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What are the psychological mechanisms behind arrogance?

What are the psychological mechanisms behind arrogance?



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According to this Wiktionary defintion, arrogance is

1.The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; lordliness; haughtiness; self-assumption; presumption.

It is often something that many others in the vicinity find repulsive, sometimes without the person realising it, but, more often than not, they do realise it.

What are the psychological mechanisms that lead to arrogant thoughts, words and actions?


Clinically, arrogance is often associated with narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders. People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions, and a distorted self-image. Narcissistic personality disorder is further characterized by an abnormal love of self, an exaggerated sense of superiority and importance, and a preoccupation with success and power. However, these attitudes and behaviors do not reflect true self-confidence. Instead, the attitudes conceal a deep sense of insecurity and a fragile self-esteem. People with this personality disorder also tend to set unrealistic goals.

DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria include (reprinted here):

Criteria for narcissistic personality disorder to be diagnosed include:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power or beauty
  • Believing that you are special and can associate only with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Having an inability to recognize needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

From a scientific standpoint, these characteristics can be difficult to pin down, and clinically, NPD is an "Axis II" diagnosis, which means that most insurance (in the United States) won't cover treatment of the disorder in and of itself.

Consequently, the push to discovering its underlying mechanisms may be less strong, but from theory, they are largely believed to be based on environment.

Proponents of the diagnosis are attempting to adjust the diagnostic criteria a bit to make it more objective for the upcoming DSM-V release.


Being an Arrogant Know-It-All: A Surefire Way to Derail Your Career

If you listen to people talk, sometimes overtly and other times more subtly, you’ll catch them talking about themselves, bragging about their own skills/abilities, and/or taking credit for things. It’s funny how people will fall in love with their own ideas, methods, and processes. And when they talk about their ideas, which seems to somehow always originate from their own insights (never anyone else’s), it’s as if it’s something miraculous. I am reminded of those TV infomercials which always claim that before this idea or product came along, things were slow, inefficient, miserable, etc. and that because of this “new” idea/discovery things will now be faster, more efficient, wonderful, etc.

In a previous post, I shared about a book called, FYI-For Your Improvement. In it, under the “career stallers and stoppers” section, there’s an entry for arrogance.

Being arrogant is a problem because a person “always thinks he/she has the right and only answer [and] discounts or dismisses the input of others” (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998, p. 447). Some causes of arrogance include: lack of feedback, like own ideas too much, very smart and successful, and/or poor reader of others (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998).

“Arrogance is hard to fix for two reasons: It’s hard to get feedback on what the problem specifically is since people hesitate giving arrogant people any feedback, and it’s hard to change since you don’t listen or read the reactions of others well” (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998, p. 448).

So what are two remedies for arrogance according to FYI (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998, p. 449)?

(1) Answers. Solutions. Conclusions. Statements. Dictates. That’s the staple of arrogant people. Instant output. Sharp reactions. This may be getting you in trouble. You jump to conclusions, categorically dismiss what others say, use challenging words in an absolute tone . . . Give people a chance to talk without interruption. If you’re seen as intolerant or closed, people will often stumble over words in their haste to talk with you or shortcut their argument since they assume you’re not listening anyway. Ask a question, invite them to disagree with you, present their argument back to them softly, let them save face no matter what. Add a 15-second pause into your transactions before you say anything and add two clarifying questions per transaction to signal you’re listening and want to understand.

(2) Watch your non-verbals. Arrogant people look, talk and act arrogantly. As you try to become less arrogant, you need to find out what your non-verbals are. All arrogant people do a series of things that can be viewed by a neutral party and judged to give off the signals of arrogance. Washboard brow. Facial expressions. Body shifting, especially turning away. Impatient finger or pencil tapping. False smile. Tight lips. Looking away. Find out from a trusted friend what you do and try to eliminate those behaviors.

In my 20s, I lived and breathed volleyball and, naturally, found myself coaching others. Many sports coaches will tell you that the hardest players to coach are the ones who do not listen to feedback. They might be talented but uncoachable because they think they’re more talented than they actually are or they don’t think the coach can help them improve.

I remember coaching a girl’s volleyball team and almost all the girls on the team were eager or at least quietly listening. As I was talking and sharing tips about volleyball and how to work as a team, I noticed one girl rolling her eyes, a sign of her displeasure of being coached. I tried several times to engage her because I could see that she was skilled in one or two areas but lacking in others. Unfortunately, due to her arrogance she could not accept the fact that she was not as good as she thought she was or that I, the coach, had the coaching talent to help her. She would blow off practicing with the team and when game day rolled around, she struggled. She started making mistakes but would make it seem as if one of the other teammates had messed up. It created a toxic environment and it was just not fun.

