dan2100

Why man needs approval

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Darn, I'd wish you would summarize. So looonnnggggg. :/ I read the first part of it.

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that man needs approval from others. We're deeply-social animals who naturally integrate into a cultural system of roles, symbolism, and systematic knowledge. For example, both a sense of hierarchy and a sense of community are hardwired functions within the mind.

As children, we also associate approval with security and safety through our family. We have hugely-primative needs to experience approval because that's how a child feels he/she generates safety in youth. Everybody is young and helpless at some point, so this need for approval (which in its most healthy state is a need for love) is quite natural. As we grow older, we become more independent of direct dependency, but we depend to a greater degree on a community. Hence, I think the desire to be accepted into a community survives across all ages as a legitimate human need.

That said, the mirror idea of Branden's romantic love theory is also very interesting, and I have found no evidence yet to contradict it. Buber's I-Thou theory states that we are both an independent identity as well as a relational identity, and health is achieved through the balance of the two. Balance seems to require that the relational side, which is essentially reflection between two people, sees and confirms the independent side. What we know is that neuroses in the relational side (not being seen) might result in the individual being consumed by a relationship (in order to stay connected with people) or suppressing the relational side (and human connection) in a desperate attempt to hold onto a sense of individuality.

Fascinating topic, interesting article.

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Darn, I'd wish you would summarize. So looonnnggggg. :/ I read the first part of it.

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that man needs approval from others. We're deeply-social animals who naturally integrate into a cultural system of roles, symbolism, and systematic knowledge. For example, both a sense of hierarchy and a sense of community are hardwired functions within the mind.

As children, we also associate approval with security and safety through our family. We have hugely-primative needs to experience approval because that's how a child feels he/she generates safety in youth. Everybody is young and helpless at some point, so this need for approval (which in its most healthy state is a need for love) is quite natural. As we grow older, we become more independent of direct dependency, but we depend to a greater degree on a community. Hence, I think the desire to be accepted into a community survives across all ages as a legitimate human need.

That said, the mirror idea of Branden's romantic love theory is also very interesting, and I have found no evidence yet to contradict it. Buber's I-Thou theory states that we are both an independent identity as well as a relational identity, and health is achieved through the balance of the two. Balance seems to require that the relational side, which is essentially reflection between two people, sees and confirms the independent side. What we know is that neuroses in the relational side (not being seen) might result in the individual being consumed by a relationship (in order to stay connected with people) or suppressing the relational side (and human connection) in a desperate attempt to hold onto a sense of individuality.

Fascinating topic, interesting article.

I'm happy that you liked it.

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I'm going to go with C.H. Cooley's theory of the "social looking-glass self."

"Only in man does man know himself; life alone teaches each one what he is." Goethe, Tasso, act 2, sc. 3.

"'Each to each a looking-glass

Reflects the other that doth pass.'

As we see our face, figure, and dress in the glass, and are interested in them because they are ours, and pleased or otherwise with them according as they do or do not answer to what we should like them to be; so in imagination we perceive in another's mind some thought of our appearance, manners, aims, deeds, character, friends, and so on, and are variously affected by it.

A self-idea of this sort seems to have three principal element: the imagination of our appearance to the other person; the imagination of his judgment of that appearance, and some sort of self-feeling, such as pride or mortification. The comparison with a looking-glass hardly suggests the second element, the imagined judgment, which is quite essential. The thing that moves us to pride or shame is not the mere mechanical reflection of ourselves, but an imputed sentiment, the imagined effect of this reflection upon another's mind. This is evident from the fact that the character and freight of that other, in whose mind we see ourselves, makes all the difference with our feeling. We are ashamed to seem evasive in the presence of a straightforward man, cowardly in the presence of a brave one, gross in the eyes of a refined one, and so on. We always imagine, and in imagining share, the judgments of the other mind. A man will boast to one person of an action--say some sharp transaction in trade--which he would be ashamed to own to another.

It should be evident that the ideas that are associated with self-feeling and form the intellectual content of the self cannot be covered by any simple description, as by saying that the body has such a part in it, friends such a part, plans so much, etc., but will vary indefinitely with particular temperaments and environments. The tendency of the self, like every aspect of personality, is expressive of far-reaching hereditary and social factors, and is not to be understood or predicted except in connection with the general life. Although special, it is in no way separate--speciality and separateness are not only different but contradictory, since the former implies connection with a whole. The object of self-feeling is affected by the general course of history, by the particular development of nations, classes, and professions, and other conditions of this sort." From Charles Horton Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order. New York: Scribner's, 1902, pp. 179-185.

