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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Feb > Feb 23

Hamlet & The Power Of Beliefs To Shape Reality

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:09:16 -0500
Archived: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:09:16 -0500
Subject: Hamlet & The Power Of Beliefs To Shape Reality




Source: ScientificAmerican.Com

http://tinyurl.com/83bvnwg

February 18, 2012

Hamlet And The Power Of Beliefs To Shape Reality
By Maria Konnikova

Writing at the close of the nineteenth century, William James,
the father of modern psychology (and Henry's brother), observed
that, "Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses
from the objects around us, another part (and it may be the
larger part) always comes out of our own head." We now know that
it is, in fact, the larger part: perception is just as much
about construal, belief, the interaction of environment and
memory as it is about sensory inputs. It's a top-down world out
there.

What's more, our beliefs and construals can actually alter our
reality. What we believe can, quite literally, be what becomes
true. As an example, take intelligence, something that many
people believe to be a genetically predetermined entity. While
intelligence may indeed have a large genetic component, that is
far from all it is.

For many years, Carol Dweck has been researching two theories of
intelligence: incremental and entity. If you are an incremental
theorist, you believe that intelligence is fluid. If you work
harder, learn more, apply yourself better, you will become
smarter. If, on the other hand, you are an entity theorist, you
believe that intelligence is fixed. Try as you might, you will
remain as smart (or not) as you were before. It's just your
original luck. Dweck has repeatedly found that how someone
performs, especially in reacting to failure, largely depends on
which of the two beliefs he espouses. An incremental theorist
sees failure as a learning opportunity; an entity theorist, as a
frustrating personal shortcoming that cannot be remedied. As a
result, while the former may take something away from the
experience to apply to future situations, the latter is more
likely to write it off entirely.

In a recent study, a group of psychologists decided to see if
this differential reaction is simply behavioral, or if it
actually goes deeper, to the level of brain performance. The
researchers measured response-locked event-related potentials
(ERPs) - basically, electric neural signals that result from
either an internal or external event - in the brains of college
students as they took part in a simple flanker task. The student
were shown a string of five letters and asked to quickly
identify the middle letter. The letters could be congruent - for
instance, MMMMM - or, they might be incongruent - for example,
MMNMM.


[More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead]





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