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Top 10 Common Faults In Human Thought

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posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 04:18 PM
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I think this is a useful article for the community. Many of these processes operate below consciousness, so it is only through an awareness of their existence can we overcome a tendency towards irrationality and bias. Many of these 'faults' were likely developed as mental shortcuts, which actually could have had an evolutionary advantage.

However, we are constantly bombarded with so much information, much of it tailored by madison-avenue psychologists to play on aspects of our thinking processes that can be manipulated to supersede reason and logic. As a backlash, many people, rightfully, take pride in being skeptical, but that drive, just like any other if not checked, can be taken advantage of by others pushing their own agenda....



The human mind is a wonderful thing. Cognition, the act or process of thinking, enables us to process vast amounts of information quickly. For example, every time your eyes are open, you brain is constantly being bombarded with stimuli. You may be consciously thinking about one specific thing, but you brain is processing thousands of subconscious ideas. Unfortunately, our cognition is not perfect, and there are certain judgment errors that we are prone to making, known in the field of psychology as cognitive biases. They happen to everybody regardless of age, gender, education, intelligence, or other factors. Some of them are well known, others not, but all of them are interesting. I am sure everyone will find that one has happened to them, (I myself have been prone to several) and now will recognize when they are making an error in the future.


We live in an unprecedented time in terms of information availability, which can be very overwhelming. There are many forces trying to take advantage of any weaknesses that can be exploited. Corporations have the sole motive of separating us from our money, and can be nothing but ruthless to overcome any impediments. The military-industrial complex largely operates out of fear, and likewise prey upon our mental tendencies.

There seems such an incredible drive to find a higher purpose, or an escape from our current situation. Many people are looking for something, anything, that provides some hope of a better day, or at least an end of our current state of gloomy crushing apathy. How many posts have been made about "I feel the higher vibrations, do you....2012 will be this or that?"

I guess we won't really know until 2012 is done, but many people might be in for a real let down. Instead of hoping for a transformational explosion due to vibrations activating our majestic DNA sequences, I believe there are better, more grounded ways of changing the world, if that is what one truly wants. In fact, believing that we are in a movie-like drama where armageddon/ascension/tragedy/bliss/the antichrist is coming at the climax of the plot, will only lead to further apathy in the end. That is the fundamental problem with delusion and defense mechanisms, while they serve a purpose, eventually their effectiveness wears thin. Anyway, here is the list:

listverse.com...



10. The Gambler’s fallacy is the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality, they are not.




9. Reactivity is the tendency of people to act or appear differently when they know that they are being observed.




8. Pareidolia is when random images or sounds are perceived as significant.




7. Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes.




6. The Halo effect is the tendency for an individual’s positive or negative trait to “spill over” to other areas of their personality in others’ perceptions of them.




5. Herd mentality is the tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict.




4. Reactance is the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.




3. Hyperbolic discounting is the tendency for people to prefer a smaller, immediate payoff over a larger, delayed payoff.




2. Escalation of commitment is the tendency for people to continue to support previously unsuccessful endeavors.




1. The Placebo effect is when an ineffectual substance that is believed to have healing properties produces the desired effect.


Best,
Skunknuts

[edit on 1/13/2010 by skunknuts]




posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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another thread lifted wholesale from Listverse! JFrater and co. are keeping this place stocked with lists



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 05:58 PM
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I enjoyed the post but I don't 100% agree that these are all exclusively faults. For example...


Originally posted by skunknuts


8. Pareidolia is when random images or sounds are perceived as significant.


I think every sound or image does have levels of significance and meaning relative to all number of different things, it's just a matter of determining what those significances are.


7. Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes.


I have been forced to assume that all attitudes are relative and arbitrary and no single attitude is justified by science or anything else as being "best." Since that's the case, finding an attitude that works for you, to help you do all the things you want, should certainly be tailored-to and reinforced, and "self-fulfilling prophecies" are a powerful way of doing that.

