When negative incident or accidents occur at work and someone gets hurt was the real cause to the injured person, Scotomisation? Rene Laforgue and Edouard Pinchon introduced the idea of scotomization into psychoanalysis – a move initially welcomed by Freud in 1926 as a useful description of the hysterical avoidance of distressing perceptions, keeping the unwanted perception out of consciousness.
Like your brain is telling your eyes that you are safe or not! The concept originated in the field of optics where it means blind spot which mind tries to fill up. Used in psychological terms, it means our ability to believe and disbelieve whatever we chose to. The human brain is a marvelous tool. However, it was designed for a very different world than we currently live in. As a result, it retains many design flaws that do not serve us well, especially in today’s business world where new ways of thinking and ongoing innovation are essential for success.
So the incident occurs and we just look at the worker an think what were you thinking, why could you not see the hazard or risk directly in front of you, are you blind!
Before you say BS, think about this: Have you ever picked up a gallon milk bottle that you thought was full when it was empty instead? You realize your mistake as soon as you begin to lift the bottle because your hand and bottle fly over your head. Your brain assumed that the bottle was heavier than it was and thus instructed your muscles to exert more force than was necessary. Before we make any voluntary movement, a great deal of planning, which is largely unconscious, takes place in our brain.
The same is true for perception. Since our eyes sense what is around us, it’s easy to think that our visual system is quiescent unless stimulated by something from the outside. However, what we see is governed to a large extent by what we expect to see. As with our movements, our brain sets us up in advance for what we will see.
This idea came home to me one morning when I glanced out my kitchen window at the bird feeder outside. Small woodland birds, such as nuthatches, juncos , and chickadees, were the usual visitors to the feeder. But on this day, I happened to glance up from the kitchen sink and saw five enormous wild turkeys, one male and four females, looking in on me. The male was so tall, he practically looked me in the eye. Despite their large size and distinctive appearance, it took me a full second to figure out what I was seeing. Had I glanced outside and seen the usual juncos and chickadees, I would have recognized and distinguished these birds, despite their small size, in much less time.
So why did it take so long to see the big wild turkeys? Because I didn’t expect to see them. What we see depends to a large extent upon what we anticipate seeing. The first area of our visual cortex to receive input from our eyes is called the primary visual cortex. It was once thought that neurons in this area respond almost exclusively to stimuli coming from the eyes. But we now know that the activity of these neurons is affected by “higher” brain centers which are involved in prediction and planning. When the brain can predict what will be seen, it can prime the appropriate circuits in the primary visual cortex and other regions, allowing us to interpret visual stimuli more quickly. So, when I looked out the kitchen window that morning, my brain may have readied the circuits in my visual cortex for what I expected to see – the usual small birds at the feeder. The image of turkeys threw my visual system into a momentary state of confusion. Some circuits had to be suppressed and others activated in order for me to make sense of the surprising view outside my kitchen window.
So the next time you’re absolutely, positively sure you’re right, consider these 10 reasons not to trust your brain:
1. It jumps to conclusions.
The brain loves to solve problems. But as soon as a solution presents itself, the brain wants to accept it as the solution. Case closed – let’s move on to the next problem!
2. It sees what it wants to see.
The brain acts as a filter, constantly screening in and screening out information. Unfortunately, it tends to screen out information that contradicts our prevailing view of the world and let in that which supports it. The signs were usually there all along. Your brain just didn’t want to see them.
3. It distorts incoming information.
The brain also twists and distorts incoming information so that it aligns with our attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions.
4. It ignores the obvious (and then tries to justify it).
We know that drunk driving is dangerous, and texting behind the wheel is even worse. Yet we do them anyway. Why? Because our brain tells us we won’t get caught. Or, it assures us we won’t get in an accident.
5. It’s not designed for multitasking.
In today’s time-deprived, hyper-paced world, our brain wants to convince us of the virtues of multitasking. Yet, research shows again and again that multitasking increases stress, inhibits creativity, and makes us less efficient.
6. It constantly makes stuff up.
In the absence of information, we make stuff up. We do it all the time, and then we believe it to be true! Our brain won’t live with a void so it fills in the blanks.
7. It seeks to avoid threats rather than pursue opportunities.
Coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things requires going out on a limb. Not a good way to support innovation, which includes a certain amount of pain (failure) in order to succeed.
8. It wants to stick with the known.
When stressed, the brain seeks comfort in what it is familiar with – even when it becomes obvious that the old way is no longer working. That’s why people stay in bad jobs or bad relationships.
9. It thinks everyone else sees the world the same way.
Logically, we know this isn’t true. But when presenting a new idea or a solution to a problem, how often do we unconsciously assume that everyone in the room sees it the same way?
10. It has too much confidence in its own abilities.
Research shows that experts are only slightly more accurate than non-experts when making predictions in their fields. The next time your brain insists you’re right because “we’ve always done it that way,” you might want to step back and look at the situation from a different perspective.