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26Jan/115

Factors Affecting Behaviour

Update: Dr Robert Sapolsky has done a TED talk which puts these factors of human behaviour into great context, focused around the timeframes with which they have an effect. Check it out

Below is an edited comment of what I posted to http://tacsi.org.au/family-by-family-prototype-week-1/
For the last few years I've had an active interest in Human Behaviour.
I've spent hundreds of hours hours reading books, watching recorded uni lectures (in psychology, neuro-biology and the like), some awesome TED talks, audiobooks, white papers, general social analysis and lots of conversations. From all of that I've noticed there are a range of factors affecting peoples behaviour.
In approximate order they are :
  1. Situation [Role] - The current situation the person is in. e.g being in a prison vs being at an office, a pool party or walking past a house on fire. Special mention should be given to 'normal' social situations and crisis situations.
  2. Environment [Resources] - Beyond just the situation, this is what resources someone has access to, e.g if you can already hear the fire fighters sirens, if it is dark and the guards aren't looking, or if there are nice windows with trees to look out at when stressed.
  3. Habits [Triggered/Automatic Responses] - Habits are usually those things which you do without really thinking about anymore. BJ Fogg lists this as the BluePath, doing a familiar behaviour from now on. An example might be brushing your teeth before you go to bed. At some point you had to learn the habit, but now you do the behaviour almost instinctively.
  4. History [Knowledge and experience] - How/Have you been trained to deal with the situation? Have you been in a similar situation, what did you do and did it work?
  5. Perspective [Time, Beliefs] - What is your Time Perspective (past positive/negative, present headonistic, deterministic, future oriented, afterlife). What is your religious and moral beliefs. Do you align yourself to an emo, punk, hippy, military or some other stereotype? This is very similar to the cultural expectations, but regarding the specific sub-group to the general culture.
  6. Culture [Expectations] - What the general expectations are for a person in that situation and environment. If your sub-group hasn't specified what it's stance is, then what is generally considered morally justified? Stopping CPR on the random homeless guy on the street after 4mins might be seen as fine, whilst stopping CPR after 20mins on a child who's drowned in a pool might cause outrage.
  7. Emotions [Mood] - Was the person happy or sad at the time?
  8. Hormones [Emotional propensity] - If you are a teenage male you are likely to have a surge in testosterone which will amplify the likelyhood of aggression (assuming the situation is one that involves violence or aggression). This can be thought of as shortening the 'fuse' so to speak. Pregnant women can be particularly susceptible to stress and may become even more irritable due to lack of food than normal... Drugs can also have a similar although usually more profound but short lived effect.
  9. Pre-natal [How birth affected you] - Humans are far more susceptible to conditioning during birth than most people realise. When your mother was pregnant with you, if she was heavily stressed then it can have negative consequences. If she was obese then you are more likely to be obese { http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNjlcGikW_0 }. A child after birth also needs the right amount of care and attention. They need to be held and touched and talked to.
  10. Genetics [Physical propensity] - There is barely a 0.5% difference in genetic material between humans and we are only 4-6% genetically different from apes. Our DNA is 90% similar to cats. Given such similarity it is generally said that genetics can cause a propensity for a particular behaviour or physical attribute, but it is the environment which which has the most impact. { http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25335 }

Different circumstances will mean the resulting behaviour is influenced by the factors above in differing amounts. Whilst normally the situation and environment will be the most influential  a strong enough culture and belief can over-ride that. If you want to change peoples behaviour you need to work out which are the most important factors involved or which other factors can over-ride those and you can try to change or at least deal with them.

An example is the selfish-gene concept. That humans are simply a mechanism by which genes can make a copy of themselves. Whilst this may be the default behaviour of people it is not the absolute only factor which affects our behaviour. Another important thing to note is that the concept of our 'kin' or family is very important in many cases. Who are people that we should help and be around, versus those that are against us. Our understanding of kin has grown larger over time, from immediate family to village, group (e.g religious group or work colleges) to nations and at the present rate will soon encompass the world. Doing so helps reduce the violence within our species. We will likely need to expand kin to include other animals and should we meet friendly alien entities it may have to include even them.

I do have a question. Are morals another factor which affect behaviour? Or are they a product of a combination of the above factors?

For a quick overview of social thinking, including the Stanford Prison Experiment, check out the video below :

If you enjoyed the above then some resources that may be of interest include :

More in depth resources :

Name : Human Behavioral Biology by Dr Robert Sapolsky.

There's plenty of other resources. If would like like more please comment below or email michael@zeitgeist-info.com

NB : Added Habits above History. Because habits can be done without thinking they are more than just memory recall they almost like muscle memory.. if you could call it that. - 7th Jan 2012

Note : Knowing that there is a different way of doing something and changing peoples values and mindset is one of the most important but usually hardest steps when moving forward.

14Jan/110

The Reality of Me : TROM site

This is an amazing way of learning about the science and understandings of the world around us.

 

The Reality of Me - http://tromsite.com/

 

This site shows 12 hours of documentaries and videos together in a Zeitgeist Movement oriented fashion.
This is one of the most amazing online resources for helping new members understand the concepts required to properly understand the Zeitgeist Movement.

