Essay // Psychological Explanations of Prejudice & Discrimination


Prejudice and discrimination are usually classified as behavioural attitudes towards a certain group or individual based on a multitude of reasons [according to different psychological theories]. The main reasons for prejudice are believed to be rooted in individual psychological processes related to groups, social influence and/or upbringing.

Authoritarian Personality

One plausible explanation for prejudice is the authoritarian personality, which suggests that those belonging in the category are concerned with status and upholding conventions, are very conformist and tend to be obsequious to those they see as holding a higher status – while treating those ‘below’ with contemp. Authoritarian personality is believed to be the result of strict and punitive upbringing which later leads to hostility being directed towards disliked [justified or unjustified] groups through the process of « displacement ». Adorno et al (1950) found strong and positive correlations between respondents’ scores on the F-Scale and scores on other measures intended to assess anti-semitism (AS scale) and ethnocentrism (E scale). However, the PEC-scale (Political and economic conservatism) was not strongly related, which only led to the conclusion of how people who are anti-Semitic are also « likely » to be hostile towards most « out-groups ».

The Adorno et al (1950) test only consisted of agreement that could only be geared towards anti-Semitism, ethnocentrism and fascism, which might have led to the problem of acquiescent response. The fact that the interviewer knew the interviewee’s F-score might have also led to experimenter bias; and the theory also falls short in the explanation of mass changes in behaviour: “Antisemitism in Nazi Germany grew during a decade or so, which is much too short a time for a whole generation of German families to have adopted new forms of childrearing practices giving rise to authoritarian and prejudiced children (Brown, 1988)” [not plausible]. The reality is that anti-Semitism may have been the result of a more sinister social and economic problem caused, inflicted by or related to the jews powerful Zionist business associations on the German economy at a time where the country was suffering [people, culture, identity, economy…].


Another form of prejudice: stereotyping; which plays a major part in the process of intercultural prejudice where the root of its cause has proven to be fairly ambiguous in explanation. Cultural groups [usually] tend to stereotype each other negatively (out-group); and it is believed that this process is the result of minimising mental effort.

Stereotyping is linked to psychological processes within the individual and is assumed to be connected to social influence that leads to prejudice; where out-groups and there members are defined by single characteristics (negative usually). Stereotyping can unfortunately play a devastating role in the legitimation of prejudiced and discriminatory treatment of other individuals who simply [consciously or unconsciously] made the choice to live by different modes of group-oriented behaviour (culture).

Rational reasoning and the humane ability to understand each group’s choices while also respecting each group’s boundaries [geographical, social, economic, psychosocial, etc] are surprisingly never considered by individuals and authorities in the quest to correct the mistakes of a world designed on outdated ideologies [e.g. the scientifically poor logic of cultural Marxism] to design a new one based on creative scientific reasoning, evolutionary logic & progressive innovation.

Prejudice as an Illusionary Cure to Low Self-Esteem/Insecurity

The Social Learning Theory, on the other hand, assumes prejudice as the result of maintaining self-esteem of both the individual and the in-group (individuals with the same behavioural patterns as the individual/tribe) members – where one tends to be biased towards glorifying the group whilst also paying particular attention to criteria that make the group look better. This is related to our sense of identity being determined by the groups we belong to and thus tend to be biased towards favouring them. Tajfel et al (1982) showed how schoolboys chose the strategy to allocate more points to their own group at the expense of getting least overall – showing bias in the absence of competition. The two main problems however are the fact that [1] the tendency for favouritism might be group-oriented and not universal (Wetherall, 1982), and also how [2] most studies show bias towards in-group (which could not only be prejudice but stereotyping or other influences).

Unrealistic Conflict? Competition for the same Resource(s) while presuming in-group members to be « unconditional benefactors »

Finally, the realistic conflict theory suggests that prejudice arises when two or more groups compete for the same resource which in turn leads to a tendency to favour in-group members, while being hostile and denying resources to out-groups. This was proven in Sherif et al (1961) where the artificially stimulated competitive conflict lead to negative stereotyping towards out-group which persisted even after the competition. However, the validity was questioned over the artificiality of the situation and the samples (US American boys only?); as Tyerman & Spencer also showed how competition does not always cause prejudice – where UK scouts co-operated instead. Furthermore, individuals with different upbringing and philosophical orientations had not been considered, which in turn affects the ecological validity of the finding where inferences from generalisation would likely lack precision – with a world in constant social evolution with more psychological research being constantly published to guide society towards a more harmonious design.



Together, the theories seem to offer a plausible explanation for prejudice but cannot be ranked; as they compensate each other’s weak points. A sensible application of each theory – depending on the situation – seems like the rational method forward, since factors such as group-based behavioural patterns (culture), climate and norms remain vital considerations when researching about prejudice, its causes & a more direct approach to solutions.

Furthermore, the world has made such leap socially with the technological era, and people have been inclined towards knowledge, discoveries and innovation with social media contributing towards a more educated humanity [with its cultural barriers and linguistic differences as the main organising factors along with belief systems – e.g. religion, ethics, philosophy, etc – in each groups identity].

A new and strong global inclination towards a realistic synchronised unity [where the world’s population can live harmoniously in their own geographical location with their chosen units, laws and lifestyle, may shape intellectual thought in the decades to come now that the experience learnt from psychosocial disasters due to badly managed population shifts [turned out to be destructive to the safety of Western nations] can be considered in future policies.

