go out seeking emotionally charged situations, but react more strongly to everyday situations that are perceived by them as more significant."

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001

Donnerstag, 22. März 2018


"If habitual contiguities predominate, we have a prosaic mind; if rare contiguities, or similarities, have free play, we call a person fanciful, poetic, or witty."

William James, Principles of Psychology


"The great difference, in fact, between [a] simpler kind of rational thinking which consists in the concrete objects of past experience merely suggesting each other, and reasoning distinctively so called, is this, that whilst the empirical thinking is only reproductive, reasoning is productive. An empirical, or 'rule-of-thumb,' thinker can deduce nothing from data with whose behavior and associates in the concrete he is unfamiliar. But put a reasoner amongst a set of concrete objects which he has neither seen or heard before, and with a little time, if he is a good reasoner, he will make such inferences from them as will quite atone for his ignorance. Reasoning helps us out of unprecedented situations - situations for which all our associative wisdom, all the 'education' which we share in common with the beasts, leaves us without resource.
Let us make this ability to deal with novel data the technical differentia of reasoning."

William James, Principles of Psychology

Emotional Pretense:

>Despite the crucial role of emotions in sincere communication, there are circumstances in which deceptive emotional messages are conveyed. Obvious examples of emotional pretense can be found in romantic relationships, for example, using the tactics of “hard to get” or “easy to get”: in both cases, the emotional message is somewhat deceptive, and the receiver is not supposed to take it at face value. In playing hard to get, the other person is encouraged to continue sustained efforts to interest the player despite apparent evidence of disinterest; in playing easy to get, the other person is encouraged to engage in sexual courtship while the player does not always intend to engage in sexual activity. In playing hard to get, an emotional “yes” is replaced by a verbal “maybe,” and in playing easy to get, an emotional “maybe” is replaced by a verbal “yes”...
Our effort has some role in the generation of love and sexual desire. If a person seems unattainable these emotions are stronger. As someone once suggested, "By keeping men off, you keep them on." This has become known as the Romeo and Juliet effect: if real impediments exist, such as a family feud or marriage to another person, our love or sexual desire is likely to intensify. Indeed, playing hard to get is a most effective strategy for attracting a partner. It should be noted, however, that when the required effort is too immense and the probability of its success is low, people may give up the idea and may not invest extra effort. At a certain point, an increase in the effort required decreases emotional intensity since people begin to believe that the outcome for which the effort is being invested is actually unattainable and hence unreal ...
In what circumstances are each of the seemingly contradictory tactics, namely, playing hard to get or playing easy to get, more effective? The tactic of playing hard to get is most effective when used in the context of long-term love or the marital context in which a person wishes to be sure of the partner's fidelity. Long-term romantic love may have significant and enduring benefits for us and hence we are ready to invest a lot of effort and other resources in order to attain it. Playing hard to get forces the other person to make significant investments and ensures that indeed this person is ready to make a commitment to an enduring relationship. The tactic of playing easy to get is most effective when used by someone in the context of casual sex, where availability is the most important commodity. In this context, people are not ready to make a significant investment since the benefits are smaller and more temporary; hence, playing hard to get here will not be effective at all.
Both tactics are less effective when used by men. The more overt the sexual advances by men, the less attractive women find them—probably because women do not want men to consider them promiscuous. Playing hard to get is also less effective in men, as they are the ones who are socially expected to initiate the relationship.<

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001


>Effort should be understood as including physical and mental effort, as well as investment of all types of resources. Generally, the more effort we invest in something, the more significant it becomes and the more intense is the emotion surrounding it. As the saying goes: the more you pay, the more it is worth. The converse is, of course, also true: when the stakes are greater, we invest more effort. 
Effort is closely related to the variables which signify the impact of the event, especially that of relevance. Thus, we invest more effort in something that is relevant and hence significant to us; conversely, something we invest more effort in becomes more relevant and significant. The saying “easy come, easy goes” expresses situations in which something we have gained without much invested effort is less significant to us and hence we may lose it quite equably.<

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001

Mittwoch, 21. März 2018

Jenseits von Hier und Jetzt:

Wenn wir ein Interesse haben, einen Strom von Gedanken, in den wir uns jederzeit hineinbegeben können, leben wir in erheblicher Unabhängigkeit vom Hier und Jetzt.


Es existiert eine Fülle von Büchern, die von brillianten Menschen gechrieben wurden. Um keine Zeit zu verschwenden, sollten wir uns, bei der Auswahl von Büchern zu näherer Lektüre, diesen Umstand vergegenwärtigen.

Man hat seine Wahl vor guten Alternativen zu rechtfertigen.


