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QuickSilver1024

Human Isolation

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Im doing an essay on human isolation, and I need some help in writing it. All I need is your comments and ideas.

 

When I say human isolation, I mean a complete isolation from humans, rite after birth till death. What will it do to this human? His instincts, his mind, his movements, will it be any different than our own? Will this human act like our ancesters? The effects on this human when its a baby (nobody to learn off of) Will he know how to express his feelings? (facial expressions) If he even knows how. And effects during teenage and adulthood. Will puberty hit sooner or later compared to us? How would he be different? Physically and mentally. And what will happen if this human come face to face with another human. How will he react?

 

Please reply with your comments and ideas

 

Theres whole bunch of other questions that should be pretty obvious, please include them in your reply

 

Thanx

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fafalone    120

What environment is this person isolated in? If it were in the wild, I suspect instincts would play a larger role than in society. Puberty would hit when it did with our ancestors; as its onset is influenced by nutrition. Language skills would certainly not develop. Facial expressions of emotion would be retained; as these exist due to evolutionary advantage.

If this person came face to face with another human, it would not be a big deal since it's also an evolutionary advantage to act favorably in encounters with ones own species and their wouldn't be resource competition to stimulate otherwise.

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fafalone    120

Unlikely, a few thousand years of civilization haven't erased millions of years of evolution.

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fafalone    120

One can assume the idea of this paper goes to assuming the child made it functional age, since no teacher, anywhere, ever, would assign an essay intended to be answered by one sentence.

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you guys are harsh.... :-( im just a normal 15 year old....NORMAL is the key word there

Its effects of isolation. Not whether or not this person actually makes it to watever age.

Also, wat instincts are already programmed into our head? Which ones do we have to learn?

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fafalone    120

Well if they're dead, whether their body is isolated or not won't really have too much of an effect on them.

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Matzi    10

One former emperor tried this and isolated two children. They both died (I've already mentioned this somewhere else, I think).

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Radical Edward    204
Originally posted by fafalone

One can assume the idea of this paper goes to assuming the child made it functional age, since no teacher, anywhere, ever, would assign an essay intended to be answered by one sentence.

 

perhaps the students would get top marks for pointing out the obvious, much in the same way a couple of notorious philosophy students did.

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Brittaney    10

human isolation affects people not only on a social level... but on a mental level as well. isolation would affect the way that person thinks. people tend to regress when isolated go back to their barbaric roots. they lose all sense of humanity compassion and reason. and survival becomes their first priority... i kinda rambled just now but i hope it helps... even in the slightest

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1veedo    11

C'mon you guys do know he's assuming the child is fed and everything. Social isolation is the key word here. There is a plethora of research abotu this. Many developmental theories rely on social development which is impossible if the child is isolated. (eg George Herbert's social self and Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development)

 

The beginning of chapter 3 in my sociology book Society 8 ed is a story about a girl named Anna who was isolated from birth till age five. Anna never fully recovered. "Anna's case makes clear the fact that humans depend on others to privde the care needed not just for physical growth but for opiersonality to develop."

 

There's a lot of studies for this sort of thing done on monkeys. Look up Harry and Margaret Harlow, for instance. Completely isolation for six months damages development. If they are put in a room with a "fake" mother they fair a little better.

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psiji    10

Keep in mind that we are a very social species. We've spent nearly everyday of our lives in daily contact with other people. Attempting to put yourself in an imaginary situation where you could bear witness to such a person is a pretty difficult task to achieve. Even in cases of children being raised in some kind of isolation there has been minimal human contact (someone had to feed Anna still), or animal contact (i.e. feral children). Besides the obvious technical difficulties pointed out here, we can assume the child would be nearly mentally retarded. It seems impossible that the child would learn to feed itself. Without developing speech the child's analytic skills would be broken down into some primal instinct-driven chain of basic stimulus-response functions. This will essentially eliminate the possibility of our conception of "personality" to develop.

 

When you break it down into it's most basic level you see that personality is a collective system of responses to socio-environmental stimuli (or cues). You laugh because you find a joke funny. For other people that joke (stimuli) provides no response (laugh). There is nothing objectively inherent to a joke that makes it funny. It's a response to acquired dispositions to certain acts of behavior (laugh, get embarrassed, scold the joke-teller for utilizing dirty humor, etc.). For our fictional human a joke isn't even a stimulus. It's noise with no meaning.

