This week's message from Dr. Deborah
It’s another beautiful morning here in Kelowna – maybe, just maybe, summer is coming? (Fingers crossed!)
I just want to give a reminder to those of you interested in coming to our Community Conversations that they start this coming Wednesday, July 8th at 7pm on Zoom. You’ll need to register on our website cslkelowna.org in order to get the Zoom link with the meeting number (the link will be the same for each session). I know this will be an opportunity for greater awareness and discernment for all of us. This set of discussions is coming from a program called Dismantling Racism, created by Rev. Wendy Craig-Purcell, a Unity minister in San Diego. Each session will be 90 minutes and they’ll run for 4 weeks. I’d encourage you to attend all four sessions.
In my last week’s Happy Monday, I sent a series of “wonderings” how you’re doing and some queries… I didn’t hear back from too many of you – I’m hoping that’s because you’re doing fun things, but I’d still love to hear how you’re doing. In addition, I’d really love to know if you’re watching our Sunday Services (either on Facebook or YouTube) and if you’d prefer an earlier (say 9am service in the summer). But mostly, I just want to hear from you.
In my talk yesterday, I spoke about the Seven Mental Illusions that Influence our Everyday Thinking, from the book, “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. Several of you have asked for them, so here you go.
The Halo Effect. If you like someone, think they’re attractive or agree with what they’re saying, you’ll give them more credibility than you might otherwise. You’ll believe them, and overlook things they say that may not be true, and you’ll ignore anyone that disagrees with them. The opposite is also true – if we don’t like someone, we’ll tend to distrust what they say regardless of the truth.
What You See Is All There Is. And so, because our minds are all about making sense of our worlds, we don’t even see what doesn’t fit into our picture of reality. Wow. But doesn’t this describe so much? Unless we make the effort, our minds literally filter out what doesn’t fit our picture.
The Availability Bias. This says we naturally gravitate towards what we’ve heard or believed before. So when we see something out there, that we’ve read about or even seen in a commercial, we’ll believe in it or trust it more.
Framing Affects our Stories. How things are framed or communicated can make all the difference. An example: the rate of organ donation in the US is very low. This can be attributed to the fact that people must “opt in” and consciously choose that option when they renew their drivers licenses. In other countries, where they’re automatically enrolled unless they “opt out”, the donation rate is much higher. And so it’s not so much about the decision about it, but as Khaneman says, we typically take the easy route and automatically comply.
The Illusion of Understanding. We’re drawn to what is simple and concrete. And because we like to make sense, our view of our past is frequently just a story we’ve made up to understand what happened within “how we see things”.
The Illusion of Validity and Skill. We so want to believe that professionals and authorities – teachers, doctors and scientists know what they’re doing, that we blindly acquiesce to them and often ignore other choices around us.
The Optimism Bias. This says we tend to overestimate our chances at success and underestimate our chances at failure. This can sometimes be good, but for sure we want to be aware when we’re in a bias that comes from thinking we know it all. This tends to make us ignore anything that seems to stand in our way – perhaps rather than taking responsibility to address it beforehand.
Peace and ongoing blessings,
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
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