The Psychology of Blink: Understanding How Our Minds Work

Approaching Infinity

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Windmill knight said:
Now, one question about the video. Greenwald says that he thinks these biases are learned and not genetic. The examples he gives may be, like the correlation between gender and role (career or family). But are all biases really learned? Could it be that some of them are hard-wired, or that there is a genetic predisposition to have stronger tendencies than others? I suspect genetics does take a big role, but I'd like to know what people think.

Well, personally, I'm pretty skeptical about the influence of genes on cognitive processes, except as a percursor to purely biological features that help or hinder certain information transfers and transformations within the body and between the body and the mind. But even looking at it that way, it could end up being just a matter of semantics. So perhaps one person can have a biology (produced by certain genes) that makes the formation of certain biases easier (and more rigid). The information flow is rigid, without the plasticity to allow for finer distinctions (i.e., something like the cognitive slippage discussed in the schizotypy thread).

As for truly 'hard-wired' biases, I don't know. Do you have any examples that you suspect might be so? {added: just saw your list in your last post.} Sheldrake might say that such things are perhaps collective behavioral memory, and not so much 'hard-wired' (as in, physical). As for beauty, I think that may be even more primal than genes, along with truth and value.

One last comment is that his lecture seems to be much more related to Wilson's 'Stranger to Ourselves' or Kahneam's 'Thinking Fast and Slow' than to Gladwell's 'Blink'. In fact, Blink seemed to have a somewhat positive connotation about these automatic unconscious processes in the sense of enabling us to perceive things that our rational mind missed. The emphasis of the other two books seems to be on how misleading these are.

Didn't Gurdjieff say something about the subconscious being the source of garbage and treasure (kind of like his discussion on the good/bad nature of hypnotism)? FWH Myers, a psychologist admired by William James, said something similar: the subconscious is the source of both lower, automatic processes, and higher, creative ones.
 

Voyageur

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I viewed this lecture a few nights ago and, although not surprised by the statistic presented (sad to see them), it certainly made me think of how stereotypes and biases rule the day - makes me wonder how we ever made it this far, and it puts much focus on how it affects or has effected me over life and the critical thinking one needs to employ on almost every word that evokes automation. He discussed (during the questions) how this could be used in marketing and recall him acknowledging this, yet downplaying it as something not used in the main - or differently. However, osit, call it what you will, there is possibly exacting knowledge of this; for instance, the political and media words employed are very much aimed at capturing and dividing these levels - the word terrorist is banked on and so on and so forth, and ensures the population generally leans to where they want.

Anthony mentions the cultural context of the studies being mostly American, although cites the Swedish example and the global context to the people engaged in the study. Yet from what i understand, it was particularly aimed at western thinking in a technological, social and political world of recent past and present programing. So I wonder how the statistics would change in eastern minds, those without technological and religious tempering, or in other past times that did not fall under strong religious or socioeconomic leanings - i don't know exactly, perhaps within context of a collective memory, the results would be similar; and like he says of the illusions, there is nothing we can do about it except know that it is illusory, if awareness is present.

As others have said concerning some of the authors known here that discuss systems over levels etc., Anthony, in his brief lecture with audience interactions, leaves one to ponder at the almost very collective way in which together, we shape and confirm with each other our societal attitudes, often with an automated level of our thinking. Notwithstanding this, this looks to be a main weakness that can and likely is prodded/exploited as a known fallibility in human kind that assures specified outcomes if looking for control - i mean, look what we, as a society, do or support without really thinking; shocking.
 

Keit

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I just got around watching this video, and wonder about something: The professor said that the reason the card trick has worked, was because non of the cards that were in the first row were present in the second one. They all got replaced. And at the beginning, when he first showed the cards, he asked those who noticed that their card got removed to raise their hand. And almost everyone has raised their hands, but not all. So I wonder why they hadn't, since it appears that everyone in the audience should have raised their hands. So that actually could be a good material for another experiment ! :D ;)
 

Voyageur

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Keit said:
I just got around watching this video, and wonder about something: The professor said that the reason the card trick has worked, was because non of the cards that were in the first row were present in the second one. They all got replaced. And at the beginning, when he first showed the cards, he asked those who noticed that their card got removed to raise their hand. And almost everyone has raised their hands, but not all. So I wonder why they hadn't, since it appears that everyone in the audience should have raised their hands. So that actually could be a good material for another experiment ! :D ;)

Fwiw, i was aware of that trick, so for me, if in the audience, i would have paid attention to there being 16 face cards and only 5 shown to make a choice. Some people are really good at counting cards and for many, being shown face cards of different suit's can be confusing. As for the chessboard illusion, i'm still at a loss. :D
 
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