The Fisherman & The Investment Banker Parable

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandkids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The Psychology Of The Big Bang Theory

I have to confess, I'm a sucker for The Big Bang Theory. No, not the one that started the universe, but the  sitcom featuring a cast of four highly intelligent, yet socially clueless guys, and their attractive next door neighbor, Penny. Not only this show is hilarious, but it helped me get through a period of stressful exams when the whole world got serious around me.

Among complicated theories and physics jokes, this incredibly intelligent show teaches us a little bit about psychology... and not pop psychology, but the real stuff. Behaviorism is nicely demonstrated in Sheldon's attempts to use operant conditioning to sand the rough spots of his annoying neighbor Penny. Cognitive processing is depicted in Sheldon's efforts at building a friendship algorithm. Psychotherapy is illustrated when Leonard tries to help Sheldon out and ends up being the one psychoanalyzed. And social intelligence is used when Leonard tries to teach Sheldon about sarcasm.

The Big Bang Theory show

Raj Koothrappali, astrophysicist, has selective mutism. Poor guy can't speak out loud in front of women unless he drinks some alcohool first, though he can communicate normally with his mother and the guys. Selective mutism, as a speaking disorder might be related to excessive shyness and anxiety and after seeing Raj's excesive controling parents, you kind of get where that came from.

On the other hand, Sheldon Cooper, theoretical physicist, supposedly has Asperger Syndrome. Lots have been debated in and out the virtual world if Sheldon has Asperger Syndrome or not. The writers seem not to want to "label" him and this can be good and bad at the same time. On one hand this is an opportunity to show the world that someone with Asperger can become a theoretical physicist, increasing public awareness. On the other hand, labels often lead to social stigma and social isolation and this is the bad part.

Series co-creator Bill Prady stated: "We write the character as the character. A lot of people see various things in him and make the connections. Our feeling is that Sheldon's mother never got a diagnosis, so we don't have one". However, with or without a diagnosis, Sheldon's behavior is consistent with Asperger Syndrome as the insane theory has been ruled our. His mother had him tested, as he seldom repeats during the show, so that's one thing we know for sure.

Despite Sheldon being a highly intelligent and logical person, a prodigy with an IQ of 187 and an eidetic memory (he virtually remembers every detail since he was a little boy), he is usually inept in most social interactions (eg. he discourses at length upon the precise parameters of Christmas gift-giving). His vast knowledge of theoretical psychology does not make him a savvy of social etiquette, human relationships and feelings. Following are some of the symptoms that are consistent with the theory according to which Sheldon Cooper has Asperger Syndrome:

- He is not entirely sure how to hug or comfort someone, and avoids human contact whenever possible.
- He lacks empathy and can’t interpret other people’s body language.
- He fails to understand irony, sarcasm and humor and the human matting rituals puzzle him.
- Sheldon has childish qualities and he must always get his way.
- Sheldon uses a flat-tone and rarely smiles. When he finally does so, his smile is more of a grimace than a proper smile.
- He is fascinate with trains and has a circle of interests he won't broaden.
- He’s unable to lie or keep a secret because he develops nervous tics.
- Sheldon displays compulsive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. He exhibits a strict adherence to rigid rules and routines, such as doing specific recreational activities or the laundry on specific days of the week, at a specific time, going to the bathroom at the same time every morning, eating specific food items on specific days, being unable to reconcile changes to food orders, or door knocking patterns that can not be interrupted. He also refuses to sit anywhere other than on his spot on the left cushion of the couch in his apartment, which he considers his "single point of consistency in an ever-changing world". He is constantly worried about others touching his food, washes his hands as often as he can, and showers twice daily, being extremely worried about becoming sick (hypochondriac). He doesn't care how other people feel about his habits and he expects everyone to follow his rules unconditionally. Therefore he is a difficult person to live and work with.

You might know somebody with Asperger diagnosis. You might see some differences between the many similarities and you might want to discart Sheldon's syndome. But bear in mind, people with Asperger’s are not just the sum of their symptoms, they don’t all have the same symptoms nor have them in the same degree. They are real people and like the rest of us, they are different from one another. And last but not least, both Sheldon and Raj are sitcom characters, their personality traits are sometimes exaggerated and other times inconsistent for better ratings purposes.

Asperger syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism. The DSM-IV-TR does describe distinct differences between Asperger syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders. However, the new DSM-V (2012) proposed to merge autism and Asperger’s disorder into a single ‘spectrum’ category.

Psychology Jokes: Psychiatric Hotline

Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.
If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
If you are depressed, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.
If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.