Now, since the Male Crisis is the most pressing problem the now international society is facing, I am adding this application of my learning theory to this important problem that will eventually affect all of us in very negative ways.
Why Males are Falling Behind Academically and Economically
Males are falling behind in greater numbers each year academically and economically. Our society is still using the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong and Females should be protected. This belief allows much aggression toward Males to make them tough. Any sign of weakness or work that is considered more feminine is a negative in the eyes of society, which then allows society and people a window to create more aggression toward such Males. Only Males who have been taught from a young age not to value those physical areas sufficiently and who are valued and modeled more so for qualities such as patience, understanding, ease of nature, kindness, mildness, and goodness will be able to also develop other information age skills such as mental, emotional, social, and academic skills. You see, all of those skills require more patience, ease of nature, and "low average stress along with proper pace and intensity in approaching those mental areas.”
The nineteenth century belief Males should be strong heavily and adversely affects Males from an early age onward in three large areas.
4. The extra aggression given Males along with mental, emotional, social, verbal neglect also creates high muscle tension in Males that make handwriting more difficult for boys - higher muscle tension in fingers and hands, poor handwriting – a tighter grip on the pencil/pen and also more pressure on the paper. This also creates less motivation to write both from poor handwriting and for much shorter spans of writing enjoyment due to much more fatigue on the hand and fingers. The higher average stress along with less social vocabulary (needed for independent reading and enjoyment of reading) is hurting many male children in academics. You need lower average stress, high social vocabulary to perform the decoding, organizing, visualization, and enjoyment of reading and writing. You need the social vocabulary to then use those mental faculties and energy to reach into a (more depleted for Male students) high social vocabulary and knowledge of sentence structure from socialization to then transfer that social knowledge to reading enjoyment and fluency. This hurts Males more over time as this lag in reading and lack of knowledge and skills over time increases. This leaves many Males unable to compete in the information age.
5. The extra aggression Males receive creates the Male ego or defensive cushion the Male develops from an early age to protect them from aggressions they receive from society. The Male ego or defensive cushion has negative consequences of further alienating Males from mental, emotional, social, and academic supports they “might” receive from society creating additional stress. I feel this creates more social/emotional distance even more distrust of parents, teachers, and peers for fear from many past aggressive experiences. When Males hear firm or hard words from others like teachers their minds are thinking defense and not thinking about learning and enjoying the learning process. When boys are talked to it is often with short firm commands, not soft, kind, nurtured stability necessary for mental/emotional stability. This creates more social emotional distance beginning as early as one year and increases Making Male children more wary of significant others including teachers later. Due to much less positive verbal interaction and support, I feel there is also a percentage “say 25%” of actual communication lost between Male students and others, including teachers who tend to use more complex instruction and more complex sentences. This greatly hinders mental/emotional/social growth over time and really hurts the maturity of Male children. Male students faced with much more aggression to make them tough suffer from both higher average stress that creates much more need for stress relief and so more ADD and ADHD and hurts development of many academic skills over time. Boys are not naturally more active, lag in maturity, or lag in fine motor skills. This problem is created by society by mistreatment of Males. Everyone should observe treatment of boys more closely themselves. The combination of high layers of mental frictions, social/emotional distance, and defensive cushion are working to create an impediment to learning that accumulates in harm over time for men.
In addition, the more unstable and tension filled society becomes as happened in the last ten years the more open-ended the release of stress by parents, peers, teachers, etc. upon boys of all ages is allowed and society’s gross tendency to look the other way. Now with the media stepping in to attack Males of all ages more so, this is leading to more open disrespect and more harsh treatment of Male children/men of all ages and from all areas of society. This will lead to some very angry Males in the future with less regard for themselves and for others. Since Females are still regarded as “to be protected” when times become more unstable or harsh, such release of aggressions due to stress is still not allowed by society thus protecting Females from the increased abuse. With this differential treatment, Females continue to do well where as Males who undergo more harsh treatment (due to additional release of aggression) will tend to slide back farther academically and economically. This is responsible for boys facing more hardships growing up and suffering more academically in recent years during harsh times.
The Second area of concern: In society today, men are given love, honor, respect, and support or the essentials of their self-worth only on the “condition of sufficient” achievement, money, power, status or image. Again, this is all a part of the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong. This is what makes Males so competitive. Males are continually vying or competing for the essentials of feelings of self-worth from society. They must fight through the still present, nineteenth century confrontations allowed by society upon them from an early age to achieve those benefits and feelings of self-worth.
Those Males who do not achieve in school or other like areas will not only "not receive sufficient love, honor, and respect" from teachers, parents, and others for this lacking, they will receive more neglect, discipline and more aggressive ridicule from parents and teachers to make them try harder. Again, society allows this window of aggression upon Males to make them tough. Support is not an option for fear of coddling Male children. This was probably used to keep Males and Male children in very low esteem and low feelings of self-worth to keep them trying very hard to achieve and even be willing to give their lives for their individual countries in times of war in order to generate some minute measure of love and honor from society.
Little understood, but I believe extremely important: While persons in middle to upper-class areas intensely weigh themselves and others, (Males) and assign worth of love and honor according to education, money, power, etc. Persons in working class do the same, but with less education and money, they then weigh themselves and others (Males and Male children) very intensely in areas of power, status, image, etc. In many working class and urban areas, this becomes more or less, a type of real currency of worth of Males and even Male children. Since feelings of self-worth remain very low in those areas, there is a much more open and allowed confrontational style of interaction among parents and Male children and Male peers of Male children. Striking, many girls due to both protection and modeling of others tend to join in the game of using more abrasive words and actions toward Male children who appear weak in some way. The use of force and power is so openly accepted and used in lower socioeconomic areas, it is a wonder more Male children are not as drawn to those areas of conduct.
A Male student who can achieve in the classroom will do so. He will receive sufficient love, honor, respect, and support for academics and will continue to put forth more effort. When a Male Child is not showing a measure of achievement in school, he will tend to receive more neglect, abuse, and ridicule from parents and “teachers” than the Female child. This signals to the Male Child that he will not receive the essentials of self-worth in academics. He will then push himself in areas such as video games, sports, and other pursuits to receive tid-bits of love, honor, and respect (self-worth) from his peers. Over a period of years, this leaves Males far behind Females in mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills.
