Thursday, April 27, 2017


Each person is free to choose the beliefs to accept and those to reject. Therefore, there are more than 6 billion belief systems in the world and no two are identical. The frontal lobe is critical in directing our ability to act freely and make decisions. One may have less conscious choice that ordinarily believed, however. Studies by Benjamin Libet showed that several milliseconds before a person makes a conscious decision, there is electrical activity in the brain that likely represents a subconscious generation of the thought the person is about to have. Which means that humans are likely not responsible for every thought that crosses their mind. They likely are responsible for the thoughts they continue to harbor and cogitate upon once the thought reaches conscious awareness.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bias Can Convert

It is easier for the brain to first quantify objects into pairs and then to differentiate them into opposing groups: right or wrong, lights or dark, Republican or Democrat, etc. This neural process of simplification and generalization is a form of biological stereotyping because it does not take into account individual differences and nuances. Once an oppositional dyad is created, the brain will then impose an emotional bias on each (root for favorite sports team and disparage the other). This includes people from different cultural, religious, and ethnic background. Unfortunately, this inborn us-versus-them mentality easily converts into racism. So it appears that bias in innate, prejudice is learned.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Bias appears to be built into the brain as a function. Meaning that the fastest determination the brain is believed to make when confronted with something new is whether or not the new something is like you or unlike you; something you’ve seen before or never seen before. Brain scans have shown that the amygdalae (two little almond shaped organs, one in each cerebral hemisphere) that registers fear, react when one first observes a person from a different ethnic background. However, there can be a significant variance in the response based on a variety of internal and external influences. The brain’s initial reaction can decrease in less than half a second. When faced with any belief that conflicts with one’s own, it takes additional effort and time to override biologically-based cognitive biases, but by doing research suggests that you can become more open minded. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fish, PTSD, & Social Transmission

A report in Proceedings of the Royal Society B described a study that showed fish can learn fear from role models. According to the study’s authors, environment can influence the social transmission of fear. The study showed how risk aversion can be learned. The researchers also suggest their study may shed light on how fear disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develop in humans, which research shows can be influenced by social environment. For example, PTSD symptoms can be acquired from friends or family who have suffered trauma.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Aphorisms, 4

  • Stop hiding your light under a bushel.
  • The cover of a book may not always match its contents
  • The more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • The pen is mightier than a sword and a computer more powerful than dynamite
  • The quality of genuine mercy is not strained.
  • Less is more
  • You are shaped by what you choose to love
  • The only things certain are change, taxes, and death
  • You become like those you choose to hang with
  • You are the average of the people you spend the most time with

Thursday, April 20, 2017

EQ in the Workplace, 9

Four key behavioral characteristics describe and define the dimension of Emotional Sensibility:

  • Able to respond to emotional stimuli of low intensity (don’t need to be hit over the head with high intensity to get your attention)
  • Can be empathetic (different from sympathy) and yet can still get the job done
  • Experience improved interpersonal relationships (tend to live at ‘joy’ and are not knocked down or become immobile by the choices of others)
  • Choose a positive can-do mindset, self-talk, and use affirmation—a positive style of speaking—when communicating with yourself and others

Likely you have some of these dimensions already in place. Identify and hone those that are missing or relatively undeveloped. You can do it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

EQ in the Workplace, 8

Five key behavioral characteristics describe and define the dimension of Emotional Maturity
  • Are self-aware (as brain matures)
  • Care for yourself and help to develop others (as the superego develops with brain maturation)
  • Able to delay immediate gratification for a more desirable long-term reward
  • Can adapt (each brain only has its own opinion and you know yours but can alter it or agree to disagree)
  • Are flexible (able to brainstorm options and alternatives successfully and can compromise to reach group consensus when necessary)
More Tomorrow.