Category Archives: Personality Tests

About woo-ism, psychiatric symptoms and immune system disturbances

Autoimmune and inflammatory activities in the brain seem to be linked with psychiatric symptoms. Have a look at this article: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/25/451169292/could-depression-be-caused-by-an-infection

I even suspect there may be a positive correlation between woo-ism (believing woo experiences must be true/genuine/real phenomena PLUS also displaying a higher disposition towards experiencing such paranormal – and psychic – phenomena).

It’s undeniable that there exists an overlap between mental and physical illness. They have many symptoms in common.

Furthermore, lately researchers have detected a network of vessels that seem to be able to directly connect the brain with the immune system, so it’s not farfetched to assume that neuroinflammatory and/or neurodegenerative diseases are associated with immune system dysfunction.

For details, see: http://www.nature.com/articles/nature14432.epdf?referrer_access_token=M_gEqyTF4woL1TO0pPtt_dRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0PP9svrp_06Oir1YyDWe7ejvVLL2VbrH_EwNtYJfrQFs76c429WdrHUa3kC6-ROdf0a_sf0Wq3y-_lXvDuWqqE81teEmgu9jJgiCo644XrZpoQFLHRhQL_oQbZPSnuILCbsmK4rEXRW91jKrI6Im8RIguooFs6WobJt6z2yuX7A2pJD0k4VDG0jAeie6V4PmjIrmox96-6NYWQfQMxCVLxb&tracking_referrer=www.npr.org .

There are also many indications that stressors of any kind, especially in childhood, can activate our immune system. A hyperactive immune system alarm goes hand in hand with autoimmune diseases. And woo believers are known to have more autoimmune disorder diagnoses than non-woo believers.

Examples of such stressors are physical abuse, sexual abuse, feelings of neglect and grief, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, and much more. A childhood full of stressors like these might pave the ground for woo beliefs later on.

This finding is, in turn, completely compatible with the positive correlation between woo believers and mental disorders like depression, GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. And those diagnoses are, in turn, suspected to be caused, partly, by an infection that has activated the immune-inflammatory system of their bodies.

So it’s easy to imagine that both stressors (like those I just mentioned) and Infections during childhood – maybe already in the womb – might work in concert with genetics to make that individual (already as a fetus) sensitive to not only psychosocial factors but also to become prone to believe in, and experience, paranormal phenomena.

BTW, Here’s a book I can recommend to all those interested in the woo-personality traits: http://www.davidritchey-author.com/hoa.htm .

The author David Ritchey summarizes his findings here: http://www.davidritchey-author.com/hoa-findings.htm . The following six points are listed (especially point #5 is of extra interest here):

1. Various factors including Biology (“nature”), Trauma and Abuse (“nurture”) and Temperament Type Preferences (“personality”) can predispose an individual to be an Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP).

2. If an individual is anomalously sensitive in one realm (the “Physiological,” for example), s/he is very likely to be anomalously sensitive in the other realms (“Cognitive,” “Emotional,” “Altered States of Consciousness” and “Transpersonal Experiences”) as well.

3. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: be female, be hypopigmented (blond hair/blue eyes), be Non-Right-Handed (left-handed or ambidextrous), be artists, be born as one of a set of twins/triplets/etc. and have an other-than-conventionally heterosexual sexual orientation.

4. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have an Introverted (rather than Extraverted) Orientation, have a preference for an Intuitive (rather than Sensate) mode of Perceiving and have a preference for a Feeling (rather than Thinking) mode of Judging.

5. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have unusually sensitive immune systems, be highly reactive/responsive to sensory stimuli, exhibit learning/attention styles that differ from the norm, be very attuned to the emotions of both themselves and others, be especially facile at accessing Altered States of Consciousness and to frequently have Transpersonal (“metaphysical,” “paranormal,” “psychic”) Experiences.

6. The HISS data support the position of those negativists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of temporo-limbic epilepsy. The HISS data also support the position of those positivists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of kundalini arousal. The HISS data also support those who have no position and hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of anomalous sensitivity.

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Filed under Brain, Cognitive flaws, Delusions, Evolution, Genetics, Gods, Hallucinations, Neuroscience, Personality Tests, Priming processes, Psychiatry, Psychology, Reason vs. Faith a.k.a. Sense vs. Sensibility, Religion, Soul, Woo, Woo-Personality

A paper showing a link between belief in gods and intolerance of strangers (outside your own group). LESS belief in gods equals MORE tolerant behavior towards strangers (immigrants).

By directing magnetic force – so-called TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – towards the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) of the brain, scientists from the University of York have found a relatively strong link between religious faith and intolerance. Anyone surprised?

The targeted region of the brain is associated with detecting and solving problems that threaten the individual’s security. The threat in this study was being reminded of death and mortality. Thinking of death and mortality normally lead to stronger beliefs in divine beings and afterlife.

But after the targeted brain region – pMFC – was temporarily shut down, the subjects were instead less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas. In fact, they reported 32.8 per cent less belief in God, angels, or heaven after having their pMFC turned down! And at the same time they were also 28.5 per cent more positive in their feelings towards an immigrant who before the TMS treatment had criticised and derogated their native country.

