Subjective Reality

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tmwood400
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220389
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Subjective Reality
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2013-05-27 12:57:04
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Notes on nature of reality and self
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  1. Although it is possible to perceive objectively, we cannot take in the totality of reality and say anything about it; we can only point to some of its characteristics. So whenever we explore reality in any specific manner, we have to leave out something. For example, when you describe an orange, you cannot say anything about its totality. You have to talk about its color or its taste or its shape. If you want your description to encompass the whole thing -- its color, shape, and taste all together -- you can only say, "orange."
    http://www.ahalmaas.com/books/facets-of-unity-enneagram-holy-ideas p.206
  2. It does not matter if you like the view of reality or not. It is how things are. If you like it or don't like it, that's your business -- it's not the business of reality. If you don't like how things are, the best you can do is to find out why, so that you can begin to harmonize yourself with it. Otherwise, you will suffer. This doesn't mean reality is punishing you. It simply means that if you harmonize yourself with reality, you will experience a sense of peace and freedom, and if you don't, you will experience discord
    http://www.ahalmaas.com/books/facets-of-unity-enneagram-holy-ideas p.255
  3. What is true shifts. In one sense, truth is what you experience to be real in the moment. But when you really understand any particular experience, you realize it is not truth, it is falsehood. Then you discover a new dimension and realize that as the truth. You stay with it for a while until you realize it too is false. Even when you get to objective truth you realize it is not ultimately true. So what we really refer to as the various dimensions of truth are in a fundamental way only levels of conceptualization.
    http://www.ahalmaas.com/books/diamond-heart-5-inexhaustible-mystery p. 172
  4. Objective perception means perceiving reality, all that confronts our awareness, as it is. It is a matter of seeing things as they are, rather than seeing them from a certain point of view or position. So by objective we do not mean the scientific positivist sense, in which objective means what exists physically outside us rather than in the mind. We also do not mean objective in the sense of not being emotional, or not being experiential. We mean seeing things, seeing internal or external things as they are, instead of subjectively. Subjective is the antithesis; it means according to our positions, feelings, filters, beliefs and attitudes. So objective perception means pure perception, free from all positions, bias, filters, conflicts, intentions etc. It is perceiving whatever it is without any obscuration or intermediacy, so we see it just the way it is in itself.
    http://www.ahalmaas.com/books/the-void-space-ego-structure p.151
  5. the sense of being a separate individual develops through the construction of ego boundariesOne's ego boundaries are so much a part of ordinary perception that one never questions them; the sense of oneself as a separate entity is taken to be an objective and absolutely necessary characteristic of being a living human being. However, the ever-expanding development of the Personal Essence gradually puts pressure, by the mere fact of its presence, on the sense of being an ego individual, exposing the ego individuality as unreal.Ignorance of this fundamental difference between Essence and ego in terms of the sense of being a person creates a subtle contraction in the psychophysical apparatus that becomes increasingly obvious as one becomes more familiar with the Personal Essence. This contraction becomes a pressure, a resistance or a sense of constriction against the full presence of the Personal Essence. The lack of clarity causes a confusion in one's mind between the Personal Essence and the ego individuality; one sometimes takes one for the other. One typically attributes to the Personal Essence characteristics that do not belong to it, but to the ego individuality
  6. Eventually one realizes that he has been attributing to the Soul a sense of boundaries, which separate him from others and from the whole environment. It gradually dawns on him that the Soul has no sense of boundaries at all, no sense of separateness whatsoever; and that the separateness one attributed to it belongs to the ego individuality. One starts to see that there has always been a subtle identification with the sense of separateness with respect to being a person.
  7. the sense of being a separate individual develops through the construction of ego boundaries. The ego individuality always has two characteristics: the sense of being a separate entity, and the sense of self, that is, the feeling of identity that differentiates the entity subjectively from other entities.
  8. Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system. Our thoughts and beliefs “pass,” so long as nothing challenges them, just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them.  –William James
  9. The definition of reality used here is a system that imposes effects on the entities within it. For entities that can’t think, there is only one reality, and only one source of effects. A rock, for example, resides in an objective reality that subjects it to a variety of physical and chemical forces. Deep in the earth, it can be deformed by pressure; on a beach, it can be eroded by surf; on a steep slope, it’s vulnerable to being repositioned by gravity.People also occupy this corporeal world and are subject to its effects, but human reality has an additional layer.the effects of the physical world are likely to have less of an impact on your life than the effects of the social world. The latter effects are based on beliefs.
