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"words" Tag


Reading with my mood


Monday, May 8, 2017

What effect does our mood have on what we read? If we read something, for example on DesignBlog, does our mood have something to do with it?

Your brain consists of two systems. Your system 1 is fast, automatic and requires little or no effort and you cannot control it. System 2 gives conscious attention to mental effort, is rational, takes care of your self-control and keeps track of the impulses of system 1 to suppress them if necessary. System 2 (almost) always has the last word.

Take a pencil and clamp it between your teeth, with the eraser to the right and the point to the left. Now put the pencil in your mouth with the point to the front and the eraser between your lips. You probably were not aware of anything when you did this, but with the pencil horizontally you got a smile on your face and with the pencil point to the front you had a little frown. In an investigation, students had to watch cartoons while they were having a pencil in their mouth, the students with the pencil horizontally (smile) found the cartoons to be funnier than those with the pencil point to the front (frown). The people with the pencil point to the front were shown photos of starving children, arguing people and victims of accidents, their reaction was way more emotional.

This shows that your mood definitely affects your ability and the way in which you process things. For example, research was conducted in which respondents were brought into a good mood or into a sad mood. The respondents who were brought into a good mood became more accurate and the respondents who were brought into a sad mood were unable to perform the intuitive task properly. Our mood affects the functioning of system 1. If we feel comfortable or sad, we lose contact with our intuition (system 1). According to Herbert Simon [x], you can see your intuition as a recognition. It’s like this: a situation gives a clue, this clue gives access to information in your memory and this information leads you to the answer. This makes clear that sadness affects your intuition and thus your knowledge.

So, it turns out that you become more accurate when you are happy while processing information. Well, I’m very forgetful and I’m wondering if I am more aware when I make myself extremely happy.

 

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It will surprise you, but I can guarantee you that the list of words is always more than I would have written if I did not have laughed.

 

Wimble click crumblechaw beloo


Thursday, September 15, 2016

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Umberto Eco in his Six Walks in The Fictional Woods is referring to the idea of an optical illusion, for explaining how we are perceiving the fictional novels. Throughout his essay we are being shown, several illustrations with which he is visualizing the concept behind his es- say. Although it is not a children’s book, he is adding the illustration for the means of having a common understanding on the topic he is referring to and the concepts he is presenting.
While in children’s books, unfortunately, the freedom of the child using his fantasy is taken away, by – and thus imposing the fantasy of – one or more grownups, directing them in what they must see and understand as to have a common memory. I will come back on this subject later.
In Eco’s book though it is necessary to have the same understanding of the concept he is proposing. He is pointing his finger, saying “this is what I mean and not other”. Being able to maintain a certain common understanding, while using words, either in speech or writing is very difficult, as De Certeau is pointing it out in The Practice of Everyday Life:

“The readable transforms itself into the memorable: Barthes reads Proust in Stendhal’s text; the viewer reads the landscape of his childhood in the evening news.”

 

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Simply because we have agreed that, say: cup is a cup it does not mean that we are talking about the same subject/object. Each of us are having a specific memory of the word, being related to either the time we have learned it first, space, surrounding, atmosphere, mate- rial, color, size or form, are additions to the experience we are relating the word to.
When we say the word cup we refer to all the cups from everyone’s memory, and to the only one cup we relate to personally, all the cups we have happened to see, and even the ones we do not yet know about.
Here I will make a short parenthesis for coming back to what I have said above, about the common memory of the children, whom have shared the same book in the past. Clearly there are a few objects in each generation (related to time) or cultures (related to place) we can think of, that are bringing a sudden nostalgia. Referring to one of these objects from our common memory, has the power to affirm and acknowledge the ground where one that stands facing the others. Thus sharing a specific memory of a specific object can be decisive for taking or not part of the group.

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Once this idea is settled there is no need for other words to explain ourselves. We now can trust each others understanding on a number of other discussions, that we do have similar experiences.
Let’s take the 90’s generation as example. We might have experienced objects as Tamaqotchi, Nokia Querty, Pokemon and Dexter’s laboratory even though we come from all different countries and cultures. Recently I have participated in a some similar talks in a few different settings about Tamaqochi. It seems that somehow the memory of this object, keeps reoccurring. There are exactly a few specific answers to the question: “Oh! And do you remember Tamagotchi?!” that represent the object at it’s best and everyone understand their meaning.With or without the additional -
annoyed : “Oooh! Noooo, please….(it was such a stupid game, it would always die during the class)” .
and the enthusiastic : “Yes Yes! (I actually had a few)!”.
Whether one remembers more the annoyance or the pleasure, in the end both sides know exactly what it all meant or felt like. Thus trough sharing a common reference point they are becoming ‘a group’. They can now feel closer by the fact that they have shared a common/similar experience. Trough sharing a common experience the ‘other’ becomes ‘we’. While the ones that did not share the experience have a harder time to relate to the word and the meaning it carries with it.
This of course is a simplistic example and as such I am here not discussing the importance of sharing the idea of the Tamagotchi persé as an object/name, or as an experience, but replace it with something of a bigger importance – and that is where we, although having developed language to be able to transmit thoughts, can not get over the struggles of truthfully understanding their meaning and in some cases we overlook their importance by not being able to relate to other people’s experiences only trough words.

 

Cover_shaded download this thesis by Andreea Peterfi
all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016

 


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