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Self Perception Theory, a competing theory with Cognitive Dissonance

November 14 2010 at 7:51 PM

  (Premier Login Oscar50)
Forum Owner

Just came across this today. Interesting theory. Not sure that there needs to be a dichotomy, CD versus SPT. It seems to me that depending on the person and particulars, either could fit. Maybe?




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-perception_theory

Self-perception theory (SPT) is an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem[1] [2] It asserts that people develop their attitudes by observing their behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused them. The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes come prior to behaviors. Furthermore, the theory suggests that a person induces attitudes without accessing internal cognition and mood states.[3] The person reasons their own overt behaviors rationally in the same way they attempt to explain others behaviors.

Original experiment on self-perception theory

In an attempt to decide whether individuals induce their attitudes as observers without accessing their internal states, Bem used interpersonal simulations, in which an observer-participant is given a detailed description of one condition of a cognitive dissonance experiment. Subjects listened to a tape of a man enthusiastically describing a tedious peg-turning task. Some subjects were told that the man had been paid $20 for his testimonial and another group was told that he was paid $1. Those in the latter condition thought that the man must have enjoyed the task more than those in the $20 condition. The results obtained were similar to the original Festinger-Carlsmith experiment. Because the observers, who did not have access to the actors internal cognition and mood states, were able to infer the true attitude of the actors, it is possible that the actors themselves also arrive at their attitudes by looking at their own behavior from an observers standpoint.
[edit] Further evidence

There are numerous studies conducted by psychologists that support the self-perception theory, demonstrating that emotions do follow behaviors. For example, it is found that corresponding emotions (including liking, disliking, happiness, anger, etc.) were reported following from their overt behaviors, which had been manipulated by the experimenters.[4] These behaviors included making different facial expressions, gazes and postures. In the end of the experiment, subjects inferred and reported their affections and attitudes from their practiced behaviors despite the fact that they were told previously to act that way. These findings are consistent with the James-Lange theory of emotion.

Evidence for the self-perception theory has also been seen in real life situations. After teenagers participated in repeated and sustained volunteering services, their attitudes were demonstrated to have shifted to be more caring and considerate towards others.[5]
[edit] Applications

One useful application of the self-perception theory is in changing attitude, both therapeutically and in terms of persuasion.
[edit] Psychological therapy

Firstly, for therapies, self-perception theory holds a different view of psychological problems from the traditional perspectives which suggest that those problems come from the inner part of the clients. Instead, self-perception theory perspective suggests that people attribute their inner feelings or abilities from their external behaviors.[6] If those behaviors are maladjusted ones, people will attribute those maladjustments to their poor adapting abilities and thus suffer from the corresponding psychological problems. Thus, we can make use of this concept to treat clients with psychological problems that are resulted from maladjustments by guiding or giving suggestions to them to firstly change their behaviors and later the problems.

One of the most famous therapies making use of this concept is therapy for Heterosocial Anxiety'.[7][8] In this case, the assumption is that an individual perceives that he or she has poor social skills because he/she has no dates. Experiments showed that males with heterosocial anxiety perceived less anxiety with females after several sessions of therapy in which they engaged in a 12-minute, purposefully biased dyadic social interactions with a separate female. From these apparently successful interactions, the males inferred that their heterosocial anxiety was reduced. This effect is shown to be quite long-lasting as the reduction in perceived heterosocial anxiety resulted in a significantly greater number of dates among subjects 6 months later.
[edit] Foot-in-the-door technique

Secondly, self-perception theory is an underlying mechanism for the effectiveness of many marketing or persuasive techniques. One typical example is the foot-in-the-door technique, which is a widely-used marketing technique for persuading target customers to buy products. The basic premise of this technique is that, once a person complies with a small request (e.g. filling in a short questionnaire), he/she will be more likely to comply with a more substantial request which is related to the original request (e.g. buying the related product).[9] [10] [11] [12] The idea is that the initial commitment on the small request will change ones self image, therefore giving reasons for agreeing with the subsequent, larger request. It is because people observe their own behaviors (paying attention to and complying with the initial request) and the context in which they behave (no obvious incentive to do so), and thus infer they must have a preference for those products.
[edit] Challenges and criticisms

