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Related Words, Beliefs, Background for Choice #18

Worldview Theme #16A: Culture of Fear 

Worldview Theme #16B: Golden Rule,Village Ethic of Mutual Help

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: fear, adrenalin, fear--using it to achieve goals, 
                                                            gun ownership and violence,
discipline vs. punishment 

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: Golden Rule formulations, Golden Rule in other religions, Good Samaritan parable,  religion --social function of, TIT for TAT strategy 

absolute moral code -- absolute or universal standards of what is ethically or morally right or wrong. For many religious people, particularly fundamentalists, the word of God as it appears in sacred texts, provides this absolute moral authority. The opposing belief, that no such absolute or universal standards exist, is termed ethical or moral relativism.

adrenalin-- is a hormone famously connected to the “fight or flight” response. It is produced in response to a powerful emotional signal—fear—sent out by the amydgala inside the brain. Before adremalin primes the body for a fight, the nervous system has already responded dramatically. The amydgala’s  production of excess norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters floods receptors and opens channels. This disconnects links between neurons in prefrontal lobes and effectively turns off conscious thinking. Control is ceded to an older automatic limbic brain regulated nervous system. The details of this have been described in terms of “allowing emotionality and impulsivity to take over”.  In other words: thinking gives way to feeling and doing

aggression, origin and types of–an offensive action, either physical act, verbal assault, bodily attack, display of hostility, or threat. If directed against an individual, it can do physical or psychological damage, reduce fitness, and limit freedom.  The attack can be unprovoked and seemingly senseless, or it can be motivated by frustration, fear, or a desire to induce fear–perhaps even flight–in others.  If the aggression is verbal, nothing more than a strong desire to advance one’s ideas, position or interests may be behind it. Or its origin may be rooted in a special situation or circumstances.  Some of these types of aggression have been named, including 1) altruistic aggression–aggression to protect others, 2) displaced aggression–aggression directed at a person other than the person directly responsible for the grievance, 3) maternal aggression–aggression by a mother to protect her children, 4) territorial aggression–aggression to protect one’s territory.     

altruism -- putting the interests, welfare, happiness, and perhaps even survival of other people or living things above one’s own interests, etc. This devotion often involves self sacrifice. In an extreme case it can even mean giving up one’s own life so that another can live.

Authoritarian God–the 2006 Baylor Religion survey identified this as one of "America's Four Gods."  God is seen as highly engaged with / involved in individual daily lives.  He (most identified God as such!) is believed to be very capable of punishing individuals and people in general–especially the sinful or ungodly.  Many God believe is quite angry. 

brotherhood -- an idealized situation in which people treat each other in a highly considerate way as if they were members of the same family (brothers or sisters)

bullying—aggressively dominating or intimidating a person perceived as weaker by forcing, coercing, or hostilely threatening in an effort to get the target of this to submit. The immediate goal may be to gain (through demonstration) power over this person in the expectation this can later lead to some material, experiential or other advantages for the bully. Or it can be done out of hate or a need to simply be mean to someone else—perhaps in response to, or memory of, something previously done to the bully. If this occurs in a school or workplace setting it is sometimes referred to as “peer abuse”.  Once the target submits, the bullying will likely be repeated, and become part of a habitual pattern of bullying behavior.  Targets can fight back by demonstrating that the imbalance of power the bully feels exists is not as great as thought.  The power in question can be physical, social, or “legal”—where the latter refers to potential appeals to any rules / guidelines associated with the setting involved-- or combinations of these. Efforts the target makes to turn the power thing around to the bully’s disadvantage--and put a stop to the aggression--work best early, before a pattern of  abuse sets up.

community vs. society--the sociological distinction between two social groups, most notably made by Ferdinand Tönnies in his 1887 book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft.  According to Tönnies, the former group is built around the personal, family, and neighborhood relationships and feelings of togetherness that one expects in a small place where people have direct, face to face contact.  In contrast, the latter group is a loose association of self interest motivated individuals held together by formal regulation and legal framework. There relationships between people are largely impersonal: there is less cohesion and less dependence on each other.  Tönnies saw the contrast embodied in his book's title when he looked first at traditional European peasant villages, then at large, modern, industrialized cities.