"Humor is similar to emotions in having a strong element of incongruity or change. Both emotions and humor combine two perspectives—the expected and the unexpected. However, whereas in emotions the simultaneous presence of incongruent perspectives is problematic, and hence requires immediate practical action, in humor the incongruity is enjoyable and requires no action. The ability to entertain several different perspectives is typical of humor and moderate positions, and is contrary to the partial nature of emotions. A sense of humor is thus often incompatible with an extreme emotional state. The ability to entertain several alternatives is also a sign of mental health. For example, a person who suffers from paranoia denies that alternatives to his position are possible."

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001


"Much of television's power lies in its capacity to strike personal emotional chords in viewers without requiring them to invest much in the way of mental resources or complex skills."

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001

Intense emotional states:

"In intense emotional states, we resemble children insofar as we have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001


Im Menschen findet sich von Natur aus etwas, das nach Ausdruck drängt.


"The physical universe was an occasion for mathematics to Euler, scarcely a thing of much interest in itself[.]"      

E. T. Bell

Dienstag, 20. März 2018


"Emotions typically occur when we perceive positive or negative significant changes in our personal situation-or in that of those related to us."

Angenommen, Emotionen identifizieren für uns relevante Situationen, d.h. Situationen, die auf unseres künftiges Leben einen erheblichen Impact ausüben, so liegt die Vermutung nahe, dass hochgradig emotionale Personen tendenziell Situationen überinterpretieren, d.h. in eine Vielzahl von Situationen, die schlichtweg nicht über ihr künftiges Wohlergehen oder ihre künftige Lebensentwicklung entscheiden, hochgradige Bedeutsamkeit hineininterpretieren. Indifferente Personen, dementgegen, unterinterpretieren Situationen, d.h. interpretieren in Situationen weniger an Gewicht hinein, als diese tatsächlich enthalten.

Arthur R. Jensen on Hans Eysenck:

"By far the most important person in my career, of course, was Hans Eysenck. I spent two years with him as a postdoc and another year on my first sabbatical leave from Berkeley. From his writings, I had great expectations of Eysenck when I went to England to work in his department, and they were more than fulfilled. Eysenck was a kind of genius, or at least a person of very unusual talents, and the only person of that unusual caliber that I have come across in the field of psychology. I have known a number of very capable and truly outstanding persons in psychology, and persons whose scientific contributions are on a par with, or may even exceed, Eysenck’s, but none who were what I would think of as some kind of phenomenon. I got perhaps as much as 90 percent of my attitudes about psychology and science from Eysenck. The three years I spent in his department have been a lasting source of inspiration. I dread to think where my own career might have gone had I never made the Eysenck connection. I think Eysenck was a great man and have written in detail about my impressions of him."

Sonntag, 18. März 2018


Gewöhnlicherweise steht einem nicht allzu viel unstrukturierte Freizeit zur Verfügung, insofern macht es Sinn, bei der Verwertung dieser Zeit analog zu einem Schachspiel vorzugehen: Nicht den ersten Zug, der einem in den Sinn kommt, umsetzen, sondern sich zwei bis drei sinnvoll anmutende Züge überlegen und anschließend den best erscheinendsten Zug ausführen.


The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001:

"One of the typical characteristics of emotions is their relative great intensity. Emotions are intense reactions. In emotions the mental system has not yet adapted to the given change, and owing to its significance the change requires the mobilization of many resources. No wonder that emotions are associated with urgency and heat. One basic evolutionary function of emotions is indeed that of immediate mobilization. This function enables us to regulate the timing and locus of investment in the sense of allocating resources away from situations where they would be wasted, and toward those where investment will yield a significant payoff.
Low intensity of the feeling dimension, as well as of other mental components, usually expresses neutral or indifferent states of the mental system. Emotions are the opposite of such states. Accordingly, it is preferable to consider low-intensity states as nonemotional or nontypical. Although it is impossible to delineate the precise borderlines of emotional intensity, we can say that typical emotions have such an intensity which influences our normal functioning but not in a way that disables us completely—as is the case in affective disorders.
In the emotional domain there is no such thing as a minor concern; if the concern is minor, it is not emotional. A typical characteristic of emotions is their magnifying nature: everything looms larger when we are emotional. The fact that our colleague earns 2 percent more than we do is not a minor issue in the eyes of envious people: it is perceived to reflect the undeserved inferior position in which we are now situated. Similarly, the slightly smaller size of a woman's breast is not considered a minor imperfection by the many women who undergo breast implants. Every emotional concern is perceived to be a profound one.
The above considerations may explain why it is easy to evoke emotions although they express our most profound values. We do not need a profound argument to generate emotions; on the contrary, what seem to be very superficial matters easily induce emotional reactions. An external observer may evaluate such matters to be superficial, but for the person experiencing the emotions, these matters are perceived to be very profound, hence eliciting an intense emotional reaction. Another reason for the ease of evoking emotions is that because of their depth, emotional values are comprehensive and relate to many events in our life."