The self-perception theory was initially proposed as an alternative to explain the experimental findings of the cognitive dissonance theory, and there were debates as to whether people experience attitude changes as an effort to reduce dissonance or as a result of self-perception processes. Basing on the fact that the self-perception theory differs from the cognitive dissonance theory in that it does not hold that people experience a "negative drive state" called "dissonance" which they seek to relieve, the following experiment was carried out to compare the two theories under different conditions.

An early study on cognitive dissonance theory shows that people indeed experience arousal when their behavior is inconsistent with their previous attitude. Waterman[13] designed an experiment in which participants were asked to write an essay arguing against the position they agreed. Then they were asked immediately to perform a simple task and a difficult task and their performance in both tasks were assessed. It was found that they performed better in the simple task and worse in the difficult task, compared to those who had just written an essay corresponding to their true attitude. As indicated by social facilitation, enhanced performance in simple tasks and worsened performance in difficult tasks shows that arousal is produced by people when their behavior is inconsistent with their attitude. Therefore, the cognitive dissonance theory is evident in this case.
[edit] Disproof of Self-Perception Theory?

There was a time when it was debated whether or not dissonance or self perception was the valid mechanism behind attitude change. The chief difficulty was in finding an experiment where the two flexible theories would make distinctly different predictions. Some prominent social psychologists such as Anthony Greenwald thought it would be impossible to distinguish between the two theories.

Zanna and Cooper in 1974 conducted an experiment in which individuals were made to write a counter-attitudinal essay. They were divided into either a low choice or a high choice condition. They were also given a placebo; they were told the placebo would induce either tension, relaxation, or exert no effect.

Under low choice, all participants exhibited no attitude change, which would be predicted by both cognitive dissonance theory and self-perception theory.

Interestingly, under high choice, participants who were told the placebo would produce tension exhibited no attitude change, and participants who were told the placebo would produce relaxation demonstrated larger attitude change.

These results are not explainable by self-perception theory as arousal should have nothing to do with the mechanism underlying attitude change. Cognitive dissonance theory, however, was readily able to explain these results: if the participants could attribute their state of unpleasant arousal to the placebo, they wouldn't have to alter their attitude.

Thus, for a period of time, it seemed the debate between self-perception theory and cognitive dissonance had ended.
[edit] Reviving Self-Perception Theory: The Truce Experiment

Fazio, Zanna, and Cooper conducted another experiment in 1977 that demonstrated that both cognitive dissonance and self-perception could co-exist.

In an experimental design similar to the previous one, another variable was manipulated: whether or not the stance of the counter-attitudinal essay fell in the latitude of acceptance or the latitude of rejection (see Social judgment theory). Interestingly, it appeared that when the stance of the essay fell into the latitude of rejection, the results favoured cognitive dissonance. However, when the essay fell in the latitude of acceptance, the results favoured self-perception theory.

Whether cognitive dissonance or self-perception is a more useful theory is a topic of considerable controversy and a large body of literature. There are some circumstances where either theory is preferred, but it is traditional to use the terminology of cognitive dissonance theory by default. The cognitive dissonance theory accounts attitude changes when peoples behaviors are inconsistent with their original attitudes which are clear and important to them; while the self-perception theory is used when those original attitudes are relatively ambiguous and less important. Studies have shown that in contrast to traditional belief, a large proportion of peoples attitudes are weak and vague. Thus, the self-perception theory is significant in interpreting ones own attitudes, such as ones assessment of ones personality traits[14] [15] and whether one would cheat to achieve a goal. [16]

According to G. Jademyr and Yojiyfus, the perception of different aspect in the interpretending theory can be due to many factor, such as circumstances regarding dissonance and controversey. This can also be because of the balance-theory is transformed into the attitude towards account and dimensions.

