The pleasure principle in thinking

The pleasure principle in thinking

The most common emotion and the source of all our biases is the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. We imagine we are looking for the truth, or being realistic, when in fact we are holding on to ideas that bring a release from tension and soothe our egos, make us feel superior. 

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@brianna2x

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Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Confirmation Bias

Is our tendency to cherry-pick information that confirms our existing beliefs or ideas.

To hold an idea and convince ourselves we arrived at it rationally, we go in search of evidence to support our view. And we manage to find that evidence that confirms what we want to believe. 

Conviction Bias

I believe in this idea so strongly. It must be true.

We hold on to an idea that is secretly pleasing to us, but deep inside we might have some doubts as to its truth and so we go an extra mile to convince ourselves — to believe in it with great vehemence, and to loudly contradict anyone who challenges us.

We do not see people as they are, but as they appear to us:
  • people have trained themselves in social situations to present the front that is appropriate and that will be judged positively. 
  • we fall for the halo effect : when we see certain negative or positive qualities in a person, other positive or negative qualities are implied that fit with this.

We experience tremendous relief to find others who think the same way as we do. 

We are social animals by nature. The feeling of isolation, of difference from the group, is depressing and terrifying. But are unaware of this pull of the group and so we imagine we have come to certain ideas completely on our own. 

Our natural response to failure is to blame others, circumstances, or a momentary lapse of judgment. 

It's often too painful to look at our mistakes. It pokes at our ego. We go through the motions, pretending to reflect on what we did. But with the passage of time, the pleasure principle rises and we forget what small part in the mistake we ascribed to ourselves.

It’s when we cannot seem to see our faults and irrationalities, only those of others. 

For instance, we’ll easily believe that those in the other political party do not come to their opinions based on rational principles, but those on our side have done so.

This allows us to justify whatever we do, no matter the results.

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RELATED IDEAS

Most decision-making errors boil down to:

  • logical fallacies (over-generalizations, comparing apples and oranges, circular thinking)
  • limiting beliefs (underestimations of what's possible)
  • judgment biases (valuing certain factors above others).

5

IDEAS

Each of us looks at things differently, and it's largely based on our thinking patterns, education levels, inherent bias, self-identity, and real, first-hand experiences.

Each day, we automatically make thousands of choices, from what time to wake up to what to eat.

The problem with this automatic processing is that there are instances when we jump to conclusions that are wrong. 

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