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How to Make Irrational People Rational

How to Make Irrational People Rational

Are windmills machines used to produce wind? The faster windmills are observed to rotate, the more wind is observed to be. Therefore, wind is caused by the rotation of windmills. [1]

This is an example of reverse causality, which happen when we illogically infer causation from correlation. Often times, we mistakenly imply a strong correlation means causation. Let’s look at another example of this mistake. U.S. spending on science, space, and technology correlates with Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation. [2]

    Let’s start by looking at the definition of both correlation and causation.

    Correlation. In statistics, a correlation is a single number describing the degree of relationship between two variables. [3] The key word here is relationship, where a relationship may exist, but not causation.

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    Causation. If A causes B we have direct causation. Meaning, one event is 100% causing something else. For example, if you stand in the rain, this will cause you to get wet.

      Let’s look at another example, one that might initially confuse you (which demonstrates how easy it is to imply correlation equals causation). Does the following imply causation?

      Statement. If you commit a felony, you will go to jail.

      Answer. This does not infer causation, because you might go to jail if you get caught. Even if you get caught, you could still receive probation or a lesser punishment. Essentially, we can’t say for sure that committing a felony will cause you to go to jail. [4]

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      To avoid falling into this trap, peel back the layers.

      We can use a futures research method that will help us focus on an in-depth analysis of our problem. This method is called Causal Layer Analysis (CLA) and allows us to dig into the layers (or dimensions) of a problem. Let’s see how it works. [5]

        There are four layers of CLA

        • Layer #1 – Litany. This is our day-to-day future where solutions to problems are typically short term.
        • Layer #2 – Systemic Causes. Here we focus on the social, economic, and political issues.
        • Layer #3 – Worldview. This is our big picture paradigm.
        • Layer #4 – Myth or Metaphor. Our deep unconscious stories reside in this layer.

        Using CLA will assist us in getting to the root cause of a problem. Go back to our U.S. spending and Suicide example. Instead of implying causation, we should dig into the root cause of this issue. This example shows a strong correlation, where r = .99. The closer we are to 1, the stronger the correlation. However, we know this is not logical. So, we must gather more data associated to this problem, identify other potential causes, and identify the true root of the problem.

        Let’s look at some techniques we can use for this.

        1. Fishbone Diagram

        The Fishbone Diagram (otherwise known as an Ishikawa or Cause-and-Effect Diagram) is a way to identify as many possible causes for an effect or problem. [6]

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          2. 5-Why

          Here is a technique you mastered when you were a child, yet you forgot when you became an adult. Simply ask why. The 5-Why technique is a powerful tool allowing us to peel back the layers of symptoms and get to the root of the problem. [7]

            3. Apollo Root Cause Analysis

            This is a way to dig deeper into root cause analysis. Here we look for (at least) two causes in the form of an action and condition, then ask why of each answer and continue to ask why of each cause until there are no more answers. [8]

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              4. Pareto Analysis

              The Pareto analysis is where we use the Pareto principle. Here we find that 20% of our work creates 80% of the results… or 80% of our problem comes from 20% of a certain population. This is a powerful and effective technique for quickly identifying a problem area to focus on.

                Can you now see the error when implying correlation equals causation? Once we understand how errors like this occur, we can use powerful techniques to expose them and find the true root cause to the problem. We are blind when we fail to do this. It’s like trying to look into a forest, but you are blinded by the trees; where you know there is a forest in there somewhere.

                Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

                Reference

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                Dr. Jamie Schwandt

                Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

                How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 10 Hacks to Increase Your Brain IQ, Focus and Creativity 9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!)

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                1 How to Use Observational Learning for Your Best Improvement 2 Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back 3 How to Create Your Road Map to Success (A Step-By-Step Guide) 4 How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks for Maximum Productivity 5 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

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                Last Updated on June 27, 2019

                How to Use Observational Learning for Your Best Improvement

                How to Use Observational Learning for Your Best Improvement

                Someone walks over, introduces themselves and raises their hand out in front of you. How do you know what you’re supposed to do next?

                If this were the first time you saw this behavior, you wouldn’t have a clue.

                If you were from an Eastern culture, you might go to bow toward this person. But you know what to do because since childhood, you’ve observed many adults shaking hands.

                Observational learning is a learning theory in psychology that describes how we learn by watching and imitating others.

                In this article, we will look into what observational learning really is and how it helps you learn and grow.

                What Is Observational Learning?

                Children learn many of their behaviors and expressions through observation. We pick up things as fundamental as walking, playing, gestures, facial expressions, and body postures via observational learning.

                In the 1970s, psychologist Albert Bandura outlined a four-stage process of how observational learning occurs:[1]

                1. Attention: Notice something in the environment.
                2. Retention: Recall what was noticed (memory).
                3. Reproduction: Copy or mimic what you noticed.
                4. Motivation: Get reinforcement from the environment for completing the behavior (or punishment for not).

                Pretty simple, right?

                Neuroscience provides further evidence. Mirror neurons fire when one animal acts and another animal observes as if the neurons in one brain are mirroring the patterns of another brain.

                The result?

                You make a funny face at a baby. And the baby makes the same funny right back at you.

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                What Influences Observational Learning

                Observational learning doesn’t always occur, so it’s essential to understanding the conditions in place when it does.

                So when are we more like to imitate others? It happens when:

                • You doubt yourself and your abilities.
                • You are confused or in an unfamiliar environment.
                • You’re in a position of authority, like a boss, leader, or celebrity.
                • Someone is similar to you in some way: interest, age, or social class.
                • You see someone getting rewards for their behavior.