Thinking that you know it all is perhaps one of the worst habits for an athlete but I contend it’s an equally harmful habit to have for a coach, employee, or a boss. When I coach, whether it’s coaching a player on the volleyball court or a director (on presentation skills) in the business office, I never say or act like I know it all. No one can possibly know everything, and the more experience and education I acquire the more I realize just how much I truly do not know.

When I see or hear people taking credit for ideas or patting themselves on the back (after blurting out quick solutions, drawing nifty diagrams on flip charts, or regurgitating what they’ve heard from others or read in a book) alarm bells immediately go off in my head. Don’t delude yourself into believing that your own ideas are best or original. Chances are, they’re not. Take time to listen to other people’s ideas and feedback, and you might discover that they, too, have just as many (sometimes the same or even more) bright ideas and magical solutions as you do.

Written By: Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.
Leadership & Talent Development Consultant

Lombardo, M. M., & Eichinger, R. W. (1998). FYI: For Your Improvement: A Development and Coaching Guide (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Lominger Limited, Inc.


What is psychological violence and what are its consequences?

Psychological violence consists of a regular pattern of verbal offenses, threats, intimidation and constant criticism, as well as subtle tactics of intimidation, shame and manipulation.

The psychological abuser uses these tactics to control and dominate his victim. The problem is that although emotional abuse does not leave visible wounds such as physical abuse, the traces aren’t less painful.

In a study conducted by the universities of McGill, Minnesota and Rochester, were analyzed 2,300 children aged between 5 and 13, and followed for almost 30 years. The researchers discovered that psychological abuse leaves wounds as deep as physical violence. Children who had been victims of emotional abuse had the same psychological problems as those who had received physical punishment.

Another research conducted at the Charité University Medicine in Berlin on 51 women aged 18 to 45 revealed that physical and psychological abuses leave different traces in the brain.

Emotional abuse leaves scars in the regions associated with understanding and control of emotions, as well as in the areas of recognition and response to the feelings of the others. These are areas of the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe that are normally activated when people are asked to think about themselves and reflect on their own emotions.

These areas of the brain become thinner due to the fact that, in order to manage anxiety, the brain alters the signaling patterns of the affected areas, reducing their level of connectivity. In other words, it is as if it gradually turns off those areas of the brain.

As a result of this thinning of the cerebral cortex, victims of psychological abuse are more likely to suffer from depression, mood swings, and show more extreme emotional reactions. These people gradually lose the ability to reflect on themselves and find the most appropriate way to deal with emotions. This collapses them into a negative spiral making them even more vulnerable to psychological abuse.


Mending lives

Most people working in trauma care are aware of these issues but they are working in an overstretched system which needs reform. Parity of esteem for mental healthcare needs to start with better allocation of resources. The trauma care environment is often too fraught to allow the sort of personal attention that many healthcare professionals want to give. There is also a risk that stereotyped attitudes can affect the quality of care, with some staff believing that people are to blame for their violent injuries and that they do not deserve psychological support.

A grieving family protests. PA

But being admitted to hospital is a significant event for any of us. It offers a moment to pause and reflect. There are precious few opportunities to engage with these young people: they have as little as possible to do with education systems, social care and healthcare. Hospital admission offers a unique opportunity to intervene by seizing the “teachable moment”. One man who had been shot told me: “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance.”

Violence is exacerbated by a failing system. With cuts to policing and the NHS, there are ever fewer opportunities to break the vicious cycle.

Charities like Red Thread and Key4Life do amazing work to intervene, both to prevent violence and reduce reoffending. Schemes like these rely on tailored, personal and ongoing support for young people. They need resources to do this, but the costs are easily offset if they prevent reoffending, and if people are empowered and enabled to choose a different future.


Pros of school uniforms

There are a few reasons that public schools opt-in for district-wide uniformity, and infraction reduction not the only argument in favor of uniforms.

It’s less expensive

Eliminating competition for designer brands and the latest style make school uniforms cheaper for lower income families, uniform proponents argue. This is particularly true for students in public city school districts compared to suburban, town, or rural areas. In addition to a lower price tag on uniform clothing, the lack of flashy “cool clothes” eliminate elevated status and act as a social equalizer in the classroom. This comes into play in high-poverty schools, where 76 percent or more of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, and often safety and security can factor in reasons for why students are required to wear uniform styles. Cities with the highest use of uniforms in public schools are:

  • Philadelphia (100 percent of schools)
  • New Orleans (95 percent)
  • Cleveland (85 percent)
  • Chicago (80 percent)
  • Boston (65 percent)
  • Miami (60 percent)

A matter of distraction

Some argue that students are so focused on their wardrobe that it takes their attention away from learning. Uniforms encourage discipline, can prevent gang activity on campus, and encourage students to resist pressures to buy clothing that is trendy. Creating an environment where wardrobes have consistent tones is believed by some to be conducive to learning, can improve attendance, and also create a stronger sense of school pride and belonging. This logic means that as a result, student performance is increased and everyone goes home happy.

