|Good is subjective. Instead ask yourself “does this allow me to grow, or does this limit my growth?”|
The following post is one of the most empowering tools for our growth as Individuals we have shared on this blog.
Soul Growth is a function of our ability to create a Subjective Internal Representation of our experience which is in harmony with the Objective External Reality. For an detailed explanation of this see the post Emotional Guidance Scale (Explained in detail) How to be guided by your emotions, instead of controlled by them. By Justin.
Lack of Rational Process Creates Co-Dependencies
Bias – prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair
I have expanded on the below post to include a perspective that the following 12 Cognitive Biases are part of conceptual web of Co-Dependency with Externalizations to limit our understanding and ability to know the world as it IS, instead of how we want it to be.
The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn’t mean our brains don’t have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we’re subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions. Here are a dozen of the most common and pernicious cognitive biases that you need to know about.
Before we start, it’s important to distinguish between cognitive biases and logical fallacies. A logical fallacy is an error in logical argumentation (e.g. ad hominem attacks, slippery slopes, circular arguments, appeal to force, etc.). A cognitive bias, on the other hand, is a genuine deficiency or limitation in our thinking — a flaw in judgment that arises from errors of memory, social attribution, and miscalculations (such as statistical errors or a false sense of probability).
Some social psychologists believe our cognitive biases help us process information more efficiently, especially in dangerous situations. Still, they lead us to make grave mistakes. We may be prone to such errors in judgment, but at least we can be aware of them. Here are some important ones to keep in mind.
1. Confirmation Bias
We love to agree with people who agree with us. It’s why we only visit websites that express our political opinions, and why we mostly hang around people who hold similar views and tastes. We tend to be put off by individuals, groups, and news sources that make us feel uncomfortable or insecure about our views — what the behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner called cognitive dissonance. It’s this preferential mode of behavior that leads to the confirmation bias — the often unconscious act of referencing only those perspectives that fuel our pre-existing views, while at the same time ignoring or dismissing opinions — no matter how valid — that threaten our world view. And paradoxically, the internet has only made this tendency even worse.
2. Ingroup Bias
For example, most people do not know there are cures for cancer already in use on Earth, but if you have gone through an alternative treatment like the Gerson Theraphy, this fact is undeniable. In this case, you can simply share your experience with a group becoming an Expert in your own right. But if you choose to go along with the group, in spite of your intrinsic knowledge and experience, this is reflective of a fear of ostracization from the group. This is yet another form of Co-Dependency, wherein your sense of ‘being accepted’ is more important than sharing your truth; you will deceive others by going along. Freeing yourself from this is a matter of being brave enough to question a long-held belief and speak it clearly to your peers.]
3. Gambler’s Fallacy
It’s called a fallacy, but it’s more a glitch in our thinking. We tend to put a tremendous amount of weight on previous events, believing that they’ll somehow influence future outcomes. The classic example is coin-tossing. After flipping heads, say, five consecutive times, our inclination is to predict an increase in likelihood that the next coin toss will be tails — that the odds must certainly be in the favor of heads. But in reality, the odds are still 50/50. As statisticians say, the outcomes in different tosses are statistically independent and the probability of any outcome is still 50%.
Relatedly, there’s also the positive expectation bias — which often fuels gambling addictions. It’s the sense that our luck has to eventually change and that good fortune is on the way. It also contribues to the “hot hand” misconception. Similarly, it’s the same feeling we get when we start a new relationship that leads us to believe it will be better than the last one.
unlucky because you get into a car accident form work, prevents you from looking at the events objectively and coming into awareness about knowledge you can gain to empower yourself in the future. Again the idea of Cancer is a great example. If you think of yourself as having ‘bad luck’ because you got cancer it blocks you from developing any rational process, looking at your habits and life, to determine if you could have prevented it, or more importantly what the factors were that caused the cancer in the first place.
long term Nutrient Deficiency in conjunction with overwhelming Toxicity, contrary to accepted medical doctrine. Freeing yourself from this is a matter of honestly looking at the events in your life and how you contributed to their happening. Very little in our personal experience is beyond our creative influence.]
