Human Behavior: Outliers and Anamolies
I'm writing this post at the behest of my dear friend, @AliAnani, whose own post (https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ali-anani/hot-ice-and-anomalous-behavior) generated my response. I've worked closely with people for over 40 years. As a church counselor, a Pastor, in sales and sales management, creating behavioral assessments, and as the creator of Dynamic Visualization in my coaching practice. What I share next is from my experience and you may find what I share flies in the face of modern psychology. That's okay, because my work consistently outperforms it. One of my clients told me, "There are counselors, coaches, therapists, and psychologists. The there is Dr. Ed". By the way, she had been to all of these many times for 20 years prior to becoming my client. Here is my response to Dr. Anani's post:
Human behavior, my friend! Once we think we can consistently predict it...we're wrong! Having been a part of the Behavioral Assessment industry for two decades, I fully understand the attempt to create predictability when hiring, training, coaching, and interacting with people. The there is some consistency to human behavior, dominant personality traits, but there are always outliers. Assessments tell us what we can usually expect. What they can't disclose are the situations and circumstances that will cause a person to act abnormally. From my experience, the abnormal human behaviors can be multi-faceted:
1) What happened immediately before the abnormal behavior? This is usually the catalyst for the behavior. The thoughts and feelings of what just happened are fully alive and affect then next thoughts and feelings. In fact, an neural connection can be formed that now associates the two events so that, in the future, whenever one happens the other is also remembered and felt. I've been working on a book for a few years that I've initially titled, "Who Were You Before the Bomb Went Off?" This discusses how dramatic events in life seemingly change us. Again, my experience is that the change doesn't have to be permanent and people can return to being their true selves.
2) Invalid associations. The human mind can create more neural connections than all the particles in the universe. The human mind hates confusion. Therefore, it will create associations that are untrue to avoid confusion. Think of a song that you can't clearly understand the lyrics to. That doesn't feel good, does it, to have a blank space in the lyrics? We may muddle through some possibilities until we find words that seem to fit closely and we sing those words as if we know them with surety. Later, we find out we were wrong. The same way with human behavior; we may hear a word, see someone's actions, or even something as a certain color, and it elicits thoughts and feelings contrary to what we would normally do. Why? Because sometime in the past we experienced something that triggers the association, good or bad.3) Predictor neurons. We have three levels of predictor neurons, immediate, mid-term, and long-term. These predictor neurons create associations between past experience and the present and future. If I see your hand in a fist and it's coming toward me, if my relationship with you is severely strained, I will most likely predict you're going to hit me in the jaw. If our relationship is good, I will predict you want to "fist-bump". It's the long-term predictor neurons that predict how people we know are going to behave. This goes back to what I said earlier; we may predict wrongly if something bad is chronically going on and aggregating our emotions, or if it's acute and spiking the emotions at the time.
Of course, I'm sure there are other reasons.
Human behavior continues to fascinate me even after all these years and maybe it's because of the very things you wrote about here. Thank you, dear friend, to continue to share such a wealth of intriguing insights and information!