Es verhält sich so: Nicht jeder, der viel Freizeit hat, hat auch ausreichende Einfälle, wie er diese Zeit gut gestalten könnte.

Blind Dates:

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001:

>it has been claimed that whereas vision is the most important sense underlying sexual desire in men, hearing is the most important for women. Vision is more closely related to physical attractiveness, while hearing involves a more comprehensive attraction in which the intellectual aspect is quite prominent. In the television series Seinfeld, Jerry is surprised that Elaine is interested in going on a blind date with a man she spoke to on the phone, while Elaine is surprised that Jerry wants to go on a "deaf date" with a woman whose picture he has seen, but to whom he has never spoken. In light of the different relative weights of appealingness (which vision quickly assesses) and praiseworthiness (which hearing can discern more easily), it is not clear which date has more chance of success. It seems that in the short run, the deaf date is more likely to succeed, as good looks are of more importance to a short-term partner, whereas in the long run the blind date may have a greater chance of success, as speaking with a person is more likely to reveal diverse characteristics.<


Es ist sicher sinnvoller, nicht alle Ideen oder Einfälle außen zu suchen, sondern auch und insbesondere, Ideen und Einfälle von innen zu holen.

Samstag, 17. März 2018

On Attacking Problems:

"Do not acknowledge as true anything that is not obvious, divide a problem into as many parts as necessary to attack it in the best way, and start an analysis by examining the simplest and the most easily understood parts before ascending gradually to an understanding of the most complex."

Descartes; Source: Ramon y Cajal - Advice for a young investigator


"It's interesting that some people find science so easy
and others find it kind of dull and difficult."

Richard Feynman

The Typical Cause of Emotion: A Perceived Significant Change

The Subtlety of Emotions, Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, 2001:

>Emotions typically occur when we perceive positive or negative significant changes in our personal situation—or in that of those related to us. A positive or negative significant change is that which significantly interrupts or improves a smoothly flowing situation relevant to our concerns. Like burglar alarms going off when an intruder appears, emotions signal that something needs attention. When no attention is needed, the signaling system can be switched off. We respond to the unusual by paying attention to it. The extraordinary is perceived as significant it does not permit us to shrug it off and walk away. In contrast, the usual is taken for granted, safe, almost invisible. Emotions are generated when we deviate from the level of stimulation we have experienced for long enough to get accustomed to it. The change, rather than the general level, is of emotional significance. Accordingly, loss of satisfaction does not produce a neutral state, but misery; loss of misery does not produce a neutral state either, but happiness. Hence, continued pleasures wear off; continued hardships lose their poignancy.

The importance of personal changes in generating emotions is evident from many everyday phenomena, as well as scientific findings. People are very excited when facing changes in their lives: the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, entering school for the first time, going to an interview that can significantly alter the course of one's life, and so on. Likewise, almost all young children react with an acute emotion of mild fear for several minutes upon encountering a large group of unfamiliar children. A certain kind of change is also required for happiness. This may explain boredom in marriage and the excitement of love affairs. It may also explain why rich people who seem to have everything are not necessarily happy—after a while they get used to having everything, and only changes make them happy.

There is also a considerable amount of evidence indicating that sexual response to a familiar partner is less intense than to a novel partner. Consequently, frequency of sexual activity with one's partner declines steadily as the relationship lengthens, reaching roughly half the frequency after one year of marriage compared to the first month of marriage, and declining more gradually thereafter. Decline has also been found in cohabiting heterosexual couples and in gay and lesbian couples. This may be a regrettable fact, but nevertheless it expresses the structure of our emotional system.

Baruch Spinoza most strongly emphasizes the importance of changes in our situation for producing emotions. He claims each individual strives to maintain its existence. When we undergo great change, we pass to a greater or lesser perfection, and these changes are expressed in emotions. As we change for the better, we are happy, and for the worse, unhappy.

The evolutionary rationale for the important role that changes play in emotions is similar: for survival purposes it is crucial that the organism pay special attention to significant changes which may increase or decrease the chance of survival. Being emotional, which is the opposite of being indifferent, forces the organism to pay such special attention. Responding primarily to changes is a highly economical and efficient way of using limited resources. From an evolutionary point of view, it is advantageous for us to focus our attention on changes rather than on stationary stimuli. Changes indicate that our situation is unstable, and awareness of this is important for survival. When we are accustomed to the change, mental activity decreases, as there is no sense in wasting time and energy on something to which we have already adapted. When we are already familiar with certain items, their mere repetition yields no new information and we can ignore them. Indeed, information theory measures the amount of information content by the extent of change brought about by a given operation. A change includes more information than repetition and as such is more exciting. Repetition reduces excitement and may have a relaxing function; no new activity is required, thereby resulting in an absence of consciousness. This is what people mean when they refer to a state of being "on automatic pilot."

