14 Comments

And now I need Scott Alexander to comment on this so I know what to think about it :)

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Mar 2, 2023·edited Mar 2, 2023

I was on hormonal birth control the first twenty years I had my period, never had PMS, and always thought it was a completely made up/exaggerated thing by neurotic women. I also score extremely low, like outlier weirdo level for a female, on neuroticism.

But once I went off hormonal BC, I had to admit it was definitely real. Embarrassingly so, and I really hate the idea that my mood/personality is controlled by a monthly cycle like that. I don't even usually know when I'm going to get it because I don't pay attention, but whenever I do, it's like, oh THAT'S why I was such an irritable bitch yesterday.

I think neurotic women are just more likely to get upset about, amplify, and dwell on ANYTHING with a negative valence, whether it's an event or a mood or a physical condition.

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I wonder how much this could be explained by people experiencing mood-based PMS symptoms while taking the survey being more likely to say they worried about things and were more mentally ill, basically just because of the experience of those symptoms.

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Hey Aella, what are you making your graphs with, XL? You'd be better off using scatterplots and showing trend lines - then there's no need to switch X & Y axes.

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My two cents - ditch the AI art, I'm sick of seeing AI art.

Also, yeah, the nocebo effect is a lot stronger than people realize!

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You could also hypothesize that "feminine traits" form a real cluster, meaning they are correlated to some degree. For instance, women who have a higher hip/waist ratio might on average wear more makeup, or score higher on neuroticism, than more androgynous women. If so, you would expect that higher reported levels of PMS would be correlated with higher neuroticism, as well as all other "feminine traits".

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> should i start including more on-theme midjourney art at the end of my blogposts?

I strongly vote "no".

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In your emails, please can you tag the art you use with the creator's name? It's stunning and they deserve credit. Thank you.

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Dang, that’s interesting. I wonder what’s going on here? Are people who are more neurotic / self-reportedly mentally ill that way because of some core underlying belief or buy-in, and that’s the same buy-in that causes one to believe in mood-based PMS symptoms? Or are objectively more neurotic people exactly the types that form these beliefs in the first place?

To put it another way, is Geography of Madness really a book about people with neurotic tendencies? Or are neurotic tendencies something one believes themselves into having?

(also, please do include more Midjourney, I love seeing what people create with it!)

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