Archive for March, 2012

An American life.

March 28, 2012

This posting isn’t about the exceptions. it is about the rule: A baby born in the United States today is likely to face parents with “chips” on their shoulders, schools where teachers teach with less concern for students’ deployable knowledge or violent behavior, where school administrators are “lifers” acting “politically correct.”  You are young, you have excellent health, meaningless social life (you don’t know it) and no money. You grow up, most get married, have kids and save money while losing their health to a medical system that pretends to care. Then you are old, you have more money but you are now preoccupied with health issues and relatives. What about happiness and love? You are lonely and your family is not that wonderful to you. You go to counseling and the social worker has no answers (she is part of the system too). Then you die and the next generation continue the pretended meaningless life.

I know that you want to have more money, respect, love, better relationships, then what’s the problem? The problem is that you don’t want to give up the behavior you believe in… just because it isn’t working. You really believe that your values somehow will lead to a good life, it’s “Just around the corner” you say.  Do you know what’s wrong with you? Nothing! You are simply a product of an educational system that shapes a life of deprivation. The US Constitution not withstanding, those of you who run things pay only lip service to the pursuit of happiness. Is there something simple that you can do to change? Yes, say and do positive things from this moment on!!!! You’ll see the results within a month! Behave positive, be nonviolent, move to a better neighborhood. Hey dude, think of yourself for a change. You can do it. I did it, you can too!

Buyer’s uncertainty triggers seller’s profit….

March 18, 2012

…Worse than that, you end up buying what others thinks you should get and it is usually more expensive and doesn’t exactly fit you. I went to buy a $2.95 clippers for my toes and nails. I  noticed two kinds, one curved upwards and one curved downwards (convex and concave). I ended buying a totally different and more expensive toe nail scissors for $12.95, curved sideways, neither concave or convex (took me an hour to get VISA refund). I went home. What an opportunity for posting, after all when a psychologist can’t apply certainty to his shopping, it can be useful for both of us to learn together.

I went home, searched on Google and studied – nail clippers. (90% of them are curved like a valley and only 10% like a hill). I tested them, the shape of my nails required a “hill.” Now that I know 100% what works best for my nails, even a well-meaning salesman that I feel I can trust will not get a chance to sell me what he/she think is good for my toes! With all due respect to all sales people, from now one I will have certainty about what I intend to buy before I leave home! Small item or big.

I am shopping for a handicap van for my son’s wheelchair, an $80,000 vehicle, what an opportunity to apply the knowledge I acquired shopping for a $2.95 nail clipper!

Iran: Classical Politics vs. Behavioral Politics

March 16, 2012

Having spoken about classical economics vs behavioral economics at UCLA last year, I will venture today to be the first social scientist to knowingly introduce classical politics vs behavioral politics on my peaceful revolution blog. It is hilarious that David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister introduced behavioral politics on CNN yesterday without knowing that his statement on Iran was behavioral politics and not classical politics. He said, “They can have civil nuclear power if they give up their mission of having military nuclear power.”  That is a behavioral politics statement by a statesman. Here is the same thought expressed by the majority of classical politicians – your elected people who don’t understand human relations, “Iran has the right to have nuclear power like any other nation.”

I do not think that David Cameron’s statement will be discussed by the classical political panel of CNN. They are all classical commentators, none of them is behavioral. But if by miracle they did peace may still prevail in the world. Watch them and see if they discuss the derivative behavioral issue: Do scientists know 100% the LINE not to cross between activity that would lead to nuclear military power and peaceful nuclear activity that could be used to generate electricity and in medicine? If the answer is yes, then the only question remains is, “will the international nuclear watchdog commission get 100% access to all  Iran nuclear facilities? If the answer is yes peace will prevail. If the answer is no, war will prevail. Take your pick.

I have crystalized for you an issue that will affect your life in the future (not just gasoline price). If you are a classical thinker you probably won’t get what I am saying. Time to switch to BEHAVIOR in every thing that you do or think about. If I get positive responses from you about this important posting, I will give you more example in your relationships between being a classical loser and a behavioral winner, e.g., “You are not listening to me, dear,” or “Please comment on what I said, honey, I respect your view.” guess which statement is classical and which one is behavioral. Please visit my blog again if you know the difference!

Marriage: Primary, secondary and tertiary preventions of divorce.

March 16, 2012

The majority of couples whose marriage is threatened will use tertiary prevention: They cross the line of no return waiting too long to salvage what they can financially and emotionally. She gets the house, he gets the car, they split the retirement savings. Who gets the kids? It’s a mess. A sizeable minority use secondary prevention: They go to counseling. They don’t cross the line of no return. Most counselors are trained in “classical,” not “Behavioral” intervention. Couples in traditional counseling may or may not get the divorce but one thing is certain – they won’t be as happy as they were at the beginning of the relationship.  A small minority of couples seek out primary prevention: They go to see a “Behavioral coach,” a trained person that goes straight to the point:

Session one: “John and Mary, let’s hear from each one of you for 30 minutes about your commitment and intention to stay together and rekindle your love for each other. I will rate you on a Likert Scale of C and I. We will not only save your marriage if you pass the scale value but we will reverse the trend! You will be happy together.”

