Take the Rationality Test
How I Define Logic
The Rational Do Not Rationalize
The Subconscious Changes What You See and Feel
Why Honesty Requires Logic
Linear and Non-Linear Communication
Idealism and the Optimally Ideal
Debunking the Debunkers
The Key To Improving Your Mind
Training Advanced Mental Skills
Psychological Mind Control


The Rational Do Not Rationalize

How Subconscious Bias Is Manufactured

The Rational Do Not Rationalize

Most of what I have to say here at this website can be summed up to one word: rationalization. From there, a number of other things become possible that I explain in other sections. However, in this section I'm sticking to the most immediate effects from rationalizing.

Many psychologists say that it is important to rationalize to stay sane. Here at this website I explain the real cost to this "sanity pill", and how the correct solution can greatly improve life, bring about genuine sanity, confidence and peace of mind.

I equate rationalization to blinding overgeneralization. This kind of blinder works like the ones they put on horses, so that they can walk through a busy area without freaking out. Do you want your mind boxed in with blinders like these?

Everyone has heard of the concept: thinking outside the box. I will attempt to explain the psychological process that generates the walls to your "mind box" from your own rationalizations. I will also explain how to get rid of it.

It is likely that everyone has a "mind box" of some sort.

Each person's "mind box" affects how they identify things, concepts, and issues. And controls the perceived validy and relevancy of information related to each.

Information will automatically turn off or on at a subconscious level, to support the walls to your box.

The subconscious uses generalizations to help you identify objects, like cars, trees, and so on... the same subconscious mechanism is also used in higher level concepts: like telling whether or not someone is happy or sad, or whether they are being honest or dishonest, smart or dumb, being polite or expressing genuine interest, and whether they have intentions that you would consider good or bad. This mechanism automatically interprets just about everything you perceive. Another example is whether or not you see a dog as friendly or dangerous. Generalizations that you have used over the years work automatically to interpret these things (and many more). Your raw perceptions are merely data, that then enter the brain and get processed by all your previous generalizations, thereby automatically transfiguring your perception.

Each person checks their generalizations to varying degrees (some don't check at all, and some check nearly 100%), and most will vary in this degree, from subject to subject.

Whenever a generalization is not checked it automatically affects perception. And whenever a generalization is inaccurate or misapplied, it generates subconscious bias. And subconscious bias forms the walls to your mind box.

While each person's box is likely different in some ways, they are also likely the same in many other ways.

I call inaccurate or misapplied generalizations "rationalizations".

These rationalizations will seem to be very useful, effectively dealing with day-to-day issues.

And as such they tend to come along with various emotions that psychologically promote their use.

Once we get used to using a specific rationalization, various self-fulfilling chain reactions in every-day events will combine with various interrelated psychological effects, to make it easier and easier to believe that the rationalization is fully true.

This progression makes it easier and easier to view reality through the filtering effects of the rationalization, so that reality will seem to agree with it more and more. And this progression may steadily widen the range of scenarios that you apply it to, making it more and more likely to be misapplied to your everyday events, while simultaneously increasing your conviction that it is applicable to these events. Plus it becomes habit forming in the process, which further promotes misapplication of the rationalization.

Even exceptionally high IQ individuals are likely to rationalize repeatedly, it is nearly inevitable for humans to do this on a day-to-day basis, if not continuously. Only the rational do not.

Here is the difference:

An intelligent person has acquired much knowledge and/or has much aptitude in processing knowledge towards their areas of expertise. This person can generally speak in what sounds like an informed language on these subjects, can explain various issues, and oftentimes has ideas of their own.

In contrast, a rational person is someone that is willing to and capable of thinking through the details, including the details not mentioned by others and the details not previously a part of their own thinking. And then reviewing them again, as many times and to the level of detail that is both necessary to their objectives, and practical given the logical prioritizations. And with a mind that is both open to finding mistakes, and open to discovering new directions of thinking. This person develops various mental skillsets and routines that facilitate logic, organization, and prioritization.

