Powers of Mind
Power of Unconscious Mind and Success
What we 'think' and what we 'believe' are the two main things that decide whether we will succeed or not in our projects in life. Our unconscious mind is responsible for all sorts of illusions. Our unconscious mind is to blame for the phenomenon of the placebo effect (a sugar pill effect). When we believe that a certain procedure or medication is effective, we increase the efficacy of that procedure or medication by 50- 60%.
Often, our behaviour is shaped by subtle pressures around us, but we do not recognize those pressures. According to ‘Self-perception theory’ people decide on their own likes and dislikes from watching themselves behave in various situations. We assume our sense of identity from observing our own behaviour.
Are we what we believe we are?
C.S. Lewis said: ‘We are what we believe we are.’
A simple example is that of a very young child that in a grocery store steals a candy bar. Let's say no one notices, the child does not change his self perception of being a good child. The second scenario is the one where the kid gets caught, and the parents make a big deal about it. The child may then think of himself as a thief. This may become the child's self perception and it may become a prophecy.
So we might be what we pretend to be
In 1971, social psychologist Philip Zimbardo used a group of students to take part in a two week long experiment in which they would live as prisoners and guards in a mock prison. The results were so disturbing that after just six days, Zimbardo had to end the experiment. Ordinary students turned into sadistic guards and spineless prisoners, becoming deeply emotionally involved within their roles.
Conscious_Parenting and Power of the Unconscious Mind
At an early stage of a child’s development, children’s self esteem is a major factor as to how they view and build their own behaviour. By developing emotional intelligence and fostering lasting self-esteem, we prepare them for the future. If our children are to become happy, confident, and in love with knowledge, they need to be supported and assisted in their search for knowledge, and we need to help them behave as eager, creative, and enthusiastic individuals and the self-perception with future behaviour will follow.
Reward and Punishment: Is Santa Claus Myth Working?
Our basic strategy for raising children or motivating employees is a 'reward and punishment' strategy. From an early age we have our Santa Claus that carefully observes what we do and that appears from heavens to deliver gifts for ‘the good’ ones or to punish the ‘bad ones’. While manipulating children with incentives seems to work in the short run, it is a strategy that ultimately fails. Rewards turn play into work, and work into drudgery.
Praise is frequently a judgment and a kind of bribe as the child or the employee must ‘earn’ the points by doing the ‘right’ thing. If we use encouragement, instead, we give support whether or not one is doing well. We do not take the person out of the zone where s/he feels accepted and capable.
Punishment causes either physical, emotional or social pain and it is often followed with confusion, anger, or guilt. Many children developmental professionals will advise us to ignore young children's bad behaviour.
Reward and Punishment Studies Went Wrong
A scary psychological study that researched awards and punishment methods and that went horribly wrong happened at the University of Iowa, in 1939, with 22 orphaned children, 10 with stutters. The children were separated into two groups: one with a speech therapist who conducted 'positive' therapy by praising their efforts; the other with a speech therapist who openly chastised the children for their mistakes. The results showed that the children who received negative feedback were badly affected during and following the experiment that lasted 6 months, so much so that in 2007, six of them were awarded $925,000 in compensation for psychological damage they suffered.
How effective is Reward and Punishment?
Dr Eveline Crone, a Dutch neuroscientist, studied children age 8 to 12, giving them a computer task and observing their brains (using fMRI) when they are given a positive, rewarding feedback - a check for well done, and when they are given a cross – punishment for not understanding the rule.
The performance of the younger children improved substantially more when the feedback was positive. It was amazing that the kids brains reacted strongly to positive feedback and scarcely responded at all to the negative one. Older children and adults react a bit more on the negative feedback, but this fact makes us wonder do we condition our brains to re-act in a particular way to 'win' in a short-term, forgeting the long term consequences of such brain conditioning.
Alternative Methods to Rewards and Punishment
When shaping the first Waldorf school, Steiner (the founder of this successful alternative schooling method) said that there was to be no classification of children into intellectual streams, no examinations, no holding back in a grade, no prizes, no honour boards, no homework. Teachers were to avoid negative comments in their reports, and talk about the child with humour and appreciative words. Also included in the report was a verse to ‘show the individual child the direction in which he should strive’ (Miller 1982, 64).
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