Cognitive Hijacking #3: Cognitive Dissonance

Each of us brings unique perspectives, experiences, and beliefs to every conversation. Because of this we regularly encounter ideas that conflict with or challenge ours. Given the brain’s need for certainty (it likes to know what’s what) and to be in relationship with others (we feel safer), we can experience a significant amount of discomfort or cognitive dissonance in meetings. Unfortunately, in order to reduce this tension, we tend to develop arguments or stories to … Read more…

Cognitive Hijacking #2: Loss Aversion

Multiple studies substantiate that we humans feel the pain of loss more keenly than we do the enjoyment of gain. Remember Lance Armstrong? He apparently abhorred the pain of loss down to the core of his being. “I like to win, but more than anything, I can’t stand this idea of losing.  Because to me, losing means death.”  He did anything he could to avoid losing. After a long doping scandal, Armstrong was stripped of his … Read more…

Cognitive Hijacking

You might be more familiar with emotional hijacking than you are with the cognitive variety. Emotional hijacking occurs when we get scared or angry and diminish our ability to access the executive function in the prefrontal cortex. When this happens, we lose awareness, go on automatic (become mindless), and can infect others with these emotions. Cognitive hijacking occurs when we perceive, think and make decisions with unconscious biases and impaired functioning of the brain. This … Read more…