    • David Voelker
    • http://tworealities.org
  10. Beliefs – our own, and those of others – determine everything from our self-image to our social status and how much money people give us. Beliefs can be objectively true or false, but the critical point to be made about their role as the building blocks of subjective reality is that their objective truth status is irrelevant to their effects
    • David Voelker
    • http://tworealities.org
  11. higher animals process the information provided by their senses to form mental representations of the world – models which embed their assumptions about how the world operates and which allow them to run mental simulations of possible actions to assess the likely outcome. It is the existence of these representations (or knowledge structures, or schemas, or beliefs – those terms are used interchangeably here) that make subjective reality possible and provide the foundation for its construction. Beliefs can and do vary in the accuracy with which they represent the outside world, which accounts for the factual differences between objective and subjective reality.
    David Voelker http://tworealities.org
  12. If we were omniscient and infallible, there would be no subjective reality, because our mental models would fully and precisely mirror the external world.1 The capacity limitations and biases of human information processing guarantee both that our mental models will be incomplete representations of elements of objective reality and that they will contain inaccuracies. This means, first, that for human cognition, objective reality is underdetermined.
  13. There is often more than one plausible theory for a given environmental state and insufficient information to reliably eliminate the incorrect ones. Scientific researchers are careful to avoid “going beyond the data” – drawing a conclusion that may not be contradicted by the data they studied, but is only one of several explanations that could fit that data equally well.
  14. As humans going about our daily lives, however, we go beyond the data all the time, because the many decisions we routinely face require it. Our senses provide us with only a limited amount of information and we have to fill in the rest (often incorrectly) through extrapolation and inference. Nor is the imputation of missing environmental data limited to our conscious, higher-level thinking: neuroscience tells us it starts with our low-level perceptual processes like vision, which uses its own hypotheses about such things as potential objects’ edges and texture gradients to filter and actively structure (rather than faithfully record) [william james?]
  15. In addition to constructing our models of objective reality from only partial environmental data, our collection and processing of even that subset of data is prone to a host of biases, errors and other constraints. Wikipedia lists over 100 of them (though there is some redundancy in their list). We’re biased in the information we allow to be around us (selective exposure), mentally tune into (selective attention) and in seeing what we want to see (selective perception). We’re subject to various memory biases (selective encoding of information, selective retention of it, selective retrieval) and various kinds of reasoning errors.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
  16. We have developed various optimization strategies called heuristics to compensate for our capacity and processing limitations and maximize the truth value we can extract from a set of environmental data. The errors and biases that are responsible for the differences between objective and subjective reality are the price we pay for those efficiencies.
  17. Relative to most animals, humans receive a massive amount of incoming sensory data - terabytes worth. Most is immediately discarded, ignored, or abstracted away by neurological machinery. The surviving data, an incredibly small percent, will be converted into symbolic format; connected to previous experiences and stored concepts in the complex associative network that is the human brain.
    A Concise Introduction to Heuristics and BiasesMichael Anissimov :: June 2004http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/works/heuristicsandbiases.htm
  18. When new sensory data is abstracted, converted into symbolic format, and archived in long-term memory, it is subject to certain biasing effects. Biases also operate when the symbols are invoked and manipulated for cognitive operations. The results are contradictory beliefs, anchoring effects, and a whole zoo of psychological "optical illusions". "Anchoring effects", for example, are a class of robust psychological phenomena showing that people adjust insufficiently for the implications of incoming information. We form beliefs around an anchor, and additional incoming data must fight against the intertia of the anchor, even when it is objectively irrelevant to the judgement at hand.
  19. Representativeness and anchoring are sometimes known as heuristics - "rules of thumb" that humans use to perform abstract reasoning in cognitively economical ways. They are innate and human-universal because they emerge from the same species-wide design that is responsible for the fact that we all have two eyes, two ears, ten toes, and so on.
  20. Availability. Availability is the ease with which a given instance or scenario comes to mind. When asked what we think of a given social group, we may give an opinion on the basis of what information is most available to us about that group - say, personal interactions with one group member. Vivid scenarios such as terrorist attacks are more available than objectively more dangerous problems such as colon cancer, and our probability estimates are skewed accordingly.The availability heuristic suggests that the likelihood of events is estimated based on how many examples of such events come to mind. Thus the familiarity heuristic shows how "bias of availability is related to the ease of recall
    heuristic bias
  21. The fundamental attribution error. One of the most pervasive and powerful of all heuristics. The fundamental attribution error refers to the tendency of people to overweight the likelihood that humans are the causes of any given event, as opposed to situational or environmental factors. We are obsessively focused on each other, and often refer to environmental factors only when we are trying to avoid being blamed for something. When we are successful in some endeavor, we strongly tend to attribute that success to ourselves rather than inherent aspects of the situation.