 

There would be no personality. There would be no innate knowledge of personal grooming, exercise, love, etc. All of these things require some background - something to base its response on.

 

Perhaps the child could learn to feed itself, pleasure itself with genital stimulation, build very primitive shelter, and maybe use basic tools that require minimal shaping. There would be a number of instincts that could take over, but I wouldn't say with certainty what they would could be. Keep in mind, we have evolved as a social species and any instinct we may have will probably have some social conotations.

 

Either way I highly doubt anything impressing will develop. Definitely take into consideration the fact that any thought on this matter is completely theoretical. There have been no cases studies of people being raised in complete isolation.

 

Besides the clear limitations and ethical aspects of such a scenario it is a cool question and would provide and interesting thought experiment.

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1veedo    11
Either way I highly doubt anything impressing will develop. Definitely take into consideration the fact that any thought on this matter is completely theoretical. There have been no cases studies of people being raised in complete isolation.
Well you call it theoretical and to be theoretical there must necessarily be some form of evidence for the hypothesis, eg case studies. And in reality, there is external evidence, including a couple case studies, that illustrate what happens when a child is put in complete social isolation. For moral reasons we can't just stuff a baby in a closet to see what happens, but parents have put their kids in closets on their own and it is from these case studies that we know what happens when humans are isolated from social contact.

 

Furthermore, there have been numerous experiments on monkeys (and chimps for those of you who get mad when people call chimps "monkeys") that show the same results. This isn't speculation or anything. We know for a fact what happens when you isolate people. Anna is a good example.

 

"Enraged by his daughters 'illegitimate' motherhood, the grandfather did not even want the child in his house. For her first six months, Anna was shuttled among various welfare agencies. But when her mother was no longer able to pay for care, Anna returned to the hostile home of her grandfather.

 

To lessen the grandfather's anger, Anna's mother kept the child in the storage room. She gave the child just enough milk to keep her alive, but she gave her no loving attention, no smiles, month after month, with almost no human contact, for five long years.

 

When he heard about the discovery of Anna, sociologist Kingsley Davis (1040) immediately went to see the child. He found her being cared for by the local authorities at a county home. Davis was appalled by the sight of the emaciated girl, who could not laugh, speak, or even smile. Anna was completely unresponsive, as if alone in an empty world."

 

 

This is just basic sociology. When you get to college psiji (you cant be in college right now or you'd already know this), make sure you take psychology and sociology.

 

 

"Here is a horrible case of a child who was completely deprived of social contact. Although physically alive, Anna hardly seemed human. Her plight reveals that without social experience, a human being is incapable of thought, emotion, or meaningful action, seeming more an object than a person.

 

Sociologists use the term socialization to refer to the lifelong social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture. Unlike other living species, whose behavior is biologically set, humans need social experience to learn their culture and survive. Social experience is also the basis of personality, a person's fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking, and feeling. We build a personality by internalizing -- taking in -- our surroundings. But without social experience, as Annas case shows, personality simply does not develop at all."

 

...monkey experiments with the Harlows

"The rest of Anna;s story squares with the Harlow's findings. After her discovery, Anna received extensive social contact and soon showed improvement. When Kingsly Davis (1940) revisited her after ten days, he found her more alert and even smiling with obvious pleasure. Over the next year, Anna made slow but steady progress, showing more interest in other people and gradually learning to walk. After a year and a half, she could feed herself and play with toys.

 

As the Harlows might have predicted, however, Anna's five years of social isolation had caused permanent damage. At age eight, her mental development was still less of a two-uear-old. Not until she was almost ten did she begin to use words. Because Anna's mother was mentally retarded, perhaps Anna was similarly challenged. The riddle was never solved, however, because Anna died at age ten of a blood disorder, possibly related to the years of abuse she suffered (davis, 1940, 1947).

 

A more recent case of childhood isolation involves a California girl abused by her parents (Curtiss, 1977; Rymer, 1994). From the time she was two, Genie was tied to a potty chair in a dark garage. In 1970, when she was rescued at age thirteen, Genie weighed only fifty-nine pounds and had the mental development of a one-uear-old. With intensive treatment, she became physically healthy, but her language ability remains that of a young child. Today Genie lives in a home for developmentally disabled adults.

