Force, Aggression and Evolution | INFJ Forum

Force, Aggression and Evolution

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Zero Angel, May 31, 2009.

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  1. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    This is just a collection of ramblings which explores several topics and has no central theme -- though one theme does have relation to and segues into another.

    == Preamble ==

    (Feel free to skip this as it's just all backstory anyways)

    I recently got into an argument with a gaming clan-mate about his repeatedly disrespectful and aggressive attitude towards other players. It was a long-standing beef that i've had with him about his in-game attitude towards myself and other players. This player would use tactics often considered 'lame' and then when the tactics were used on him, he would display overt hostility towards the offending player. He would blame other players for his mistakes, and in general bring all sorts of negativity to the game. Our gaming community is fairly mature, having lasted 10 years with the average age of the gamer being about 30 years old. Our clan in particular is composed mainly of young adults, so most of us are mature enough not to take the outcome of the game too seriously.

    I argued with him for 3 days about specific incidents in which he displayed poor attitude. At which point I began thinking about his maturity and condition and why his actions manifest as they do. The clanmate in question is a 14-year old kid. So it got me thinking why does he act the way he does?

    I then let it go -- knowing that my Ni would eventually figure out a solution. Today while doing yard work the solution came to me.

    == (Continued next post) ==
     
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    #1 Zero Angel, May 31, 2009
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  2. OP
    Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    == Part 1: Real and Virtual Worlds ==

    It's possible to draw parallels between virtual worlds and the real world. The real world is a vastly complex system composed of subsystems and sub-subsystems ad-infinitum. For everything that we can think of, it always exists with mechanics and purpose behind it.

    A virtual world is simply something which has mechanics that do not have direct, tangible effects on the user. Games and forums and other realms on the internet are such an example of a virtual world.

    However virtual worlds have dynamics which also parallel the real world. Social dynamics for example, are present everywhere on the internet which allows interactivity. Everywhere where someone has a say, they are always affected by human drives and human emotions. If I curse someone out on the internet they are going to retaliate -- likewise if I do the same in the real world (except its easy to retaliate on the internet since there is little chance of real harm being done).

    The internet is a wealth of human emotion and relationship dynamics which are present in the real world are also present on the internet. Some internet forums degenerate into popularity contests (which is neither good or bad, it just does -- for very real reasons which have evolutionary importance) -- just like it is in high school.

    Likewise if someone upsets us or compliments us on the internet, it evokes real feelings. This is why it's so interesting to analyse how things work on the internet -- because it has similar properties to the real world.

    == (Continued next page) ==
     
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    #2 Zero Angel, May 31, 2009
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  3. chaotic_lion

    chaotic_lion Community Member

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    What was the solution?
     
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  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Finish the dang post already! Sheesh!:wacko:
    haha.
    (Really, I'm interested to see where you're going with this.)
     
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    Zero Angel

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    == Part 2: Social Dynamics and Force ==

    Every time we interact with someone we are in some way trying to influence their thoughts, trying to augment our own, or trying to accomplish some sort of other action.

    One of the important dynamics of any action is force. Force represents the effort exerted to try and accomplish any directive. It is often the case that the user of force must possess some real or imagined threat in order to back up his use of force. Be it by superior intellect, ability to influence others, as well as ability to cause emotional harm to an individual who does not comply to his use of force, for example by withdrawing privileges, social standing, or by simply belittling the individual.

    Regardless of how force is manifested. It is defined by quite simply as the 'ability to produce an effect'. It is not only leaders, parents and other authority figures who use force, everyone uses force in some way or another. For without force, nobody would act in order to shape their reality or better their situation.

    I should mention as an interesting sideline to this topic that Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is an essay on how to use force to produce an intended effect.

    == (Continued Next Page) ==
     
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    Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    == Part 3: Aggression as a manifestation of Force ==

    While force is an action used to accomplish an intended effect -- aggression is an amplification of force using the emotional component of the human brain.

    It is often the case where if a human feels disempowered by a situation -- he might resort to getting angry in order to 1) Feel re-empowered and 2) Exert force to attack the thing which he blames for his feeling of disempowerment.

    The thing is that when a person gets angry, he is often purely under the influence of his emotional state. And as a result often resorts to aggression in order to express force.

    Aggression is a useful instinct because it amplifies force. However unlike exerting pure force, aggression exerts force in an undirected manner. Sort of like using a chainsaw to cut hair (this is a very extreme example). While a chainsaw will damage an individuals head, it WILL cut the hair.

    Force infused with strong emotions (like hurt) often becomes aggression. And negative emotions are just a reaction to feelings of scarcity, insecurity or any other form of disempowerment.

    Aggression can however become useful in some situations because it magnifies the amount of force an individual can exert, but unchecked (where emotion overrides reason) and utilized against another, it can cause the other person to become aggressive as a response in order to counter feelings of disempowerment.

    == (Continued Next Page) ==
     
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    Zero Angel

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    == Part 4: Why aggression is important to Evolution ==

    Evolution is built upon the principle of natural selection or 'survival of the fittest' -- and genetic fitness is partially determined by an organisms ability to exert force.


