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Quotes - December 2015

Alexei Muravsky

Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity – precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with the heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness.
— Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War

Bandura’s efficacy expectation, or self-efficacy, is a belief about the self, about what the person is capable of doing. Efficacy expectations can interact with, or be determined by, other kinds of self-judgements. For example, if you think you are extremely attractive, you are more likely to attempt to date someone who interests you than you would be if you saw yourself as unattractive. In other words, your self-concept affects your efficacy expectation in this domain. Of course, both of these – your self-concept and your efficacy expectation – can be independent of how attractive you really are. A person’s physical attractiveness might matter less than people sometimes believe; individuals who merely think they are attractive often do surprisingly well, it seems.
— Dr. David C. Funder, The Personality Puzzle 6th Edition

Relative superiority is a concept crucial to the theory of special operations. Simply stated, relative superiority is a condition that exists when an attacking force, generally smaller, gains a decisive advantage over a larger or well-defended enemy. The value of the concept of relative superiority lies in its ability to illustrate which positive forces influence the success of a mission and to show how the frictions of war affect the achievement of the goal. This section will define the three basic properties of relative superiority and describe how those properties are revealed in combat.
— William H. McRaven, Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice

At the university where I teach, a large number of students are children of first- or second-generation immigrants; many are from Asia or Mexico. Their situation is not very from mine at their age. Their parents took risks to come to America in search of opportunity and financial security. And, like my parents, many of my students’ parents do not quite understand why their children would choose a major as seemingly impractical as psychology. But again, when a child of immigrant parents chooses a career because of its opportunities for self-expression rather than financial security, this is evidence that her parents have succeeded. She takes security for granted and is therefore willing to take risks to accomplish more.
— Dr. David C. Funder, The Personality Puzzle 6th Edition

The most notable distinction between living and inanimate things is that the former maintain themselves by renewal. A stone when struck resists. If its resistance is greater than the force of the blow struck, it remains outwardly unchanged. Otherwise, it is shattered into smaller bits. Never does the stone attempt to react in such a way that it may maintain itself against the blow, much less so as to render the blow a contributing factor to its own continued action. While the living thing may easily be crushed by superior force, it none the less tries to turn the energies which act upon it into means of its own further existence. If it cannot do so, it does not just split into smaller pieces (at least in the higher forms of life), but loses its identity as a living thing.
— John Dewey, Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

As Milgram (1974, p. 124) concluded, “Each member’s acknowledgment of his place in the hierarchy stabilizes the pack.”
— Dr. Donelson R. Forsyth, Group Dynamics 6th Edition

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
— Dr. Suess, via Abnormal Psychology 9th Edition

People who use domination and coercion to influence others – whether they are kings, presidents, bosses, or managers – are not necessarily leaders. Leadership is a form of power, but power with people rather than over people – a cooperative relationship rather than a coercive one.
— Dr. Donelson R. Forsyth, Group Dynamics 6th Edition

There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.
— Josh Billings, via Abnormal Psychology 9th Edition

Genetics thus creates a biological readiness to lead, but a person’s leadership potential is determined more by environmental forces – exposure to mentors and role models, opportunities to take on leadership challenges, the diligent development of leadership competencies, and so on – than biological ones.
— Dr. Donelson R. Forsyth, Group Dynamics 6th Edition

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