Sunday, July 29, 2012

Feeling machines

A reader sent me this interesting article about the function of emotion and how people need to appeal to emotion first in order to persuasively or effectively communicate.  It first gives a quick overview of how our brain processes emotions, particularly the role of the amygdala:

When faced with a stimulus, the amygdala turns our emotions on. It does so instantaneously, without our having to think about it. We find ourselves responding to a threat even before we’re consciously aware of it. Think of jumping back when we see a sudden movement in front of us, or being startled by the sound of a loud bang. We also respond instantaneously to positive stimulus without thinking about it: Note how we tend to smile back when someone smiles at us; how we are immediately distracted when something we consider beautiful enters our line of sight.

Why should we care about the amygdala?  According to the author, it is the key to gaining someone's attention:

The amygdala is the key to understanding an audience’s emotional response, and to connecting with an audience. It plays an important role in salience, what grabs and keeps our attention. In other words, attention is an emotion-driven phenomenon. If we want to get and hold an audience’s attention, we need to trigger the amygdala to our advantage. Only when we have an audience’s attention can we then move them to rational argument.

I thought this was interesting.  One of my work colleagues was lamenting that her competitor gets ahead by saying such inane platitudes as "change or die" that appeal to people's fear and make him sound like a strong leader.  The reader wondered whether the connection between emotions and attention "could be a potential explanation for the sociopath's famed attention deficit."

Why it is so easy to manipulate empaths:

The default to emotion is part of the human condition. The amygdala governs the fight-or-flight impulse, the triggering of powerful emotions, and the release of chemicals that put humans in a heightened state of arousal. Humans are not thinking machines. We’re feeling machines who also think. We feel first, and then we think. As a result, leaders need to meet emotion with emotion before they can move audiences with reason.

58 comments:

  1. I'm giving my first to... Kany!

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    1. what's your game?

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    2. You'd like to know, don't you?

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    3. do you want to go for a ride on ma bike i'll give you the keys and you'll love it yup

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  2. Amygdala is a catchy word and so sociopath. I guess that's how to make a theory stick. It's like the way that sex sells. Fight, fuck, or flight right?

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  3. I don't like these kind of articles. They don't resonate with me at all, and kind of anger me with their blanket statements. Even though all signs point to yes I still find myself looking for that final puzzle piece that will tell me "Yes, you are undeniably a sociopath." Can you guys help me and guide me through this?

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    1. In my situation I convinced a shrink whose time I wasted for a year and a half to sit me down with an mmpi2. That test revealed my anti-social personality. I can accept whatever labels scientists make trendy. Counselors have it in their minds that certain people are whatever they want them to be. Anger might or might not be resistance to acceptance of what people say we are, our identity, or lack of identity.

      I expressed my anger toward the shrink. With time anger goes away naturally and so do people. People don't really give a shit about antisocial personalities and no one should give a shit about making sure to have their personal ability labeled correctly.

      Even if the final puzzle piece completes some picture of magnificent beauty, or one helluvah less pleasant reality, a picture is worth 1000 words. At the end of the day sociopath is just another word, not a sum of all a person's intricacies.

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    2. You're right. My psychiatrist wanted to do a neuropsych eval. but I noped my way out of that quick. I have a way of very honestly answering questions to suite whatever I want to hear. Once I set my mind to an outcome everything that leads to it is an undeniable truth to me, even if I know it in fact to be lies. So if I want it to say narcissist it will read narcissist and same for anti-social. That's why I've never liked self evaluations. And I can never be honest with a psychiatrist because there are no fancy drugs for anti-social personality so I would never go down that rabbit hole. I got ambitions and I gotta keep my name squeaky-clean.

      I don't even want that last piece of the puzzle. I've made up my mind what it is. I'm antisocial but I'm not a psychopath. The only reason I ever doubt being a sociopath is because my own thoughts can make me feel inklings of uncomfortability, which I'm convinced a pure-blooded sociopath isn't capable of? That just speaks to my narcissistic streak though. That a slight doubt, in a crevice of mind could tint my entire self image. I'll stop that now. It's not healthy or fun.

      I think the difference between a self aware sociopath and a low-functioning sociopath is this: a self-aware sociopath, while not feeling guilt, at least has the presence of mind to RECOGNIZE that they are fucking someone over whereas a low-function antisocial is disgustingly, blissfully unaware that anything worth recognizing has occurred. I think this makes the self-aware sociopath less..perfect but also so much less maladaptive.

      Okay, that's my Monica-esque "LOOK AT ME!" post for the day. I think I've shored up and rationalized my shortcomings well enough so I won't mention them again. I promise. ;-))

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  4. Guys I think ME's reading the forum! It's weird how ME posts this after some forum discussion on this stuff.

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    1. And also there was this time somebody mentioned "NarcissistWorld" on the forum, and then ME's next post was about NarcissistWorld.

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  5. Who gives a fuck whether ME reads the forum?
    I'd assume as much.

    Anyway, I was reading about this subject a few days ago and interestingly enough I came across an article that was describing how emotional connection is the deepest and most intense way to affect another person, whether using it as a tool for persuasion or gain trust in someone by bringing a relationship to a deeper level. There are endless benefits to gaining trust in others. The difficulty lies in maintaining that trust.

