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The influence of environment in individual decision making

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posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 10:13 AM
A thread was started on this subject, but unfortunately, the article used to get the discussion started was written by someone who subsequently had a controversy arise about them, so the topic has been obscured by that controversy.

I would like to attempt again to discuss this subject, without reference to that particular article.

Many posters expressed having experienced totally different thinking processes in choice making while in a state of poverty- logic isn't the same as when you are comfortable. Priorities aren't the same. It seems to me that there are often misunderstandings between people in these different situations- poor people who assume erroneous ideas and motives to the wealthy, and vice-versa.

Like I brought up the problem of young women and girls getting pregnant in difficult financial situations- which cannot be summed up to one motive, surely, but one that I experienced and that I know other women have too, is having a very difficult life (physically and emotionally) without some sort of family or social support makes the need for affectionate contact with other humans almost overwhelming. It can be impossible to think straight in a state of such distraught loneliness and stress.

Sex drive is often pointed at as not being controlled then- but I think that is a mistake- at least for many women. To have affectionate contact with another human does not necessarily mean sex. Although, many males will demand sex in exchange for such contact and relation.

One way of exiting that exchange is to have a child, which one can have an affectionate relationship with, and NOT be required to have sex! I was young and in a state of poverty, and I did have a child, and that pretty much enabled me to cut all men from my life for a few years. Of course, the child needed a roof, and food and security provided- and that was fine for me. I need all that anyway, but found it hard to really slave away for it when it is only me to consider. Doing things for others, I find much more motivational and gratifying.

I didn't eat any sugar or junk food.With only fifty bucks a month to eat, I had powdered milk, rice, and lettuce. But I had problems with hypoglycemia and being underweight. That's no big deal. But the fact is, there isn't a way to be healthy and fit when you are poor. That is a myth.

As my situation changed with time (and I am now probably what I would once call "rich") I observed the way my thoughts, emotions, values and priorities changed. It wasn't always an easy transition. I still find myself stuck in "poor people" mode way too often. The contrast is striking. I am forced to consciously acknowledge what is stable and attained and what I can move on to, without guilt or worry.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

has always struck me as pretty accurate, at least from what I have experienced.

I also feel that the american culture and values have drifted so far from recognizing our needs as social creatures... and even as I do not wish to suggest it should slide into socialism or communism, I think it would be beneficial if we could recognize a bit more those parts of our humanism.

What do you think?
What has been your experience and conclusions?

posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 10:20 AM
I entirely agree with you. I have experienced both being rich and being dirt poor. I went from rich to poor though. Thanks for getting straight to the point and posting the hierarchy of needs link.

I would say that the two factors that influence my decision making more than anything else, even my own free will, would be environmental factors and chemical factors. The chemical factors could be something like diet, or pharmaceuticals, for example.

Also very good - thank you for the perspective on being poor and female. Even being a guy, I have experienced similar emotions to the ones you are expressing.

What I take from this is that we need to focus on the hierarchy of needs more. And that means moving away from socialism to a society where people are able to earn enough money on their own to be well off. I find it very uncomfortable to have to depend on the government for support.

There should be a safety net, with the addition of positive programs put in place to allow for personal growth -


I don't know what to say about the gender relations part. A lot of that comes back to the chemicals influencing behavior I mentioned earlier. So although I agree that it would be nice if guys (including myself) were able to hang out as friends with girls, I'm not sure that is necessarily realistic :/

You know what, it might be realistic, but definitely not in all cases - a guy might even want it, but be unable to know how to do it.


But there definitely need to be some social changes, I think - I don't like the idea of guys and girls getting married and the girl having no say.

However, I also know there is evidence that shows that divorced parents have a higher chance of their kids being divorced, and that getting a divorce has a negative effect on children psychologically. I also know that being a single mother has an effect on the personal finances of yourself and your child - as well as I know there is evidence that being a single guy reduces the wealth of the guy considerably.

So all of this points to benefits from stable family life. At the moment, I'm not dating anyone because I don't want to risk the repercussions from a snap break-up, divorce, or cheating.