4. Post-Purchase Rationalization
Remember that time you bought something totally unnecessary, faulty, or overly expense, and then you rationalized the purchase to such an extent that you convinced yourself it was a great idea all along? Yeah, that’s post-purchase rationalization in action — a kind of built-in mechanism that makes us feel better after we make crappy decisions, especially at the cash register. Also known as Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome, it’s a way of subconsciously justifying our purchases — especially expensive ones. Social psychologists say it stems from the principle of commitment, our psychological desire to stay consistent and avoid a state of cognitive dissonance.
5. Neglecting Probability
Very few of us have a problem getting into a car and going for a drive, but many of us experience great trepidation about stepping inside an airplane and flying at 35,000 feet. Flying, quite obviously, is a wholly unnatural and seemingly hazardous activity. Yet virtually all of us know and acknowledge the fact that the probability of dying in an auto accident is significantly greater than getting killed in a plane crash — but our brains won’t release us from this crystal clear logic (statistically, we have a 1 in 84 chance of dying in a vehicular accident, as compared to a 1 in 5,000 chance of dying in an plane crash [other sources indicate odds as high as 1 in 20,000]). It’s the same phenomenon that makes us worry about getting killed in an act of terrorism as opposed to something far more probable, like falling down the stairs or accidental poisoning.
This is what the social psychologist Cass Sunstein calls probability neglect — our inability to properly grasp a proper sense of peril and risk — which often leads us to overstate the risks of relatively harmless activities, while forcing us to overrate more dangerous ones.
The key is to face your fear head on and expand your knowledge about the thing you fear so deeply it becomes part of you, transcending the fear entirely. For example, many people fear flying and as a result never fly at all, but once you examine your fear and realize it is unjustified, then you can make the critical first step of facing it, by flying and overcoming it with more experiences.]
6. Observational Selection Bias
[This Co-Dependency is similar to ‘cherry picking’ accept it is done with your own past experience because we have a new awareness enriching our perspective with things which we were previously unconscious of. Because we do not like to think of ourselves as unaware, we conclude that there is more of this thing than there was in the past. For Example, when we become aware of Chemtrails, we begin to see them more and more, and sometimes we try and conclude that more are being sprayed.
The key is to recognize that while we are aware of many things Consciously, there is a great deal we are Unconscious of. “The key to wisdom is knowing what you do not know.” Keep an open mind about all things for absolute certainty creates an Egocentric Identity which now must be projected by selective observation.]
7. Status-Quo Bias
We humans tend to be apprehensive of change, which often leads us to make choices that guarantee that things remain the same, or change as little as possible. Needless to say, this has ramifications in everything from politics to economics. We like to stick to our routines, political parties, and our favorite meals at restaurants. Part of the perniciousness of this bias is the unwarranted assumption that another choice will be inferior or make things worse. The status-quo bias can be summed with the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — an adage that fuels our conservative tendencies. And in fact, some commentators say this is why the U.S. hasn’t been able to enact universal health care, despite the fact that most individuals support the idea of reform.
[Our apprehension for change in our lives is a direct result of Fearing the Unknown. This is one of the Primal Fears and it is creates a host of Co-Dependent tendencies, where we place our choice not to move into the unknown onto others for their approval. For example, if we have a friend who as died from cancer, it becomes much more difficult to realize that cancer cures have existed because there is a huge level of unknown factors we become aware of in relation to something we feel we have already understood.
The key is to realize that you do not have absolute knowledge and become aware of the thing you are so staunching trying to appose. Questioning an assertion because you want to understand it is different than attempting to stop an idea from being explored. Therefore, do not discard new information simply because it counters your world view and explore the unknown as a child explores the world.]