The Third area of concern: In addition, generally Males “are not given” - kindness, ease, gentleness, and stable - mental, emotional, social, and academic support, attention, knowledge and skills (unless by accident). Society in its ignorance from the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong considers such attention and support as coddling the Male child. Society still holds that Males should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. As a result, Males are not given the tools to develop many mental, emotional, social, and academic skills. This greatly cuts down on their motivation to develop those skills. The combined effect of society only rewarding strength and power to face aggression; neglect in many social and academic areas; not rewarding but acting with more aggression toward Males who attempt to develop mildness, kindness, goodness, and care for others are hurting many Males. Over a period of years, this is leaving many Males grossly unable to compete in the information age, which requires a slow accumulation of many complex mental, emotional, social, academic skills and talents. This is creating the ever-growing international Male Crisis that will only get worse for Males and then get much worse for Females when Males begin to take back with interest, their power and status. I feel society will continue maintaining this mistreatment of Males until a critical point is reached.
The truth is, little boys need just as much coddling as the girls and just as much kind, considerate mental, emotional, social, and academic support as the girls. While neglect of Male children and boys may have proved useful in the more physical nineteenth century, it is working opposite of need in the information age where it requires much more accumulated mental, emotional, social and academic skills acquired over time. In these areas, Males are being seriously shortchanged.
It is incorrect to view the Male Crisis on role models. The lack of role models is the result of the problem, not the cause. If you had a bag full of sand with a hole in the bottom, you would “not” say there is less sand in the bag; you would say there is a hole in the bottom of the bag. Indeed, we should fix the hole in the bag by providing Males with tools to develop mental/emotional stability so they can better compete mentally and emotionally in the information age. One professional was attempting to find more role models for Male children. He boasted that a Male child’s esteem goes up when they have one positive role model. What he was unknowingly saying was that Males have such little attention that when they do receive that attention, they are very grateful. This creates the large rise in esteem. The fight for attention could be creating misbehavior in Male children.
Many persons are saying there is only an African American Male Crisis for those Males are falling behind more significantly, at percentages of college graduation around 72% Females to 28% Males. This is merely a convenient way to disregard the growing Male Crisis. However, the total for all groups around 62% Female to 38% Male college graduation. This problem is affecting all groups, even middle-class Males. It only appears to affect African American Males more so because the lower the socioeconomic environment and longer time in that environment for those families the fewer information age skills are transferred and more importantly the much more entrenched the more harsh treatment given those Males. The problem would be just as great (as is the case in some areas) for other Males from families of the same socioeconomics.
Today, many boys and men are becoming angry because they losing more than jobs and status, they are losing the valuable thing they are seeking, love, honor, and respect, the essentials of self-worth. The little bites they receive in the media and workplace accumulate over time to create much anger that touches on and erodes their feelings of self-worth. As persons lose feelings of self-worth they also lose regard for the consequences of their actions. If men fall behind more collectively, they may begin to retaliate more collectively without regard for consequences, thus ending the shield of over-protection for women. This will mean much more abuse and crimes against women. It will do well for all parents, teachers, employers, and those in the media to be more “sincerely” kind to others, especially Males.
For women, due to the nineteenth century belief women should be protected and still in effect today, this has created much protection for many women. When we are talked to from young age, we are given more kind, delicate, more considerate treatment. We are given much more kind, positive, upbuilding eye contact and attention. This continues from infancy right on through adulthood by family and society in general. This creates very low layers of mental frictions collectively for women. This makes thinking, learning, and motivation in mental areas much easier. Since girls are not required to be strong, this protection and continuous attention from day one also create a high speed expressway of continuous, mental, emotional, social and academic support, knowledge, and skills that accumulate in advancement in many areas over time (years). Again, listen to the difference in how little girls are talked to with more gentleness, ease, and nurtured stability, even in adulthood. These two continual supports from society over time provide nearly everything a person needs today to succeed in the information age. Since women are given through overprotection (for some, even indulgence), the benefits of love, honor, respect, and continual support, all of the benefits of self-worth from an early age without qualification (simply for being girls), they are working with much more continual support and interaction to accumulate more continual mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills that can be transformed easily into money, power, status, and image. Even after this, society’s protection, care, and continued support along with its views of beauty and charm help women in the information age.
Even in lower socioeconomic areas, Female children, although with more anxieties, less income, and much less educational knowledge, girls from a very early age are given much kind, caring, stable, verbal interaction and other wonderful, mental, emotional, social supports from parents, teachers, and peers. This continues from infancy through adulthood. This, combined with the much more aggressive treatment given their Male peers, creates a very large gulf in information age skills and knowledge with those girls doing much better in school and information age jobs, while their Male peers are failing and failing to succeed in the information age.
In the past, the world was very physical and very harsh. It still is in many areas of the world. Women could not survive in such a world of immense allowed physical force used in many places of business and other areas. There was and still remains in to an extent, innersecurity we as women can have and maintain by having a family, home, and care from society. This still remains an option for many women. The reason, many women are doing much better now, is because the better treatment we have received has maintained our mental, emotional, academic health. Now in the information age, there are many more positions available for women to use their academic skills and choose in which direction we wish to go, either to have a home and family or make a success and now taking over in business, law, medicine, and communications (media).
Even now, some women are slowly taking over in technical fields. You see the stem fields are presently composed of Males from nice middle class environments, who have had sufficient knowledge, skills, stability provided, and in addition, have been raised to have love and honor only on condition of some continual achievement, status, image. This has allowed those Males sufficiently supported to achieve highly in technical fields. The problem now is that our society is now becoming a two class society where the Males doing well in those areas are slowly dying off. This leaves fewer remaining Males sufficiently supported here in the U.S. and many Males from other countries who have come to this country to use their skills in those areas. I feel those numbers will continue to dwindle over time but have sufficient numbers of Males to have say, more equality in makeup, due to 1. Males having to continually prove themselves thus having much more incentive and 2. More Females still having the option of choosing family and home or other fulfilling work. Still I see in the long-term, equality for women and even taking over in those technical areas also.