 
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AuthorReply

(Login ever-a-newbie)

Seems like a false dichotomy to me, as well.

November 14 2010, 9:13 PM 


In the context of psychology and understanding how/when/why patients are receptive & resistant to treatment, it seems to have some merits. Especially to compare 2 different models to understand the problem space better. Beyond that esoteric application, it seems a bit of a stretch to me.

Also, this is the first I've read about "Cognitive Dissonance" as a theory. Again, in this context it makes sense. However, I've always considered "Cognitive Dissonance" as describing an actual thing - that being a very specific response that a person can have.

More reading is in order, I guess. Too much information to soak in, not enough time.

 
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(Premier Login Oscar50)
Forum Owner

Then we're agreed!

November 15 2010, 8:18 AM 

I certainly see all psychological theory as theory. And psychological theories all seem to have exceptions. Which I think is pertinent, as opposed to impertinent, or maybe it is both.

I don't see a one size fits all working with psychology. Group dynamics seems more predictable. Even for the same individual though, it is likely we see different mechanisms at work depending on a host of variables.


 
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JVH say
(Login JVH)
Sufi

Learned Behaviour

November 14 2010, 10:54 PM 

an argument is a method of reasoning wherein logic evaluates the quality of ratiocination
applied within in a series of statements meant to establish a definite proposition


Learned Behaviour, Act III : Emotional Thinking vs Rational Thinking

Rational Thinking - Reason Precedes Sentiment

This is the rare mode of thinking. - In this mode of reasoning, the individual, in the process of forming an opinion, examines carefully all of the facts of the matter, forms a hypothesis, and then attempts to disprove its own hypothesis. After a certain amount of rigorous examination and refutation of its own hypothesis, the individual may or may not conclude that the hypothesis is sound. If the hypothesis does not survive close examination and refutation, it is discarded and a new hypothesis is formed. If the hypothesis is sound, the indidvidual incorporates it into its world view. In the process of incorporating the hypothesis or idea into its world view, certain sentiments are attached to the idea, the idea becomes a "belief": reason precedes sentiment.

Sentiment is the foundation of all thought, it is the motive force behind thought. So, even before the hypothesis is formed, there is sentiment, but there are competing sentiments and it is the hallmark of the rational mind to allow reason to be the justification for sentiment. Once a rational/reasoned hypothesis is decided upon among competing hypotheses, a sentiment is chosen from competing sentiments and attached to the idea.

Knowledge is a necessity, belief is not.

Emotional Thinking - Sentiment Precedes Reason

This is, by far, the most common form of thinking. - In this mode of reasoning, a sentiment is chosen first from competing sentiments, then hypotheses are formed to "rationalize" the sentiment. The individual seeks facts and ideas which justify the sentiment. This is an inferior and primitive form of thinking because the individual "rationalizes" emotions. Why does the individual choose one sentiment over another? What is the justification for choosing one sentiment over another at first? That's just it, there is no justification, it is irrational: sentiment precedes reason.

To a large extent it depends on the imagery of childhood experience, an imagery which can be influenced and controlled by early exposure to propaganda and indoctrination. People who apply emotional thinking are easily susceptible to imagery and pandering, and the efficacy of propaganda is directly proportional to the percentage of people engaging in emotional thinking.

Belief relies on emotion, knowledge does not.

The rationalist: here are the demonstrable facts, what conclusion can we draw from them?
The emotionalist: here's the conclusion, what alleged facts can we conjure justifying it?

So, what happens when emotional thinking is confronted with unassailable facts and logic? What happens when "flimsy" logic rationalizing and justifying  pre-existing sentiments is challenged by incontrovertible evidence?

Cognitive Dissonance happens, a state of mental tension caused when confronted with contradicting cognitions; when pre-existing sentiment is challenged by incontrovertible evidence to the contrary which results in rationalizing (ad hoc), i.e., myopic focus on facts, logic, or experience which reinforces the already existing worldview.