    Since it is possible to exert large amounts of force by being aggressive. Aggressiveness is a tactic favored by many animals, since it contributes to hunting and self-defense. Thus enabling that organism to pass its genes on. In fact any trait which increases an organism's chance of survival (as well as the survival of its offspring) is favored, evolutionarily.

    Like most other animals, the average human being is attracted to qualities in individuals which increase its offspring's chance of survival. One of these things is stability, which is why most females favor a male who has a good financial situation. And the second thing is force, many females favor an individual who is able to exert force in order to achieve his wishes (her end of the deal is that the male can increase the survival odds of her offspring because of he possesses these qualities and can pass them on).

    Masculinity, then -- is defined as all traits which are typically associated with suitable mates. Especially the ability to exert force.

    No matter what most women say they want in a mate, nearly all of them are attracted to the following qualities:

    - The ability to exert force (we know that aggressive individuals are capable of exerting force)
    - A sense of humor (because humor immunizes us against the disappointments of the world)
    - The ability to have fun (because fun causes us to become active, increasing our physical fitness)

    As a result, many women are attracted to aggressive men -- or at least men who they see as capable of aggression -- because these people can exert force, and thusly guarantee survival of their offspring.

    This, I believe is why aggression manifests itself. Because it is evolutionarily useful in some form. And that no matter what women say, why these qualities are so appealing to them.
     
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  8. OP
    Zero Angel

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    Whew. Yep, that's what I've been thinking about today. I have more to say but I need a mental recharge -- so feel free to comment/discuss what i've written so far.
     
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  9. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    This is all interesting but what intrigues me more is how did all this ignite in your mind? Were you watching a movie about this or did this just pop up from your inconcious. I specially like the idea of women favoring on agressive males, I'm a male speaking here but your science seems logical but at the same time it needs more research. It seems that a civilization can only change due to a force on part of someone else for society to change for the better or the worse. Some have been seemed as villains throughout our history, but because of these villains, others seemed as heroes aggresively defeated them and our world has been shaped the way we know it today.
     
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  10. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    Scratch the first part I post lol, I should have read the preamble :)
     
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  11. Enilas

    Enilas Newbie

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    Basically, what you're saying is, aggression is an evolutionary habit to make males appear masculine/strong?

    I can see why the 14-year old you argued with would do something like belittle others and clearly ignore his own mistakes to make himself feel he's in control and protect his pride.

    Aggression however, affects both genders.

    I would like to agree with you on the assumption that women like aggressive males, but the reverse situation also exists. Much of what we naturally assume has also been proven wrong, such as the overall happiness of having the ability to choose, along with the least excruciating method of removing bandages from burn patients.

    Give me some time to look into what research has been done into the matter. As much as what you say makes sense, without actual data to back it up, I'm rather doubtful of your assumptions.

    Someone that doesn't exert force doesn't necessarily mean that many women will like them, since physically abusive husbands are clearly taking that to an extreme. One who controls the urge to exert force can be seen as considerate, thoughtful, able to restrain themselves from harming others.
    Also, doesn't everyone want to have a mate or even just a friend that's fun to be around?
     
    #11 Enilas, May 31, 2009
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    Zero Angel

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    == Part 5: The effects of emotions on human actions ==

    I also think that the emotional component of the human brain has a very important impact on these things. Emotions tie all of our actions together. When we are disempowered we often get upset and employ aggression in order to regain a sense of empowerment.

    Negative feelings exist for a reason. When I am hungry, I feel a certain type of pain which tells me that I must eat (if I didnt feel this pain, I might allow myself to starve to death). When I am sad, I feel a certain type of pain which tells me that I must correct a situation which is causing the sadness. When I feel anger, it is because I am disempowered where I do not believe that the person should have a right to do so.

    An ideal individual does not need to employ aggression or any other strong emotional force. He only needs to employ force. When force is not seperated from emotion it can be destructive.

    In the military people are taught obedience and discipline. Discipline is needed because without the discipline we would be slaves to our short-term emotions. That is why people in the military are expected to put up with abuse during basic training. Through exposure they are taught to control their emotions, particularly the emotion of the fear of physical harm. Thus it is possible to exert force efficiently and precisely, because an individual who can control his emotions is much more effective in combat (and any other task) than an individual who is a slave to them.

    Of course this type of training might have the opposite effect of causing the individual to transmute his emotions (such as fear and sadness) to anger which is a more useful function in combat.

    In a sense I believe that most people have something called 'the will to power' -- and emotions are just the mechanisms in which to achieve that.
     
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  13. OP
    Zero Angel

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    Yes

    Yes. This child has learned to use aggression as a method in order to project force, in order to prevent himself from feeling disempowered.

    I agree. I believe all human beings strive to feel happy, and people feel happy when they believe their actions have an effect on what is important to them. But in order to realize their actions they need to project force -- as a result some people are known to employ aggression because it's what they learned -- and on the surface, seems a more effective tactic.

