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Each culture, country and people has a mythos, that is, a legend explaining its origins, core beliefs and purpose. According to TA, so do individual people. A person begins writing their own script at a young age, as they try to make sense of the world and his place within it. Although it is revised throughout life, the core story is selected and decided upon typically by age 7. As adults it passes out of awareness. A life script might be "to be hurt many times, and suffer and make others feel bad when I die," and could result in a person indeed setting himself up for this, by adopting behaviours in childhood that produce exactly this effect. Though Berne identified several dozen common scripts, there are a practically infinite number of them. Though often destructive, scripts can just as easily be positive or beneficial.
[The term comes from "behaviourist" linguistics: a behavioural script is a sequence of expected behaviours for a given situation, routine, habitual or practised, cf. Shrank's linguistic scripts in AI (R.C. Schank & R. Abelson, Scripts, Plans, Goals, and Understanding [
TA identifies twelve key injunctions that people commonly build into their scripts. These arepowerful "I can't/mustn't . . ." messages that are embedded in a child's belief and life-script:
Against these, a child is often told other things he or she must do. These are the drivers:
Thus, in creating their script, a child will often attempt to juggle these drivers, example: "It's okay for me to go on living (ignore don't exist) so long as I try hard."
This explains why some change is inordinately difficult. To continue the above example: When a person stops trying hard and relaxes to be with their family, the injunction You don't have the right to exist that was being suppressed by their script now becomes exposed and threatening. They may feel a massive psychological pressure which they themselves doesn't understand, to return to trying hard, in order to feel safe and justified (in a childlike way) in existing.
Driver behaviour is also detectable at a very small scale, for instance in instinctive responses to certain situations where driver behaviour is played out over five to twenty seconds.
Broadly speaking, scripts can be tragic, heroic or banal (or non-winner).
Every day, people use financial claims to support an array of social or political opinions, rooting everything back to the money. But how much of what they say is actually true? Joseph Heath, author of the international bestseller The Rebel Sell, sets out to show how most of our commonly held beliefs about economics are just plain wrong. Free of the financial jargon aimed to confuse unsuspecting citizens, Filthy Lucre draws on everyday examples to show the 6 favourite fallacies of the right, and then the 6 of the left.An excerpt. An interview.