The Climate Collapse disaster has also made Civilization aware of the importance of « synchronised unity » in matters of global human advancement – research surrounding prejudice and  discrimination would likely benefit the human world more if applied in intra-group scenarios – should the world’s population be managed and geographically engineered according to evolutionary logic [to fit their respective psychosocial & biological environments to further refine group evolution and guide society towards a harmonious pattern of living] for each group by their respective identities, collective beliefs, values & vision.



Boakes. R (1984) From Darwin to behaviourism: Psychology and the minds of animals. Cambridge University Press

Cohen D. (1979) J.B Watson: The Founder of Behaviourism. London, Boston and Henley

Gross. R (2005) Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour. London, Hodder and Stoughton Educational

Updated 6th of January 2018 | Danny J. D’Purb |


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7 réflexions sur “Essay // Psychological Explanations of Prejudice & Discrimination

  1. Science sans conscience égale science de l’inconscience… On envoie des pigeons défendre la colombe, qui avancent comme des pions défendre des bombes… »
    [Translation: Science without conscience is equal to the science of the unconscious… We send pigeons in defence of the dove, who advance like tokens defending bombs…]

    Artist: MC Solaar (Claude M’Barali)
    Title: Prose Combat / Album: Prose Combat (1994)

    See Also: « La Vie est Belle » / Album: Mach 6 (2003) & « Le Nouveau Western » / Album: Prose Combat (1994)


    A generation of music artists reflect on the thinker, lyricist, vocalist & instrumentalist, Kurt D. Cobain


    -Ryan Hayes // Vocalist
    “I will never forget, as a kid, reading the liner notes of Incesticide (1992), where Kurt told his own fans that if they hated homosexuals, or people of different color, or women, to f*** off and stop buying Nirvana records. Seeing someone with that much fame be so unapologetic and true to his own beliefs, regardless of how it could potentially affect record sales or his popularity, was life changing for me…”

    -Phil Leavitt // Singer/Drummer “Kurt was an inspiration to so many different people. He had a way to connect with kids who didn’t fit in with society or felt lost. Nirvana was an outlet for that. Very real and that is why his music will live on forever…

    Full Article:

    L’ile Maurice/Mauritius | The “underground” yet world famous band, A Riot in Heaven, influenced by intricate rock themed musical arrangements and literary lyrics gives us a perfect example of artistic assimilation and Franco-British cultural synchronisation in the Western/English and French speaking world

    See Also: « Sailor My Saviour »


    “Beautiful” by Marshall Bruce Mathers III AKA Eminem // Album: Relapse (2009)

    [Age Notice / 21+ : The artistic contents and package contain lyrics, opinions and poetry that may offend the more sensitive ones among us. Please bear in mind that this website takes no responsibility for any moral damage that may be caused by the entertainment product which is highly recommended for a mature & “sensible” audience.]

    Vincent Vinel – Lose Yourself


    The Role of Corticostriatal Systems in Speech Category Learning


    One of the most difficult category learning problems for humans is learning nonnative speech categories. While feedback-based category training can enhance speech learning, the mechanisms underlying these benefits are unclear. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated neural and computational mechanisms underlying feedback-dependent speech category learning in adults. Positive feedback activated a large corticostriatal network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule, middle temporal gyrus, caudate, putamen, and the ventral striatum. Successful learning was contingent upon the activity of domain-general category learning systems: the fast-learning reflective system, involving the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that develops and tests explicit rules based on the feedback content, and the slow-learning reflexive system, involving the putamen in which the stimuli are implicitly associated with category responses based on the reward value in feedback. Computational modeling of response strategies revealed significant use of reflective strategies early in training and greater use of reflexive strategies later in training. Reflexive strategy use was associated with increased activation in the putamen. Our results demonstrate a critical role for the reflexive corticostriatal learning system as a function of response strategy and proficiency during speech category learning.

    Yi, H., Maddox, W., Mumford, J. and Chandrasekaran, B. (2014). The Role of Corticostriatal Systems in Speech Category Learning. Cerebral Cortex, 26(4), pp.1409-1420.


    Language Control in Bilinguals: Monitoring and Response Selection


    Language control refers to the cognitive mechanism that allows bilinguals to correctly speak in one language avoiding interference from the nontarget language. Bilinguals achieve this feat by engaging brain areas closely related to cognitive control. However, 2 questions still await resolution: whether this network is differently engaged when controlling nonlinguistic representations, and whether this network is differently engaged when control is exerted upon a restricted set of lexical representations that were previously used (i.e., local control) as opposed to control of the entire language system (i.e., global control). In the present event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated these 2 questions by employing linguistic and nonlinguistic blocked switching tasks in the same bilingual participants. We first report that the left prefrontal cortex is driven similarly for control of linguistic and nonlinguistic representations, suggesting its domain-general role in the implementation of response selection. Second, we propose that language control in bilinguals is hierarchically organized with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/presupplementary motor area acting as the supervisory attentional system, recruited for increased monitoring demands such as local control in the second language. On the other hand, prefrontal, inferior parietal areas and the caudate would act as the response selection system, tailored for language selection for both local and global control.

    Branzi, F., Della Rosa, P., Canini, M., Costa, A. and Abutalebi, J. (2015). Language Control in Bilinguals: Monitoring and Response Selection. Cerebral Cortex, 26(6), pp.2367-2380.


    Testosterone in healthy men increases their brains’ response to threat


    “”We were able to show for the first time that increasing levels of testosterone within the normal physiological range can have a profound effect on brain circuits that are involved in threat-processing and human aggression,” said Carré, Assistant Professor at Nipissing University.