Stranger danger

Keeping everyone in the same clothes or color palette keeps outsiders from finding ways to intrude, proponents say, because students and staff are easily recognizable.

Still, not everyone is onboard with uniforms. While supporters have strong points, opponents of the issue have viewpoints of their own.


The Psychology Behind ‘Groupthink’ and How to Avoid It

Dr Guy Lubitsh and Dr Tami Lubitsh-White, authors of ‘Connect: Resolve Conflict, Improve Communication, Strengthen Relationships‘, dive into the phenomenon of groupthink and how it can be beaten.

Irving Janis (1982) coined the term ‘groupthink’ to explain how the pressure to avoid conflict and join a collective defence mechanism of denial causes people to ignore crucial information. When the Space Shuttle Challenger accident happened over thirty years ago, we were reminded of the power of groupthink although the engineers at NASA were aware that the shuttle would explode, they did not feel able to convey the message to senior management. After putting a man on the moon, senior executives were blighted by arrogance and groupthink. This prevented critical information from being taken on board, resulting in a grave accident.

Despite such catastrophic consequences, organisations have not learned from historic failings such as these and groupthink is still thriving in many companies. Commentators suggest that continuing lack of adaptability stems from the culture set by senior management. Senior managers who require conformity of view and resist challenge or input from others perpetuate groupthink, to the detriment of their company and often their reputation.

When Fred Goodwin initiated a merger between the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and ABN AMRO, he neglected to take into consideration the need to connect and consult with his own senior management team. Under his leadership, the organisational culture became one of greed and fear. Top executives reported how they were encouraged to forge the signatures of key customers. In response to any dissent, Fred Goodwin would react aggressively and often make redundancies. The atmosphere in the bank was toxic. Consequently, senior leaders were frightened to challenge the CEO. This resulted in the worst merger in corporate history, the loss of billions, and numerous lawsuits. Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood and will go down in history with the unflattering nickname ‘Fred the Shred’.

Senior managers who require conformity of view and resist challenge or input from others perpetuate groupthink, to the detriment of their company and often their reputation.

During my time spent working with the board of a major health organisation, I observed that the key staff complaint was that the executive team pushed multiple initiatives without taking into account the impact on front line staff. Staff felt that issues such as workload, change fatigue, available resources and the impact on internal relationships were ignored. Through conversations with the board, it emerged that the majority of the influential board members shared a preference for analytical thinking and determination for results. They were not aware of the ‘shadow side’ of their approach when they got caught up in the drive for outcome. The minority of board members who were more in tune with staff feelings and the importance of morale for effective performance, were too scared to challenge the dominant view and be seen as ‘weak’. One of the executives said: “We as senior management communicate from the ‘head’ and should have included the views of colleagues who think with their ‘heart’.”

I have experienced similar problems in other organisations, most recently a large international charity that has faced significant changes to their business model due to downturn of revenue. The CEO and key executives spent time arguing with each other, blaming external stakeholders, debating the longevity of the difficulty. A small minority of board members wanted to suggest new streams of revenue and ways to re-invent the business model. These ideas, that did not align with the attitudes of the majority, were completely ignored, eventually resulting in loss of performance and mass redundancies.

It is undeniable that groupthink remains a stumbling block for many organisations. So, it is important that senior executives make efforts to avoid it by taking note of the following advice:


Behavior [ edit | edit source ]

Often people who are arrogant are not aware of their own behavior or don't want to recognize they are arrogant. A person can be arrogant but not show it externally to others due to his or her thoughts, actions and emotions.

A strongly arrogant person will usually try to downplay other people's achievements or ideas in order to make him or herself appear better. Arrogant people will even ignore or downplay good ideas from others, as they cannot accept that others might have better ideas than themselves. This makes reasonable communication difficult and arguments impossible to resolve fairly as the arrogant person will not accept the other person's point of view, no matter how logical/intuitive or correct it is, because the arrogant person is really having an emotional argument about his own arrogance.