There are probably other guys like me out there who are not risking being in a relationship or even getting intimate or having friends with girls because there is too much of a risk.

Is that selfish that I refuse to be involved with someone before I know if I'm going to end up wasting my time and being hurt? Is it selfish that I am holding back having sex or a relationship because I want to make sure that the child would come into the world alive and experience a positive and stable home life first?

I also know that research shows that having multiple sexual partners has a detrimental psychological effect on both the male and female involved. So is it selfish if I am holding back getting into a relationship because most girls I talk to insist on it not being exclusive?

I dunno.
edit on 05amThu, 05 Dec 2013 10:39:28 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 05amThu, 05 Dec 2013 10:40:47 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 05amThu, 05 Dec 2013 10:44:14 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 10:45 AM

One way of exiting that exchange is to have a child, which one can have an affectionate relationship with, and NOT be required to have sex! I was young and in a state of poverty, and I did have a child, and that pretty much enabled me to cut all men from my life for a few years

What do you think?
What has been your experience and conclusions?

Starting with my childhood as an only male child of a mother who more or less followed a similar path. She didn't cut men from her life... more like created a bubble around me so that I never got to know any very well. Step father made a big difference.


My natural masculinity was locked away in a box and never given back. It's very confusing to be confidently hetero with a woman's play book and TV male stereotypes running in your brain. A play book designed to avoid men and male sexuality while idolizing women as needing protection at all times at all costs.

She didn't mean to leave such an impression. She didn't understand what my idealistic kid brain was interpreting everything as, and vice versa. What parent really does, especially the first time?

I've had to reinvent it from the ground up... because my mom's mannerisms and deeply embedded attitudes were driving woman away. I didn't act, sound, or move feminine. I just *thought* like her while barely comprehending my father(s).

It was effectively a mental neutering... but with the physical/emotional drive still intact. Think of a car in constant maximum engine rev but the brakes holding the car firmly at the starting line. Southern Baptist towns compounded that, heh.

Thankfully I've avoided a Norman Bates life and have had a fantastic adulthood. By high school the apron strings were being cut with some assistance by a step father who could see what was happening... so I've had a lot of time to readjust. I've spoken with both my mother and step father and they agree that without him arriving my path was much scarier looking.

As it is I've still got some hangups and those continue to improve with the help of a very patient partner... who kinda has her own quirks in her own way so we balance each other. But we've also been lucky relative to many we grew up with in similar environments but yet to find someone that helps them balance and adjust. Many are with people who amplify the imbalance because it's more familiar.

Dunno what that adds or detracts from the thread, but felt is was relevant. The boys and girls that grew up in the latchkey single mom world of the 70's and especially 80's/90's... are only just now reaching a level of maturity that can really communicate and elucidate with some degree of wisdom on what that environment was like and the variety of ripple effects we've all been working with since.

Thank you for sharing and your honesty. My mother and I have rebuilt a new relationship and friendship in the past decade and it's great... but it took a lot of wall shattering and rebuilding that wasn't always easy. I've also been building a relationship with my blood and step fathers over time... but that didn't require tearing anything down first. Just opening up.

Who knows though... perhaps it was exactly what we needed to become the best versions of ourselves we can be.

Which brings us back to

edit on 5-12-2013 by BardingTheBard because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 11:31 AM
reply to post by darkbake

I have no answers or judgements to make upon your particular experiences , but I really appreciate your sharing them!
It gives more rich food for thought and consideration.

I didn't like getting welfare aid, and got off as soon as possible. Though at some point, it is sometimes needed, I just wish we could look deeper into the reasons we end up at that point.

In my current environment and situation, I am surrounded with a lot of very tightly knit families- relatives that stay together and live near each other and are very involved in each others lives. This was something I was not familiar with growing up. One of the correlations i notice is the the young people and their different approach to love and romantic relationships. They don't dramatize them. The boyfriend/girlfriend is not the center of their universe and attention; there is not passionate break ups and make ups.

I watch this with curiosity and it seems like having a secure family behind you makes the difference.
There is not such a big risk, and less fear of being hurt seems to mean less of it actually happening.