compassion--sharing and feeling deeply the suffering of others, pitying them and wanting to relieve their pain

Confucianism--an ethical system / agnostic practical philosophy based on the teachings of the 6th century BC Chinese sage, Confucious. Its key teachings include: 1) Ultimately the happiness of society rests on sincere investigation that produces relevant knowledge; 2) Happy societies are built on a foundation of disciplined individuals in disciplined families; 3) Respect for and fidelity to natural obligations, most notably to parents and family, is essential. 4) The right relationship between individuals is important, one based on sympathetic “fellow feeling”, treating those subordinate to you as you would like to be treated if you were the subordinate--ideas which provide the basis for a Confucian Golden Rule; 5) Avoiding extremes and embracing moderation --finding a Golden Mean--is important.

conspiracism–the belief that increasingly the human experience is shaped by evildoers who often  band together and work behind the scenes to carry out plots that subvert the will of the people and hurt society.  Typically, but not always, particular charges made by conspiracists turn out to be short on facts, and long on simplistically placing blame on scapegoats or convenient targets. 

culture wara cultural battle for dominance between social groups with highly divergent worldviews: different beliefs, values, practices, sources of information, etc. The term was first used in the USA in the early 1990s to describe the cultural divide / widespread societal disagreement between traditional conservative and progressive liberal camps with hot button issues such as abortion, same sex marriage, separation of church and state, gun laws, immigration, multiculturalism, etc. Increasingly the battle lines are between those who cynically don't believe the mainstream media,  buy into charges of "fake news" and "a rigged system," embrace certain (mostly fictional) conspiracy theories to some extent, resent experts and the elite, etc. pitted against  those (many with more idealistic, less cynical outlooks) who are comfortable with a society based on facts, science, professionalism, competence, meritocracy, etc where people compete on a playing field based on these things.   

demagogue–a leader who plays on popular prejudices, makes false claims, and pretends to champion the causes of common people, all in an effort to get elected and gain power                

discipline vs. punishment–the former refers to treatment that brings someone under control or imposes order upon them; the latter to retributive (meaning paying someone back) treatment that involves suffering, pain or loss.  Discipline is designed to correct, reform or rehabilitate, punishment to penalize for wrongdoing. See also prison population...

duress--under threat, coerced, constrained, facing hardship

dysfunctional family–a family characterized by chronic turmoil, inappropriate behavior, conflict and frequent failure of parents to meet their parental responsibilities in a healthy fashion–resulting in children not knowing what to expect, their needs often going unmet, and, in some cases, being abused (verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually).  Family dysfunction can typically be traced to parental alcoholism / substance abuse, their emotional / mental problems, or inappropriate parenting style (too dogmatic, authoritarian, controlling, distant, etc.).  While the problem behavior originates with parents, children growing up in such unhealthy environments typically develop their own emotional problems, which increasingly affect family dynamics.                                          

emotions–another one of those difficult to define terms.  Here are three definitions: 1) a catch all term for subjectively experienced states dominated by feelings, 2) the affective or feeling aspect of human consciousness, and 3) ancient survival mechanisms to protect us from danger that have evolved to also include (as Steven Pinker puts it) "mechanisms that set the brain’s highest level goals."     

emotions and the brain–stimuli are registered most immediately by the amygdala–part of the brain's limbic system, which is sometimes referred to as our reptilean brain since (in evolutionary terms) it is older than the frontal cortex it is connected to. This "alarm system" part of the brain can instantly prepare the body for a basic fight, flight, or (less dramatic) appeasement response.  A quarter second or so later–if time permits–the cortex can evaluate the alarm it receives, put it in context with other information, and more rationally decide to activate a full blown survival type response, or to put the damper on those preparations.  Conscious emotion thus involves this direct connection between cortex and amydgala, and indirect connection / feedback between these, the hypothalamus–which produces and releases brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) and hormones–and the rest of the body.  Those chemicals can produce physical effects like increasing blood pressure and heart rate.  It is this feedback which fundamentally distinguishes our emotions from our thoughts

empathy -- concisely it refers to “fellow feeling” , that is imagining that you are in the other person’s shoes and experiencing his or her feelings, struggles, etc.  Emotionally immature people, in particular those who after experiencing so much pain as children have learned how to block it, may not feel compassion for other's pain. Empathizing with others thus requires being in touch with your own feelings.  See also mirror neuron

end of game strategy -- a strategy that can be adopted by a participant in either games or real life interactions with others in which belief that the game is about to end determines the strategy employed. Examples: 1) if you are certain you’ll never see a particular person again, you may decide that it’s okay to cheat that person out of something , and 2) if you are certain that Armageddon is fast approaching, you’ll have little incentive to care about the long-term environmental health of the planet.

