When we talk about ‘cognitive dissonance’, we’re often talking about politics or social engineering
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Posted September 14, 2018 05:21:53 When you’ve just lost your job, the pressure to prove you’re smart and talented is immense.
But how much is that really true?
It’s the crux of a new study, led by cognitive scientist Chris Brees, which has shed new light on this tricky question.
The researchers found that a lack of self-awareness can actually lead to more cognitive dissonance.
This is a sense of having an underlying belief that one is wrong, even if that belief has no basis in reality.
In other words, we might be more inclined to believe in our own cognitive biases than in the reality of the world around us.
What this means is that if we do believe in cognitive biases, we can unconsciously reinforce them.
This would be especially problematic for the kind of people who suffer from depression or anxiety.
For example, if you’re depressed or anxious, you might find it easier to convince yourself that you are a failure than to challenge yourself and see what’s actually going on.
Cognitive bias is a form of self delusion In fact, it has been shown that when we’re stressed or under pressure, our brains often become more insular, with less access to outside information.
This can lead to a sense that we’re just in the dark, where we can’t see the bigger picture, and that we can only see ourselves.
For instance, if a colleague in your workplace suggests you join them on a weekend trip, you may feel pressure to reject it, even though you’re sure you’ll be fine.
This pressure to conform to the accepted norm may also contribute to cognitive dissonant thinking, because you might think, “Oh, I know I’m a loser, so I shouldn’t be here,” rather than “Well, I’m actually doing quite well here, so what can I do to make myself look better?”.
And the result of this thinking is that you’ll become more cognitively biased.
Brees and his colleagues set out to find out whether it’s possible to alter our brain chemistry so that we no longer hold to cognitive biases.
To do this, they used an experimental paradigm that involved placing people in a lab where they were asked to think about a hypothetical situation.
In this case, they were given a piece of paper and asked to write down their feelings about that situation.
Then, they then had to find ways to change their minds about it.
To test this, the researchers asked participants to answer questions about the situation.
For each question, they had to tell the researchers how much they felt the situation made them feel, how it affected their mood, and how it made them think.
Then they had the participants take a test to see how much of their brain responded to the situation and the response they expected from their brain.
They also asked the participants to rate how good they thought their brain was at thinking about the subject.
They found that participants who thought they were making a mistake in the experiment had significantly more brain activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is a part of the brain that’s involved in decision-making.
The authors suggest that these findings might help us understand why people often seem to have a hard time breaking cognitive biases even when they’re in stressful situations.
“We have a really good understanding of how the brain reacts to cognitive demands,” says Brees.
“When you’re working with people who are making cognitive demands, it may be that their brain is less insular. “
But when you’re in a situation where you’re making the same cognitive demands but you’re being asked to do it unconsciously, it might not be so obvious. “
When you’re working with people who are making cognitive demands, it may be that their brain is less insular.
But when you’re in a situation where you’re making the same cognitive demands but you’re being asked to do it unconsciously, it might not be so obvious.
And it could be that the brain is responding in a way that’s more insulating and less responsive.”
And while the results were clear in this case study, Brees thinks it could help us improve our understanding of the impact of cognitive biases on our brains.
“Our findings have important implications for understanding how we can combat cognitive bias and improve people’s mental health,” he says.
“One important idea that we were trying to address was how people with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, for example, might respond to cognitive bias.
One way we can do that is by designing interventions that allow people to work through their cognitive biases and then develop better strategies for dealing with them.”
The researchers are currently studying whether the same pattern of brain activity would occur in people with other mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The results of this study will appear in the Journal of Affective Disorders on August 29.
Posted September 15, 2018 06:42:02 We’re not always conscious of the things
Posted September 14, 2018 05:21:53 When you’ve just lost your job, the pressure to prove you’re smart and talented is…
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