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JonIrenicus
02-10-2010, 04:41 AM
take a listen to this

http://fora.tv/2010/01/05/Jonah_Lehrer_How_We_Decide

Ocean
02-10-2010, 10:14 AM
Great talk to listen to in a snowy day!

As far as I can tell, the speaker didn't use the term intuition when he referred to the immediate process of decision making. He used the term "emotional". I realize that in the example of the radar officer, his intuition was expressed by fear, but an intense emotion isn't always the mediator for intuition.

He offered good examples of subconscious cognitive processes that can handle higher volumes of data, and also data that could be considered "subliminal" at the rational level.

Thanks for the link.

cragger
02-10-2010, 12:35 PM
I would go a bit further and say that in the radar example calling the decision "emotional" is a bit misleading, despite the fear emotion that was triggered by the conclusion that the radar blips represented a dangerous attack. There was an observable difference in the radar data and despite the officer's inability to "put his finger on it" he had in fact recognized a difference in the pattern. It might be just semantic, but Mr. Lehrer seems to lump everything that someone cannot clearly articulate as therefore being emotive, including cases that seem to involve cognitive processing, such as cases which involve what might be termed "background processing" as differentiated from that "foreground processing" occupying the internal dialog on the conscious surface of the mind at any given time.

This treatment would classify all cognition that is not conducted in verbal terms, or closely linked to verbal models, as emotive. Catching a thrown ball for example involves processing visual data describing the arc of the ball and resulting in the positioning of the catching hand. Despite the fact that the person catching the ball cannot relate the relevant equations involving the velocity and release angle of the ball, the distance covered and the velocity vector and resultant position of the ball as it reaches them in the gravitational field, they are performing mental processing for which the term "emotional" seems odd and misleading.

A quibble perhaps. Although I think calling his talk an argument for emotional decision making distorts the message, it was very informative and integrates well with several of the past diavlogs here on BHTV. Good link.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 12:42 PM
Yes, you articulated in detail what I tried to say in my comment. I agree that calling this process emotional is misleading. As I said, in the radar case fear (emotion) is a mediator of the subconscious cognitive process which in itself is independent from emotion.

I have always found the topic of intuition fascinating. Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about how it works or even what it is.

look
02-10-2010, 01:59 PM
Excellent find, Jon. Lehrer's a gifted speaker.

I wonder if part of Riley's fear arose from a different place, one that realized the accidental loss of four pilots would not outweigh the potential loss of hundreds on a ship.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 02:02 PM
Here (http://fora.tv/2009/11/08/Does_Darwin_Illuminate_Emotion_and_Spirituality) is an excellent talk by Paul Ekman and Dacher Keltner, that ties a number of topics that have been discussed here.

Additionally, it reveals the secret of love. ;)

Ocean
02-10-2010, 02:07 PM
Excellent find, Jon. Lehrer's a gifted speaker.

I wonder if part of Riley's fear arose from a different place, one that realized the accidental loss of four pilots would not outweigh the potential loss of hundreds on a ship.

Good observation. It is possible that there was a significant amount of anxiety about having to make a decision which couldn't be reached at rationally (consciously). Having to rely on intuition when it involves the lives of so many, is very anxiety provoking. The way the emotion was described in the talk, though, seemed to point more at a cue about the nature of the signal. I find it harder to believe that was indeed the origin.

cragger
02-10-2010, 05:08 PM
Spirituality and the secret of love and it's called Wonderfest! How could that be coincidence?

Ocean
02-10-2010, 05:15 PM
Spirituality and the secret of love and it's called Wonderfest! How could that be coincidence?

Did you watch it?

cragger
02-10-2010, 06:56 PM
Yep. Here though I was just making a lame joke loosely linking the theme of compassion in the talk with the pacifistic moral worldview of another commentor with a related screen name. The sort of joke that is weak enough on its own that explanation makes it even worse.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 07:01 PM
Yep. Here though I was just making a lame joke loosely linking the theme of compassion in the talk with the pacifistic moral worldview of another commentor with a related screen name. The sort of joke that is weak enough on its own that explanation makes it even worse.

Oh, that's alright. I did interpret your comment as humorous. I just moved on to ask whether you had watched it out of curiosity about your opinion.

I must say that I mentioned "the secret of love" to entice potential viewers. ;)

cragger
02-10-2010, 08:05 PM
My head is tilted to one side as I type with open hands. A crowd approaches.

I found the discussion interesting, but do perfer to have the speaker's points and conclusions linked to study results and the underlying science more directly, as in the Lehrer talk previously linked to. While these gentlemen's style was perhaps appropriate for the forum they were at, I tend to like to hear more about why a conclusion is valid and how it was reached along with the speaker's thoughts on a subject.

That said, the discussions of universality of emotional expression and the idea of emotional antithesis were interesting, as well as the observation that modern societies tend to stress competition over compassion and cooperation. The question of how we might further the development of compassion was to me a good one, though I'm not clear just how much of a societal consensus might exist for such a thing. There now exist both cults of selfishness (such as the "greed is good and the only fuel of progress" crowd, as well as the new "prosperity gospel" churches preaching that it's about getting yours, not about caring for "the least of these, my brethren" ) plus of course a minor industry devoted to fostering the notion that the world is about us vs. them, and pushing the idea that "they" are due the disgust that was identified as the most destructive of emotions. So I agree with the good doctor, but think we may be tending to work in the opposite direction rather harder.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 08:32 PM
Interesting comment. Thanks.

The same topics presented here have been discussed in diavlogs or in the comment section. The general theme seems to be stopping the path towards individual selfishness and destructive competition, while introducing a new paradigm that includes compassion and cooperation. The argument is that these are developing (evolving) human qualities that are likely to produce a better outcome for our civilization. I find interesting that similar paradigms are being discussed in different fields of study. It seems to be an expressed message that emerges from a less obvious context.