Friday, April 1, 2011

A New Study: children growing up with psychological problems are less “successful.”

A new study done in the UK that followed more than 17,000 people over the span of 50 years discovered that people who grew up with psychological problems make one-fourth less than those who didn’t. They also have more fractured and weak relationships with people.
I have a lot of issues with this study. First it was done solely in the UK. The role of culture was not even brought up! Maybe in some societies adverse psychological problems can help. Look at people like Mobutu. This guy grew up in Zaire, a strife-filled area in Africa. When he was younger he was constantly moving and saw the death of his own father. He eventually became the president of Zaire. And with his regime came a saturation of corruption. While his people starved he ate off golden plates, but I digress. 

BUT, is he not successful? The same can be said about Abraham Lincoln (though he suffered from manic depression which I’m sure was onset during puberty). Another problem with the study is the ability to emphasize the correlation between income and happiness. The study points out that people that grew up with psychological problems are less agreeable and more irritable. Yet, it didn’t talk about if they were “happy” or not!
Of course I know that this study does have some truth in it: those who have psychological problems have more incorporeal obstacles to overcome. It makes success stories like Abraham Lincoln so great and tragedies like Mobutu so bewildering.

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