greetingssaludos asked:

I've noticed that a lot of INTJ's (mainly young white males) tend to favor these fringe political ideologies like libertarianism or anarcho-capitalism. Why do you think this is? This same demographic tends to reject social justice issues like feminism or #BlackLivesMatter and it's really disturbing, if not irksome, to see someone that has a thinking process so similar to mine dogmatically reject the data presented to them because of that old INTJ centered of "I'm unequivocally correct."

Thank you for the awesome question!

We are shaped our environment, genes, upbringing, exposure to new ideas, etc., but we are also slaves to these things. A young white male living in homogeneous middle class America is probably going to have vastly different views than the biracial girl with immigrant parents growing up in a lower socio-economic neighborhood. Sure, their MBTI might be the same, but they are going to interpret the facts very differently. “Facts” don’t exist in a vacuum. People, even rational people, will cherry-pick the facts that support what they already believe to be correct. This is why double blind studies are used in science. Even when you are trying to be unbiased, your brain is always unconsciously biased.

I’m going to pick apart Ayn Rand here, because she’s both an INTJ and a very good example of how our environment shapes our ideas. Her work continues to be popular amongst young adults, US conservatives (which is hilariously ironic), and INTJs. If you’re unfamiliar with her work then you really need to get familiar as her philosophy, Objectivism, has had quite an impact on our society (although again- people cherry pick the stuff that they like). She was very pro-Capitalism, pro-selfishness, anti-religion, anti-regulation. She was very much in favor of laissez faire Capitalism (completely unregulated economy).

Most people know her only from her most famous novels- Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Her protagonists are self-centered, rational people in a sea of sheep. They are always outsiders who don’t bow to society’s will and consider their work their highest priority. Can you see yet why this would appeal to INTJs, particularly young ones? Imagine you’re one of these young INTJs. All your life you’ve felt different. Everyone else is at the mercy of their emotions, but not you. Your vision is paramount. Society is ever pushing you to conform and you chafe against it.

Then in high school you read Anthem or The Fountainhead and think HOLY SHIT I’M JUST LIKE ROARK. Rand is an INTJ who creates INTJ characters (if you can even call them that, as they are walking embodiments of her philosophy- more symbols than people- her books are a great example of Ni). Suddenly you find you’re on an Objectivism binge because it makes so much sense. Rules only hinder us! Every man for himself! Lift yourself up by your bootstraps! Traditions are useless! My needs trump the needs of the collective! I’m right and everyone who disagrees is wrong! If you disagree with me then you’re unintellectual/stupid/sheep. It does a lot to fan the flames if someone already believes they are smart and different and right.

Context is important. The reason Rand was so passionate about individualism was because she escaped communist Russia. If you really want to understand why she believes what she does you need to read We the Living, which is as close to an autobiography as you’re going to get. Her environment growing up clearly shaped her views. She hated communism so much that she basically went to the other extreme.

Rand also had the typical INTJ problem of believing she was always right. She tried to apply her rationality to everything, even when it was ridiculous to do so. Art wasn’t considered subjective. If she liked it then it was good, otherwise it was objectively crap. Relationships were rationalized too. When she wanted to sleep with a young protégé she actually sat down with the guy’s wife and her own husband to convince them that it was an awesome idea regardless of how they felt. The problem with being uber rational is that you can also rationalize anything. (seriously, read My Years with Ayn Rand if you want to see more examples of the crap she did in her personal life)

It is extremely difficult to change people’s minds once they are made up, and the harder you try the more people will dig in their heels (see antivaxxer movement). If someone doesn’t really have an opinion on something then they are much easier to convince. When it comes to social issues, exposure counts for a lot. If you grew up in middle class white America then your privilege is invisible to you. If you’ve never interacted with PoC then your views are going to be influenced solely by the media and word of mouth. Worse yet- you might fall into the trap of thinking that things are the exception. You work with Mark, who is black, and although you know he is intelligent and hard-working, you view him as an exception, not the rule. Oftentimes we have incorrect perceptions or views that we carry only because we fail to see how bad it would be if they applied to us.

My mother, an educated, intelligent woman, once asked me and my sisters what the big deal was over racial profiling. Her granddaughter is biracial. My uncle is Hispanic, which makes two of my cousins Hispanic. We have PoC in our family, yet she can’t possibly fathom how racial profiling could be used against them. My grandfather, whose favorite grandchild was one of the aforementioned Hispanic cousins, once said that all gangs were Mexican and it was due to their “violent Aztec blood.” He was completely incapable of seeing the disconnect because when people think things like this they mentally exclude loved ones and friends as “exceptions.”