Not only emotions but consciousness in general is strongly activated when the organism is confronted with changes. This is true, for example, of sensory sensitivity. Thus, if we were to suffer all our life from a toothache in a way that no change in our environment could alter the ache, then we would be unaware of it so that, in effect, we would have no pain. Without enough variety, the pleasure system tends to become satiated and our awareness decreases accordingly. We get bored when doing the same thing over and over, even if that activity was initially pleasant. Perceptual awareness is also connected with changes. Under normal conditions, we are unaware of air pressure even though it affects us constantly We only perceive it when the level of air pressure changes, as when we take off or land in an airplane. The same applies to the visual system. The lack of relational properties, such as motion and change, results in the disappearance of perception. For instance, when a uniform color fills our field of vision, the color vanishes, to be replaced by a dark gray. Higher systems of consciousness, too, such as focusing attention, come into play when a sudden change takes place in our circumstances. We can drive a car without paying particular attention to the sidewalk; however, if a child playing with a ball on the sidewalk should suddenly come into view, we take notice. The sort of consciousness connected with thinking is also activated when the agent is confronted with new problems. 

This decrease in awareness may be viewed as constituting a process of adaptation. In this process, which expresses the system's return to its homeostatic state, the threshold of awareness keeps rising as long as stimulus intensity remains constant, so that the organism increasingly withdraws its consciousness from more and more events. This is how our awareness decreases when we are driving along a uniform stretch of road. The opposite process is facilitation, when the threshold of awareness diminishes and consciousness focuses on an increasing number of events. This occurs when new stimuli are encountered.

The importance of changes to consciousness in general and emotions in particular may be connected to our learning system, which must have a protective schema to prevent it from becoming trapped into endlessly repeating the same activity.

An important difference between the changes associated with consciousness in general and those associated with emotions is that emotional changes are of highly personal significance. Our attention may be directed to any type of change, but in order for the change to generate emotions, it must be perceived as having significant implications for us or those related to us. The mere presence of change does not guarantee the generation of emotions. An emotional change is always related to a certain personal frame of reference against which its significance is evaluated. For example, when a certain team wins the championship for the first time, this change generates intense emotions in the team's fans, who consider the change as significant, while other people, who do not perceive the change as important, are left feeling completely indifferent. We feel no emotion in response to change which we perceive as unimportant or unrelated; we simply do not care. Emotions arise only when we care. They express our attitude toward unstable significant objects which are somehow related to us.

The change relevant to the generation of emotions is a perceived change whose significance is determined by us. A significant emotional change may involve perception of changes that have actually taken place, or imagined changes. Although the perceived change may be considered as more objective than the imagined change, it is also essentially a subjective change. It is the subject who perceives the change and accordingly considers it more or less significant. A distinction can be made between the (objective) size of the change and its (subjective) significance. We construct a psychological reality in which despite the apparent great "objective" weight of some changes, they may not be emotionally significant and hence are perceived as smaller. Moreover, changes associated with emotions may not merely refer to the subject, but also to those constituting the subject's environment. Again, it is the subject who determines which people belong to this environment. The subject not only determines the significance of the change but also its scope.

The significance of the change is determined by factors associated with the event's impact, for example, the event's strength, reality, and relevance, and factors related to the subject's background circumstances, for instance, controllability of the eliciting event, readiness for such an event, and deservingness of it. ... It can be noted that since these factors can be expressed to different degrees, there are no clear-cut boundaries between significant and insignificant events, but there are various degrees of significance. Below a certain degree of perceived significance, the event does not generate an emotional reaction; above a different degree, our reaction will clearly be emotional; in between, the classification is not clear.

So far I have discussed specific changes which generate everyday emotions. In addition to these changes, our affective reactions are related to a more profound type of change connected with our contingent existence. Our possible death is always in the background of our existence: it reminds us of our profound vulnerability. This type of change expresses our profound vulnerability and dependence on external factors which we do not control. Certain affective disorders, in particular anxiety and depression, are often related to such existential issues. Emotions themselves are typically concerned with more specific issues; the profound existential issues function as an important background framework influencing our specific emotional reactions. These differences are expressed, for instance, in the difference between the emotion of fear and the more general affective attitude of anguish.

Our ability to face the two types of changes constitutes human sensitivity. Those believing their well-being to be immune to such changes may not be as emotional on an everyday basis. For example, people believing in life after death will probably be less sensitive to death and usually also to specific everyday changes, as they attach less significance to them. Those accepting the inevitability of death are also less sensitive than those dwelling on death or other fundamental existential issues. It is interesting to note that there is an alteration in the emotional sensitivity of people who are faced with a severe threat, a loss, or the prospect of death. Victimizing events often prompt people to reorder their priorities, giving low value to such mundane concerns as housework, petty quarrels, or involvement in other people's trivial problems, and high priority to relationships with relatives, personal projects, or just enjoying life. The latter begin to be perceived as the essence of life.