    You may have a point here. Tell me about this most effective method of removing bandages from burn patients and why it is counter-intuitive.

    Yes, a lot of it is assumptions. A lot of it is drawn from experience however, and it 'fits' when I try to use it to explain various phenomena which are related to it.

    As far as women who have abusive husbands are concerned. I believe that the woman was initially attracted to the husband because of his ability to exert force -- there was just something sexy about it to them. Maybe they couldnt explain it, but regardless it existed. I am attempting to explain WHY it existed in the first place.

    If your life was in danger who would you rather have on your side. Someone who you like but can't help you out much? Or someone who could protect you but you just had to put up with them?

    I think there are rational reasons why people are drawn to seemingly irrational actions.

    Yes, I think many people choose that in a mate, hence why sense of humor is important. But I think there are reasons underneath that. I think in fact that the emotional state of 'having fun' has a reason for existing.

    As a child we enjoy playing. Playing is an activity which increases our fitness and physical coordination. It also cements social bonds.

    Would you think then, that playing has no reason for existing except to give us 'fun'? All of the things that playing is used for increases our chances of survival.

    Our emotions always exist for a reason.
     
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    #13 Zero Angel, May 31, 2009
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  14. Enilas

    Enilas Newbie

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    As a note, the videos I'm posting are around 20 minute long lectures. Scientific research and explanations are crammed into each of these, so be sure you have time to listen closely.

    Also, they are many, many different topics that are talked about in each 20 minutes. You don't have to watch all 20 minutes for the specific experiments I'm talking about, but I do suggest listening to all of it if you have the time. There are many different topics that are touched upon.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html

    I believe that happiness has to do with how we view situations. Drive and accomplishment does affect happiness, but it also has to do a lot with the way we've expected situations to turn out, along with how they really do turn out.

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talk/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_code.html

    The nurses who took the bandages off of burn patients assumed wrongly that taking the bandages off slowly over a long period of time with no regard to certain areas would be more bearable.
    It turns out that taking bandages off starting from the face and down to less intensive/sensitive areas was the most bearable for burn patients.


    I get what you're saying. However, being in danger is an uncommon situation seen in daily peoples' lives. Thinking in the long term situation, people change, and I'm thinking that if someone had to, they would risk their lives for someone that they love.

    Taking experience from English stories, there are those that you put up with and can't help you out much. There are those who can protect you and you can like. It depends on the person.

    Also referring to the previous talk on happiness based on choice, if you've decided on someone without having the choice of worrying about what other choices there were, they'll end up happier.

    There are rational reasons. Scientific research to see if those rational responses are beneficial/most efficient should at least be done, even for the supposedly obvious assumptions most people make.

    It could be that they were initially attracted. I don't know enough to say if most women are attracted to the traits you mentioned, but it seems that socially, we've been following those evolutionary traits.

    [QUOTE]Yes, I think many people choose that in a mate, hence why sense of humor is important. But I think there are reasons underneath that. I think in fact that the emotional state of 'having fun' has a reason for existing.

    As a child we enjoy playing. Playing is an activity which increases our fitness and physical coordination. It also cements social bonds.

    Would you think then, that playing has no reason for existing except to give us 'fun'? All of the things that playing is used for increases our chances of survival.

    Our emotions always exist for a reason.
    [/QUOTE]


    Playing does cement social bonds, which allows the ability to work as a group more efficiently. It does increase the chance for survival.


    Our emotions do exist for a reason. Sometimes, though, our emotions get in the way of thinking rationally. It's the ability to recognize those emotions and choose the best course of action depending on the situation that can help us create a better situation.
     
    #14 Enilas, May 31, 2009
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    Zero Angel

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    I liked this speech, it was a very good one. I did like the part about the Harvard photo experiment a great deal as it did touch upon a subject which is counter-intuitive and made a very good point which is "Getting what we want doesn't necessarily make us happy" because even if we don't get what we want, we can still be happy anyways.


    This isn't really counter intuitive when you *really* think about it. In a sense it's better to get it over and done with. It's better for a patient experiencing a short but intense pain is better than a long and drawn out moderate one. Simply because if the experiences get more painful then the patient will know this and feel discomfort at that thought.

    I agree that someone might risk their lives for someone that they love. But I think there are a lot of situations where 'something' is in danger, perhaps if that something is us not getting what we want.

    Agreed. I presented that topic only to contrast the difference -- and to potentially explain why women put up with a situation which is abusive. That particular point was partially based on experience as well.

    We always have the choice of worrying.


    Havent you ever wanted to make a statement first? To check your logic. Everything needs scientific research to improve its accuracy. But researching is a cumbersome process and sometimes it is better to 'choose' ahead of time. I chose to express my views without spending hours or even days saying what scientific experiments say about it. Why? Because I wanted to.

    Yes. I think we get into a lot of situations where we use emotions without understanding that they are perhaps influencing us in the wrong direction. Emotions are useful and created for a purpose but they can act against us when we lack awareness of them (that one is experiencing it, and why one is experiencing it)
     
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    #15 Zero Angel, May 31, 2009
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