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> Are you a Wolf or a Sheep?, How do you handle defeat?
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post Jul 05, 2006, 07:06 PM
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How do you handle defeat? It depends on whether you're a wolf or a sheep.

If underneath that calm exterior you have the domineering demeanor of a wolf, you're going to hate defeat.

But if you're really a sheep, you're more likely to greet defeat with a measure of joy, or at least relief.

That's the basic finding of a research project at the University of Michigan designed to see how the desire to hold power over others affects someone's ability to accept defeat.

About 50 people, mostly students at the university, were divided into "wolves" and "sheep" based on their performance on a standardized test. They also were tested for the presence of stress hormones before and after the test.

Not surprisingly, the wolves hated losing. But not the sheep.

"As our results show, one man's poison is another man's cake," said psychology professor Oliver Schultheiss, who conducted the same study earlier in Germany and found the same results. "The power-hungry wolves among our participants were hit hardest by defeat, whereas the sheep couldn't care less about being beaten.

"This runs counter to the idea that everybody likes coming out at the top of the heap," he added. "That's a really surprising finding for us."

Michelle Wirth, who is working on her doctorate under Schultheiss, said the results underscore the fact that winning is everything for some people and a burden for others.

"There are people who have no desire to have power over others, almost to the degree that they are afraid of it," Wirth said. "It's not a comfortable situation for them, and they are not used to it."

Wirth, Schultheiss and Katy Welsh, co-authors of a report on the research in a recent issue of the journal Hormones and Behavior, relied on a standardized test that has been used for at least half a century to measure someone's desire to have an impact on others or rule over them.

"We bring subjects into the lab, two at a time, who are strangers, and we give them this little contest," Wirth said. The participants do not know what the researchers are trying to measure.

The contest consists of looking at still photographs of people interacting with each other. The participants are told to write a short script to go along with each photograph. They have about five minutes to do that.

Then one person is declared the winner and the other the loser.

Using standardized coding techniques, each script is analyzed, line by line, to see which participants are more like wolves and which are more like sheep. Where one person might see a photo of two people having a polite discussion, another might see those same two people arguing fiercely.

Before the contest, Wirth measured the levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in the body in response to stress. After the contest, she again measured the level of cortisol, which has been implicated in depression and memory loss.

As expected, cortisol soared among the wolves who had lost. It was unchanged among the sheep who lost. But it rose among sheep who won.

"They [the sheep] didn't expect to be put in a position of dominance over the other person," Wirth said.

But since the subjects were college kids, wouldn't they be expected to be more like wolves than sheep? After all, college is a very competitive atmosphere.

Wirth said that flies in the face of numerous studies.

"I don't think college students really differ," she said. "As a matter of fact, I would think they would be a little less [wolfish] because they are younger people. They haven't really come into their own yet."

That would suggest it's the marketplace that brings out the wolf in us.
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post Jul 06, 2006, 07:10 AM
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This is the kind of psychology that reduces humans to animals and tries to keep them in that condition.
It is based on human primary instincts and lower mind.
There is another kind of psychology -- evolutionary psychology.
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post Jul 06, 2006, 02:57 PM
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QUOTE(Guest @ Jul 06, 07:10 AM) *

This is the kind of psychology that reduces humans to animals and tries to keep them in that condition.
It is based on human primary instincts and lower mind.
There is another kind of psychology -- evolutionary psychology.


Your quarrel is with the semantics of calling one group 'Wolves' and the other group 'Sheep'. There is no real reduction of human to animal going on. A real quantifiable result has been obtained - differing cortisol levels. The use of the words wolf and sheep are metaphorical only. The researchers are saying only that the groups behave in some circumstances like a wolf or a sheep.

The metaphor itself it non-essential to the experiment. Were the offending language removed the experiment would be unharmed. Therefore you have achieved no counter-argument. But how could you? All the experiment has done is prove that some people respond to winning and loosing different than others, as opposed to the common view that everybody always likes to win.

