Your everyday experience tells you that your thoughts cause you to behave in certain ways. Feeling happy makes you smile, and feeling sad makes you frown. However, decades of research have revealed that the exact opposite is also true - behaviour creates thoughts. When you smile you feel happier, and when you frown you feel sad. The same effect applies to belief. Get people to behave as if they hold a certain belief and bingo, they start to actually believe.
↳ Richard Wiseman
tells the the truth about mind control
: to get someone to believe in something you just have to make them behave as if they do and their mind will eventually develop beliefs that are consistent with those behaviours.
“When trying to understand what others are thinking […] [nonhuman primates] expect other individuals to perform the most rational action that they can, given the environmental obstacles that they face.”
- Primates expect others to act rationally
Apparently, nonhuman primates (like rhesus macaque) are able to understand the difference between goal-oriented and accidental behaviors and between rational and non-rational behaviors and they have the expectation that others’ actions are rational.
[…] tool use used to be considered uniquely human. And then when it was found in captivity by Köhler, this is in the 1920s, people would say, “Well, but at least in the wild they never do it.” And then it was found in the wild, and then they would say, “Well, at least they don’t make tools.” And then it was found that they actually also make tools. So tool use was one of those dividing lines. Mirror self-recognition is a key experiment that was first conducted on the apes. The language experiments, even though we now doubt what the apes do is actually what we would call “language,” they certainly put a dent in that whole claim that symbolic communication is uniquely human. My own studies on, let’s call it “politics,” and reconciliation behavior and pro-social behavior have put a dent in things. And so I think over the years every postulate of difference between humans and apes has been at least questioned, if not knocked over. As a result, we are now in a situation that most of the differences are considered gradual rather than qualitative.
On Scientific American’s blog there is an article telling about a tragic anecdotes:
"A female gazelle having suddenly died from something it had eaten, the male stood over the dead body of his mate, butting every one who attempted to touch it, then, suddenly making a spring, struck his head against a wall and fell dead at the side of his companion."
The post suggest to possible explanation:
1. the male gazelle also ate the same thing that killed the female and it caused neurological damages that made him harmful to himself (and others).
2. The gazelle’s action seems similar what is known as “stotting” (jumping in the air with all four legs simultaneously off the ground, like in the photo above) that gazelles do when scared by a predator. In this case, maybe the gazelle perceived humans as predators.
But, just like the author of the post, I’m curious if there is some evidence that some animals commits suicide.
Have you ever heard something about suicidal animals? And if so, is the suicide in animals comparable and the one in humans?
Self-Constraint Leads Us to Prefer Aggression
How do you feel when you deny yourself something you want? […]
Past studies have shown that exerting self-control may increase irritability and anger. But the new research found that the increased aggression brought on by self-restraint has a much broader effect.
The researchers studied different types of self-control and the subjects’ subsequent behavior. For instance, participants who carefully controlled their spending of a gift certificate were more interested in looking at angry faces than fearful ones.
Dieters preferred public service ads that were framed in threats, such as “if funds are not increased for police training, more criminals will escape prison.”
Subjects who picked an apple over chocolate were more irritated by ads that used words like “you ought to" or "need to,” which sound controlling. They were also more likely to choose to watch a movie with a theme of hostility over other options. […]
Everyday intuitions suggest full conscious control of behavior, but evidence of unconscious causation and automaticity has sustained the contrary view that conscious thought has little or no impact on behavior.
The evidence for conscious causation of behavior is profound, extensive, adaptive, multifaceted, and empirically strong. However, conscious causation is often indirect and delayed, and it depends on interplay with unconscious processes.
It is plausible that almost every human behavior comes from a mixture of conscious and unconscious processing.
Baumeister, R. F., Masicampo, E. J., & Vohs, K. D. (in press for 2011).
Does conscious thought cause behavior? Annual Review of Psychology.(via psydoctor8)
Freud was not so wrong.