Category: Psychology

Why We Need To Get Comfortable With Confusion

Certainty and assuredness are highly regarded in most circles. Confidence in our beliefs and a sense of control over what lay ahead helps ease our minds. As important as these qualities are, their opposite might also need some time in the spotlight. In Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing, Jamie Holmes explores the problematic side-effect […]

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Awareness Is Information That You’re Not Aware Of

“In introspecting, in asking yourself whether you have an awareness of something, and in making the decision that you have it, what you are deciding on, what you are assessing, the actual stuff your decision engine is collecting, weighing, and concluding that you have, is information. Strictly speaking, the neuronal machinery is deciding that certain […]

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Consciousness in Plants, Animals, and Man

“In attempting to understand the elements out of which mental phenomena are compounded, it is of the greatest importance to remember that from the protozoa to man there is nowhere a very wide gap either in structure or in behaviour. From this fact it is a highly probable inference that there is also nowhere a […]

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Creativity and the Trouble with Incubation

For some time people have broken creativity into four stages. The preparation stage involves accumulating knowledge; the Incubation stage involves letting that knowledge sit in the back of your mind while you do something else; the Illumination stage consists of a flash of insight; the Validation stage is where you consider the idea critically. Stories abound of a-ha moments in the shower and […]

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The Problem With Old School Economics

“The core premise of economic theory is that people choose by optimizing. Of all the goods and services a family could buy, the family chooses the best one that it can afford. Furthermore, the beliefs upon which Econs make choices are assumed to be unbiased. That is, we choose on the basis of what economists […]

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Happiness From a State of Flow

“…happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and […]

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Knowledge is Power Only When You Can Use It

“… knowledge is powerful only when it is applied appropriately, and thought is powerful only when it can utilize a large and accurate base of knowledge.” Diane Halpern, in her book Thought and Knowledge, strikes upon a notion also present in Isaac Newtons famous quote—”If I have seen further, it is by standing on the […]

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How Your Personality Interacts With The Environment

Malcolm Gladwell, a writer for the New Yorker and author of 5 New York Times Best Sellers, digs into the nature of personality in the Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference: “[Character] isn’t what we think it is or, rather, what we want it to be. It isn’t a stable, easily […]

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Thinking Fast and Slow

“When you are asked what you are thinking about, you can normally answer. You believe you know what goes on in your mind, which often consists of one conscious thought leading in an orderly way to another. But that is not the only way the mind works, nor indeed is that the typical way. Most […]

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The Internet Diet

“The Net has become my all-purpose medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind.” Nicholas Carr describes the tumoltuous relationship between his brain and the internet. Something that at first seemed harmless and in many beneficial, but that soon took a turn for the […]

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