Women are now surging ahead academically and economically due to more protection and men are puzzled as to why they are falling behind. If you remove the old money from older men, the girls are making more. Now in the information age, Males are now competing with Females who have been well supported from day one and Males are beginning fall behind big time, especially from women in their 20's and early 30's. http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSN0334472920070803
You see, society still believes in genetic differences so everyone remains blind the very real, differential treatment that is creating these differences. The current beliefs held by both men and women today is Males learn differently and/or men are simply lazy and do not try hard enough. These false beliefs only add to the growing Male Crisis. The men who believe this myth and who do not have information to the contrary may believe they are somehow mentally inferior or just not working hard enough. Somehow, humans, men included, tend to reflect the treatment they receive in their lives upon others and do not know or are not allowed by society to say how differential treatment is hurting them. This may lead Males to give up in developing various mental, emotional, social, and academic skills over time. They may limit their interest and desires to smaller windows of fulfillment within their social connections. They will continue to dress up for display, their Male defensive cushion to at least present a plausible image when dealing in areas where they are not as competent. Worse for these Males, they may advance their beliefs and feelings onto their sons, thus enabling the continuation of the harmful belief of inferiority in the information age.
As for women, they having been told the same teaching that persons are naturally better in some areas or simply work harder. They may truly feel they are simply more intelligent or have worked harder to achieve what they have achieved. In our world, again women like men often reflect their environment and treatment upon others and so do not appreciate large differences in treatment. In our world of insecurities, it is no wonder when women achieve, to boost their insecurity, as affects everyone, they will believe this achievement is due to more intelligence or greater effort on their part and not due to any environmental variables.
There is a growing phenomena, that involves driving of Males from the work place. Part of the reason is there are fewer jobs left for Males in blue collar areas and more job openings in more white collar areas. But there are other reasons for this change in society. One reason is the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong has left many Males years behind in various mental, emotional, social, and academic areas of learning. This has created a large pool of Male employees who are not able to adapt to information age needs. Another reason is that as more Females enter positions of power and collective control, they are more apt to keep Female employees and lay off Male employees (there is no equal opportunity protection for Males). There is another more complex reason why Females are keeping their jobs and Males are losing their jobs. The nineteenth century belief Females should be protected works in the work place also. It places more constrictions on how jobs, intimidation, force for output, and general respect and care is given to Females. However, society’s allowed aggressions upon Male employees allows much more harsh treatment of Males in terms of verbal abuse, intimidation, job assignments, and lack of respect in general. This difference in treatment over time places the Male in a much more precarious position in deciding whether to continually put up with such mental/emotional abuse or quit or be fired for finally drawing a line at some point. Even when Females face similar treatment on the job, the overall treatment of respect and care by society support them so they are able to carry on and remain employed.
Men are not afraid of successful women. They have much experience with and prepare for abuse toward them by society, including women who may perceive men to be weak in some way. The nineteenth century belief Males should be strong allows aggression toward Males who appear weak. Society provides love, honor, respect, (the essentials of self-worth only on condition of sufficient achievement, money, power, and status. Women, due to the nineteenth century belief woman should be protected are given love, honor, and respect simply for being women. The nineteen century belief they should be protected allows for much mental, emotional, social support to appear to mature faster than Males. By differential treatment Females are surging ahead and boys/men are being left further behind today due to lack of support. In addition, this overprotection by society and yes, indulgence, creates much more social/emotional blindness that only increases with indulgence and the success it tends to bring. This inevitably leads to those more successful women more freely giving verbal, silent abuse, and hollow kindness or patronization either inadvertently through more social deafness and/or purposely from experience with much societal protection. The combination of allowed aggressions upon Males who appear weak in some way; the maintained lower esteem and feelings of self-worth; lack of support for Males; more than adequate support for Females creating more social deafness; and the protected freedoms of various allowed verbal abuse - make a Male who appears weak in some way quite vulnerable to more abuse from such successful women and more also from society. Since Males have been taught to have this fear of any perceived weakness and the increased ridicule and even abuse that comes with it, boys, later men then become quite leery and extra cautious of what to expect from women who appear better in some way.
Since we as girls by differential treatment are given much more positive, continual, mental, emotional/social support verbal interaction and care from an early age onward this creates quite the opposite outcome for girls compared with boys. We enjoy much more continuous care and support from infancy through adulthood and receive love and honor simply for being girls. This creates all of the good things: lower average stress for more ease of learning. We do enjoy much freedom of expression from much protection that makes us look less stable at times. Of course we can also use that same freedom of expression (excuse me, much freedom of expression) to give verbal, silent abuse, and hollow kindness/patronization to our Male peers with impunity knowing we are protected. We enjoy lower muscle tension for better handwriting/motivation; higher social vocabulary; lower average stress for reading/motivation; much more positive, trust/communication with adults, teachers, peers; and much more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket and time in that bracket the more amplified the differential treatment from a young age and increased and more differentiated over time. Now with girls and women taking over many areas of society, we are enjoying even more lavishing of love and honor, while boys and men are still treated to be tough are failing more and so are being given even more ridicule and abuse by society and yes, also by girls and women using our protected freeness of expression and now, even from false feelings of superiority.
By showing Males and Females how our environments greatly affect thinking and learning, students will have much more respect for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to approach their lives differently to continually improve their abilities, students will then have a continuous hope of developing in time, many if not all of the qualities they admire in others. Students will then have a continuous hope of changing and becoming better, newer persons with each passing day.
We need to teach Males and Females how our individual environments greatly affect our skills and abilities over time. We need to show Males and Females how differences in treatment do exist in the information age and have hurt Males over time. By providing this understanding, both Males and Females will begin to have much more appreciation for the other in terms of their differences in environment. Males will recognize how their environments are creating their difficulties and remove from their shoulders the false belief they are somehow genetically inferior or simply not working hard enough. Females will perhaps also recognize both how differential treatment has hurt the Male and speak with greater care and understanding rather than the current society allowed verbal, silent abuse, and patronization they presently give Males they feel they have an advantage over. By providing this understanding, the two groups will be able to exist in more harmony and maintain better relationships.
