Daniel Goleman Talk. Action for Happiness. (24.10.13)
Can you be happy for no reason?
Mindfulness vs Self-Consciousness
Book to read:
The Narcissism of Minor Differences – a term coined by Sigmund Freud in 1917, based on the earlier work of British anthropologist Ernest Crawley: ‘Crawley, in language which differs only slightly from the current terminology of psychoanalysis, declares that each individual is separated from others by a “taboo of personal isolation”…this “narcissism of minor differences”‘. The term describes ‘the phenomenon that it is precisely communities with adjoining territories, and related to each other in other ways as well, who are engaged in constant feuds and ridiculing each other’ – ‘such sensitiveness (…) to just these details of differentiation’. (wiki definition)
The Flynn effect:
In the 1980s, psychologist James Flynn discovered that, over the past century, our average IQ has increased dramatically. The difference, in fact, is so stark that the phenomenon garnered its own name: the Flynn effect.
(… if you scored people a century ago against today’s norms, they’d have an IQ of 70, while if you score us against their norms, we’d have an average IQ of 130. In the years since his original discovery, Flynn has investigated just what this evolution is all about. Our ancestors weren’t on the verge of mental retardation, nor are we all intellectually gifted.
Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents? Flynn argues that the effect comes down to three types of thinking:
- using logic on abstractions
- taking the hypothetical seriously
Kids are tested in school on their ability not just to recite facts, but to apply logic to abstract scenarios. These types of thinking are also demanded by our jobs, as cognitively demanding professions have risen in popularity and importance. “Some of the habits of mind that we have developed over the twentieth century have paid off in unexpected areas.”
The Marshmallow Test
Marshmallow experiment- series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s led by psychologist Walter Mischel (Stanford University). In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward, provided immediately or two small rewards if he or she waited until the experimenter returned. In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, and other life measures. However, recent work calls into question whether self-control, as opposed to strategic reasoning, determines children’s behavior.
“Negative Attribution Bias – a cognitive bias that refers to the systematic errors made when people evaluate and/or try to find reasons for their own and others’ behaviors.” People constantly make attributions regarding the cause of their own and others’ behaviors; however, attributions do not always accurately mirror reality. Rather than operating as objective perceivers, people are prone to perceptual errors that lead to biased interpretations of their social world.
More Books to read: