The fist and the open hand -- The sisyphean and the Tantalic : an ontological personality typology -- Separant and participant cultures : the social component of the Tantalus ratio -- Jews and Arabs : the relationship between personality types and social characters -- Interaction, objectlessness, and the self-contiuum -- Self, choice, and uniqueness -- Man, other, and things : the phenomenology of interaction -- The Isaac syndrome -- Rebellion and yearning.
The neuromodulator dopamine is centrally involved in reward, approach behavior, exploration, and various aspects of cognition. Variations in dopaminergic function are assumed to be associated with variations in personality, but exactly which traits are influenced by dopamine remains an open question. This paper proposes a theory of the role of dopamine in personality that organizes and explains the diversity of findings, utilizing the division of the dopaminergic system into value coding and salience coding neurons (Bromberg-Martin, Matsumoto, and Hikosaka, 2010). (...) The value coding system is proposed to be related primarily to Extraversion and the salience coding system to Openness/Intellect. Global levels of dopamine influence the higher order personality factor, Plasticity, which comprises the shared variance of Extraversion and Openness/Intellect. All other traits related to dopamine are linked to Plasticity or its subtraits. The general function of dopamine is to promote exploration, by facilitating engagement with cues of specific reward (value) and cues of the reward value of information (salience). This theory constitutes an extension of the entropy model of uncertainty (EMU; Hirsh, Mar, & Peterson, 2012), enabling EMU to account for the fact that uncertainty is an innate incentive reward as well as an innate threat. The theory accounts for the association of dopamine with traits ranging from sensation and novelty seeking, to impulsivity and aggression, to achievement striving, creativity, and cognitive abilities, to the overinclusive thinking characteristic of schizotypy. (shrink)
The aim of the present paper is to show that Hegel’s concept of personal respect is of great interest to contemporary Critical Theory. The author first analyzes this notion as it appears in the Philosophy of Right and then offers a new interpretation of the conceptual relation between personal respect and the institutions of (private) property and (capitalist) markets. In doing so, he shows why Hegel’s concept of personal respect allows us to understand markets as possible institutionalizations of this (...) kind of recognition, and why it is compatible with a critique of neoliberal capitalism. He argues that due to these features Hegel’s notion of personal respect is of great interest to theoreticians within the tradition of critical theory. (shrink)
The human ability to represent, conceptualize, and reason about mind and behavior is one of the greatest achievements of human evolution and is made possible by a “folk theory of mind” — a sophisticated conceptual framework that relates different mental states to each other and connects them to behavior. This chapter examines the nature and elements of this framework and its central functions for social cognition. As a conceptual framework, the folk theory of mind operates prior to any (...) particular conscious or unconscious cognition and provides the “framing” or interpretation of that cognition. Central to this framing is the concept of intentionality, which distinguishes intentional action (caused by the agent’s intention and decision) from unintentional behavior (caused by internal or external events without the intervention of the agent’s decision). A second important distinction separates publicly observable from publicly unobservable (i.e., mental) events. Together, the two distinctions define the kinds of events in social interaction that people attend to, wonder about, and try to explain. A special focus of this chapter is the powerful tool of behavior explanation, which relies on the folk theory of mind but is also intimately tied to social demands and to the perceiver’s social goals. A full understanding of social cognition must consider the folk theory of mind as the conceptual underpinning of all (conscious and unconscious) perception and thinking about the social world. (shrink)
Individuals who demonstrate organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) contribute to their organization’s ability to create wealth, but they also owe their organizations a complex set of ethical duties. Although, the academic literature has begun to address the ethical duties owed by organizational leaders to organizational citizens, very little has been written about the duties owed by those who practice OCB to their organizations. In this article, we identify an array of ethical duties owed by those who engage in extra-role behavior and (...) describe those duties in context with personality theory. We suggest that employees who understand the complex nature of OCB and the associated duties they owe to others are more likely to reach their potential and make greater contributions within their organizations. (shrink)
In The Person and the Situation , Ross and Nisbett seek to answer the question "What have we really learned from social psychology?" They offer their book as a "throwback to a golden age, a tribute to our intellectual forebears and as a 'stand tall and be proud' pep talk for our colleagues (p. xv)." They succeed splendidly on all these counts.