 

Learned Behaviour, Interlude : Preconceived Notions

Strongly held believe becomes utter conviction
Utter conviction becomes self-fulfilling prophecy

Cognitions

Resistance to evidence which exposes or threatens a person's philosophy is well known to behavioural science. We do not give up our convictions easily, we fear to have them challenged. We find it very difficult to accept evidence when it is opposed to our basic beliefs. In other words: primary cognitions confronted with unassailable secondary cognitions results in cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance is a mental state of tension which occurs when primary cognitions are confronted with indisputably contradicting secondary cognitions rendering the primary cognitions no longer maintainable. Cognitions confirming primary cognitons is 'friend', cognitions contradicting primary cognitions is 'foe'.

Since we feel compelled to nullify 'new' secondary cognitions in conflict with 'old' primary cognition, meant to somehow maintain them in order to do away with the unpleasant (mental) tension caused by the implications of the contradicting 'new' secondary cognitons, we will rationalize the 'old' primary cognitions although they can no longer be maintained rationally due to the contradicting 'new' secondary cognitions.

In order to assimilate inconsistent information to an existing worldview anyway, we will increase the number of consistent cognitions, thereby 'reducing' the dissonance. This  involves rationalizing, i.e., myopic focus on facts, logic, or experience which reinforces an existing worldview, known as the Ad Hoc Rescue. In many instances however, the offending inconsistent cognitions are dismissed altogether as a result of this myopic focus on extant consistent cognitions.

This is called "rationalizing" because we seek out semi-logical conclusions using extant and newly created consistent cognitions through euphony, prevarication, and the likes in order to find a way to invalidate the inconsistent cognitions. This is, of course, intellectually dishonest when done wittingly or the result of conditioning when done unwittingly out of conviction, believe etc., and both are expressions, consciously and subconsciously, of the dogmatic refusal to face up to (the possibility of) being mistaken.
 
Believing 'your' opinion is right is mere confidence
Believing 'your' opinion is fact is sheer arrogance

 

Learned Behaviour, Act IV : CD Meets EH

CD Meets EH

CD

The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Leon Festinger, 1957) postulates that individuals, when presented with evidence contrary to their worldview or situations in which they must behave contrary to their worldview, experience "cognitive dissonance." Dissonance is generally defined as "an unpleasant state of tension."

Individuals will try to relieve this dissonance in one of two ways:

1) Increase the number of consistent cognitions - In order to assimilate inconsistent information to their worldview, individuals experiencing dissonance will increase the number of consistent cognitions, thereby abating the dissonance. This often involves rationalizing, i.e., myopic focus on facts, logic, or experience which reinforces an existing worldview.

In most instances, the offending inconsistent cognitions are dismissed altogether as a result of this myopic focus on extant consistent cognitions. This is called "rationalizing" because the individual seeks out semi-logical conclusions using extant cognitions and newly created consistent cognitions in order to find a way to invalidate the inconsistent cognitions.

2) Decrease the number of inconsistent cognitions - Individuals change their attitudes to compensate for inconsistent cognitions. Instead of rationalizing, the individual excises the inconsistent cognitions from their worldview. This is more consistent with rational thinking when presented with logic or facts inconsistent with their worldview.


Strongly held believe becomes utter conviction
Utter conviction becomes self-fulfilling prophecy
Facts however, have this ever-so-annoying property

There is a strong connection between emotional thinking and cognitive dissonance. Emotionally based thinking is much more susceptible to facts and logic which contradict the justification for that thinking or emotional worldview. Factually or logically inconsistent cognitions are countered not with consistent factual/logical cognitions, but with emotional cognitions.

For the emotional thinker, the universe is not a matter of logic and fact, it is a matter of emotion, and when presented with logic or facts that contradict a strongly held emotion, the emotional thinker responds not with a logical/factual refutation of that contradiction, but with an emotional refutation.

The emotional thinker thus, refutes emotionally, not logically. This is why one cannot debate or discuss logic and facts with emotional thinkers. Any reasoned discussion or debate is met with emotional discussion or debate and the emotional thinker simply can not, will not, dare not hear - and there's a basic reason for that: Emotional Hijacking; the ability of the lower parts of our mind to control the activity of the higher parts of our mind. 

