Table of contents:

Beyond The Experiences - Self-development
Beyond The Experiences - Self-development

Video: Beyond The Experiences - Self-development

Video: Beyond The Experiences - Self-development
Video: The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington 2023, December

Author: Vincent Ryan Ruggiero

Translation: Alexander Polikin, Evgeny Volkov

Most people are of the opinion that feelings and thinking are mutually exclusive and a person has to choose - to think or feel. But this position is wrong. Feeling and thinking are complementary. Emotions, being more spontaneous, can be an excellent impetus for developing inferences. And cognitive processes, being more rational, help determine the most appropriate responses.

In defense of thinking

Back in the sixties, humanists rebelled against rationalistic and behaviouristic models of the human personality. Their position opposed the earlier tendency to elevate science and technology and worship the "objective." “Man is not a robot,” they announced. - He's more than just physiology.

He has hopes, dreams, emotions. Everyone has their own perspectives, their own unique vision of the world. And any idea of humanity that ignores this subjective side is distorted."

Thinking neglect is dangerous for two reasons:

1. The first reason is that we live in an era of manipulation. Many demagogues, armed with knowledge in the field of psychology, play on our emotions and subconscious desires. They are ready to convince us that the superficial is deep, the harmful is useful, the evil is virtuous. And our senses are especially vulnerable to such manipulations.

2. The second reason is that in every area of modern life - in law, medicine, government, education, science, business - we are surrounded by serious problems that require careful selection and assessment of facts. This requires thoughtful consideration of various inferences or actions, as well as judicious selection of the appropriate action.

Fear of uncertainty

Many respected authors highlight the value of critical thinking skills. For example, in the best-selling book Future Shock, Alvin Toffler describes the "intellectual confusion" and value disorientation that accompanies decision-making today. He notes that since the volume and types of data that modern people face require ever faster and more complex decisions, each person must be able to think critically, perceive new things, highlight the important among the little things, deal not only with well-known matters, but also with "unknown, unexpected, impossible."

A person with developed thinking:

  • 1. sees the problem, examines his reaction before making a decision;
  • 2. carefully selects the facts necessary to solve the problem;
  • 3. comes to a conclusion that is consistent with the facts, doubts his judgment until the facts are confirmed;
  • 4. When a problem arises that he has already encountered, resists the temptation to act according to an already developed pattern.

Poor-minded person:

  • 1. sees the problem and makes a decision immediately;
  • 2. refuses to seek evidence or carelessly reviews the facts;
  • 3. allows feelings to control the decision-making process, prefers to solve quickly, without hesitation;
  • 4. does not waste his energy on thinking.

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget believes that the main goals of education should be "to educate people who are able not only to repeat the achievements of past generations, but also to create something new" and "endowing people with critical thinking so that they can choose, not agree. with everything that is offered to them."

People need to be taught how to understand emotions, how to understand to what extent they were formed under the influence of external factors, or how to resolve the conflict between their own feelings and those of others. In other words, people need to be taught critical thinking.

9 problems of critical perception of reality

1. The main problem: "MY BEST"

We love our things more than strangers. They are our continuation.


ethnocentricity. The position "mine is better" is inherent in all. People believe that their race, religion, culture, or value system is superior to others. If they are told that their beliefs are wrong, or even if they are simply asked to explain the essence of those beliefs, they begin to resist.


We are most influenced by the “mine is better” attitude in the things that matter most to us. We must look for similar reactions in ourselves and overcome them. You can try to understand the other side by impartially examining its merits.


Any change threatens our habits. They require us to think and decide, but it's much easier for us to think and act the way we are used to.


insecurity and fear.

1. Changes affect our sense of security. Uncertainty is the reason that some people will go to great lengths to prove the wrong ideas that they simply cannot understand.

2. In some cases, the fear of the unknown may be caused by uncertainty; in others, he may himself be the cause of insecurity. People tend to suspect the worst, this drives them and forces them to struggle with new ideas.


By overcoming resistance to change, we get new opportunities for development. Researcher Eileen Bayer invited older people to work as teachers in kindergartens. This relieved pensioners of the sense of being unnecessary and raised the level of education.