For a simplified example and demonstration of what I am talking about, take two people: one sorry and pessimistic, the other one self-motivated and optimistic. They go in to be interviewed for a job, and the pessimist assumes he has already lost the job and that the interviewer doesn't want him before his interview even begins. He may sound nervous, unsure of himself, etc. The self-motivated person comes in with an optimistic attitude, believes he already has the job, gives a very confident interview and exudes a lot more positive energy.

These are "self-fulfilling prophecies" but they also have a very practical and therefore logical lesson to learn. If you want to get a job, it is never going to hurt you to be confident about it, just because it has the potential to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So does taking a negative attitude, which is exactly its danger.

Facts are facts, and objective knowledge is unrelated to any of this. I'm just talking about human interactions and intentions, where attitude is everything. Where the glass is either half empty or half full. It's all about perspective and attitude and energy resulting from that.



1. The Placebo effect is when an ineffectual substance that is believed to have healing properties produces the desired effect.


This also is not a fault.

How could it be a "FAULT" to take a sugar pill that does nothing, and make it cure you?

The only fault I really see here, is mis-identifying the cause of the healing as being related to the sugar pill, when really it is related to the power of belief as it relates physically to the immune system. This is direct proof that belief and attitude significantly affect our biology.

Only because of the pill-driven nature of the medical industry has this so-called "placebo effect" been frowned upon and treated like a dirty step-sister of real science. Wake up, people! Look at this: your body believes it is being healed, so it actually does heal. What other evidence do we need that our beliefs and attitudes change our physical reality? Inside of ourselves first, then outside of ourselves with continued application. Ideas and attitudes are even infectious when they accumulate so much energy.



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:00 PM
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reply to post by Totalstranger
 


Who is JFrater and Co.? Regardless of the source, the topic discussed, and specific phenomena illustrated, are good topics for discussion and thought.

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by skunknuts
10. The Gambler’s fallacy is the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality, they are not.


I can comment on that one with little thought. Quite frankly, it depends. If you shuffle a standard deck of cards, pick one at random and ask the probability of getting a particular card, then it's 1/52. If you put that card back, shuffle and pick again, it's still 1/52. These are independent events.

However, if a pick failed to produce the sought-after card, and we shuffle the remaining cards, but do not replace the card, then this time it's 1/51. Continuing the pattern (1/50, 1/49, 1/48) will eventuall lead to finding the one. In fact it wouldn't matter if a different card was specified each time. There are dependent events. There is a memory of the past under these rules.

The problem is not being cognizant of which is applicable, as if there were some "law of averages" that makes things "due" when no memory is present in the system.


9. Reactivity is the tendency of people to act or appear differently when they know that they are being observed.


Well, I rarely wank in front of anyone, so yeah. Perfectly practical.


8. Pareidolia is when random images or sounds are perceived as significant.


There's no such thing as coincidences!


7. Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes.


One way or another 2012 will happen. You can count on it.

On the other hand, maybe it's a roundabout way to set long-term goals, thus having a nullifying effect on hyperbolic discounting (#3). Hmmmm.


6. The Halo effect is the tendency for an individual’s positive or negative trait to “spill over” to other areas of their personality in others’ perceptions of them.


By posting this thread, you must be unsure about how you stack up against others in your ability to think clearly.


5. Herd mentality is the tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict.


I don't want to say anything about this that might upset anyone.


4. Reactance is the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.


I'm NOT going to answer that. You just want to control me by making me!


3. Hyperbolic discounting is the tendency for people to prefer a smaller, immediate payoff over a larger, delayed payoff.


Make long-term goals and stick to them! Not everything is obtainable in the short term. Mess it. I want that Ninendo Wii! Help me freeze myself!


2. Escalation of commitment is the tendency for people to continue to support previously unsuccessful endeavors.


Harsher penalties for drug offenders! This is not a quagmire!


1. The Placebo effect is when an ineffectual substance that is believed to have healing properties produces the desired effect.


Healing is healing. Well, nevermind. We can't patent it so it's worthless!