I dunno either.

But it hit me that my thinking long ago was something like this-
I don't have a family, I have no people, I have no clan. Instead of crying about that and trying to find it in others, I will simply make my own.

And so I did. I've always been an entrepreneur. That was encouraged in my education.

posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 11:33 AM
Very good thread. S&F.

When we get money we change our diet, eating things we did not eat before. The new foods were rarely eaten by our parents and grandparents either. The treat we had before is now a common food in our diet. This can cause problems both in health and mental health. Our genetics are not accustomed to so much change so fast and this causes us problems. We do not notice that our wellbeing has been compromised. It is gradual.

I thought I could eat anything, and this was true when I was younger and working hard. It took a toll on my body though, it wore through my ability to heal from constantly being wore out. It depleted the reserves of things in my body and the foods I was eating weren't replenishing them....I screwed up and ate the expensive poison.

Now that I am eating like I did when I was poorer, I am feeling better. When our environment changes we get messed up. Just because someone in Hawaii can eat something every day because they have been eating it for generations, doesn't mean I can eat it.

This new knowledge helps me think better. I constantly monitor how well I can think and what food causes it. The problem is that if I eat the wrong food and experience a dumbing down, I don't always remember what I ate that caused it. That sucks.

I don't know if this is relevant to the thread. It is about environmental changes effecting us so I guess it is.

posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by BardingTheBard

Wow, yeah. I understand. I have a son, who is an adult now. Luckily for him, I met my husband when he was two years old, and he quickly became his father figure- having a masculine presence and influence probably saved him in many ways, though the fusional relationship my son and I had did cause both of us some pain to balance out. Especially in his teen years.

I have always had an appreciation for the masculine, but honestly, my natural sensitivity and empathy never would have allowed me to teach him the value of things like oppositional relation, which his stepfather did.

I admit now that my choice was not the best, especially for him... but on the other hand, I can also remember that these emotional issues in face of my situation made it impossible for me to see that far. I did the best I could- I was trying to make good decisions... laziness and being uncaring was not the reason for my choices.

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:53 AM
reply to post by rickymouse

My experience was that I was very thin and undernourished when poor, and am getting plumper as my financial security increased. I don't eat fast or junk food, but we go out to restaurants a lot.

The only time I ever started to eat junk food, I was working a job that I hated and that bored me to death. I think I was depressed. When junk food stopped helping, I began smoking.
As soon as I quit the job, I stopped all that too.

I remember that I was having trouble putting one foot ahead of the other without the promise of some sort of gratification ahead. The idea of living the rest of my life in the hellish job drove me insane.
People telling me I would die sooner because I was smoking just made me laugh- that was part of the interest in doing so!

posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 09:00 AM
reply to post by Bluesma

If you eat in restaurants a lot, it is not good. They use a lot of glutamates to attract people to their foods. Especially in some higher end restaurants. The free glutamates can bring up blood pressure and also can cause the destruction of glutamate receptors on the cells. What happens is that if there is an excess of free glutamates, the receptor numbers reduce because they are not needed. Say you have three on a cell, and all that is needed is one, the receptors will be lowered to one with the high free glutamates, if the receptor screws up then, the cell dies.

If you get a lot of cells with less than normal receptors, you then need high amounts of glutamates for them to work right. Glutamates are neurochemicals by the way. There are many of them. So now you are dependant or addicted to these chemicals. The only way to fix the problem is to slowly reduce consumption over a long period of time and hope that new cells can replace the ones without enough receptors. Working on lowered receptors make it hard to have energy.

Beer and booze contain tyramines, an interchangable chemical with glutamates. Tyramines can also cause this. The distinct flavor of beer or booze is the tyramine signiture. Both excessive glutamates and tyramines can cause high blood pressure, it has to do with their effect on blood vessel diameter. Booze isn't as bad though because the alcohol stimulates the liver and kidneys to work harder so it kind of balances out unless you drink a lot.

I'm a little tired, I couldn't fall asleep last night, my mind was whizzing from too much coffee at pinnacle last night. So my info above may be a little scrambled.

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