Emotions may be viewed not merely as an expression of our profound vulnerability but also as a way to cope with it. By attaching significance to specific, local changes in our current situation, we ignore, in a way, the more profound type of change underlying our vulnerability; this is a type of self-deception. A certain measure of such self-deception is highly advantageous from an evolutionary point of view, as it enables us to protect our positive self-image and mobilize the required resources for facing daily changes. We deal with such changes as if our profound vulnerability is insignificant. This may seemingly reduce our vulnerability, but it does not significantly change it. The ninety-year-old woman who is enthusiastically studying for her graduate degree in history is enriching her life in a way that seems to reduce the vulnerability of her age, but her basic vulnerability, expressed in the nearness of death, remains unchanged. She is studying as if her near death is a factor which should hardly be considered. Indeed, the fact that in the long run all of us will die does not imply that in the short run we should attach no significance to specific changes. Similarly, a person who is dying from cancer, but is still careful not to waste electricity and goes around the house turning off lights, is behaving as "business as usual," and as if his death is not imminent. This is in accordance with Spinoza's claim that "a free man thinks of nothing less than of death, and his wisdom is a meditation on life, not on death." 

Evaluating changes may be done from different perspectives. When looking at the profound change associated with our very existence, namely, death, we may negatively evaluate such a change. In this sense, we normally strive, as Spinoza contends, to persevere in our being. However, specific everyday changes are typically not concerned with profound issues such as the termination of our life, but rather with the personal significance of specific events in our life. From this perspective changes are essential to an exciting and meaningful life. Concerning specific changes, I would disagree with the saying, "Only a wet baby likes change"; rather, I would agree with the saying, "If our days were all alike, then we would have little need to live more than one of them."

The role that changes play in the generation of emotions indicates the dynamic and complex nature of our emotional life. A change is not any event; it is an event which is measured against a complex personal and dynamic framework. The analysis of emotions must take into account this comparative nature.<


"I wrote this script. I liked this script very very much. Because I am always been a bit disorganized I lost it. And I couldn't find it anywhere. And I was pretty disappointed. But I sat down and I forced myself to rewrite it from memory. And it didn't take terribly long. And then I found the original. And fortunately I was curios enough to compare the two. And what I discovered was, the one that I had rewritten from memory was noticeably better than the original that I had lost."

Freitag, 16. März 2018

Neugierde und Wissenschaft:

"Wissenschafter sind ja nicht neugieriger als andere. Sie sind eher weniger neugierig als andere. Sie verhaken sich nur mit irgendeinem Problem, das sie dann nicht mehr loslässt. Eines der wesentlichen Merkmale des Wissenschaftlers ist ja, dass er seine Neugier außerordentlich beschränken muss. Wenn er zu neugierig ist, dann macht er jeden Tag wieder etwas anderes. Und dann kommt nichts heraus. Ich würde sagen der Wissenschaftler ist nicht charakterisiert durch mehr Neugier, sondern durch weniger Neugier als andere Menschen. Oder eine diszipliniertere. Oder eine... vielleicht auch nicht  disziplinierte, sondern mehr neurotisch konzentrierte Neugier."

Max Delbrück

Physicists and Astronomers:

"I have met and gotten to know about a dozen Nobel-Prize-winners, and they certainly are an impressive bunch. I have known many of the leading psychologists, from Spearman to Koehler, from Tolman to Guilford, from Luria to Kretschmer, from Skinner to Koffka, from Thurstone to Allport; but none impressed me half as much as did the leading physicists and astronomers."

Hans Eysenck

Donnerstag, 15. März 2018

Kritischer Rationalismus - Erwartungskorrektur:

Darstellung und Kritik des Konstruktivismus aus kritisch-rationaler Perspektive,
Detlef Hanisch:

Lernen als Korrektur von Erwartungen:

Wickler, Seibt, Prinzip Eigennutz:

"Der Vorgang des Lernens besteht … zum großen Teil aus Korrekturen an enttäuschten Erwartungen, die schließlich zu Erwartungen führen, die den herrschenden Bedingungen weitgehend entsprechen, also angepasst sind."

"Für ein Individuum, das sich auskennt, geschieht also immer mehr Erwartetes und immer weniger Unerwartetes."

"Durch das Aufbauen und Präzisieren von Erwartungen lässt sich also das Leben ökonomischer gestalten. Eine Voraussetzung dafür ist, dass die Organismen aktiv Erfahrung sammeln und neugierig sind; eine zweite Voraussetzung ist aber in unserem Zusammenhang noch wichtiger, nämlich dass die frei beweglichen Organismen, also vor allem die höher entwickelten Tiere, dort bleiben, wo sie sich auskennen, also bekannte Orte und Lebewesen unbekannten vorziehen."

