Researcher ORCID Identifier
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2021 Liam Jones
In order to judge how behavior caused by the positivity effect should be considered, comparisons were made between the positivity effect and two mental disorders. These disorders, Tourette’s syndrome and psychopathy, were selected due to their extreme differences in what Strawsonian attitudes they inspire and how they are perceived relative to disordered patients’ will. Disorder-affected behavior of Tourette’s patients inspires the objective attitude and is seen as a condition affecting an individual’s will, while disorder-affected behavior of psychopaths inspires the interpersonal attitude and is seen as a character trait. Relevant distinctions between psychopathy and Tourette’s syndrome were found to include their neurological causes, the obviousness of the suffering they caused, and how easily their disorder-affected behavior could be mapped onto goal-seeking behavior. These considerations suggest the positivity effect should be viewed similarly to psychopathy in terms of responsibility, although this is complicated by its time of development and other factors.
Jones, Liam, "Mental Disorders, the Positivity Effect, and Questions of Identity and Responsibility" (2022). Pitzer Senior Theses. 176.