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Pleiades's blog

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“Did u get that?” A review of Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

“The part of our brain that leaps to conclusions…is called the adaptive unconscious. This new notion of the adaptive unconscious is thought of…as a kind of giant computer that quickly and quietly processes a lot of the data we need in order to keep functioning as human beings…. Whenever we meet someone for the first time, whenever we interview someone for a job, whenever we react to a new idea, whenever were faced with making a decision quickly and under stress, we use the [adaptive unconscious].”

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We think beautiful people are better at everything…but are they? You may be surprised by the answer.

If I showed you a picture of a beautiful person what would you think about their ability to fly a plane? You may think this question is absurd, how could someone’s looks tell if they would be a good pilot or not? Well, believe it or not, odds are higher that you will think that they are a better pilot than you think an average looking person would be. In fact, you will probably assume that they are also nicer, more generous, more intelligent in general and more sensitive (the list goes on) (1). Why do we generalize like this, and are there any facts to support this seemingly incredible bias?

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How we are being influenced without even knowing: Unconscious integration of external stimuli

It is one thing to be told that much of behavior reflects unconscious processing -it is another to actually have that message proven with an actual experience. The breadth and power of the unconscious eluded me until I saw how this level of processing relates to my life. It was demonstration in class involving a checkerboard where differing levels of gray created the illusion of different colors (1) that convinced me unconscious processing affects the way we process the world.
    We had been discussing visual processing for more than a week in the class and thought I understood. I knew that the brain could only interpret certain signals and filled in the rest, I was conscious of it. However during that demonstration, my Unconscious finally kicked in as well and I really understood. The conscious (me knowing what was going on ‘up there’ was working without the unconscious (me actually seeing the effect of the way visual processing works). In my case it took the activation of my unconscious to complete my experience. Although I was not fully convinced of this phenomenon until recently, others have been exploiting it for years, whether consciously or not.

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Brain=Body: The Internal Stimulus Regulating Center

We would all like to believe we have control over our own bodies. We can talk, and walk, and think and daydream. But what happens when our bodies start doing things we have no control over? In times of stress and extreme emotions, some part of our brain takes over and interferes with our body’s natural functions. Why don’t we have control over our body in these circumstances? We control our brain don’t we? Even if we agree that there is a particular part of the brain that is causing these external reactions to internal stimuli (the I box), where is it and what determines the response?

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