ethics--the study of right and wrong in matters of conduct. 

ethical behavior evolutionary pyramid -- the depiction of how human ethical behavior has evolved over a long period of time (over one million years) using a pyramid. When people were little more than animals their behavior was dictated by self interest in meeting basic biological and survival needs -- depicted at the broad base of the pyramid. Amongst pre-civilization humans ethical behavior extended to include family and biological relatives. As culture developed and survival pressures eased, ethical behavior was extended greatly-- moving up the pyramid -- to eventually include community, tribe, regional neighbors, ethnic group, and nation. Today, at the top of the pyramid are those who feel a sense of belongingness to the whole human species and to the planet , and behave accordingly

ethical (or moral) relativism -- the belief that ethical guidelines or moral rules cannot be evaluated outside of the particular cultural / ethical setting to which they belong. It holds that there are no absolute or universal standards of what is ethically or morally right or wrong. Fundamentalists abhor ethical relativism. For them, the word of God as recorded in sacred religious texts provides not only rules to live by, but an absolute authority on moral questions.

evil, the problem of -- this problem has plagued philosophers at least as far back as the ancient Greeks. Epicurus (341-270 BC) appears to be the first to consider it at some length. Simply put, it has two aspects, one religious, one secular, that can themselves be stated as questions, First, why does an all powerful, all knowing God allow evil to exist in the world? Second, how should society fight human’s wicked and evil acts -- won’t fighting them with evil (violence, vengeance, capital punishment, etc) just result in more evil? Those who embrace non-violence, forgiveness, and oppose capital punishment basically feel that good can not come out of evil. Others argue that if evil is left unchecked and unpunished, and not countered with strong action, then more evil will result.

fascism -- a centralized authoritarian system of government that exalts law and order, national pride, race, economic and social regimentation, and the survival of the fittest , while suppressing dissent, and trampling individual freedom. Promoting conformity by instilling fear, playing on prejudice in using propaganda and scapegoating minorities are among tactics used by fascists.

fear–a strong, primary emotion associated with unpleasant anticipation of danger and pain.  While in extreme cases its existence will accompanied by powerful physiological manifestations such as lots of hormone (cortisol, adrenalin, etc.)  production, it is always associated with anxiety and often with loss of courage (and the need to flee rather than fight.)                                      

fear, using it to achieve goals—authoritarian leaders/demagogues often seek to incite fear in an effort to attain certain cultural, workplace, or  political goals. The belief that people are motivated more out of fear than love justifies employing this approach

fellowship--involves people communicating and sharing their lives and concerns with each other--not surprising given that humans are social creatures!  In some settings, such as churches, this companionship can involve mutual respect and perhaps unselfish love.  While the desire of lone individuals to share common interests or participate in activities requiring others fosters much fellowship, according to M.V.C. Jeffreys (in his 1962 classic Personal Values in the Modern World) "the natural and original context for fellowship is the family."

Golden Ladder of Giving–As taught by Maimonides (1135-1204), great Hebrew scholar: to give reluctantly, the gift of the hand, but not of the heart; to give cheerfully, but not in proportion to need; to give cheerfully and proportionately, but not until solicited; to give cheerfully, proportionately, and unsolicited, but to put the gift into the poor person’s hand, thus creating shame; to give in such a way that the distressed may know their benefactor, without being known to him / her; to know the objects of our bounty, but be unknown to them; to give so that the benefactor may not know those whom he / she has relieved, and they shall not know him / her; to prevent poverty by teaching a trade, setting up people in business, or in some other way preventing the need of charity  (adapted from Building Your Own Theology, by R. Gilbert)      

Golden Rule, negative and positive formulations--Confucius, in the 6th century BC, is generally credited with the negative version of this universal principle: "Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not they should do unto you" The Jewish sage Hillel provided a slightly different version in 30 BC: "What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor."  In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us the positive version: "All things whatsoever ye would men do to you, do ye even so to them." See also The Platinum Rule.

