Things You Only THINK You Know About Yourself • Thomas S. Krieshok, Ph.D. • University of Kansas • MU ESCP Class of 1982 • firstname.lastname@example.org • people.ku.edu/~tkrieshok
Things You Only THINK You Know About Yourself • You're not evolving as much as you think • Know thyself...not • Language is a parasite living in your head
Humans have not evolvedmuch in 50,000 years • But the “Human Colossus” is developing exponentially • When language came into existence, ideas, experiences and knowledge started to transfer and then accumulate. Hence, the Human Colossus was born – the analogy of a collective organism comprised of a billion cells, each represented by a single person. (Tim Urban)
Humans have not evolved much in 50,000 years • Punch line: The information processing demands on humans are increasing exponentially… • But in hardware and technology that was designed for life on earth 50,000 years ago. • It behooves us to understand the limitations of our Stone Age minds, living in this post-modern world (Cosmides & Tooby).
#2. Know thyself...or notThe “Self” Problem We don’t really know what the self is...or where May be a curated selection of memories of experiences Problems with memory Problems with experiences We imagine we have a self – It feels like we have a self
Know thyself...or notThe “Know” Problem • Ideal starting point: Adaptable, Wise, Motivated • Real starting point: Real humans, with modular brains, language bound, chaos avoidant, variable access to resources • Ideal environment: The Savannah, close knit tribe • Real environment: Post-modern chaos, tribal protectionism
System 1 and System 2 • The Elephant and the Rider (Haidt) • The elephant - System 1 • Bargh’s ‘Wise Unconscious’ • Makes most day to day decisions • The rider - System 2 • Has some input, but not as much as we think • Acts as an Interpreter Module (Gazzaniga) • Fabricates reasons for behavior • Makes errors in guessing those reasons
we experience the worldas conscious choosers • But, it’s either not that way at all • Or at least much less conscious authority than we believe
Errors in retracing our decisions • Telling more than we can know (Nisbett & Wilson) • subliminal perception • order effects (primacy, recency) • effects of others’ presence on helping • Implicit bias • Bertrand & Mullainathan 2004 Koedel & Darolia 2018 @MU!
Anti-Introspectivist view of career decision making (Krieshok, 1998) • Under some circumstances, casual reflection on decisional processes can be detrimental to making good decisions • My favorite study of all time-The cat poster • (Bargh & Barndollar)
Not designed for happiness • Humans not designed for Happiness, but Survival and Reproduction • The Hedonic Treadmill – Insatiable Desire We always want just a bit more wealth, status, and beauty Precursors to survival and reproductive likelihood Things that demonstrate to potential partners that we are indeed healthy and suitable mates
Wanting vs. Liking • Liking depends more on System 1 and automaticity • Wanting depends more on System 2 • Influenced by a history of liking • AND by socialization, gender proscriptions, ... • Subject to heuristics and errors
Wanting vs. Liking • What do I want? is really: What would somebody like me want? What should somebody with my identity want? • But identity is a socially constructed entity • It’s my story is ABOUT reality, not reality itself
Leads to Miswanting • We think something will make us happier than it does • And based on faulty assumptions, we avoid things we expect will be difficult
We are unaware we do these things… • And convinced that we do not. • We easily generate a list of reasons for attraction to products and occupations and potential partners • But they are inconsistent with what we ACTUALLY rely on • (Krieshok, et al. 1986)
Such lists • At the foundation of virtually all the computerized guidance systems • Integral to the way most career counselors practice with their clients "Let's figure out what's important to you in a career, and then generate a list of alternatives that meet those criteria."
BUT…Wanting is cheapLiking is expensive • Wanting is cheap data • I can just “make up” what I want • Liking is expensive data • I have to develop a history of liking across domains and time Which requires access to people and institutions And skills to approach those people and institutions
Knowing my Likes • Thomas Motl: Teasing out wanting & liking • Beforehand: Do you think you will like it? • While you are doing it: Do you like it? • Tomorrow: Did you like it? • Ask me on an interest inventory: • "Is this something you like / indifferent / dislike?"
Getting to Know my Likes • System 1: You have to put yourself in places where you have the opportunity to Like or To Not Like • System 2: You have to pay attention to what happens • AND you have to know that System 2 is subject to errors and distortions • AND you have to have access to people and places! • A REALLY BIG PROBLEM for people with less privilege
The Case for Engagement • “… taking part in behaviors that contribute to the career decision-maker's fund of information and experience.” • Makes both Rational & Intuitive tools more informed and less naive
A Trilateral Model of Adaptive Career Decision-Making • Adaptive Career Decision-Making • A state of affairs in which decision-making is optimized through the mutual input of • Reason, Intuition, and Engagement. Reason System 2, Rational System, Reflective System. Engagement Activities that increase one's fund of information and experience. Intuition System 1, Experiential System, Reflexive System.
The Case for Engagement • Engagement = Exploration + Enrichment • Exploration: When in the face of a transition • Enrichment: When no transition is imminent
Examples of Occupational Engagement Studying abroad Being involved in organizations Talking to anyone at anytime about anything Volunteering Job shadowing Traveling 23
#3: Language is a parasite living inside your head • Language is the best tool ever! • But...it comes with some side effects • insists on seeing dichotomies • insists we make sense of the world • hates chaos!
Language side effects • The Fundamental Attribution Error • Others' behaviors due to longstanding characteristics (internal, stable, global) • My behaviors can be due to circumstances • I want the world out there to be unchanging • Charitable attributions (Krieshok’s website)
Language side effects • Negative slant to our 400,000 daily thoughts • Not all thoughts have a valence • Of those that do, 80% are negative – planning for survival • Broaden and build (Fredrickson) • How to Want What You Have (Tim Miller)
Chaos • The matching model implies more control than we really have, and distracts us from doing that which we should really be doing (engaging).
Appreciating the role of chaos is CRITICAL • Make a job loss less personal • Make your job search less trusting that there is a fair system of job hunting
Getting a job is ALWAYS a matter of being in a right place at the right time. • -There are NO exceptions to this • -In spite of how it looks • or what others try to tell you
Implications for Career Counseling • Career Counseling clients need convincing about this • Hard Sell • Invest time and energy in learning your Likes • Move out of your comfort zone and be engaged • Recognize your mind is something of a parasite • (and that YOU ARE NOTYOUR MIND)
Implications for Career Counseling • Motivational Interviewing • I’m ambivalent about engaging in that hard work
Planned HappenstanceJohn Krumboltz • Combines planfulness with an appreciation for happenstance • How might we exploit chaos in a positive way? • How might we learn to embrace situations? • Can we create such situations?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy • My thoughts are subject to all manner of social influence • My thoughts are not reality • My thoughts have an agenda of their own, often not the same as the agenda I have for my life
I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. Emo Philips
exhortation to be awesome • Be kind • Don't be a jerk • Do good work • Don't be afraid to think up big ideas • Don't be afraid to fail • Get outside your comfort zone Feel the fear and do it anyway (Jeffers)
A good scientist remembers three things • What I believe about the phenomena I am studying might be wrong. • What I believe about the phenomena I am studying is probably wrong. • What I believe about the phenomena I am studying of course is wrong. The great dialectic: It’s the best we have and it will be proven wrong
exhortation to be awesome • We arrive in the middle of the story, and we leave in the middle of the story • Don't be too wed to your truth. • We teach what we believe to our students and to our children • We don't own the keys, we're just renters.
If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from, we will have failed. Carl Sagan