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Personality and Experience


Butters
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I was wondering if anybody knew what the general consensus was on the separation of experience and personality, or if there even is one? For example, I have heard of people who have had total memory loss that they have not recovered from, and they end up being radically different people following that. This could be seen as evidence that the loss of memory is equivalent to the loss of personality, but it could also just be that whatever caused the initial memory loss was also responsible for other damage to the brain. This is not something you can ethically experiment with of course!

 

Let's say, for example, it were possible for an exact copy of me to be made and then the two of us went on to experience entirely different lives from this point on. Would you expect to see a radically altered personality by the end of our lives in another fifty years or so? I mean this as distinct from mood as well, where if one copy had a miserable life and a lot of bad luck he would likely be more unhappy than the other who married a beautiful woman and opened his own go-kart track. Is there a more fundamental difference, or is that all that personality is? An accumulation of reactions to past experiences.

 

Is there any evidence either way to separate experience and personality?

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I was wondering if anybody knew what the general consensus was on the separation of experience and personality, or if there even is one? For example, I have heard of people who have had total memory loss that they have not recovered from, and they end up being radically different people following that. This could be seen as evidence that the loss of memory is equivalent to the loss of personality, but it could also just be that whatever caused the initial memory loss was also responsible for other damage to the brain. This is not something you can ethically experiment with of course!

 

"I've heard" isn't much for evidence. I've never read anything on pure memory loss actually causing radical personality differences. Damage to the frontal lobe has been shown to alter personality to an extent, but this is hard to gauge considering the only way we can get that information is asking the people around them. The most famous example of this is a man who had a steel pipe shoot through his head during work and survived. Friends and family said he was different than before the accident. I can't remember the guy's name or anything and I'm too lazy to look it up, any intro psych book will have it though.

 

Let's say, for example, it were possible for an exact copy of me to be made and then the two of us went on to experience entirely different lives from this point on. Would you expect to see a radically altered personality by the end of our lives in another fifty years or so? I mean this as distinct from mood as well, where if one copy had a miserable life and a lot of bad luck he would likely be more unhappy than the other who married a beautiful woman and opened his own go-kart track. Is there a more fundamental difference, or is that all that personality is? An accumulation of reactions to past experiences.

 

It's called monozygotic (identical) twins.

 

Is there any evidence either way to separate experience and personality?

 

Experience is what happens to you, personality is who you are. Not scientific definitions BTW

Edited by Ringer
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I saw a movie called 'Unknown White Male', which is a documentary about an English man this happened to. His personality was radically different, and there is a lot of actual footage in the film. Following that I googled it and read a few random examples, but of course this is all anecdotal and not really evidence. That's why I ask if anybody has anything more reliable than that.

 

 

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I've never seen it, is there anything that shows what his personality was like before he lost his memory?

 

I'd also like to know what you mean by personality. Do you mean how someone reacts to an event based on prior knowledge? There are standardized personality tests, If you're lucky someone may have taken one then suffered retrograde amnesia and took it again.

Edited by Ringer
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I saw a movie called 'Unknown White Male', which is a documentary about an English man this happened to. His personality was radically different, and there is a lot of actual footage in the film. Following that I googled it and read a few random examples, but of course this is all anecdotal and not really evidence. That's why I ask if anybody has anything more reliable than that.

 

Also, I'm not talking about twins exactly, because I intuitively feel that personality has a formative stage in children. But if the exact copy were made after my adult personality had formed. I suppose that's what I mean. Is there a 'final' personality that develops or is it constantly developing and the term personality is not anything that can be defined scientifically?

 

The movie shows footage of him before the accident, but not a huge amount, because he was nobody in particular so was not filmed that much beyond the usual social occasions.

 

By personality I mean the most likely response to various situations and events. Somebody I have known for a long time, I would be able to pick up definite 'trends' as to how they are more likely to respond to something, and I would be right more often than I am wrong.

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Well monozygotic twins are genetically identical so they are the best way to study something like that. There have been extensive twins studies done on mono/dizygotic twins to explain exactly this. I would find some examples but it's late here and I'm tired as hell. Personally I wouldn't say that only memory loss could cause a shift in how you act, most very traumatic experiences will lead you to change how you act to an extent.

 

As to the formative stage in children, there have been some personality tests the seem to be very reliable over time. Again, I would find examples but I'm fairly tired and don't want to take the time.

