|Type of paper:
|Intelligence services Child development Human behavior Emotional intelligence
Mindsets determine results, as actions are first conceived in the mind. This explains how much mindset and bias determine actions, motivations, and desires. Individuals, through the people they interact with and their environment, create mindsets (Heuer, 1999). Although they can be changed, the initial beliefs remain imprinted in the mind. External forces and thoughts and the emotions they arouse imprint mindsets and are the lenses through which humans unconsciously see the world. Mindsets and biases are then reinforced through repetition and emphasis, and strongly form attitudes, decisions, and expectations.
The first eight years of growth are crucial in the formation of mindsets and biases. What parents teach their children as right or wrong remains so until they can choose on their own. During this age, the child's brain is rapidly developing by adopting ideas from their environment. They learn by seeing, hearing, and touching (Heuer, 1999). Their parents' beliefs shape their mindsets. At this age, parents are their children's heroes, so they copy and believe in what is termed as wrong or right by their parents. Although this belief changes as they grow and learn more, some of the mindsets remain unchanged for eternity. This explains how manners are instilled. In a family where the parents were strict on saying thank you, sorry, please and excuse me, the children mostly carry this mindset into adulthood.
In adulthood, experiences might contradict what was initially instilled during childhood. Experiences that elicit negative emotions will set a negative attitude, despite former teaching from childhood. For instance, a former mindset of being kind to strangers may be erased by a bad experience after helping one. Such experiences shape mindsets, which may not change after that. Occurrences that remind an individual of a past bad experience also create a sense of avoidance in them. A situation that is related to a previous bad experience instills a negative mindset. This can only be erased by embracing a wider perspective of issues, especially when faced with experience from the past.
The environment is also a major factor that forms mindsets. The environment unconsciously instills expectations in the human mind. An environment that encourages critical thinking and analysis forms a mindset of possibilities. Individuals in such a setting will be more open to new ideas and readily take up challenges. On the contrary, an environment that confines individuals to a routine way of thinking instills a mindset of impossibilities. A generalizing environment that terms certain situations as being negatives also creates a mindset that encourages people to avoid them. The human brain is also wired in such a way that it relates certain happening to a future good or bad happening. For instance, when the lights go off after commotions, the human mind prepares itself for flight, fight, or fright. The mindset is that these happening will result in something terrible.
Repetition is the greatest factor in formation in mindsets. The more an individual entertains a certain mindset, the more it becomes part of them (Heuer, 1999). For instance, the more one believes that they cannot walk in darkness; the more darkness seems unsafe to walk in. The belief soon becomes part of their belief system. Being locked in a repetitive cycle means the individual sees what they want to see, not what should be seen. The main reason for being held in this prison is that the individual constantly wants to prove himself or herself right. Shortcuts that serve to answer the questions they already have in mind are already formed, such that the mindset impairs focused thinking despite the existence of evidence.
An example of the Homeland Security department is the perception of terrorists. The department serves to keep citizens safe by preventing and dealing with threats. The United States is currently facing a threat of terrorism. All citizens have been sensitized to be careful in noting suspicious behavior. However, the mindset that individuals of Middle East origin who are Muslims are terrorists is common. It has subconsciously been instilled in the minds of Americans through repetition. Most terrorists have the curly type of hair, have a Middle East origin, and are Muslims. The generalization that all those who fit this description are terrorists has made Americans more suspicious of them (Norman and Delfin, 2012). While they may be harmless, and the real danger is posed by a fellow American, the mindset is not easy to ignore. However, many individuals try to push away the thought; the feeling of being threatened in these scenarios is higher. Americans need to get rid of these assumptions for a more objective view.
Immigration, especially illegal immigration, is currently blamed for the increased crime rate. Is it true, or a mindset? Immigrants are associated with low living standards, which are linked to them engaging in crime to earn a living. American-born citizens have a mindset that immigrants are criminals. The bias is even present in the home security Department, with immigrants experiencing more scrutiny compared to their American -origin counterparts (Crepeau, 2018). The most common is drug trafficking and shootings. However, most immigrants have formerly been employed or run businesses that help them pay taxes and live out of crime. The increasing crime rate in the United States cannot be directly linked to immigration.
Mindsets and biases are subconsciously instilled through experiences, the environment, and upbringing, and reinforced by repetition. Although humans may want to deviate from them and think objectively, they remain influencers of how they perceive situations. While they positively influence decisions, they can also blur objectivity, leading to biased decision-making.
Crepeau F (2018) Diversity Statement: Changing our Mindset and Understanding the Complexity of Migration. Retrieved from https://francoiscrepeau.com/diversity-statement-changing-our-mindset-and-understanding-the-complexity-of-migration-2/ on 5th June 2019
Heuer, R. J., (1999). Psychology of intelligence analysis. Jeffrey Frank Jones. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/psychology-of-intelligence-analysis/art5.html on 5th June 2019
Norman, E. R., & Delfin, R., (2012). Wizards under uncertainty: Cognitive biases, threat assessment, and misjudgments in policymaking. Politics & Policy, 40(3), 369-402.
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