from the world's big
If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.
- Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
- Given the grave tragedy of slavery throughout human history, philosophers and technologists must answer this question ahead of technological development to avoid humanity creating a slave class of conscious beings.
- One potential safeguard against that? Regulation. Once we define the context in which AI requires rights, the simplest solution may be to not build that thing.
Why do you feel the way you feel, think the way you think and behave the way you do? Here are 5 possible explanations.
- Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior, but did you know there are actually 5 different perspectives to psychology?
- The earliest study of human psychology can be traced back to 400-500 BC.
- The biological approach, the psychodynamic approach, the behavioral approach, the cognitive approach, and the humanistic approach offer valid yet opposing ideas on why humans behave the way we do.
Psychology’s five major perspectives: Why are you the way you are?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzODg2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODYyMTA2N30.CnprLD3xGl-3B8YMoRcvUWo3-oVrBOaswSS5-pbiPSU/img.jpg?width=980" id="54fa4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4037c7547a1c937b9895d0699d14459c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-tablet-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzODg2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODYyMTA2N30.CnprLD3xGl-3B8YMoRcvUWo3-oVrBOaswSS5-pbiPSU/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C440%2C0%2C441&height=700" alt="concept of psychology five approaches to human psychology" />
There are five approaches to human psychology - which one do you trust most?
Image by FGC on Shutterstock<p>The study of psychology has progressed greatly, thanks to Wundt and other pioneers. Over the years, psychologists began to study all aspects of human behavior from personality traits to brain functions. Eventually, the studies began to look at the same human behaviors from various angles including biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic perspectives. These became known as the "five major perspectives" in psychology.</p><p><strong>The biological approach</strong></p><p>The biological approach to psychology focuses on examining our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from a strictly biological point of view. In this approach, all thoughts, feelings, and behaviors would have a biological cause. </p><p>This approach is relevant to the study of psychology in three ways: </p><ol><li>Comparative method: different species of animals can be studied and then compared to each other. This helps us better understand human behavior. </li><li>Physiology: the study of how the nervous system and hormones work, how the brain functions, how changes in the structure and/or function can affect our behavior. For example, how prescribed drugs to treat depression can affect our behavior through their interaction with the nervous system. </li><li>Investigation of inheritance: the study of what we inherit from our parents (through genetics). For example, whether high intelligence is inherited from one generation to the next. </li></ol><p>Each of these is inherently important to how we study human psychology from a biological point of view, and it's suggested that behavior can be <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/biological-psychology.html#:~:text=The%20biological%20approach%20believes%20us,thus%20physical%20point%20of%20view.&text=All%20thoughts%2C%20feeling%20%26%20behavior%20ultimately%20have%20a%20biological%20cause." target="_blank">largely explained through biology</a>. </p><p><strong>The psychodynamic approach</strong></p><p>The psychodynamic approach to psychology is most well-known for its ties to Sigmund Freud and his followers. This approach includes all theories in psychology that see humans functioning based on the interaction of drives and forces within the person, particularly unconscious and between the different structures of the personality. </p><p>Freud developed a collection of theories (most of which were based on what his patients told him during therapy) that formed the basis of the psychodynamic approach. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/psychodynamic.html#:~:text=The%20psychodynamic%20approach%20includes%20all,different%20structures%20of%20the%20personality.&text=Freud's%20psychoanalysis%20is%20both%20a%20theory%20and%20therapy." target="_blank">psychodynamic approach</a> can be best described in basic assumptions that: </p><ol><li>Our behavior and feelings are powerfully affected by unconscious motives. </li><li>Our behavior and feelings as adults are rooted in childhood experiences. </li><li>All behavior has a cause, and that cause is usually an unconscious one.</li><li>Personality is made of three parts (ID, ego, and super-ego).