    “Understanding testosterone effects on the brain activity patterns associated with threat and aggression may help us to better understand the ‘fight or flight’ response in males that may be relevant to aggression and anxiety,” commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry…”


    The Intellectual Enlightenment that started in 18th century Europe lectured by Dr. Alan C. Kors


    “Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain.” ― Santiago Ramón y Cajal



    “Progress is impossible without change, & those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” -GB Shaw



    Avant-garde French president, Nicolas Sarkozy on assimilation & identity:

    Translation: It is by assimilation that we become French citizens

    Translation: We are French citizens because we share the values & principles of the French civilisation with the French people

    Translation: We are citizens of the French republic because besides having a career and residency in France, we share a language & a culture

    Translation: We are not citizens of France simply because we have an address in France

    Translation: The Republic tells the citizen that to have rights you have to fulfil your duties

    Translation: The Republic is incompatible with constant assistance. A citizen receives, but he also gives… otherwise he is not really a ‘citizen’

    Translation: The Republic is the morality of the man of the citizens, it does not recognise any community, only citizens equal in rights

    Translation: To vote you should be a « citizen » in the Republic


    « I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be. » -Isaac Asimov

    «L’ingénierie géo-environnementale consiste à maximiser le potentiel des organismes et des ressources humaines en fonction de leurs aptitudes, leur sens d’identité et leur ajustement environnemental optimal, c’est-à-dire des organismes incompatibles en Europe de l’Ouest [en termes de patrimoine, d’appartenance, d’identité, de composition organique, de langue, de culture et de patriotisme] devront être relocalisés dans des environnements qui maximisent leur contribution à la civilisation humaine en étant synchronisés avec leurs besoins évolutifs et leurs modèles comportementaux, si nous les humains sur terre sont sérieux sur la création des sociétés réalistes et paisible qui respectent aussi la bonne science.

    C’est la seule façon de créer un écosystème harmonieux d’humains sur la planète Terre, et de contribuer ensemble au processus d’évolution: coopérer sur des objectifs communs [nature, environnement, climat, affaires, etc] de notre environnement et de nos sociétés respectives. Parce que n’importe quel système dans n’importe quelle partie du monde deviendra instable et se dégradera avec des organismes qui ne s’identifient pas pleinement à lui, mais qui se considèrent comme faisant partie de systèmes externes et qui ne vivent que pour promouvoir ces systèmes externes et inonder continuellement le système actuel d’organismes incompatibles pour rien d’autre que des besoins financiers tout en ignorant les nécessités civiques vitales pour maintenir un pays et son peuple. Cela rend un système instable, fragmenté et détruit la cohésion socio-linguistique et culturelle due à des organismes inadéquats, médiocres et inadaptés et à leurs rituels [systèmes de croyance incompatibles]. Un système avec des organismes qui ne sont pas entièrement axés sur l’envie de faire partie de son écosystème pour y contribuer, le renforcer, le stabiliser, le protéger et le promouvoir, finira par s’effondrer et être détruit. C’est une observation connue sous le nom de « raisonnement factuel »; c’est un raisonnement basé sur la logique et les faits. [Par exemple. « Si je lâche un œuf à 1m du sol, il tombera et se cassera. » – un énoncé logique].

    En tant qu’intellectuel, je fais tout simplement abstraction des études empiriques, des données et de la philosophie pour prévenir les catastrophes futures tout en corrigeant le chemin désastreux du présent parce qu’il commence à affecter sérieusement l’harmonie de l’environnement où j’habite et compte y rester, l’Europe de l’Ouest. Les ressources médiocres pour ne pas dire inférieures devraient être remplacés par des ressources plus efficaces et productive pour la stabilité, la longévité et l’innovation positive. Les autorités et les dirigeants publics devraient commencer à travailler sur un accord avec les Nations Unies sur les politiques obsolètes qui favorisent le déplacement irrationnel en masse des populations, et commencer à reconstruire des systèmes sophistiqués, intelligents et progressistes avec des campagnes de sensibilisation sur l’ingénierie géographique et la restructuration de la population mondiale. Une fois ceux-ci en place, nous pourrions alors fournir les groupes à relocaliser avec le soutien, la sécurité et l’aide pour s’installer et s’adapter à leurs nouveaux environnements, et même de l’aide en matière d’éducation linguistique et culturelle. Mais la relocalisation est une nécessité si nous, Européens de l’Ouest, sommes sérieux pour construire une nouvelle société basée sur la stabilité et le patrimoine tout en étant ouvert à l’innovation et aux multiples facettes de l’évolution organique, linguistique, philosophique et culturelle. » – Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction (EN):

    « Geo-environmental engineering is about maximizing the potential of organisms and human resources according to their abilities, sense of identity and best environmental fit, that is to say, incompatible organisms in Western Europe [in terms of heritage, belonging, identity, organic composition, language, culture and patriotism] will have to be relocated in environments that maximize their contribution to human civilization by being synchronized with their evolutionary needs and behavioural patterns, if we as humans on Earth are serious about creating realistic and peaceful societies that also respect good science.