Knowledge is gathering fact(oid)s. Wisdom is the simplification of them.

EH

'Emotional Hijacking' (Daniel Goleman) describes how a lower part of our mind will 'hijack' our information processing facilities and cause us to act irrationally, invariably in situations that is believed could be emotionally threatening to us.

Emotional hijacking thus, refers to the ability of the lower parts of our mind ; instincts, drives and defence mechanisms, to control the activity of the higher parts of our mind ; analysis, deduction and creativity. Although we have developed a brain with quite phenomenal processing power, it is still under the control of our instincts and if what the higher brain is processing begins to cause anxiety to the lower levels, then the lower parts cut in and 'hijack' the processing activity diverting it away from certain types of deduction and directing it to dismiss possible conclusions.

Another means that lower parts of our mind can use to dump information that it believes may be a threat to us is to seek out one particular element and use it to disregard the whole.

Indeed, while reading you have probably already experienced this on several occasions. The mind goes on the alert and looks for any possibly faulty bit of reasoning or a likely untruth and should it find the slightest excuse, it then immediately uses this to disregard the whole piece.

Understand that the problem is not that we don't believe what we read, the problem is that we don't get the chance to rationally assess it; the lower parts of our  mind won't let us.

Another very popular and important route for emotional hijacking is therefore  the shift into left-brain thinking. This is triggered by the lower parts of our mind. If, while processing information, the lower brain begins to become concerned about the deductions being made, it can direct the higher mind to seek for alternative ways to account for what is presented.

This is, of course, also a natural part of the analysis process. However, it is important to realise that here it is being done not to further understanding, but to block the formation of anxiety-inducing deductions. The difference being that when analysis is done for blocking purposes, the person will develop an emotional need to believe their interpretation is correct. They will become emotionally, rather than intellectually, biased towards a viewpoint.

Use emotionale for inspiration, rationale to find answers - bye bye CD, so long EH.

 

Learned Behaviour, Act V : The Warfare Within

The human mind can only comprehend three categories to put information in

We have a liar living inside our head, lovingly called 'the voice of knowledge', who never shuts up; always telling us what we already know or feel we know, always waging war; doing its utmost to outvoice, and even silence, the voices of logic and reason also within.

The human being happens to be in a constant state of warfare, doesn't realize this, rendering it constantly 'confused', having no idea how to establish and be at peace. The ever ongoing battle; between the old mind set and the new; between clinging on to the old and reaching towards the new; between the archipallium and the neopallium, with the paleopallium caught in between.

The Triune Brain: our best friend, our worst foe.


3brains.jpg


Our skull does not contain one brain, it contains three brains, each representing a distinct evolutionary stage.


threebrains.gif

Red: archipallium brain (reptilian brain)

Yellow: paleopallium brain (limbic system)

Green: neopallium brain (neocortex)


The reptile brain, also known as the reptilian complex, or r-complex for short, evolved first. This corresponds roughly to the idea of an id, or child. From the reptilian complex we get rigid, obsessive, compulsive, ritualistic and paranoid behaviour. It keeps repeating the same behaviours over and over again. From the reptile brain we get our most basic emotions. The dragon within is very much alive and well, and necessary. Humans wouldn't be human without the reptile brain.

The limbic system, also known as the mammal brain, evolved next. This corresponds roughly to the idea of a superego, or parent. From our mammal brain, we get our instinct to survive, fight, flee, gain territory and reproduce and also our urge to nurture, to love, and to join with others. From the mammal brain comes our ability to follow laws and rules. Much of what is best in the human psyche comes from the mammal brain.

The neocortex, also known as neopallium brain, evolved last. It corresponds roughly to the idea of an ego, or an adult. From the neopallium brain we get the skills necessary to make peace between the reptile brain and the mammal brain. The neocortex is divided into a left and a right hemisphere; the (in)famous left and right brain. From the neocortex comes the ability to forgive and to temper justice with mercy. From the neocortex comes reason, and memory, and logic; the higher cognitive functions, intellect. We need the neocortex to understand the universe.

