Sunday, November 30, 2008

Temperaments and Accentuations

I noticed that there are some serious differences between American and Russian psychology. For example, in Russian psychology, temperaments and accentuations are widely accepted. However, they are almost not used in American psychology.

4 temperament model was developed by Ivan P. Pavlov. He said that person's temperament depends on the type of the central nervous system. The types of the nervous system depend on three factors:

* Strength of the nervous processes
* Balance of the nervous processes
* Mobility of the nervous processes

There are four types of temperament:

1. Sanguine temperament is characterized by a strong, balanced, and mobile nervous system. Sanguines have a quick reactions and can easily change their activity. They are cheerful and sociable, like to contact new people, change the environment. They usually are not so upset at their problems.
2. Phlegmatic temperament is characterized by a strong, balanced, and inert nervous system. Phlegmatics have slow reactions, not easily change their activity and adapt to the new environment. They usually have calm and stable mood.
3. Choleric temperament is characterized by a strong, unbalanced, and mobile nervous system. Cholerics have very quick reactions and can easily change their activity. However, they have sudden changes of mood, quick-tempered, and impatient. They have strong "ups" and "downs" and often have conflicts with people.
4. Melancholic temperament is characterized by a weak, unbalanced, and inert nervous system. Melancholics are very sensitive and emotional, but often do not express their emotions outwardly. Their mood is changeable. They are often sad, depressed, have a lack of self-confidence.

All the temperaments are considered to be normal, inborn, and unchangeable.

There are several classifications of accentuations. The most famous of them was developed by East German psychiatrist Karl Leonhard and described in his book "Accentuated People" which as far as I know has never been published in English. His system includes 12 main accentuations and many mixed accentuations. All the psychologists admit that accentuations are normal. However, there are disagreements how many the people have them. Leonhard said that about 50 percent of Germans have accentuations. He defined accentuations as very expressed traits of character or temperament. He made a difference between "standard" people who do not have accentuations, that is, they have an average character and people with accentuations. According to Leonhard, people with accentuations are between "standard" people and people with personality disorders.

12 accentuations described by Leonhard:
1) demonstrative (histrionic) accentuation;
2) pedantic (anankastic) accentuation;
3) sticking (paranoid) accentuation;
4) excitable (emotionally unstable) accentuation;
5) hyperthymic (hypomaniac) accentuation;
6) disthymic (subdepressive) accentuation;
7) affect-labile (cyclothymic) accentuation;
8) affect-exalted accentuation;
9) anxious accentuation;
10) emotive accentuation;
11) extraverted accentuation;
12) introverted accentuation.

Leonhard's definition of extraversion and introversion was different from Jung and Eysenck.

While every person has a certain temperament, not everyone has an accentuation. Accentuations may become more or less expressed from time to time.

Since temperaments as well as personality types are inborn and unchangeable, it is possible to use temperaments for a study like what Yeakleys did with the members of ICC and other groups. However, accentuations are not so stable and not all the people have them. There is a widely used in Russia Shmisheck test for accentuations. I took that test about 6 years ago, 3 months ago, and recently. Each time this test indicated that I have no accentuations. So, accentuations probably cannot be used for a study like Yeakley's.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Discussion Group on Cults and Abusive Churches - Discussion-On-Cults

I started this group in July, 2008. Here is the description of the group:

This group is for those who are interested in critical discussion on cults and abusive churches. This discussion involves:
1. Discussion of authoritarianism, mind control (coercive persuasion, thought reform), and spiritual abuse (that is, psychological and sociological issues of cults and abusive churches).
2. Discussion of religious doctrines and practices (that is, theological and apologetic issues, including aberrant and heretical teachings).
Unlike many groups that focus either on psychological issues of cults (cult mind control) or theological doctrines of cults, this group is for discussing both sides of cults.
3. Personal testimonies and experience of ex-members of cults and abusive churches and their mutual support. However, this group does not provide cult-related or any other psychological counseling.
4. Recovery from cults and abusive churches (psychologically and spiritually).
5. All the other matters related to cults and abusive churches.

This group is for the real freedom of mind, ideas, opinions, and thoughts.

In this group, there is freedom to express different religious views. However, this group is not for religious proselytism. Any kind of cult promotion is forbidden.

Everyone can freely express their opinions. Everyone has a right to disagree with others and express the disagreements. Everyone should respect others' opinions even if he or she disagrees with them. Personal attacks, offensive language, and flames must be avoided. All the discussions should be maintained in polite, respectful, and ethical manner.

This group is for people affected by cults and abusive churches (former members, families, relatives, and friends), people who are interested to learn about cults and abusive churches, and professionals (psychologists, sociologists, clergy, theologians, and others).

Members of this group who are concerned about their anonymity are allowed to use pseudonyms and hide any kind of information that can reveal their identity (personal information, their former group name, and so on).

Click to join discussion-on-cults in Yahoo! Groups

I have just started a branch of this group in Google in order to add some functionality to this group.

Click to join discussion-on-cults in Google Groups

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Discussion Group on Cult Mind Control - Freedomofmind2

Recently, I joined one more group on cult mind control and related issues. According to the group owner, this group is intended for free exchanges of opinions, ideas, and experiences. Particularly, this group is recommended for people who were in freedomofmind group and were banned or forced to leave or lurk there because they were offended by the leadership and did not have freedom to express their opinions there. Freedomofmind2 group is for real freedom of mind, opinions, and ideas.

Click to join freedomofmind2