    It is the only way to create a harmonious ecosystem of humans on planet Earth, and to contribute together to the process of evolution: to cooperate on common goals [nature, environment, climate, business, etc.] from our respective environments and societies. Because any system in any part of the world will become unstable and will deteriorate with organisms that do not fully identify with it, but who consider themselves as part of external systems while living only to promote their external systems and continuously flood the current system with further incompatible organisms for nothing else but financial needs while disregarding all other civic necessities that are essential in maintaining a country and its people. This renders a system unstable, fragmented and destroys socio-linguistic and cultural cohesion due to inadequate, mediocre and unsuitable organisms and their rituals [incompatible belief systems]. A system with organisms that are not entirely focused in being an integral part of its ecosystem to contribute, strengthen, stabilize, protect and promote it will eventually collapse and be destroyed. This is an observation known as « factual reasoning »; it is reasoning based on logic and facts. [For example. « If I drop an egg 1m above the ground, it will fall and break. » – a logical statement].

    As an intellectual, I am simply using the knowledge gained from empirical studies, data and philosophy to prevent future disasters while correcting the disastrous path of the present, because they are beginning to seriously affect the harmony of the environment where I live and call home, Western Europe. Inferior mediocre resources should be replaced by more effective and productive resources for stability, longevity and positive innovation. Authorities and public leaders should start work on an agreement with the UN regarding outdated policies that promote the irrational mass displacement of people, and start rebuilding sophisticated, intelligent and progressive systems with awareness campaigns on geographic engineering and the restructuring of the world’s population. Once these are in place, we could then provide the groups to relocate with support, security and help to settle in and adapt to their new environments, and even support with educational, linguistic and cultural resources/staff. But relocation is a necessity if we, Western Europeans, are serious about building a new society based on stability and heritage while being open to innovation and the many facets of organic, linguistic, philosophical and cultural evolution. » – Danny J. D’Purb

    « Les citoyens du tiers monde doivent bouger vers une économie où toutes les ressources sont partagées par tous les citoyens. » – Che Guevara

    Traduction(EN): « Third world citizens must move towards an economy where all resources are shared by all citizens. » -Che Guevara

  2. George Lincoln Rockwell’s vision seemed similar with the prominent Black nationalist, Marcus Garvey who founded the Pan-Africanism movement, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). Garvey also founded the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line which promoted the return of the African people to their ancestral lands. « Garveyism » wanted all people of Black African ancestry to « redeem » the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the African continent. Marcus Garvey’s essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in « Negro World » entitled « African Fundamentalism », where he wrote: « Our [negroes] union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… »

    Source: Essay // History on Western Philosophy, Religious cultures, Science, Medicine & Secularisation

    George L. Rockwell at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1966

    Our hidden Neandertal DNA may increase risk of allergies, depression


    Depressed? Your inner Neandertal may be to blame. Modern humans met and mated with these archaic people in Europe or Asia about 50,000 years ago, and researchers have long suspected that genes picked up in these trysts might be shaping health and well-being today. Now, a study in the current issue of Science details their impact. It uses a powerful new method for scanning the electronic health records of 28,000 Americans to show that some Neandertal gene variants today can raise the risk of depression, skin lesions, blood clots, and other disorders.

    Neandertal genes aren’t all bad. “These variants sometimes protect against a disease, sometimes make people more susceptible to disease,” says paleogeneticist Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Two other new studies identified three archaic genes that boost immune response. And most archaic genes that persist in humans were likely beneficial in prehistoric times. But some now cause disease because modern lifestyles and environments are so different.

    Living people carry only trace amounts of Neandertal DNA, which makes its impact on health more striking. “The Neandertal genetic contribution to present-day people seems to have larger physiological effects than I would have naïvely thought,” says Pääbo, who helped launch this avenue of research by sequencing the first ancient genomes but was not involved in these studies. On average, Europeans and Asians have inherited about 1.5% of their genomes from Neandertals. Island Melanesians carry an additional 2% to 3% of DNA inherited from another extinct group, the Denisovans. Most Africans lack this archaic DNA because the interbreeding happened after modern humans left Africa.

    Full Article:


    The mind grows with new ideas, but turns dark by embracing unethical ones. Open your mind when you must and close it when needed.


    Richard Dawkins: Why are there still Chimpanzees?


    A depiction that human face has undergone significant evolution within the last 6 million years.

    “Dans les questions de science, l’autorité de mille ne vaut pas l’humble raisonnement d’un seul individu.” -Galilée

    Traduction(EN): “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” -Galileo Galilei”


    Understanding Evolution through Dinosaurs

    When your focus is on correcting others, you won’t be able to correct yourself.

    Don’t look around to find that which can only be found within yourself.

    What people say about you is a manifestation of their own thought. It says more about them than about you. Learn not to take it personally.

    Social realists, they will add a sense of political realism to your views and actions.

    Translation: “Badly managed migratory influxes have created communitarianism…”

    Translation: “We cannot imagine a political team organised vertically when the society itself is divided into sections.”

    Translation: QUESTION ASKED to NS: “Why integrate when we are not even accepted by society?”

    Translation: “I want everyone to be able to choose their life, speed & orientation. There’s the society that should unite us all.”

    Translation: “Integration is not a choice, it’s a duty.”

    Bernard Kouchner, Nicolas Sarkozy’s former Head of Foreign Affairs believes the President was badly hit by the French public’s racism & prejudice in his early years for being the son of a Hungarian & the grandson of a Jew; but has now left all that behind as obstacles he clearly overcame.

    Translation: We have allowed too many foreigners to believe that they could be French by staying who they are. It’s a lie!