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In the movie Castaway, Chuck Noland decides to leave the island when he discovers that he cannor even commit suicide successfully.

That said, I reduce all problems to Crusoe Concepts. Alone on the island, could Crusoe.... So, in fact, I decided that Crusoe could use money.

http://forum.objectivismonline.net/index.php?showtopic=11621&pid=168481&mode=threaded&start=

(These comments came from a series of posts I made in early 2005 to

www.solohq.com, now called rebirthofreason.com. Based on replies –

objections, mostly – I posted another version to The Molinari

Institute group discussion on Yahoo at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/molinari-institute/

What follows is a narrow presentation of the basic claim. I am

expanding the thesis for more formal presentation in an acadmic

venue.)

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.collecting.coins/2008-10/msg00354.html

http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.econ/2008-10/msg00095.html

http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/economists-are-just-sociologists-with-good-math-skills-welcome-to-the-club/

That said, alone on an island, how does Robinson Crusoe survive without the approval of other people?

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That said, alone on an island, how does Robinson Crusoe survive without the approval of other people?

This is complicated. First, you have to go through the hierarchy of needs thing. In this case, that will involve weird prayers, like if you had The Professor (you know, from Gilligan's Island) and he could find common items around there, mix them in coconut shells, and create various electrolytic stuff. Between that, and anything you picked off the shore, you might be able to fashion a crude radio. That is where you start listening to Rush Limbaugh, albeit that you might have problems, given that it is a daytime show and, as we all know, the ionosphere is better for bounce at night. Anyway. You might get the words wrong, but you will, if anything, feel a vague connection. At worst, you have someone to compare yourself against. At that moment, your self-esteem will increase, and this will help you work on your raft.

rde

I Help People

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In the movie Castaway, Chuck Noland decides to leave the island when he discovers that he cannor even commit suicide successfully.

That said, I reduce all problems to Crusoe Concepts. Alone on the island, could Crusoe.... So, in fact, I decided that Crusoe could use money.

http://forum.objecti...threaded&start=

(These comments came from a series of posts I made in early 2005 to

www.solohq.com, now called rebirthofreason.com. Based on replies –

objections, mostly – I posted another version to The Molinari

Institute group discussion on Yahoo at http://groups.yahoo....nari-institute/

What follows is a narrow presentation of the basic claim. I am

expanding the thesis for more formal presentation in an acadmic

venue.)

http://newsgroups.de...0/msg00354.html

http://sci.tech-arch...0/msg00095.html

http://orgtheory.wor...me-to-the-club/

That said, alone on an island, how does Robinson Crusoe survive without the approval of other people?

I recall Branden discussing this in one of his books. He mentioned, I believe, the "Muttnik Principle." It wasn't so much a matter of surviving as of flourishing -- though my guess is those who flourish tend to survive longer.

Also, how would Crusoe use money in a meaningful way?

Edited by Dan Ust

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Some links related to this thread are here:

We all know that the best life is a (rationally) self-centered one: do what you gotta do to make you and only you happy - get that career you wanted, that house, that book, that trip around the world, that adorable puppy, and screw all those other losers who say you should think more about the opinions of other people or that your money would be better spent buying a rosary to give to a mother in Africa. It's about you and your wants. But we also all know that, as incredibly awesome as your personal success is, it can also quite dreary unless you have someone to share it with (in the same way that having a significant other would mean nothing if you had achieved nothing from your own life - if your "love" with that person was unearned).

So, my query is, what exactly is it that makes worthwhile social interaction so essential to happiness?

You have someone to understand you, yes; you have someone to share your life with, yes - but if life is about success and individual achievement, can't you accomplish that all without someone's understanding or sharing it, and enjoy it fully? If that's what brings happiness (and it does), why is it not complete happiness if it's all alone? What is it in being with rational people that makes life seem meaningful (or so I would imagine)?

(Note - I'm not in any way saying that Objectivists "theoretically" shouldn't need others' company; I'm honestly wondering exactly why it is that we do so much.)

Enlighten me!