Arrogance is an unpleasant unloving experience for people interacting with someone who has an arrogant personality. Most people do not like or enjoy being with excessively arrogant people which makes the arrogant person unpopular. Arrogant people do not notice this problem or cannot change their behavior because their personality/ego enjoys being arrogant much more than being liked by or having a respectful, loving and accepting attitude towards other people.

Arrogant people are often unable to realize they are not as good as they assume they are or have problems recognizing their own self limitations. Arrogant people are usually over competitive and don't know when to quit.

Often arrogant people can be overbearing and try to coerce/force people into doing what they don't want to do with little regard for the other person's feelings or the group's best interest.

Many movies and stories are made more entertaining and ease plot development by having characters that have an arrogant personality. Characters that are very arrogant and have a complete disregard for others are considered evil.


The brain mechanism behind multitasking

Although "multitasking" is a popular buzzword, research shows that only 2% of the population actually multitasks efficiently. Most of us just shift back and forth between different tasks, a process that requires our brains to refocus time and time again -- and reduces overall productivity by a whopping 40%.

New Tel Aviv University research identifies a brain mechanism that enables more efficient multitasking. The key to this is "reactivating the learned memory," a process that allows a person to more efficiently learn or engage in two tasks in close conjunction.

"The mechanism may have far-reaching implications for the improvement of learning and memory functions in daily life," said Dr. Nitzan Censor of TAU's School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience. "It also has clinical implications. It may support rehabilitation efforts following brain traumas that impact the motor and memory functions of patients, for example."

The research, conducted by TAU student Jasmine Herszage, was published in Current Biology.

Training the brain

"When we learn a new task, we have great difficulty performing it and learning something else at the same time. For example, performing a motor task A (such as performing a task with one hand) can reduce performance in a second task B (such as performing a task with the other hand) conducted in close conjunction to it. This is due to interference between the two tasks, which compete for the same brain resources," said Dr. Censor. "Our research demonstrates that the brief reactivation of a single learned memory, in appropriate conditions, enables the long-term prevention of, or immunity to, future interference in the performance of another task performed in close conjunction."

The researchers first taught student volunteers to perform a sequence of motor finger movements with one hand, by learning to tap onto a keypad a specific string of digits appearing on a computer screen as quickly and accurately as possible. After acquiring this learned motor memory, the memory was reactivated on a different day, during which the participants were required to briefly engage with the task -- this time with an addition of brief exposure to the same motor task performed with their other hand. By utilizing the memory reactivation paradigm, the subjects were able to perform the two tasks without interference.

By uniquely pairing the brief reactivation of the original memory with the exposure to a new memory, long-term immunity to future interference was created, demonstrating a prevention of interference even a month after the exposures.

"The second task is a model of a competing memory, as the same sequence is performed using the novel, untrained hand," said Dr. Censor. "Existing research from studies on rodents showed that a reactivation of the memory of fear opened up a window of several hours in which the brain was susceptible to modifications -- in which to modify memory.

"In other words, when a learned memory is reactivated by a brief cue or reminder, a unique time-window opens up. This presents an opportunity to interact with the memory and update it -- degrade, stabilize or strengthen its underlying brain neural representations," Dr. Censor said. "We utilized this knowledge to discover a mechanism that enabled long-term stabilization, and prevention of task interference in humans.

The researchers are eager to understand more about this intriguing brain mechanism. "Is it the result of hardwired circuitry in the brain, which allows different learning episodes to be integrated? And how is this circuitry represented in the brain? By functional connections between distinct brain regions? It is also essential to determine test whether the identified mechanism is relevant for other types of tasks and memories, not only motor tasks," Dr. Censor concluded.


What are the psychological mechanisms behind arrogance? - Psychology

Paper Information

Journal Information

International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

p-ISSN: 2163-1948 e-ISSN: 2163-1956

The Psychology Behind Celibacy

Maseno University in Kenya, Department of Religion Theology and Philosophy

Correspondence to: Kasomo Daniel , Maseno University in Kenya, Department of Religion Theology and Philosophy.

Email:

Copyright © 2012 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Celibacy began in the early church as an ascetic discipline, rooted partly in a neo-Platonic contempt for the physical world that had nothing to do with the Gospel. The renunciation of sexual expression by men fit nicely with a patriarchal denigration of women. Non virginal women, typified by Eve as the temptress of Adam, were seen as a source of sin. In Scripture: Jesus said to the Pharisees, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:3-12).Jesus Advocates for optional celibacy. For nearly 2000 years the Catholic Church has proclaimed Church laws and doctrines intended to more clearly explain the teachings of Christ. But remarkably, while history reveals that Jesus selected only married men to serve as His apostles, the Church today forbids priestly marriage. Also, today the Catholic Church is the only Christian denomination experiencing world wide condemnation from “scandalous” allegations of sex abuse committed against women and children by priests and bishops. Historically, scandals similar to these are known to have appeared only after mandatory celibacy laws were first instituted, centuries after Christ. Why were these changes made?