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 





I enjoyed the post but I don't 100% agree that these are all exclusively faults.


Yeah, very good point. I think I tried to say that these processes do have an evolutionary reason for their existence. Like you say, depending on how they are used, the results can be positive (especially so in the case of self-fulfilling prophecy).

However, these phenomena also leave a vulnerability of sorts, that can be exploited by those with sinister motives. Sorta like how a computer virus can exploit code that has some other positive and/or neutral purpose.

Best,
Skunknuts

[edit on 1/13/2010 by skunknuts]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by skunknuts
Yeah, very good point. I think I tried to say that these processes do have an evolutionary reason for their existence. Like you say, depending on how they are used, the results can be positive (especially so in the case of self-fulfilling prophecy).

However, these phenomena also leave a vulnerability of sorts, that can be exploited by those with sinister motives. Sorta like how a computer virus can exploit code that has some other positive and/or neutral purpose.



I agree completely and what makes the big difference here is whether or not one is aware of how these self-fulfilling prophecies work, and the CORRECT way to use them.

A "self-fulfilling prophecy" can empower us, or if we're unaware of them, can keep us imprisoned by less sensitive or inclusive beliefs. The same "placebo effect" that lets the sugar pill heal people also causes many otherwise-curable people to die or even become ill in the first place. If they were only aware of what they do to themselves, and make the proper adjustments mentally and emotionally, they would rebound back into a natural and healthy state.



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11

Originally posted by skunknuts
Yeah, very good point. I think I tried to say that these processes do have an evolutionary reason for their existence. Like you say, depending on how they are used, the results can be positive (especially so in the case of self-fulfilling prophecy).

However, these phenomena also leave a vulnerability of sorts, that can be exploited by those with sinister motives. Sorta like how a computer virus can exploit code that has some other positive and/or neutral purpose.



I agree completely and what makes the big difference here is whether or not one is aware of how these self-fulfilling prophecies work, and the CORRECT way to use them.

A "self-fulfilling prophecy" can empower us, or if we're unaware of them, can keep us imprisoned by less sensitive or inclusive beliefs. The same "placebo effect" that lets the sugar pill heal people also causes many otherwise-curable people to die or even become ill in the first place. If they were only aware of what they do to themselves, and make the proper adjustments mentally and emotionally, they would rebound back into a natural and healthy state.


Totally, that's why awareness is such a key thing if people want real change in their lives. Denial is such a strong, and often destructive, defense mechanism. Freud was right about the human mind being like an iceberg, with 90% of the bulk being below the surface!

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:28 PM
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"I believe there are better, more grounded ways of changing the world, if that is what one truly wants."

I agree, but would like to add that by changing your innner reality, the outside reality of everyday experience begins to change for you too. And it's entirely up to you when deciding how positive or negative these changes will be. I found this out when dealing with many of the above flaws in my character.

The one which i found out to be most devestating however is number 3:

"Hyperbolic discounting is the tendency for people to prefer a smaller, immediate payoff over a larger, delayed payoff."

Interesting definition, i was more used to reffering to it as "immediate gratification". But hyperbolic discounting is just as good
...anyway who cares about semantics, it is was these words are describing which is most important here. I became aware of this attitude that had manifested itself within my day to day motivations, when i was in my mid-teens roughly, cant remember my exact age. And just incase anyone who read No.3 thought it only applied to gambling addicts or addicts in general, im afraid you are mistaken. It's not only an attitude or a mere set of behaviours, its an entire lifestyle. And unfortunately it is very often passed down through families, generation after generation.. unless obviously the cycle is broken, by a strong minded individual who gradually overcomes this burden, then raises their child(ren) appropriately conscious of the example they are setting.

