Why Everything You Think About Aging May Be Wrong Reply

AgingAs We Get Older, Friendships, Creativity and Satisfaction With Life Can Flourish

By Anne Tergesen, Wall Street Journal

Everyone knows that as we age, our minds and bodies decline—and life inevitably becomes less satisfying and enjoyable.

Everyone knows that cognitive decline is inevitable.

Everyone knows that as we get older, we become less productive at work.

Everyone, it seems, is wrong.

Contrary to the stereotype of later life as a time of loneliness, depression and decline, a growing body of scientific research shows that, in many ways, life gets better as we get older.

“The story used to be that satisfaction with life went downhill, but the remarkable thing that researchers are finding is that doesn’t seem to be the case,” says Timothy Salthouse, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.

In fact, a growing body of evidence indicates that our moods and overall sense of well-being improve with age. Friendships tend to grow more intimate, too, as older adults prioritize what matters most to them, says Karen Fingerman, a professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

Other academics have found that knowledge and certain types of intelligence continue to develop in ways that can even offset age-related declines in the brain’s ability to process new information and reason abstractly. Expertise deepens, which can enhance productivity and creativity. Some go so far as to say that wisdom—defined, in part, as the ability to resolve conflicts by seeing problems from multiple perspectives—flourishes.

To be sure, growing older has its share of challenges. Some people don’t age as well as others. And especially at advanced ages, chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and dementia become increasingly common and can take a toll on mental, as well as physical, health.

Still, those who fall into the “stereotype of being depressed, cranky, irritable and obsessed with their alimentary canal” constitute “no more than 10% of the older population,” says Paul Costa, a scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, who for more than three decades directed the personality program of the long-running Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. “The other 90% of the population isn’t like that at all,” Dr. Costa says.

Here are six prevalent myths about aging—along with recent research that dispels common misconceptions.

Feature continues here:  Aging Myths

 

 

Create A “Go To Hell” Plan to Help Survive Your Next Crisis Reply

PlanningBy Chris Simmons

From my earliest days in the military, I was taught to always have a plan. It made sense. After all, if something is worth the investment of your precious resources (i.e., time, talents, and treasures), it merits a well thought-out roadmap to success.

But it didn’t stop there. “Your adversary has a vote” we were told, or more emphatically – “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” To offset our foe’s “vote,” we needed to create a “Plan B” (also known as a “back-up” or “alternative plan”). The purpose of Plan B was to have a viable option when the unexpected occurred.

Then they forced us to develop a contingency for when the seemingly unimaginable occurred. This contingency, known throughout the military as a “Go To Hell” plan, forced us to consider and plan for nightmare scenarios. Saddam Hussein got schooled in this concept a week into the 2003 invasion of Iraq when, with all his military forces fighting in the south, a brigade of US paratroopers unexpectedly jumped into northern Iraq. He lost control of the entire northern third of the nation immediately.

Note to self — luck and hope are not planning factors.

We enhanced the value of our plans by role playing through all three scenarios: the most likely, the supposedly less likely, and then the improbable. The mere act of visualizing the “what ifs” better prepared us for a range of situations, not just the ideal one. This de facto rehearsal also had a calming effect. When we needed to jump from Plan “A” to Plan “B” (or worse), we already knew the key planning issues: who, what, when, where, why, and how. This familiarity bred confidence and reduced stress.

That said, we always kept in mind that our personal experiences and biases skewed what we considered to be possible and probable. We knew we could still misread our adversary. This awareness helped reduce the impact of the shock anytime we were surprised.

Finally, a plan need not be perfect. A good plan well executed now is infinitely better than the perfect plan too late.

I quickly grasped that this planning methodology wasn’t just for the military. It is applicable and relevant to everyone’s personal and professional lives as well. Job relocations, births, deaths, accidents, illnesses, promotions, marriages, divorces, financial ups & downs….the list is endless. Life is unpredictable and demanding. Planning adds clarity and reduces anxiety. Life happens, be ready for it.

Police Kill Teenage Boy: Negligence or Necessary? 1

 By Chris Simmons

 

On May 24th, a Purcellville [Virginia] police officer shot and killed Christian Sierra – a depressed High School student they had been summoned to help.