Golden Rule,  expressions of in other religions-- Islam: "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." from the Prophet Muhammad's Last Sermon; Jainism:  "Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others.  Knowing this principle of equality treat others with respect and compassion."  from Suman Suttam verse 150 Buddhism: "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18 Hinduism: "This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you." Mahabharata 5:1517

Good Samaritan, the parable of the--[He] said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.  They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.  A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.  Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.  But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.  He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.  Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.  The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him.  If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.'  Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"  He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." —from the Bible,  book of Luke 10: 29--37

Good Samaritan Laws--named for the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan, United States' law prevents those who voluntarily assist people in need of immediate attention in emergencies from being sued.  In some European countries --most notably France--laws require that certain people provide such aid. 



gratitude and reciprocity -- according to biologist Robert Trivers, the amount of gratitude we feel and accordingly our desire to reciprocate is based on our perception of the costs and benefits of the original act that someone else took for which we are grateful. We are most grateful when this act helped us a lot and cost whoever took the action a lot.

gun control–proponents advocate bans on certain weapons (including military style semi-automatic rifles, handguns), restrictions on gun purchases, and registration of all guns.  While typically not contesting legitimate gun use for hunting, they cite studies that connect firearm availability with increased domestic violence and homicides. 

gun ownership and violence—while analysis of data does not unequivocally link  higher rates of gun ownership with higher rates of homicides—nor suggest that mentally ill people with guns are any more dangerous than mentally healthy people are-- it does strongly support that higher rate of gun ownership is linked to higher rate of suicide.

gun rights–in the USA, advocates argue that the 2nd Amendment guarantees "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Many argue that self defense is a basic right, and that guns deter crime.  Some feel that even firearm registration requirements are an infringement of their rights (including privacy).  Many gun enthusiasts are hunters. 

harm avoidance–cautious anticipation of difficulty in certain situations results in people characterized by this to plan carefully, pessimistically worry, be shy, socially inhibited and sometimes avoid strangers.  At times, such people lack energy to cope with situations that produce anxiety, so they passively retreat or hide from them altogether.    

hate crime–according to the FBI, this is "a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/ national origin."  Unlike other crimes, hate crimes are often intended to strike fear in, and intimidate, a targeted group.   

Hobbesian view of human nature–according to 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, human beings were selfish, aggressive, fiercely competitive, highly acquisitive creatures who were incapable of self restraint.  With this dim view of human nature, he felt that the authoritarian state offered the only way to keep human beings from killing each other in constant warfare and destroying civilization.  

homophobia–fear of homosexuals, typically associated with discrimination toward them 

justice -- implementing what is just, defined in various ways as being reasonable, proper, lawful, right, fair, deserved, merited, etc. For some, justice is intimately connected with fairness, a connection with three dimensions: equal treatment, the degree to which exercising freedom and liberty is to be allowed, and reward for contributing to the common good .

karma -- from the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad Gita, “Karma is the force of creation, wherefrom all things have their life.” Western classical physics (in the form of Newton’s 3rd Law) includes the principle that for action (or force acting) there is a reaction (a reaction force, equal in strength but oppositely directed). An eastern version of this -- a “Law of Karma” -- might be cast as “Whatever you give to the world you receive back from the world”.

kinship metaphors -- examples of these abound: brotherhood, sister cities, fraternities and sororities, mother country and fatherland, “Brother, can you spare a dime?”, “Our Father who art in Heaven”, etc. All of these seek to extend the natural love or special treatment that exists between blood relatives to those who are unrelated. Evolutionary biologists explain the special treatment of kin in terms of relatives sharing many more genes than nonrelatives and that natural selection can work to insure survival of common, favored genes by promoting favored (altruistic behavior) treatment of relatives