Conformity - human behavior “like everyone else” - often makes life safer. But sometimes it increases our dependence on other people. Blindly following and not thinking is irresponsible.


external pressure and "group thinking". Man is a collective being, but the desire to conform to the group can harm thinking. Yale University psychologist Irving L. Janis introduced the concept of "group thinking" - when people, making a decision, really want it to coincide with the decision of others. The defect of group thinking is the lack of options, the detection of shortcomings does not in any way affect the revision of the position.

Solution: The

wise person is selective about conformity. He tries to control his reactions and resist the reckless pressure of the group. In important and controversial situations, he thinks independently and can defend his point of view in front of others.

The paucity of thought generates millions of like-minded people

Sergey Dovlatov


I would like to see myself as a positive hero. Sometimes this forces us to resort to various maneuvers.


psychologist Alfred Alder argues that all people, to one degree or another, suffer from a sense of their own inferiority. This explains the need to maintain their image, which makes them take a defensive position. For example, a person who believes in self-control may deny their addiction to smoking or drinking alcohol.


We can hardly resist the temptation to save face. But we can learn to identify this behavior and try to control it.


Stereotypes can be defined as some form of generalization. If our observations are not accurate enough, the generalization may be wrong. The most common types of stereotypes are ethnic and religious.


1. A person considers patterns as facts. And he perceives facts as stereotypes. Stereotyped people are oblivious to the circumstances that question their judgments and pay attention to the circumstances that support them.

2. Stereotypical thinking is characterized by a constant shift of responsibility from the evaluating person to the evaluated subject. When a biased thinking person states: “I don’t like them because they…”, he means: “Because I don’t like them, they…”

3. One of the most significant reasons for stereotyping is ethnocentrism.


stereotypical thinking is unfair to a person who is considered a faceless thing, a statistical unit. As a consequence, it interferes with understanding and interaction, and this can block communication.


Common sense is the majority view of reality. This may be 24 carat wisdom, but it may also be "fake gold."


Common sense labels the views of the majority as “hands off”. He tells us, "Don't you dare challenge this idea." Because of this, we neglect our desire to test the correctness of an idea. We feel protected when we are dealing with something already known. If we accept an idea that is supported by the majority, and then it turns out that the idea is wrong, then everyone was wrong and the likelihood that we will be mocked is small.

Solution: It's

impossible to predict which idea will stand the test of time. But if we can understand that critical thinking takes precedence over comfort and safety, we can demand that every idea be proven.


When oversimplification becomes excessive, it distorts the idea so that it becomes a lie.


Simplification is sometimes useful and necessary. The world is complex. Circumstances force those who know more about a particular subject to speak with those who know less. Difficult questions can only be made clearer by simplifying them.


Over-simplification seems reasonable to us because it contains an element of truth. They are partially correct. And that can obscure the fact that they are partially wrong. We are too lazy to think, we subconsciously begin to choose the simplest answers and solutions.


These are premature judgments made before the facts have been verified.


1. For some people, the most important thing in thinking is convenience. They are afraid of tense analysis and the pressure of difficulties. As a result, they grab onto whatever conclusion comes to their mind first.

2. Even people who have achieved a high level of thinking and intellectual maturity cannot avoid another tendency: to think that one idea is necessarily better than others.

3. Another important reason for jumping to conclusions is the peculiarity of the situation.


No conclusions can be drawn until we have considered all the possibilities, received adequate evidence, and considered the influence of our own preferences and habits.


The conclusion is expressed after reflection. The assumption appears in the mind without thinking.

Reasons: It's

natural to make assumptions. Without them, we would have to ponder every word we utter, every move we make. Fortunately, many of our assumptions are valid. An assumption becomes unfounded only when too much is taken for granted.


we may or may not be aware of our assumptions. If we are not aware of them, then we are in their power. They can interfere with our understanding and intuition. Therefore, an intelligent thinker constantly strives to understand and evaluate his assumptions.

Knowing yourself

Our feelings, thoughts and behavior depend on many factors. How well we can manage our thought process depends on what exactly we know about our own possible reactions. If we are not aware of how unwanted traits affect us, we will become even more vulnerable to them.