I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

344. Reinforcement of Gullibility

344.   Reinforcement of Gullibility

In entry 343 I speculated that gullibility had been adaptive at some past period of evolution, while by now, consequencity has become a much better adaptation, but that people during childhood pass through a phase of gullibility, before the brain has fully matured to be able to function with consequencity.  

The following is a further elaboration.  

1.   When people are stuck in the gullible reactions to influences while having reached an age, when they should have matured enough for consequencity, this can be due to two different reasons:

1.1.   Gullibility is due to ignorance and the absence of the ability to know any better.  
When describing in entry 342  the levels of consequencity, I focused on dealing with emotions.   More generally there are different levels of the ability of thinking.  
Level 1. 
Concrete thinking.   Simple contingencies, like thunder following a flash are understood.   But in the absence of a clear concept of pseudocontingencies and coincidences, often irrational behavior is applied for the purpose of creating a contingency.
Level 2.
Abstract thinking.   This means the understanding of the difference between coincidence and contingency, also by detecting contradictions with the accumulative storage of previous experience.  This enables extrapolation into the future by estimating probabilities. 
Level 3.
Complex thinking.  This means deriving a consistent value system and ethical guidance from the abstract thinking in level 2.   Internal and external stimuli requiring behavior are processed in accordance with it.  

For those, who have not or not yet developed levels 2 and 3 of consequencity, gullibility is the only way of coping in social interactions.      Only Level 1 and gullibility are not mutually exclusive.  

1.2.   Gullibility is reinforced, when it becomes virulent as a consequence of some severe psychological trouble, which impedes a person either in reality or in his subjective perception from fulfilling important needs by consequencity, especially emotional and immaterial needs.   The person remains stuck in a gullible state (entry 343), while the ability to act by consequencity exists in the brain, but is deactivated.    This gullibility is often in contradiction to evidence and basic reasoning.    The stronger the unfulfilled or unfulfillable needs, the more people are gullible and susceptible to uncritical submission under external influences. 

2.   Gullibility determines the perception and acceptance of being the target of any influences.   How the behavior of the gullible people is influenced depends upon the availability, strength and kind of the influences.
2.1.  In pre-media times, usually people were exposed to one set of influences only, one religion and the rules of one society.   Depending on their gullibility and on how much the external influences contradicted their true personal needs and inclinations, their only choice was between fully conforming, externally resisting and risking punishment or external submission in spite of better judgment and different wishes.
2.2.  Since traveling and books became available, and even more with TV and the Internet, for gullible persons life is a warehouse of influences to choose from.    While they cannot resist to have a strong need to fulfill by being gullible, they are free to choose, what belief suits them best and there are countless religions, cults, quackeries.    For every trouble, there is a belief as a pseudo-remedy.      

3. Gullibility and self-improvement are mutually exclusive.   Self-improvement as the path of maturation requires consequencity of level 3.  Only awareness for rational procedures based upon understanding and influencing real contingencies allows change.  Gullibility and the belief into fake change impede real change.

Gullible people, who turn to religion or to woowoo in the hope of self-improvement are confounding self-improvement with self-modification.    They move from being taken advantage of and manipulated as the puppet of one influence to being the puppet of another.   I know of the case of someone, who after the upbringing in a less extreme christian family first choose to become a mormon, then a buddhist, then a believer in NLP and then a taoist.   Nothing of this ever helped him to solve the problem, which caused his wish to improve.