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Posts Tagged ‘Professor of Psychology Johnson-Laird’

Logic meltdown: a wrong decision may seem right.

Posted by Adrian on April 2, 2009

How does the mind cope with a ‘logic meltdown’, or mental fatigue? It makes analytical and judgment errors. More notably the ill fainted event surrounding the Korean airlines flight 007 that was shot down on September 1st 1983 by Russian jets. A slew of conspiracy theories, cover ups and the like emerged; although an article written by Micheal Brooks for New Scientist in December 2000 indicates that the pilots could have been suffering from mental fatigue or logic meltdown, as they flew off course and strayed onto Russian airspace. Even though their instruments said they had gone off course, they believed that they were flying the correct route. Other evidence of a logic meltdowns apparently occurred with the Chernobyl Nuclear power station disaster.

Princeton Professor of Psychology Johnson-Laird has researched logic meltdown extensively with various examples from testing his students. After a simple test to determine how the mind assumes a correct answer, in which 99% of the students got it wrong. It was determined that the mind attempts to find shortcuts to establish a correct answer. In other words the mind tries to establish an answer within the limited space of the brains working memory. Therefore the working memory part of the brain strips down analytical thinking to reach the best answer of it’s ability, which can prove incorrect and fatal in case of South Korean flight 007. As the mind is leaving out relevant information to reach a proper conclusion.

I am curious how a logic meltdown can also effect intuition or a gut instinct. Research is sparse and speculative at best, but despite the lack of research; there is still the underlying evidence that a gut feeling can almost be 100% correct.

Still the best way to determine a situation and event that requires logic, is to analyze without overloading the brain, nor looking for the quick answer.

A good example of a logic meltdown (in my opinion) is the Governments intervention and fiscal stimulus into economies and markets. Too me that fits the criteria, or test of a logic meltdown (albeit on a broader scale), in which a false situation is created. For example a policy decision is made on the premise of what it feels should be there (a result) even though it isn’t, which becomes an assumption. Poorly researched and analyzed, a belief that a right decision is made, that is reinforced in false flags (recent slight economic improvement and so on). So it continues onwards, going further and further into perilous territory (economically).


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