Psychology is a nefarious field of study. When I was in college, my Psych 150 class was an introduction into B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism. We worked with rats.
Skinner believed that people, like animals, could be trained with incentives and disincentives. The rats were given water for just one hour and deprived of it for 23 hours. They were then placed in a Skinner Box with a lever that the rat would have to pull down on in order to get the water. Getting the rat to pull down on the lever was the trick.
It didn’t take time to realize that people aren’t rats. They work with an entirely different set of incentive factors. People do things to be liked, to prove something, or, in the case of people who have an ax to grind, to do what normal people would consider to be irrational.
President Obama seems to have an ax to grind about American exceptionalism. As a result, conservatives view his actions and attitudes to be irrational. They’re not. He knows exactly what he’s doing. What looks like insanity to us, is pure reason for him. It’s the same for all narcissists.
Unfortunately, such a view of the world in the President of the United States has an effect beyond the personal. It affects all of us…
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