    Translation: To be French you have to embrace the French lifestyle, marry the language & the French culture

    Translation: The Republic is incompatible with assistantship. A citizen receives. But he also gives, otherwise he is not really a citizen

    Translation: In the Politics we are creating, everyone will know that they are more intelligent with others than alone

    Translation: The Republic has 1000 faces, but only one soul focussed on justice and human progress

    Translation: Absolute transparency is totalitarian. The Republic respects each and everyone’s right to have their secret gardens

    Translation: In France, we are different from others. To live, we have to eat, drink but we also have to cultivate ourselves.

    Translation: We are the heirs of Victor Hugo. We have a vocation for openness; but we expect to be respected by those we accept.

    Translation: In my conceived Republic, we are on the side of the Security forces. Citizens should not fear the Police.

    Translation: Like all countries in the world, France has the right to chose who she wants and who she does not

    Translation: The need for love has nothing to do with sexual orientation

    Translation: We are humanists, we believe in Life!

    Translation: I do not want us to be trapped inside a France locked & divided into communities. I do not want anyone to be excluded!

    Translation: The desire to be together must be more important that our differences & divisions.

    Translation: Do not allow anyone to speak up for you. Let’s mobilise! Our Political family needs you! The Republic needs you!

    Translation: I need your mobilisation, your engagement, your trust!

    “Progress is impossible without change, & those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” -GB Shaw

    Don’t let your mind be occupied by blame towards others. A liberated mind is a forgiving one.

    « Change Your Attachment Style to Have a Better Life » by Dr. L. Firestone

    “What if we could identify the filter that shapes our perception of the world and change it so as to have a better life? We are born into the social context of our families and quickly need to /develop strategies to get our needs met by our caretakers. Depending on our early emotional environment, we make the best adaptation to get our needs met by the potential caretakers we have available to us, usually our parents or other relatives. We are incredibly adaptive creatures, which is quite possibly our most unique feature as humans. Our early interactions create internal working models of how our future relationships will transpire and of how we will go about getting our needs met. Research has demonstrated that these childhood relationships shape our perceptions of others and our understanding of their minds and motives. These internal working models also influence the ways others are likely to treat us and perceive us…”

    Full Article:

    “Savoir Aimer” courtesy of Florent Pagny // Album: Savoir Aimer (1997)

    “It is the artist who tries to gradually accustom people to the possibilities of a better state of things.” ― C.A. Dawson Scott

  3. Affective Priming


    “This blog presents a third example of priming known generally as the affective priming, also known as emotional priming. On page 230 of my book, Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychotherapy: Network Principles for a Unified Theory, I describe emotional priming as follows:

    Emotional priming entails the repeated presentation of words that activate emotions. For example, Power et al. (1991) used sets of words to activate the following four basic emotions: (a) happiness, love, joy, pleasure; (b) sadness, grief, misery, depression; (c) anger, hate, jealousy, aggression; and (d) fear, panic, terror, anxiety…

    Affective priming is a robust method for activating brain mechanisms that modify how we think and feel about a wide variety of matters…

    Full Article:


    Functional Neural Plasticity and Associated Changes in Positive Affect After Compassion Training


    The development of social emotions such as compassion is crucial for successful social interactions as well as for the maintenance of mental and physical health, especially when confronted with distressing life events. Yet, the neural mechanisms supporting the training of these emotions are poorly understood. To study affective plasticity in healthy adults, we measured functional neural and subjective responses to witnessing the distress of others in a newly developed task (Socio-affective Video Task). Participants’ initial empathic responses to the task were accompanied by negative affect and activations in the anterior insula and anterior medial cingulate cortex—a core neural network underlying empathy for pain. Whereas participants reacted with negative affect before training, compassion training increased positive affective experiences, even in response to witnessing others in distress. On the neural level, we observed that, compared with a memory control group, compassion training elicited activity in a neural network including the medial orbitofrontal cortex, putamen, pallidum, and ventral tegmental area—brain regions previously associated with positive affect and affiliation. Taken together, these findings suggest that the deliberate cultivation of compassion offers a new coping strategy that fosters positive affect even when confronted with the distress of others.

    Klimecki, O., Leiberg, S., Lamm, C. and Singer, T. (2012). Functional Neural Plasticity and Associated Changes in Positive Affect After Compassion Training. Cerebral Cortex, 23(7), pp.1552-1561.


    Warm thanks: Gratitude expression facilitates social affiliation in new relationships via perceived warmth.


    Recent theorizing on the nature and function of gratitude (the find-remind-and-bind theory; Algoe, 2012) stipulates that expressing gratitude should serve to alert previously unacquainted peers to the potential for a high-quality social bond (i.e., a find function). Although the logic of this premise is supported by extant research, it has not, as yet, been tested empirically. In the current study, participants received a note from a previously unacquainted peer that contained an expression of gratitude (or did not) with regard to prior benefits provided by the participant. After providing ratings of the peer and ostensibly completing the study, participants were given an opportunity to spontaneously give their contact information to the peer, which served as a behavioral measure of affiliation. In line with the proposed find function of gratitude expressions, recipients of expressions of gratitude were more likely to extend the effort to continue the relationship with the novel peer by providing that peer with a means to contact them. This experiment also provided evidence that perceptions of interpersonal warmth (e.g., friendliness, thoughtfulness) serve as the mechanism via which gratitude expressions facilitate affiliation: insofar as gratitude expressions signaled interpersonal warmth of the expresser, they prompted investment in the burgeoning social bond. As such, these findings provide the first empirical evidence regarding 1 of the 3 central premises of the find-remind-and-bind theory of gratitude (Algoe, 2012) in the context of novel relationships.

