Saturday, 14 September 2013

Habits that Hinder Thinking

1. The Mine-Is-Better Habit 

 This habit causes one to have a very individualistic attitude, to be self-centered, they are often closed-up in making sweeping assumptions and it destroys objectivity which prompts us to prefer self-flattering errors to unpleasant realities. 

Example :

"My car is better than your car."
"My dog looks better than your dog."
"I submitted the best project for this course."

Key Words :

I, my and mine.

How to prevent this habit from surfacing : 

Don't let your ego get in the way of the truth.

2. Face-Saving

It is a defense mechanism, a strategy that we use to protect our image. A natural Tendency arising from our ego. 

Example :

" I would have never missed my ride if you weren't talking to me."
"I would have never broken the glass if you didn't ask me to fix you something to drink."

How to prevent this habit from surfacing :

Don't "point the finger."  Take fault for each mistake that you make.

3. Resistance to Change 

Tendency to reject new ideas and new ways of seeing or doing things without examining them fairly.  Always thinking that the way is better and that there shouldn't be any reason for change.  Many people who are very traditional,  insecure and afraid to leave their comfort zone (simple laziness) fall victim to this bad habit.

Example :

I have been doing it this way for 30 years, why should I change now?

How to prevent this habit from surfacing:
We must not embrace every new idea uncritically but be open to any useful idea, and be willing to suspend judgement. Test the idea out to see how it fits into your world.  I you don't like it then you can throw that form of change to the side.

If we resistant to change, we are resistant to discovery, invention, creativity, progress.

4. Conformity  

Following the crowd because you don't want to be labeled as different. Harmful conformity is what we do instead of thinking, in order to belong to a group or to avoid the risk of being different. But it would be a mistake to fight conformity by refusing to do as others, to be different for the sake of being different. Not all conformity is bad.

Everyone else is making a right turn on red even though  the sign prohibits; I am going to make a right turn as well.

How to prevent this habit from surfacing:Not all forms of conformity are bad.  So you would have to take time out to think about how it will effect you.

5. Stereotyping 

It is a fixed viewpoint that you may have based upon someones race, gender, religion etc.

All asians are good in math.
Most engineers are men.

How to prevent this habit from surfacing:
It is best to put those stereotypical thoughts behind you when meeting new people. "Never judge a book by its cover."

6. Self-Deception is lying to yourself.

Many people deceive themselves about their competence.  They have acquired the habit of pretending they are knowledgeable, and in time come to believe the pretense themselves.

"They slammed on breaks at the yellow light.  It wasn't my fault I hit them in the back; they should have went through the light."
Students who get low grades because of missing class,failing to hand in assignments, or refusing to prepare for examinations, accuse their lecturers of favoritism and prejudice.

How to prevent this habit from surfacing:

Always recognize the truth in every situation, even if it isn't in your favor. If you deceive yourself about your knowledge, you will not be able to decide accurately what information you need to solve a problem. And if you are in a habit of judging dishonestly, you can never to hope to judge well.

Source : Ruggiero,V.R.(1984). The Art of Thinking : A Guide To Critical and Creative Thought.