Last week our guest writer T, started hist guest series on the HBD which soon became the most popular post here at NLU racking up over 100 comments. He returns today to back up that post and dig deeper into the world of HBD. After reading the following you’ll ask yourself which group do you belong to and question if the finding in the research is true or not. I wont give much away instead I will step aside and let the Professor do what he does best…. school people
The following video is NSFW because of tiggs
Last week I discussed scientific racism movement known as human biodiversity (HBD) and how the psychological concepts of shame and guilt apply to HBD believers. My theory is that HBD followers in the manosphere have intense shame issues, and overcompensate against them by manifesting extremely narcissistic traits. You can read the piece here, but the main points are that shame is a much more primitive and immature feeling than guilt, that shame has to do with feeling bad about your very identity, your state of being, rather than your actions, and that shame is the underlying motivation behind narcissism. Since several people last week asked for citations about the history and evolution of shame research, I would refer you to six books. These books not only summarize much of the research, but they have bibliographies that will lead you to more than enough papers and other books that will allow you to dig deeper into the topic of toxic shame. For more layperson-oriented books, you can try Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw, The Addictive Personality by Craig Nakken, or Willpower’s Not Enough by Arnold Washton. For more technical books, and The Mask of Shame and The Hidden Dimension by Leon Wurmser and Shame: The Underside of Narcissism by Andrew Morrison, which goes into great detail tracking the evolution of shame research. The bibliographies of those books will lead you to dozens of other books and hundreds of psychological studies.
A key part from last week’s piece:
Shame, which is more toxic and primitive, is when you think there is something wrong with what youare. Guilt, which is healthier and more mature, is when you think there is something wrong with what you’re doing. Shame-prone people will think “I am wrong” while guilt-prone people will think “I did something wrong.” Shame-prone people will think “I am stupid” while guilt-prone people think “I made a mistake.” For a guilt-prone person, an action at the end of the day is an action, but for a shame-prone person, an action is a commentary on their very being. For a guilt-prone person, since an action is simply an action, when they commit a faulty action, the way to fix it is to confess, come clean, and try to take corrective actions. For a shame-prone person, since each action is a determination on their very worth as a person and a commentary on their whole identity, faulty actions must be concealed, explained away, blamed on others, rationalized, repressed, or dealt with using any number of popular defense mechanisms. Admitting mistakes is very hard for a shame-prone person, because in their mind doing so is the same as admitting that their whole self is defective.
To put it another way, for a shame-based person, their main battle throughout their lives is with who or what they fundamentally are, whereas for a guilt-based person, their main battle throughout their lives is with the quality of their actions. Even when a shame-based person is concerned with actions on the surface, and appears to be exhibiting guilt, in actuality they are only concerned with what those actions reveal about their identity and what their actions reveal about whether or not they’re fundamentally defective. Their sense of guilt is inextricably fused to shame…
When you’re shame-based, you have this constant fear of finding evidence confirming to yourself that you really are defective, as well as a constant fear of being exposed as defective or as inferior to other people. There are three faulty coping mechanisms neurotic people use to handle shame. They either avoid and try not to think about or dealing with anything that triggers those feelings, surrender and just give in to the idea that they’re inferior and accept defectiveness as their core identity and live their lives accordingly, or they overcompensate and crowd any such feelings of inferiority out of their conscious awareness by filling their minds with grandiose, over-the-top ideas of superiority. Since the basic fear underlying shame is being defective and inferior to others, those who overcompensate against shame go into overdrive convincing themselves and onlookers of the opposite, that they’re perfect and superior to others.
This week I want to discuss how I believe HBDers developed their shame issues by pointing to the research of an American psychologist Carol Dweck, along with the research of many other psychologists who work in similar areas. What was interesting about Dweck’s work is that while it was not explicitly billed as shame and guilt research, her findings end up working largely in parallel to the findings of shame research and confirm many of those findings. Dweck has two books, 2000’s Self-theories, which is her more technical, academic work with the extensive bibliography, and 2007’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, her more mainstream book for lay readers covering the same research material.