These two types of people will see many things differently, because their worlds have been defined differently. The rational view reality in terms of the known and unknown details, both micro and macro, while limiting the scope of their generalizations to enforce accuracy. And the intelligent view reality in terms of generalizations that give them power (psychological and otherwise), or seem to give them power, while brushing off details that seem meaningless to this end. The intelligent easily absorb and use generalizations that appear to fulfill their sense of the situation, while the rational continually question themselves, and all else, looking for both the alternative angles, and potentially conflicting details.

The intelligent rapidly learn, use, and believe in existing knowledge and existing methods. Whereas the rational spend their time reviewing alternatives, and identifying fallacies within existing knowledge and methods, until they make their own independently intelligent decisions from the whole of all available knowledge, to the extent called for by a logical prioritization of their effort.

The intelligent is very sharp at processing knowledge and making quick yet "effective" (notice I did not say "correct") judgements. Whereas the rational is focused on clarification of details that the others prefer to brush over or over-generalize.

There are many useful generalizations that make a more detailed analysis unnecessary, however, each of these have very specific limits to the scope where they are applicable. Understanding the specific scope to a generalization is a necessary part of being rational. Without this level of understanding, the generalization instead becomes an idealism, which is irrational. Idealisms are rationalizations.

It is likely that everyone has a tendency to rationalize. Rationalizations nearly always appear and feel like they are factual, common sense, obvious, without a reasonable doubt, reasonable, or fair, ways to look at things.

You'll have compelling reason to believe "something" is true. Then you'll choose words that seem to fit this "something" (or you'll hear words from another source that seem to ring true). These words will then imprint to the non-linear portions of your mind where it then becomes (either immediately or over time) an automated habit to think this way. Then, anytime those words (that you associated with that "something") are triggered by association to a new thought or new experience, the same emotions and convictions from the original thought or experience may surface, and redirect towards the new thought or experience.

AND, these same emotions and convictions then AUTOMATICALLY power (activate) the inadvertent assumption within the original words that you selected (or heard), to describe the original "something".

Inadvertent assumption produces subconscious bias.

Inadvertent assumption within the words that you imprinted in response to the "something", then automate subconscious bias that applies itself to all future thoughts and experiences that trigger by association.

And this happens whether or not the new thought or experience is logically related to the original "something".

Subconscious bias is a very different animal when compared to conscious bias. With conscious bias you are at least partially consciously aware of your bias and can conscientiously "check it" from time to time to see if it fits a particular situation. However, with subconscious bias, there is no conscious awareness at all of the bias.

Subconscious bias may or may not have any logical relationship with the matter at hand, and it may either assist or resist the person's conscious bias.

Subconscious bias triggers automatically, in the form of psychological walls that box in the person's intelligence, and compel them towards thoughts, feelings and actions that may or may not be contrary to what they would have wanted had their mind not been boxed in.

It is my personal opinion that subconscious bias is the most powerful harnessable force on Earth.

I explain some of the negative implications here on this website. There are also positive implications, it works both ways to mold society.

The way I see this, the resulting psychological walls literally control a person's intelligence, by boxing it in. And these boxes can have both good and bad effects on people, depending. Much like a fence can have both good and bad effects on farm animals, or how helmets will save the lives of some, while decapitating others. (These were meant more as analogies, than examples.)

Most of this makes sense to people I'm sure. However, the part most people miss is this: the rational will tell the difference between an observation, and an interpretation of that observation, whereas those that trigger subconscious bias will see the interpreted observation as though that were the observation, and will therefore consider their interpreted observation factual.

Subconscious bias forces racists to see some people as thieves, without evidence. A middle aged man with honorable intentions smiles at a pretty younger woman and is labeled a pervert by those that noticed, while a younger man with dishonorable intentions smiles at the same woman and is labeled "romantic".

A police officer may appear to be honest, and have a strong reputation for honest law enforcement in the community, and yet regularly makes use of railroading tactics to apprehend people. He/she will rationalize that this improves Democracy, and is a necessary part of law enforcement. Witnesses will be led by simple statements that draw their attention away from these dishonest acts.

The officer fools him/herself through conscious bias, while the observer fools him/herself through subconscious bias.