To reduce and eliminate this problem and help Males have a more equal footing, parents, teachers, administrators, and all forms of media need to be taught how to treat Males in society with as much respect and care as they presently provide Female students. This is the only way to help Males begin to catch up in all of the many social areas they are presently lagging. This new way of thinking will be very difficult for the Male parent, teacher, administrator, or other professional for they have been raised with the old, more aggressive ways for many years and have come to base their feelings of self-worth upon their money, power, status, and image.
Try to think of all the good things a child (and adult) has to have to compete in the information age. They need stability, love, mildness, ease of nature, support, kindness, low average stress, they need mental/emotional/social/academic support at all times, not because they have earned it, but just because they are human beings. This will lead boys and girls to develop and enjoy mental work such as academics and other information age skills that will accumulate in quality and continued enjoyment over time. This is where boys are hurt both academically and economically by not being given same good things girls receive without qualification. As you can see, girls are given this proper treatment simply because they are girls.
For many Males, it will require cognitive understanding of the problem and a willingness to begin treating Male children with the same respect and give the same positive attention to the Male children as they do Female children. For women, this means not using Male children as emotional scapegoats as society has allowed them to do in the past. In addition, women need to begin realizing that using adult Males as emotional scapegoats (with current feelings of protection by society) when they have power over them in some way is a very hazardous way to approach Males. You know, with continuous indulgence so directly related to mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills over time, society would practically have to treat Female and Male children the same in many areas to achieve equality between genders. I see Males and society losing in the end, but this end may be pushed off much farther into the future provided there is much more understanding and action in this area over time. This problem will only get worse unless action is taken now.
1. I fear followers of the genetic models will try to build a case for genetic learning differences or body mass requiring more activity or tactile learning. Note that nice middle class Males do not have this problem. Also the view of differences in brain activity are more due to large differences in differential mental, emotional, social, physical, and educational reinforcement over time, not organic differences.
2. I also fear the use of Male classrooms with more discipline and more time on task will only lead to more stern and even more harsh treatment and stereotyping of Males to perform more physical or menial labor to match the growing caste system being portrayed in the media against Males today.
Since we as girls by differential treatment are given much more positive, continual, mental, emotional/social support verbal interaction and care from an early age onward this creates quite the opposite outcome for girls compared with boys. We enjoy much more continuous care and support from infancy through adulthood and receive love and honor simply for being girls. This creates all of the good things: lower average stress for more ease of learning. We do enjoy much freedom of expression from much protection that makes us look less stable at times; we enjoy lower muscle tension for better handwriting/motivation; higher social vocabulary; lower average stress for reading/motivation; much more positive, trust/communication with adults, teachers, peers; and much more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket and time in that bracket the more amplified the differential treatment from a young age and increased and more differentiated over time. Now with girls and women taking over many areas of society, we are enjoying even more lavishing of love and honor, while boys and men still treated to be tough are failing more and are being given even more ridicule and abuse by society and yes, also by girls and women. My learning theory and article on the Male Crisis will go to all on request or can be read from my home site at
We must learn to realize our current, single/multiple intelligence models were simply accepted out of hand years ago and held on to by many who were in control and apparently felt satisfied enough with their own life. Such ones could not see the tremendous disadvantage and damage such narrow, short-sighted beliefs would have on others, even among persons who are closely related to them.
Others in education ask me where I get the research to support my theory. I tell them my theory is quite valid. It fulfills the theory diagram and can be researched using initial bio-feedback readings to create a baseline of average, mental frictions along with other self & observer evaluations for confidence, hope, esteem, long-ter-motivation, academics, reflection time, long-term planning, etc. Then using my cognitive tools, subjects can then be re-tested over time with other initial bio-feedback readings and other self & observer evaluations. There should be lower initial readings from biofeedback along with improved readings for subsequent self & observer evaluations. This makes my theory a valid theory
I tell those who follow the false belief of multiple intelligences in school and the media by failing to provide cognitive tools to improve ability, we are virtually condemning our students to feelings of permanence in ability and feelings of hopelessness that are creating much drug/alcohol abuse, violence, and suicides.
The Figure below shows how differential Treatment by Race and Gender create large differences in mental/emotional growth within those groups over time.
There is a third variable that greatly affects
learning and motivation to learn
I feel there is a third variable that greatly affects thinking, learning, and motivation to learn over time. First, let us revisit and hold to mind the Figure on page 4 of learning theory (For those without copies of this, they are free to all on request by e-mail). In this Figure we see how layers of mental frictions take up mental energy thus leaving less mental energy to perform new mental work or forcing one to work harder or longer to learn with higher layers of mental frictions.
As stated in learning theory, I feel abstract thinking is really the ability to think in more complexity and to consider ideas requiring more complex work. I do not feel abstract learning is a genetic trait, but an ability made more available with lower layers of mental frictions requiring more mental energy to perform such work. One such area would be the skill of reading. In order to read and have intrinsic reward necessary to continue reading and enjoy the constructive process of long-term motivation, this requires more mental energy. For young ones and older ones this requires energy to decode new words using one’s present, social vocabulary; visualize the written material; organize that material into previous learning; make various mental connections to use that material later; and enjoy or not be expending too much energy so one does not become fatigued too early in the process or enjoys intrinsic reward during times of reading. This is an example of abstract learning and skills that require more mental energy.
I feel over time, the stability, security, support, knowledge, and skills provided, etc. in a person’s life or fewer layers of mental frictions greatly affect the motivation to learn (mental reward received for mental work expended) and use abstract skills over time. This can “greatly” affect thinking, learning, and accumulation of academic skills and more importantly, many other abstract skills that come later in academics and life. This alone may create large differences in academic growth over time.
I feel the higher a person’s layers of mental frictions, as visualized using the Figure on Page 6, the harder a person has to work to learn and enjoy abstract skills, even reading skills. So a “normal person” may be able to read, but due to higher average stress or higher layers of mental frictions, the process may be so taxing it removes the reward necessary for motivation to read and even deny the ability to retain the material studied (not enough mental energy and reflection time to make proper mental connections and organization of material).
