Thursday, June 18, 2009

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Perspective


This classic chalice/faces picture can be viewed in more than one way and our brains happily jump between these different views, trying one and then switching to another. But experiments show that if we are rewarded for seeing the picture one way rather than the other - rewarded with a jellybean, a dollar bill, or a friendly pat on the back - our brains begin to hold on to the rewarding view, and the picture stops changing. The lesson here is that things can be viewed in many ways, but human brains like the most rewarding view and thus they search for and hold on to that view whenever they can.
If this is possible with this picture, then it is also true of other things: BJJ, martial arts, marriage, business, etc.
If, in training, we are rewarded for trying one technique over another, or rewarded for thinking about something in one way over another, then we tend to begin to ‘lock in’ that particular viewpoint. It’s often all a matter of persective.
JBW

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9 Comments

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Anonymous 5:11 pm

Hi John I found this blog very interesting. The blog is very relevant to my line of work, -I am interested in learning the best training methods to identify x-ray images on screens. Could you please provide a reference for the experiments that show that reward increases the likelihood of a particular perspective being seen? Many thanks.
Andy.

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Hi Andy,
I shall see if I can dig it up - I actually learned that a long time ago and cannot remember where I got the info from. It may well have been when I was studying psych at uni - a lifetime ago - I shall see what i can find.
JBW

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Anonymous 11:53 am

Wow, thanks heaps John. No doubt you are a busy guy so please don't inconvenience yourself it if its going to take too long. When I started learning x-ray image recognition I used to use the old duck/rabbit picture to remind myself to think of various alternatives as to what the pixels on the screen actually could represent. I realised it was so easy to get locked into one mental image and to stop looking for other alternatives. On a related topic, my guess is that the closer in time the reward follows the particular image being "seen" the faster and stronger the learning. Closer linkage or something like that.

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Andy,
no problem. I re-read that idea recently somewhere, and so was inspired ti write that blog. I do a fait bit of reading - but damn if I can remember which book. At the airport now - so can't sourse my library. Will try to remember after a weekend of seminars and some gruelling flights take their toll.
I m glad their are people like you out their in the medical profession taking their jobs seriously, Thanks Andy
JBW

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Hi John

I may have missed your point asking this but; did you mean we (as BJJ Students in particular) should try to see both points of view and not "lock in" a rewarding view (or point of view).

Regards

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The success we get from doing certain techniques is our reward for doing them. We tend to use the more successful techniques more than the unsuccessful ones, thus we tend to not see the alternatives because we like the success we get. In effect, we become close-minded and don't really give other techniques a chance. The lesson here is to stay open minded and as you say, see things from both perspectives.

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Andy,
bought a couple of books on psychology at the airport (amazing) read one this weekend in an attempt to track down this study - to no avail. Sorry I cannot recall.
JBW

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Birdman,
thanks for your comment. My meaning is that we quickly become 'locked in' to one particular view - particlurly if that view is rewarded. About anything! This can lead to limited thinking - and limited capacity in problem solving. Always, be prepared to go outside the box.
best wishes
JBW

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Anonymous 10:00 am

Many thanks for that John. I work in Biosecurity. I try my best, I feel it is a worthwhile endeavor, like medicine, for improving things.
Andy.
PS i just read your last blog on action. i agree, -i think i should get out of bed and do something with my day. haha

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