Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The answer to "what makes something/someone be ..." is looking for symptoms, not causes; the answer to "what makes something/someone do ..." is looking for causes, not symptoms. For example, the answer to "what makes someone retarded" could be "low frustration tolerance" as opposed to "hitting your head against a wall too many times". The latter could indicate an initially high frustration tolerance, which then gradually lowered. For other symptoms, such as a tendency to acquiesce to the expectations and desires of others, see Switzky/Greenspan, "What is Mental Retardation?" [Google Book].