Category Archives: Psychology

Build Your Atomic Habits

In Atomic Habits, author James Clear describes the behavior of making and breaking habits in four stages:

  • Cue:
    To increase a habit, make its cue obvious
    To decrease a habit, make its cue invisible
  • Craving:
    To increase a habit, make its craving attractive
    To decrease a habit, make its craving offputting
  • Response:
    To increase a habit, make its response easy
    To decrease a habit, make its response hard
  • Reward:
    To increase a habit, make its reward satisfying
    To decrease a habit, make its reward unfulfilling

Further Reading:

James Clear / Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

https://www.samuelthomasdavies.com/book-summaries/self-help/atomic-habits/

https://aliabdaal.com/book-notes/atomic-habits-summary/

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

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Surrounded by Idiots

Here’s another modern-day take on the Four Temperaments, a popular book series by Thomas Erikson called “Surrounded by Idiots.” After the original which is subtitled “The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life),” he has written sequels titled “Surrounded by Narcissists,” “… by Psychopaths,” “… by Bad Bosses,” and “… by Setbacks”.

I have found a simple chart explaining his original four types using a two-by-two matrix of introvert vs. extrovert and task or issue-oriented vs. relation-oriented, and a review I read indicates that the DISC Theory of personality is the main influence for the author (and which is also related to humorism.)

    • Red: Extrovert and Task/Issue-oriented
    • Yellow: Extrovert and Relation-oriented
    • Blue: Introvert and Tasks/Issue-oriented
    • Green: Introvert and Relation-oriented

Notably the cover art for the series uses four colors for the different types of people: Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue. These colors are sometimes also used by others to denote the Four Temperaments. These four colors are often used for other classification schemes, and even for corporate logos. Also, these four colors are the set union of the three primary colors of light and the (traditional) three primary pigments.

Further Reading:

Thomas Erikson: Surrounded by Idiots

https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/learning/surrounded-by-idiots-book-review

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism

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The Four-Drive Theory

The Four-Drive Theory of Lawrence and Nohria of the Harvard Business School is a popular model for the motivations of employees within a work environment. They list four drives which need to be in balance for worker happiness and productivity:

    • Drive to Acquire
    • Drive to Bond
    • Drive to Learn
    • Drive to Defend

Further Reading:

Paul R. Lawrence, Nitin Nohria / Driven: how human nature shapes our choices

http://changingminds.org/explanations/needs/lawrence_nohria.htm

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/driven-the-four-drives-underlying-our-human-nature-driven-how-human-nature-shapes-organizations

Four Drive Model Theory

Images for Four Drive Theory:

https://www.google.com/search?q=four+drive+theory&tbm=isch

Also:

http://changingminds.org/explanations/needs/needs.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Fs_(evolution)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership

(Where’s a Wikipedia Page?)

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The Diamond Approach Design Method

Again, I have taken a diagram and bent it into my preferred vision. At least the original figures have isosceles right triangles to begin with. However, they were in a left-to-right sequence (ordered by time) instead of a cycle as I have done. On many diagrams of the diamond approach there are indeed loops that return the user to positions earlier in the sequence so I don’t feel too bad.

The steps that are part of the diamond approach are reminiscent of other learning cycles, such as that of Kolb. The original left-to-right sequence emphasizes the order, as well as showing that steps may be divergent or convergent (analytic or synthetic) in their methods. Instead I have denoted divergence by arrows facing away from each other and convergence by arrows facing towards each other.

    • Discover (divergent)
    • Define (convergent)
    • Develop (divergent)
    • Deliver (convergent)

The main creator of the Diamond Approach is A. H. Almaas, who has written many books on spirituality or esoteric subjects such as the Enneagram. Being a skeptical sort, I have no idea if the notions and methods in these books are worth your time, but the goals indeed sound laudable. How do they differ from psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, or other techniques to improve mental health? Further reading may be required before you pay for classes and retreats.

Further Reading:

https://www.diamondapproach.org/home

https://www.diamondapproach.org/almaas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._H._Almaas

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+diamond+approach+design+method&tbm=isch

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The Square of Epictetus

Here is a nice two-by-two matrix by engineer David E. Goldberg derived from the stoic philosophy of Epictetus. For each and every concern, it’s the cross product of one’s Activity (control vs. no control) and State of Mind (concerned vs. not concerned). And so we have the four combinations:

  • Concerned with Control: Accomplishment
  • Unconcerned with Control: Forgone Opportunity
  • Concerned but No Control: Needless Worry
  • Unconcerned and No Control: Peace of Mind

Of course the key is to dwell within the positive Accomplishment and Peace of Mind regions, and not to inhabit the negative ones of Needless Worry and Forgone Opportunity.

Further Reading:

http://entrepreneurialengineer.blogspot.com/2006/11/square-of-epictetus.html

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141007110433-722904-worry-less-accomplish-more/

More Accomplishment, Less Worry: Follow the Epictetus Square

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epictetus/

Epictetus

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The Four Tendencies

In a new spin on the four temperaments, here is a book that describes four “tendencies” for personality profiles, based on meeting or resisting inner and outer expectations.