 

All evidence points to the crucial role of social experience in forming personality. Human beings can sometimes recover from abuse and isolation. Although it is unclear exactly when, there is a point at which isolation in infancy causes permanent developmental damage."

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psiji    10
Well you call it theoretical and to be theoretical there must necessarily be some form of evidence for the hypothesis, eg case studies. And in reality, there is external evidence, including a couple case studies, that illustrate what happens when a child is put in complete social isolation. For moral reasons we can't just stuff a baby in a closet to see what happens, but parents have put their kids in closets on their own and it is from these case studies that we know what happens when humans are isolated from social contact.

 

 

What? None of these studies you point on take place with children raised in complete isolation. The logical absurdity of your claim suggests you didn't understand the clear message I was pointing out. There is always some form of human contact (except in the case of feral children, which brings up a completely seperate set of questions). Someone has to feed the children (even Anna). As I said, there isn't complete isolation. If you are claiming a child can grow into an adult with complete isolation I suggest you take a basic biology or child development class.

 

Furthermore, there have been numerous experiments on monkeys (and chimps for those of you who get mad when people call chimps "monkeys") that show the same results. This isn't speculation or anything. We know for a fact what happens when you isolate people. Anna is a good example.

 

Not complete isolation.

 

"Enraged by his daughters 'illegitimate' motherhood, the grandfather did not even want the child in his house. For her first six months, Anna was shuttled among various welfare agencies. But when her mother was no longer able to pay for care, Anna returned to the hostile home of her grandfather.

 

To lessen the grandfather's anger, Anna's mother kept the child in the storage room. She gave the child just enough milk to keep her alive, but she gave her no loving attention, no smiles, month after month, with almost no human contact, for five long years.

 

"...with almost no human contact." Do you make a point of contradicting yourself when you attempt to make a point? Human contact does not equal complete isolation.

 

 

This is just basic sociology. When you get to college psiji (you cant be in college right now or you'd already know this), make sure you take psychology and sociology.

 

And your ability to waste everyone's time posting irrelevant and off-topic information with complete disregard for logical consistency some how revokes the pseudo-intellectual posts you attempt to make with references and verbatim quotes that have nothing to do with my post.

 

It's a little beyond basic psychology when you argue that personality is formed by a series of s-r laws created within the individual as a response of their genetic predispositions to their environment (= basically what I've come to find as a pretty good operation definition of personality = genes should get primacy at the most fundamental level since the existence of an environment necessarily entails the existence of genes to respond to the environment).

 

Did you pay attention to anything I posted? I highly doubt it because this post is completely irrelevant and most likely plagairized. I bet you're the type of person that finds a single sentence you don't agree with in a person's post, and without even attempting to understand the point brought up by that person you will respond with a diatribe on some irrelevant topic in hopes that quotes without a bibliography will impress those that read it to the point they assume you are correct. News break: this doesn't fly, as I'm sure you'll find this out when you get to college.

 

All evidence points to the crucial role of social experience in forming personality. Human beings can sometimes recover from abuse and isolation. Although it is unclear exactly when, there is a point at which isolation in infancy causes permanent developmental damage."

 

Once again...isolation does not equal complete isolation. I was arguing for a thought experiment in the unfeasibility of a child being raised in complete isolation. What remenants of a personality that develop in a child of some isolation (there have been no cases of complete isolation) is the byproduct from some experience with other people.

 

 

Future hint: attempt to understand something before you criticize it. If you had utilized this ability you'd see that all this bickering argued over the semantics that leads up to the following thesis we both agree upon (reread my post): social experience is necessary for personality to form.

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1veedo    11

Yes, I understand your point about complete isolation. The question isn't about being in complete isolation though because the child would, quite literally (and obviously), die. Probably because of starvation/dehydration. The question is about social isolation. These studies were studies about being socially isolated and what that does to you. This is exactly what I was talking about above; people we're thinking (and rightly so) "total isolation from right after birth.... I'd like to see a newborn baby survive alone in any environment." (Radical Edward)

 

This is what you're doing too.