Mittwoch, 14. März 2018


Subjektives Relevanz-Erleben:
Z.B.: Man erfährt etwas bezüglich eines Sachverhalts. Tage, Wochen, Monate, gegebenenfalls Jahre später, wird einem plötzlich die Relevanz des Erfahrenen bzw. des Sachverhalts bewusst.

Bindung als Bevorzugung:

W. Wickler, U. Seibt, Das Prinzip Eigennutz:

"J. Bowlby definierte attachment (= Bindung oder Anschlussbedürfnis) als Aufsuchen und Einhalten der Nähe zu einem anderen Individuum.
Mit dem Wort Bindung bezeichnen wir also das, was frei bewegliche Individuen beieinander oder an bestimmten Orten hält."

"Tiere, die eine bestimmte Bindung aneinander haben, werden sich dichter beisammen aufhalten als solche, die keine Bindung aneinander haben. Somit kann man Bindungen durch Abstandsmessungen zwischen Individuen nachweisen. ... auf eine Bindung kann man erst schließen, wenn Nähebeziehungen immer wieder auftreten, wenn die Individuen sich also bevorzugt beieinander aufhalten. Bevorzugt heißt, sie müssen diese Konstellation einer anderen vorziehen, es muss also mindestens eine andere gegeben sein. ... Bevorzugungen lassen sich also nur erkennen, wenn ... Tiere Wahlmöglichkeiten haben."

"Wenn ... Individuen Bevorzugungen untereinander entwickeln, dann hat das zur Folge, dass die sozialen Interaktionen nicht zufällig, sondern in irgendeiner Weise geordnet auftreten. Diese Ordnung ... nennen wir auch Sozialstruktur."

"Wenn Bindungen sich im Verhalten durch Bevorzugungen anzeigen, dann wird beim Entstehen wie beim Auflösen einer Bindung sich eine Bevorzugung einstellen bzw. sich verlieren; es muss sich also etwas am Verhaltensprogramm des Individuums ändern."

"Ganz offensichtlich ändert sich, wenn eine Bindung aufgebaut wird, nicht das Objekt oder das Individuum, auf das sich die Bindung richtet, sondern vielmehr dasjenige Individuum, das die Bindung eingeht. Es lernt das Objekt oder den Bindungspartner kennen, und dieses Kennenlernen - ein Sammeln von Erfahrungen - ist es, das ein Revier in mein Revier, eine Mutter in meine Mutter verwandelt."
"Creativity implies a strong ego, a person who looks at a situation and comes up with something different because he believes it possible - even probable - that he knows better than other people, and is (to some extent) indifferent to the opinions of others on this matter."

Dienstag, 13. März 2018


Phantasie gibt uns nicht unmittelbar, doch mittelbar Aufschluss darüber, wie sich Dinge verhalten. Indem sie uns aufzeigt, wie sich Dinge verhalten könnten.

Denken als Informationsverarbeitung:

Je intelligenter ein Mensch ist, desto rascher und effektiver verarbeitet er Information, desto wirksamer reduziert er Ungewissheit bezüglich Phänomenen seiner Um- und Innenwelt.

Es wird eine Münze geworfen. Wir wissen im Vorhinein: mögliche Ausgänge sind Kopf und Zahl. Wir nehmen eine perfekte Symmetrie der Münze an und setzen somit die Wahrscheinlichkeit für jeden der beiden Ausgänge auf 1/2. (Der Netto-Informationsgehalt des Ausgangs eines individuellen Münzwurfs ist somit 1 bit.)
Die Münze wird geworfen und verdeckt. Anschließend wird sie aufgedeckt. Personen unterscheiden sich nun darin, wie rasch sie durch neuronale Verarbeitungsprozesse die subjektive Ungewissheit bezüglich des Ausgangs des Münzwurfs beseitigen und das Resultat dieses Entscheidungsprozesses per Knopfdruck oder sprachlicher Äußerung wiedergeben können.

Montag, 12. März 2018

"Man vergilt einem Lehrer schlecht, wenn man immer nur der Schüler bleibt."

Friedrich Nietzsche


Erfolgen Gewissensbisse dann, wenn man vorübergehend den subjektiv erwünschten Verhaltensrahmen verlassen hat?

There is nothing more practical than a good theory ...

H.J. Eysenck (1987):

"Lewin's statement about the usefulness of a good theory has become famous in psychology, and few would probably disagree with him. However, his statement is more honoured in the breach than the observance; there is little evidence in their actual work that most psychologists pay much attention to theory, and some explicitly disassociate themselves from the search for theory and adopt a Baconian or pre-Baconian, purely inductive approach. ..." 



Eine Sache könnte sich:

(A) so verhalten
(B) so verhalten
(C) so verhalten.

Indem wir eintreffende Informationen verarbeiten, verringern wir Ungewissheit darüber, wie sich die Sache verhält. Beispielsweise könnte sich für uns durch das Eintreffen neuer Information die Plausibilität von A erhöhen, und die Plausibilität von B verringern.