</li></ol><p><strong>The behavioral approach</strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/behaviorism.html#:~:text=Behaviorism%20refers%20to%20a%20psychological,through%20interaction%20with%20the%20environment." target="_blank">behavioral approach to psychology</a> focuses on how one's environment and external stimuli impact a person's mental states and development. More importantly, it focuses on how these factors specifically "train" us for the behaviors we exhibit later on. </p><p>People who support this approach to psychology over others may believe that the concept of "free will" is an illusion because all behaviors are learned and based on our past experiences. In other words, that we've been conditioned to act the way we act so nothing is ever truly our own choice. </p><p><strong>The cognitive approach</strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive.html" target="_blank">cognitive approach to psychology</a> shifts away from conditioned behavior and psychoanalytical notions to the study of how our mind works, how we process information, and how we use that processed information to drive our behaviors. </p><p>This approach focuses on: </p><ol><li>The meditational processes that occur between the stimulus and our response to the stimulus. </li><li>Human beings are information processors and all learning is based on the relationships we form with various stimuli. </li><li>Internal mental behavior can be scientifically studied using experiments that show us how we react to certain stimuli. </li></ol><p>In other words, the cognitive approach focuses on how our brains react to the environment around us and how our cognitive brain has very specific ways of processing certain stimuli which can explain why we think, feel and behave in certain ways. </p><p><strong>The humanistic approach </strong></p><p>The <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/humanistic.html" target="_blank">humanistic approach to psychology</a> was considered something of a rebellion against what psychologists saw as the limitations of the behaviorist and psychodynamic theories of psychology. It's the idea that we should approach psychological studies uniquely for each individual because we are all so vastly different. </p><p>This approach focuses on: </p><ol><li>The idea that we all have free will. </li><li>The idea that people are all basically good and that we have an innate need to make ourselves and the world better. </li><li>That we are motivated to self-actualize, grow, and thrive. </li><li>That our experiences are what drive us. </li></ol><p>This approach puts emphasis on the uniqueness of every person and every situation, suggesting that the other studies can never be fully accurate as there is such a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and human behaviors that can adapt and change as we do. </p>
Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.
- An all-star cast of Big Thinkers—actors Rainn Wilson and Ethan Hawke; composer Anthony Brandt; neuroscientists David Eagleman, Wendy Suzuki, and Beau Lotto; and psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—share how they define creativity and explain how our brains uniquely evolved for the phenomenon.
- According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
- Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.
With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.
- A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
- Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most common forms of female sexual dysfunction, impacting an estimated 1 in 10 women.
- Finding other ways to promote intimacy in your relationship is one of the keys to ensuring happiness on both sides.
The study<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzMzcxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzA2NTgxM30.Au-HmSRnSeN86ZGU7qeZJzq50LPM0LxjvUUU6_y2XVs/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="2bb9b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2af6156aff63fba2146746ae150f490e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="sad woman sitting on the floor at the foot of a bed" />
An estimated one in ten women experience female sexual dysfunction.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2020.1743225?scroll=top&needAccess=true" target="_blank">This 2020 study published in the Journal of Sex Research</a>, led by Dr. Avigail Moor and her colleagues Yael Haimov and Shaked Shreiber, focused on 15 women between the ages of 25-59, all of whom were in committed, heterosexual, long-term relationships (with a median relationship length of 3.5 years) to better understand decreases in female sexual desire. Approximately half the women in this sample had children.<br></p><p><strong>During this study, the women were asked various questions about:</strong></p><ol> <li>The quality of their relationship</li><li>How their relationship has been impacted by their decreased sexual desire </li><li>What they believe could have caused a decrease in their sexual desire over the course of their relationship</li><li>What impact they felt this had on themselves and their relationship </li><li>How they dealt with the decreased sexual desire themselves</li><li>How the couple dealt with and/or navigated the decrease in sexual desire together</li></ol><p><strong>There are a number of reasons why women, in particular, could be going through a libido decline, including:</strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><ul><li>Job stress</li><li>Family stress</li><li>Self-confidence struggles</li><li>Declining hormones or hormone imbalances</li><li>Relationship issues</li><li>Health conditions </li></ul><div></div>
