Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

“Preoccupied” and “fearful” types use Facebook for partner surveillance

August 23, 2013

Yet another Facebook survey. This time to try and discern types of people who use Facebook to monitor their partners. It’s all data I suppose. But I’m not sure if a plethora of little surveys such as this one (328 college students surveyed) allows greater insight or just muddies the ever expanding pool of “data”.

It is probably advisable to keep a large bucket of salt handy when looking at the conclusions of Facebook surveys.

In any case there are some new terms to show up my ignorance. IES stands for Interpersonal Electronic Surveillance and SNS stands for Social Networking Sites. There are apparently four distinct attachment stylessecurepreoccupieddismissing, and fearful. Relationship Uncertainty ia also a parameter to bear in mind.

The authors surveyed 328 college students who were Facebook users and tested 3 hypotheses:

  1. H1: Higher levels of relationship uncertainty will be associated with greater IES of the current or ex-partner.
  2. H2: Preoccupied individuals will report greater relationship uncertainty than secure, dismissing, or fearful individuals.
  3. H3: Preoccupied individuals will report greater IES than secure, dismissing, or fearful individuals.

It seems that Relationship Uncertainty – surprisingly – was not a predictor for IES. However preoccupied and fearful types were more likely to carry out surveillance of their partners via Facebook.

Jesse Fox and Katie M. Warber, Social Networking Sites in Romantic Relationships: Attachment, Uncertainty, and Partner Surveillance on FacebookCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0667

Abstract:Social networking sites serve as both a source of information and a source of tension between romantic partners. Previous studies have investigated the use of Facebook for monitoring former and current romantic partners, but why certain individuals engage in this behavior has not been fully explained. College students (N=328) participated in an online survey that examined two potential explanatory variables for interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES) of romantic partners: attachment style and relational uncertainty. Attachment style predicted both uncertainty and IES, with preoccupieds and fearfuls reporting the highest levels. Uncertainty did not predict IES, however. Future directions for research on romantic relationships and online surveillance are explored.

It will not perhaps come as a complete surprise that for preoccupied and fearful types, their surveillance of their partners may well reinforce their preoccupations and their fears.

From Discussion:

This study contributed to recent research on attachment and new media technologies, and revealed that attachment theory is an effective framework for understanding interpersonal electronic surveillance between romantic partners and ex-partners on Facebook. Likely due to their high levels of relationship anxiety, preoccupied and fearful individuals experienced the highest levels of relational uncertainty and engaged in the highest levels of IES. Previous studies have noted the prevalence of using Facebook to monitor partners, and this study shed light on those findings by recognizing the role of attachment style in this process.It is important to recognize who engages in IES because it may affect levels of satisfaction, stability, and security within the relationship. Preoccupied and fearful individuals often identify or create problems in their relationship due to their levels of anxiety. Given the additional information available about one’s partner and their social interactions, Facebook may exacerbate preoccupieds’ and fearfuls’ anxiety about the relationship. For example, they might be more likely to interpret ambiguous content on Facebook in a negative way, which may create conflict or strain the relationship. ……

….. The lack of a relationship between uncertainty and IES was surprising. However, Muise et al. also found no relationship between relational uncertainty and Facebook-related jealousy. This finding may be an artifact of the sample, however; many college students may perceive their relationships as transient. Thus, although they are uncertain about the relationship, it may not concern them or influence their Facebook behaviors. Future studies should investigate different variables such as the desire to be in a relationship with the partner.

It was interesting that preoccupieds did not differ from fearful individuals in their levels of uncertainty or IES, but it may be because it is attachment-related anxiety rather than avoidance that predicts these outcomes. Our findings mirror previous studies on attachment which have shown that anxious attachment leads to more distress and partner monitoring after breakups. Facebook may appeal to these two types for different reasons. Preoccupieds might feel more control and closeness by using Facebook. Because fearfuls are both anxious and avoidant, Facebook may provide them with the perfect opportunity to monitor the partner and perceived relational threats passively without having to interact with or confront him or her directly. Future research should investigate different attachment styles’ motivations to engage in IES.

