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Hacking Your Mind Part 3 Summary: Us vs Them

Written by John Kuder

Table Of Contents

Highlights and notes from this video:

We all have to live with Three Conundrums:

  • Too much information – we can’t take in everything that happens around us
  • Not enough Meaning – we filter out details, so we can’t use them to understand
  • Not enough time – to think carefully about everything we do

We have to take mental shortcuts to function, so we do, but we don’t have to do so ALL the time

We have two systems of thinking – fast – autopilot, and slow – deliberate

Problems arise when we make big, important decisions with the autopilot system that is designed for fast decisions

A common fast thinking decision is “like-me” or “not-like-me” (my group, not my group, friend or foe?)

Us-vs-Them thinking builds a view of reality where members of a group are seen as sharing multiple characteristics, simply by belonging to that group. Like a one-size-fits-all caricature. You can see this in use with label statements like “Republicans are …” or “Men are all …”.

Monkey Island research facility – 1200 same species monkeys, self-organized into 6 competing groups

Orange shirt, Green shirt study– children randomly assigned to a group, then describe behavior from a drawing they see

This Us-vs-Them division can be encouraged with stories and images. It has been used for centuries.

The internet has made it incredibly more powerful – able to create polarization much faster.

Here is the full episode:

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