Sonntag, 11. März 2018


Humor hütet den Menschen davor, in allzu große Festgelegtheit zu verfallen. Offenheit zu verlieren:


Abenteuergeschichten üben vermutlich deshalb einen so großen Reiz auf Jungen aus, da über deren Ausgang Ungewissheit besteht. Da sie ein böses Ende nehmen können. Die Abenteurer stets auf neue mit Gefahren und Ungewissheit konfrontiert werden. Und man ihnen, von einem einigermaßen sicheren Hafen aus, bei der Bewältigung dieser Gefahren, oder bei dem überwältigt werden von diesen Gefahren, zusehen kann.

Samstag, 10. März 2018

Entstehung des Menschen:

Der Aussage: "Der Mensch entstand zufällig." liegt der Gedanke bzw. die Annahme zu Grunde, dass die Evolution des Menschen auf diesem Planeten analog zu einem Zufallsexperiment mit ungewissen Ausgang verlief. Die Enstehung des Menschen war, dieser Annahme zufolge, eine Möglichkeit, die schließlich Wirklichkeit wurde. Dennoch hätte die Evolution andere Verläufe annehmen, und zu anderen Ausgängen führen können.

Freitag, 9. März 2018

>Imagine a world in which your attention was always focused outward. Your mind would be effectively “externalized”[.]<

David DiSalvo

Verringerung von Ungewissheit:

Ehe man mit einer Person spricht oder die anschauliche Bekanntschaft mit einer Person macht, kann man schließlich das Vorhandensein beliebiger Bewusstseinsinhalte im Bewusstsein dieser Person annehmen. Zwar wird man hierbei bestimmte der Erfahrung abgeleitete Erwartungen an sie herantragen, d.h. wir werden gewöhnlich nicht, wenn wir jemand neuen kennenlernen, erwarten, dass es sich bei ihm um eine Zweitauflage von Goethe, oder dergleichen, d.h. um jemanden mit diversen relativ extremen Merkmalsausprägungen handelt, sondern wir werden vermutlich annehmen, dass sich dessen Persönlichkeitsausprägung irgendwo im Mittelfeld des Spektrums bereits bekannter Persönlichkeitsausprägungen befindet. Indem wir nun mit einer Person sprechen oder umgehen, enträtselt sie sich für uns gewöhnlich mehr und mehr. D.h. uns gelingt es immer besser, ihre Persönlichkeit zu umgrenzen, und für sie mögliche und zu erwartende Bewusstseinsinhalte einzugrenzen. Von unserem subjektiven Standpunkt aus legt sie sich im Umgang mit uns immer mehr fest. Anfänglich halten wir noch eine Vielfalt an Bewusstseinsinhalten und Persönlichkeiten für möglich. Mit der gesteigerten Vertrautheit werden wir mehr und mehr gewahr, wie jemand bestimmt nicht ist. Wir schließen somit nach und nach mögliche Ausgänge unseres Identifizierungs- und subjektiven Festlegungsprozesses aus. Bis schließlich, nach tieferer Vertrautheit, die Persönlichkeitsausprägung relativ scharf umgrenzt wurde und so für unseren Blick fassbar wird.

Sonntag, 4. März 2018

International Ability Differences - East Asia:

Heiner Rindermann, Cognitive Capitalism, 2018:

"East Asia generally is too much a culture of (conformist) hard work and too little a culture of (independent) thinking. Thinking necessarily will lead at some point to deviance, but hard work by itself will not. The ultimate orientation for thinking is reason. In East Asia as ultimate orientation, agreement dominates, agreement with others and tradition. Tradition can be fulfilled by hard work, not by thinking, which always will lead to some critique of tradition. Reason itself is defined by abstract and general and never finally settable rules. Reason and thinking imply openness in their higher levels. Tradition implies having a final fixed point and an authoritative person or institution defining what is according to tradition and what is not. The occidental orientation towards truth and not towards agreement allowed individuals to question the given conditions, pushing the present state forward. The new is developed questioning the given, by deviation."


Um die Zukunft effektiv vorherzusagen, müssen wir:

(1) die Anzahl möglicher Ausgänge sinnvoll einschränken;
(2) die Wahrscheinlichkeiten für mögliche Ausgänge abschätzen;

The Burgher-Civic World

Heiner Rindermann, Cognitive Capitalism, 2018:

'Burgher', 'middle class', 'bourgeois', 'civic' or 'civil' attributes, the terms can be used interchangeably, comprise at their core certain lifestyles, personality traits, forms of society and worldviews:

(o) Appreciation, education and use of thinking, knowledge and rationality (practical use of thinking for problem-solving, planning and calculation, only marginally for free reflection).

(o) Diligence (achievement motivation and behavior).

