Sonntag, 12. April 2020

Artikelbesprechung: The Role of Shame and Self-Esteem in Risk-Taking

Emotions and Cost/Benefit Assessment

The Role of Shame and Self-Esteem in Risk-Taking
Daniel M. T. Fessler

Siehe auch: Die vorherige Artikelbesprechung - Cybernetic Big-Five-Theory

[Kurzzusammenfassung: Niedrige Serotonin-Level, die mit niedrigem "Rang" einhergehen, führen generell zu einem impulsiveren und "risikofreudigeren" Verhalten. Allerdings können sich auch bei Individuen mit hohem "Self-Esteem" Phasen besonders intensiver "Risikofreudigkeit" einstellen. Obwohl "Selbstbewusstsein", das Streben nach "Ruhm" und Erfolg, und Reaktionen auf Kränkungen dieses Selbstbewusstseins gegebenenfalls als "irrational" bezeichnet werden können, waren, so argumentiert Fessler, evolutionär gesehen Individuen (massiv) im Nachteil, die restlos über solchen Emotionen standen.]


[Kernthema allgemein: Der Einfluss von „Scham“ und „Selbstbewusstsein“ auf die Risikofreudigkeit; Kernthema im oberen Teil: 3-Punkt-Definition von Stolz und Scham; 6-Punkt-Definition von Stolz und Scham; Der untere Teil enhält persönlich als relevant empfundene Auszüge aus Mittelteil und Endteil des Artikels;]

Säugetiere kategorisieren Phänomene oder Ereignisse vielfältig und verfügen über ein breites Repertoire an Reaktionen. Emotionen bestimmen in erheblichen Ausmaß, welche Entscheidungen getroffen werden. Insbesondere auch dann, wenn es um Entscheidungen geht, bei denen eine Fehlentscheidung Kosten mit sich bringt oder mit sich bringen kann.

„Any decsion embodies an assessment of the future, for the value of a given option is contigent on what the organism‘s circumstances are likely to be next moment, day, year, or decade. Organisms thus require means of prognostication. The most reliable way of predicting the future is to extrapolate from the past. Organisms therefore probably possess mechanisms which aggregate experience and, in so doing, influence the proximate mechanisms of decision making. In this paper I … argue that a pair of emotions, shame and pride, importantly influence decision making. These emotions, in turn, are linked to self-esteem, a mechanism which sums experience to date … The result is a decision making system which adjusts risk taking behavior in accord with probable future opportunities, where such opportunities are predicted on the basis of past events.“ 

Kurz zusammengefasst: Organismen sammeln Erfahrung und predicten, gemäß dieser Grundlage, die Zukunft, d.h. welche Gelegenheiten sich mit welcher Frequenz in der Zukunft darbieten werden. 

Fessler versteht unter Antrieben ein Set von Emotionen, die zusammenarbeiten, um in bestimmten Situationen bestimmte Outcomes zu erzeugen. 

Generell geht es bei Entscheidungen darum, Kosten und Vorteile der unterschiedlichen Handlungsoptionen abzuwägen. 

Eine 6-Punkt Defintion von Scham und von Stolz: 

Das Ego bricht eine Norm; Das Ego weiß um seinen Fehler; Jemand Anderes weiß auch um den Fehler; Das Ego weiß, das der Andere um den Fehler Bescheid Bescheid weiß; Der Andere zeigt Feindlichkeit oder Abneigung, oder das Ego nimmt an, dass der Andere Feindlichkeit oder Abneigung erlebt; Als Konsequenz erlebt das Ego Scham; 

Das Ego erfüllt eine Norm; Das Ego weiß um seinen Erfolg; Jemand Anderer weiß um den Erfolg des Egos; Das Ego weiß, dass der Andere um seinen Erfolg Bescheid weiß; Der Andere schätzt den Erfolg des Egos positiv ein und zeigt Zuneigung oder Abneigung, oder das Ego nimmt an, dass der Andere solches erlebt; Als Konsequenz erlebt das Ego Stolz; 

Die 3-Punkt Definition von Scham und Stolz: 

Hier geht es um den Vergleich von Status: Fällt dieser Vergleich positiv aus, wird Stolz erlebt, fällt es negativ aus, wird Scham erlebt; 

Im Mittelpunkt der 6-Punkt-Definition stehen Normen und die Verletzung von Normen. Im Mittelpunkt der 3-Punkt-Defition steht Dominanz und Unterordnung.