I found that it massively disrupts long term aspirations and motivation. Not because i didn't have any (because most humans do surely..?), its more to do with the how you acheive your goals. It requires in my experience a significant emotional connection with these aspirations before they can be realised, made real that is. But if say you are raised in an enviroment where the only form of human endevour you witness begins and ends within a 24 hour period, the chances are your long term motivation later in life will be significantly damaged. Academic acheivement, personal relationships, money, health - including emotional health, memery, perception, intelligence and many many other aspects of your life could potential be damaged by this very negative characteristic.

Thankfully i've overcome this, but i beleive the worst part about it is realising how empty my life was before developing a healthy attitude. The change is a huge one though, i feel more alive now, its like the world becomes important again and life is worth living, no matter how long term my goals are im still willing to persue them. Not in an irrational way, obviously if something is unrealistic then it would be pointless to persue, you realise its all down to personal judgement, based on what you know you are capable of... only later do you realise how much you are truly capable if youve put your heart and soul into your personal projects and aspirations. Then comes the greatest part of all; your motivation to acheive becomes effortless, and the satisfaction of acheiving is motivational in itself.

The greatest tragedy in all this though is that many sociologists have began to realise that "Hyperbolic discounting" or "Immediate gratification" is far more common among working class families than any other class. For me (being from a working class background myself) the inability of many working class individuals to transcend class differences, despite the nearly limitless potential in the west at the moment, is almost certainly linked with this issue i described above.



[edit on 13-1-2010 by DizzyDayDream]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:33 PM
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"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
The mind is the most powerful thing in the universe and does create your reality and makes the world a blank canvas into a work of art whether perceived as either,
good or bad.



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by DizzyDayDream
"I believe there are better, more grounded ways of changing the world, if that is what one truly wants."

I agree, but would like to add that by changing your innner reality, the outside reality of everyday experience begins to change for you too. And it's entirely up to you when deciding how positive or negative these changes will be. I found this out when dealing with many of the above flaws in my character.


Totally agree. In fact, I think at least part of what you are describing is the potential positive impact of using 'self-fulfilling prophecies' to one's own advantage.



The one which i found out to be most devestating however is number 3:

"Hyperbolic discounting is the tendency for people to prefer a smaller, immediate payoff over a larger, delayed payoff."

Interesting definition, i was more used to reffering to it as "immediate gratification". But hyperbolic discounting is just as good
...anyway who cares about semantics, it is was these words are describing which is most important here. I became aware of this attitude that had manifested itself within my day to day motivations, when i was in my mid-teens roughly, cant remember my exact age. And just incase anyone who read No.3 thought it only applied to gambling addicts or addicts in general, im afraid you are mistaken. It's not only an attitude or a mere set of behaviours, its an entire lifestyle. And unfortunately it is very often passed down through families, generation after generation.. unless obviously the cycle is broken, by a strong minded individual who gradually overcomes this burden, then raises their child(ren) appropriately conscious of the example they are setting.

I found that it massively disrupts long term aspirations and motivation. Not because i didn't have any (because most humans do surely..?), its more to do with the how you acheive your goals. It requires in my experience a significant emotional connection with these aspirations before they can be realised, made real that is. But if say you are raised in an enviroment where the only form of human endevour you witness begins and ends within a 24 hour period, the chances are your long term motivation later in life will be significantly damaged. Academic acheivement, personal relationships, money, health - including emotional health, memery, perception, intelligence and many many other aspects of your life could potential be damaged by this very negative characteristic.

Thankfully i've overcome this, but i beleive the worst part about it is realising how empty my life was before developing a healthy attitude. The change is a huge one though, i feel more alive now, its like the world becomes important again and life is worth living, no matter how long term my goals are im still willing to persue them. Not in an irrational way, obviously if something is unrealistic then it would be pointless to persue, you realise its all down to personal judgement, based on what you know you are capable of... only later do you realise how much you are truly capable if youve put your heart and soul into your personal projects and aspirations. Then comes the greatest part of all; your motivation to acheive becomes effortless, and the satisfaction of acheiving


First, congrats on realizing and overcoming this destructive drive that you recognized within yourself.


