Priming

(this is a way for outside influences to have an impact on unconscious thinking without our knowing about it, ie what we have experienced will influence our unconscious thinking).

. Remember that wisdom and good judgment are gained through experience and create expertise. Often a sign of expertise is noticing what doesn't happen in a situation that is expected to happen in a normal situation, ie understanding the unexpected (the anomalies) that in hindsight make sense. It involves instantaneously and spontaneously finding patterns in the apparent chaos.

. Sometimes our unconscious attitudes may be utterly incompatible with our stated conscious values, eg racial discrimination where our conscious attitudes are against racial discrimination while our unconscious attitudes state otherwise. Our body language can give a hint of this conflict, ie

"...leaning forward a little less, being a bit less expressive, maintaining less eye contact, standing a little farther away, smiling a lot less and stumbling over your words a bit more, laughing at jokes a bit less...", etc

Malcolm Gladwell, 2005

. Other parties will pick up on your body language, etc which could make them less confident/certain/ comfortable, etc. This can then feed on itself by creating a downward spiral so that everyone feels more and more negative about each other.

. Another example involves short people and tall people. Particularly in men, tall people trigger very positive unconscious associations. In addition to most CEOs in USA being white, they are taller than the average population, ie

"... In the US population, about 14.5% of all men are 6 foot or taller. Among CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, the number is 58%. Even more striking, in the general American population, 3.9% of adult men are 6 foot two or taller. Among CEOs, almost a third were 6 foot two or taller..."

Malcolm Gladwell, 2005

It is thought that being short is as much a handicap to corporate success as being a woman or non-white!!!!!

"... We have a sense of what a leader is supposed to look like, and that stereotype is so powerful that when somebody fits it, we simply become blinded to other considerations..."

Malcolm Gladwell, 2005

Further research showed that an inch of height is worth $US 789 per year in salary!

. Need to understand the first impression a person creates can override additional information gathered. Remember that first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment. We can alter the way we think by changing the experiences that make up those impressions.

 

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