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.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

618. What Comes First: Attitude Or Behavior?

618.   What Comes First:  Attitude Or Behavior?

In entry 615 I already mentioned the fascinating web page and work of George Simon.   I spent some hours reading his description of persons who in his words are disturbed characters.  

My writing on this blog is focusing upon my subjective and female preference of what attitudes and behaviors make a man either attractive or repulsive.    While reading Simon's texts, it has become clear to me, that those men, whom I describe as jerks, are a subgroup of Simon's disturbed character.   Jerks are male disturbed characters, whose victims of their disturbed behavior are women.    What I call commodification, objectification, domination, entitlement delusion and more, I found it all mentioned by Simon, in different words and explained in better English.  

Only he has come to a different conclusion concerning what causes, maintains, enables and reinforces the character disturbances.  
"One of the central tenets of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is that there is an inextricable relationship between a person’s core beliefs, the attitudes those beliefs have engendered, and the ways the person’s attitudes prompt him or her to to behave in various situations."

I fully agree with this, because any discrepancy between core values (as I dislike the word belief), attitudes and behaviors causes unpleasant cognitive dissonance.   Getting aware of such a discrepancy motivates towards either changing the attitude or the behavior.   

If I have understood correctly, in Simon's view the attitudes and core beliefs come first and the behavior is the consequence thereof.  
Simon accepts the notion of the free will.   I have not found any explicit statement about this, but implicitly he seems to explain attitudes and core values as mainly or entirely acquired by education, socialization and external influences.  

From my point of view, which is derived from evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, the free will is a myth.   Behaviors are determined by the combination of the force of instinctivity, the avoidance of punishment and of dishomeostasis and the appetency of rewards and stimulation of the brain's pleasure center.   This is facilitated by the knowledge stored in the memory and anticipatory thinking.   
Subconscious instinctive urges are consciously experienced as the inclination towards specific behaviors.   Instinctive urges are mainly the animal instincts for procreation, sexuality, hierarchy, ingroup-outgroup, gregariousness.   
The cognitive and conscious attitudes follow as a justification when giving in to being driven by the urges, attitudes are formed to avoid cognitive dissonance.    These attitudes are influenced and modified by education and social norms either encouraging or repressing instinctive behavior.    
Attitudes and subsequent behaviors differ between individuals in the same society according to differing strength of their instinctivity and also between individuals with the same strength of instinctivity but living in different societies.  
The worst jerks and worst cases of Simon's male disturbed character are men with a high instinctivity, whose abuse of women is additionally enabled and reinforced in a permissive society.   

Accordingly I also disagree about how, if at all, disturbed characters can be changed:
"Changing some aspect of our behavior is always the first step toward having a change of heart. Just as our way of thinking influences our behavior, so our actions and the consequences that stem from them influence how we think about things, the attitudes we harbor, and the beliefs we hold about how to get along in life. Making meaningful changes in the way we typically do things is a prerequisite for changing the kind of person we are."

I doubt, that attitudes can be changed, as long as these attitudes are an expression of an implicit identity defined by the acceptance of animal instincts.     A change of attitudes would require the conscious choice of an identity derived from the preference for cognition as superior over instincts.    But before someone is able to consider instincts as obsolete and disturbing evolutionary ballast to be overridden in favor of not harming others, he has first to get aware and recognize, how much he is driven by instincts.  
As long as someone accepts himself as an instinct driven animal and thus allows himself his instinctive urges without experiencing cognitive dissonance, he will continue to behave as a disturbed character.