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Feedback: “Psychology is not a science, an art, a philosophy nor a religion…”

An excerpt from Trend Following:


In 1995, psychologist Daniel Goleman published his best-seller Emotional Intelligence, a powerful case for broadening the meaning of intelligence to include our emotions. Drawing on brain and behavioral research, Goleman demonstrated why people with high IQs often flounder, while people with modest IQs often do extremely well. The factors that influence how well we do in life include self-awareness, self-discipline, intuition, empathy, and an ability to enter the flow of life, character traits most traders would not consider particularly useful for garnering profits from the markets.

Being self-aware also means understanding what you want out of life. You know what your goals and values are and you are able to stick to them. For instance, if you’re offered a high-paying job that doesn’t square with your values or your long-term goals, you can turn it down promptly and without regret. If one of your employees breaches corporate ethics, you deal with it instead of either ignoring it or worse yet making a half-hearted response because you pretend to yourself it won’t happen again.

Emotional self-control makes anyone more productive. However, Goleman is not saying we should repress our feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, or sadness. We must acknowledge and understand our emotions for what they are. Like animals, biological impulses drive our emotions. There is no way to escape them, but we can learn to self-regulate our feelings and, in so doing, manage them. Self-regulation is the ongoing inner conversation that emotionally intelligent engage in to be free from being prisoners of their feelings. If we are able to engage in such a conversation, we still feel bad moods and emotional impulses just as everyone else does, but we can learn to control them and even to channel them in useful ways.

A trend follower’s ability to delay gratification, stifle impulsiveness, and shake off the market’s inevitable setbacks and upsets, makes him not only a successful trader, but also a leader. Goleman found that effective leaders all had a high degree of emotional intelligence along with the relevant IQ and technical skills. While other “threshold capabilities” were entry-level requirements for executive positions, emotional intelligence was the “sine qua non” of leadership. Without emotional intelligence, someone can have superior training, an incisive and analytical mind, and infinite creativity, but still won’t make a great leader.


Now consider recent feedback to me in email:

Psychology is not a science, an art, a philosophy nor a religion. Why would I want to waste my time with people whose subject is completely unworkable?.

Yours truly,
[Name], a satisfied Scientologist for 48 years.

I can understand that. If I was in a cult I would say the same.

Note: Take a listen to some of the best minds in the field of psychology here.

Don't drink the cult...

Don’t drink the cult…

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