The 17-year old was at a neighbor’s house when he began threatening suicide. He subsequently cut himself and the police were called. Armed with a knife as he stood alone in the street, Sierra lunged at the first police officer to arrive. The officer responded by shooting and killing the boy.

Why wasn’t non-lethal force used? The police have several non-lethal tools available for use – the old-school nightstick, an ASP – a solid steel expandable baton ranging in length from 16-26 inches, tasers, pepper spray, and so forth.

In my opinion, in this encounter, the police officer CANNOT claim self-defense. The officer knew Christian Sierra was armed with a knife before exiting the safety of the police cruiser. Given the array of non-lethal weapons readily available for use, the troubled teen could have been quickly and safely subdued.

It is important to understand that by drawing his/her weapon, the officer actually raised the probability of a fatal encounter. Psychologically, aiming a gun at a knife-wielding individual often prompts the person’s “Freeze, Fight, Flight” response to favor the Fight option. In general, the escalation spiral will have already rendered the Freeze/surrender option highly unlikely. Flight is not an option as many individuals believe a police office will shoot them even if they turn and run. Thus, to survive, a person may feel they must attack.

In a gun vs. knife scenario, the psychological dynamic can be very deceptive. A knife-wielding individual might envision four possible outcomes:  the police officer could freeze and not fire, the officer might miss, the individual could be wounded, or he/she could be killed. Fueled by adrenaline, it becomes easy for an emotional individual – or in this case, a troubled teenager, to misjudge the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Contrast that thinking against the very accurate psychological response when non-lethal force is clearly going to be used. Witnessing an officer extend a two-foot long ASP, a knife-wielding individual will likely conclude that the officer will disarm them by using the metal baton to break their hand, wrist or arm. The use of a non-lethal option is, in effect, a proportional response favoring the police as it capitalizes on the weapon’s extended range and the frailty of human bones.

Even a distraught person generally understands that a police officer will not be afraid to use their baton, nor is it likely he/she will miss. As such, the individual will commonly concludes one of three outcomes are likely: surrender immediately to avoid excruciating pain, undergo bone-breaking injuries, or risk sustaining a fatal blow to the head or a vital organ. In this situation, it’s hard to misjudge the likely outcome. More importantly, even if the individual does err in judgment, their forthcoming wounds would rarely be life-threatening.

I believe the death of Christian Sierra was probably both preventable and unnecessary. I experienced many tense situations during 24 months in war zones around the world, so I empathize with the stress under which the police operate. That said, the soldiers with whom I so proudly served never killed anyone when the means and opportunity to capture/subdue them existed. Citizens should expect the same standards from their police.

Elizabeth Loftus: The Fiction of Memory 1

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It’s more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.

 

 

Daniel Simons – Seeing The World As It Isn’t Reply

Dan Simons explores why we see the world as it ISN’T.

Daniel Simons is head of the Visual Cognition Laboratory at the University of Illinois. His research explores the ways in which our beliefs and intuitions about the workings of our own minds are often mistaken and why that matters. He is best known for his experiments revealing striking failures of perception and the limits of visual awareness. His research is exhibited in science museums worldwide and his writing has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune. He is the co-author of the book, “The Invisible Gorilla, and Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us” (Crown, 2010).  http://www.dansimons.com

The Skill of Self Confidence Reply

As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Ivan Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self-confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.

Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias Reply

Are we born to be optimistic, rather than realistic? Tali Sharot shares new research that suggests our brains are wired to look on the bright side — and how that can be both dangerous and beneficial.

Optimism bias is the belief that the future will be better, much better, than the past or present. And most of us display this bias. Neuroscientist Tali Sharot wants to know why: What is it about our brain that makes us overestimate the positive? She explores the question in her book The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain. 

In the book (and a 2011 TIME magazine cover story), she reviewed findings from both social science and neuroscience that point to an interesting conclusion: “our brains aren’t just stamped by the past. They are constantly being shaped by the future.” In her own work, she’s interested in how our natural optimism actually shapes what we remember, and her interesting range of papers encompasses behavioral research (how likely we are to misremember major events) as well as medical findings — like searching for the places in the brain where optimism lives. Sharot is a faculty member of the Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences at University College London.