Yes, it is often referred to as 'instant gratification.' Did you know that a longitudinal study was done that compared the reaction of 3 year olds to what I am about to describe, with future positive outcomes?

Basically, 3 year olds were told that they could have one cookie now, or if they could wait 5 mins. til the adult came back, they would get two. The experimenter left, and some of the kids could resist, and others could not. The kids who could delay gratification later in life rated much more capable in many other areas of life (which you illustrated well in describing how your life has improved since personally working on delaying gratification).

I agree that the interaction between sociology and psychology need to be much better understood. Humans are so interesting in that there is a strong drive for individuality, but we are also endemically very collectivistic. There is no individual truly unto himself. This is way over-simplified, but also what you say about working class families doesn't surprise me. Especially because the elite class needs an underclass, and I think one of the ways to ensure this is to push a society of instant gratification....

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by DizzyDayDream
 


You hit somethings straight on for me personally on the subject of #3. Actually, it's brilliantly accurate. What does that "healty attitude" feel like? How the heck does one pull that off? You are completely correct about how the attitude is passed down in families and also about it being a working class trait (someone I know that did social work actually trained people specifically in setting long-term goals since it was the most important aspect of getting them out of their endless cycle).

I suppose it rests on meeting goals actually providing some sense of reward. It seems depression can kill whatever positive lift it would otherwise provide. Perhaps in that case it requires greater momentum to be built to reach escape velocity. The programming is ingrained enough in me that I haven't really been able to manage a clean break...yet. I won't ultimately give up hope though.



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp
reply to post by DizzyDayDream
 


You hit somethings straight on for me personally on the subject of #3. Actually, it's brilliantly accurate. What does that "healty attitude" feel like? How the heck does one pull that off? You are completely correct about how the attitude is passed down in families and also about it being a working class trait (someone I know that did social work actually trained people specifically in setting long-term goals since it was the most important aspect of getting them out of their endless cycle).

I suppose it rests on meeting goals actually providing some sense of reward. It seems depression can kill whatever positive lift it would otherwise provide. Perhaps in that case it requires greater momentum to be built to reach escape velocity. The programming is ingrained enough in me that I haven't really been able to manage a clean break...yet. I won't ultimately give up hope though.


Good notion, bringing-up depression. One thing that should have been on that list is 'learned helplessness.' I think that concept is very relevant to what you are talking about here.




Learned helplessness, as a technical term in animal psychology and related human psychology, means a condition of a human being or an animal in which it has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is restored for it to help itself by avoiding an unpleasant or harmful circumstance to which it has been subjected. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation (Seligman, 1975).


Here, look it up, I think you will find it interesting:

en.wikipedia.org...

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by skunknuts
 


Thank you for the link.

In case you wondered why that other person I mention that trains others hasn't counselled me, it's just the nature of the circumstances it all.

Usually, if I do somhow accomplish something, my attitude is more of a relief or absense of negative that it is passed rather than that of having a positive sense of accomplishment-- ie. it amounts to a temporary relief from pain rather than feeling fullfilled (which I think would be better, temporary or not).

[edit on 1/13/2010 by EnlightenUp]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by skunknuts
 


I like that example, it perfectly describes Number 3. But more than that it's a very worrying indication of how deeply ingrained these emotional frameworks are.

I say "emotional frameworks", because i found out that my emotions were often centred around these short term desires, and the significance i felt for many things could seem completely irrelvant when playing computer games or eating ice cream or all the other forms of self-indulgence i would seek.

And lets be clear, not all forms of immediate gratification are bad, we would die of thirst if this was the case. Like you stated in the OP, many of these things are vital for our very survival. The problem lies with how you balance these subtleties within your life, and if they are unbalances, your emotional mind is unbalaced.

I think selfishness develops along with immediate gratification too. Forget wating 5 minutes for another cookie, i would've thought nothing of stealing to immediately satisfy my desires. Because it didn't occur to me that people are worth more than what my socially closed off parents had raised me to beleive.