    Williams, L. and Bartlett, M. (2015). Warm thanks: Gratitude expression facilitates social affiliation in new relationships via perceived warmth. Emotion, 15(1), pp.1-5.


    Norms, self-sanctioning, and contributions to the public good


    The relationship between norms, self-sanctioning, and people’s decisions about contributing to public goods is complex and often misunderstood in the public goods literature. We develop a model in which individuals self-sanction (e.g. feel guilty) for contributing less than a subjective norm level of contribution to a public good. From the model we derive the following testable hypotheses: an increase in one’s perception of the norm level of contribution to the public good (1) induces negative self-sanctioning and (2) will lead one to contribute more to the public good, and (3) that contributing to the public good induces positive self-sanctioning. To test these hypotheses, we elicit stated preferences for contributions to an organization which offsets carbon emissions and a proxy for self-sanctioning, respondent “self-image.” We fail to reject each hypothesis. Our results complement existing studies on how to encourage contributions to the public good.

    Interis, M. and Haab, T. (2014). Norms, self-sanctioning, and contributions to the public good. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, pp.271-278.


    Human Socio-Psychological Evolution & Enhancement

    “From the simple & logical perspective that our brain/mind/’psyche’ adjusts constantly to our Environment [social, physical, mental, philosophical, ‘spiritual’] and learns [never ending process] throughout our lifetime; an individual human organism that willingly chooses to restrict its Socio-Psychological Reality to the boundaries of the Mental Conditioning of a Geographical Group [Groups & Sub-Groups], restricts its own capabilities [education, experience, innovation, cultural blending/expansion, discovery, human understanding, creativity…].

    Systematic & Controlled fusion would likely benefit the Human World in an Era thriving on [unfortunately, dangerously at times] Technology, Science, Innovation, Food, Architecture, Arts, Exploration, Engineering, Creativity, Philosophy & Sharing [Cultural/Group expertise/experience].”

    Topic: Engineering Modern Geo-Environmental & Socio-Political Fusion: A Gradual Process aimed at the Human Civilization’s Stability & Synchronised Efficiency

    – Danny J. D’Purb / November 11, 2014

    « La vérité et le mensonge sont des attributs de la parole, pas des choses, et là où la parole n’est pas, il n’y a ni vérité ni mensonge ». – Thomas Hobbes

    Traduction(EN): » »True and False are attributes of speech, not of things. And where speech is not, there is neither Truth nor Falsehood. » – Thomas Hobbes

    A Prolegomenon to the Construct of the Native Speaker: Heritage Speaker Bilinguals are Natives Too!


    This Forum challenges the generally accepted position in the linguistic sciences—conscious or not—that monolingualism and nativeness are essentially synonymous in an exclusive way. We discuss two consequences of our position that naturalistic bilinguals and multilinguals exposed to a language in early childhood are also native speakers: (i) that bi-/multilinguals have multiple native languages; and (ii) nativeness can be applicable to a state of linguistic knowledge that is characterized by significant differences to the monolingual baseline.

    Rothman, J. and Treffers-Daller, J. (2014). A Prolegomenon to the Construct of the Native Speaker: Heritage Speaker Bilinguals are Natives Too!. Applied Linguistics, 35(1), pp.93-98.

    While Communicative patterns in #Human #Primates are defined by factors such as #Culture & #Environment; #creativity & #IQ remain #constant.


    “It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no-one needs to be good.” — T.S. Eliot


    Transforming conflict into peace

    My research has focused on the use of participatory media in conflict-affected communities. The aim has been to demonstrate that involving community members in a media production provides them with a platform to tell their story about the violence they have experienced and the causes they believe led to it. This facilitates the achievement of a shared understanding of the conflict between groups that were fighting and lays the foundations for the establishment of a new social fabric that encompasses peace.

    This is, by no means, an easy process. It is also one that requires the co-implementation of different types of interventions that strive to rebuild peace in those areas. However, what is often lacking in post-conflict contexts is a communication channel that allows people to reconnect. In the aftermath of civil violence, communities are left divided and in need of information to make sense of the brutality they have undergone. Victims and perpetrators live side by side as neighbours, and dynamics based on resentment and hatred hinder the return to a peaceful environment. The mass media are often unable to address the tensions that have remained within communities as a legacy of the conflict; hence, it is crucial to provide a platform where formerly opposing groups can articulate their views.

    By drawing on the experience of a participatory video project conducted in the Rift Valley of Kenya after the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence, when the country underwent a period of intense ethnic violence, I was able to demonstrate the potential of Communication for Social Change in post-conflict settings through the use of participatory video.

