The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Going deeper

A very human reaction is to search for shortcuts.

It’s normal as our brain is already organized in that way. It uses pattern recognition to give meaning to a given situation.

In doing so it assimilates what it recognizes in the current situation with patterns from the past.

It leads for example into stereotyping. We help ourselves by interpreting how one person reacts based on our knowledge of how other people reacted in the past.

Instead of going deeper and verifying our interpretation we stick with the first association. Often not recognizing that we projected memories from the past onto the situation. In doing so we might have transformed the current situation by giving it a different meaning. In today’s situation somehow reminded you of the way you saw your mother, father or siblings act then you probably also felt as you did then. And this influences the reaction you had today.

If the pattern we recognize is the knowledge we learned in the past, then the reaction may be to compare with the theory and see it as aligned.

The hard part is revisiting our knowledge and seeing if it applies to the situation.

Is the stereotype we’ve recognized the right one or was there more to it?

How does the theory apply to a real situation?

Going deeper means to go beyond our predefined patterns. It means to ask ourselves the hard questions.


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