This is why it’s so damned difficult for white people to accept #BlackLivesMatter. Cops aren’t scary to us. They are there to protect us. They put their lives on the line to protect us! The idea that cops can be violent racist killers is abhorrent. Who wants to believe that there’s a systemic brutality problem in the police force? No one. If that were the case- well shit- that would be a huge problem! How would you even begin to deal with it? Better to blame the victim. They had it coming. They were a hoodlum. And if a video tape emerges that shows cops clearly murdering someone? Well that’s just one bad apple. You can’t color the police force based on one psycho. Why try to enact sweeping social reform, which is hard, when you can just share a story about Cecil the lion being shot and feel good about yourself? That’s the mentality you’re dealing with.

“But wait!” I hear you say, “INTJs are rationals! Surely if you presented them with the facts about the difficulties minorities face they should come around, right?” No. Remember what I said about changing minds? How exceptionally difficult it is? If you don’t think there’s a problem, if your privilege prevents you from seeing it, you’re going to jump to conclusions, gloss over the facts, twist statistics to back your preconceptions, and as a rational you’re going to be even better at rationalizing your beliefs to yourself.

One of America’s core cultural beliefs is that you can achieve anything if you work hard enough. Our history is littered with stories of rich people who started at the bottom and went on to build empires. It’s an idea that certainly appeals to INTJs, who are driven by their Ni and work diligently to actualize their goals. The idea that this isn’t true- that you can work hard all your life and never become rich, achieve your dreams, etc. is a hard pill to swallow. We can’t all be super economically successful. It’s easier to attribute failure to things like lack of work ethic or bad ideas then to a lack of funds, shit luck or widespread casual racism. People may be inclined to point out exceptions and hold them up as the standard. “Oprah did it, so you have no excuse.” It glosses over the fact that there is often a perfect storm of opportunity and good luck that helps contribute to these massive success stories (Outliers makes a compelling argument for this). People can certainly face challenges and come out ahead, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s much harder to do so.

The sad thing is that even knowing all this won’t change inherit biases. The best you can do is be aware and try to catch yourself, but stuff is still going to slip through. I’ve always considered myself an open-minded rationalist, but I cringe at some of my former beliefs. If you’re trying to convince someone of a different view, being antagonistic is great way to make sure they ignore everything you say. It’s better to try to lead them in the right direction, cautiously pointing out things here and there, until they can reach their own (hopefully better) conclusion.

Researchers Use Brain Scans to Predict Response to Antipsychotic Medications

Investigators at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have discovered that brain scans can be used to predict patients’ response to antipsychotic drug treatment. The findings are published online in the latest issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Led by Anil Malhotra, MD, director of psychiatry research at Zucker Hillside Hospital and an investigator at the Feinstein Institute, and Todd Lencz, PhD, associate investigator at the Zucker Hillside Hospital and the Feinstein Institute, researchers used fMRI scans obtained before treatment to predict ultimate response to medications in patients suffering from their first episode of schizophrenia. Connectivity patterns of a region of the brain called the striatum, which tends to be atypical in patients suffering from psychotic disorders, were used to create an index. This index significantly predicted if psychotic symptoms were decreased in the studies’ patients. What’s even more significant is that the researchers applied this index to confirm their results in a separate group of patients with more chronic illness – those who were hospitalized for psychotic symptoms. They found that treatment outcome could be predicted in the replication group as well.

    Deepak K. Sarpal, Miklos Argyelan, Delbert G. Robinson, Philip R. Szeszko, Katherine H. Karlsgodt, Majnu John, Noah Weissman, Juan A. Gallego, John M. Kane, Todd Lencz, Anil K. Malhotra. Baseline Striatal Functional Connectivity as a Predictor of Response to Antipsychotic Drug Treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2015; appi.ajp.2015.1 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.1412157

    u ever have someone keep coming back to u but u know it’s bc they think ur convenient while they try to see where it goes with person xyz???? like man nvm u respecting me enough to know I deserve more than that bullshit but have some respect for person xyz and urfuckingself u pathetic piece of shit lol AND ITS FUNNY BC THEY THINK U DONT KNOW BUT U KNOW BC U BE KNOWIN!!!!!

    Different Intracranial Hematoma

    The cause of intracranial bleeding (hemorrhage) usually is a head injury, often resulting from automobile, motorcycle or bicycle accidents, falls, assaults, and sports injuries. Mild head trauma is more likely to cause a hematoma if you’re an older adult, especially if you’re taking an anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin. You can have a serious injury even if there’s no open wound, bruise or other outward sign of damage.

    A hematoma may occur as a subdural hematoma, an epidural hematoma or an intraparenchymal hematoma.

    #hematoma #hemorrhage #brain #neurology #neurologist #neurosurgeon #neuroscience #surgery #surgeon #usmle #usmlestep2ck #doctor #doctordconline #physiology #pathology #nhs #nurse #nursing #paramedics #medicine #medlife #medschool #medstudent

    Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.