Seeing is believing?

Have you seen #TheDress? You know the dress I’m talking about; the #whiteandgold one, or is it #blackandblue? If you haven’t click on this link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11440142/Dressgate-the-science-of-why-THAT-blue-dress-looks-white.html

It’s gone viral. People have been amazed by this phenomenon known as ‘priming’. Our brains are great at deceiving us or making us see the world differently from each other.

From making us see Jesus’s face in our morning toast (known as facial pareidolia) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/pareidolia-scientists-say-dont-worry-its-normal-to-see-jesus-on-a-slice-of-toast-9345350.html;

To not wanting to be Obama’s Elf anymore.

Are you still with me? There’s more. Essentially, our brains are trying to make sense of an enormous amount of information (11 million bits every second) and to be able to sift out the irrelevant stuff; we only attend to 40 bits per second; so, it needs to be able to have a bit of evolutionary help. Hence, the brain’s hardwiring ability to take shortcuts, known as ‘heuristics’.

So, what does this have to do with #The Dress? Toast? And Obama’s Elf, you ask? Everything! What we know is the brain can trick us and make us experience the world in a different way.  This means that we are different. Hooray!

The problem is that our brains can be prone to errors also and this is where problems can arise.

Let’s take these points a step further. Let us consider how we experience conflicts and miscommunication at work. Ever had a conversation with a colleague where you just couldn’t agree on an important issue? Of course you have. It happens all of the time. It’s called ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ or in scientific speak; individual differences and the polite version; agreeing to disagree; except that we still don’t know how to get along.

That’s where I can come in. As a business psychologist, I understand how people can differ in the way they think, feel and behave. That’s my job. That is what I do. Want to know more about what makes you work? And, what makes your colleagues work? Get in touch. Let’s chat.