"The Most High" is a triune psyche. We call it the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


brain.jpg
BrainisGod-1.jpg
creation_sistine.jpg
600px-Noodledoodle_bg3.jpg

http://www.kheper.net/topics/intelligence/MacLean.htm

 

Learned Behaviour, Act VI : Meme 012 - You Are Not Your Idea

Problem (the root), Principle (the nature), Solution (the science), Defeat (the law)

The problem is that - humans confuse who they are with what "their" idea is. They create a false map of themselves when they identify themselves with an idea. They do this all the time. When they identify themselves with an idea they advocate, they set themselves up to be defeated when a smarter idea presents itself. This is the root of all conflict.

The principle is that - all forms of warfare boil down to a disagreement of ideas, and when parties involved identify themselves with an idea, they try to protect the idea (themselves) by dominating or even destroying parties advocating opposing ideas. For thousands and thousands of years this was the only way to go. But humans are not in conflict, 'their' ideas are. This is the nature of all conflict.

The solution is that - we need other, smarter, ideas; ideas that work and solve effectivly. All conflict is effectivly resolved when all parties win. An effective solution carries this as a trade mark. This is the science of all conflict.

The defeat is that - those reading this have been exposed to a king meme; a dominant idea. Ideas replicate, inside of us - outside of us. There's no stopping them. The dominant idea will always prevail, eventually. It will defeat all ideas in conflict with it, whether we agree with it or not. This is the law of all conflict.

Intellect is a burden many will never know

 

Learned Behaviour, Act VII : The Nature Of Conflict And Idea

This is a very simple and quite powerful formula and concept to understand.

Feelings do not think, thoughts do not feel and the human brain can only comprehend three categories to put information in. All the time.

IDEAS ARE MEMES

They are units of organized ideas or a sole idea. Memes perform in a similar fashion to genes, they replicate. Exponentially. They increase in number. Ideas follow the laws of nature. The laws of nature can be expressed in math. Math is certainty, not faith. By applying math to problem solving we can have certainty instead of uncertainty. The laws of nature insure the survival of the smartest. Only the smartest of ideas survive. All the time.

IDEAS SPREAD

Inside of us and outside of us. All actions, creations and advancements within civilization throughout all history are due to one thing and one thing only. Ideas. Ideas that work and effectively solve problems or create opportunity, have for thousands of years slowly developed an ever increasingly functioning society. Our ideas of the world shape the world; ideas that have been contributed by people like you and me. All ideas spread all the time. The nature of an idea is to go. Ideas are nouns that are the potential of verbs. Ideas contain the seed of all action. All the time.

ALL IDEAS CONFLICT

This is the very nature of the universe. All ideas, all information, is in an eternal state of conflict and war. This is the battle between good and bad, light and dark, right and wrong. This side VS that side. All ideas are one or the other. They can be true or they can be false. They are on this side or they are on that side. This is an important thing to observe. All the time.

JUST BECAUSE ALL IDEAS CONFLICT DOES NOT MEAN WE DO

Humans are not in conflict, 'their' ideas are. The conflict of ideas and information is naturally present in all forms of communication all the time. By understanding this very simple concept we can all learn to benefit from conflict instead of identifying with it. If you identify yourself with conflict, then that's what you will get. If you identify yourself with an idea, then you set yourself up to be 'destroyed' when a dominant idea presents itself. We happen to confuse who we are with what 'our' idea is. We create a false map of ourselves when we identify ourselves with the idea. We do this all the time. This is important to understand. All the time.

WARNING!

Do not confuse yourself with this Meme! This Meme is only the menu, it is not the meal. It is a map to understand how ideas perform and function, the map is not the terrain. When you confuse yourself with the idea, you create dis-harmony. When you understand you are not your idea, you create synergy. Synergy is created when all sides contribute and all sides win. Synergy is synchronicity. Synergy is created by the laws of nature.

