Beliefs have a social purpose. Does this explain delusions?
The focus on irrationality is missing the point. To label delusions as irrational means that all 'normal' cognition is rational, which is not true as our beliefs are disproportionately influenced by multiple factors.
A new theory suggests that we form delusions to help us understand and survive in our social environment. These processes allow us to live and cooperate with people by understanding their intentions.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
In a perfect world, we would use both success and failure as instructive lessons. But our brain doesn't learn that way. It learns more from some experiences than others.
A study found that choice had an apparent influence on decision-making. In the studies subjects learned more when they had a free choice and when the choice gave a higher reward.
However, when participants were forced to select a specific choice, they were less invested in the outcomes, similar to a child mindlessly practicing to please a parent.
When people can make a free choice, they embrace positive or negative outcomes that confirm they were right.
Studies show that this tendency persists in both poor and rich conditions. This means the brain is primed to learn with a bias linked to our freely chosen actions. The brain learns differently and more quickly from free choices than forced ones.
A team of neuroscientists believes there might be a meaningful link between creativity and seeing faces in clouds.
The scientific term for seeing familiar objects i...
At first, pareidolia (seeing shapes in clouds and in other inanimate objects) was seen negatively rather than a sign of creativity. It was even considered to be a symptom of psychosis or dementia.
In 1895, French psychologist Alfred Binet - known for his work on IQ tests - suggested that inkblots could be used in psychological research to study differences in involuntary imagination. This idea was further developed, resulting in inkblots to investigate people's personality and assess their psychological state.
The creative aspect of pareidolia became known in the 19th century with the practice of 'klecksography' - the art of making images from inkblots.
Writer Victor Hugo experimented with folded papers and stains by holding his quill upside down to use the feather-end as a brush. Another practitioner of klecksography, German poet Justinus Andreas Christian Kerner, published Kleksographien (1890), a collection of inkblot art with accompanying short poems about the objects that can be noticed in the images.