Neuroeconomics series part 1: Why we want what we want

Neuroeconomics series part 1: Why we want what we want.


I am doing this course also ūüôā

via Neuroeconomics series part 1: Why we want what we want.


A look at narcissism

Aloha and warm wishes everyone

After writing the blogs about the selfies and narcissism, I am concentrating on this blog post mainly about further thoughts on narcissism.

Looking through various studies about this dysfunctional personality, one thing is clear to me as it is the onset being some sort of emotional wound they experienced. ¬†It was so bad that they had to resort to manipulation of others to get rid of this pain and through constant usage of this “coping mechanism”, they seem to have done two things:

  • Changed the structure of their brain – the empathic areas of the brain have just withered away.
  • There is a mechanism akin to a drug addiction in operation in their brains.

Vamp psychopath

This picture is about how the narcissist takes your energy to get their “high” amongst other things.

Combine these major aspects together, and you will be able to see the reason why these “people” – I do that because they appear to be dead emotionally, do what they do to get this “high” they get.

A lot of people reading this will either have thoughts of, “Well, they can’t be that bad!” or listening to the media with sensitising things. ¬†As I have personally been a target of a narcissist, this is usually where people switch off and say, I have no psychology qualifications and am not a doctor. ¬†I do however have a MSc which has some social science and an intermediate 2 in Psychology and studying for my higher, I know it is not a degree, but I also have an interest in neuroscience and all this combined gives me a good base to have an informed opinion on this subject matter, both as someone who has been on the other end, and in the clinical setting.

In my next blog on narcissism, I will discuss the psychological research on this Class B Personality Disorder. ¬†But this blog is about my own personal thoughts on this not very well known sociopathy. ¬†To those who have been affected by the smearing and the general fall out of the predator aspect of narcissism – if you threaten them in being good at doing something or being well liked, then expect them to sabotage your career and make people think you are a psycho. ¬†Just pure projection and it hits you even worse as you didn’t do anything wrong, just be a target of a predator who hurts to make themselves feel better.


This is how I personally felt about formally reporting my own incidence of this. ¬†I didn’t ask for it, yet “It takes two to tango” came up.

I will go more into the psychology and science in the next blog.

Until next time


Narcissism and Selfies (part 2)

Welcome back to the two blog analysis of selfies and narcissism.

In the first part, we looked over NSI and learning by imitation as well as a brief introduction into narcissism.

Freud’s ID – Superego – Ego theory

This is perhaps the best way of explaining about the basic theory of why narcissism came about.


  • This is the primitive part of the mind, which always wants.
  • This is present from birth.
  • Demands satisfaction.
  • Termed the pleasure principle.


  • This is the conscious part of the mind.
  • This grows as the child grows.
  • This is the person’s rationale between morality and pleasure, and can also be where the person’s defence mechanisms are.
  • Termed the Reality Principle.


  • Controls the ID.
  • The last to develop.
  • Knows the difference between right and wrong.
  • Nudges the personality to behave appropriately.
  • It is the little voice in the head, which is our conscience.
  • Morality Principle.

If you do a psychology course, you are likely to see this video explaining these principles. ¬†It looks like something from the 1970’s, but it helps to get the point across.

In narcissistic people, they have an over riding ID and their morality principle seems to not be there.

Development of the self

Somewhere in the development of the self, in between childhood and adolescence.  We are most likely to see the narcissist start their programming, (both male and female gender can be narcissistic).  If a child is following the normal developmental stages.


First, the newborn in the first few months comes to realise that its body is separate from other people and ¬†their environment ¬† Jean Piaget, a Swiss researcher, claims from his research that babies explore their environments to build an internal map, or, self schema using psychological terminology. ¬†After the baby has gone through this, they then start to go through self recognition of themselves. ¬†This can be supported by research by Lewis & Brooks – Gunn using the “Rouge Test”, which was published in 1979.

Children of various ages, 9 to 24 months were placed in front of a mirror and their actions to the following were observed. ¬†The mothers pretended to wipe dirt of the child’s nose, but, they applied some rouge onto the child’s nose instead. ¬†The child was then placed in front of the mirror and observed their reactions. ¬†Babies aged from 9 – 14 months, they thought their image was another baby. ¬†Babies aged from 15 – 17, some babies did realise the baby in the mirror was them, and, finally, the 18 – 24 month old children knew that the baby in the mirror was them.


This is the period of life where the most development occurs and most likely when the child starts to be programmed for narcissism. ¬†The first step is self –¬†definition, this is when language gets used with and by the child. ¬†This gives the child self awareness, as well as being their own person. ¬†Names during this section can make or break a child, which is also known as¬†self fulfilling prophecy. ¬†It is rather rather uncomfortable knowing that even in this stage of life, children can¬†get expectations about themselves from outside sources. ¬†This sounds like a time for the development of narcissism, how for will your parents push you to be successful?

The next step is the development of the categorical self , this means that the child is starting to notice ways in themselves that they differ to the other children around them.  Things like age and gender are first and then things like eye colour and hair colour are used.

The last two steps of childhood, the¬†psychological self, and the¬†development¬†of self esteem, are two big contributing factors to the onset of the disordered mind seen in psychopathy as a whole. ¬†Flavell in 1978 obtain research evidence that a child as young as 4 can often develop a concept of a¬†private, thinking self that other people can’t see. ¬†This is the development of a mind, which is to see and understand the mental states of other people. ¬†Piaget, however discussed that in early childhood, children were still¬†egocentric, this means that a child can only see from their own point of view.

