I'm so excited that I've found yet another way to be more critical towards blanket statements people say. Thank you Psychology 1001!
Early on in this course I was happy to learn the many heuristics we utilize as the cognitive misers we are. Consider the situation where people were asked if more murders were committed in Detroit or in Michigan in a given year. Majority of the respondents said Detroit because it's easier for our brains to think of the news stories with murder rates in large cities such as Detroit, Chicago, LA, or New York; however if one were to take just a minute longer to think about this question, we'd realize the city lies within the state, in this case Michigan, and therefore obviously the state would have a higher murder rate assuming that at least one additional murder was committed in another city.
I find myself already using this approach when people, including myself, state generalized sentences like "It's more dangerous to live in a large city." Prior to taking this class, I may have shrugged off a statement such as this; however, since taking this class I can't help but suggest that perhaps we think these "general" thoughts not because they're based on diagnostic facts but because they're what are most available in our memory.
And if I may add one last thing that is unrelated to heuristics, I was deeply moved by Dr. Paul Broks entry, "My Confession," where he bravely acknowledges that his clinical psychology expertise appears to be irrelevant or peripheral during his own "dark times." I think this submission is extremely touching and grounding. When life goes to sh*t, sometimes all we can manage to do is hold on