Is Our Knowledge Real? — The Illusion of Control
How Our Innate Psychology Is Constantly Feeding Us Lies
Knowledge is a finite entity, but one that we feel is abundant. Despite the small proportions that we consume regularly, one cannot seemingly encompass all there is to learn, for reality is too foreboding.
In fact, knowledge shares similarities to poison. Ingested correctly, and in limited quantities, the poison could actually be biologically beneficial. Taken in high quantities, and the same substance could be fatal. However, at the end, the only road back to that of sanity is through knowledge itself.
Knowledge is attained as we flow through life, whether that is logical information or ones based on experience. We frequently derive lessons from our observations, even indirectly, whilst we’re also attempting to unlock our potential and read up on the information this world has to offer. With biology, chemistry, and physics teeming with potential to fulfill, it isn’t a surprise that many become accustom to learning these subjects.
However, these are all events that reaming within our control. One could choose to study them or ignore them, with the person themselves being able to weigh the consequences or benefits to decide for themselves. In all situations, though, this isn’t the case, and as you’ll begin to see, these are the majority of situations in our life.
The Illusion of Control. One can simply decipher the meaning behind this psychological denomination without much effort. It blatantly dictates that in some situations(which I will elaborate further on) our awareness of our control is flawed and that our influence on the outcome of particular actions is nonexistent.
Unlike some of the other psychological biases, this is one that is positive. Not positive as in effects, but positive as in type of emotion that it invokes within you. The entire basis of this trait lies on the basis of Introspection. Introspection is one’s ability to analyze themselves and their emotions correctly. If one was to ponder about a scenario backing both these claims, one scenario would come straight to mind: gambling.
The paradigm of gambling is a confusing, yet concise, one. A group of people all place a fixed amount of money on the chance of a small probability event of occurring, which generally doesn’t work out in one’s favor. The reason behind gambling is both due to the inability to view the small probabilities by which the game operates and the satisfaction one receives from thinking about the victory.
When one images the picture of them winning an absurd amount of cash through a relatively small bet, dopamine and oxytocin flood the brain. In their enthusiasm, individuals have a blurred conscious and pursue these activities, despite them being aware of their meager chances of winning. Moreover, our ability the see the outcome and fantasize over it in great detail is far greater than our ability to identify the pain-staking and stressful course taken to reach that outcome.
With their judgement being deluded and their perception simply lying on the outcome, the illusion of control brings about internal havoc. An individual, even a highly empirical one, begins to believe in their ability to influence the outcome. Despite knowing about about the small probabilities, one begins to feel as if the probability of them winning is higher due to narcissism and our statistical instincts.
If someone was to flip a coin 3 times, the probability of HTH is the same as TTT, but many might believe that HTH is more common due to the simply fact that it obeys a more recognizable pattern. Similarly, if one was to gamble, they might presume that the likelihood of their success is supported by how commonplace their selection is, when it is, in fact, not.
Our optimistic nature, a part of ourselves that tends to feel positive about what we confide or invest in, along with our narcissism makes for a killer combo.
One cannot hope to proper whilst being withheld by a mindset focused on outcomes rather than the process to it. One cannot hope to prosper without being aware of their surroundings and making rational decisions based of the context of the situation. Finally, one cannot hope to proper when their consciousness is being filled with disguised lies to keep us satisfied.