Dweck attracted a lot of attention after a profile piece in New York Magazine titled “How Not to Talk to Your Kids,” which summed her research to promote the 2007 book. I’m sure anyone who has dealt with many of the HBD blogs and commenters will immediately recognize much of their behavior and attitudes in a certain type of student Dweck describes. I highly recommend you read the actual article and don’t just go by my summary of it. It will make things clearer. So will a reread of last week’s piece.
Dweck’s work deals with students who identify as being smart, versus students who identify with being hard workers, and here are some of the findings from one of her experiments.
Dweck and her researchers would take 5th graders out of a classroom one at a time to perform a nonverbal IQ test of a series of puzzles. The puzzles were deliberately chosen to be easy to excel at. When each child finished the test, they received their score, and were given a single line of praise. One group of kids was praised for being intelligent. The other group was praised for hard work. The students were offered a choice between two tests for the second round. One test was described as being more difficult than the first puzzle, but more rewarding because the kids would learn a lot from trying it. The other test was described as an easy test, similar to the first. Of those who received the “hard work” praise, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Meanwhile, a majority of the kids praised for being smart chose the easy test.
In a later round, there was no choice given. All the 5th graders were offered the same test, one that was more difficult and made for 7th graders, with the predictable result that all the kids failed it. The kids who were earlier praised for hard work assumed they just needed more preparation.
“They got very involved, willing to try every solution to the puzzles,” Dweck recalled. “Many of them remarked, unprovoked, ‘This is my favorite test.’?” Not so for those praised for their smarts. They assumed their failure was evidence that they weren’t really smart at all. “Just watching them, you could see the strain. They were sweating and miserable.”
A final round of tests were given to the 5th graders after the round deliberately designed for all of them to fail. This final round was made to be as easy as the first round. The “hard work” group of students significantly improved their first score by an average of 30%. The “smart” kids did worse than they had at the beginning, by around 20%.
Why did this happen? “When we praise children for their intelligence,” Dweck wrote in her study summary, “we tell them that this is the name of the game: Look smart, don’t risk making mistakes.” And that’s what the fifth-graders had done: They’d chosen to look smart and avoid the risk of being embarrassed.
Dweck’s research calls the mindset of the “smart” students the fixed mindset, and she calls people who believe in the fixed mindset entity theorists. The mindset of the “hard work” students is called the growth mindset, and people who believe in the growth mindset are labeled incremental theorists. I believe at some point in their lives, for whatever reason, the people who are attracted to HBD began to identify with their high IQ rather than with being hard workers, and as a result adopted the fixed mindset of entity theorists. The more research you do into the fixed mindsets of entity theorists, the more tendencies of HBD believers you will recognize (unless of course you’re an HBD believer yourself).
Dweck focuses a lot on students who become entity theorists and develop fixed mindsets as a result of being praised for being naturally smart. These people start believing that if they do start exerting effort, that effort will undermine that early praise by proving they aren’t so smart after all, because they hard to work at it. Not only do they not want to exert effort and ruin their self-image of superiority, they want to believe effort period, for anyone. This is because they consider their forte to be effortless intelligence, thus if effort does matter in the real world, then this devalues what they consider to be their main strength and is another way their image of superiority gets threatened. You see much of this described behavior in HBDers. I don’t know if they developed this entity theorist fixed mindset from being praised by parents and teachers for being naturally smart or if they arrived at it some other way, but what matters is that that’s what they believe in now: that being smart is a matter of being born that way, and that hard work can’t change your intelligence level, and if you do have to work harder to get the same results it’s a negative commentary on your intelligence level.
As this PDF describes, emphasis added by me:
Entity theorists tend to think that human characteristics are fixed. Incremental
theorists are inclined to believe that characteristics are malleable.
These two theories profoundly affect motivation. “If my traits are fixed, then I can’t do
much to change. I’m stuck with who I am. The best I can do is to validate what strengths I
might already have and hope that they will help me win approval and avoid rejection. There is
no sense in trying to promote growth in others either, as they will remain who they are despite
my best efforts. On the other hand, if my traits are malleable, I have the potential to improve.”
This mindset encourages us to look for ways to grow, to solve our problems, and to remedy our
weaknesses. It also encourages us to look for potential in others and help them grow.
