Little Things 183 : Understanding Certain Things


One of the student asked Mahzarin Banaji on "What are the benefits when we know and understand certain things?", in this case we were learning about social psychology. 

I once told my friend about how interested I am in psychology and philosophy because well - I am forever interested in human kind. He told me about how meaningless it is to understand how the human works and how useless it is to put us in categories - it is like putting us in a cage of limitation. He also told me about the Westerner's tendency to put a 'label' on every single thing in this world. I was half-heartedly offended, that's why I remember it until now. But in order to understand ourselves, find things that annoy or disturb our circle, we'll learn more about ourselves that way. 

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So this was how Mahzarin Banaji answered the question :

You'll know how to deal with it better. Like in medicine, there were times when people don't know how the body or brain works, like for an example, they assumed people are making decision using their stomach when they are hungry, instead of their brain telling them that they are hungry and decide to eat something.  But those were the time when we didn't learned those findings yet.  
When people learn stuffs, like how the brain works, they will understand better and learn more useful things better. 
It is never a waste of time to learn things.
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Social psychology is useful when we are living in a community like in a working space, in business or in a family eg: understanding your spouse or teaching your children the essential stuffs and understanding how they learn things. 

Things like autism, dyslexia, introversion, anorexia are unseen stuffs. Things like how we grow up in a society, how we learn, how we communicate, how we interpret information, handling racism and why we break social rules, are also unseen stuffs. If we are traumatized by something and we don't learn to understand, we don't learn to heal, how would we possibly heal from it? If we feel super-uncomfortable when working in open space and we don't know any better, how would we deal with it? How to make our working life productive and meaningful? 

Hm hm hm. 

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