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Old 10-08-08, 07:35 AM
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Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Thom Hartmann proposed a hypotheis about the origins of ADHD..though it did not bode well in the scientific community. This theory states it may be a form of adaptive behavior. For many thousand years, humans were nomadic hunter gatherers. But this standard changed with the development of an agriculture style culture; people worldwide become farmers.

During this time and up to today, some people retained the ADD(HD) gene.

"These individuals have the ability to rapidly shift their focus and external attention and to hold multiple trains of thought. This causes difficulties when they must live and work in cultures in which "farming" -well planned, predictable, organized and repetitive behaviors- are typical."

Thom Hartman is no scientist. He is the Father of a child with a form of ADD. As he watched his child interact, learn and grow, he developed this Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory. This is just a brief overview of his hypotheis.

Ok Adder's, what do you think of this hypotheis. Is there any revelence to its' position? If so, share with us. If you think His position is not factual, share your thoughts.

Citation: wikipedia/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_vs._farmer_theory
Also: http://www.adda-sr.org/Spanish/hunterfarmer.htm

months ago seen another article about this theory, unknown source. If I run accross it, I'll edited it into this thread.
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Old 10-08-08, 08:04 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Ah, one of my favorite items.

I actually like this idea, though it is probably not very likely to be true in its literal form. Quite a few ADD quirks may actually be detrimental to effective hunting(lack of attention to detail for example) but a great many others are a distinct benefit.

I actually observe a lot of these quirks in myself:

- Keeping mind and senses always open to deal with new factors from the outside(easily distracted, inadvertent eavesdropping on conversations, why do ADD eyes wander a lot)
- Making sure to always have a good overview of the environment (public places, traffic situations[I look far ahead in traffic])
- Hyperfocus on things perceived as important
- Switching off if there is nothing going on, to conserve energy. No energy for mundane tasks
- Retain flexibility in planning, don't be dogmatic
- Dislike of outside sources of distractions such as large groups, shopping mall, busy kids, noisy environments. "hunting alone"
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Old 10-23-08, 12:14 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

actually...

http://www.northwestern.edu/newscent...iaaltribe.html
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Old 10-23-08, 09:24 PM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

I see it as a useful metaphor and that is about it. Barkley took a pretty good swipe at this theory and I can't fault him on his reasoning...although several members took offense before. I'm all for calling a spade a spade...that could be my ADHD. Here is the quote, "Here’s storytelling about AD/HD. AD/HD children are just leftover hunters from the Pleistocene era of human evolution and there’s really nothing wrong with them. They’re just the good old hunters from our caveman days being forced to live in a world of farmers and education. That is one view of AD/HD that became very popular over the last decade and that is not a theory. That is a silly little idea for building self-esteem in AD/HD children, and I don’t happen to believe that you should be building self-esteem by lying to people, by practicing small deceits, by creating little stories about the origin of a disorder so that you can act as if it wasn’t a disorder. From that view, there’s nothing wrong with AD/HD. It’s the environment that’s the problem. AD/HD is just a mismatch between little hunters where hunting is no longer needed by the environment. Let me tell you something. The last person I ever want to go hunting with is an AD/HD individual off their medication".
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Old 10-23-08, 09:58 PM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

I view it as an entertaining perspect.

Period.


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Old 10-23-08, 10:14 PM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

"Hereís storytelling about AD/HD.Theyíre just the good old hunters from our caveman days being forced to live in a world of farmers and education."

This about sums up my thoughts on it as well. Just a trick to help with self-esteem but did nothing in itself to help when I diagnosed and was researching about ADD.

That being said, he does have a book out, ADD Success Stories, I'd recommend reading because it's got numerous tips/workarounds other ADDers wrote about to help deal with their ADD.

He does touch on the "ADD hunter" story a bit, but I just ignore that part of the book.
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Old 10-24-08, 12:48 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Sometimes, it's scary to think how short my attention span is with ADHD.

However, I absolutely suck at Counter-Strike, but otherwise have impeccable hand/eye coordination, so there's no way I have some sort of hunting trait.

Entertaining, but certainly untrue; However, there has to be some sort of explanation, because if we revert ourselves into our primitive caveman counterparts, how would ADD affect us on a daily basis, as opposed to it being disasterous in the society we live in today?

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Old 10-24-08, 01:23 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Generally, I think it is a bit silly - or simplistic. But it isn't totally unreasonable. In the end, what does it mean to individuals?

One thing is, people should recognize their own individual strengths and their own positive characteristics. For ADD'ers that's often difficult, as most of our lives we've been living with something of a handicap and struggling to deal with it.

Second, it is worthwhile to realize that we need to be responsible (to cope properly) and live in the present world, but that we shouldn't feel that we need to conform completely - that we should keep an eye open toward finding pursuits and environments and relationships where we can best succeed.

This hunter/farmer narrative may help some people connect with that. It probably won't mean retuning to the African veld, but its a refreshing point of view.

For me, I don't much want to take a set of characteristics that someone else has come up with (along with reasons for "why") and then try to map myself to that. It's not anywhere near to something that I would share with other people to "explain me". It's just a home-made theory, of sorts.

****

There is a biological cause behind ADD, of course, and it is genetic.

I actually think that over time many traits that are generally considered "personality" will be traced back to genetics - not completely, of course, but as being a foundation for different characteristics.

That list of characteristics may be pretty long and will probably be a bit surprising in terms of the subtle traits that have a genetic factor. Just my opinion...
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Old 10-24-08, 02:32 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

I really like the hunter/farmer theory and here's why.

My brain is not necessarily better or worse than anyone elses. It's just different. It needs a lot of fuel and it takes a lot of work to keep it functioning. It's either going 100% and laser sharp or it's drifting, foggy, and disoriented.