Recent works:

Others in Mind

Social Origins of Self-Consciousness

Philippe Rochat (Cambridge 2009)

Predicative Minds

The Social Ontogeny of Propositional Thinking

Radu Bogdan (MIT 2009)

An essay integrating pertinent scientific research with Rand’s thought:

“Why Man Needs Approval”

Marsha Enright (Objectivity 1991)

ABSTRACT

It is argued that the desire for positive responses from others is engrained in both our animal nature and our rational nature. This is the story of the profoundly social and emotional nature of intelligent human being. From interactive smiling in the crib, to sharing visual attention, to acquisition of language and registration of the feelings and intentions of others, to full-grown independent mind, this is how we are woven. This is the tapestry of our symbolic consciousness, our individuality, and our sociability, the tapestry of our wings for creation, romantic love, and happiness.

I regretted having to bump another currently active thread in the Psychology sector in order to enter this overdue post. So here is the return.

Edited by Stephen Boydstun

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Also, how would Crusoe use money in a meaningful way?

I discussed it here on Objectivist Living and also on Rebirth of Reason and on one of hte Yahoo Groups, Molanari.

My essays on this (and other subjects) are all over the WWW. I have a couple of other projects ahead of turning "Crusoe" into a submission to a peer-reviewed academic journal. Also, over on Objectivism Online, the sysop there pointed me to an essay of his using Robinson Crusoe's money as a way to analyze the Austrian Business Cycle.

But, to be back on track, I agree that "Muttnik" provides some insight. Also, in the actual book by Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe comes closer to God. In that sense, without other people, you could (and likely would) personalize and anthropomorphize your physical world. In fact, I think humans did that as they gained consciousness. It may be that not all humans were (or even today are) "self-conscious" and clearly many are not "self-aware." So, a self-aware person of higher consciousness, finding himself nominally "alone" most of the time, projects himself on ordinary humans and finds some comfort in their company.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta

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Also, how would Crusoe use money in a meaningful way?

I discussed it here on Objectivist Living and also on Rebirth of Reason and on one of hte Yahoo Groups, Molanari.

My essays on this (and other subjects) are all over the WWW. I have a couple of other projects ahead of turning "Crusoe" into a submission to a peer-reviewed academic journal. Also, over on Objectivism Online, the sysop there pointed me to an essay of his using Robinson Crusoe's money as a way to analyze the Austrian Business Cycle.

Would you care to share a link to a concise and simple essay on this by you?

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I discussed it here on Objectivist Living and also on Rebirth of Reason and on one of hte Yahoo Groups, Molanari.

My essays on this (and other subjects) are all over the WWW.

Would you care to share a link to a concise and simple essay on this by you?

No. If you are not willing to make the effort, then stay ignorant for all I care.

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That said, alone on an island, how does Robinson Crusoe survive without the approval of other people?

Just as an aside, it should be noted that need-fulfillment is an issue that concerns health more than it concerns survival (although the two are interlinked). Man can survive without fulfilling several of his needs, but he generally does not experience as fulfilling a life. Fulfilling by whose standards? Fulfilling by the standards of the men who have lived without and with the need fulfilled, and who then make self-report on their experience. Scientifically, I don't think there is much doubt that approval adds to the fulfillment experience of others. It's not the need for approval per se that Objectivism questions, I think it is "approval at what cost"

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I discussed it here on Objectivist Living and also on Rebirth of Reason and on one of hte Yahoo Groups, Molanari.

My essays on this (and other subjects) are all over the WWW.

Would you care to share a link to a concise and simple essay on this by you?

No. If you are not willing to make the effort, then stay ignorant for all I care.

I guess it's too hard for you to post a link. I post links here. It seems easy to me. I wonder why it's hard for you to do so in this instance.

Also, I wonder why the continuing hostility on your part directed at me.

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.

In her 1991 essay “Why Man Needs Approval,” Marsha Enright reported concerning language acquisition:

Speech does not emerge simply from hearing it. There must be interaction. A boy with normal hearing but with deaf parents was exposed to television every day so that he would learn English. By age three, he had become fluent in the sign language of his parents and their associates. He neither understood nor spoke English (Muskowitz 1978, 94–94B).
Muskowitz, B. 1978. The Acquisition of Language. Sci. Amer. (Nov):92–108.

Check out the summary in Science News of the recent results from Judy Deloache: “DVDs Poor at Teaching Kids Words.” In study, toddlers learned most effectively from their parents.

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.

Related to Marsha's essay, this book is coming next year:

The Selfish Path to Romance

Edwin Locke and Ellen Kenner

Looks sensible offhand.

(Notwithstanding the cover, I gather that these authors will not try to pass off same-sex romantic love as not possible or defective or second-rate, etc.)

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.

Related to Marsha's essay, this book is coming next year:

The Selfish Path to Romance

Edwin Locke and Ellen Kenner

Looks sensible offhand.