We present a psychometric test of life history theory as applied to human individual differences using MIDUS survey data (Brim et al. 2000). Twenty scales measuring cognitive and behavioral dimensions theoretically related to life history strategy were constructed using items from the MIDUS survey. These scales were used to construct a single common factor, the K-factor, which accounted for 70% of the reliable variance. The scales used included measures of personal, familial, and social function. A second common factor, Covitality, (...) was constructed from scales for physical and mental health. Finally, a single general factor, Personality, was constructed from scales for the “Big Five” factors of personality. The K-factor, covitality factor, and general personality factor correlated significantly with each other, supporting the prediction that high K predicts high somatic effort and also manifests in behavioral display. Thus, a single higher-order common factor, the Super-K factor, was constructed that consisted of the K-factor, covitality factor, and personality factor. (shrink)
Strengths of Mealey's target article are its implementation of results from game-theoretic analyses and its potential links with other formal developments. In recent dynamic decision/choice models, reduced salience of avoidance tendencies, said to typify primary sociopaths, has quantifiable consequences for response latencies and choices. Also, formal models of stress effects on information processing predict selected effects of hypoarousability.
Orthodox quantum mechanics is technically built around an element that von Neumann called Process 1. In its basic form it consists of an action that reduces the prior state of a physical system to a sum of two parts, which can be regarded as the parts corresponding to the answers ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to a specific question that this action poses, or ‘puts to nature’. Nature returns one answer or the other, in accordance with statistical weightings specified by the (...) class='Hi'>theory. Thus the standard statistical element in quantum theory enters only after the Process-1 choice is made, while the known deterministic element in quantum theory governs the dynamics that prevails between the reduction events, but not the process that determines which of the continuum of allowed Process-1 probing actions will actually occur. The rules governing that selection process are not fixed by the theory in its present form. This freedom can be used to resolve in a natural way an apparent problem of the orthodox theory, its biocentrism. That resolution produces a rationally coherent realization of the theory that preserves the basic orthodox structure but allows naturally.. (shrink)
This essay critically analyzes Luciano Floridi’s ontological theory of informational privacy. Organized into two main parts, Part I examines some key foundational components of Floridi’s privacy theory and it considers some of the ways in which his framework purports to be superior to alternative theories of informational privacy. Part II poses two specific challenges for Floridi’s theory of informational privacy, arguing that an adequate privacy theory should be able to: (i) differentiate informational privacy from other kinds (...) of privacy, including psychological privacy; and (ii) distinguish between descriptive and normative aspects of informational privacy in a way that differentiates a (mere) loss of privacy from a violation of privacy. I argue that Floridi’s privacy theory, in its present form, does not explicitly address either challenge. However, I also argue that his ontological theory provides us with a novel way of analyzing the impact that digital technologies have had for informational privacy. I conclude by suggesting that Floridi’s privacy framework can be interpreted as containing the elements of a “personality theory of privacy,” which would be useful to examine in a separate study. (shrink)
Today, any credible philosophical attempt to discuss personhood must take some position on the proper relation between the philosophical analysis of topics like action, intention, emotion, normative and evaluate judgment, desire and mood --which are grouped together under the heading of `moral psychology'-- and the usually quite different approaches to ostensibly the same phenomena in contemporary theoretical psychology and psychoanalytic practice. The gulf between these two domains is so deep that influential work in each takes no direct account of developments (...) in the other.(1) I believe that there is much to be learned about dominant and often hidden assumptions in contemporary approaches to personhood by comparisons between these fields,(2) but at the outset I want to distinguish this intuition from another one in vogue among philosophers working to bridge the gap between philosophical and psychological disciplines today. This is the somewhat positivist sense that philsophical investigation must take its starting-points and limits from well-established psychological findings, and that philosophical accounts at odds with these are for that reason unrealistic, or obviously trading on outmoded and scientifically discredited `folk metaphysics.' For example, this sense that philosophy must acknowledge its secondary position relative to empirical psychology is implicit throughout Bernard Williams's work on motivation and morality, and it is the explicit basis of Owen Flanagan's recent attempt to limit ethical theory by `psychological realism' and argue for a form of relativism by "[a]ttention to psychological facts." (3) Because all modern conceptions of morality are committed to making "our motivational structure, our personal possibilities, relevant in setting their moral sights," they cannot be developed without.. (shrink)
