Rudi Zimmerer

The Science of Thinking

For most of us, thinking is at least somewhat unpleasant.

We try to avoid it, where possible.

If we try to ask trick questions that make no sense, people answer automatically without thinking…

For instance:
How long does it take for the Earth to go around the sun?

Or take this problem that was given to thousands of college students:

You go to a toy store and there are a toy bat and a toy ball.
Together they cost 1.10$.
The bat costs a dollar more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?
10 cents?
Most answers were wrong…
If guessed the ball cost 10 cents… that is wrong
If the ball costs 10 cents, then the bat costs 1.10 $ together would cost 1.20$
The correct answer is 5 cents for the ball. Then the bat costs 1.05$

The problem is that the correct answer is not difficult, the problem is that people avoid thinking and get so tricked out by the media, politicians, and salespeople…

Conclusion: thinking is uncomfortable, it takes effort.

Our brain has 2 different systems to work out for thinking…

System 1 automatic response for fast thinking/action or call it unconsciousness.

System 2 Thinking through, conscious thought, or call it consciousness.

Consciousness is responsible for following instructions, and can execute a series of steps…
If we ask what is to multiply 17 by 13…
Consciousness can solve the problem, but is lazy, because why not use a calculator…
Consciousness is slow but is careful, capable of catching and fixing mistakes.

Unconsciousness is quick because we need always fast a response, solution, decision…
Unconsciousness is going through a tremendous amount of information in a short time, deciding what is relevant and discarding the rest, which is most of it. He is working automatically, without what we are consciously aware of.

For instance, if we had a traumatic experience in the past, Unconsciousness tries it’s best to avoid similar situations…
If we see an advertisement, Unconsciousness has already scanned the text, comes to a conclusion, and decides maybe to buy that product, because he loves the model in that advertisement.
Unconsciousness is doing most all of our decisions.
Unconsciousness is using our old memories…

Consciousness can hold up to 7 different things/ novels at the same time not more, normally only 5 novels.

For instance, try to remember a string of random numbers. 67 553 1
We can improve our working memory if we chunk the information…
For instance, if we try to learn a new vocabulary in a foreign language, we connect the new vocabulary with associations… But what do you do when you learn Thai? All words are entirely different from the European languages.

Learning is about building up bigger and bigger chunks of information in long-term memory.
Consciousness has to repeat and process the information multiple times until Unconsciousness can use this information.

For instance, when learning Thai, after some time you execute automatically correct phases or chunks of words as an answerer or question without thinking.

How to get our Consciousness to get more involved?

Problem 2 with the toys was written in big letters, big contrast to case 1. Case 2 was the problem written with hard-to-read letters.

In case 1 the correct answers were 15%
In case 2 the correct answers were 65%

If the problem is getting harder to solve, the Unconsciousness is asking the Consciousness to solve the problem.

If you are advertising something or building a Web site… Use easy information, easy-to-read letters, and the best colors, normally that is blue.

If you like to become an expert or entrepreneur, you have to become uncomfortable and learn harder and more…

My Video: The Science of Thinking
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