 

There are many areas of psychology that study personality. . . again . . . late . . . tired. . . no links

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  • 7 months later...
I was wondering if anybody knew what the general consensus was on the separation of experience and personality, or if there even is one? For example, I have heard of people who have had total memory loss that they have not recovered from, and they end up being radically different people following that. This could be seen as evidence that the loss of memory is equivalent to the loss of personality, but it could also just be that whatever caused the initial memory loss was also responsible for other damage to the brain. This is not something you can ethically experiment with of course!

 

Let's say, for example, it were possible for an exact copy of me to be made and then the two of us went on to experience entirely different lives from this point on. Would you expect to see a radically altered personality by the end of our lives in another fifty years or so? I mean this as distinct from mood as well, where if one copy had a miserable life and a lot of bad luck he would likely be more unhappy than the other who married a beautiful woman and opened his own go-kart track. Is there a more fundamental difference, or is that all that personality is? An accumulation of reactions to past experiences.

 

Is there any evidence either way to separate experience and personality?

 

Personality is a perception of yourself judged by what you have done your entire life coupled with it's consequences versus where you are today.

 

To separate one is to separate both and both are the same.

 

How to do this?

 

Psychological deconditioning. You would, somehow, record and journalize your memories first.

 

Ie. Destroying your consciousness and becoming entirely intuitive.

 

Experience and personality is ALL the conscious mind has. IT IS ALLLLLL IT HAS.

 

When left with nothing but with an empty mind, all you got left is your gut instinct and, if you can, the ability to re-actualize your own conscious mind, for say, functioning in society? lol.

 

I am a Buddhist, if you are wondering. I have done this to myself once through a series of meditations and deconditioning sessions. I'm not doing it ever again. That should make you realize what this means. One with an empty mind is like a snack for society. I took time off work and told people I was nearing a burnout when I was actually trying my best to hang on to myself before I became, um, dysfunctional, I suppose.

 

Forgive me from deviating, but, it seems to me like you are asking how to remove a bad memory you might have from your mind. Also the reference of misery and happy lives etc, etc.

 

De-conditioning should be done with an individual who has little to no life experience. Since experience and personality is the biggest factory in physiological development, separating these thoughts/behavior cold turkey would most likely render someone zombified and dysfunctional since the individual is already developed in accordance with said behaviors. It's like removing the hydraulics on a dump truck. You'd be useless and the only thing you would do is find food, eat, sleep and act according to the needs of your survival.

 

Again, personality is a perception. Once you fully realize this, entirely, and master the art of creating behaviors within yourself or visualizing yourself as you darn please - you can mimic, copy, and modify any of your behaviors.

 

OP really sounds like a cry out for help if you ask me, though.

 

Btw, I did not supply evidence - because the evidence is myself. If you find a machine that can interpret my CNS and the signals it sends to the sections of my brain that corresponds to memory and personality I will show you I can quite literally void said section even though you might be flashing a picture of something stupid that happened to me in my past, if you can find such a thing.

 

I taunt you likely because I haven't found a machine to do this on yet.

 

Experience is what happens to you, personality is who you are. Not scientific definitions BTW

 

Experience is everything that has to do with you and your interpretation/interaction/etc with mind and body to the material/external world. Not only is it what happens to you, it is what is caused by you, observed by you, even the things you don't see cause you to have an experience. How is that now who you are? An observation of yourself? If you could not observe yourself, ie. experience yourself - how could you define yourself and not be who you are?

 

Experience is what enables you to be who you are.

 

You (a personality) is achieved through your use of experience.

 

You cannot separate the two. You could re-create memories with a video camera, but the picture found on the film is a motion picture - several shots of the moment flashed before your eyes quickly making you assume you are watching your vivid self even though it is a past event where you we're different both in motion, environment and thought. Even though it would seem like you seperated the persona of yourself that time there and then, you did not.

 

There is a myriad of illusions you need to get away from before you come to conclusions when talking about human potential.

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Sorry to disappoint but it is not a cry for help. Well sort of. It's another tedious science fiction novel research question. The strong AI in the book are a collective, but they have shared experience independent from separate personality. Just wanting to get some of the philosophical problems to do with a total physical separation of personality and experience.

 

I'm reasonably happy.

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Damage to the frontal lobe has been shown to alter personality to an extent, but this is hard to gauge considering the only way we can get that information is asking the people around them. The most famous example of this is a man who had a steel pipe shoot through his head during work and survived. Friends and family said he was different than before the accident. I can't remember the guy's name or anything and I'm too lazy to look it up, any intro psych book will have it though.

 

Ringer, you must have remembered the famous case of the railroad worker who had an explosive tamping rod driven through his head at some level because his name was Phineas Gage. http://en.wikipedia....ki/Phineas_Gage

SM

Edited by SMF
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