Posts Tagged ‘parents’

How does a behavioral psychologist think?

January 17, 2013

All my professional life I was a professor of developmental psychology. I retired in 1998, four years before Dr. Daniel Kahneman, another professor of psychology, got his Nobel Price in – Economics – in 2002. I will speak at the University of Valencia this month on his research on the behavior of the economic man: Is he as rational as society believes? Behavioral Economics was born the moment empirical evidence replaced rationality in the decision-making about money. Hey, young dude, join me on the edge of discovery? Today is only 10 years since the new profession began and people associated with the Symposium (and here in Canada) are already thinking of Behavioral Politics, Behavioral Medicine, etc. as the next step in the evolution of solutions and human success. I want to thank Hippocrates for asking the question 2500 years ago: Should Medicine be rational or empirical. I also want to thank Plato and Aristotle 2400 years ago for asking the question: Should language be rational-logical or natural-empirical?

 

The beauty of adding behavioral in front of any name of a discipline is that solutions become clear. For example, for years as a psychologist I struggled with the issue, “Does man kills or do guns kill?” On the day I became a behavioral thinker the answer became clear. Man kills, not guns. As a behavioral psychologist I know very clearly that the problem is not a billion gun in every home, its behavior. American society needs to look at how it raises its kids! What behaviors are rewarded and what behaviors are punished by parents, schools, etc.

I just came from the mall. I saw a mother screaming at her daughter, “Don’t shout at me,” she screamed. You know something, dude, Buddha once said that the word perfect means awareness, not  the absence of errors. Now I understand what he meant. Hey dude, have a better day!

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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!

Understanding the psychology of North and South KOREA!

January 21, 2011

Mark my words, soon North Korea will attack South Korea – again. How do I know that? The North bombed the South and the South asked for a peace conference! My first reasearch as a graduate student in psychology at the State University of California in 1970 was comparing Authoritarian and Egalitarian attitudes. In politics it would be comparing the governing style by people who usurp powers and the governing style of people who get elected. In business it would be people who work with you to accomplish a task or people who order you around. At home it would be a parent who shows you how to do a chore and a parent who force you to do it. Good, I got your attention! This posting isn’t only about South Korea and North Korea fighting each other, it’s about world peace! And, it’s about you and me! First, I want you to understand the dynamics of the conflict between a DEMOCRACY and a DICTATORSHIP, and second, I want you to understand the dynamics of the conflict between you as a free person and individuals you relate to who grew up in authoritarian homes, religions and cultures.

The reason I am successful in relationships is that my mother was a democratic type and my father was dictatorial. I learned early in life (in my teens) to work and play nice together with others in school, as my mother had taught me. My father, on the other hand, said, “Elior, don’t forget to think big and kick ass when someone steps on your toes.”

The problem with democracies like South Korea is that they didn’t “kick ass” when the North sank their ship and bombed their island. The problem with democracies like the United States is that they didn’t bomb Iran when Iran kidnapped 444 American diplomats. The problem with democracies is that they lose the motivation to “kick ass” when dictatorships attack them. Sure, they end fighting them and winning when they get sick and tired of being kicked around but at a greater cost because they had waited till the last moment to “kick ass.” A teacher is high school once asked me, “Elior, why did you break George’s  arm, he only tripped you in the playground. “I remember saying to the teacher, “My dad taught me that if I don’t kick back twice as hard for every kick I absorb, they’ll come back for more.” Interestingly, when I became a psychologist I understood it in a nicer way as “Contingency management of conflict resolution.”

In the 20th century, the Right was dictatorial and the Left was democratic. In the 21st century it’s the opposite, the Right is democratic and the Left is dictatorial. Capitalism is economic freedom, Socialism is economic control, Republicans  are for less political control over your life and Democrats are for more, Christians are for free behavior in relationships and Islamists are for total control of women,  Israel is a free society and Palestine is a controlled society, South Korea makes excellent LG (Life’s Good) appliances for the home and North Korea develops weapons to destroy homes. in short, there are two kinds of people in the world, those who relate openly and those who coerce, people who believe in the relative rights of the individual and those who believe in the absolute rights of the group over the individual!

Now you know what to do! If you are the open-minded, flexible democratic personality type, treat the dictatorial, rigid, authoritarian person you meet with RESPECT until he kicks your ass – and he will! Then, beat the shit out of him. He will become your friend and change for the better – guaranteed, if you do it right! (read the book by Dr. Robert Lindner “The 50 Minute Hour”). About your democratic government, you must influence YOUR democratic government to be more effective in dealing with dictatorship governments. At the present time all the dictatorships in the world are in conflict with the world’s democracies whether it is in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, or Pakistan. Make the world better, faster – by kicking ass as a response to kicking ass! Donald Trump is my hero, although he didn’t take conditioning as far as I did! Have great relationships! Read my 200 postings! It’s free! I care!

The psychology of naming kids.

January 27, 2010

Her parents took one look at the new baby and named her Bonita, subconsciously because she wasn’t pretty, or, consciously because she was a cute baby, who knows?  She could have been named Bonita after an aunt who had died, or just because they liked the name. A baby naming ritual is repeated million times per week all over the world. A Catholic kid named “Israel” will grow up in Haiti. Last week his parents named the baby “Israel,” delivered by an Israeli medical team after the earthquake. Thirty years ago, a baby who survived an El-Al crash was named –  El-Al. Two thousand years ago, the State of Israel was wiped out by Rome. Most new-born Jewish names in the diaspora became – Biblical: Moses, Joshua (not the one who blew the trumpets), Joshua (Jesus), Abe, Izik, Ruth, Simon, etc. In 1948, the State of Israel was re-established. Most  Jewish names became non-Biblical, land oriented: Nir (Joy), Sela (Rock), Doron (present), Israel (the land), Golan (an area), Tzur (strength), Tsion (Zion), etc.  How many one year old girls named ‘Nada’ live in the world today, reminding us to seek freedom? How many were named Sputnick after 1957, reminding the Russians that they were first in Space? I once knew a German  Jew who would not name his baby Adolf after grandpa, for obvious reasons. My cousin was named “Shilgit,” born in Tel Aviv in 1950 during a snow storm. Lucky woman, they call her “Shelly”, which means  “mine” in Hebrew and is great in English too. I, myself, was named Elior (Godlight) in 1936 when my parents were still observant and idealistic. Later on they nick named me “Larry” for whatever reason. Today, I am very spiritual.

The important thing to know from all these psychobabble is that your PERSONALITY is influenced by your FIRST name, anything from about 5% to 50%.  Go find out the good characteristics associated with your first name and ‘polish’ your identity and make it ‘germane’ (no pun intended). 🙂