  • Upholders: Meets inner expectations, meets outer expectations
  • Obligers: Resists inner expectations, meets outer expectations
  • Inquirers: Meets inner expectations, resists outer expectations (Questioners)
  • Dissenters: Resists inner expectations, resists outer expectations (Rebels)

Further Reading:

Gretchen Rubin / The Four Tendencies: the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better

The Four Tendencies Quiz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humorism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_temperaments

Two Factor Models of Personality

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Who Do You Love?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

— From Who Do You Love by Bo Diddley

The constituents of this list had pretty much congealed in my mind when I ran across information on the eight kinds of love. I thought that in this difficult time it might be useful to consider what is most important by examining all the people and all the things one can love as well as their myriad ramifications. Indeed, love may be the most considered and talked about emotion. Might one even say it is at the root of all of human action?

I know that in order to substantiate my claims I should justify these particular selections by comparing and contrasting them with each other, or to show their association to the eight kinds of love, and to do both would be a worthwhile effort. If I just show my diagram and my little list no one will think much of it. I could say I would return later but we all know how I tend to be distracted by the next bright shiny thing.

At the very least I could do some research, or do some hard thinking about why I’ve chosen these particular eight. I’m not sure if such diligence will reap any benefits but all one can do is try their best. So therefore I invite you to continue reading and perhaps you will be enlightened or perhaps you will be disappointed by what I say in the following analysis, if it even manages to appear at all.

I see that there are some modern analyses of love like Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, based on concepts of passion, intimacy, and commitment. This theory seems to be devoted to interpersonal relationships but maybe so is the Greek Eight types. But I’m thinking of love in a broader sense than just interpersonal, although maybe that doesn’t agree with certain definitions of love.

Love doesn’t have to reciprocated, of course, or directed towards another loving entity. For example, Agape is love of humanity in general, but humanity in general cannot return one’s love. One can also love negative things, like hate, or strife, or friction, and some even make a career out of it. But I’m going to leave that out for now. Alas, my interest has waned on this post and so I will have to try again at a later time.

  • Love of Self
  • Love of Leader
  • Love of Group
  • Love of Other
  • Love of Nature
  • Love of Ideas
  • Love of Gods
  • Love of Things

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Do_You_Love%3F_(Bo_Diddley_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Love

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Philosophy_of_love

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The Eight Kinds of Love

There are several mentions of eight types of love purportedly discussed by the ancient Greeks, but I’m short on the actual references.

In no particular order:

  • Agape: unconditional love
  • Eros: romantic love
  • Philia: affectionate love
  • Philautia: self love
  • Storge: familiar love
  • Pragma: enduring love
  • Ludus: playful love
  • Mania: obsessive love

I had an earlier post on The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis, but now I see that he just left out half of them for some reason. Missing are Philautia, Pragma, Ludus, and Mania, which seem important, but since I haven’t read the book, I don’t know his reasons.

Further Reading:

https://lonerwolf.com/different-types-of-love/

https://www.lifehack.org/816195/types-of-love

https://www.ftd.com/blog/give/types-of-love

https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/learn-the-8-types-of-love-according-to-the-ancient-greeks

8 Types of Love – Which One Are You?

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The Four Philosophy Ensemble

A woman came up to me and said
“I’d like to poison your mind
With wrong ideas that appeal to you
Though I am not unkind”
She looked at me, I looked at something
Written across her scalp
And these are the words that it faintly said
As I tried to call for help…

— From Whistling in the Dark, by They Might Be Giants

  • The Cynic
  • The Realist
  • The Optimist
  • The Apathetic

Further Reading:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FourPhilosophyEnsemble

The Utopian vs. the Dystopian

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_(They_Might_Be_Giants_album)

https://genius.com/They-might-be-giants-whistling-in-the-dark-lyrics

Notes:

Since these pair up nicely (Realism and Apathy, Optimism and Cynicism), perhaps one could combine them as Optimistic Realism, Optimistic Apathy, Cynical Realism, Cynical Apathy.

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Carl Jung’s Alchemical Tetrameria

Jung’s diagram of his alchemical tetrameria is supposed to represent the evolving self, and suggests movement, succession, and change and yet stillness, consistency, and renewal. His own diagram is quite different from mine, but I do think that mine has some merit.

What are those elements A, B, C, D, and a, b, c, d, and the subscripts 1, 2, 3, 4, indicating the modification of them? I’m not quite sure that it matters, except that for the relationships between the two, and the relationships between the four squares, and the relationships between the four parts of the four squares.

In Jung’s diagram, A equals a cycle of a, b, c, and d, and likewise B a cycle of a1, b1, c1, and d1, etc., and so we can instead say A is a cycle of Aa, Ab, Ac, and Ad, and likewise B is a cycle of Ba, Bb, Bc, and Bd, etc. In that sense my diagram denotes much the same as Jung’s.

Nevertheless, I’m going to have to cycle through some more thoughts about why one should spend too much time contemplating this diagram.

Further Reading:

https://elements.spiritalchemy.com/t3-Ch3.html

http://finitegeometry.org/sc/ph/imago.html

http://www.log24.com/philo/Jung/Aion14.html

Murray Stein / Jung’s Map of the Soul: an introduction

Leslie Stein / Becoming Whole: Jung’s equation for realizing God

Carl Jung / Aion

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