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We Actively Avoid Information That Can Help Us

Why people avoid information

People tend to avoid information when it might hurt their self-image.

Research showed that in the workplace, 40% of people didn't want to know how much time they spent slacking off; 20% didn't want to know how their coworkers would rate their strengths and weaknesses.

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Avoiding Facts
Avoiding Facts

Many people avoid facts even if it is beneficial for them to know. This strange quirk that defies logic is due to many psychological factors.

Human beings often avoid learning new i...

Aversion From Bad News

Human beings feel their hopes are shattered when they learn about the outcome of a certain illness or maybe the date of their death, or divorce, preferring to remain aloof and hopeful.

While mostly this applies only to bad news, there are certain cases when individuals prefer not to know about something which may be positive as well.

The Reason For Avoiding Facts

Information avoidance, even if knowing can help us make smarter choices, is a way for us to forego some of the sufferings that may be caused by us knowing about what the future brings, and allows us to remain in a state of suspense and wonder.

Bottomless visual
Bottomless visual

The world in the 21st century is the same it used to be. It smells about the same, sound pollution is pretty stable. But the spill of information and distraction that comes to our vision has grown ...

Information overload
  • Information overload was a term coined in the mid-1960s by Bertram Gross, a social scientist.
  • In 1970, writer Alvin Toffler popularized the idea of information overload as part of a set of predictions about eventual dependence on technology.
  • Another set of academics wrote that information overload occurs when the amount of input exceeds its processing capacity.
  • A 2011 study found that on a typical day, Americans were taking in five times as much information as they had done 15 years earlier.
  • A 2019 study identified that our attention span is shrinking, probably because of digital overload.
Technology pushed too much

It is probably too late to restore our attention span to that of our grandparents. After a decade of smartphone use and social media, the harm is perhaps irreversible.

Part of the problem in this age of overload is the constant insistence of notifications that seeks our immediate attention. When the body jumps to attention and for nothing of particular worth, it can be confusing.

Self-sabotaging Behavior

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.

Avoid self-sabotaging
  • Don't let others dictate your behavior. Choose your responses to situations rather than reacting to them.
  • Don't let others dictate your attitude. You can control your attitudes, responses and actions, but little else.
  • Don't let others devalue your sense of self. The act of comparison can lead to internal conflict and lack of self-confidence.
Sneaky Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Fight other sneaky self-sabotaging behaviors by owning your impact. Don't hand over the control of your behaviors, attitudes and sense of self-worth to other people without thinking.