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A Guide To Thinking Mistakes - Self-development
A Guide To Thinking Mistakes - Self-development

Video: A Guide To Thinking Mistakes - Self-development

Video: A Guide To Thinking Mistakes - Self-development
Video: The worst self improvement mistake 2023, March

If you try to independently figure out the cognitive distortions, the number of which only in Wikipedia is more than 175, then you can forever get bogged down in vague definitions, interchangeable concepts, repetitions. How to be? Turn to the wonderful skill of generalization and ordering.

Consumer behavior expert Buster Benson finally cleaned out duplicates and combined similar (eg, the effect of remembering strange and the effect of remembering funny) and complementary distortions (for example, biases associated with optimism and pessimism). Thus, he reduced the list to about 20 unique thinking strategies that we use for very specific reasons. At a higher level, these thinking strategies can be grouped into four major cognitive problems that we face on a daily basis. These are the groups.

Problem 1: information overload

There is too much information in the world around us. We have the only choice - to cut off the "unnecessary" in perception. The brain uses a number of techniques to select only the information that is most likely to be useful to us in some way.

What to do

It is important not only not to drown in an overabundance of information, but also not to completely abandon its perception, not to start cutting off everything and everything quite aggressively. A good sign of danger can be the appearance of a feeling of constant "information noise" from which one wants to completely isolate oneself.

What to fear

We won't see everything. Some of the information we cut off is actually valuable and important.

Cognitive biases of thinking

  • We are more likely to notice what we have previously memorized or often met.
  • Strange / funny / outwardly attractive / anthropomorphic things attract attention more than familiar / unfunny ones.
  • We notice when something changes.
  • We are attracted to particulars that confirm our existing beliefs.
  • We notice flaws in others much more easily than in ourselves.

Everyone has the right to make a mistake, but not everyone is allowed to notice it in time

Jozef Yotem

Problem 2: Difficulty understanding

The world around us is very complex, and we see only a small piece of it. We need to draw some conclusions about him in order to survive. As soon as a stream of information thinned out by the senses enters us, we connect the dots and fill the voids with what we think we know. This allows us to update the models of the surrounding world, to create meanings.

What to do

To create meanings from scattered pieces of information, it is necessary to fill in empty spaces not haphazardly and intuitively, but in relation to our own mental models of the world around us and ourselves, as well as to similar mental models of the people around. Consistency will help control information and events (at least, those that are relatively stable and consistent), if possible.

What to fear

Sometimes the search for meaning leads us to hallucinations. Sometimes we come up with non-existent details only because of assumptions and prejudice, and also complete meanings and stories that did not exist in reality.

Cognitive biases of thinking

  • We find stories and patterns even in sparse data.
  • We complement information gaps or new observations with known cues from stereotypes, generalizations, and past experiences.
  • We value familiar / nice things and people more than unfamiliar / unsympathetic.
  • We're simplifying numbers and probabilities to make them easier to think about.
  • We think we know what others are thinking.
  • We project our current way of thinking into the past and future.

Problem 3: the need for a quick response

We are limited by the available time and the amount of information to make a decision. We have to make split-second decisions that can affect (or we think they can) affect our chances of surviving, being safe, succeeding, or feeling confident in our abilities.

What to do

To act quickly, we must remember that if we did not know how to react quickly in the face of uncertainty, we would hardly last long as a species. Each time new information arrives, you just need to look for a way to influence the situation for the better, to model the future to predict further developments, and not to be afraid to act in a new way when new ideas arise.

What to fear

Fast decisions can be bad. Some of the quick reactions and decisions are dishonest, self-serving and unproductive.

Cognitive biases of thinking

  • To act, we must be confident in the ability to change something and feel the importance of our actions.
  • We prefer to focus on immediate and immediate results instead of delayed in time and space.
  • We prefer to complete what we have already invested time and effort in.
  • We tend to maintain personal autonomy and current status in the group, avoiding irreversible decisions.
  • We prefer simple-looking and unambiguous choices over more complex and uncertain ones.

It is common for every person to be delusional, but only a fool can persist in delusion


Problem 4: what will you need to remember?

There is too much information in the universe. We can afford to remember only what is most likely useful to us in the future. We have to constantly bargain with ourselves and predict what is more profitable to remember and what to forget.

What to do

For this to happen in the most efficient way, the brain must remember the most important of the new information and inform other systems of the body about it. Just enough so that they can adapt and grow stronger over time, but no more. For example, generalizations are more beneficial than specific examples because they take up less space in the brain.

What to fear

Memory reinforces errors. Some of the things we remember increase cognitive biases and conditioning, impairing thought processes.

Cognitive biases of thinking

  • We edit and enhance memories after the events happened.
  • We discard particulars to build and reinforce generalizations.
  • We simplify events and lists down to individual key points and elements.
  • We store memories in different ways depending on the situation of the experience.

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