We’ve found that when people have a fixed mindset they often shy away from challenges. For them, deficiencies are permanent and so they are afraid to reveal them. People with fixed mindsets are also not as resilient in the face of setbacks because, again, they see setbacks as impugning their underlying abilities. Challenge-seeking and resilience are key factors in success. As a result, people with fixed mindsets often don’t achieve as much in the long run.
People with a growth mindset don’t necessarily believe everyone is the same or that anyone can be Einstein, but they understand that everyone can develop their abilities and that even Einstein wasn’t Einstein until he put in decades of dedicated labour. These people see a challenge as something that helps you learn, and a setback as something that ultimately helps develop your ability. For this reason, people with a growth mindset often accomplish more in the long term…
Each mindset creates a whole psychological world or a “meaning system” for people. It’s called a “meaning system” because mindsets change the meaning of what happens to us. First, as I’ve suggested, the mindsets change the meaning of challenges. In a fixed mindset, a challenge is threatening because it can reveal deficiencies. In a growth mindset, a challenge is an opportunity to get better at something. Next, mindsets change the meaning of effort. Those with a growth mindset think if you have natural ability you shouldn’t need that much effort. Their belief is that things should come easily to people if they’re really smart. But those with a growth mindset understand that even geniuses have to work hard for their great discoveries and that effort, well-applied, will increase your abilities over time. Finally, mindsets change the meaning of failure. In a fixed mindset a failure is the worst thing that could happen. It discredits your ability, it’s something to run from, something to hide and even, we find in our research, to lie about. But in a growth mindset failure, while not welcome, is something you learn from.
What’s very interesting is that if you read a lot of the research on shame, and compare it to the findings of the line of research developed by Dweck and her peers, you see that a lot of it corresponds. The kids who identify with being smart, who make high IQ into their identity, are shame-based. They are focused on what their inherent identity is, and live life as if they’re trying to make a case proving that identity is true and always comparing themselves to others. The kids who identify with being hard workers, who focus on the quality of their action, are guilt-based and focus more on comparing their current selves to their past selves than to other people.
Another sign that the fixed mindset corresponds to shame is that when the entity theorists face an ego threat and overcompensate against it, they end up behaving very narcissistically, and as I described in the last installment, narcissism is an overcompensation against shame. A key element of narcissism is rigidity, and one can argue that rigid is another word for fixed. Fixed mindset entity theorists, like narcissists, become more interested in protecting their image of intelligence and avoiding any effort that carries with it a risk of failure that will ruin that superior image. They also become obsessed with comparing themselves to others and making them look worse, so that their own images can look better [emphasis added by me]:
Dweck’s research on overpraised kids strongly suggests that image maintenance becomes their primary concern—they are more competitive and more interested in tearing others down. A raft of very alarming studies illustrate this.
In one, students are given two puzzle tests. Between the first and the second, they are offered a choice between learning a new puzzle strategy for the second test or finding out how they did compared with other students on the first test: They have only enough time to do one or the other. Students praised for intelligence choose to find out their class rank, rather than use the time to prepare.
In another, students get a do-it-yourself report card and are told these forms will be mailed to students at another school—they’ll never meet these students and don’t know their names. Of the kids praised for their intelligence, 40 percent lie, inflating their scores. Of the kids praised for effort, few lie.
When students transition into junior high, some who’d done well in elementary school inevitably struggle in the larger and more demanding environment. Those who equated their earlier success with their innate ability surmise they’ve been dumb all along. Their grades never recover because the likely key to their recovery—increasing effort—they view as just further proof of their failure. In interviews many confess they would “seriously consider cheating.”
Image maintenance, with in the case of HBDers is displayed by always trying to win arguments online at any cost and never admitting when they’re wrong and by constantly trumpeting their own benefits. Being focused on competition, which in the case of HBDers is racial IQ competition. Tearing down others, which in the case of HBDers means other races. Constantly examining how others rank rather than focusing on what types of actions they can take to make concrete improvements in themselves? Look at all the blog posts and articles they do that dwell on the state of Black America or the third world rather than organizing any type of platform that discusses plausible real-world political action. Willingness to cheat or lie to save face. You can see this in the intellectual dishonesty an HBDer will do during an argument, no matter how transparently disingenuous, in order to avoid ever conceding a single opponent’s point, such as when blogger Chuck Ross seriously claimed in last week’s installment that his Blacks Behaving Badly series of posts were not an example of gloating over racial superiority when he was called on it. All of this is textbook shame thinking and narcisissism.
