Making better decisions with NLP (5) – “Reality Tunnels” and Groupthink

We filter incoming sensory information in line with our beliefs – evidence that supports an existing belief will be amplified, while information that contradicts it will be downplayed or ignored – leaving us in our own “reality tunnel” which may be quite different to someone else’s. Consequently we may miss useful information if it doesn’t support our belief system.

This tendency gets worse with “groupthink”. We are influenced by other people, and if we only have contact with people who believe the same as us, our filters get even stronger (“social proof” in Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion).

Remedies: talk to people with different beliefs. Read a newspaper with a differing political point of view to your own occasionally. Actively look for evidence which counters your own beliefs. Ask yourself, “How would I know if this wasn’t true?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cookies are initially disabled. To enable cookies and use all the features of the website, click 'Accept'. More information and cookie policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close