The explanation? People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems. That is, they embrace – by trial and error learning and/or priming – a system of ideas and ideals, and this system then becomes their primary tool to reduce the fear factor (anxiety)  in their lives. Individuals of the same group (community) often learn from each other how to handle what causes fear and/or anxiety (in this case initiated by worry of death/mortality).

So belief in divine beings – as well as intolerance towards strangers threatening the harmony witihin a group of people – can be seen as a spin-off effect from ordinary problem solving. 

Read more about this interesting experiment here: http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/09/03/scan.nsv107.abstract (or here: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0kj9w0km#page-1 ).

Finally the abstract:


People cleave to ideological convictions with greater intensity in the aftermath of threat.
The posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) plays a key role in both detecting discrepancies between desired and current conditions and adjusting subsequent behavior to resolve such conflicts.Building on prior literature examining the role of the pMFC in shifts in relatively low-level decision processes, we demonstrate that the pMFC mediates adjustments in adherence to political and religious ideologies.

We presented participants with a reminder of death and a critique of their in-group ostensibly written by a member of an out-group, then experimentally decreased both avowed belief in God and out-group derogation by down-regulating pMFC activity via transcranial magnetic stimulation.

The results provide the first evidence that group prejudice and religious belief are susceptible to targeted neuromodulation, and point to a shared cognitive mechanism underlying concrete and abstract decision processes.

We discuss the implications of these findings for further research characterizing the cognitive and affective mechanisms at play.

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Filed under Atheism, Brain, Delusions, Evolution, Gods, Mind, Neuroscience, Personality Tests, Philosophy, Priming processes, Psychiatry, Psychology, Religion, Soul

Many woos, both magical believers and (pseudo)religious ones, are INFJ, or INFP, according to the MBTI Personality Test.

Earlier today I wrote a blog post, in which I focused the woo-personality.

I mentioned that according to a personality test called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Test many woos tend to end up -or should I instead perhaos write come out – as INFJs.

This four-letter combination INFJ is one of the 16 possible personaliity outcomes in the MBTI test. 

This test is based on C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological type. It shows/reports your preferences on four scales.

Each scale represents two opposite preferences.

The four letters are said to make up your personality type, which in turn can help you understand yourself and your interactions with others.

If you want more detailed information, read about the eight letters used in the MBTI test, and their sixteen possible 4-letter-combinations, here: http://davidmarkley.com/personality/letters.htm .

Or here: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/ .

If you already know what personality type you are, read more here: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.htm 

Like I said in the earlier blog post, many woos get this 4-letter combination: INFJ. 

An INFJ person often seeks meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. He – or more common she – wants to understand what motivates people. They are often also insightful about others. They act conscientiously and are committed to their firm values. 

Typically, they develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. The see themselves as chosen ones, i.e. they experience that they have been granted to look into other dimensions and realities. 

Therefore they tend to dislike skeptics and others who don’t share their view of what life is and what the “destiny” of humankind is (according to the hiddenly plan that once was implemented by the Cosmic Intelligence, God or what you prefer toll call that force and power. 

INFJs are usually strongly committed to fulfill what they consider their Cosmic Intelligence once decided for them and their life journey. Therefore they act in an organized way and are decisive in implementing their vision(s).  For INFJs the destination of their life journey tend to be more important than the journey itself (cf. the concept of karma). 

Just a few – between 2 and 3 – percent of the population are INFJs. 

The same goes for those with an INFP-personality. Just 2-3 percent of the population are

INFPs constitute the other big woo-ish personality group in the MBTI test,  Usually they are described as Idealistic and known for their loyalty to their sacrosanct values and to people who play an important role for them in their lives.

They strive to make their own “external” life congruent with their “internal” (i.e. inner and more or less sacrosanct) life values. 

Other people often describe INFPs as curious, open-minded people, wanting to explore all kinds of life’s (and afterlife’s) possibilities, Like other sectarian people they act politely as long as they don’t feel being under attack (they often wish each other “Peace & Love” when meeting and upon leaving). 

In their lives they are constantly striving and trying to reach their life goals (often they feel or experience that those life goals have been given them by a kind of HCA (Hidden Causal Agent) a.k.a. the “Cosmic Intelligence”; they dislike and even avoid using the word “God” when talking of this HCA that rules ther life. Most of the time, INFPs aim at fulfilling their own life potential. That’s why the life journey itself seems to be so important to them, sometimes often more significant than the life goals themselves. 

If their sacrosanct life values are threatened, for instance by a skeptic or an afterlife denier, the INFPs quickly kiss goodbye to their “Peace & Love”-greetings and try instead to diminish and denigrate their opponents. 

BTW, that’s probably why I am hated by so many woos. both the magical and (pseudo)religious ones. Just a little more than a week ago one religious woo, believing in Allah, told me he wanted to cut my throat off in order to stop my blasphemous way of debating religious issues. 

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Filed under Delusions, Gods, Personality Tests, Psychology, Religion, Woo, Woo-Personality