What? None of these studies you point on take place with children raised in complete isolation. The logical absurdity of your claim suggests you didn't understand the clear message I was pointing out. There is always some form of human contact (except in the case of feral children, which brings up a completely seperate set of questions). Someone has to feed the children (even Anna). As I said, there isn't complete isolation. If you are claiming a child can grow into an adult with complete isolation I suggest you take a basic biology or child development class.
Well I assumed you knew what I meant. I made it very clear above that the key word was social isolation.
social experience is necessary for personality to form.
I believe this is the only correct thing you thing you've said in this entire thread.

 

If you want to talk about complete isolation, that's fine. I'm assuming complete isolation from birth leads to death. If not... that's possible, but I doubt it.

 

However, it is a straw man to equivocate complete isolation with social isolation. It may be true that the OP really meant complete and total isolation, but I'm assuming he's referring to the sort of isolation that most psychologists and sociologists talk about. If not, then my bad; I'm not always that great at reading between the lines, but I'm pretty sure this is what QuickSilver1024 was talking about. I've never read anything about "complete" isolation before in my life; the only sort of isolation I've ever read about are cases such as Anna.

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psiji    10
Yes, I understand your point about complete isolation. The question isn't about being in complete isolation though because the child would, quite literally (and obviously), die. Probably because of starvation/dehydration. The question is about social isolation. These studies were studies about being socially isolated and what that does to you. This is exactly what I was talking about above; people we're thinking (and rightly so) "total isolation from right after birth.... I'd like to see a newborn baby survive alone in any environment." (Radical Edward)

 

This is what you're doing too.Well I assumed you knew what I meant. I made it very clear above that the key word was social isolation.I believe this is the only correct thing you thing you've said in this entire thread.

 

If you want to talk about complete isolation, that's fine. I'm assuming complete isolation from birth leads to death. If not... that's possible, but I doubt it.

 

However, it is a straw man to equivocate complete isolation with social isolation. It may be true that the OP really meant complete and total isolation, but I'm assuming he's referring to the sort of isolation that most psychologists and sociologists talk about. If not, then my bad; I'm not always that great at reading between the lines, but I'm pretty sure this is what QuickSilver1024 was talking about. I've never read anything about "complete" isolation before in my life; the only sort of isolation I've ever read about are cases such as Anna.

 

 

Do you know what a straw man is? A straw man occurs when the opponent in an argument chooses to attack a position the arguer never took (or an exaggeration or silly version of the argument) most likely due (in my experience) to an inability to comprehend or objectively analyze the oppositions viewpoint.

 

My exact point of reference in my first point (which I still don't understand why you would attack considering it was the case referred to in the posting topic of this thread) was on complete isolation. I even put it in italics to prevent such a confusion from occuring. Hence, you posted a straw man in your first post in regards to my original argument.

 

Why did I come to this conclusion? How about from this obvious statement in this first post, "When I say human isolation, I mean a complete isolation from humans, rite after birth till death"

 

Reading between the lines in this case involves a thought experiment that requires complete abstraction since there are no cases of humans being raised in complete isolation due to the logical absurdity of such a claim. Thus I used a logical account of what I've learned in the past four years of research and study where I've learned and applied these concepts to the development of language, memory, semantic priming, and information retrieval/encoding, to pose a question of "what-ifs" to an interesting question (albeit a logical aburdity).

 

When you say, "I believe this is the only correct thing you thing you've said in this entire thread." I realize you really don't know shit, to put it bluntly. I'm here to learn and you have nothing for me, so get the last word in if it will somehow make you feel you have one-up on me. Oh, and if you really do have asperger's (and aren't using it as something novel you can identify with that fits well in your image as yourself as a unique intellectual - I don't know how asperger's became the trendy personality disorder of the year. I'm absolutely fascinated how it was barely unkown last year, and nowadays I run into an overabundance of pseudo intellectuals claiming they have asperger's, but that's another rant...) I suggest you practice your critical thinking skills, or all the facts, knowledge, and skills you acquire will be absolutely useless when you can't convey, understand, or take into consideration another person's (in this case, correct) viewpoint. Peace.

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1veedo    11
My exact point of reference in my first point (which I still don't understand why you would attack considering it was the case referred to in the posting topic of this thread) was on complete isolation. I even put it in italics to prevent such a confusion from occuring. Hence, you posted a straw man in your first post in regards to my original argument.
This is what I told you above. If you're talking about complete and total isolation, then we're not talking about the same thing. It is you who posted after me saying that I was wrong. The post where you "put in italics" that you were talking about complete isolation was a response to my post. A post where I had very clearly distinguished exactly what I was talking about (and even italicized the important part).