Navigating low sexual desire and desire discrepancies in your relationship<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQzMzcyMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTYzNjE5N30.oec9wuuxd9MEVkqmappsngN2nVmMxF3sIi9AlL9Q5SE/img.jpg?width=980" id="e246b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ebf8cdebd54a0b26ee181320e756bff4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="couple hugging in a bedroom" />
Even if you are struggling with differing sexual desires in your relationship, there are still countless ways you can show affection to your partner.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p>Assistant professor at Harvard Medical School <a href="https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/loss-of-sexual-desire-in-women#1" target="_blank">Jan Shifren</a>, MD, explains in an interview: "One of the first things I do speaking to women who come in with sexual concerns is let them know that there is no normal frequency or set of behaviors and things change with times. If it's working for them and/or their partner, there is no problem."</p><p>Shifren goes on to explain that when the decreases in sexual interest begin having a negative impact on her life and cause distress in the relationship, this is when it's considered a problem of low sexual desire. </p><p>If it is believed to be a problem, there are a few things this study, in particular, has highlighted. </p><p><strong>Love doesn't equal desire, and a lack of desire doesn't equal disaster. </strong></p><p>Participants of this study explained that their sexual desire (or lack thereof) never made them doubt their relationship or the feelings they had for their partner. They saw the sexual desire and love for their partner as two very separate things. </p><p>Over half the participants said they didn't believe their <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sex-drive-in-women/symptoms-causes/syc-20374554#:~:text=Women's%20sexual%20desires%20naturally%20fluctuate,low%20sex%20drive%20in%20women." target="_blank">decreased sexual desire</a> had a negative impact on their relationship, explaining that they have more intimate, deeper connections with their partner that went beyond sex. Many women who felt this way cited the fact that they were navigating life's ups and downs, things like parenthood and job stress, with their partner, which made them feel closer to their partners even if the sexual desire wasn't there. </p><p><strong>This is an extremely isolating problem even if it impacts the whole relationship. </strong></p><p>In order to make sense of the rapid changes in their desires or the complete lack of sexual drive, many women in the study claimed they looked inwards, often blaming themselves. Instead of thinking that this is a common thing many individuals (and many other women) struggle with, many of these participants felt guilty about their low libidos, thinking it must be their problem. </p><p><strong>Among these women, feelings of guilt and self-blame were frequent over the course of their interviews. </strong></p><p>Even in situations where there was very minimal negative impact on the relationship, desire discrepancies still caused some tension. </p><p>While over half the women involved stated they did not feel desire discrepancies in their relationship negatively impacted their relationship, many women still did describe feeling some sort of "pressure" to have sex more often. </p><p>Despite having relationships that were described as loving and healthy, some of the women in the study indicated that they have, in the past, still experienced conflict with their partner over how long it had been since they had sex. Some women also stated they were worried that their partner took their low libido personally. </p><p><strong>How can you navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships?</strong></p><p>This is one of the first studies to focus so specifically on female sexual dysfunction in long-term relationships, so there is still a lot of research to be done. What we have learned from this study, however, can help us better understand how to navigate these difficult challenges of intimate relationships. </p><p>Strategies that can be used to address the problems in the relationship that are caused by having a low sex drive can be things like: </p><ul><li>Creating an honest line of communication. Participating in conversations that allow each person to be open and honest about how they feel can promote intimacy and bonding as well as a deeper understanding of what the other person is going through. </li><li>Compromising. This doesn't mean simply having sex when you don't feel like it, but it can be other things that promote intimacy such as a date night or incorporating other forms of physical affection into your relationship. </li><li>Treating this like any other relationship problem. Relationships take work, and just as you navigate difficulties due to chores, finances, and responsibilities, you can navigate the struggles of low sexual desire by creating an environment of understanding and having a desire to make things work. </li></ul>
Researchers at University College London link waist circumference with dementia.
- Researchers at University College London have discovered a link between waist circumference and dementia.