I feel First, the lower the socioeconomic bracket the much more amplified a person’s average stress or “average mental frictions” become. The necessities of life along with various social needs of love, care, etc. are not as readily available. This can create sufficiently higher layers of mental frictions so as to remove the ability to adequately perform abstract skills such as reading, complex writing, higher math, and science over time. I feel students suffering from high layers of mental frictions may easily fall victim to feelings of learned helpless as early as first and second grade where the reading process along with other abstracts skills are taught in earnest. I feel even older students who may even previously have mastered certain abstract skills may fall victim to higher average layers of mental frictions later in life that can equally deny the motivation (or mental reward received for mental work expended) to learn and perform abstract skills later in life. I feel these feelings of learned helplessness do increase to various degrees the amount of mental work expended for various mental tasks, especially in “academics”. This can greatly affect motivation and also create a much lower accumulation of skills over time.
I feel Second, the lower the socioeconomic bracket, the fewer the complex mental/emotional/social/academic cognitive knowledge, support, and skills are present in those environments. This then makes the functionality of learning many abstract skills less functional in those persons’ lives. I feel functionality is important for all of us. Unless we have sufficient mental need or connection for learning various forms of abstract knowledge and skills along with “intrinsic reward or satisfaction with the process”, persons may not retain information even if having acquired that information at one time. If you have a person who is in an area of life where the cognitive world that person is surrounded by is shaped by more concrete, immediate, needs, socialization, and framework of skills, this then creates a second large impediment to the functionality of learning and enjoying the assimilation of abstract skills over time. Could it be today, false stereotyping by race and gender is creating a changing and widening of group dynamics in academic skills over time due to induced differences in functionality created by society and the media according to race and gender?
I feel there are many very normal, bright young ones and older ones, who due to higher layers of mental frictions, have stagnated due to feelings of learned helplessness created by the overtaxing of mental energy by that person’s average layers of mental frictions. I feel the need to have some balance, control and esteem in a person’s life, even in a very young person, may indeed cause a young student to justifiably stagnate academically in order to devote more mental energy to more essential physical and social needs in that person’s life even if just to maintain his or her mental health at that time.
I feel there is some overlap between this variable and the first two variables: “layers of mental frictions and improper pace and intensity in approaching mental work” in my learning theory. However, this is an environmental variable that needs to be addressed by sociologists and educators to help students realize the importance of stability and support in a person’s life, which over time greatly affects learning many information age skills over time.
When we combine this environmental variable with the first two variables, then environment, differential treatment by gender, race, etc. then become much more critical. My articles and applications of this are in my learning theory for all to read. Yes, Maslow was right in this area. I am hoping we can now use my learning theory to help students use this principle to improve their lives now and in the future.
I hope educators will begin using my learning theory and applications such as this article to help all students and parents realize the great importance of lower average stress or “lower layers of mental frictions” in a person’s life. I hope we can begin to help all students understand with much more appreciation the complexities of mental health and our individual environments that have nothing to do with some genetic fault but simply the amount of taxing of mental energy that affects “all of us” to some degree. As taken from my learning theory, I will add this section: “By showing students how their individual environments greatly affect their ability to think, learn, long-term motivation to learn, and grow mentally and emotionally, students will have much more respect and esteem for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to approach their lives more delicately and differently to continually change and improve their lives, students will then have a continuous hope of developing in time, many if not all of the qualities they admire in others over time. Students will then have a continuous hope of changing and becoming newer and better persons with each passing day. This will reduce much hopelessness, many harmful escapes and other problems created by the terrible teachings of fixed intelligences in school such as dropouts, drug/alcohol abuse, catharsis of violence, and suicide.”
Tools we can all use to Improve Hope and Ability
This article shows how our individual environments greatly affect ability and provides tools to continually change and improve learning, motivation, and mental/emotional health. It shows why Males are falling behind due to more harsh treatment and neglect from society and why Females are surging ahead due to more protection and support from society. It provides a way to better understand this problem and provides a way to help correct this problem.
The false teaching of fixed intelligences and abilities has made students and adults feel inferior in different areas. By teaching this harmful belief, we are placing jagged pieces of metal and broken bottles in the hallways to cut and maim our students. This false teaching in society has created anxiety, hopelessness, and psychological suffering, which is leading to many escapes such as drug, alcohol abuse, violence, depression, and suicide. The false teaching of fixed intelligences was designed to maintain class distinctions. I hope you can see the connection between the harmful teachings of permanence in ability and its deadly effect on the mental/emotional health of our students and adults. My cognitive tools provide two large tools we can use to continually improve our abilities and our lives.
We need to see mental stress more accurately as “many layers of mental work from past events, problems, experiences; present needs, circumstances, values -conscience -care for others, values of self/society, a whole array of mental work our minds may be working on; and future concerns that accumulate in our lives and hurt our ability to think and learn. By redefining average stress as many layers of mental work, we now have tools to more permanently reduce layers of mental work and improve thinking, learning, and mental/emotional health.
Some things do not create mental stress at all. Laughing, crying, running, and swimming are not good stresses but low, if any stress. We are using energy, but we are “not creating mental frictions” from it. In this definition, “stress does not occur” when energy is expended without mental frictions. When performing old mental or physical work, provided we do not exceed our immediate knowledge and experience, we do not create stress but simply use energy. By seeing stress more accurately as layers of mental frictions - layers of conscious and subconscious (below the surface) unresolved mental frictions, we can see how our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think, learn, and improve. We can use this better definition of stress to help students and adults continually improve their ability to think and learn by learning how to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions.
The first tool: stress is more accurately defined as many layers of mental work. When we are performing mental work, our minds are also subconsciously working on other layers of mental work from various problems, circumstances, etc. All of us, even when feeling fine, are working on different amounts or layers of mental frictions that impede our ability to think and learn. Try to picture an upright rectangle representing our full ability or full mental energy (Figure, icon below). Then begin drawing from the bottom, narrowly spaced, horizontal lines to represent layers of small and some large layers of mental frictions our minds may be working on consciously and below the surface or subconsciously. The space we have left represents our leftover ability to think, learn, and grow mentally and emotionally. The length of this space also represents our length of reflection time or time to think more deeply to consider long-term rewards or consequences for a course of action. This shows just how our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think and learn. Many Persons with high layers of mental frictions will have to work harder to receive the same mental reward for mental work expended. Ask yourself, which makes more sense, are we just genetically more or less able or do our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think, learn, and develop skills. For our own good, we need to recognize how our individual environments greatly affect ability and how we can more permanently reduce mental frictions to continually improve thinking, learning, and mental/emotional health.