Law of the Jungle / Tooth and Claw Ethics–both of these date to the late 19th century, the former was made famous by "Darwin's bulldog" Thomas Huxley, one of the founders of evolutionary ethics, the latter by Rudyard Kipling (perhaps influenced by the Social Darwinist currents of the time) in The Jungle Book.  Earlier, British poet Tennyson had characterized nature as "red in tooth and claw."  The Law of the Jungle is basically "kill or be killed."    

mirror neuron--a neuron which turns on (fires) both when you initiate a particular action and when you observe another individual performing the same action.  Thus their sympathetic firing "mirrors" the action of another.  According to some neuroscientists, the roots of empathy can be traced to neural networks in the brain with such mirror properties.

moral obligation -- the feeling of being bound to act or behave in a certain way given one’s acceptance of some moral code or set of rules

noble savage view of human nature -- the belief that people, if they lived in a natural state away from the corrupting influence of social institutions, are fundamentally peaceful, co-operative, and altruistically concerned with each other’s well being -- not aggressively greedy, acquisitive, competitive and merely out to advance their own self interest. This view was popularized by 18th century French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau.

paranoia–in mild form, it's characterized by excessive or irrational suspiciousness & distrust of others; in more demented, severe psychological disorder form it also involves delusions–of jealousy, of either persecution or grandeur

philanthropy--has general and specific meanings: the former referring to active efforts to promote good will and the quality of human lives, the latter referring to the giving of money, material goods, time, or energy to a charitable organization in support of specific goals or programs that help others or enrich lives.  As the twenty first century began, Americans both as individuals and as members of organizations  annually made nearly $250 billion  in charitable contributions--over $800 / person / year. By 2018 the figure had reached $428 billion / year. 

Platinum Rule—a variation of the Golden Rule concocted to apply to certain situations in which the original may not provide an appropriate action. The Platinum rule is often stated using the phrase, “ doing unto others, wherever possible, as they would be done by…” For example, a  straight person wanting to be considerate to the needs or feelings of gay or transgender person may need to apply the Golden Rule as they would see things taking their sexual orientation into account. 

police—a government department established to maintain order, enforce the law, and prevent and detect crime. The image of USA police department work and those doing it ranges the whole gamut, from smiling easy-going  male and female, racially diverse shirt-sleeved and shorts dressed cops on bicycles joking peacefully with relaxed members of the community, to military style operations (some even are equipped with tanks) and SWAT teams lead by older males in riot gear confronting suspected criminals in tense, often violent situations. Opinions of cops held by those in the communities they operate in span the whole range from mostly good, honest guys, even unselfish public servants, doing what can be a difficult job, to corrupt, inherently violent, trigger happy, bigoted  people—many of whom might otherwise have found themselves on the wrong side of the law but, wanting a sense of power over others, they decided to become cops.  Hopeful—perhaps wishful thinking oriented—people lacking in cynicism felt most cops fit into the first category with only a very few “bad apples”; cynics feared more cops belonged in the second category than the first.  By mid 2020, after a series of highly publicized police operations unfairly and tragically targeted African Americans, USA calls for police reform had never been louder.

prison population—racially skewed representation—Reflecting on the USA situation, a mid 2020 The Economist op-ed states: “A third of black boys born in 2001will probably spend time locked up, compared with one in seventeen white boys.” 

psychopath—a bold person who has high self esteem yet engages in extreme anti-social behavior--often totally self serving, manipulative,  lacking in any real caring about others’ feelings. Given this person’s strong inclination toward violence, his or her physically harming another would not be unexpected, but dishing out verbal or other abuse is more common. It’s believed roughly one in a hundred people fit this description. Both genetic and environmental factors are believed responsible—a history of parental neglect or absence provides one example of the latter.

rationalism -- a philosophical orientation that links finding ultimate truth to employing reasoning

reciprocate--to give, take, or feel in return as appropriate as part of an interaction

reciprocity (or reciprocal altruism) -- in human interaction, the idea that one good turn deserves another, or that one should return a favor. Example: If you’ll pick lice out of my hair, I’ll pick them out of yours!”