Religious Zeal

As you then begin to become somewhat fanatical about a subject you can start to experience an extreme emotional response when you are preaching your cause or engaging in your practice. This is often referred to as a religious zeal, but people have been shown to have similar firing in the brain when watching football matches, or when singing a patriotic song. At this point the emotion then becomes a reinforcing factor that means you start to associate your extreme view with powerful positive emotions meaning that you become almost ‘addicted’ to your cause and get an almost ‘high’ from it.


What is psychological violence and what are its consequences?

Psychological violence consists of a regular pattern of verbal offenses, threats, intimidation and constant criticism, as well as subtle tactics of intimidation, shame and manipulation.

The psychological abuser uses these tactics to control and dominate his victim. The problem is that although emotional abuse does not leave visible wounds such as physical abuse, the traces aren’t less painful.

In a study conducted by the universities of McGill, Minnesota and Rochester, were analyzed 2,300 children aged between 5 and 13, and followed for almost 30 years. The researchers discovered that psychological abuse leaves wounds as deep as physical violence. Children who had been victims of emotional abuse had the same psychological problems as those who had received physical punishment.

Another research conducted at the Charité University Medicine in Berlin on 51 women aged 18 to 45 revealed that physical and psychological abuses leave different traces in the brain.

Emotional abuse leaves scars in the regions associated with understanding and control of emotions, as well as in the areas of recognition and response to the feelings of the others. These are areas of the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe that are normally activated when people are asked to think about themselves and reflect on their own emotions.

These areas of the brain become thinner due to the fact that, in order to manage anxiety, the brain alters the signaling patterns of the affected areas, reducing their level of connectivity. In other words, it is as if it gradually turns off those areas of the brain.

As a result of this thinning of the cerebral cortex, victims of psychological abuse are more likely to suffer from depression, mood swings, and show more extreme emotional reactions. These people gradually lose the ability to reflect on themselves and find the most appropriate way to deal with emotions. This collapses them into a negative spiral making them even more vulnerable to psychological abuse.


Mending lives

Most people working in trauma care are aware of these issues but they are working in an overstretched system which needs reform. Parity of esteem for mental healthcare needs to start with better allocation of resources. The trauma care environment is often too fraught to allow the sort of personal attention that many healthcare professionals want to give. There is also a risk that stereotyped attitudes can affect the quality of care, with some staff believing that people are to blame for their violent injuries and that they do not deserve psychological support.

A grieving family protests. PA

But being admitted to hospital is a significant event for any of us. It offers a moment to pause and reflect. There are precious few opportunities to engage with these young people: they have as little as possible to do with education systems, social care and healthcare. Hospital admission offers a unique opportunity to intervene by seizing the “teachable moment”. One man who had been shot told me: “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance.”

Violence is exacerbated by a failing system. With cuts to policing and the NHS, there are ever fewer opportunities to break the vicious cycle.

Charities like Red Thread and Key4Life do amazing work to intervene, both to prevent violence and reduce reoffending. Schemes like these rely on tailored, personal and ongoing support for young people. They need resources to do this, but the costs are easily offset if they prevent reoffending, and if people are empowered and enabled to choose a different future.


Being an Arrogant Know-It-All: A Surefire Way to Derail Your Career

If you listen to people talk, sometimes overtly and other times more subtly, you’ll catch them talking about themselves, bragging about their own skills/abilities, and/or taking credit for things. It’s funny how people will fall in love with their own ideas, methods, and processes. And when they talk about their ideas, which seems to somehow always originate from their own insights (never anyone else’s), it’s as if it’s something miraculous. I am reminded of those TV infomercials which always claim that before this idea or product came along, things were slow, inefficient, miserable, etc. and that because of this “new” idea/discovery things will now be faster, more efficient, wonderful, etc.

In a previous post, I shared about a book called, FYI-For Your Improvement. In it, under the “career stallers and stoppers” section, there’s an entry for arrogance.

Being arrogant is a problem because a person “always thinks he/she has the right and only answer [and] discounts or dismisses the input of others” (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998, p. 447). Some causes of arrogance include: lack of feedback, like own ideas too much, very smart and successful, and/or poor reader of others (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998).

“Arrogance is hard to fix for two reasons: It’s hard to get feedback on what the problem specifically is since people hesitate giving arrogant people any feedback, and it’s hard to change since you don’t listen or read the reactions of others well” (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998, p. 448).