Session two: “John and Mary, today I want to hear from each one of you what sexual and romantic behavior you intend to perform this week to please your partner. Start small!”

Session three: “Mary and John, today I want to hear from each one of you what financial behavior you intend to engage in this week that you believe is acceptable to your partner.’ Start small!”

Session four:  “Mary and John, today I want to hear from each one of you how respectful your behavior will be this week toward in-laws, his/her friends, etc.”

Psychological frame-work  for behavioral coaching: Unfortunately, you will need a great behavioral coach that knows the rules that will ensure success (not many do). I can’t list all of them on a blog but here are two important ones. They are different from what you would expect, different a lot from the rules you get in counseling. For example, negative thoughts are allowed to be expressed only in mime, positive thoughts are expressed in behavior. Emotions, negative or positive, can be expressed either way. You must be able to show me in behavior that you know the difference between explaining things and describing them. I will post more of these amazing rules only if the public shows interest in primary prevention of divorce and ensuring a good marriage.

Priming your behavior ensures success and happiness.

March 13, 2012

Being free to create and independent to relate, my “soul mate” and I often go for coffee and pastry or an occasional breakfast wherever we land.  We love to talk about life, events and friends. Upon returning home to chores, office to boring phone calls and classroom or workshop to face clients or students who can’t “get it,” I prime my motivation for success and happiness.

Choose an activity that you absolutely love to do. Do that activity first, from half an hour to even three, upon returning from your coffee break. This  “primacy effect” (first impression that sets the tone) is a “priming behavior” for the rest of the day or evening. In my case, I love to post on my blogs, so that is what I do right now for half an hour before I move to another office to work on my tax papers.

Priming your behavior is a powerful motivational force. As a teacher, arrange to teach your favorite class or subject first in the morning. Doing the thing you love first will get you going to do the chores. And, if you are smart reward yourself also at the “recency stage.”  Many handsome young bachelors  and beautiful sexy girls don’t get it that a “radiance date” can prime a whole month before and after for happiness and success.

Now I am ready for the taxes.

Curing cancer is possible!

March 9, 2012

Are you hooked on my blog? If you read everything I write you are either precocious, a lucky person or God loves you. I mean it. Let me prove it to you: Newton discovered “Classic physics” where the behavior of the observer didn’t mean diddle shit to him. Came Einstein and replaced Newton with “Behavioral physics” where the behavior of the  observer influences even the Universe.” Good enough? Not yet, where is the trend? Then came Adam Smith and started “Classical economics” with his book  The Wealth of Nations.” (gave us recessions because he didn’t give a diddle shit about the behavior of financiers). Came Daniel Kahneman (2002 Nobel) and replaced classical economics with “Behavioral economics,” where the behavior of bankers must be studied before you invest!  (I joined the Academy at UCLA last year, So far so good? Here is the clincher. “Classical medicine” has always seen cancer as complex, varied, hard to treat, costly, many side effects, and the patient dies. “Behavioral medicine” sees cancer as simple, unified, inexpensive to treat, no side effects and the patient lives!

We have recessions, unemployment, and people die from cancer because Newton is still  revered, Einstein has been demoted, Kahneman… you haven’t even heard of him, and “Behavioral Cancer Therapy” (BCT) is only a year old (FDA Approved 2011) model practiced in Germany and hasn’t spread yet. (according to the director it may take a 100 years before  “BCT will replace the old classic medical dude that loves to operate and drug you.)

I told you, you stay with me and together we will change the classical world and make all solutions “Behavioral.”

Primary, secondary and tertiary reactions to disasters (Segment II).

March 2, 2012

Read Segment I:  Place yourself in one of the three categories: Primary, secondary or tertiary preventions. I am back from Stage IV cancer treatment in Germany, almost died! As a psychologist I knew about these 3 categories but still “stuck” in tertiary prevention (TP) about cancer. In October 2011 I finally moved to secondary prevention (SP) getting choice treatment that placed me in remission. I am now working on a plan of treatment of cure in 3 years that will probably place me in primary prevention (PP) soon. If you are in PP, upgrade it.  Prevent marital problems by having better agreements with your partner how to handle sex, money and relatives (in-laws?). If You are in SP, upgrade it to PP. Research and find the best plan of action (I had to go to Germany to find it!).  If you are in TP, cool off. You need attitude change. Enrol in appropriate classes and take it seriously. I will write Segment III when I am cured of cancer because first there are no guaranties and second SIII is deeep! You would need to understand concepts such as “Happiness,” accepting an affliction, communicating about it with others and expressing your personal responsibility for the affliction. Let’s forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made and move on to the next level which is the healthy, happy and wealthy life!