Mind Control and Ironic Process: Do not think about the purple cow!



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Reprint: This text is from the book "Warum uns das Denken nicht in den Kopf will: Noch mehr nützliche Erkenntnisse der Alltagspsychologie (2013)""" from Dr. Volker Kitz, Prof. Dr. Manuel Tusch, published at Heyne Verlag, and was left to us for reprint.
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Do not think about a purple cow! What are you currently thinking about? Does it make "Muh" and chocolate? Then you could have gone to a so-called "ironic process" on the glue: Suppose we do not think of something, this very thought can follow us.

Mind Control and Ironic Process: Do not think about the purple cow! Purple Cow

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Here writes for you: Dr. Manuel Tusch Professor at the Münster University of Applied Sciences and director of the IfAP. Profile
Here writes for you: Dr. Volker Kitz is Spiegel bestselling author, psychologist and ex-lobbyist. Profile

The desire for control

Overview

Purple cows are still the least problem. But how often do we want to control our lives by not doing something, like eating the chocolate bar?

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Or think of something, for example, just before falling asleep to the insolent sayings of the colleague of this morning? Whoever wants to control his life in this way should at least know something more about the phenomenon of the ironic process.

The White Bear Experiment

Overview

In the classic experiment, subjects are asked not to think about a white bear. Then they should let their so-called "Stream of Consciousness" run free for five minutes:

Constantly thinking out loud and chattering everything that comes straight to your mind. That's what some of our esteemed people do all day anyway. Every time they say or think "white bear" they should ring a bell on the table in front of them.

You may, so you think!

Overview

Then you turn the instructions: Now the subjects are thinking quite specifically about a white bear. And once again make their stream of consciousness and again the bell ring when the white bear emerges.

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Different groups get these two instructions in different order: Group 1 should first suppress the thought of the bear, then consciously think of the white bear. Group 2 should first deliberately think of the white bear and then banish the white bear from their thoughts.

Thoughts can not be suppressed

Overview

No one succeeds in suppressing his thoughts: On average, at least once a minute, the subjects think of the forbidden bear, while they should not. This is quite often for something you do not want to do!

But what is particularly interesting is: Who is in group 1, so to suppress the white bear first, who thinks afterwards much more often to the bear than someone who has from the outset the task as often as possible to think of the animal - ie in group 2 is.

Relapse in the brain

Overview

Apparently, the brain has a backlog when it has been trying for a while to suppress a thought:

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It suffers a regular relapse, in which it thinks much more often the prohibited thoughts than before. If we oppress something, then this effort will have an effect on its opposite.


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  1. Sylvia7452

    Mind Control & amp; Ironic processes - 1 / 3: Do not think about the purple cow! - (via @SimoneJanson)

  2. Sylvia7452

    RT @Berufebilder: Mind Control & Ironic Processes - 1 / 3: Do not think about the purple cow! -

  3. Competencepartner

    Mind Control & Ironic Processes - 1 / 3: Do not Think of the Purple Cow !: Do not Think ... #Professional # Education

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