So what are two remedies for arrogance according to FYI (Lombardo & Eichinger, 1998, p. 449)?

(1) Answers. Solutions. Conclusions. Statements. Dictates. That’s the staple of arrogant people. Instant output. Sharp reactions. This may be getting you in trouble. You jump to conclusions, categorically dismiss what others say, use challenging words in an absolute tone . . . Give people a chance to talk without interruption. If you’re seen as intolerant or closed, people will often stumble over words in their haste to talk with you or shortcut their argument since they assume you’re not listening anyway. Ask a question, invite them to disagree with you, present their argument back to them softly, let them save face no matter what. Add a 15-second pause into your transactions before you say anything and add two clarifying questions per transaction to signal you’re listening and want to understand.

(2) Watch your non-verbals. Arrogant people look, talk and act arrogantly. As you try to become less arrogant, you need to find out what your non-verbals are. All arrogant people do a series of things that can be viewed by a neutral party and judged to give off the signals of arrogance. Washboard brow. Facial expressions. Body shifting, especially turning away. Impatient finger or pencil tapping. False smile. Tight lips. Looking away. Find out from a trusted friend what you do and try to eliminate those behaviors.

In my 20s, I lived and breathed volleyball and, naturally, found myself coaching others. Many sports coaches will tell you that the hardest players to coach are the ones who do not listen to feedback. They might be talented but uncoachable because they think they’re more talented than they actually are or they don’t think the coach can help them improve.

I remember coaching a girl’s volleyball team and almost all the girls on the team were eager or at least quietly listening. As I was talking and sharing tips about volleyball and how to work as a team, I noticed one girl rolling her eyes, a sign of her displeasure of being coached. I tried several times to engage her because I could see that she was skilled in one or two areas but lacking in others. Unfortunately, due to her arrogance she could not accept the fact that she was not as good as she thought she was or that I, the coach, had the coaching talent to help her. She would blow off practicing with the team and when game day rolled around, she struggled. She started making mistakes but would make it seem as if one of the other teammates had messed up. It created a toxic environment and it was just not fun.

Thinking that you know it all is perhaps one of the worst habits for an athlete but I contend it’s an equally harmful habit to have for a coach, employee, or a boss. When I coach, whether it’s coaching a player on the volleyball court or a director (on presentation skills) in the business office, I never say or act like I know it all. No one can possibly know everything, and the more experience and education I acquire the more I realize just how much I truly do not know.

When I see or hear people taking credit for ideas or patting themselves on the back (after blurting out quick solutions, drawing nifty diagrams on flip charts, or regurgitating what they’ve heard from others or read in a book) alarm bells immediately go off in my head. Don’t delude yourself into believing that your own ideas are best or original. Chances are, they’re not. Take time to listen to other people’s ideas and feedback, and you might discover that they, too, have just as many (sometimes the same or even more) bright ideas and magical solutions as you do.

Written By: Steve Nguyen, Ph.D.
Leadership & Talent Development Consultant

Lombardo, M. M., & Eichinger, R. W. (1998). FYI: For Your Improvement: A Development and Coaching Guide (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Lominger Limited, Inc.


What are the psychological mechanisms behind arrogance? - Psychology

Paper Information

Journal Information

International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

p-ISSN: 2163-1948 e-ISSN: 2163-1956

The Psychology Behind Celibacy

Maseno University in Kenya, Department of Religion Theology and Philosophy

Correspondence to: Kasomo Daniel , Maseno University in Kenya, Department of Religion Theology and Philosophy.

Email:

Copyright © 2012 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Celibacy began in the early church as an ascetic discipline, rooted partly in a neo-Platonic contempt for the physical world that had nothing to do with the Gospel. The renunciation of sexual expression by men fit nicely with a patriarchal denigration of women. Non virginal women, typified by Eve as the temptress of Adam, were seen as a source of sin. In Scripture: Jesus said to the Pharisees, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:3-12).Jesus Advocates for optional celibacy. For nearly 2000 years the Catholic Church has proclaimed Church laws and doctrines intended to more clearly explain the teachings of Christ. But remarkably, while history reveals that Jesus selected only married men to serve as His apostles, the Church today forbids priestly marriage. Also, today the Catholic Church is the only Christian denomination experiencing world wide condemnation from “scandalous” allegations of sex abuse committed against women and children by priests and bishops. Historically, scandals similar to these are known to have appeared only after mandatory celibacy laws were first instituted, centuries after Christ. Why were these changes made?