- Seventy-four percent of volunteers that developed dementia were overweight or obese.
- Women with central obesity had a 39 percent greater risk of dementia.
Mediterranean Diet Has Huge Health Benefits, New Study Finds | The New York Times<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f003c82b77eb38381dedb83ebf2e802a"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_JiKXdZwiIg?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Co-author Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology and epidemiology at the university, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/23/health/belly-fat-dementia-link-wellness/index.html" target="_blank">sums up</a> the team's work:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Dementia is one of the major health challenges of the 21st century that could threaten successful aging of the population. Our findings suggest that rising obesity rates will compound the issue."</p><p>Dr. Dorina Cadar, a senior fellow at UCL and corresponding author of the study, suggests monitoring both BMI and WC status. Her suggestions include following a Mediterranean diet, reducing alcohol consumption, and regular exercise. </p><p>Dr. Richard Isaacson, the director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/23/health/belly-fat-dementia-link-wellness/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> that brain health and waist size are linked, especially for women.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Based on emerging data from studies like this, we are now able to clarify sex differences in dementia risk. Combining these findings with my clinical experience, I have seen greater impact on visceral fat on memory function in women, likely mediated by metabolic pathways."</p><p>This is another in a long list of studies linking obesity to cognitive problems, and serves as a reminder as to why <a href="https://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/does-lack-of-exercise-lead-to-dementia" target="_self">exercise</a> and <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/intermittent-fasting" target="_self">nutrition</a> remain your best defense against dementia. Regardless of the conveniences of modern society, human beings evolved during times of scarcity. We're not built for excess. Our brains pay the price when we indulge. </p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
According to a licensed clinical psychologist, we need to change the way we define narcissism in order to recognize it more clearly for what it really is.
- Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. It is characterized as a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of self.
- According to the most recent data, narcissistic personality disorder isn't as common as we think, impacting an estimated 1 percent of our population. The confusion lies in how we define the disorder compared to other narcissistic personality traits.
- Dr. Ramani Durvasula explains that we need a clearer definition of what this disorder is in order to recognize it in our society.
What is narcissism?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQyNTQwMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjMwNzcwNX0.lQ8BR0I_yDSXNRrryTyKzBrJIA6_d371CHomBWnnQqw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=700" id="c9537" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1ee04679e2605a285c5b5b56b782e3d0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of ego self praise narcissism narcissistic personality disorder" />
How do we really recognize narcissism?
Image by SvetaZi on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662#:~:text=Narcissistic%20personality%20disorder%20%E2%80%94%20one%20of,lack%20of%20empathy%20for%20others." target="_blank">Narcissistic personality disorder</a> is one of several types of personality disorders and is characterized as a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of self. They have a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, which often leads to troubled relationships. There is an inherent lack of empathy for others and narcissism, despite its outward appearance, is often masking extremely fragile self-esteem constructs.</p><p><strong>Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder: </strong></p><ul><li>An exaggerated sense of self-importance </li><li>A sense of entitlement</li><li>Craving constant admiration or affection</li><li>Expecting to be recognized as a superior</li><li>An ability to monopolize conversations and belittle other people's input </li><li>Can easily become envious of others and believe others envy them</li><li>They may behave arrogantly and appear to be conceited, boastful or pretentious </li><li>Often insists on having "the best" of everything, which will be reflected in their possessions, even if they are things they cannot afford (a new car, etc) </li></ul><p>Narcissism itself is defined as an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself. It's entirely possible to be narcissistic without having the personality disorder...but what is the difference?<br></p><p>With narcissistic personality disorder, the traits and symptoms will be so intense that the person's life, relationships, and jobs may be compromised. A personality disorder is typically diagnosed with the issues extend to negatively <a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/qa/can-someone-be-a-narcissist-and-not-have-narcissistic-personality-disorder#:~:text=Someone%20can%20be%20a%20narcissist,it%20disrupts%20his%20daily%20life." target="_blank">impact your daily life</a>. </p>