Why do you feel that everything is getting worse and worse?

Why do you feel that everything is getting worse and worse?

Each of us lives in a certain kind of prejudice-which seems to be good news for people who do not have the ability to reflect-since there are prejudices anyway, reflection is unnecessary? As everyone knows, this kind of “reactionary” self-reflection, even if there is suspicion of overcorrection, is a good opportunity for conceptual correction. Self-reflection means trying to accept and tolerate different ideas, and it can also derive new perspectives from the standpoint of people with different opinions.

The neurological evidence provided in today’s article also explains the so-called “chicken and duck talk” factual cause from one side, which is somewhat like confirmation bias in psychology, that is, everyone selectively recalls and collects favorable details. To support the established opinions, but deliberately ignore the information that is not good for you. This also makes sense in terms of emotions. For example, long-term negative and pessimistic people find it difficult to be interested in blind optimism. Even if there is, it is usually only after some internal explanation to classify it as pessimism and despair.

Your brain is like an impeccable movie projector. The shape of what you see, the sound of what you hear, and a large amount of mixed sensory information are transmitted through the rotating “film”-that is, the existence of “you”, and your brain will then take this mixed information. Recombination into an objective, non-destructive experience, you call it consciousness.

Of course, this statement is wrong.

Your brain is not an impeccable projector. The reality it builds for you is biased and vulnerable. Expectations, experience, emotions, and many other variables shape the world your brain creates.

Princeton University psychologist, neuroscientist Michael Graziano (Michael Graziano) in his 2019 book “reflective consciousness” (Rethinking Consciousness) in his book explains that the brain’s interpretation of reality is based on fragmented, On top of the subjective and skewed inner model-“just like impressionist or cubist painting that expresses reality.” he wrote.

“Our intuitive understanding of the world around us and our understanding of ourselves are always distorted and simplified, and they all rely on those internal models.” He added.

Recently, many scientific studies have explored how the brain constructs these internal models, and how their flaws may distort reality, and thus get us into trouble.

Some of these studies examined the brain’s heavy reliance on empirical predictions. Although these kinds of predictions can really help in certain situations, these predictions—furthermore, the reality as you understand them—may become distorted in some disturbing ways.

Look at this dot:

Why do you feel that everything is getting worse and worse?

Is it blue or purple?

In a 2018 study in the journal Science, researchers asked this question time and time again. In the same series of five experiments, they found that people’s answers were surprisingly vulnerable to manipulation.

In an experiment, the researchers showed people hundreds of dots with a gradient from pure blue to pure purple. At first, the proportions of blue dots and purple dots were the same, and people’s answers also reflected this half-and-half ratio. But after a period of time, the researchers showed fewer and fewer blue spots to some subjects. Without exception, these subjects always started to mark more purple dots as blue.

“When the incidence of blue dots decreases, participants’ definition of the concept of blue expands.” The author of the research report wrote. It seems that people’s brains intend to balance the color ratio of the dots based on previous experience. Even if the researchers explicitly told the subjects that they would see fewer blue dots, people would still make the same mistakes.

Dots are one thing. But in two other experiments, the research team found that the same effect still occurs when people evaluate threatening faces or weigh ethical issues.

“Just all these different types of judgment, for the ‘blue’, ‘threat’ or ‘immoral’ as defined by the prevalence of things you have seen before (prevalence) first impacts,” the study The author and Harvard University postdoctoral assistant researcher Dr. David Levari said, “So when those threatening faces or blue dots disappear, you will still see them.”

“The brain makes relative judgments, and these judgments may be manipulated and influenced in ways that people are not aware of.”

He and his colleagues call this phenomenon ” prevalence-induced concept change .” Basically, the reality created by your brain will be affected by its own experience and expectations.

“Your brain is not like a tape measure, which can accurately measure the length of something,” Levari said. “The brain makes relative judgments, and these judgments may be manipulated and influenced in ways that people cannot realize. .”

In many cases, this tendency to make relative judgments is beneficial and efficient. It can prompt people to make quick decisions or assessments on the premise of specific analysis of specific situations. But Levari’s research also shows that this tendency can also lead us to mistakenly believe that threats or unethical behaviors exist where there are no threats or unethical behaviors.

Levari and his colleagues wrote in their research paper that the brain clearly tends to reshape new information to make it meet old expectations, which may have “alarming” implications.

“Although modern society has made extraordinary progress in solving a wide range of social problems, from poverty, illiteracy, violence to infant mortality, most people believe that the world is getting worse,” they wrote , “As the actual case (the degree of severity) becomes smaller, the definition of the concept becomes broader. This fact may be one of the sources of this pessimism.”

Even if things get better objectively, the brain may find it difficult to recognize this improvement because its understanding (of the status quo) is inferior to the previously held beliefs. In other words, what we see is what we expect to see. Despite the pros and cons of this phenomenon—that is, it can make our views overly optimistic—Levari said that some of our habits may be pushing our thinking to be too negative for the world. Express.

According to a report from Nielsen in 2020, American adults spend an average of 11 to 12.5 hours a day reading/listening to/watching some form of media. In 1980, this data was approximately 7 hours per day.

As we are exposed to more and more media content, the rise of machine learning and targeted content algorithms have created “filter bubbles” ( information echo chambers) , which guide us to find those that will strengthen our beliefs and feelings. Or inclined content. Levari’s research shows that even if we know that what we see is unbalanced or inaccurate, our views will still be affected.

“What you see on social media or other media may not be a good representation of things in the real world or your personal world, but they can stay in your mind very deeply.” He said.

If you expose your brain to a stream of anger, acrimony, resentment, frustration, extreme concern for politics, or other biased continuous output streams, these qualities will seep into your brain’s interpretation of reality. On the other hand, if the content you show to your brain is inspiring, interesting, optimistic, cheerful, or has other positive qualities, your reality will be pushed in those directions.

“The main conclusion is,” Levari added, “We are very sensitive to the things we come into contact with, especially those we see over and over again.”


Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-do-you-feel-that-everything-is-getting-worse-and-worse/
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