Evidence for egocentrism came from his (Piaget’s) three mountain problem – if you study psychology, this will be in your course. ¬†Piaget made 3 paper mache mountains – 2 small and 1 large ones. ¬†Which looked liked the digram below:

As you can see in the picture above, a child was placed on one side of the table, and a doll on the other. ¬†The child was then given pictures of different viewpoints of the model above, and they had to pick which of the pictures they could see. ¬†The results were that younger children in the study chose the pictures of what they could see at the time themselves of the model. ¬†This is therefore research evidence that young children can not think about the model from another person’s standpoint. ¬†However, although useful, this study set up has been criticised for being too complex for young children. ¬†This is also evidence that this could be the age were some of the narcissist’s self importance and the inability of taking into considering other people’s viewpoints come in.

The last and probably the most noticeable of the psychopath / narcs traits is the follow.  In older children, there is development of self esteem.  This is where a child begins to evaluate themselves.


By this time, the psychopathic pathways will have been formed and the child will be starting to practice the activities which will remain with them for life.  Interesting this can also be the period of life when there are more selfies.

Emphasis on how you interact with other people, lesser comparison with other people – although in today’s society it seems to be rife not better, an increased need for self reflection, body image is more prominent – and n therefore anorexia and bullemia nervosii can occur.

It is interesting to see how society is away from these researched norms. ¬†Body image giving rise to eating disorders, not a lot of self reflection occurring in the young, a sense of entitlement and “me me me”. ¬†Would it exaggerate the already psychologically disordered’s situation or hide it? ¬†Society has changed to be more narcissistic and psychopath “friendly” in the last 20 or so years. ¬†Selfies and psychopaths will only be more in the population, rather than hiding, they are coming out of the shadows so to speak.

I will have a more generalised look at narcissism and psychopathy in another blog post.  In the meantime feel free to share, like and comment on the two pages of this blog.

See you in the next post.

Selfie and the rise of the narcissist, or, is it narcissists bring rise to the selfie?

Hello everyone

I was just reading this article Рclick me , and noting that there is a rise in the number of people with this personality disorder.

I am sure most people reading this blog is noticing the teens of this age are self absorbed people glued to their phones, (there are still teens who are not like this ūüėČ ). ¬†Narcissism is actually defined by this:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. Narcissists may concentrate on unlikely personal outcomes (e.g., fame) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. Related Personality Disorders: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic. Narcissism is a less extreme version of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissism involves cockiness, manipulativeness, selfishness, power motives, and vanity-a love of mirrors. Related personality traits include: Psychopathy, Machiavellianism.

Ref. no (1)

We can see that narcissism is a bit more than what the first article was saying. ¬†With the rise of shows like X ¬†Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice here in the UK. ¬†You have to wonder about society feeding the younger generation about this behaviour. ¬†Another thing, which may or may not be linked to this phenomena is the sexualisation of pre – puberty girls. ¬†And I do not mean those mums who have them going to mini beauty contests a la in the states. ¬†A paper by the Australian Psychological Society in 2013 (2) . ¬†The paper had a look at how the media represents the under age children and gives guidelines to how the media should behave.

We have seen all the images of wafer thin models (with or without photoshop), and know about the presence of anorexia Рnervosa friendly sites on the internet to encourage young girls to lose unrealistic weights.  In a psychological viewpoint, girls are diagnosed with anorexia with the following symptoms:

  • Severely restricted food intake.
  • Weight lost which makes the anorexic person 85% lower than their expected medical weight.
  • Distortion of body image.
  • Fear of becoming fat.
  • Seriousness of the unhealthy weight loss is ignored.
  • Amenorrhoea or periods stop, a lapse of a miss of 3 or more menses phases.

This occurs mainly in adolescent girls who are between the ages of 15 – 17 mainly, although males can suffer from anorexia.


Although anorexia and selfies seem a world apart, they are not really.  Both seem to have a VERY strong element of conformity added to them.  There are 3 different types of conformity:

  1. Compliance – Publicly conform, but keep own views.
  2. Identification – Conform to group, whilst you are in the group.
  3. Internalisation – Complete conversation of private ideas to match your peers.

So, these peer groups are online, the media and schoolmates etc.  And the selfie song which is at the start of the blog post, is such case of the media.   There are two big mechanisms of conformity, one called Informational Social Influence (ISI) and is about knowing you are right.  The other type of confirmity is Normative Social Influence (NSI).  The type of conformity we are going to discuss is NSI.

NSI and  Bandura

NSI is the main one involved for us, and characterised by the following:

  • Conform in order to be accepted and liked by the group.
  • Following the crowd.
  • ¬†Change behaviour, not point of view in peer group.

This can also bring thoughts of the Bandura Bobo Doll experiment in a961.  (3)   This was when there was different groups of young children watching a video of adults hitting a bobo doll with a hammer.  As a result, children were imitating their adult peers hitting the bobo doll.

This theory shows us that people often observe and imitate their peers. ¬†So when you see a group of “lads” acting the fool, it maybe that they are all showing some imitation learning.

In part 2, Narcissism will be looked at in more detail to finish off this blog on selfies and narcissism.

Feel free to like this comment on facebook, share and comment on this blog.


1.  (last accessed 17 /04 /14 @ 16:35 BST).

2.  1. Cupit G, Ungerer J, Scuderi C, Sutton J, Bastian B, Nielsen M, et al. Media Representations and Responsibilities : Psychological Perspectives. 2013;(March).

3. (accessed 18/04/14 @ 0043 BST)