In essence what im saying is immediate gratification requires very little forsight and planning, therefore you don't appreciate youself, and if you are raised as such, appreciating others becomes a lot harder too, because your view of humanity is likely to be a little skewed, simply not realising most emotionally healthy people wouldn't understand themselves in the way you understand them. Perhaps not even consciously.. maybe we apply our subconscious understanding of ourselves to the rest of humanity at a young age..just a thought. Hence why i included personal relationships in my earlier post as an example of the wide ranging side-effects of this issue..okay these are very negative assessments im making of my former/much younger self here, which is unfair because i had more to me than just selfish short term desire. Its probably more healthy to say that the positive aspects of my personality were very often undermined by the negative ones, leading to low self-esteem, and to make myself feel better short-term alleviances would more often than not be an easily accessable form of comfort..how hard is it for a child to operate a TV for example.

Which leads me to my next point regarding the sociological analysis of all this.

"what you say about working class families doesn't surprise me. Especially because the elite class needs an underclass, and I think one of the ways to ensure this is to push a society of instant gratification."

Very shrewd insight, and yes i most certainly agree. All it takes is the most basic understanding of capitalism and the psychological warfare of the Advertising industry to realise how deep this goes. And one thing i find interesting about all of this is that the mainstream definition in the media of class inequality, only ever explores the superficial materialistic inequalities.. So ill end this post with a question, and look forward to finding out your answer tommorow - eyes starting to become very drowzy: How many people would continue to fail class transcendance if they were informed that class inequality goes far deeper than the superficial definitions of annual income, and infact the most significant difference between classes - to a large extent - lies in the difference of emotional perception, especially in regard to motivation and aspirational acheivement?

Peace, and good night ATS.

Edit to respond to EnlightenUP:

Just read your post, but i have much to say about it and i am far too tired to respond now, so ill leave a reply for you sometime tommorow. It seems we have much to discuss... patience is a vitue


[edit on 13-1-2010 by DizzyDayDream]

[edit on 13-1-2010 by DizzyDayDream]

[edit on 13-1-2010 by DizzyDayDream]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by DizzyDayDream
 


Sleep well, I enjoyed our discussion.


Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by skunknuts
 


sorry, i completely changed the question at the end of my last post during an edit.. wasn't sure about it after re-reading it.. i think the new one is more suitable for this discussion.

Good night Skunknuts, and thanks for the topic.

[edit on 13-1-2010 by DizzyDayDream]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


Hey, I like how you talked about 'escape velocity.' I love using concepts from other sciences to help elucidate psychological concepts. I think when it comes to overcoming something like depression, the concept of escape velocity could be rather apt.

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 08:57 PM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp
reply to post by skunknuts
 


Thank you for the link.

In case you wondered why that other person I mention that trains others hasn't counselled me, it's just the nature of the circumstances it all.

Usually, if I do somhow accomplish something, my attitude is more of a relief or absense of negative that it is passed rather than that of having a positive sense of accomplishment-- ie. it amounts to a temporary relief from pain rather than feeling fullfilled (which I think would be better, temporary or not).

[edit on 1/13/2010 by EnlightenUp]


Not that it is totally relevant, but that makes me think of addiction. Not that it isn't necessarily irrelevant either. In a weird way, people can get addicted to negative feelings/ thought states.

Maybe you need to find what really makes you tick (as in enjoyment), before the accomplishment will feel more endemic than relieving? Freud, for all his faults, said the only two things that really made life meaningful are love, and love of (one's) work.

Best,
SN



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 09:35 PM
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I love that stuff and It appears every month here on ATS.

The site you posted was very good and It forgot a very important "fault": obedience to perceived authority.

If you like that stuff:

List of cognitive biases: en.wikipedia.org...

Very Cool Psychology Experiments: www.abovetopsecret.com...

Watch Candid Camera (they even made a special dvd series for social studies students ehehe)

Read Cialdini, Rushkoff, Tarde, Tzu, Mackay, LeBon, Ariely, Milgram.



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