Wherever someone has conscious bias they can check these assumptions to see if they were right. However, subsoncious bias directly modifies observation. And that is the problem.

Psychological walls form as a result of subconscious bias. The stronger the imprinting of the source rationalizations, and the more we activate the resulting subconscious bias, the stronger these psychological walls.

These walls are capable of making some issues completely invisible to the mind, or seem irrelevant, or seem invalid, that would otherwise be obvious, relevant and valid. And that affects how we perceive stories and events, and what we feel and do in response.

I am willing to bet that there is no person alive today that is 100% rational. If I am wrong, then that would be an extraordinary person indeed.

[Here is a funny example: many years ago I was invited to a contest in another country. My friend that I tutored and I went. We lined up with several other people from our two countries along this long table. Hundreds of people were there crowded in that room all watching us. The announcer took the microphone and announced that the contestants would all go at one time, and winner would take all. Then as the bell rang, we all started. And at that very moment it became obvious why we were invited to this thing. It seemed like everyone in the audience was chanting "Gordon", "Gordon", "Gordon". Ok, so this Gordon was supposed to win. Just then the HUGE speakers on either side of the room started blatting the Lone Ranger at maximum volume. It seemed like forever as my puzzle kept bouncing around in my hands due to the intense sound waves and nervousness. Finally, I finished and set down my completed puzzle first. There was a barely detectable pause in the chanting, then it continued. "Gordon", "Gordon", "Gordon". Hmm, that was odd I thought. Then a few seconds later my friend set down his puzzle, with a big smile on his face which quickly turned to a puzzled look. The room continued to fill with "Gordon", "Gordon", "Gordon", and the Lone Ranger was playing just as loudly. Then finally, several seconds later this other guy slamed his puzzle down, finished. Then everyone cheered. Then one at a time the other contestants finished and set down their puzzles. Then a few moments after that the announcer said, "well, we decided before hand on the prizes and we're going to stick to it. Here's 3rd place..." He held up a banana. Then he called up Gordon and gave him the banana. There was all sorts of murmuring in the crowd. Then he held up a miniature puzzle and said "this is 2nd place". He called up my friend and gave it to him. Then he held up a trophy. And he called my name, and I went up and collected the trophy. We went back to our puzzles. Then the announcer told everyone that they were welcome to talk with the contestants. Then after awhile someone from the audience walked up to me with this horrible look on his face, and said "I thought you were disqualified". I asked "why did you think that"? He couldn't answer, his face twisted to half-way between a horrified look and a puzzled look. Then he walked away. It took me years to figure out how he could think that. And since then I noticed, that everytime I beat others at any game or puzzle, people that were certain that they were unbeatable, that they would perceive that something about it was either irrelevant, or invalid. Yet, in each case it was their own mind tricking them. This has happened over and over, each instance is so extreme that it could be considered rediculous. And over time I found others that have experienced the same dilemma - it wasn't just me. It is a phenomenon that occurs naturally in the mind of the observer. In an unrelated Seattle contest, my presentation and this other guy's were light years ahead of everyone else's. I was certain I would get 2nd place after him, and he was certain he would get 2nd place after me. To our amazement, neither of us placed at all. The judges could not comprehend students coming up with either one of our creations, and instead rationalized that we had pulled them out of stores and put signs on them, even though the things we created were not commercially available anywhere. They just thought this automatically, without even asking questions.]

Since culture often promotes these rationalizations, people that use them verbatum will all receive the same programming. And therefore, whoever controls the wording for these rationalizations, controls the masses. And that is a lot of power.

[This website will not get into the specific theories I have regarding these powers. However, if you decide you are interested, you can do this research on your own, using the mental tools I explain here.]

We "empower" these rationalizations through our actions, that result in consequences, that appear to continue to fit the rationalizations. This is because people tend to adopt rationalizations that fit in a circle explaining each other, and in many cases these people that adamantly rationalize (nearly everyone) will subconsciously railroad other people and circumstances to fit their own rationalizations.