Dweck’s book Mindset has the following passage:
In one study, seventh graders told us how they would respond to an academic failure—a poor test grade in a new course. Those with the growth mindset, no big surprise, said they would study harder for the next test. But those with the fixed mindset said they would study less for the next test. If you don’t have the ability, why waste your time? And, they said, they would seriously consider cheating! If you don’t have the ability, they thought, you just have to look for another way.
What’s more, instead of trying to learn from and repair their failures, people with the fixed mindset may simply try to repair their self-esteem. For example, they may go looking for people who are even worse off than they are.
College students, after doing poorly on a test, were given a chance to look at tests of other students. Those in the growth mindset looked at the tests of people who had done far better than they had. As usual, they wanted to correct their deficiency. But students in the fixed mindset chose to look at the tests of people who had done really poorly. That was their way of feeling better about themselves.
Dweck, Carol (2006-02-28). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (pp. 35-36). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I point out the shame and guilt research and the mindset research not just to psychoanalyze why HBDers are the way they are, although admittedly I find that important. I also point out these findings to challenge the idea that widespread acceptance of their ideas would create a better society. They think it would make them less angry and feel better, but it would just train a whole generation to develop the same narcissistic frustration, bitterness, self-sabotaging, and blaming tendencies. By encouraging shame-based, incremental theory growth mindsets, they would just create more similarly discontented people. Furthermore, the shame and growth research offers much plausible proof that their beliefs about effort being worthless in increasing intelligence and innate ability being all-important is simply wrong.
The final reason for showcasing all of this is to show the half-truth involved when HBDers keep insisting that the science backs them and that what they say must be true because it’s based on a study or statistics. Anyone can lie with true statistics. It’s even the name of a famous book. The two problems with HBDers is that take studies that may show some support for their views, and downplay the ones that don’t, to create an illusion that science creates an airtight case for their cause, so airtight that the only reason why anyone could possibly have a problem with their conclusions is hurt feelings or political correctness. As you can see, the science is not quite as clear-cut and one-sided as they would like to portray. And even the studies and stats that do support their views, they still exaggerate the significance of the findings and extrapolate to outrageous conclusions unsupported by the data. These mischaracterizations, exaggerations, and extrapolations will be the focus of future installments.
To read more on Dweck’s work:
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success book by Carol Dweck. This book is interesting because in it Dweck also goes into how a fixed mindset can even mess you up not just in a classroom but in a host of other areas such as love relationships, career, and athletics.
- Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development book by Carol Dweck
- The NY Magazine article on Dweck.
- Derek Sivers’s notes and summary of the book Mindset
- Implicit theories and their role in judgments and reactions: A word from two perspectives (a study)
- Implicit Theories, Attributions, and Coping: A Meaning System Approach (a study)
- Implicit Theories of Personality and Attributions of Hostile Intent (a study on how entity theorists with fixed mindsets tend to display more hostility and aggression, especially to criticism)
- Mindsets That Promote Resilience: When Students Believe That Personal Characteristics Can Be Developed (a study)
- Carol Dweck bio, detailing her decades of experience and major contributions, and providing PDFs of many of her major publications and studies
- Another Dweck bio with a list of references specifically relevant to her mindset research
- “Theories of Intelligence” article by Carol Dweck, summarizing decades of findings and a good bibliography of books and studies for further reading
- “Self-Theories,” a very good article summary of the mindset research with explanations of how these findings relate to major findings of other prominent psychologists
- “Attribution Theory.” An article summarizing not just Dweck’s work, but overall attribution theory, a field of psychology of which Dweck’s work is a subset. A good way to see how Dweck’s work fits into a larger framework of motivation theory.
- “Carol Dweck on Success.” A short interview with Carol Dweck.
- “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids.” A 2007 Scientific American Mind article authored by Dweck.
- “Incremental Versus Entity Theories of Intelligence.” A very short summary of Dweck’s findings detailed in her 2000 book.
- Minority students able to improve their grades using growth mindset