                For example, let’s say four people go out to an upscale restaurant. One person frequents this type of restaurant while it’s the first time for the other three individuals.

                The person who is comfortable in this environment knows what to do: when and where to place the napkin, how the place setting works, and how to communicate with the wait staff. Because he knows what to do, in this situation, he’s the authority.

                The rest of his company are in an unfamiliar environment. And when we don’t know how to behave, we tend to look around and observe the behavior of others.

                Somehow, we know who to observe by picking up subtle cues. So without having to think about it, the rest of the party subconsciously looks around and begin to discern who the “expert” is and what he’s doing. And this sort of process frequently happens throughout our development and the rest of our lives.

                Performing Your Best with Observational Learning

                Observational learning usually occurs subconsciously in social situations. That is, our basic need to belong, or “fit in,” drives us to adapt our behavior to the actions of others.

                But the real power of observational learning comes from making this process active and conscious.

                What does this mean?

                Once you understand how observational learning works, you can choose to apply it in ways that support your personal and professional development.

                Modeling

                Modeling

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                is another term for observational learning. Let’s say you want to become an expert presenter. No problem. Find a few presenters that you believe are highly skilled and watch what they do.

                Pay attention to everything:

                • How do they hold themselves?
                • When do they pause?
                • How do they emphasize specific points?
                • Do they use slides? Imagery? Sounds?
                • What gestures do they make as they communicate?

                Modeling the success of others is perhaps the fastest way to elevate your game and make rapid progress in your development.

                Shadowing

                In the workplace, observational learning is often called shadowing.

                By shadowing an experienced employee for a period, you’ll naturally learn how to perform the tasks this person does each day. This process works effectively in sales environments too.

                Apprenticeship

                If you study the masters of any field, you quickly learn that they had great teachers or masters from whom they learned.

                In Mastery, author Robert Greene points out that those who reach the level of mastery in any field submit to a rigorous apprenticeship to absorb the secret knowledge of those with many years of experience.

                Similarly, in The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle highlights that anyone who cultivates talent has a master coach who knows how to break things down and teach things in a way that accelerates learning.

                So if there’s any area of your life that you’re seeking mastery in, with who can you form an apprenticeship?

                Here in this article, you can learn more about apprenticeship at work: What Is an Apprenticeship and What Value Can It Bring to Your Career?

                Hijacking Your Behavior

                Our brains, in many ways, are like sponges. We absorb what we observe.

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                While this observational learning can be a powerful tool for our personal growth and development, it can also be a destructive force.

                How?

                Consider all of the bad behavior we witnessed when we were kids (and still today):

                The list goes on. And yes, we observed and absorbed these behavioral patterns too from our parents, teachers, family members, and friends.

                We also adopt behavior we observe on television and in the media. Studies show, for example, that teens who watched a lot of sexual content were more likely to start having sex soon after.[2]

                Does this mean that watching violent movies will make you act violently? Not necessarily, but these images are imprinted in our unconscious and often later express themselves under the right conditions.

                Here’s the bottom line:

                Be very conscious of the media you consume and with who you spend your time. Our minds are like computer hardware and what we observe is like the software. So choose positive and life-supporting software if you want your brain to mimic it!

                5 Ways to Use Observational Learning to Your Advantage

                Here are five tips to make observational learning work for you:

                1. Be Highly Selective on What, Who and When You Observe

                Remember, observational learning is taking place whether we want it to or not. To harness this powerful force, consciously select who you are observing and in what context.

                For example, if you know someone who’s highly productive in their work, ask to shadow them as they work.

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                But this individual may be an entirely different person when they aren’t working. So be mindful of what behavioral patterns you’re absorbing.

                2. Pay Attention to the Details

                Those who achieve mastery in any area of their lives do so by mastering the fundamentals and then continually improving on more subtle levels. To the inexperienced eye, it’s often difficult to notice what they do differently.

                In the case of negotiations, for example, a skilled negotiator knows how and when to disarm the other player. Sometimes these skills express themselves instinctively, so you may pick up on details in behavior the individual doesn’t even know they are doing.

                3. Maintain a Playful Attitude

                Many of us are conditioned to believe that seriousness is a valuable quality for learning. Psychologist Abraham Maslow, however, found that self-actualizing individuals,[3] or individuals with positive mental health, tend to have a more innocent, playful attitude when they are learning and developing.

                Research also shows that we learn up to ten times faster in the areas that interesting to us.[4] So stay curious, open, and ready to learn.

                4. Rehearse What You Observe in Your Mind

                Studies show that rehearsing specific patterns of movement in our mind’s eye can help our brains encode desired actions and behaviors.[5] Many peak-performance athletes and musicians use this form of creative visualization training.

                Visualization practices are extraordinarily powerful when you do it right before bedtime so your subconscious mind can process in the images while you sleep.

                5. Don’t Just Observe, Do

                To make observational learning stick, you must also do whatever it is you’re observing . Many companies combine shadowing experienced employees with hands-on training to accelerate the learning and development of new employees.

                The Bottom Line

                In the personal development space, observational learning is often called modeling the success of others .

                Perhaps as you’re reading this, you’re already getting ideas of who you can start modeling.

                Here are three questions to help you get started right now:

                1. What skills and behaviors to you want to learn?
                2. Who already possesses these skills and behaviors?
                3. How can you start modeling these individuals right away?

                Now, make it so!

                More About Learning

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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