The Brain: Imperfect Genius
The brain is a miracle, with amazing capabilities, but it isn’t perfect. We have all been known to forget important things or fail to notice essential details around us. This faux pas can lead to minor annoyances or major mistakes. Have you ever completely forgotten where your car was parked? You wander around forever both aggravated and in awe that you just can’t recall the location. Whether the forgetfulness arises from a brain drain, rushing around, or stress, we may even forget the underlying cause soon as well.
Your Mind Is Lazy
Our brains like to take shortcuts. That is why so many people tend to jump to conclusions, prejudge, and fail to get all the facts. Your mind wants to fall back on what is familiar, such as basic rules of thumb when making decisions or solving problems. What did mom and dad do? Not to say, this isn’t ever an effective approach. Sticking with tried and true methods allow you to act quickly. You don’t have to sort through all possible solutions. But sometimes taking shortcuts leads to avoidable mistakes.
For example, you might have a fear of air travel. The first thought that may come to mind is the threat of an aircraft takeover or a crash. You are aware of the statistics – air travel is a lot safer than riding on land. But since you have it stuck in your head that flying is more dangerous, you avoid it at all costs.
Hidden Biases Sway Your Thoughts
Most of us are programmed to think in certain ways. Such programming affects how we perceive others, events and how we make decisions. We all tend to pay attention to different aspects of a situation when it comes down to drawing conclusions. Not ever thinking out of the box can lead to the bad habit of discounting or ignoring anything that opposes your deep-seated ideas.
Cognitive biases can interfere with clear thinking and good decision-making about our health, finances and how we interact with people.
Your Brain Wants to Place Blame
Humans naturally want to place blame when a bad event takes place. The problem is, we tend to twist reality to protect ourselves. We may have caused the misfortune, but it is more comfortable to deny our part in it.
For example, you spent all day basking in the sun at the beach. You wind up with a bad sunburn, but it wasn’t your fault. Rather, the sunscreen didn’t work. Truth be told, you never reapplied the protection.
Your Brain Ignores Change
The world is a chaotic place, there is always so much going on around us. It is hard for the brain to capture every detail. Therefore, we sometimes miss big changes that happen right in front of us.
Researchers believe that when this happens, there may be several things happening at once. If you are concentrating heavily on one issue, your brain may need to tune out other information.
The expectation has an impact as well. You may miss a major shift simply because you weren’t expecting it, it wasn’t part of the normal course of events.
Your Memory Isn’t as Reliable as You Think
We don’t store audio and images like a digital camera. Our memories are not preserved exactly as the events occurred. Our minds are much more inaccurate, and we forget tons of information, from trivial bits of data to essential details. Experts suggest that the main reasons for recall failures include too many competing memories, improper storage, and intentionally forgetting unpleasantries of the past.