Setbacks of the Mind as a Cognitive Miser

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The concept I think will stick with me the most in the next five years is the view of the human mind as a cognitive miser. I find it interesting how the mind functions in a way such that it has to put forth as little effort as possible in order to accomplish everyday tasks. This is incredibly applicable in many facets of daily life because it makes you reconsider how accurate your memories or observations really are. It has been shown in numerous studies how our memories can be altered over short and long periods of time without our knowledge and that our observations can be altered by a host of external influences. These concepts are good to keep in mind the next time you're in an argument with someone over something that you "know" to be true. Even if you are entirely adamant about what you may have seen or experienced, it is still very possible that you could be mistaken. The mind's use of heuristics, schemas, and other mental shortcuts can be very useful the majority of the time, but can still cause problems we should at least be aware of. Simply being aware of these concepts can prevent embarrassing future mishaps for all of us.
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6 Comments

I agree that this is a very interesting subject and a very good thing to keep in mind, especially when in an argument like you said. It is really weird to think that some of our memories or perceptions could be wrong.

I completely agree that the mind is one of the most interesting and unique things in this world. It is so weird to me personally that things we have believed our whole lives can ultimately be false! Really interesting thing that i will always remember as well.

I thought this concept was very interesting, too. I liked your post and how you talked about how we can use the knowledge we have learned in class to be better in our everyday lives, especially to be aware that we may not be entirely correct. I think that the term cognitive miser fits me pretty well because I like to do the best work possible, in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort needed.

Nice post! I am definitely guilty of getting into arguments where I thought I knew something that didn't turn out to be correct. Now,I will remember to take a step back because my memories are probably not accurate enough to support my claim. I will be careful to only insist my point when I am absolutely sure of my knowledge.

I second that motion. It is amazing how little thinking we have to do to preform simple tasks. If its from scrambling eggs to writing a blog post, it is as if our brains have have an auto pilot. If only I could update the software. Maybe with some fine tuning and cognitive thinking I could preform better at these simple tasks.

I agree with you in that being conscious about something can definitely lead to not getting into very embarrassing situations. I find it a little disappointing though how humans have to sacrifice little things like attention to smaller details in order to perform better with everyday activities.

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This page contains a single entry by holla328 published on May 1, 2012 11:04 PM.

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