Jonah Lehrer Quotes
Most popular Jonah Lehrer Quotes
How do we regulate our emotions? The answer is surprisingly simple: by thinking about them. The prefrontal cortex allows each of us to contemplate his or her own mind, a talent psychologists call metacognition.
This research can also help explain why we get cranky when we're hungry and tired: the brain is less able to suppress the negative emotions sparked by small annoyances. A bad mood is really just a rundown prefrontal cortex.
Loss aversion is an innate flaw. Everyone who experiences emotion is vulnerable to its effects. It's part of a larger psychological phenomenon known as negativity bias, which means that, for the human mind, bad is stronger than good. This is why in marital interactions, it generally takes at least five kind comments to compensate for one critical comment.
The only way to counteract the bias for certainty is to encourage some inner dissonance. We must force ourselves to think about the information we don't want to think about, to pay attention to the data that disturbs our entrenched beliefs. When we start censoring our minds, turning off those brain areas that contradict our assumptions, we end up ignoring relevant evidence.
The problem with praising kids for their innate intelligence -the "smart" compliment-is that it misrepresents the neural reality of education. It encourages kids to avoid the most useful kind of learning activities, which is learning from mistakes. Unless you experience the unpleasant symptoms of being wrong, your brain will never revise its models. Before your neurons can succeed, they must repeatedly fail. There are no shortcuts for this painstaking process.