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How Biases and the Need to be Right May Be Affecting You


In this episode of the Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah discuss cognitive biases and blind spots, and how they affect different aspects of life, such as relationships, employment, and politics. The hosts explore the importance of understanding one's own biases and how it can lead to recognizing biases in others. They emphasize the significance of empathy and inclusivity in promoting growth and understanding. Dr. Bashah explains that biases are a natural part of our cognitive processes that provide comfort and predictability but can also lead to a loss of control. They suggest techniques for avoiding stereotyping and discriminatory behavior, such as acknowledging and apologizing for biases and having the courage to correct them.

Paul and Emily also delve into the topic of addictive ideologies, which give people a total construct to see the world through a certain lens and provide arguments to back up their beliefs. They explain that being right can have an emotional impact and trigger a release of adrenaline and dopamine in the brain, similar to addictions. The conversation shifts to the role of love and connection in addressing the need to be right. They explain that love and connection release oxytocin, enabling rational and innovative thinking, and that it is a counter to the desire to be right that often comes from a dark place, such as anger and self-righteousness.

They also discuss how insecurity can lead to narcissism, and how it can create blind spots. The hosts talk about how to help people overcome their blind spots and regain their sense of agency. Finally, Paul Johnson shares his personal experience with drinking and how it had a negative impact on his life, which led him to choose not to drink. Dr. Emily Bashah explains the barriers that prevent people from seeing things as they are, such as a lack of ego strength and deep inherent insecurities that keep them from confronting the truth.

Overall, this episode aims to promote growth and understanding by helping listeners recognize and overcome biases and blind spots. The hosts emphasize the importance of empathy, inclusivity, and love in promoting rational and innovative thinking and addressing cognitive biases.

Here are some key points:

  • Biases can affect areas such as romantic relationships, business, employment, and politics.

  • Empathy and inclusivity are emphasized in promoting understanding and growth.

  • Biases are a natural part of our cognitive processes, and they can provide comfort and predictability, but can also lead to a sense of loss of control.

  • Metacognition, or thinking about one's own thinking, is important to avoid false positives and inaccurate assumptions.

  • Challenging one's biases and being open to different possibilities is essential to avoid falling into the trap of stereotyping.

  • Love and connection can help address cognitive biases and blind spots.

  • Ideology can be used as a means to cover up insecurity and lead to blind spots.

How does this fit in the Hierarchy of Agency?

Be Accountable to Yourself! We must understand our own biases and acknowledge our own ideologies. We must also value individuality and treat others with dignity and respect. To further our growth we must align ourselves with telling the truth as that coincides with being accountable for ourselves.

Learn more about the Hierarchy of Agency here!


Don't forget to watch the full episode here!


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