This tool provides a way to permanently reduce layers of mental frictions. We need to do more than just solve a problem or unresolved mental work creating a mental friction. We need to look at the elements in our lives that create those mental frictions and our values that may be creating those problems. Then, we can begin to understand a little more each day how the elements of our lives are creating mental frictions as they come up. Then with a small change in a weight or value we are placing on something in our lives and developing a mental principle or rule in a certain area of our life we can then resolve and more permanently remove that layer of mental friction. By slowly understanding how layers of mental frictions are created, we can then learn to approach those elements in our lives more correctly to keep like mental frictions from occurring in the future. This enables “all of us” to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions that hurt our ability to think and learn. Note, this goes way beyond needs or substantive problems, but goes into many smaller areas of values - conscience of self, others, society, experiences, circumstances, many small areas that take away real mental energy. The Savant is able to perform mathematical or musical feats because theoretically, the mind is dysfunctional in many areas and is delivering extra mental energy to other areas like math or music. Since we as so-called, normal human beings are affected adversely by layers of mental frictions in other areas of the mind, which function normally, our abilities in such areas are by comparison, impeded.
With each more permanently removed layer of mental friction we will continually improve thinking, learning, and extend reflection time (think more deeply, with more complexity, and more correctly). Remember, to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions we need to change the principle or value that created that mental friction, “not just solve that problem” to prevent similar mental frictions from occurring.
You “cannot” use physical exercise, relaxation, or mediation to more permanently reduce average stress. It does not work. When you use physical exercise, you are temporarily removing the energy dealing with mental work and sending it to perform a more physical task. Then when your body recovers, that energy is then re-fed back to your average stress, so nothing is accomplished.
When you use Relaxation in an attempt to reach greater ease or use various forms of meditation in an attempt to alter your state of consciousness, you are only temporarily removing the mental energy from your mind. Then when you attempt a new mental work, that energy is then re-fed back to your layers of mental work or average stress you were dealing with in the first place. It is kind of like turning off the faucet to a multi-prong hose or “layers of mental frictions”. This works good as long as the faucet is turned off. However, when you attempt a new mental work, it is like turning the faucet back on. Your mental energy is re-fed not just to that one mental work but to all of the others also. As a result, nothing is accomplished from physical exercise, relaxation, or meditation.
The Figure in the Icon below shows how layers of mental frictions hurt ability to think and learn. The space left over shows our leftover ability for thinking, learning, and performing mental work. The more space we have, the more we are able to think with more complexity or improve abstract thinking. The top of the chart shows how high layers of mental frictions can create psychological suffering that may create escapes such as drug/alcohol abuse, violence, and suicide. The vertical line on the top left represents our length of reflection time.
When we have a situational stress -, this occurs on top of our already present, layers of mental work or already prsent, average stress. Situational stress is composed of very new mental work and also usually a mentally rushed time frame, which amplifies that new mental work. This usually temporarily raises significantly and adds more layers of average stress on top of our already present layers. This makes situational stress much more hazardous for persons with high layers of average stress. This greatly shortens thought processing and reflection time. A shorter reflection time and psychological suffering can lead to many harmful escapes that would not occur had there been lower layers of mental frictions before that situational stress had occurred. By more permanently lowering layers of mental frictions, we can prevent many deadly forms of escape and increase reflection time or time we take to think, plan, and make decisions.
As for psychological suffering and escapes: as a person accumulates “high” layers of mental frictions, he begins to experience two bad things; he experiences psychological suffering and his reflection time shortens - His desires, goals, enjoyments, and methods of problem solving become more simplistic, short-term, and less thought-out. The psychological suffering and much shorter reflection time create a powerful need for relief. This condition makes drug/alcohol abuse, the catharsis of violence, and suicide more appealing in view of the immediate, temporary reward or release from layers of mental frictions such escapes provide. By helping students and adults maintain lower layers of mental frictions, we can help prevent this psychological suffering. This skill can be more enhanced with training.
By teaching this skill, we will greatly improve deeper thinking and reflection skills for students and adults to develop and accumulate more complex information over time. Teaching this skill is also extremely important for creating the intrinsic reward in students needed to stimulate more independent learning by students outside the classroom. We cannot teach students all they need to know inside the classroom. Again, we need to provide these tools for students to accumulate from both home and the classroom all of the necessary knowledge and skills they need to compete in the information age. By teaching this skill we can also reduce the psychological suffering that leads to many harmful escapes. Too bad this wonderful technique is not being used in school today.
Tools we can all use to Improve Hope and Ability
This article shows how our individual environments greatly affect ability and provides tools to continually change and improve learning, motivation, and mental/emotional health. This represents a very new and much better approach for education, teachers, and students. It redefines our average stress in a very new way, composed of many layers of mental work (far beyond simply needs or immediate problems). It redefines our average stress as many layers of past, present, future - experiences, values, needs, responsibilities/concern for others, and other areas: anything that creates unresolved mental work and is maintained in the mind as layers of mental work, which take away real mental energy. It then shows how our individual environments are very different for all of us, creating a continuum of many essential and “non essential layers” that is maintained and can be more permanently reduced to continually improve thinking, learning, reflection, and help improve mental/emotional health.
1. It provides education with a way to improve thinking, learning, stability, motivation to learn (mental reward received for mental work expended), providing much needed hope for both low and high achieving students.
2. It shows how our layers of average stress accumulate to create psychological suffering and shorter reflection time that has led to many student and adult deaths each year from drug/alcohol abuse, and suicide, some with violence. This theory provides a way to more permanently reduce layers to both reduce psychological suffering and also increase reflection time, thus reducing many harmful escapes and student deaths each year.
3. It shows why Males are falling behind due to more harsh treatment and neglect from society and why Females are surging ahead due to more protection and support. It provides a way to better understand this problem and provides a way to help correct this problem. This will provide education with a very wonderful approach to using the variables creating differences in achievement by gender, then using the tools gained from this knowledge to help all students improve their lives. - Now I present my learning theory for all to read.