On courage and foolhardiness

December 30, 2011

A young friend recently faced a number of less than easy options regarding his employment and his career and our discussion turned to behaviour in the face of uncertainty and fears:

The fundamental characteristic of courage in actions is that the action remains central and fear is then the constraint or barrier to action which must be subordinated. I have heard it said that courage lies in confronting fear or defeating fear but this, I think, misses the central point. The focus of courage is on the actions not on the fears. Whatever purposeful action has been decided proceeds even though fear exists. Defeating the fear is not the focus where the action then becomes secondary or merely a by-product.


A lack of courage in environmentalism today

April 20, 2011
Blue Marble composite images generated by NASA...

Image via Wikipedia

In the style of E Belfort Bax in his book “Courage” from 1890 I take courage to be “the subordination of fear to purpose”.  On this line connecting fear and actions then cowardice is when fears dominate the actions and “purpose” is subordinated.

Once upon a time, the environmentalists were a courageous lot and were surely instrumental in the cleaning up of many areas from the effects of real pollution (smoke, dust, wastes, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, food additives …..). But the simple virtues of keeping things clean and preventing disease and improving the standard of living for humans has given way to the more pompous and pretentious goals of preventing global warming (an unbridled arrogance), of maintaining bio-diversity (and why is this important?) and of preserving “scarce resources due to the “limits to growth” (with scare scenarios of “peak” oil, “peak” coal, food shortages, water shortages, metal shortages  and so on). The environmental movement has become a mish-mash of “do-gooders”, amateur scientists and cult members whose primary weapon has become an imposition of draconian measures for uncertain goals. A sort of eco-fascism.

These goals have even become an acceptable political line and have led to what can only be called the politics of alarmism where fears – and most are imaginary fears – dominate all actions. These fears can never be disproved because they always lie a few generation in the future. But they lead to a world where the emphasis has shifted to telling people what not to do (ostensibly for their own good) because of some fear or the other  rather than to having goals for the uplifting of living standards and the actions to be taken in spite of the fears that may exist.

Inevitably the politics of alarmism are accompanied by the opportunists whose greed leads to all the scams surrounding environmental subsidies for renewable power or for carbon trading. But similar scams would appear with any line of politics and I don’t think that the environmental scamsters are any worse than the real estate bubble developers or the sub-prime mortgage supporters or the inside traders or the operators of Ponzi schemes. These scams just reflect the state of ethics that prevail and are not particularly tied to any specific politics.

But I find it a pity that the simple goals of cleaning up the world we live in has given way to the environmentalism of today which generates the politics of alarmism – which is not just a political line without courage – but actually becomes a line of cowardice when it seeks to impose limitations on what others  may not do.

Related: “The Red Badge of Courage” in Essence of a Manager

A “Culture of Courage” in management — from “Essence of a Manager”

March 31, 2011

“Without fear being present, bravery and courage do not appear on stage.”

From Chapter 7,  Essence of a Manager

Courage is the subordination of fear to purpose.

A manager is perforce required to take risk. Every judgment or selection or decision he takes results in actions with an uncertain outcome. The presence of risk and the uncertainty about results inevitably give rise to apprehensions and fears. It is a manager’s task to subordinate such fears and continue with judiciously chosen actions towards his objectives. Extending his capability for taking actions and stretching the envelope of actions available to him are key elements of his core competence. It is his courage which enables him to operate in new and untried areas which are outside his comfort zone and thereby generate a steady stream of brave actions.

A manager can create a “courage space” around himself and as this expands and grows and meets other spaces of courage a “culture of courage” can develop within an organisation. ……

It has always struck me that super-heroes must be particularly devoid of courage since their fantastic abilities must mean that they have little opportunity to feel any fear. ….

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