8. Negativity Bias
People tend to pay more attention to bad news — and it’s not just because we’re morbid. Social scientists theorize that it’s on account of our selective attention and that, given the choice, we perceive negative news as being more important or profound. We also tend to give more credibility to bad news, perhaps because we’re suspicious (or bored) of proclamations to the contrary. More evolutionarily, heeding bad news may be more adaptive than ignoring good news (e.g. “saber tooth tigers suck” vs. “this berry tastes good”).
Today, we run the risk of dwelling on negativity at the expense of genuinely good news. Steven Pinker, in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, argues that crime, violence, war, and other injustices are steadily declining, yet most people would argue that things are getting worse — what is a perfect example of the negativity bias at work.
[Before we get into this Bias, let us first address the terms ‘good and bad.’ We use these words all the time to share value judgments we have. “This tastes bad! Her outfit looks good. You got a bad grade on your paper.” So what is good and what is bad? These are Subjective perspectives based on an Objective context within our experience. And while these terms can convey much meaning, without defining what the context actually is, we limit ourselves in our understanding and communication with others leading them to simply say they agree instead of probing for deeper understanding.
The Negative Bias, or our tendency to have more awareness of ‘bad things’ is an attempt to gain knowledge about the world so we can navigate it free of the jarring effects of being faced with the unknown. As we discussed in the above Bias, the Fear of the Unknown is a powerful motivator. And in a sense, our desire to know about things which can be viewed as ‘bad’ is revealing our willingness to venture into the unknown. This is an indication we are ready to taste the truth. However, if we dwell, on ‘bad news’ it reveals we are Co-Dependent with meanings we deem ‘bad’ usually to confirm the belief: ‘the world is a f-up place.’
The key is to ask yourself why you find ‘bad’ things in your experience desirable, and get to the root of your obsession. What is your world view? The answer to this question is at the core of this Bias. The more we expand our knowledge and link the pieces of truth together, the more we transcend such limiting world views.]
9. Bandwagon Effect
[Our desire to ‘fit in’ is fundamental to the human experience. While we are Individuals, we are also a Human Family and our desire to feel connected to our fellow humans is a powerful motivator. When we cast the context of our personal truth in contrast to a group dogma, now we have the tension differential which leads us to subdue our personal experiences for a Group Bias.
A research study was done to determine how often the average person lies and it was found that we lie or deceive an average of 3 times every 10 minutes. Within the Context of Group Bias, this is a result of our Co-Dependency with the sense of connectedness we feel towards others and groups at large. Lying, as a way to avoid sharing a truth which may disrupt another or cause your sense of connection to falter, is at the core of this Bias.
The key is to realize sharing of yourself, fully and completely will always create greater connections with others in the long term. However, in the short term, your candid expression of self may push others away who are not accepting of you and the truth’s you embody. This can cause a sense of loneliness which leads us towards going along with the crowd. But bravery in the face of such things, will not only transcend the addiction to social acceptance, but begin to transform the social group who is ostracized by your truth. A service to others modality of expression.]
10. Projection Bias
As individuals trapped inside our own minds 24/7, it’s often difficult for us to project outside the bounds of our own consciousness and preferences. We tend to assume that most people think just like us — though there may be no justification for it. This cognitive shortcoming often leads to a related effect known as the false consensus bias where we tend to believe that people not only think like us, but that they also agree with us. It’s a bias where we overestimate how typical and normal we are, and assume that a consensus exists on matters when there may be none. Moreover, it can also create the effect where the members of a radical or fringe group assume that more people on the outside agree with them than is the case. Or the exaggerated confidence one has when predicting the winner of an election or sports match.
[Similar to Group Bias, but in reverse, our tendency to project our personal beliefs on to others presumptuously is at the core of a Projection Bias. This is in response to our fear of being ‘wrong’ which leads us to assume others agree by default. When errors in our understanding are presented to us we feel compelled to ‘force another to accept our beliefs’ even if they are inaccurate for the reality we are attempting to understand.