(o) Order (predictability; reliability; fair-mindedness; emotional regulation, temperance, couth and moderateness, discipline and self-discipline; long-term marriage and familial stability; rule of law in politics).

(o) Meritoric orientations (acknowledgement of and gratification derived from accomplishment; merit-based criteria used in the distribution of jobs, income and reputation; use of achievement measurement).

(o) Beneficial, efficient, thrifty use of resources (in terms of time, raw materials and people).

(o) Rule of law (law-abiding by individuals and institutions; human rights and property rights; related to order at the individual level).

(o) Functional government (effective government and administration orientated towards pragmatism and legal and ethical norms).

(o) Balanced autonomy and freedom (self-responsibility in terms of the individual, family, economy and society, which must sustain themselves, balanced between the individual, family and society).

(o) Realism and pragmatism (realistic orientation in the world and in life; no extremism in thinking and life; common sense, adaptability, functionality, compromise, prudence, foresight).

(o) Burgher worldviews ('Weltanschauung' or orientations that contain the aforementioned attributes as norms and descriptions; rationality, liberty, equality, moderateness, functionality, efficiency, order, meritocracy, responsibility, autonomy).

... Why is the burgher-civic world important for understanding cognitive capitalism, economic development and the development of wealth differences? Because it represents and shapes the orientations, norms, competences and behavior patterns essentially important for creating the peoples, institutions, norms and customs relevant for the modern economy. Without the appreciation, education and use of thinking, knowledge and rationality, without diligence, order, meritoric orientations, the beneficial-efficient-thrifty use of resources, the rule of law, a functional government, autonomy and freedom, realism and pragmatism, and without all of them reinforcing and stabilising burgher worldviews, there is no durable modern society and economy and no self-produced wealth.

Samstag, 3. März 2018


Angenommen "Selbstbewusstsein" oder "Stolz" ließen sich als Selbstbejahung verstehen, so ließe sich vermutlich zwischen zwei Komponenten dieser Selbstbejahung unterscheiden:

(o) eine rationale Komponente der Selbstbejahung:

Eine Komponente der Selbstbejahung die beispielsweise einen Rückbezug auf Aussehen, Fähigkeiten, Leistung, Begabung, oder Besitz aufweist.

(o) eine 'irrationale' Komponente der Selbstbejahung:

Selbstbejahung, die gegebenenfalls trotz erheblicher Defizite oder Mängel in Aussehen, in Fähigkeit, in Leistung, Begabung oder Besitz existiert. Die möglicherweise nur deshalb stattfindet, da sich der Mensch über sie überhaupt erst als Person wahrnehmen kann. Und erst durch sie, von einer innerlichen Perspektive aus, ein persönliches und einmaliges Leben leben und gestalten kann.


Was zwingt uns, unser Weltmodell zu überarbeiten?

Z.B.: Wenn wir den Eintritt von Ereignissen beobachten, die unserem Weltmodell zufolge nicht, oder mit anderer Häufigkeit eintreten sollten.

Oder wenn wir das Nicht-Eintreten von Ereignissen beobachten, die unserem Weltmodell zufolge eintreten sollten.

Freitag, 2. März 2018

Support and Challenge:

Adam Grant / December 2017 - Question Two:

>How do I prevent a support network from turning into an echo chamber?

One of the saddest realities of life is that when the chips are down, we turn to our cheerleaders and drop our critics. We maintain our motivation and sabotage our ability to learn.

To solve this problem, I think we need two different networks: a support network and a challenge network. After the support network helps us rebuild our confidence, the challenge network can step in to keep us honest and push us to improve.<

Decision Method: Throw a Coin but Don’t Look at the Result

Gerd Gigerenzer, Risk Savvy:

"Some people, however, have lost the ability to listen to their inner voice. The voice continues to speak but can no longer be heard. A friend of mine once had two girlfriends—one too many. Ominous clouds of trouble were gathering on the horizon. Still he could not make up his mind. Finally, he recalled what he had learned as a student: Franklin’s bookkeeping method. He sat down and wrote the names of both women on a balance sheet, then drew a line between them. Then he thought of all the reasons for and against each, weighed them, and made the calculation. When he saw the result, something unexpected happened: An inner voice told him that it was not right. His heart had already decided for the other woman.
If you are having difficulties hearing your inner voice, there is a much faster method: Just throw a coin. While it is spinning, you will likely feel which side should not come up. That’s your inner voice. You don’t have to make any complicated calculations to hear it. And you don’t have to bother looking whether heads or tails came up.
Psychological deafness can be the result of a one-sided education in “rational” argumentation. I have seen quite a few cases where people tried to be level-headed and weigh all pros and cons they could think of. But while writing the numbers down, they felt that the answer was not coming out right and simply changed the numbers to make the result fit their intuition."


Insgesamt kommt es vermutlich doch darauf an, das Leben aus etwas tieferen Schichten heraus zu gestalten als aus der bewussten Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse.