There comes a point when even _I_ think psychology and science end up just looking plain, down-right ridiculous. If you explode in a rage at seemingly random intervals, don’t look to your own attitude for a fix. Look to your physiology. Or at least that’s what a recent scientific study is saying. According to this study, an imbalance in the neurotransmitters in your brain can cause periodic explosive bouts of rage and anger, exhibited in such instances as road rage and spousal abuse.
Here’s what really grinds me – every single time we notice a particular trend in our culture, a phenomenon that hits the national radar, scientists want to find a cause for this behavior. They set up studies, they record observations, and they issue reports. And time and again we hear the same thing – it’s not your fault that you’re fat or angry or depressed, etc. It’s an imbalance in the chemicals in your brain throwing off your psychosocial equilibrium.
This is all well and good, I suppose – there _are_ legitimate cases of chemical imbalances that cause antisocial behavior. But what these studies fail to mention is that just because an imbalance has been observed does not necessarily mean a cause-effect relationship. Typically, the relationship is merely correlational – when antisocial behavior occurs, there is an imbalance in neurological chemicals, but it is exceptionally difficult to determine which caused which. Did the imbalance cause the behavior? Or did the behavior cause the imbalance? The human brain is so complex that we still don’t really know how it works. Here’s a bit of trivia for you – we dispense many different kinds of drugs for various psychological disorders, yet we still don’t really know _how_ they work. We just know that they do.
Here’s something else for you to chew on – many antisocial behaviors can be corrected through the use of counseling, through mentoring and coaching an individual and urging them toward a general chance in attitude. Change the heart and mind of a man and you change his behavior. (There’s a reason why Christianity applied correctly has the power to drastically alter a person for the better.)
I suppose I’m simply tired of scientists – men and women who are educated and knowledgeable – trying to constantly justify poor human behavior by finding some genetic or physiological cause. I believe in accountability and personal responsibility, and I also believe that, by and large, the primary reason why we have seen an increase in anger, rage, and a whole host of other negative behaviors is because we no longer hold people accountable. There is no longer any desire to urge one another a higher standard of living because to do so would be ‘intolerant’ and unacceptable. It would be rude and inconsiderate to expect anyone to live their lives other than the way they want to, even if that way is self-destructive and even dangerous (or simply rude) to others.
We live in a time of ridiculous behaviors and even more ridiculous philosophies, a time when all people are simply children and juveniles because no one actually has to grow up, be mature, or take responsibility. Anything goes, and apparently most of us are alright with that because we don’t say anything to change the status quo.