(Notwithstanding the cover, I gather that these authors will not try to pass off same-sex romantic love as not possible or defective or second-rate, etc.)

Stephen,

Here is a quote from the description of the CD course--Romance: Bringing Love and Sex Together (also by Locke and Kenner)-- which was apparently based on their forthcoming book:

. . . The course is suitable for couples, including same-sex couples, and singles—-anyone who wants to enhance a current relationship or acquire knowledge for a future one.

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A lot of times, as soon as I start feeling like I am getting a lot of approval, I start thinking I might have really fucked up. You have to watch that.

Name that quote.

rde

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Michael Marotta wrote: "That said, alone on an island, how does Robinson Crusoe survive without the approval of other people?"

A great movie to watch about this subject (whether it's approval or visibility or any other psychological benefit we get from interacting with others) is "Cast Away," starring Tom Hanks. Chuck Noland is a FedEx agent who is about to get married when a FedEx plane he's traveling on crashes. Noland is the only survivor. He makes it to the shore of the nearby island. Nobody comes to rescue him and he is far from civilization.

He is alone for many years, with no prospect of returning to society. Though he has learned to survive physically, in his loneliness Noland does once almost kill himself. The memory of his girlfriend helps keep him alive. So does painting a face on a basketball from one of the FedEx packages that washed ashore; he talks to this object as if it were a person. It's not giving away too much to report that Noland does eventually leave the island, but too late to renew his relationship with his girlfriend, who still cares deeply for him.

After the movie came out, this development--Noland's loss of his girlfriend despite having finally escaped from the island--was slammed by at least one viewer on an Objectivist discussion board. Presumably, Noland's success in returning to society was thematically undercut by his then being obliged to give up the person he cares about most. Presumably, we were being handed a tragic sense of life, or some such nonsense, no matter how dramatically explicable, plausible and even necessary was this disappointment. Yet taken as a whole, the movie can only be understood as strongly affirming the possibilities of life. The story's ending is unambiguously optimistic. First, Noland explains to a friend (and to us) why he remains hopeful about his future despite the severe blow he has just suffered in losing the chance to be with a woman who, through his memory of her, sustained him throughout years of isolation. Then, in a skillful and understated final scene, we see Noland pursue one of the many prospects that his new life in society has to offer. Life goes on.

Edited by Starbuckle

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Michael Marotta wrote: "That said, alone on an island, how does Robinson Crusoe survive without the approval of other people?"

A great movie to watch about this subject (whether it's approval or visibility or any other psychological benefit we get from interacting with others) is "Castaway," starring Tom Hanks. Chuck Noland is a FedEx agent who is about to get married when a FedEx plane he's traveling on crashes. Noland is the only survivor. He makes it to the shore of the nearby island. Nobody comes to rescue him and he is far from civilization.

He is alone for many years, with no prospect of returning to society. Though he has learned to survive physically, in his loneliness Noland does once almost kill himself. The memory of his girlfriend helps keep him alive. So does painting a face on a basketball from one of the FedEx packages that washed ashore; he talks to this object as if it were a person. It's not giving away too much to report that Noland does eventually leave the island, but too late to renew his relationship with his girlfriend, who still cares deeply for him.

After the movie came out, this development--Noland's loss of his girlfriend despite having finally escaped from the island--was slammed by at least one viewer on an Objectivist discussion board. Presumably, Noland's success in returning to society was thematically undercut by his then being obliged to give up the person he cares about most. Presumably, we were being handed a tragic sense of life, or some such nonsense, no matter how dramatically explicable, plausible and even necessary was this disappointment. Yet taken as a whole, the movie can only be understood as strongly affirming the possibilities of life. The story's ending is unambiguously optimistic. First, Noland explains to a friend (and to us) why he remains hopeful about his future despite the severe blow he has just suffered in losing the chance to be with a woman who, through his memory of her, sustained him throughout years of isolation. Then, in a skillful and understated final scene, we see Noland pursue one of the many prospects that his new life in society has to offer. Life goes on.

Well, no one else has to bother about watching it now.

I had already done that, and, thankfully, waited long enough until I didn't have to pay for it outside of my monthly cable bill. Then, some friends had DVD's of it. I thought that movie got way too much hoopla. But, it was good for Tom, who never stops evolving. You know, he started out in Cleveland, the whole S-peare Fest and all that (Lakewood<'s-ed> High School, my primary stomping ground for years). Great Lakes Festival.