This prevents them from seeing where they were wrong. And it doesn't matter whether it was a positive or negative issue, a big or small issue, a good or bad issue - rationalizations blind people, and their actions trigger consequences that fuel the next rationalization in sequence around their circle of rationalizations.

[This happens in contests, this happens in court, this happens in corporate management, this happens in families, this happens in school, this happens in all sorts of day-to-day experiences all around us. I see this happening in a majority of social interactions.]

And it is likely that everyone does this to some extent, in varying amounts in different subjects.

It is much easier to see the bias in others, especially when they adopt different rationalizations than you.

It will seem to you like they are off in their thinking, and it will seem to you like you are not off. This is because people generally become blind to their own rationalizations, while the rationalizations that are contrary to their own will stick out like a sore thumb.

The thing to learn from this is that it is a natural human tendency to gravitate towards generalizations. Think of the mind as a computer that connects input data (just about any combination of things in your mind) to generalizations based on previous associations. And that allowing inaccurate generalizations to go unchecked is lazy, and results in many of the problems we face throughout life. The generalizations that were full of inadvertent assumption should be replaced with generalizations from deduction and carefully weighed and prioritized theories. And the scope should be well understood, otherwise you are not yet ready to use that generalization. When you do it this way, you are replacing "idealism" with the "optimally ideal" (please see Idealism and the Optimally Ideal). And that is when your mind starts to upgrade.

Most people will rationalize that it is too much work to rethink every thought, and they will continue to rationalize anyway. What I have discovered, is that this "work" in thinking rationally, progressively diminishes as I practice it. It gets easier and easier, until it becomes second nature. So I am convinced that the above rationalization to use rationalizations has no basis.

It sometimes amazes me how high the credentials and/or the IQ some people have, that are in my thinking irrational.

[I have had discussions with "sharp minded" post-grads that completed their masters, and yet could not distinguish the difference between an argument for plausibility, and deductive proof. In my opinion this distinction should be clear by 4th grade, of every student in the country. I had a discussion one day with someone that had five PhD's, that at the conclusion of the conversation told me I was smarter than him, and that he wondered if all his degrees were even worth it. He said this in front of his son who tried profusely to get him to retract his statement. In contrast, I have no PhD's. I don't see why I need them. I can readily retrieve any piece of information I need through the Internet and available literature. And from there I can figure out any concept or algorithm that I need on my own. What is the PhD for? To "plug" me into society? I have no desire for that. I view society as an invisible slavery system, dishing out mind control to slaves that do not realize they are being taken advantage of.]

You can fill a room with 50 high IQ individuals that will all (or nearly all) NOT see a specific point in a presentation that does not adequately navigate the rationalizations programmed into our minds by culture or mainstream. However, put a rational person (as I define "rational" here at this website) in the room with those people, and that person will likely see that point.

To clarify: a rational person is someone that thinks rationally, which is someone that does not rationalize, and instead develops mental skills that help them to apply logic, and to organize and prioritize their thoughts. The rational person focuses on the observation, looking for potential transfigurations that should be removed. He/she is striving for "context normalization" (to be explained later), and builds his/her theories from there, remaining open minded to every theory until proof is found.

I contend that major issues of consequence go completely unnoticed in most people's minds due to subconscious bias. That this does not mean these are stupid people, because highly intelligent people can easily give into rationalizations that seem true (especially when culture, authority, and mainstream all tell them these rationalizations are true). What it does mean is that there are consequences to rationalizing. And this website goes into more details regarding both the mechanics of this process, and some of those consequences.

People tend to forget things that do not fit their "mind box". This is the most amazing phenomenon. I can list about a dozen key events in my life, involving other people that I knew very well and were not 100% rational (yet quite intelligent and sharp), where something happened that did not fit their mind boxes. They would make bizarre rationalizations about these events at the time, and then within about one month to one year they would no longer recall these events at all, claiming from then on that I was making them up or somehow mistaken. I have seen this over and over. My best guess is that memory is maintained by our interconnecting generalizations, and that the subconscious bias resulting from inaccurate generalizations completely neutralizes memories of events that do not fit inside the mind box.

Rationalizations encourage the suppression of memories to things that do not fit inside your mind box.

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