religion, social function of -- according to Michael Shermer, in his book The Science of Good and Evil, religion is “a social institution that evolved as an integral mechanism of human culture to encourage altruism and reciprocal altruism, to discourage selfishness and greed, and to reveal the level of commitment to co-operate and reciprocate among members of the community.”

social justice—refers to 1) a relationship between individuals and society in which people have what is just, defined in various ways as being reasonable, proper, lawful, right, fair, deserved, merited, etc; 2) if the condition described above does not exist, then taking steps to make it so. In practice, in affluent Western societies, seeking social justice is concerned with seeking a fairer distribution of wealth and privilege, equal opportunity for all, ending unfair discrimination or exclusion, and providing a safety net for the especially vulnerable. It can also involve recognizing / rewarding those who contribute to the common good more than those who behave in more self-serving fashion.

tao &Taoism–the former is a concept from ancient China that can be thought of as the way of nature and, as related to human behavior, the path of virtuous conduct in accordance with nature; the latter refers to the Chinese mystical philosophy or folk religion built around conformity to the tao.  Founded by Lao-Tzu in the 6th century BCE, Taoism is polytheist / animist / shamanist in a traditional Chinese way.  Ethically it values compassion, moderation, and humility.  

terrorist–one who engages in terrorism, another one of those difficult to define terms since "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."  Most definitions of terrorism include 1) use of force / violence, 2) such acts are designed to instill fear / terror, and 3) political / ideological goals are behind these acts.  Some definitions also stress that the acts are unlawful and that innocent civilians are indiscriminately targeted.    

theophobia–the irrational fear of being punished by God for one’s real or imagined sins.    

threat–a gesture or action that intimidates, expresses intention of attacking, inflicting harm or injury, or communicates evil intent.   

timorous--timid, afraid

TIT for TAT strategy--a strategy for use in potentially "win, win" non-zero sum "co-operate / defect" games --or applicable situations in real world interactions with people--where you co-operate on your first turn and on subsequent turns do whatever your opponent did on his or her previous turn (e.g. if your opponent co-operates you co-operate, if your opponent defects, you defect.)   The success of this strategy (based on both players coming out ahead) was initially appreciated in the 1980s by academics studying Prisoner's Dilemma games.  It has subsequently been linked to the human cultural evolution of co-operation, hard-wired neural network programs in the brain, and diplomatic successes--most notably the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

transformative justice–rather than imprisoning and punishing, it focuses on educating and transforming offenders and correcting the root causes / societal conditions behind offenses.  In a broader sense it provides an opportunity for healing / peacemaking that victims can also sometimes benefit from

trepidation--dread, fear, apprehension

trust--with respect to extending this to another person, it refers to relying on the integrity, character, and ability of that person.  The degree of that trust is in proportion to the belief and faith one has in the honesty, good intentions, and competence of the person to be trusted.

trust and distrust--the biochemical basis for --Recent research suggests that the neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin plays an important role in people trusting )or not trusting) other people (including strangers) and co-operating with them. Oxytocin is released in humans by the pituitary gland during breastfeeding,  childbirth labor, sexual and other activities. Lab studies indicate this chemical and a related hormone are important to prosocial / joining behaviors—especially as related to pair bonding and reproduction. Oxytocin has variously been called “the bonding hormone,” “the love drug,” “the cuddle chemical,” etc. But recent research suggests it also has a dark side. Besides increasing a pair-bonding trust—what can be called “in group favoritism”—it also seems to promote “out group derogation” of those perceived as “other.” As one report put it, Human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one's group as centrally important and superior to other groups—creates intergroup bias that fuels prejudice, xenophobia, and intergroup violence. Grounded in the idea that ethnocentrism also facilitates within-group trust, cooperation, and coordination, we conjecture that ethnocentrism may be modulated by brain oxytocin…” Other research suggests that those who are untrustworthy, or  have difficulty with social interaction, may have oxytocin receptor dysfunction. 

unconscious memory–a term that refers to those acts, events, and feelings that have been repressed.  Such repressed memories, along with wishes and even instincts, are the source of unconscious conflict that Freudian psychoanalysis posited was the key to understanding and treating emotional problems    

universalism -- the belief in sociology that there are universal ethical standards.

xenophobia--a fear of foreigners or strangers



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