Tuesday 22nd November 2016
PSY100- Lecture 18 - Security
“Pain is not wrong. Reacting to pain as wrong indicates the dance of unworthiness. The moment
we believe something is wrong, our world shrinks and we lose ourselves in the effort to combat
“Most of the time Marilyn’s mother remained unconscious, her breath laboured and erratic. One
morning before dawn, she suddenly opened her eyes and looked clearly and intently at her
daughter. “You know,” she whispered softly, “all my life I thought something was wrong with me.”
Shaking her head slightly, as if to say, “What a waste,” she closed her eyes and drifted back into
- Tara Brach
Genie’s story stresses how much of a social species humans are.
Without the many layers of scaffolding, we are not functionally human.
Just like the cat in goggles, she was limited by her conditions.
The experiment led subjects to continue shopping the
“other subject” up until 150 volts, where the subject
began to plead for the experiment to stop.
No matter how much the subject pleads, but that one line
from a dude in a white lab coat pushes away all morality
and resistance (though the real test subjects
administering shocks are constantly worried).
Two-thirds of the people administering the shocks
capitulated (surrendered) and went till the end of the
Everyone reached the 150 volt line.
Genie + Milgram = shows the functionality of humans
We function differently accordingly.
We can steer the elephant only if the elephant is calm.
Monkeys: runs toward cloth mom even if the wire mom fed them.
We all run toward comfort. Comfort defines security.
A Central Insight of Developmental & Personality
Our security and attachment systems are already played out, on going back to your two-year-
old self (when you develop your framework).
People who struggle with insecurity usually blame themselves. At a basic foundation of their
psyche, there’s a part that they don't like.
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The single biggest thing to help stop beating yourself up is to understand thrownness: described
as an individual’s existence being thrown into the world.
- Impacted by: genes, parents socioeconomic status, crime
- Determines situatedness in existence
The parameters of these conditions structure to a large degree.
If you perform sub-optimally, remember the power of the situation rather than blame yourself.
Affection and physical touch are fundamental needs, out of which our sense of our ‘self’ grows.
As a kid: were you alone a lot? Warm, cold, ignored, responded to?
Did people respond to your cries with comfort or hostility?
Were your interested discarded or responded to?
This lays the physical foundation of security.
Social attention affects responsiveness build on top of that
Lays foundation of core beliefs
Strong implicit patterns that ultimately effect what we do or respond with
Whatever needs that were unmet at different stages in life end up warping people
Freud’s psychosexual stages of
development sound crazy, but
think about it:
As a baby: your focus is on your
Your first crisis is food, weaning,
eating solids etc.
Good things come out of the
successful resolution of these
If not, the personality gets fixated
on certain things.
Maslow called these deficiency needs (more detail in textbook).
“deficiency needs” = centres of self-organization
There is a tug of war between Deficiency Needs and Being Needs ( the innate perpetuity toward
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The Lasting Effect of the Early Years
Highly important. Why?
- Quality of parenting is very important, mainly because it one influential variable that effects a
child’s life, that is easy to manipulate.
- Given by: family, friends, caregivers.
- eye contact
- smiling, laughing
- enriched environment (without being pressured)
- consistency, structures, boundaries,
- responsiveness, encouragement (without controlling)
- play, verbal interaction
- Quality of Environment is also important. In fact, many of the above factors are conditioned
by the environment.