This is abstract so consider yourselves warned
I have been reading a lot lately about personality, the way brains are wired and I’ve been trying to figure out some things about my own thought patterns that have always been a little weird when thinking back on my decisions. In doing so, I had a great conversation with a friend about how we are influenced by others and what that crowd mentality does to our individuality.
He told me about a study done at a college years back. It went something like this:
The situation is set up and everyone knows something aside from one outside person (referred to here as the one in the dark), brought into the classroom without being told anything about the study about to take place. There are six people involved, as well as a classroom spectating. The six people are lined up in front of the class, the one person being kept in the dark is 5th in line. They are each shown a piece of paper with two lines on it, one short and one obviously longer.
The test subjects are asked which line is longer, starting with the person farthest from the one in the dark. Each and every person says the opposite of the truth..that the shorter line is the longer one including the person that is in the dark, even though he knows that the longer line is longer. This happens with 80% of the time this test is done.
When the person in the dark gets asked, they stop and analyze his choice. “Why did you pick that line?” The answer is always, because everyone else did.
Now 20% of the people still spoke the truth, which leads me to believe that some people either are compelled to voice the truth, or compelled to be different.
I may catch some flack for this but I personally don’t care for Dave Ramsey. Why?
Because everyone else involved with finance reveres him so highly, he practically has a cult following..
I have been this way all my life, when someone has such a huge influence on a subject and they are considered an authority, but I haven’t found that for myself, I am compelled to think the opposite is true until I prove the material myself and make up my own opinion on the subject.
My point here being, how can we combat our natural instincts to become better in the ways we want to?
First, find out what kind of person you are. Do you question others beliefs when impressed on your or do you accept them as fact until proven otherwise?
Or like me, do you question everything until it’s proven one way or another?
Once you find out what kind of personality you have, you can make conscious decisions on your natural instincts.
I told you this was abstract, but I would love to hear your thoughts on thought. Are any of you psychologists?
Image by Paro for Piece