    heuristic bias
  22. Base rate neglect. Another glaring, pervasive human-universal pathology. Many people behave as if the likelihood they will die in a plane accident exceeds the likelihood that they will die in a car accident, or that the likelihood they will be killed in a terrorist attack exceeds the likelihood that they will die of colon cancer. The "base rate" is the statistical background information about the frequency of given events. In intuitive human reasoning, it is often underweighted or ignored entirely.
    heuristic bias
  23. Contagion. This heuristic asserts, "once in contact, always in contact". Contagion is the reason why we won't drink beverages that have come into contact with a used flyswatter that has been sterilized. Contagion is where the idea of "cooties" comes from. As demonstrated by "cooties", contagion can correspond to social or moral qualities as well as actual contaminating substances. Contagion is responsible for our pre-microbial theories of disease transmission.
    heuristic bias
  24. Risk-aversion. One of the foundations of heuristics and biases that challenged the economic "rational actor" model of intuitive human reasoning, risk-aversiveness refers to the fact that losses loom larger than gains. A business or individual may take great pains to avoid small losses, while underfocusing on strategies to maximize long-term gains in spite of these losses.
    heuristic bias
  25. Homogeneity bias. The "law of large numbers" in statistics states that we can make confident assumptions about the qualities of a certain population if we study a sample that includes a large portion of that population. If we do a poll that shows that 90 out of 100 people in a given study group plan to vote for Bush, then we can expect the majority of that group to indeed vote for Bush. The problem is that people often apply the "law of large numbers" to small numbers; jumping to statistical conclusions without adequate sample sizes. We assume that populations are more homogeneous than they really are, and assume that large populations faithfully reflect small samples taken from them.
    heuristic bias
  26. above-average effect  the widespread tendency to categorize oneself as "above average".
    heuristic bias
  27. anthropomorphism tendency to ascribe human motives or characteristics to nonhuman objects.
    heuristic bias
  28. Barnum effect tendency of people to accept general descriptions as uniquely relevant to them
    heuristic bias
  29. causal schema bias  pervasive tendency to categorize salient events based on causal relations.
    heuristic bias
  30. certainty illusion an overweighted desire for 100% confidence or certainty.
    heuristic bias
  31. emotional amplification expect lots of emotion when an salient event's causes were abnormal or mutable.
    heuristic bias
  32. egocentric attribution attributing successess to oneself, failures to others (consciously or subconsciously).
    heuristic bias
  33. false consensus effect inclination to assuming that your beliefs are more widely held than they actually are.
    heuristic bias
  34. fundamental comp. bias tendency toward automatic contextualization (personalization) of problems.
    heuristic bias
  35. framing effects disparities in estimates when an identical problem is presented in a different way.
    heuristic bias
  36. frequency bias weakness with percentages, strength with frequencies.
    heuristic bias
  37. groupthink the pressure to irrationally agree with others in strong team-based cultures.
    heuristic bias
  38. honoring sunk costs "throwing good money after bad", pouring resources into failing projects. where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, starting today, of continuing the decision outweighs the expected benefit.
    heuristic bias
  39. isolation effect disregard of components that choice alternatives share, overfocus on differences.
    heuristic bias
  40. representativeness "like goes with like", the tendency to blindly classify objects based on surface similarity.
    heuristic bias
  41. reflection effect risk-aversiveness with respect to potential gains, risk-seeking with respect to losses.
    heuristic bias
  42. selective recall the mostly accidental habit of remembering only facts that reinforce our assumptions.
    heuristic bias
  43. susceptibility bias optimism in assessments of personal safety and the effectiveness of precautions
    heuristic bias
  44. process for heuristic debiasing

    Mental Contamination and Debiasing (from Wilson & Brekke, 1984.)
