Friday, February 23, 2018

Buddhism: The Oldest Form of Psychology

There are many misconceptions about Buddhism that can be attributed to a Western ideology that does not match more dominant Eastern ideologies. Probably the most fundamental misconception about Buddhism is that it is a religion.

When missionaries from the west came to India and parts of Asia, they saw the Buddhist Monks kneeling and chanting before large iconic statues, and assumed that Buddhists prayed and worshiped a god. They told the Buddhists that what they were doing was called "religion". And thus began a long history of misrepresentation and misunderstanding about what Buddhism is.

Buddhism does not fit the definition of a religion for several reasons. For one, Buddhism has no god and no spiritual afterlife, and Buddhists do no believe in a soul or prayer.

Buddhists assert that there are 4 noble truths to life:

1. Dakkha - "There is suffering"

Buddhists believe that people experience dissatisfaction, annoyance, and suffering in life.

2. Dakkha Samudaya - "What causes suffering"

Buddhists believe that the cause of suffering is a "thirsting" or "craving" for things in life.

3. Duhkkha Niradha - "Eliminate Craving"

Buddhists believe that in order to end suffering, people must learn to eliminate their cravings (for people, things, outcomes, etc.)

4. Magga - "Minimize Craving" - The Eight Fold Path

Buddhists believe in 8 things (the eight fold path) that will minimize craving. They are right thinking, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. These elements can be categorized as wisdom, moral conduct, and mental discipline.

Because Buddhism asserts ways of living that will minimize suffering, and has it's own theories about the human condition, many Psychologists consider Buddhism to be the oldest form of psychology.

(to be continued...)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Kids Who Expect Aggression become Aggressive

"Hypervigilance to hostility in others triggers aggressive behavior in children, says a new Duke University-led study.

The four-year longitudinal study involving 1,299 children and their parents finds the pattern holds true in 12 different cultural groups from nine countries across the globe."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Unconscious Prejudices Test by Harvard

Almost everyone holds prejudices that they are not even aware of. Harvard has created tests that measure prejudice through quick presentation of certain factors, so you can see what prejudices you hold that you may not be consciously aware of. For instance, when stimulus are presented in a rapid manner in which you cannot consciously perceive, most white participants will react more negatively to black race - an example that has been called modern racism.
See what prejudices you hold:
(I took the race and sexual orientation tests. Take with an open mind, because most of these prejudices are held societally and are not an indication of your character.)

Group Think

Psych term of the day:
Groupthink - a type of thinking in which group members share such a strong motivation to achieve consensus that they lose the ability to critically evaluate alternative points of view. This typically leads to poor decisions. Groups limit the list of possible solutions to just a few, and they spend relatively little time considering any alternatives once the leader seems to be leaning toward a particular solution. In addition, groups may fall prey to entrapment, a circumstance in which commitments to a failing point of view or course of action are increased to justify investments in time and energy that have already been made.

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