    Social change is a process that seeks to transform the unequal power relations that affect a community. The literature on conflict studies tells us that, in order to achieve social change, what firstly needs to be targeted in conflict interventions is change both at the individual and relational level…

    Full Article:



    Negative Life Experiences May Contribute to Bipolar Disorder

    “Negativity dampens our spirits. Positivity lifts them up. Always look for uplifting thoughts in any situation.” -Jerry Corstens



    “Les maladies de l’âme sont à la fois plus dangereuses et plus nombreuses que celles du corps.” – Cicero
    Traduction(EN): “Diseases of the soul are both more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.” – Cicero

    “Vous n’atteindrez jamais votre destination si vous vous arrêtez et lancez des pierres sur tous les chiens qui aboient.” – Winston S. Churchill
    Traduction(EN): “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston S. Churchill

  4. An essay on intelligence

    “The story of intelligence begins with Plato. In all his writings, he ascribes a very high value to thinking, declaring (through the mouth of Socrates) that the unexamined life is not worth living. Plato emerged from a world steeped in myth and mysticism to claim something new: that the truth about reality could be established through reason, or what we might consider today to be the application of intelligence. This led him to conclude, in The Republic, that the ideal ruler is ‘the philosopher king’, as only a philosopher can work out the proper order of things. And so he launched the idea that the cleverest should rule over the rest – an intellectual meritocracy…


    The idea that intelligence defines humanity persisted into the Enlightenment. It was enthusiastically embraced by Immanuel Kant, probably the most influential moral philosopher since the ancients. For Kant, only reasoning creatures had moral standing. Rational beings were to be called ‘persons’ and were ‘ends in themselves’. Beings that were not rational, on the other hand, had ‘only a relative value as means, and are therefore called things’. We could do with them what we liked.

    According to Kant, the reasoning being – today, we’d say the intelligent being – has infinite worth or dignity, whereas the unreasoning or unintelligent one has none. His arguments are more sophisticated, but essentially he arrives at the same conclusion as Aristotle: there are natural masters and natural slaves, and intelligence is what distinguishes them…

    by Stephen Cave, executive director and senior research fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. A philosopher by training, he has also served as a British diplomat, and written widely on philosophical and scientific subjects

    Full Article:

  5. ‘Come, O men, to see the #miracles that such #studies will disclose in #nature.’ – Leonardo #daVinci


    L’apparence physique, cette discrimination négligée

    Dans «La société du paraître», Jean-François Amadieu attire l’attention sur le rôle de l’apparence physique (beauté, poids, taille, âge, etc.) dans la réussite sociale. La période de tension identitaire est-elle propice à la reconnaissance de ces formes négligées de discriminations?

    Le café où j’ai interviewé Jean-François Amadieu, professeur en sciences de gestion, auteur de La société du paraître, a servi de cas d’étude pour vérifier les observations qu’il popularise dans ses travaux depuis une quinzaine d’années. Rive gauche parisienne, près de l’université Panthéon-Sorbonne où il enseigne, les riverains sont beaux. «Dans les quartiers comme celui où nous sommes, il n’y a pas de personnes obèses, remarque-t-il. Chez les CSP+ les taux d’obésité dégringolent au-delà de 3.800 euros par mois.»

    La question de l’apparence physique n’est pas une question de riches pour autant. Une serveuse peut être désavantagée en raison d’un surpoids, d’un visage jugé disgracieux, d’une origine ethnique à laquelle sont associés des stéréotypes négatifs, d’un âge qui sera jugé trop avancé pour que le candidat soit perçu comme efficace. «La masse des victimes de discrimination en raison de l’apparence ne se manifeste pas», écrit Amadieu. Et à le lire nous serions presque tous concernés.

    Au fil des années, note l’auteur, Le Grand Journal de Canal+ a changé de présentateur mais le casting du premier rang s’en est tenu à une formule immuable: jeunes, minces, beaux. Amadieu utilise cette image pour évoquer la relégation d’une partie du public qui, de fait, forme une large «majorité silencieuse» de Français interdits de représentation dans les médias et confrontés un jour où l’autre, à leur insu ou pas, à une forme de discrimination sur la base de leur apparence. Ce «poids des apparences», titre de son précédent livre, pèse lourdement sur le destin des individus. Il fait l’objet de dénis fréquents, parce qu’il est trop inconfortable, pour une société dont l’égalité est une valeur centrale, de considérer que le tour de taille des individus, la symétrie de leur visage ou l’apparence juvénile jouent un rôle dans la répartition des ressources.

    Full Article:


    « Let go of what you can’t have and you will be able to embrace what is well within your reach. » – Jerry Corstens


    Analysis of 165 skills suggests employers recall oral communication more frequently than other skills

    Coffelt, T., Baker, M. and Corey, R. (2016). Business Communication Practices From Employers Perspectives. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.


    This study investigates the meaning of communication skills from employers’ perspectives. Students enrolled in a business communication course were asked to contact potential employers in their fields of interest, requesting information about important communication skills in those fields. Using content analysis, two coders familiar with business communication analyzed 52 of the resulting open-ended responses. The analysis of 165 skills suggests employers recall oral communication more frequently than written, visual, or electronic communication skills. Of oral communication subskills, interpersonal communication was mentioned more than other workplace communication skills.




    « Les erreurs sont après tout humaines en particulier quand le désespoir ou l’alcool est impliqué, et si vous en avez fait un ou plusieurs, une décision noble serait de ne pas le normaliser ou le recommander à l’innocent comme le font ‘certaines’ entreprises Juives sans scrupules pour augmenter leur profits sans aucune pensée pour l’instabilité destructive culturelle, socio-linguistique et génétique qu’elles encouragent. Bien qu’il soit bon de souligner comme Johnny Depp que des «erreurs de l’Ouest» bien conçues et calculées avec de la précision artistique ont parfois conduits aux plus grandes créations de l’histoire humaine; des créations d’un fort héritage de l’Ouest qui sont individuelles, rares et uniques – à ne pas généraliser ou comparer a la médiocrité en masse ou les peuples d’héritage culturel, religieux, éducationnel, artistique, philosophique, socio-linguistique et génétique inférieur. » -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): »Mistakes are after all human especially when desperation or alcohol is involved, and if you have made one or more, a noble decision would be to not normalise or recommend it to the innocent as ‘some’ unscrupulous Jewish businesses do to increase their profits without any thought for the destructive cultural, socio-linguistic and genetic instability they encourage. Although it is worthy to point out, like Johnny Depp, that well-designed and calculated « Western mistakes » with artistic precision have sometimes led to the greatest creations in human history; unique, rare and individual creations of strong Western heritage – not to be generalised or compared to mass mediocrity or people of inferior cultural, religious, educational, artistic, philosophical, socio-linguistic, and genetic heritage. » -Danny J. D’Purb