The key to overcoming this bias is to first realize we do have the capacity to make mistakes, and instead of thinking we are ‘all alone’ in our process, realize we have an entire host of other beings who can assist us in our understanding. Holding up a flag of truth with Absolute Certainty is where most of us go astray. We tend to think in Absolutes instead of Probabilities because uncertainty is the unknown, and as we discussed above, fear of the unknown is an ever present obstacle in our human experience.
Instead, realize you cannot be absolutely certain about anything, and as such, holding your belief in the sphere of possibility allows you to remain open minded and receive new data without the Ego injuring effects which accompany absolute beliefs; because absolute beliefs are part of our Ego Identity. This is where our Co-Dependency with our ‘image of self,’ the ego, causes us to need agreement from others even in the face of great conceptual error. Other’s must ‘Co-sign’ onto our beliefs so that we do not feel the emotional upheaval from being ‘wrong.’
Being Conscious of your uncertainty about a thing, which is then shared openly with others, allows you to not feel ‘wrong’ when being confronted by differing opinion. This skill of remaining Objective will empower you to avoid the Projection of your Bias onto others. If a belief is only possible, instead of absolute, it is not part of our Identity and is easily discarded for a better idea without causing the trauma of feeling like we are ‘wrong.’]
11. The Current Moment Bias
We humans have a really hard time imagining ourselves in the future and altering our behaviors and expectations accordingly. Most of us would rather experience pleasure in the current moment, while leaving the pain for later. This is a bias that is of particular concern to economists (i.e. our unwillingness to not overspend and save money) and health practitioners. Indeed, a 1998 study showed that, when making food choices for the coming week, 74% of participants chose fruit. But when the food choice was for the current day, 70% chose chocolate.
[Co-dependency with ‘feeling good’ is a constant struggle in our human experience. Many of us are addicted to our emotions instead of being guided by them. Reacting to an emotional situation leads us to make choices in our present which hinder our progress in the future.
For example, most of us eat sugary foods in the morning which force the body to release Insulin to counter the toxic levels in our blood. This in turn, causes the mid-morning ‘haze’ where we feel tired and unmotivated, leading us to drink energy drinks and even more sugary foods to ‘pep up;’ a constant roller coaster of energy and motivation ensues. In contrast, if we choose to eat fruit in the morning, or nothing at all (fasting till lunch time) our bodies will slowly release energy over time maintaining a constant energy level throughout the day avoiding the pitfalls of low energy and motivation.
It is easy to see with the above example that our addictions to ‘feeling good in the moment’ cause us all sorts of future hurdles. Therefore, the key to transcending this Bias is to be brave in the face of your emotional needs, and ask yourself what is the best choice long term? Eventually, we will begin to realize our needs for short term stability cause us long term pain, and a new ‘path of least resistance’ will emerge.]
12. Anchoring Effect
Also known as the relativity trap, this is the tendency we have to compare and contrast only a limited set of items. It’s called the anchoring effect because we tend to fixate on a value or number that in turn gets compared to everything else. The classic example is an item at the store that’s on sale; we tend to see (and value) the difference in price, but not the overall price itself. This is why some restaurant menus feature very expensive entrees, while also including more (apparently) reasonably priced ones. It’s also why, when given a choice, we tend to pick the middle option — not too expensive, and not too cheap.
[Similar to Justification Bias and Current Moment Bias, we tend to make choices based off a limited contextual framework; ‘cherry picking’ our reality to justify our beliefs. For example, if your friend has stolen from you in the past causing you to get upset, you may justify stealing from them in turn, even though you know very well how this can feel on the receiving end.
The context of our decision-making process is the key to undoing nearly all Biases. When you find yourself charged to make a choice in favor of a thing, take pause for a moment and attempt to look at the context from which you are viewing this choice. Just because your friend stole from you in the past, does not mean doing so now will make you feel any better; not to mention the problems you create for yourself with this person in the future. Instead attempt to harmonize your past experience with the present moment, and realize not stealing from your friend will set a new pattern of behavior. The key is to be brave and question your own justifications as to develop a holistic contextual framework which takes into account all possible outcomes and ramifications.]
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