The brain mechanism behind multitasking

Although "multitasking" is a popular buzzword, research shows that only 2% of the population actually multitasks efficiently. Most of us just shift back and forth between different tasks, a process that requires our brains to refocus time and time again -- and reduces overall productivity by a whopping 40%.

New Tel Aviv University research identifies a brain mechanism that enables more efficient multitasking. The key to this is "reactivating the learned memory," a process that allows a person to more efficiently learn or engage in two tasks in close conjunction.

"The mechanism may have far-reaching implications for the improvement of learning and memory functions in daily life," said Dr. Nitzan Censor of TAU's School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience. "It also has clinical implications. It may support rehabilitation efforts following brain traumas that impact the motor and memory functions of patients, for example."

The research, conducted by TAU student Jasmine Herszage, was published in Current Biology.

Training the brain

"When we learn a new task, we have great difficulty performing it and learning something else at the same time. For example, performing a motor task A (such as performing a task with one hand) can reduce performance in a second task B (such as performing a task with the other hand) conducted in close conjunction to it. This is due to interference between the two tasks, which compete for the same brain resources," said Dr. Censor. "Our research demonstrates that the brief reactivation of a single learned memory, in appropriate conditions, enables the long-term prevention of, or immunity to, future interference in the performance of another task performed in close conjunction."

The researchers first taught student volunteers to perform a sequence of motor finger movements with one hand, by learning to tap onto a keypad a specific string of digits appearing on a computer screen as quickly and accurately as possible. After acquiring this learned motor memory, the memory was reactivated on a different day, during which the participants were required to briefly engage with the task -- this time with an addition of brief exposure to the same motor task performed with their other hand. By utilizing the memory reactivation paradigm, the subjects were able to perform the two tasks without interference.

By uniquely pairing the brief reactivation of the original memory with the exposure to a new memory, long-term immunity to future interference was created, demonstrating a prevention of interference even a month after the exposures.

"The second task is a model of a competing memory, as the same sequence is performed using the novel, untrained hand," said Dr. Censor. "Existing research from studies on rodents showed that a reactivation of the memory of fear opened up a window of several hours in which the brain was susceptible to modifications -- in which to modify memory.

"In other words, when a learned memory is reactivated by a brief cue or reminder, a unique time-window opens up. This presents an opportunity to interact with the memory and update it -- degrade, stabilize or strengthen its underlying brain neural representations," Dr. Censor said. "We utilized this knowledge to discover a mechanism that enabled long-term stabilization, and prevention of task interference in humans.

The researchers are eager to understand more about this intriguing brain mechanism. "Is it the result of hardwired circuitry in the brain, which allows different learning episodes to be integrated? And how is this circuitry represented in the brain? By functional connections between distinct brain regions? It is also essential to determine test whether the identified mechanism is relevant for other types of tasks and memories, not only motor tasks," Dr. Censor concluded.


Religious Zeal

As you then begin to become somewhat fanatical about a subject you can start to experience an extreme emotional response when you are preaching your cause or engaging in your practice. This is often referred to as a religious zeal, but people have been shown to have similar firing in the brain when watching football matches, or when singing a patriotic song. At this point the emotion then becomes a reinforcing factor that means you start to associate your extreme view with powerful positive emotions meaning that you become almost ‘addicted’ to your cause and get an almost ‘high’ from it.


The Psychology Behind ‘Groupthink’ and How to Avoid It

Dr Guy Lubitsh and Dr Tami Lubitsh-White, authors of ‘Connect: Resolve Conflict, Improve Communication, Strengthen Relationships‘, dive into the phenomenon of groupthink and how it can be beaten.

Irving Janis (1982) coined the term ‘groupthink’ to explain how the pressure to avoid conflict and join a collective defence mechanism of denial causes people to ignore crucial information. When the Space Shuttle Challenger accident happened over thirty years ago, we were reminded of the power of groupthink although the engineers at NASA were aware that the shuttle would explode, they did not feel able to convey the message to senior management. After putting a man on the moon, senior executives were blighted by arrogance and groupthink. This prevented critical information from being taken on board, resulting in a grave accident.

Despite such catastrophic consequences, organisations have not learned from historic failings such as these and groupthink is still thriving in many companies. Commentators suggest that continuing lack of adaptability stems from the culture set by senior management. Senior managers who require conformity of view and resist challenge or input from others perpetuate groupthink, to the detriment of their company and often their reputation.

When Fred Goodwin initiated a merger between the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and ABN AMRO, he neglected to take into consideration the need to connect and consult with his own senior management team. Under his leadership, the organisational culture became one of greed and fear. Top executives reported how they were encouraged to forge the signatures of key customers. In response to any dissent, Fred Goodwin would react aggressively and often make redundancies. The atmosphere in the bank was toxic. Consequently, senior leaders were frightened to challenge the CEO. This resulted in the worst merger in corporate history, the loss of billions, and numerous lawsuits. Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood and will go down in history with the unflattering nickname ‘Fred the Shred’.

