Thinking So Much About Thinking
2012-05-14 0:00

By James Atlas | NYTimes.com

WHY are we thinking so much about thinking these days?

Unlike most pop self-help books, these are about life as we know it the one you can change, but only a little, and with a ton of work. Professor Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in economic science a decade ago, has synthesized a lifetimes research in neurobiology, economics and psychology. Thinking, Fast and Slow goes to the heart of the matter: How aware are we of the invisible forces of brain chemistry, social cues and temperament that determine how we think and act? Has the concept of free will gone out the window?

These books possess a unifying theme: The choices we make in day-to-day life are prompted by impulses lodged deep within the nervous system. Not only are we not masters of our fate; we are captives of biological determinism. Once we enter the portals of the strange neuronal world known as the brain, we discover that to put the matter plainly we have no idea what were doing.

Professor Kahneman breaks down the way we process information into two modes of thinking: System 1 is intuitive, System 2 is logical. System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. We react to faces that we perceive as angry faster than to happy faces because they contain a greater possibility of danger. System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. It makes decisions or thinks it does. We dont notice when a person dressed in a gorilla suit appears in a film of two teams passing basketballs if weve been assigned the job of counting how many times one team passes the ball. We normalize irrational data either by organizing it to fit a made-up narrative or by ignoring it altogether.

The effect of these cognitive biases can be unsettling: A study of judges in Israel revealed that 65 percent of requests for parole were granted after meals, dropping steadily to zero until the judges next feeding. Thinking, Fast and Slow isnt prescriptive. Professor Kahneman shows us how our minds work, not how to fiddle with what Gilbert Ryle called the ghost in the machine.

The Power of Habit is more proactive. Mr. Duhiggs thesis is that we cant change our habits, we can only acquire new ones. Alcoholics cant stop drinking through willpower alone: they need to alter behavior going to A.A. meetings instead of bars, for instance that triggers the impulse to drink. You have to keep the same cues and rewards as before, and feed the craving by inserting a new routine.

[...]


Read the full article, "The Amygdala Made Me Do It" at: nytimes.com

Image: Credit - Chi Birmingham





Also tune into:

Bruce Lipton - The Biology of Belief

Anthony Peake & Tom Campbell - Consciousness Creates Reality

Anthony Peake - Mystery of the Brain, Precognition, Time Dilation & Dj vu

Peter Russell - The Primacy of Consciousness

Anthony Peake - Hour 1 - The Nature of Reality & Twilight Zones of Consciousness

Penney Peirce - Frequency, Intuition, Time & Dreams

Jim Elvidge - Are we Living in a Simulation, a Programmed Reality?








Related Articles
Consciousness Is Fractal and Exponential in Nature
Carl Jung: The Holy Grail of the Unconscious
Images capture moment brain goes unconscious (Video)
How long is a severed head conscious for?
Proof that Your Own Thoughts and Beliefs Can Cause Self-Healing
People watch news that doesnt contradict belief systems


Latest News from our Front Page

Rape of 285,000 German Women at the End of WWII Trigger Damage Control by Mainstream Media
2015-03-27 20:25
Is Exposing Allied War Crimes an honorable act? No, it’s slandering heroes according to Daily Mail A recent article from the Daily Mail that pretends to look at the post WWII crimes and rapes of the Allies against the German people is actually damage control. It’s really an attempt to divert away from the true horrors that was visited upon Germany ...
Minister of Migration attacked by asylum seeker with fire extinguisher
2015-03-27 2:12
Sweden’s Minister of Justice & Migration also known as Morgan “only 1%” Johansson, has been attacked with a fire extinguisher when he visited an asylum home for future Swedes. Regional newspaper, Kristiandstadsbladet reported that a man who had been living at the home for a couple of weeks grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam all over the minister who didn’t ...
Hollywood agents: Difficult for white actors to find work now that shows required ‘to go ethnic’
2015-03-27 1:51
According to an article by Nellie Andreeva published yesterday at Deadline Hollywood, the television landscape has shifted so much this season that white actors are finding it increasingly difficult to find roles. In addition to new hit shows with mostly minority casts — Black-ish, Empire, Fresh Off the Boat, and How to Get Away with Murder — shows that were originally ...
Congratulations Pussy Porters!
2015-03-26 18:52
Mural paid for by the government, decorates a Swedish school. On International Women’s day Julia Caesar published this chronicle in Swedish on Snaphanen which I’ve translated but prior to reading it I’d like to provide you with some background information on certain terms which are incomprehensible to non-Swedes. First and foremost “pussy porter” and “penis porter” are terms that third-wave feminists in ...
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
2015-03-26 18:08
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference. Follow RT’s live updates on investigation into Germanwings plane crash The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz. The captain was between 30 ...
More News