He carried the movie(<--true but blatant joke if you know the screenplay at all). Maybe he wanted to just work on a set like that. He had nice things to say about making the movie. It had its moments. That was Robert Zemickis, right? It was very Disney-like.

Left me a little un-uplifted.

rde

Edited by Rich Engle

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I liked it just fine, the movie that is. Why are we discussing a novel like Crusoe as if it was a guide to a proper life? It's hardly Ayn at her best.

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I liked it just fine, the movie that is. Why are we discussing a novel like Crusoe as if it was a guide to a proper life? It's hardly Ayn at her best.

I think Robinson Crusoe was brought up because its subject is man in isolation (at least for much of the book), and the topic of the thread is the nature of the human need for other people. But you're right. Alissa Rosenbaum didn't really come into her own as a novelist until she ditched the pen name of "Daniel Defoe" and opted for "Ayn Rand" instead.

Edited by Starbuckle

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Life Evaluation and Emotional Well-Being

Recent research results are summarized in the preceding link (two pages). Social life and achievement as factors in happiness were addressed in this study. Some of what Rand wrote concerning the relations of life, rationality, money, and happiness fit well enough with patterns appearing in these results. However, looking briefly into the concept of happiness designed by Rand, the social dimension of human being is not salient. That is not square with the present results and is perhaps a deficiency with Rand’s organization of factors in happiness, to which Marsha’s vista is a corrective harmoniously lain over Rand’s.

“Why Man Needs Approval” – Marsha Enright (1991)

ABSTRACT

It is argued that the desire for positive responses from others is engrained in both our animal nature and our rational nature. This is the story of the profoundly social and emotional nature of intelligent human being. From interactive smiling in the crib, to sharing visual attention, to acquisition of language and registration of the feelings and intentions of others, to full-grown independent mind, this is how we are woven. This is the tapestry of our symbolic consciousness, our individuality, and our sociability, the tapestry of our wings for creation, romantic love, and happiness.

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A Critical Period for Social Experience-Dependent Oligodendrocyte Maturation and Myelination

Abstract

Makinodan, Rosen, Ito, and Corfas (Science 2012, Sep 14)

“These findings indicate that social experience regulates prefrontal cortex myelination through neuregulin-1/ErbB3 signaling and that this is essential for normal cognitive function, thus providing a cellular and molecular context to understand the consequences of social isolation.”

Early Isolation Impairs Brain Connections

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why Man Needs Approval

  • Concretizing the Self
  • Animal Company
  • Interaction in Development
  • Sensitivity and Independence

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A key work beyond Piaget’s introducing me to research on child development—cognitive, emotional, and moral—was Jerome Kagen’s The Nature of the Child (1984). This year Prof. Kagen has a new work that incorporates the research findings of these last thirty years as well:

The Human Spark

From the Preface

Social scientists who were trained in American universities during the first half of the twentieth century found it hard to escape the assumptions about human nature that history had bestowed on them. As that century began, large numbers of children from impoverished, illiterate immigrant families living in densely populated neighborhoods were doing poorly in school and disrupting civic harmony. The social scientists’ preferred explanation of such facts emphasized the power of experience to create these and other profiles. This unquestioned faith in the malleability of the mind, an idea not yet documented by research, sustained the hope that proper rearing within the family and proper instruction by conscientious teachers in the schools could transform all children into productive citizens.

Only a few decades earlier, many experts had assumed that the less-than-adequate adjustment of the children born to poor immigrants was attributable to inherited biological defects. This pessimistic explanation bothered liberal Americans who, believing in the power of experience to conquer all but the most serious deficiencies, hungered for scientific support of their belief. Freud and the behaviorists supplied the reassurance by announcing that variation in experience could account for most of the variation in children’s competences and behaviors. By the 1950s, a large majority of developmental psychologists were certain that the events of early childhood, especially in the home, were the primary determinants of adolescent and adult profiles. Each child’s biological features, which the psychologists did not deny, could essentially be ignored.

A rash of unexpected scientific discoveries after 1960 challenged this optimistic position. Stella Chess and Alexander Thomas described the contribution of infant temperaments to later personality at the same time that others were finding evidence for genetic contributions to many talents. These discoveries—combined with the failure to provide convincing evidence that experience alone could create an extremely shy, aggressive, or intellectually impaired child—forced the next cohort of psychologists to acknowledge biology’s influence.

I entered graduate school in 1950 committed to the older environmental position but sufficiently receptive to the biological perspective to take advantage of a chance event that led to a personal epiphany. . . .

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