This was the first book I read on the subconscious mind. I love these types of books because they take assumptions that we personally have about ourselves (actions, tendencies, realities) and call to question our perception of them.
What I find incredible interesting about these books is the thing I trust the most is my brain, consciousness, and reason. Then I read it, and realize that there have been so many times in my life when I have seen, reacted, understood, and explained things wrong. Why? Because the thing I trusted the most (myself) is working processes that I had no concept of.
Understanding ourselves is very important if we hope to understand others, this book helps with that.
People have two minds the conscious and the unconscious. Thoughts may arise in the subconscious and then be noticed by the conscious. Feelings may also tend to be derived in the unconscious and brought to the conscious, like pain in the knee before, during, and after talking on the phone.
There are opponent processes that work against spikes in emotional swings (like from cocaine or burning your hand) that can grow in strength (I.e tolerance)Our conscious minds could find ways to reinforce theories of ourselves and forgot ways we did not act how we thoughtPeople can be unaware of the reasons for their feelings or actions
Categories are formed that see new incoming information and ways to process it. Think about a manager analyzing two different groups. Prior ways of thought could influence responses to results unconsciously
A personality test is ok at predicting how a person thinks about themselves but nonconscious motives depending on social factors to any given situation have a big impact. This is why conscious questionnaire trait theories can be misleading (I.e boy responding to an aggressive situation)
University students incorrectly correlated the impact sleep had on their mood while strangers were able to better predict that quality of relationships with friends was better predictor
This could be because of shared causal theories, or idosyncratic theories or private knowledge
The construct of friendliness or intelligence may be useful for different people. Their accessibility to these traits can affect how they judge situations, the world, or individual people because it’s easy for them to place it.A working model of attachment
- secure – distress when they leave but seek comfort when parent returns (parents who are sensitive to needs)
- avoidant – (parents rebuffed attempts to be intimate) little distress when they leave and do not seek comfort when they return
- anxious/ambivalent – (parents alternate between unresponsiveness and excessive response) preoccupied with parents availability
- disorganized – contradictory actions, crying when separated but does not seek attention when they return.
Study was done on children (ages 10-11) at summer camp who were classified in these categories. Children who were ‘secure’ spent more time with peers, were more likely to develop friendships, and more likely to evaluate others in positive light.
The Thematic Appreciation Test can tap non-conscious motives and should be coupled with conscious motivation questionnaires
The split brain, people confabulate reasons for what they saw or did. The shovel, the snowman, the chicken. Left brain is used for language.
The low road going to amygdala, and high road going first to cortex.
People fail to recognize a feeling or evaluation of it conflicts with a cultural feeling rule (I.e people love their ponies, wedding day will be happiest ever)
The hindsight bias, seeing events as inevitable after they occur but being very unpredictable before (Clinton getting acquitted)
Psychological immune system, neutralizes threats and negative responses from environment
“what matters is that people commit themselves to a coherent self narrative that corresponds reasonably well to their adaptive unconscious”