Friday, December 10, 2004

ATTN: Redefinition of human behaviour in terms of attention

Talking to one of my friends yesterday, i heard myself say to her that i want to redefine the current terms in psychology, break them apart and recreate them into a new attention paradigm. I might even be on the look for the holy grail, the ultimate answer to the question why people act in the first place.

Here's an example. The definition is self-esteem. The Dutch word for it is eigenwaarde (self value).

If my self-esteem is very low, i need to do something about it. So i want the attention of other people, because energy follows attention and i need the energy. But maybe i don't want to face reality, maybe i had a worse than bad youth, maybe i'm scared of other people and i need to flee into my own fantasy world. I might become a writer like Patricia Highsmith, a celebrity like Andy Warhol, or a celebrity murderer like Mark David Chapman. Dutch author CONNIE PALMEN wrote a very interesting book about these and other people.

How could i translate this need for energy into the currency of attention? How to estimate the value of my own self? What scale should i use? What is the amount of energy / attention that is left inside my body?

So the question is: how could i redefine human behaviour in terms of basic need for energy and ways to get it? What basic terms in human behaviour could be re-termed in this way? If someone could understand what is happening here, then maybe we could do something about it.

3 comments:

PICSIE said...

On reading your post Ron the first thing that popped up was Rupert Sheldrake - sheldrake.org In one of his books (something to do with esp, can't remember title), he talks about amoeba and the 'tails' that they flick out. Sheldrake hypothesized that we do the same when we put our mind on something or 'attend' to something. Perhaps this is a useful line of enquiry?

Dan said...

I find that the things (people, objects, events, abstractions) that I think about "pop out at me" from out of my perceptual background. I often find it useful, in fact, to meditatively let pop out things I might not have more deliberately "put my mind to."

My suggestion is that maybe if you want others to think about/give attention to you, you should think of (constructive) ways to "pop out" at them, such as posting to their weblogs! I've attracted much positive energy this way.

MG said...

Rob, thought you might be interested in having one of these fitted ?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/science/story/0,12996,1448908,00.html?gusrc=rss