"Just as any given expense will loom larger for any individual with meager resources than for an individual with abundant resources, so too will any current setback loom larger for an individual with poor prospects than for an individual with excellent prospects. Accordingly, in order to gauge the meaning of an event, individuals must be able to predict their probable future prospects independent of that event."

"Self-esteem can be conceptualized as the generalized assessment of self as relatively successful or unsuccessful, a summation of the events which constitute Ego's self-perceived successes and failures to date."

"From the perspective of maximizing fitness, individuals with a history of failure should seek out, and seize, every opportunity for advancement. However, humans, able to see far down the road, and having learned how painful failure can be, may cautiously avoid such opportunities long before they arise."

"As time passes, a social sorting out occurs such that an individual's life trajectory is likely to stabilize, with a corresponding stabilization in self-esteem and a decrease in emotional oscillations. As a consequence, for all but the least successful individuals, risk taking declines. This change is also adaptive, as accumulating successes decrease the uncertainty of the future, with the result that risk taking becomes increasingly unattractive."

"[Rhesus Monkeys:] Young males with low serotonin are more likely to 'initiate ... aggression, often at inappropriate targets such as high-ranking subjects or much larger adult males, and once aggression has started, it is more likely to escalate to injurious intensity[.]"

"risk taking should be inversely proportional to future prospects, and rank is a principle determinant of future fitness, dominant adult male vervet monkeys have nearly double the concentration of blood serotonin of subordinate adult males[.]"

"a sizable body of clinical evidence supports a strong connection between subnormal serotonergic activity and impulsivity, including impulsive aggression[.]"

"Depression is associated with an assessment of the self as worthless, and Shame appears to play a central role in the disorder. ... Depression in general, and suicidality in particular, are associated with inadequate serotonergic activity[.]"

"Victims of brain injuries which interfere with emotional experience become catatonically apathetic -- they make no decisions, in part because no option appears any better than any other option[.]"

"Presumably, in the distant past some young males, upon being humiliated by their rivals, were able to see beyond experiences of Shame and anger to the agony which conflict or other dramatic actions might entail. These farsighted individuals did not take risks, did not gain glory, and did not pass on their genes for such attenuated emotions. Likewise, presumably, in the distant past some young males were tempted to take risks in such situations, but were able to recognize that their impulses arose from ephemeral emotional states, and hence they refrained from acting. These introspective individuals did not take risks, did not gain glory, and did not pass on to us the genes for subjectively opaque emotions."

"It is this discrepancy which has led many philosophical traditions to view emotions as 'irrational,' since emotions may result in behavior which is counterproductive from the perspective of self-consciously formulated personal agendas."

"emotions may still result in irrational decisions as a consequence of the discrepancies between our world and that in which the emotions were designed to operate."

"A person with high self-esteem will only experience Shame when his failure is a dramatic and incontestable one -- any smaller or more ambiguous failures are likely to be reinterpreted in such a fashion as to preclude Shame. High self-esteem individuals will therefore experience Shame relatively rarely, yet, in those instances when they do experience it, the Shame will be extremely intense. Because the degree to which benefit is focused on and risk is ignored is a function of the intensity of Shame, this means that when high self-esteem individuals feel Shame, they will dramatically pursue big-stakes gambles."

"Charted across the lifetime, we can therefore expect pervasive but fluctuating impulsive risk taking from those with low self-esteem, and much more sporadic, 'out of character' bursts of impulsive risk taking from those with high self-esteem."

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