You say that it is based on human primary instincts and lower mind. So be it. The fact that primary instincts do not comprise the entirety of human psychology does not mean those instincts are not real, they are a valid element. Similarly, the fact that this specific experiment deals with a small aspect of human psychology does not imply that there is no more to human psychology. There is no reduction here.

How is evolutionary psychology germane to the experiment?
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Enki
post Jul 09, 2006, 12:23 PM
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What a Nazi like criminal approach: Wolves and Sheep (pl). That Murky German approach is not dead yet. So many years have passed but that diseased mentality steel exists. Very flat logic.
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post Jul 10, 2006, 05:12 AM
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QUOTE(Enki @ Jul 09, 12:23 PM) *

What a Nazi like criminal approach: Wolves and Sheeps. That Murky German approach is not dead yet. So many years have passed but that diseased mentality steel exists. Very flat logic.


How insulting to hear the good folks at the University of Michigan compared to Nazi scientists. It might be valid to attack the logic of their study if it weren't based on real scientific results: cortisol levels. Again, we see an emotional reaction to hearing people referred metaphorically as wolves or sheep. Weak.
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Enki
post Jul 10, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Hitler also was dividing nations of the world metaphorically on Degenerates and Arians, many "scientists" from respected German Universities have been supporting his metaphorical approach as well.

Dividing people on such categories as Wolves and Sheeps even metaphorically is a Nazi like criminal attempt to model reality in a perverted and anti-human way.

If the University of Michigan accepts such approaches within its walls, then its credibility as a University must undergo very serious changes.
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post Jul 10, 2006, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE(Enki @ Jul 10, 12:08 PM) *

Dividing people on such categories as Wolves and Sheeps even metaphorically is a Nazi like criminal attempt to model reality in a perverted and anti-human way.


So what your saying is metaphors = holocaust?
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Enki
post Jul 10, 2006, 07:05 PM
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I just wanted to say that the approach by itself is very alarming.
Again, scientific model dividing humans on Wolves and Sheep (pl.) sounds very alarming.
Such a specific two group differentiation of human kinds is really very alarming.

Moreover, after reading the following passage (quoted from above):

QUOTE
"As our results show, one man's poison is another man's cake," said psychology professor Oliver Schultheiss, who conducted the same study earlier in Germany and found the same results. "The power-hungry wolves among our participants were hit hardest by defeat, whereas the sheep couldn't care less about being beaten.


I start to suspect something. Just read it carefully " ... the same study earlier in Germany and found the same results ".

Don’t you think that when similar study of such a specific topic is conducted in Germany earlier as well and someone known as Her. Schultheiss already have found the same results, that should be alarming for people who knows history of how Orks have evolved from Mordor?

So the source of the early studies is Germany. That speaks for itself gentlemen!
The idea of conducting such a study could come only from Murky German "Genius".

It is very amoral to ask men " Are you a Wolf or a Sheep?"
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Enki
post Jul 10, 2006, 07:26 PM
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When one chooses such words as Wolf and Sheep (it does not matter whether he does that metaphorically or not, human brain does not decode this, on subconscious level there is very clear associations with Wolfs and Sheep[pl]) and parts humans via such categories, he/she [that one] predisposes reader to a set of ideas which sub-sequentially may lead averagely educated youngsters to some specific ideas or will make them ready to absorb (against their Free Will) much easier other writings of other German "philosophers".

So, differentiation of people via such categories even metaphorically prepares fertile soil for specific types of seeds which can well grow in such a way cultivated soil.

The most horrific thing is that the word Science is used to justify this approach.
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Rick
post Jul 11, 2006, 09:20 AM
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That research points the way to frustrating wolves: defeat them at every turn. They hate it. Vote Democratic in the next USA election.
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Enki
post Jul 11, 2006, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jul 11, 09:20 AM) *

That research points the way to frustrating wolves: defeat them at every turn. They hate it. Vote Democratic in the next USA election.


laugh.gif Great!
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post Jul 12, 2006, 06:42 PM
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Changing one bottle for another ? One label for another ?
The goose is out !

maitreya
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