Second tool: the myth of hard work is beneficial only when performing old work (skills already mastered), not in performing new mental work (skills in process of being learned). There are misguided beliefs regarding mental learning when they attempt to compare mental learning with physical work. As a result, we have many sayings such as “Just believe you can do it." or "Just put your mind to it" and you will succeed. These phrases sound good but still follow the harmful teachings of fixed intelligences.
True academic knowledge and skills accumulate over time through intrinsic reward and enjoying the long-term process of learning. This long-term learning requires more stability, knowledge, and support from others to maintain that learning and motivation to learn. Hopefully my theory will provide a means to achieve some of this need, even when it is lacking at home or in that person’s individual environment.
The attitude of hard work when performing a new mental work actually impedes learning and long-term motivation or desire to acquire more knowledge and skills. As our pace and intensity in approaching mental work exceeds our immediate knowledge and experience, we create much greater mental friction and further impede our ability to think and learn. This hurts both short and long-term motivation in mental areas for students by reducing mental reward received for mental work expended. This also shortens our length of reflection time (ability to think more deeply). I feel at least 25 percent of our average stress is created socially from improper pace and intensity when approaching a new mental work such as academics. I feel this percentage of average stress rises much higher for students/adults in lower socioeconomic areas where their environment creates higher average stress and more physical orientation that may greatly drive upward their mental efforts in a very improper way.
When approaching mental work, situations, problems, or academics we should begin slowly and simply reflect on the information we have. This will create a small base area of knowledge with notches to add more information. As we slowly add more information, our base area "mental frames" of knowledge will increase naturally and the number of notches to add more information will multiply, thus naturally expanding our pace and intensity of learning. If we applied our present myth or teachings regarding mental work and applied a lot of mental energy, we would waste energy trying to place a lot of information onto just a few notches. In this way, we can see how incorrect pace and intensity kills both short and long-term motivation in mental areas. By trying too hard, we are overwhelming our minds with information before understanding and usefulness is established. This is another reason why the myth of permanence in ability to learn continues, because only slight improvement occurs with hard work.
High layers of mental frictions also “cause” students to approach mental work in an incorrect way or try too hard. If we were to have a point of perfect stability then the dynamics of approaching mental work (academics and other learning material) would be approached in a more perfect dynamic way: the child will more naturally approach new mental work more slowly at first. As a person gains knowledge and skills in an area, his pace and intensity will increase naturally with equal enjoyment of learning. With more mental friction or less stability, that added instability disrupts or causes the child use the energy from the mental frictions in his life to try too hard or apply too much effort. Many children need to be taught the dynamics of approaching new things more slowly to help offset the improper tendency of trying too hard or applying too much effort. This hurts motivation or mental reward received for mental work expended. Both high layers of mental frictions and improper pace and intensity accumulate over years to create large deficits in learning for many students and adults. Approaching mental work correctly is important for students to learn and enjoy learning new knowledge and academics. The little girl said "This goes here and that goes there." had the right idea. In time, she will know where this and that goes and will learn more advanced skills with equal enjoyment. In the physical world, we may work hard; in the mental world we need to work easy. The dynamics of approaching all mental work correctly affects every aspect of our lives.
By lowering layers of mental frictions and changing pace and intensity in approaching newer mental work, we will increase motivation to learn and develop more complex mental/emotional/social skills over time. These tools will create the mental reward received for mental work expended or long-term motivation, intrinsic reward, and love of learning that are vital to being a life long student. This makes a student better able to compete in the information age. Students who begin this process late in life will still lag behind their peers in knowledge, confidence, and experience in certain areas. However, using those principles, a person can begin to catch up and even go ahead of his peers. After correcting my speech impediment, I did this.
I find it hurtful when persons in the media reflect their more mental, emotional stable environment along with mental/emotional/social knowledge and skills they received from a young age upon others. Those persons then admonish students and adults to simply turn off the video games, stay in school, try hard, and make good grades. While this may create a positive, emotional atmosphere at the moment, such emotional motivations are short-lived and cannot be maintained by the average person over the long-term. As a teacher, I am upset with so-called role models kids look up to for goals and inspirations. Those kids are desperately searching for a measure of love, honor, and respect from society (the essentials of self-worth) through those efforts yet, have no understanding of the long-term support and learning that is required. Society appears to be hell bent on its lack of understanding of learning and motivation and is leading its children down the same hopeless path. We need for role models to view all persons as equals and fully acknowledge the support and care they have been given over the years that enabled them to rise and accomplish what they have accomplished. You see the genetic model of “succeed by ability and effort” taught in school and the media are creating hopelessness in our children and in turn, many harmful escapes and needless suicides.
Telling students to work harder when they have high mental frictions will only lead to more frustration. Those students will still have to work harder than their peers to receive the same mental rewards. The lower mental frictions must come first. The teacher can then push such students only according to the mental reward and confidence they are receiving for mental work expended. If a teacher tries to build up his students' esteem without giving them tools to improve their lives, the teacher may do more harm by fostering more short-term escapes to maintain that esteem.
This information is important. Few of us are able to rest our security (more important-inner-security) upon money, power, or status. There isn't enough to go around. We must teach students our inner-security is more important. This is accomplished by showing students how our individual environments greatly our affect ability to think and learn, then providing cognitive tools students can use to continually improve their lives. This will provide students with greater inner-security and tools to continually improve their lives mentally and emotionally.
Peer pressure is created by the myth of permanence in ability. If a student feels permanently inferior in one or more areas, he will be more reliant upon his peers for support, love, honor, affection, protection, etc., and even some knowledge he may feel necessary to have. He will also be more in fear of rejection and thus, losing those things. This creates peer pressure. By showing students how their individual environments greatly affect their ability to think, learn, long-term motivation to learn, and grow mentally and emotionally, students will have much more respect and esteem for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to approach their lives more delicately and differently to continually change and improve their lives, students will then have a continuous hope of developing in time, many if not all of the qualities they admire in others over time. Students will then have a continuous hope of changing and becoming newer and better persons with each passing day. This will reduce much hopelessness, many harmful escapes and other problems created by the terrible teachings of fixed intelligences in school such as dropouts, drug/alcohol abuse, catharsis of violence, and suicide. This will lower peer pressure by making students less reliant on peers for support and remove the fear of rejection. Although rejection may continue, a person will not fear it.
