Acta Scientific Microbiology (ASMI) (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Short Communication Volume 3 Issue 2

The Stupidity of Image

James F Welles*

Department of Microbiology, USA

*Corresponding Author: James F Welles, Department of Microbiology, USA.

Received: December 02, 2019; Published: January 06, 2020


  In the process of promoting a positive self-image at the expense of accuracy, both negative and positive reinforcement systems are at work. There is ample experimental evidence that negative feedback lowers self-esteem making further confrontations with the self aversive1 and less likely, thus making further criticism less likely. On the other hand, positive feedback enhances self-esteem and promotes self-confrontation in situations where one excels. The net result of these two factors is that positive feedback is increased and criticism reduced, thus distorting the self-image toward one more favourable than warranted. Although this may make people feel better about themselves, it does not help them adjust their behaviour to their overall environment. At best, image enhancement is accomplished and accompanied by specialization, so that people deliberately limit their experiences to situations with which they can cope effectively. Thus, a degree of success is achieved by circumscribing reality.

  Of course, one of the great stumbling blocks to understanding is the presumption of the "Reality principle".2 This is a legacy of the rationalist tradition which posits that people live in a real world which they test to decide logically when and under what conditions they can safely satisfy their needs. If there ever was a fantasy, it is the reality principle. The schema keeps people ignorant toward and therefore uniformed about certain undesirable aspects of the environment. More important, negative feedback about one-self tends to be subverted or disrupted. Naturally, a certain amount of objective information passes through the perceptual and ideological filters so that people can cope with culturally approved problems. Finally, there is the element of fantasy in the schematic world which makes behaviour potentially independent of actual circumstances. To the extent that the schema tests reality, reality often fails the test. As for logic, people usually resort to that only after an act or decision so as to rationalize an emotionally preferred, preselected response.



  1. Gur R and Sackheim H. “Self-deception: a concept in search of a phe-nomenon”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37.2 (1979): 162. 
  2. Freud S. The Ego and the Id. Hogarth Press London (1927).
  3. Edelman, G. 1987. Neural Darwinism: The Theory of Neuronal Group Se-lection. Basic Books; New York (1987).


Citation: James F Welles. “The Stupidity of Image". Acta Scientific Microbiology 3.2 (2020): 13-14.


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