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loretta breuning

loretta breuning

status games slides


david krieger

January 14, 2022


  1. Loretta G. Breuning PhD Inner Mammal Institute innermammalinstitute.org by Loretta

    Breuning, PhD Rowman Littlefield Status Games Why We Play and How to Stop
  2. Sept. 8 Rowman Littlefield SBN-10 : 1538144190 ISBN-13 : 978-1538144190

  3. People care about status because animals care about status

  4. human cortex animal brain We’ve inherited the limbic brain that

    motivates this
  5. Your mammal brain rewards you with a drip of serotonin

    when you raise your status
  6. Serotonin is not aggression. It’s the calm sense that “

    I will get the banana ”
  7. Serotonin is soon metabolized, so you have to keep seeking

    the one-up position to keep feeling it
  8. The good feeling motivates you to repeat behaviors that raise

    your status
  9. I’m not saying we should think this way, but we

  10. Natural selection built a brain that makes social comparisons to

    promote its own survival
  11. It rewards you with serotonin when you gain a position

    of strength
  12. It alarms you with cortisol when you see a potential

    threat to your relative position
  13. You don’t think this in words because the animal brain

    cannot process language
  14. These facts were revealed by a century of research on

    mammalian social behavior, but now they are taboo
  15. It’s easy to see the mammalian urge for status in

    others, especially those you don’t like
  16. It’s easy to see the one-up impulse throughout human history

  17. It’s hard to see it in yourself, your friends, and

    cute furry creatures
  18. But getting real about these feelings gives you power over

  19. Neurons connect when serotonin flows, so whatever raised your status

    in the past wired you to expect good feelings from that
  20. We all see the world through the lens of our

    old neural pathways
  21. We all keep striving to stimulate serotonin and avoid cortisol

    in ways that worked before
  22. We all create one-down feelings and one-up feelings despite our

    best intentions
  23. We all keep making social comparisons because it’s a core

    mammalian survival impulse
  24. What’s a big-brained mammal to do?

  25. Status Games shows you healthy ways to give your inner

    mammal what it needs to feel good
  26. It helps you put yourself up without putting others down

  27. It helps you spark serotonin without junk status

  28. It helps you manage the cortisol of one-down moments

  29. Repetition will build new pathways so it feels normal

  30. You will always be a mammal among mammals

  31. You have power over your brain but not the brains

    of others
  32. You can wire yourself to enjoy nature’s serotonin

  33. You’ll be glad you did!

  34. Your questions are invited: Loretta@InnerMammalInstitute.org