THIS IS A KING MEME

It creates synergy when there is disagreement or agreement. This Meme is a communications tool that creates synergy in dialogue on all sides. This Meme is a dominant Meme. A dominant Meme will eventually 'destroy' all ideas in conflict with it. All the time.

THE WAY OF THE MEME

- Things happen because people do things. If people would not act, then nothing would happen - except nature.
- The internet insures the eventual insemination and profusion of any Meme - world-wide.
- A King Meme is an idea that has become strategically dominant - it can no longer be defeated in the realm of rational and honest discussion.
- A Master Meme is a supreme idea that will challenge and destroy all ideas in conflict with it - whether we agree with it or not.
- A Master Meme is a Meta King idea that comprises more King ideas operating as necessary truth' inside a memetic environment performing in complete and precise synthesis/synergy with all other Master Memes.


Realize you just have been exposed to, and infected by, a Meme about Memes : a Master Meme
 

Invoke the feelings for inspiration and the mind will create the opportunity to find the answers.

http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Cultural/Memetics/

 

Learned Behaviour, Epilogue

The new, smarter, idea will prevail. As the law dictates, the 'new' will 'destroy' the 'old'.

The future is pre-determined, by the character of those who shape it.

 

People are intrinsically intelligent.

When people are put together, they become a herd.
When people are a herd, they become sheeple.
When people are sheeple, they become dumb animals.
When people turn dumb animals, they become treated as such.


What is a Meme?

A Meme [pronounced 'meem' - as in 'dream'] is usually a unit of organized ideas, but it can also be a single idea, that replicates.

Memes are the basic building blocks of our minds and culture in the same way that genes are the basic building blocks of biological life.

Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins is credited with the first publication of the concept of Meme in his 1976 book "The Selfish Gene". Some trace the concept to the 1970 book by François Jacob, "La logique du vivant" (The Logic Of Life).

The concept was most probably introduced to evolutionary science in 1906 by the German naturalist Ernst Haeckel in his book "Last Words on Evolution". Haeckel credited the concept to one of his students, Richard Semon.

Richard Semon, biologist, zoologist and physiologist, was professor at Jena from 1891 to 1897. Semon's main field of work was in comparative morphology, experimental and general biology. His, now famous, work on Mneme, "Die Mnemischen Empfindungen in ihren Beziehungen zu den Originalempfindungen", in short: "Die Mneme", appeared in 1904 and was published in English as "The Mneme" in 1921/24.

It was suggested by John Laurent, in "The Journal of Memetics", that the etymological roots of the term 'Meme' may come from "mimneskesthai", the Greek term for 'memory,' rather than from Dawkins's root of "mimeisthai", 'to imitate'. Semon himself refered to his Mneme research as "the study of human memory".

http://maxwell.lucifer.com/virus/alt.memetics/what.is.html




Always keep in mind that the human brain can only comprehend 3 categories to put information in.

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!
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Vince
(no login)

So-o

November 14 2010, 11:32 PM 

What does all of that mean?

Can you explain it to me in simple everyday English and common examples so I can grasp it?

-Vince

 
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(Premier Login Oscar50)
Forum Owner

A couple of examples

November 15 2010, 8:16 AM 

One, forcing a smile will make you happier, and if forcing a smile while reading a cartoon, it will make the cartoon seem funnier.

To me this is almost akin to "positive thinking".


Two, in the article above was simply the idea of "foot in the door". They mention how sales people might as you to fill in a questionnaire .. once you have "agreed" to one thing, the next agreement will be easier is the premise there. i.e. a sale I've seen this with pandhandlers too, and they warn about this in the paper at times. The panhandler will as an innocuous question, like for the time, or for a cigarette .. just to engage you and then get into your space. Then the hard sell starts.

Then there is the idea that you simply like things that you do. Do you like peanut butter? I eat it every day I must like peanut butter.



 
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Vince
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Sufi

I still don't get it

November 15 2010, 5:45 PM 

So what? What point is the article trying to make?

-Vince

 
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