Ways we close our minds…Cognition Traps!

Close mindedCognition Traps and Intellectual

I'm tired of my closed mind AND I'm especially tired of the closed minds of others.  For some reason, the phrase "I've made up my mind" is not a phrase that that inspires me anylonger.  It used to!  It used to mean that someone was principled.  Unfortunately, in our culture these days it has come to mean more about a persons egocentricy and narcissism than just about anything else.  Community is built, relationships are matured and faith grows in an atmosphere of open-mindedness.  Think about it…any time you have personally or relationally or intellectually or spiritually grown is because something NEW entered your heart and mind.  That's why I love some of these thoughts about Cognition traps. Closing our minds happens in a variety of manners…which are you using today and what can you do about it?

Sum of the book Blunder, Why
Smart People make Bad Decisions
by Zachary Shore

Exposure Anxiety – belief that the failure to act in a manner perceived as firm will
result in the weakening of one’s position. 
Exposure anxiety victims never grasp that admitting errors and
correcting them is not a sign of weakness – rather a clear sign of strength.  (In short, “I’m never wrong…”)

Causation Confusion Causefusion – misunderstanding about
the causes of complex events.  Oversimplification
of an issue/challenge is often a cause of failure.  Causefusion is common because we are easily
blinded by our assumptions.  We make
assumptions that are guided by emotions rather than reason (“monocausal
myopia”).  (In short, “my assumptions
guide me”) 

A rigid perspective that constricts our imagination to just one dimension.  It’s “black/white” “either/or” “for
us/against us”…simplistic solutions. 
Doesn’t allow for contradictions, complexity, and nuance.  (In short, “everything is black/white”).

Cure-allism – dogmatic belief that a successful theory can be applied
indiscrimately…it is almost religious belief in a theory’s universal
applicability.  (In short, “we’ve always
done it or thought about it that way”).

– Obsessive relation to information – some will horde it to undermine others or
will be “infovoiders” who seal themselves off from information to be purposely
naïve.  (In short, “I need more

Mirror Imaging – Assuming, consciously or unconsciously, that the other side thinks
and acts like us. (In short, “everyone should be like us”)

Static Cling – Prevents us from recognizing that we are living in a changing
world.  Longing for things past or
present to bring us prosperity, comfort, and peace.  (In short, “it’s all about the past”)

Bias - 
Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or
myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their
beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember
information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect
is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.
They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing
position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain
attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the
different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when
beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the
irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early
in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an
association between two events or situations).  Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in
personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary

Biased memory - Even if someone has sought and interpreted evidence
in a neutral manner, they may still remember it selectively to reinforce their
expectations. This effect is called "selective recall",
"confirmatory memory" or "access-biased memory".  Psychological theories differ in their
predictions about selective recall. Schema theory predicts that information
matching prior expectations will be more easily stored and recalled.

effect - 
A similar cognitive bias found in individuals is
the Backfire effect. Here, individuals challenged with evidence contradictory
to their beliefs tend to reject the evidence and instead become an even firmer
supporter of the initial belief.[

of opinion – Attitude polarization - 
When people with opposing views interpret new
information in a biased way, their views can move even further apart. This is
called "attitude polarization".

Persistence of discredited beliefs - "Beliefs can survive potent logical or
empirical challenges. They can survive and even be bolstered by evidence that
most uncommitted observers would agree logically demands some weakening of such
beliefs. They can even survive the total destruction of their original
evidential bases."—Lee Ross and Craig Anderson

correlation - 
Illusory correlation is the tendency to see
non-existent correlations in a set of data.  This effect is a kind of biased
interpretation, in that objectively neutral or unfavorable evidence is
interpreted to support existing beliefs.

inertia - 
Cognitive inertia refers the tendency for beliefs
or sets of beliefs to endure once formed. In particular, cognitive inertia
describes the human inclination to rely on familiar assumptions and exhibit a
reluctance and/or inability to revise those assumptions, even when the evidence
supporting them no longer exists or when other evidence would question their

selective exposure theory - 
Selective exposure theory is a concept in media and
communication research that refers to individuals’ tendency to favor
information that reinforces pre-existing views while avoiding contradictory
information. In this theory people tend to select specific aspects of exposed
information based on their perspective, beliefs, attitudes and decisions.
People can determine the information exposed to them and select favorable
evidence, while ignoring the unfavorable. This theory has been explored using the
cognitive dissonance theory, which suggests information consumers strive for
results of cognitive equilibrium. In order to attain this equilibrium,
individuals may either reinterpret the information they are exposed to or
select information that are consonant with their view.

Semmelweis reflex or "Semmelweis effect" - 
The Semmelweis reflex is a metaphor for the
reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it
contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms.

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