Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our mental maps of reality

I have been reading two books by Laurence Gonzales. He wrote the books Deep Survival and Everyday Survival. The underlying question he asks is  why can some people survive devastating disasters while others fold and die under relatively benign circumstances.His idea is that, we don't experience reality directly. We get sensory information coming in from our surroundings and from this the brain constructs a mental image or map of what is going on around us. When we fail to alter our mental map, when we fail to pay close attention to the changes in incoming information, we get in trouble. If you think about it, we often see what we expect to see, rather than what is actually around us. Check out this website and see how aware you are.

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