The myth of permanence in ability is the force behind class distinctions. Students and adults falsely believing they fall into their positions through genetic abilities or order, are driving themselves to obtain various forms of achievement, money, power, status, image, and popularity to symbolize their place in that mythical order of permanence or class. Yes, those who feel they cannot achieve will at least attempt to impress others they are able to achieve. Since society today values worldly or material success over other qualities, students and adults today are attempting to use various outward displays of greater money, power, status, image, and popularity to at least give the impression they are in a certain class. They use class distinctions to help symbolize their place as different and separate from those they feel are inferior or wish to line up more with those they admire. Many people, both students and adults devote their lives to the false god of permanence in ability through class distinctions. By showing students how our individual environments do greatly affect our ability to think and learn, we will remove once and for all, the fire from this mythical dragon of permanence and the class distinctions it causes. This will create greater esteem, respect, and hope for everyone.
Others in education ask me where I get the research to support my theory. I tell them my theory is quite valid. It fulfills the theory diagram and can be researched using initial bio-feedback readings to create a baseline of average, mental frictions along with other self & observer evaluations for confidence, hope, esteem, motivation, academics, etc. Then using my cognitive tools, subjects can then be re-tested over time with other initial bio-feedback readings and other self & observer evaluations. There should be lower initial readings from biofeedback along with improved readings for subsequent self & observer evaluations. This makes my theory a valid theory.
I tell those who follow the false belief of multiple intelligences in school and the media by failing to provide cognitive tools to improve ability, we are virtually condemning our students to feelings of permanence in ability and feelings of hopelessness that are creating much drug/alcohol abuse, violence, and suicides.
How Experiences shape our Lives and Values
SD’s or reminders of experiences come from all elements in our environment: sounds, people, places, objects, professional places, businesses, schools, and even persons whose conduct and appearance may match with experiences a person has memories of, either negative of positive. However, good the positive experiences are, they do not create negative unresolved mental friction or mental work. It is those very negative experiences that are most hurtful to our average layers of mental work or average stress.
For persons in more stable environments, this may create some experiences of negativity; however, the support and care they are given from other areas in their life will usually much more than offset those negative experiences. Also, the more kind, caring modeling and treatment in those environments create values which usually will not respect and even disown the negative environmental experiences they do come upon in life. So the more stable, caring, and knowledge-rich a person grows up in the more they develop the values from those more stable, knowledge-rich, caring environments. This is not to say however those person may also develop more antisocial or more sociopathic feelings or care for others if the modeling they receive does not value others as equals. In a worldly way, this actually helps to improve thinking, learning and academic drive, for such persons are not weighed down with layers of conscience, concern, or care for others that would continually take up more mental energy. Of course while this may help such persons academically and in the world, I would see this as much too selfish and something not to be respected. For those persons, their experiences over time set in place their values of self, others, society, and the paths they see themselves using to gain love, honor, and respect in society.
As we go down the socioeconomic ladder, there is much more increased tension, fear, anxiety, and far fewer mental, emotional, social, academic – knowledge and skills to deal with life nearly as well. This is also generally coupled with much more valuing of strength, power, force, and defense from others in their lower socioeconomic environments who are also experiencing and have learned to deal with life and people in more physical ways. This may also be coupled with a very confused concept of trying hard in a physical way when trying to learn academics. This then creates many experiences where the much more stress/anxious world they live in creates much more value in force, power, fear, harshness, and aggression to both achieve and to safeguard themselves from those around them in the similar circumstances.
This creates many more experiences from home, and the neighborhood, which then when entering the school systems with those values find themselves inundated with more authoritarian teachers who also have learned to use more force, power, fear, and tension when dealing with those students from lower socioeconomic areas. This then sets in place, many students from lower socioeconomic areas much less prepared for academics due to much less mental, emotional, social, academic -knowledge and skills along with much higher layers of mental work and also more inculcated values of force, power, fear, anxiety, and more aggressive styles those students have been modeled to use and now, sadly maintained by the very teachers themselves. The combined lack of knowledge and support from home; higher average stress from home; and the very improper, confused belief of trying hard usually spells disaster for those students (usually Male for the last admonition). This then sets up for many experiences and memories of much more failure; much more discipline; more tension; and many more negative SD’s or memories from all things in the educational environment, that are continually brought to mind and maintained, thus increasing their their already high layers of mental work and tension. This can then set in place the very same perception they have from the neighborhood of teachers as - not kind, caring teachers but rather as bringer of more evil upon their lives. This continues through school with more failure and more fear/hate of school. The tension, fear, anxiety, those students receive in school are also added to the already high layer of mental work those students bring to school. For some of those students this can easily create such higher layers of mental work that can create either very short reflection or think times to even saturation of layers or complete irrational behavior. For boys this then easily sets up more escapism from such through sports, video games, and other avenues to earn love and honor from others. For girls there may be increased attention to beauty as an alternative means to earn more love and honor from others not received in the classroom.
Because our society in its present “false understanding of average stress” as something “only occurring from some immediate situation or work” cannot see average stress correctly, they are unable to make the changes in teaching that are necessary to help students change and improve their lives. I suppose we can thank the false belief in genetic ability for this false understanding. You see they cannot acknowledge that average stress from past, present, and future unresolved, mental work is maintained without disclosing that our individual environments are creating many different, maintained layers of average stress showing environment as a great factor in learning.
So our past experiences set in place, over time many weights and values that for some students may create good experiences, memories and more zeal for learning, while for the majority of students, their experiences with much more failure and more harsh treatment may set in place many more negative weights and values of reading, writing, books, teachers, school, academics, etc. This creates many many different SD's or memories that are brought to mind from the same environmental elements in our life and yes, school. Yes, these memories may be held as very negative mental experiences or unresolved mental work in the mind and brought to mind in either a conscious of subconscious way -adding to and increasing our average layers of mental work or average stress. So this shows how unresolved mental work from experiences can create very large difference in layers of average stress or unresolved mental work.