But here's the thing. If I'm working on something that captures my imagination in an area I'm competent in (and people acknowledge that), I'm like a bloodhound on the scent. I'll forget to eat, drink, and sleep and I'll be 100% the entire time. On the other hand, if it's something that is boring, I'm bad at (and people tell me so) then I'll never get close to even 10%. My brain is completely gone.

It's interesting because many of the farmers/ranchers/cowboys I know are either diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD. Others, that may or may not be ADHD still have a whole lot of the traits. And yes, most do quite a bit of hunting (whaddya know? unmedicated!). I have a gut feeling that Barkley has never been hunting -- especially with guys like these... I can say for sure, if I'm ever in a sticky situation (or hunting) I want these guys around. They're likely to do just what's needed and they're not going to miss.
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Old 10-24-08, 03:15 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

So, I don't have anything against Barkley although I do like the hunter concept. His statement quoted above irked me to no end so I thought I'd go over it. Realized, it's not what he's saying... it's the false logic and superiority...

So just because...

That is one view of AD/HD that became very popular over the last decade and that is not a theory.

Whether or not it's a theory is obsolete. At one point in time the theory of evolution was not a theory. Now it is a theory, whether you personally believe in evolution or not. (I don't btw)

That is a silly little idea for building self-esteem in AD/HD children, and I donít happen to believe that you should be building self-esteem by lying to people, by practicing small deceits, by creating little stories about the origin of a disorder so that you can act as if it wasnít a disorder.

I like this little bit of false logic. First, "silly little idea" establishes his superiority and that this is something to be made fun of. This plays to the ego -- no one wants to believe a silly-little-idea-made-for-little-kids... Second, no one believes you should build self-esteem by lying. The statement has a false ending. If you don't believe you should lie to build self esteem, then this "silly little idea" is a "small deceit"... "creating little stories"...

From that view, thereís nothing wrong with AD/HD. Itís the environment thatís the problem.

ALL organisms have a range of tolerance. All people have a range of tolerance. People with ADHD have a different range of tolerance than most people. So yeah, nothing's wrong with having a different range of tolerance. But this must be recognized, accepted, and worked with. I am empathic and will unconsciously take on the emotions of everyone around me. I have to guard against this and be aware of this. Otherwise, I'll be flooded with negative energy when a negative person comes into the room. There is no problem per se. There's nothing wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with the environment necessarily. But I must take care and be aware so I'm not physically and emotionally drained.

AD/HD is just a mismatch between little hunters where hunting is no longer needed by the environment.

I like the use of the word "little" here again. This biting sarcasm is starting to look a lot like defensiveness. And I do believe "hunting" is greatly needed -- especially now. There are those who will show up, put in 8 hours, and go home and forget about it. There are others who will never be satisfied unless giving 100% mentally, physically, and emotionally. Both are needed.

Let me tell you something. The last person I ever want to go hunting with is an AD/HD individual off their medication.

And this is the statement that got me started. Like I said, I have my doubts that he's a hunter and if I were ever in trouble, in a sticky situation, hunting, or cowboying, I want ADHD people around, medicated or not.

Heck the other day... ok, it wasn't hunting... just moving some heifers. We were with these idiots who wanted to be told what to do every step of the way, who followed instructions blindly (not thinking for themselves), and thus made the job 10 times harder and longer than it needed to be. It's because they weren't reading the cows. Yes, you need to know where you're going and what you're doing. But you need to get things set up so the cows want to go where you want them to go. Then, when you're actually moving them, you take your instructions from the cows -- from the group. You gotta be reading them. You gotta know which one will try to make a break for it. You gotta know where she's thinking about heading before she starts. You gotta know just where to stand so they stay where you want but w/o stressing them. When you know a cow wants to go where you don't want her to go, you gotta know where to move and how much to move. Enough to stop her before she starts. Not enough to scare her/spook the group. You gotta know whether you need to barely raise your hand from your side or whether to start yelling and flapping your arms.

Part of this is just being around animals. Most of it though is being aware of EVERY little thing. Hearing/seeing everything and knowing what's going to spook them before it happens.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:40 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

I have ADHD and I would be a TERRIBLE hunter. First of all, I would lose my hunting tools because I have a terrible memory and tend to misplace things. I am also the type who would daydream and get eaten by a gorilla. Or I would get distracted by something else and then forget what I was supposed to be doing in the first place.

"Ooooh that tree looks fun. I'm going to climb the tree and hang out and enjoy the scenery."
*Walking back home four hours later*
"Oh what was I supposed to be doing? Oh crap, I don't have any dinner!"
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Old 10-24-08, 11:20 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

I think its an appropriate way of illustrating the idea that its the environment that makes adders seem "abnormal"....it doesn't have to be taken litterally
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Old 10-24-08, 03:58 PM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Quote:
The last person I ever want to go hunting with is an AD/HD individual off their medication.
That gave me a chuckle.

Keep in mind, ADHD-ers today live in a world that is very mentally exhausting. It may not have been that way in pre-industrial ages, where education was less valued.
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Old 10-25-08, 01:34 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeymoonapples View Post
I think its an appropriate way of illustrating the idea that its the environment that makes adders seem "abnormal"....it doesn't have to be taken litterally
ADHD
- a contextual disorder

forum thread - contextual disorder

forum thread - Hunter/Farmer theory

both

- very long threads.

( ... ... ... just in case it helps)
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Old 10-27-08, 04:06 AM
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Re: Hunter vs Farmer Trait Theory

Whether or not hunter/farmer is a plausible idea or not, this is the way I see it:

A long time ago nature(a.k.a. evolution) tried out a very small mutation.
As it is most such mutations get erased rapidly because they are less fit than the original. But, for some reason, this one survived to this very day.

Why?

Anyone?
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