14Jan/110

[ZM Projects] Project Points

I've put up a little post on the Zinfo projects site if people are interested.

http://projects.zeitgeist-info.com/2011/01/14/project-points/

I'd love to get some feedback about the idea.

Cheers!

Filed under: Zinfo No Comments
28Dec/100

So you want a real democracy do you?

Written by Andrew Buxton on Monday, 24 May 2010.

Democracy:

A group of 12 people (Number will vary according to size of population - 12 is just being used as an example as i dont want to be typing this list forever)

2 Architects, 1 Bus Driver, 2 Cleaners, 1 Salesman, 1 Florist, 1 Banker, 1 Business Director, 1 Window Cleaner, 1 Art Student, and a Structural Engineer.

Their Task.. To design a bridge between two islands to connect the people and make transporting of resources, goods and services between the two islands easier.

They go through hundreds of designs, and at every stage the structural engineer says they wont work.. they may look pretty but they wont work.

The majority vote for a certain design, and go and build it (or others do)
and when its complete they decide to celebrate by being the first to travel across the bridge to celebrate with the inhabitants of the other island. As they go across it collapses and everyone dies, (Except the Structural Engineer - Who knew it wasn't safe)

I don't like the idea of democracy... do you?

Its important to understand that you have never lived in a participatory democracy, and you really have to think if you would want one. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you increase the agricultural yield in a country where the soil is high in nitrates?
  • How would you design the software to manage and distribute food within a total city system
  • How would you stop cars from hitting each other, or pedestrians?
  • How would you design the Heating & Ventilation system for 800 homes in a circular city design?
  • How would you regulate the production of any particular good based on the carrying capacity of the city?
  • How would you determine the best source of renewable energy for a city?

If you cant answer these questions, where do you think you will participate in the running and design of the cities and society as a whole? Where do you participate in your current system?

Filed under: Essay Continue reading
28Dec/100

The Case for Collaborative Consumption

This TED talk is a great example of how there is already a big cultural change from hyper-consumption to collaboration.

People don't want a music CD, they want the music that's on it. They don't want a power drill, they want the holes in their wall. Most people aren't interested in a car, they are interested in getting to their destination.

TED talk : The Case for Collaborative Consumption

This is but a small part of the cultural shift required to achieve the Resource Based Economy, but it's happening without people even understanding the full implications.

26Dec/100

Economy vs Democracy

Here's a quick one for you.

The foundation of Economics is Adam Smith's idea that the monetary system works well because everyone works in their own self-interests.

Our current form of Democracy is representative. We vote for people who will then represent the wants, needs and culture of their electorate. So they are meant to be working in the interests of those that they represent.

It sounds like the current form of Democracy is incompatible with the current form of economics.


26Dec/100

Zeitgeist News

http://www.zeitnews.org/

In, what is almost a sister site to Zeitgeist-Info.com, the Zeitnews.org website shows the latest news in science and technology. Covering areas such as Energy, Transportation, Biotech, robots, nanotechnology, and space, it's a great site which is well designed and easy to use.

I suggest adding it to your RSS feed reader or even making it your home page!

 

 

www.zeitnews.org

ZeitNews logo

 

9Dec/101

Alternative News sources around the World (English)

This is a list of alternative news sources. It was compiled by Jacob Curtis and he initially released it on Facebook

It's not complete, but there's plenty here.

Why would you want to get your news from such sources? The majority of news outlets are owned by large corporations with very malicious political and financial agendas. Long story short, you can't trust them to not to blatantly lie or at least spin their stories with some heavy bias. It's really nothing short of propoganda, and brainwashing in the most extreme cases (it's definitely the worst in the US). I have included a few mainstream sources in here, as it's interesting to compare the way in which they present news with the alternative sources.

World news

Corporation Watch:

U.S.A.

Canada:

Australia:

United Kingdom:

Science & Technology News

Other:

Wikileaks

Filed under: Links 1 Comment
7Dec/100

Wikileaks Mirror

By now nearly everyone will be aware of the website Wikileaks. In recent days they started releasing US diplomatic cables (messages). Unfortunately in doing so there has been a number of attacks on the website and it's hosting. As such there was a call put out for anyone with a web server to start hosting a mirror of the wikileaks website.

I have responded with http://wikileaks.zeitgeist-info.com/

So far there are over 720 mirrors, with more being added all the time. If you are technically inclined and would like to help, the site is currently less than 20MB in size and is only plain HTML, so you only need Apache (or maybe nginx) and not advanced things like  PHP and MySQL, etc..

Please Note : Mirroring the wikileaks website is a personal action taken by the zeitgeist-info.com webmaster, and is not representative of the Zeitgeist Movement's stance on Wikileaks.

Filed under: Event, Links No Comments
26Oct/103

Zeitgeist the Movie is NOT The Zeitgeist Movement


Zeitgeist the Movie ≠ The Zeitgeist Movement

In short, the content of Zeitgeist The Movie is NOT what the Zeitgeist Movement is about. The Zeitgeist Movement is about creating a better future for all humanity. Currently the best way of doing that is through a Resource Based Economy as explained by The Venus Project.