You Can Train Your Brain to Make Better Impulse Decisions
Our current age calls for more and more snap decisions that don't allow for a proper and pragmatic assessment. The only way to deal with this is to adapt by training yourself to make better snap decisions.
In a world of hot and cold decision-making, things have really heated up in the past decade.
As Steven Cotler and Jamie Wheal explain at Forbes, hot cognition is a term used to describe the making of snap, impulse decisions without aid of a longer assessment period. Hot cognition involves an emotional factor in the face of high risk and pressure. Cold cognition, on the other hand, involves making calculated, pragmatic, and emotionless decisions.
Cotler and Wheal make an important note about the faults of hot cognition, which they say is now invoked much more prevalently than in years past:
"But here’s the thing—because hot cognition is automatic, it is often subject to bias and thus prone to error. We’ve been making more and more of these errors lately and they’ve been sending shockwaves through our society and economy."
Social media in general has rushed the decision times for entities facing difficult decisions -- just look at how sloppily certain NFL entities have performed lately with regard to player suspensions. Luckily, you don't have to be resigned to making dumb moves in the spur of the moment. That's because hot cognition can be trained through "risk rehearsals." For adventurous types, extreme and action sports such as snowboarding, surfing, and skydiving will pump the necessary adrenaline needed for decision test runs. For those a little more risk-averse, it's been found that the hot cognition can improve for players of video games such as first-person shooters that reward a heightened ability for impulse decisions.
The key is in placing yourself in tense situations and being cognizant of how you react. Sharpen these skills under test conditions and you'll be better off for it when the real crunch time begins.
For more on hot and cold cognition, keep reading at Forbes
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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