Understanding People provides an overview and critique of current psychological assumptions about people and what differentiates them, and replaces them with a set of ideas taken from social constructionism. It begins with an examination of contemporary theories, then explores the critique of the social constructionists, before laying out the basis of an understanding of human action and behavior, drawing on phenomenology and personal construct theory. Using everyday experience to illustrate the issues in personality theory (Is behavior situation-specific? Why (...) do we have a sense of self? Is there an unconscious?), this book will breathe life into an area of psychology that is so often arid, and, in the eyes of students, divorced from their world. (shrink)
Sociopaths are members of society in two senses: politically, they draw our attention because of the inordinate amount of crime they commit, and psychologically, they hold our fascination because most ofus cannot fathom the cold, detached way they repeatedly harm and manipulate others. Proximate explanations from behavior genetics, child development, personality theory, learning theory, and social psychology describe a complex interaction of genetic and physiological risk factors with demographic and micro environmental variables that predispose a portion of the (...) population to chronic antisocial behavior. More recent, evolutionary and game theoretic models have tried to present an ultimate explanation of sociopathy as the expression of a frequency-dependent life strategy which is selected, in dynamic equilibrium, in response to certain varying environmental circumstances. This paper tries to integrate the proximate, developmental models with the ultimate, evolutionary ones, suggesting that two developmentally different etiologies of sociopathy emerge from two different evolutionary mechanisms. Social strategies for minimizing the incidence of sociopathic behavior in modern society should consider the two different etiologies and the factors that contribute to them. (shrink)
This paper applies Beck and Ajzen’s (Journal of Research in Personality 25:285–301, 1991 ) extended version of the theory of planned behaviour model to the decisions of students to engage in academic dishonesty (cheating and lying). The model proposes that students’ intentions to engage in dysfunctional behaviours may be influenced by attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and moral obligation. This study was done using a survey questionnaire of 363 undergraduate students at a West Indian University. Based on the (...) extended version of the theory of planned behaviour, with the exception of subjective norms which only predicted students’ intentions to cheat, it was found that attitudes, perceived behavioural control and moral obligation were significant predictors of students’ intentions to perform academic dishonesty behaviours in the form of cheating and lying. The results of the study have given further support to the use of the extended version of the theory of planned behaviour. Implications are discussed. (shrink)
Pavel Florenskij's (1882-1937/summarily executed in GULAG) conception of the personality is connected to considerations of antinomies. The personality remains trapped in contradictions and gains completion only in relation to the Absolute, whereas the individual, the sociological entity, is metaphysically neutral. Florenskij attempts to link the individual and the personality by means of the concept of substance (ousia). "In man oύσiα and ύπόστασις exist together. Ousia (...) posits the Individual and in society endows him with form as a selfsufficient centre. The (...) hypostasis, by contrast, is the personal idea of Man". For Florenskij personality evinces an epistemological analogy to other central terms in his philosophy, in particular Truth and Love as well as to his theory of language and symbols. For him, each personality comprises a distinctive principle growth (a notion evidently taken from the idealistic morphology of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) that determines its growth potential. (shrink)
The ability to attribute different mental states to distinct individuals, or Theory of Mind (ToM), is widely believed to be developed mostly during preschool years. How different factors such as gender, number of siblings or coarse personality traits affect this development is not entirely agreed upon. Here, we introduce a computerized version of the scaled ToM suite of tasks introduced by Wellman and Liu (2004), which allows us to meaningfully test ToM development on children 6 to 8-years old. We (...) find that kids this age are still not entirely proficient in all ToM tasks, and continue to show a progression of performance with age. By testing this age range, too, we are able to observe a significant advantage of girls over boys in ToM performance. Other factors such as number of siblings, birth order, and coarse personality traits show no significant relation with the ToM task results. Finally, we introduce a novel way to quantify the scaling property of the suite involving a sequence of set inclusions and also, a comparison between specially tailored sets of logistic models. These measures confirm the validity of the scale in the 6 to 8-years old range. (shrink)
