Currently viewing the tag: "prediction"

Abstract Family

“When we rely on our feelings, what feels ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ summarizes all the knowledge and information that we have acquired consciously and unconsciously about the world around us. It is this cumulative knowledge, which our feelings summarize for us, that allows us make better predictions. In a sense, our feelings give us access to a privileged window of knowledge and information — a window that a more analytical form of reasoning blocks us from.”

In accordance with the privileged window hypothesis, the researchers caution that some amount of relevant knowledge appears to be required to more accurately forecast the future. For example, in one study participants were asked to predict the weather. While participants who trusted their feelings were again better able to predict the weather, they were only able to do so for the weather in their own zip codes, not for the weather in Beijing or Melbourne. Professor Leonard Lee explains this is because “…they don’t possess a knowledge base that would help them to make those predictions.” As another example, only participants who had some background knowledge about the current football season benefited from trust in feelings in predicting the winner of the national college football BCS game.

Thus, if we have a proper knowledge base, the future need not be totally indecipherable if we simply learn to trust our feelings. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a character who is in touch with his or her feelings and is able to predict the futures of friends and family.

Journaling Prompt: How does journaling help you listen to your feelings?

Art Prompt: Intuition

Photo Credit: Rob Lee on Flickr

Hi Anxiety

“Because social anxiety associated with the prospect of facing an embarrassing situation is such a common and powerful emotion in everyday life, we might think that we know ourselves well enough to predict our own behavior in such situations,” said Leaf Van Boven, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. “But the ample experience most of us should have gained with predicting our own future behavior isn’t sufficient to overcome the empathy gap — our inability to anticipate the impact of emotional states we aren’t currently experiencing.”

The illusion of courage has practical consequences. “People frequently face potential embarrassing situations in everyday life, and the illusion of courage is likely to cause us to expose ourselves to risks that, when the moment of truth arrives, we wish we hadn’t taken,” said George Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Knowing that, we might choose to be more cautious, or we might use the illusion of courage to help us take risks we think are worth it, knowing full well that we are likely to regret the decision when the moment of truth arrives.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a poem or character’s internal monologue about a situation that requires the illusion of courage.

Journaling Prompt: How do you react when you face a potentially embarrassing situation?

Art Prompt: Illusion of Courage

Photo Credit: TWINTHOMAS on Flickr

figurative spires inquire

Of course everyone agrees with me. I’m always right. Right?

We like to think that others agree with us. It’s called “social projection,” and it helps us validate our beliefs and ourselves. Psychologists have found that we tend to think people who are similar to us in one explicit way — say, religion or lifestyle — will act and believe as we do, and vote as we do. Meanwhile, we exaggerate differences between ourselves and those who are explicitly unlike us.

But what about people whose affiliation is unknown — who can’t easily be placed in either the “in-group” or the “out-group”? A new study finds that we think the silent are also our side. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene between two characters who have just met. Include their internal monologue
about the assumptions they are making about the other person.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel when you find out that someone who you thought agreed with you actually disagrees.

Art Prompt: Mind Reading

Photo Credit: DerrickT on Flickr

gutfeeling


Sometimes you just get a gut feeling.

She did not know why she had lied, but she was sure it was a wise decision. -Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy)

Writing Prompt: Continue the story. What situation was she in and what were the consequences of the lie?

Journaling Prompt: When have you lied because it felt unsafe to tell the truth? How did you feel about it? What happened because of the lie?

Art Prompt: Lie

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a time you lied to protect yourself and how it backfired.

Photo Credit: bandita on Flickr

seer with crystal ball


Science fiction is my favorite genre to read. For one thing, a writer can deal with ethical, moral, and culture issues that often are too touchy to take on in a standard literary form. But more interestingly, science fiction writers must study today’s science and predict the future. 

In an essay titled “Futuristics,” Isaac Asimov pointed out that the obvious prediction is not the most interesting one. It was easy to predict the automobile; what was difficult to predict was the traffic jam. It was easy to predict radio; what was difficult was the soap opera. It was easy to predict the income tax; what was difficult was the expense account. Equally, it was easy to predict the cell phone—Dick Tracy had his wrist radio back in the 1930s—but what was difficult to predict is that users would become so attached to them that they would step into traffic or allow their cars to drift out of control….
Science fiction might well be considered the literature of unanticipated consequences….In fact, to write an effective science-fiction story, all you need is something that the world thinks is an unmitigated boon and to focus on the unforeseen problems that it might create. -Science Fiction Imagines the Digital Future by James Gunn in Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine

Writing Prompt: Go to your favorite news site, read a science story, predict an unanticipated consequence that will happen if that science is developed, and write a story about it.

Journaling Prompt: Do you read science fiction? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Science

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about an invention in your lifetime that has had unexpected consequences.

Photo Credit: Kraetzsche (busy) on Flickr