  45. Naïve diversification is a choice heuristic  That is, when asked to make several choices at once, people tend to diversify more than when making the same type of decision sequentially.
    heuristic bias
  46. The warm glow effect states that positive stimuli seem more familiar because of the positive emotions they evoke in us.[3]
    heuristic bias
  47. The hindsight bias states that people perceive certain events to be more predictable after the fact than they seemed before they had occurred. People believe that a disaster could have been avoided when they are actually misattributing familiar knowledge to a time before it was available
    heurestic bias
  48. effort heuristic is a rule of thumb in which the value of an object is assigned based on the amount of perceived effort that went into producing the object. An example of this would be the comparison of $100 earned, and $100 found. If someone finds $100 they might go spend it on a whim, but if that $100 is part of their paycheck, they are less likely to waste it. people are prone to rely on perceived effort to value objects when other criteria are not readily available.[citation needed]
    heuristic bias
  49. when presenting people with a factual statement, manipulations that make the statement easier to mentally process—even totally nonsubstantive changes like writing it in a cleaner font or making it rhyme or simply repeating it—can alter judgment of the truth of the statement, along with evaluation of the intelligence of the statement's author.[
    heuristic bias
  50. process fluency   the interaction of a person with the environment goes smoothly,[16] a person does not need to pay particular attention to the environment. By contrast, low processing fluency means that there are problems in the interaction with the environment which requires more attention and an analytical processing style to solve the problem. Indeed, people process information more shallowly when processing fluency is high and employ an analytical thinking style when processing fluency is low
    heuristic bias
  51. The peak-end rule is a psychological heuristic in which people judge experiences largely based on how they were at their peak and at their end
  52. Attentional Bias  the tendency to pay attention to emotionally dominant stimuli in one's environment and to neglect relevant data, when making judgments of a correlation or association.
    Heuristic bias
  53. contrast effect  the enhancement or diminishing of a weight or other measurement when compared with a recently observed contrasting object.[21]
    heuristic bias
  54. decoy effect (or asymmetric dominance effect) is the phenomenon whereby consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option that is asymmetrically dominated. An option is asymmetrically dominated when it is inferior in all respects to one option; but, in comparison to the other option, it is inferior in some respects and superior in others. In other words, in terms of specific attributes determining preferability, it is completely dominated by (i.e., inferior to) one option and only partially dominated by the other. When the asymmetrically dominated option is present, a higher percentage of consumers will prefer the dominating option than when the asymmetrically dominated option is absent.
    heuristic bias
  55. The denomination effect is a theoretical form of cognitive bias relating to currency, whereby people are less likely to spend larger bills than their equivalent value in smaller bills
    heuristic bias
  56. Distinction bias, a concept of decision theory, is the tendency to view two options as more dissimilar when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.
    heuristic bias
  57. divestiture aversion People will pay more to retain something they own than to obtain something owned by someone else—even when there is no cause for attachment, or even if the item was only obtained minutes ago. This is due to the fact that once you own the item, forgoing it feels like a loss, and humans are loss-averse
    heuristic bias
  58.  fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the belief that if deviations from expected behaviour are observed in repeated independent trials of some random process, future deviations in the opposite direction are then more likely.
    heuristic bias
  59. mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be
    heuristic bias
  60. Negativity bias is the psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences or other kinds of information. We remember more after we hear disapproving or disappointing news than before;
    heuristic bias
  61. The rhyme-as-reason effect is a cognitive bias whereupon a saying or aphorism is judged as more accurate or truthful when it is rewritten to rhyme.
    heuristic bias
  62. selective perception  a broad term to identify the behavior all people exhibit to tend to "see things" based on their particular frame of reference. It also describes how we categorize and interpret sensory information in a way that favors one category or interpretation over another. In other words selective perception is a form of bias because we interpret information in a way that is congruent with our existing values and beliefs. Psychologists believe this process occurs automatically
    heuristic bias
  63. Bizarreness effect: bizarre, or uncommon material, is better remembered than common material
    heuristic bias
  64. retrieval failure, is the failure to recall a memory due to missing stimuli or cues that were present at the time the memory was encoded
  65. Illusion-of-truth effect: that people are more likely to identify as true statements those they have previously heard (even if they cannot consciously remember having heard them), regardless of the actual validity of the statement. In other words, a person is more likely to believe a familiar statement than an unfamiliar one.
    heuristic bias
  66. In psychology, the Zeigarnik effect (less common: Ovsiankina-Effect) states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks
    heuristic bias
  67. Correspondence bias: this is people's assumption that others' behaviour reflects their personality, when really it reflects the situation.
  68. Truthfulness bias: people tend to assume that others are telling the truth, even when they are lying
  69. The persuasion effect: when people are distracted it increases the persuasiveness of a message.
  70. Denial-innuendo effect: people tend to positively believe in things that are being categorically denied.
  71. Hypothesis testing bias: when testing a theory, instead of trying to prove it wrong people tend to look for information that confirms it. This, of course, isn't very effective hypothesis testing!

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