 

"C'mon you guys do know he's assuming the child is fed and everything. Social isolation is the key word here."

 

What we're looking at here are people stuffed in garages, isolated from the outside world, from spring and fall, isolated from human contact, from care and love, from TV and the media, isolated from school, and ultimately isolated from society itself. They get a bowl of milk shoved under the door every day to keep them alive. They go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without a single kiss from a loving parent. These are the cases of child abuse that we're talking about here. This is what you ignored in order to form a straw man against what I had said, for whatever reason... I assume just because you like to argue.

Why did I come to this conclusion? How about from this obvious statement in this first post, "When I say human isolation, I mean a complete isolation from humans, rite after birth till death
I'm talking about the OP. The paramount issue is that everyone was assuming the OP was referring to total isolation -- where the child would (probably) die from lack of food and water. I am merely suggesting that maybe, maybe, he was talking about social isolation (he does use the qualifier human isolation after all). This in and of itself is a completely different issue from the validity of my posts.

 

If you want to argue about the effects of social isolation, you have to do so without bringing up the implications of total and absolute isolation. They are not the same thing and arguing against one does not constitute arguing against the other. I have position X. You presented positing Y, which is not the same thing as X, and attacked it. Therefore, according to your logic, X is false. This is not how logic actually works.

Im doing an essay on human isolation' date=' and I need some help in writing it. All I need is your comments and ideas.

 

When I say human isolation, I mean a complete isolation from humans, rite after birth till death. What will it do to this human? His instincts, his mind, his movements, will it be any different than our own? Will this human act like our ancesters? The effects on this human when its a baby (nobody to learn off of) Will he know how to express his feelings? (facial expressions) If he even knows how. And effects during teenage and adulthood. Will puberty hit sooner or later compared to us? How would he be different? Physically and mentally. And what will happen if this human come face to face with another human. How will he react?

 

Please reply with your comments and ideas

 

Theres whole bunch of other questions that should be pretty obvious, please include them in your reply

 

Thanx[/quote']So if I read wrong, then my bad. If you want to discuss the merits of being able to survive without food and water, that's something completely different. It is you who is trying to equivocate what I'm talking about with complete isolation. I'm talking about social isolation. There's a difference. I think it's an obvious difference.

 

I gave you quotes from a college sociology book concerning isolation. This is standard curriculum and you're trying to disagree with it. If you were to take a course on sociology, you would learn that isolation leads to permanent mental damage. You would learn about Anna. And you would learn about Harry and Margaret Harlow. Six months of isolation for a monkey is enough to cause permanent psychological damage. This is a fact, and ironically this is actually a case of complete and absolute isolation, not just being isolated from [monkey] society.

 

I just thought that this information was relevant to the discussion so I posted what I knew about it. I guess what I'm saying is that I was trying to be helpful by sharing what I know.

 

If you took a course on sociology, you would most certainly fail this aspect of the course. Anyone who takes sociology is expected to know this; it is exam material that you would be tested on. Saying I don't know what I'm talking about assumes that I am failing the class. In reality, I have an A. Not just on the course, but I also received a 100% A on the midterm exam. So either you had a bad professor, you failed the class, or you have never taken this course before. I recommend you sign up, it's an interesting class and you'd probably like it.

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1veedo    11

And btw w/ asperger's, I was diagnosed when I was in the six'd grade, at school. My teachers then put me in gifted special education. At the time I didn't really know what was going on.

 

It's funny though that we talk about a bunch of people being diagnosed with asperger's when people started noticing it, because this is what happens with a lot of mental disorders. Multiple personality disorder (dissociative now) and bipolar are examples of this (some people think both are still overly diagnosed). But the funny thing is that it's related to the autism "epidemic." (which in my opinion is caused mostly by genetics, but this is all off topic. It's not because they're simply diagnosing more people w/ it though. This is a fact that directly contradicts what you're saying.)

 

What's even funnier though is that many people with asperger's syndrome go undiagnosed. A lot of people live their entire life without knowing they have it, or until they're adults and they come in because of depression(don't start about depression...). So while you're saying people are getting diagnosed too often, it's actually diagnosed a lot less often then it should be.

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Diana    10

Radical Edward summed it up....it would starve. This experiment could not be done in nature.

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