The Importance of ‘I Love You’ in the Sociopath Dating Game and Why the Sociopath Really Can’t! 4

The three words ‘I love you’ are meant to be special, intimate. To the sociopath ‘I love you’ means something entirely different.

When you first meet the sociopath, he spends a lot of time, listening, reflecting, mirroring.

  • Listening to what you say (to discover what your needs and wants are)
  • Reflecting (Offering you back what you need and want)
  • Mirroring (mirroring your body language, repeating back to you what you are saying, ‘active’ listening skills)

Love is a really important game to the sociopath in dating. Without love the sociopath loses their power.

A sociopath will constantly say ‘I love you’….. what this actually means is ‘do you love me’…. he is constantly checking whether you love him. He needs you to love him, as when you do, you are rendered ‘weak’

You are fooled into thinking this is a genuine love connection. The sociopath mirrors all of the reactions that people do when they are genuinely in love.

  • Wants to spend all of their time with you
  • Appears interested in you and your interests
  • Appears to share similar interests, goals, and morals
  • Tells you constantly that they love you
  • Showers you with attention and flattery
  • Fakes that they will help you to fulfill your dreams
  • Is very helpful and useful

With this belief that you have met someone who seems so perfect for you, you feel safe to let down your guard, and fall subsequently in love with the sociopath.

If you have been in a relationship with a sociopath, you will notice that they constantly say ‘I love you’, this leads you to feel some sense of responsibility for the sociopath, and that you should love them back. This is part of the manipulation and control.

The sociopath constantly checks what you are feeling about them, and if you are in love with them. When you are in love, you are rendered ‘weak’. This is in reality how the sociopath sees you.

There is a saying ‘crazy in love’ and being in love, can be a temporary form of ‘madness’ where we can lose ourselves in the moment of ‘love’.

Love is important to most humans, especially women. We all have the need to love, and to be loved.

The sociopath abuses this. This is what can leave victims feeling both confused, and lacking in belief that the person they are in love with is actually a sociopath after all your partner was so:

  • ‘Loving and caring’
  • Helpful
  • Focused on you (giving you the illusion that they were as into you as you were them’
  • Moralistic

The person behind the mask is rarely seen. If you imagine the Wizard of Oz….. you are lured in and left spell bound by what you see in front of the curtain….. but when Dorothy pulled back the curtain, she saw a very different person operating the machine.

This is exactly what the sociopath does. He uses LOVE and fakes love, to

  • Get you to fall in love
  • So that (if you are in love) you feel a responsibility for him, and are weak
  • Manipulate you

Because the sociopath has no conscience, he doesn’t care whether this causes you pain. The sociopath thrives to

  • Be in control
  • To win

Duping others, conning, and winning, obtaining what he wants by deception can give the ultimate high (see also sociopath’s dupers delight and the joy of conning someone). They suffer from boredom, and are not restricted by either

  • Moral compass, responsibility for anyone else
  • Emotions and feelings for anyone else except themselves

Whilst you are going headlong into the relationship with the sociopath, losing your head and falling in love, the sociopath will fake that he is in love. He will fake this so very well, that it will feel like a soul mate connection.

Why victims stay in the relationship with the sociopath

The reason why victims stay with the sociopath, is because of the poker effect. Once the mask begins to slip, the victim has fallen in love with the ‘illusion’ that the sociopath has sold to the victim. Everybody needs ‘closure’ but there can be no closure with the sociopath. You are in love with simply an illusion. The sociopath will give you back niceness, kindness, and fake love again, to lengthen his time with you. This is simply because the sociopath does not want to lose source for supply. This is all that you are to the sociopath, ‘a source for supply’.

Feature continues here:  The importance of ‘I Love you’ in the sociopath dating game and why the sociopath really cant!

 

Dr. Jeni Cross on “Three Myths of Behavior Change – What You Think You Know That You Don’t” Reply

Jeni Cross is a sociology professor at Colorado State University (CSU). She has spoken about community development and sustainability to audiences across the country, from business leaders and government officials to community activists. As a professor and consultant she has helped dozens of schools and government agencies implement and evaluate successful programs to improve community well-being. In this talk, she discusses her work around changing behaviors.