    « Je devrais demander à ces experts de la haine … ils ont une longue histoire d’expertise en la matière, c’est la pierre angulaire de leur patrimoine. Ils s’ennuieraient à mourir sans ça… donc de nos jours ils semblent le commercialiser. Seul l’esprit libéré peut s’en sortir et se sauver, les autres sont damnés. » -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): »I should ask these experts on hate… they have a strong history of expertise in the matter, it is the founding stone of their heritage. They would be bored to death without it… so nowadays they seem to commercialise it. Only the free mind can help and save itself, the rest are doomed. » -Danny J. D’Purb


    « Maintenant imaginez qu’une de vos victimes, celui qui se trouve être l’objet de votre sadisme ou érotisme, se transforme en bête sanguinaire et violeur en série… pourriez vous peut-être essayez de trouver les raisons derrière sa haine? Essayons une petite exercise de psychologie ici, pour l’éducation de la nation! Je l’ai toujours dit, la provocation est la raison principale derrière la majorité des violences de tous types dans la société moderne, une sorte de résultat lié aux comportements des sauvages que seul la philosophie, la psychologie & la sophistication peuvent guérir. » -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): « Now imagine that one of your victims, the one who happens to be the object of your sadism or eroticism, turns into a bloodthirsty beast and serial rapist … could you perhaps try to find the reasons behind his/her hate? Let’s try a little psychiatric exercise here to educate the nation!
    I have always said it, provocation is the main reason behind the majority of violence of all types in modern society, a sort of outcome related to the behaviour of savages that only philosophy, psychology & sophistication can cure. » -Danny J. D’Purb


    « C’est le stade du miroir que je pense que beaucoup de ces imbéciles et universitaires médiocres semblent mal comprendre. La science n’est pas finie, l’évolution non plus … et beaucoup ont encore besoin d’un cours linguistique, de géographie et de culture. » -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): « It’s the mirror stage that I think many of those imbeciles and mediocre academics seem to misunderstand. Science is not over, neither is evolution… and many still need a geography, a culture & a linguistic course. » -Danny J. D’Purb


    « Ou est-ce simplement le fait que vous vous ennuyez … et comme d’habitude, avez besoin de trouver quelque chose à haïr… puisque aucune autre émotion n’a jamais reçu aucune forme d’attention ou de structuration durant votre existence, votre formation psychologique et philosophique? » -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): « Or is it simply the fact that you are bored… and as usual, need to find something to hate… since no other emotion has ever been given any form of attention or structuring during your existence, your psychological & philosophical construction [if any]? » -Danny J. D’Purb


    « Il est impossible de concevoir un système si parfait que personne ne doit être bon. »
    – T.S. Eliot

    Traduction(EN):“It is impossible to design a system so perfect that no-one needs to be good.”
    — T.S. Eliot


    «Les membres de certaines nations intelligentes qui ont adopté la tradition des lumières s’aiment, se poussent et s’encouragent mutuellement pour aller de l’avant. Ils se voient comme des frères et sœurs et membres d’une communauté unie avec les mêmes chances de réussir dans la vie. Mais plus important encore, ils respectent réellement ceux qu’ils savent qu’ils ne pourront jamais égaler en termes de capacités et de compétences; ils les appellent même véritablement et affectueusement «master», ou «maître», comme un geste d’honnêteté et d’encouragement. Le fait est que la plupart des gens veulent être reconnus, mais ne semblent jamais vouloir reconnaître les autres. Eh bien, si nous voulons de la croissance et un changement de notre statut dans la société par les fruits et la sueur de notre travail, nous devons d’abord reconnaître le fait que le statut existe et que les individus ne sont pas égaux en fonction de leurs compétences acquises,capacités individuelles, éducation, présentation, développement, appartenance culturelle, langage et vocabulaire. N’oubliez jamais le terme ‘singularité’!” -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN):”Members of some enlightened & intelligent nations actually love, push and encourage each other to move forward. They see each other as brothers/sisters & a member of a united community with the same chances of succeeding in life. But more importantly, they actually respect those they know they will never be able to match in terms of abilities & skills; they even genuinely & lovingly call them “master”, or “maître”, as a gesture of honesty and encouragement. The point is, most people want to be recognised, but never seem to be willing to recognise others. Well, if we want growth along with a change to our status in society through the fruits and sweat of our hard work, then we should first acknowledge the fact that ‘status’ actually exists, and individuals are not equal in regards to their acquired skills, individual abilities, education, presentation, development, cultural belonging, language and vocabulary. Never forget the term singularity!” -Danny J. D’Purb


    « La plus haute étape possible dans la culture morale est quand nous reconnaissons que nous devons contrôler nos pensées. » – Charles Darwin

    Traduction(EN): «  »The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. »—Charles Darwin

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