Friday, 13 July 2007

When will you accept yourself




In the 80s, political scientist Douglas Madsen measured serotonin levels in male undergraduates. The students were also given a questionnaire to see how ambitious and competitive they were.

Madsen presented a series of Machiavellian traits often found in power-seekers. These included: the desire to win, little concern for conventional morality, manipulativeness, low ideological commitment and suspicion of others (but not to a pathological level, whew).

"Machiavels lied more plausibly and effectively, were more inclined to engage in and to enjoy the manipulation of others, were likely to initiate and control bargaining situations and be successful in them, were much stronger and more forceful in social relations, persuading other more often and being persuaded by others less often." (Oliver James 1998:37).

They also had high levels of serotonin and were thus unlikely to suffer from depression or feelings of insufficiency (which seems to curb aggressive power-seeking in the rest of us).

So forget about the √úbermenschen tossing and turn in their beds at night, worrying about the people they've screwed over to get to where they are. It's almost as if they are being chemically rewarded for their fuck-you behaviour.

With happiness.

James, O. (1998) Britain on the Couch: A Treatment for the Low-Serotonin Society (Random House, London).
Madsen, D. (1984) 'A biochemical property relating to power seeking in humans', American Political Science Review, 79, 448-57.


15 comments:

Forever Young said...

ohmigod, sounds like my boss! the bitch!

Jeannette said...

Oh well that was depressing.

Prozacville said...

Total mindfuck paradox isn't it?

Hahahaha!

Frederik Jurk said...

This stuff hurts my brain, and my heart.

I really should stop reading anything altogether. It always fucks up my days reading stuff like that.

On the other hand, nobody really believed in the whole "you´re pretty ugly, but it´s the inside that counts" either. Stupid. Pretty people are happier because everybody is nice to them and seeks their affection.
And maybe the "sensible" types are less happy because they care about a lot more stuff than the competetive arseholes.

This proves that the whole morale system is a construct of our western society. AND STUFF.

Frederik Jurk said...

Also, I believe (or at least hope) that the whole matter is more complex and complicated then this conclusion you just drew. Kicking grannies into the traffic and fueling your weapon factory with the tears of weeping babies for your next shot of serotonine?

I mean, I remember this whole "one glass of red wine per day makes you live longer" versus "alcohol is always bad and you might as well drink grape juice which has the same effect on the heart". What should you believe? What do you WANT to believe? And everone already knows not to trust statistics.

Switchsky said...

It never ends!!!

Haunting.

Hysterical.

Prozacville said...

Absolutely, Jurkster.

It's always simpler AND more complex AND simpler AND (something else) than we think it is.

But sometimes it helps to vent the rage through an overly-simplistic channel...

Joan Yoshioka said...

This sounds waaaay too familiar! I, on the other hand, need to take intravenous serotonin. LOL

Jeannette said...

I want to learn to give good comment, like you and Fred.

Prozacville said...

Watch and learn, J-Girl, watch and LEARRRRRRRRRRRRRRN.

Ellis Nadler said...

Yes, but it all breaks down on the quantum level, innit.

baggelboy said...

This is almost like edutainment.

Gabrielle said...

Geez. What a vicious circle.

thefridayfrog said...

i like the little tie. and the "help me" guy...he seems to be saying the most to me.

m. heart said...

is it a positive or negative thing that i could print this out and hang it up at work and nobody would understand it enough to be offended?

and is it pointless, or simply pathetic to be commenting on a 6-month old post?

i couldn't help myself, it's 3am.