Socialization 101

My world made more sense when I realized the following things:

  • Things are the way they are because the environment favored those who possess the traits we presently possess. Natural selection favors the best suited and these traits get passed along to their off spring. All human beings have these traits.
  • We possess the traits of human beings 10000 years ago and they are best suited for survival in that era. However, technology has increased so dramatically since then that our environment is no longer then same but we have not adapted to the changes yet.
  • The goal of the individual is to survive.
  • Before society an individual could not survive on their own, they needed to be part of a group.
  • Before society, human beings were somewhere in the middle of the food chain. They needed to be cautions and afraid all the time in order to survive.
  • The world makes a lot of sense when we are older and looking back at development, but it does not make sense looking forward. When we relate to children we need to remember that they have very little concept of the future.
  • Classical and Operant conditioning work with human beings more effective when they are young and before they are able to think about the world in an abstract way (e.g. formal operational stage).
  • The brain does not treat thought and reality as different things – functional mri scans indicate that only the motor cortex shows a decrease in activity when someone thinks about something vs. them actually doing it.
  • Human beings are very effective at encoding and matching patterns.
  • Thinking about a conditioned stimulus will evoke the conditioned response.
  • Most often we are unaware of the conditioning therefore it is an automatic response.
  • Reconditioning takes more effort than initial conditioning.
  • We create survival rules to increase the likelihood that we’ll survive.
  • Once we notice a pattern and form a survival rule concerning it, we rarely test the rule because historically to do so increases the chances of dying.
  • Emotions serve to draw our attention to a particular moment.
  • Adaptively emotions will alert you to a pattern in the environment that you have encoded before. Action may be required.
  • Mal-adaptively emotions can become conditioned responses to unrelated things.