Senior managers who require conformity of view and resist challenge or input from others perpetuate groupthink, to the detriment of their company and often their reputation.

During my time spent working with the board of a major health organisation, I observed that the key staff complaint was that the executive team pushed multiple initiatives without taking into account the impact on front line staff. Staff felt that issues such as workload, change fatigue, available resources and the impact on internal relationships were ignored. Through conversations with the board, it emerged that the majority of the influential board members shared a preference for analytical thinking and determination for results. They were not aware of the ‘shadow side’ of their approach when they got caught up in the drive for outcome. The minority of board members who were more in tune with staff feelings and the importance of morale for effective performance, were too scared to challenge the dominant view and be seen as ‘weak’. One of the executives said: “We as senior management communicate from the ‘head’ and should have included the views of colleagues who think with their ‘heart’.”

I have experienced similar problems in other organisations, most recently a large international charity that has faced significant changes to their business model due to downturn of revenue. The CEO and key executives spent time arguing with each other, blaming external stakeholders, debating the longevity of the difficulty. A small minority of board members wanted to suggest new streams of revenue and ways to re-invent the business model. These ideas, that did not align with the attitudes of the majority, were completely ignored, eventually resulting in loss of performance and mass redundancies.

It is undeniable that groupthink remains a stumbling block for many organisations. So, it is important that senior executives make efforts to avoid it by taking note of the following advice:


Pros of school uniforms

There are a few reasons that public schools opt-in for district-wide uniformity, and infraction reduction not the only argument in favor of uniforms.

It’s less expensive

Eliminating competition for designer brands and the latest style make school uniforms cheaper for lower income families, uniform proponents argue. This is particularly true for students in public city school districts compared to suburban, town, or rural areas. In addition to a lower price tag on uniform clothing, the lack of flashy “cool clothes” eliminate elevated status and act as a social equalizer in the classroom. This comes into play in high-poverty schools, where 76 percent or more of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, and often safety and security can factor in reasons for why students are required to wear uniform styles. Cities with the highest use of uniforms in public schools are:

  • Philadelphia (100 percent of schools)
  • New Orleans (95 percent)
  • Cleveland (85 percent)
  • Chicago (80 percent)
  • Boston (65 percent)
  • Miami (60 percent)

A matter of distraction

Some argue that students are so focused on their wardrobe that it takes their attention away from learning. Uniforms encourage discipline, can prevent gang activity on campus, and encourage students to resist pressures to buy clothing that is trendy. Creating an environment where wardrobes have consistent tones is believed by some to be conducive to learning, can improve attendance, and also create a stronger sense of school pride and belonging. This logic means that as a result, student performance is increased and everyone goes home happy.

Stranger danger

Keeping everyone in the same clothes or color palette keeps outsiders from finding ways to intrude, proponents say, because students and staff are easily recognizable.

Still, not everyone is onboard with uniforms. While supporters have strong points, opponents of the issue have viewpoints of their own.


Behavior [ edit | edit source ]

Often people who are arrogant are not aware of their own behavior or don't want to recognize they are arrogant. A person can be arrogant but not show it externally to others due to his or her thoughts, actions and emotions.

A strongly arrogant person will usually try to downplay other people's achievements or ideas in order to make him or herself appear better. Arrogant people will even ignore or downplay good ideas from others, as they cannot accept that others might have better ideas than themselves. This makes reasonable communication difficult and arguments impossible to resolve fairly as the arrogant person will not accept the other person's point of view, no matter how logical/intuitive or correct it is, because the arrogant person is really having an emotional argument about his own arrogance.

Arrogance is an unpleasant unloving experience for people interacting with someone who has an arrogant personality. Most people do not like or enjoy being with excessively arrogant people which makes the arrogant person unpopular. Arrogant people do not notice this problem or cannot change their behavior because their personality/ego enjoys being arrogant much more than being liked by or having a respectful, loving and accepting attitude towards other people.

Arrogant people are often unable to realize they are not as good as they assume they are or have problems recognizing their own self limitations. Arrogant people are usually over competitive and don't know when to quit.

Often arrogant people can be overbearing and try to coerce/force people into doing what they don't want to do with little regard for the other person's feelings or the group's best interest.

Many movies and stories are made more entertaining and ease plot development by having characters that have an arrogant personality. Characters that are very arrogant and have a complete disregard for others are considered evil.