Objections to psychological egoism - Deepstash

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What Is Psychological Egoism?

Objections to psychological egoism

The most obvious objection to psychological egoism is that there are numerous clear examples of people putting others' interests before their own.

Although psychological egoists think they can explain seemingly virtuous actions, their theory rests on a false account of human motivation. The fact that someone feels virtuous after performing a good deed may be true, but it is often just a side effect of their action. They didn't necessarily do it in order to get those feelings.

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Creating Psychological Distance
Creating Psychological Distance

Many of us have been in a situation where our emotions prevent us from responding appropriately and seeing the big picture. For example, in cases where we feel extreme anger, stress, anxiety, and s...

Types of Psychological Distancing
  • Time: We think differently about events that are far in the future, compared to activities in the near future. For events in the distant future, we use abstract terms that lack concrete action.
  • Space: We use abstract terms to describe events within a physically-near space than events that happen in a space further away.
  • Social distance: When we describe someone that is different to us, we use abstract qualities (them and us).
  • Hypothetically: We use abstract words and terms to describe events that may not happen compared to events that are more likely to happen.
Psychological Distancing and Executive Functioning

Executive functioning is the set of abilities and behaviors that is controlled by the frontal lobe, including:

  • Goal-directed and planning behaviours, such as deciding how to get dressed.
  • Inhibiting responses such as waiting your turn.
  • Monitoring your behavior and correcting mistakes.
  • Changing your behavior in response to a change in the environment.

Executive functioning helps you to regulate your emotions better, which gives rise to psychological distancing.

Proaction and the “possible you”

Proaction is the “possible you” that:

  • spots and prevents problems
  • identifies, pursues, and captures opportunities
  • create...
Proaction Principles
  • Think well ahead.
  • Make sure your decisions suit your own values and interests.
  • Think strategically.
  • Proaction requires not just thinking but doing.
  • Learn and adapt rapidly through trial and error.
  • Grit matters, but you also need to learn along the way and adjust.
The Pratfall Effect

Your likability will increase if you aren’t perfect.

Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likable than those who commit the occasional faux pas. Messing up draws peop...

The Pygmalion Effect

Greater expectations drive greater performance.

The crux of this psychological phenomenon is the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you believe something is true of yourself, eventually it will be.

The Paradox of Choice

The more choices we have, the less likely we are to be content with our decision.

Even if our ultimate decision is clearly correct, when faced with many choices, we are less likely to be happy with what we choose. Because a wealth of choices makes finding contentment that much harder.