The unit we are now in is mainly about thinking. We’ve explored how we normally think, how we can think about our thinking and why it is that we do that. This was all in response to one of R.D. Lang’s arguments, in which he states that most of us who think that we’re smart really are not, unless if is in self-interest. He goes on to say that a lot of our so-called ‘original’ thoughts are not original but really are conformist in nature. I personal reaction to this is that I understand his basis for that theory. It does make sense and it does hold true for many people. When I took at a topic such as politics and see the ideas that exist, I see that most of them are merely in circulation. They reuse so many thoughts that others have already stated that it is extremely hard to find something that is ‘fresh’ to the whole situation. And as for your good thoughts being mostly in your favor I believe this is correct as well. We as humans do have an inert sense of selfishness in all of us. It is fully understandable that we make sure ourselves are fully taken care of before looking out for others around us.
One of the issues we explored was how automatic thinking works. Automatic thinking is when we act on the first thought that pops up in your head, in response to something. For example, if I were to say, “Think of blue” your most likely initial thought would either be of the color blue or something relating to it. We don’t have a real sense of control over it. Automatic thinking then goes deeper in that we live most of our lives in an automatic manner. A lot of things that we do are merely done without any thought about why we’re doing it.
One way to remedy automatic thinking is to become more metacognitive in daily life. Metacognition is defined as being aware of one’s own thought processes. In class we were given mind puzzles to allow us to experience how metacongition is implemented. Our teacher would pose a riddle to us and we would try to get the answer. After a few minutes of contemplation we would then write down how we went about solving the problem. One riddle was as follows: There is a team of scientists that were on frozen tundra. They discovered a male human body stuck in the ice. They then set out to free the body and before they were done, one of scientists yells out “It’s Adam.” And she was right. How come? A few of us instantly yelled out whatever answer popped out into our heads – once again, automatic thought processes are work there – but we were all wrong. Thus in reaction to that, we retreated into our minds and thought about things on our own. At the end we identified some of the strategies that we used in an attempt to find the answer. We found that a lot of us went back to the beginning of the riddle then systematically broke it into parts and went through each, one at a time. We called this the complete search of the narrow. Others had visualized the situation or contextualized it in order to “understand the little by understanding the big it’s apart of.”