Based on evidence from press articles covering 39 corporate fraud cases that went public during the period 1992-2005, the objective of this article is to examine the role of managers' behavior in the commitment of the fraud. This study integrates the fraud triangle (FT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of fraud cases. The results of the analysis suggest that personality traits appear to be a major fraud-risk factor. The analysis was further validated (...) through a quantitative analysis of keywords which confirmed that keywords associated with the attitudes/rationalizations component of the integrated theory were predominately found in fraud firms as opposed to a sample of control firms. The results of the study suggest that auditors should evaluate the ethics of management through the components of the TPB: the assessment of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and moral obligation. Therefore, it is potentially important that the professional standards that are related to fraud detection strengthen the emphasis on managers' behavior that may be associated with unethical behavior. (shrink)
‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with the allegedly much more restricted (...) sense of theory in the physical sciences. I also tackle a recent trend toward the presentation of all-encompassing theories in the biological sciences, from general theories of ecology to a recent attempt to provide a conceptual framework for the entire set of biological disciplines. Finally, I discuss the roles played by philosophers of science in criticizing and shap- ing biological theorizing. (shrink)
What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory (...) of justice. He urges its adoption on the basis of a sustained critique of the former approach, which he calls “transcendental.” In this paper I pursue two tasks, one critical and the other constructive. First, I argue that Sen’s account of the contrast between the transcendental and the comparative approaches is not convincing, and second, I suggest what I take to be a broader and more plausible account of comparative assessments of justice. The core claim is that political philosophers should not shy away from the pursuit of ambitious theories of justice (including, for example, ideal theories of perfect justice), although they should engage in careful consideration of issues of political feasibility bearing on their practical implementation. (shrink)
In his widely influential statement of just war theory, Michael Walzer exempts conscripted soldiers from all responsibility for taking part in war, whether just or unjust (the thesis of the moral equality of soldiers). He endows the overwhelming majority of civilians with almost absolute immunity from military attack on the ground that they aren't responsible for the war their country is waging, whether just or unjust. I argue that Walzer is much too lenient on both soldiers and civilians. Soldiers (...) fighting for a just cause and soldiers fighting for an unjust one are not morally equal. A substantial proportion of civilians in a democracy are responsible, to a significant degree, for their country's unjust war. Moreover, under certain (admittedly rare) circumstances, some of them are legitimate targets of military attack. This has bearing on settling moral accounts in the wake of war and the issue of forgiving the wrongs done in its course: possible candidates for such forgiveness are much more numerous than is usually assumed. (shrink)
Are government restrictions on hate speech consistent with the priority of liberty? This relatively narrow policy question will serve as the starting point for a wider discussion of the use and abuse of nonideal theory in contemporary political philosophy, especially as practiced on the academic left. I begin by showing that hate speech (understood as group libel) can undermine fair equality of opportunity for historically-oppressed groups but that the priority of liberty seems to forbid its restriction. This tension between (...) free speech and equal opportunity creates a dilemma for liberal egalitarians. Nonideal theory apparently offers an escape from this dilemma, but after examining three versions of such an escape strategy, I conclude that none is possible: liberal egalitarians are indeed forced to choose between liberty and equality in this case and others. I finish the paper by examining its implications for other policy arenas, including markets in transplantable human organs and women’s reproductive services. (shrink)
The traditional requirements upon the waging of a just war are ostensibly independent, but in actual practice each tenet is subject ultimately to the interpretation of a legitimate authority, whose declaration becomes the necessary and sufficient condition. While just war theory presupposes that some acts are absolutely wrong, it also implies that the killing of innocents can be rendered permissible through human decree. Nations are conventionally delimited, and leaders are conventionally appointed. Any group of people could band together to (...) form a nation, and any person could, in principle, be appointed the leader of any nation. Because the just war approach assumes absolutism while implying relativism, the stance is paradoxical and hence rationally untenable. (shrink)