    I learned at a fairly young age (around 4-5 years old that I can remember) how beneficial emotional manipulation truly was. For this reason, I seem to have an innately magnetic attraction to emotionally unstable/dramatic persons. They're so temptingly easy to play with, especially the needy or angry ones. It's very exciting. It's not just that I'm attracted to them, but they're also drawn to me. I have no use for people like myself because there's no juicy emotional tit to suck from. That reminds me of how I used to bite my mother's breast to hurt her when I was feeding, then act like it was unintentional.

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    1. You remember being breastfed? You poor fucked up human being.

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  6. Fucked up?
    Nah, not too much. I do have magnificent jaw structure and superb health from being breast fed, along with an unusually early beginning memory.

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  7. Wow that is something...considering the fact that most permanent memories are not developed before the age of 3 even if you are in Mensa it is extremely unlikely you would have cognitive memory of biting intentionally before the age of one when nursing usually ceases. So how old were you exactly?

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    1. Nursing usually ceases at one? That's bollocks.

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  8. Is the amygdala the reptile brain?

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    1. Am I to give up on you, Monica? Are you refusing to approach your problems again?

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    2. Kany
      You didn't answer my question. Did you have an abortion?

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    3. Lol. I didn't see that you asked it. And where the hell did that come from?
      No I've been a success in terms of not procreating without the assistance of such procedures.

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    4. Ok
      Anyhoo, I am not ready to lay open myself, at the mo. Maybe, if/when I feel you out more. I do appreciate your offer, as I think it had sincerity in it. Thank you for it.

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    5. Why, did you have an abortion? You're an emotional person. I'd believe something like that both to be in your grasp and devastating.

      Monica, do you only "open up" to people you can directly relate to?
      I feel that is another way of never allowing yourself to be challenged beyond your current developmental location.

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    6. No, I never had an abortion.
      Kany, I am thinking about my walk through SW. When I came Medusa pulled my chain like no one's business.Then, Eden rode my ass for a long time complete with manic episodes. Now, I can say a nice word to them ( or laugh, usually) and walk away. They made me face things I had frozen and I did.

      I shared my molestation on here because I needed to share it. I needed to not have people pat me on the head and tell me I was a wonderful person because I am not. People in my real life see me as one dimensional--nice, sweet and giving.

      I am not just that. I have that slice of me, but I have more slices I am afraid to face. I want to face them. I started crying when you started talking about my son. I want to release the pain.

      Then, I will be able to be multi-dimensional in my real life. People are not stopping me from doing this. I am because I am unknown to myself.

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    7. I am having bad depression.I can't feel my emotions. When things happen to me, I don't know what to do because I can't feel. I think I have come a long way on here( and in my life)but still I am numb. I despair of ever getting over it.

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    8. Antidepressants.

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  9. ...... shoe size.

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    1. What does shoe size have to do with the price of beans?

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  10. “Act your age, not your shoe size”

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    Replies
    1. and..............................

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you, Themes.

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    2. Themes for SW RegularsJuly 29, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      You are welcome, Extremity.

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  12. ...... shoe size.

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  13. Anyway... I think I've more than made my point here: me saying "shoe size" sounds silly and your posting of "Theme Songs..." and the "Sociopath Juke Box" sounds equally silly. In your case, you're the site administrator however.. so what I've pointed out here could be worth considering as a general move towards raising the level - if that's what you decide is best for your web site as well as your cause. I wish you the best of luck.

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    1. Do you only have sex in the missionary position?

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    2. Thought you'd do a bit better than that..

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    3. I'd have thought you'd do a bit better than that...

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    4. Good job deleting that last post so that I'd post twice.

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    5. Anon 3:20
      To what are you referring?

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  14. a talented sociopath understands the power of emotion and uses it to manipulate people who have it..his advantage is that he doesn't have the same weakness...the playing field is not leveled..it's rigged to our advantage;-)

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  15. No one "wins" because very likely, nothing was achieved.

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  16. if winning is getting the promotion, making money on the market, getting the guy/girl there is always a winner and loser

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    1. but there will always be TOMORROW

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  17. I sociopath...here goes I used to be different I was caring too caring, sweet, blah, blah blah..I spent a great deal of time with a socio. I LOVED him ;-) lol but he changed me, and I can't go back to the old me, he opened my eyes and that's it...I can see a whole different reality and I can't go back to shutting them. I guess I was an easy target blonde, blue eyed, ballet dancer, going to law school, I always put myself last, always worked hard and pleased everyone else..all he ever said was how hot I was, I've always attracted the bad guys but he was the worst..he changed me and now I don't like who I've become I play power games, I use sex as a weapon, and I use people I've lost the old me..

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    1. Err, sorry blondie. You can't have been a ballet dancer and always have put yourself last.

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    2. Err, sorry anon, that remark is too childish to be taken seriously. I've been dancing for 20 years, do that for a living and I assure you you can be a ballerina and a selfish bitch, a ballerina and a loving friend, a ballerina and a serial killer, a ballerina and a serial victim, a ballerina and a SW's regular, etc. And you can also be ugly. However, obsessive compulsive disorder is not uncommon amongst us. You can find psychological traits that are related to dancing features, but you can´t assume if people put themselves last or first. Comments like that make me think: "oh, remember you might be dealing with some americans in this website". God bless the US, your naivety becomes our wisdom.

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    3. All athletes need to put themselves first. I also dance. The craft is all I meant. It requires too much discipline to be putting others first all the time.

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  18. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12KJV

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  19. Replies
    1. indubitably.

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    2. The question is, are you ready?

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