Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

waldo The next few weeks or months are going to be a time filled with great joy and sorrow. The joy comes from celebrating the graduation of my nephew from high school. He has lived with me for the past three years and I have seen him grow into a fine young man. Truth be told he is not my blood nephew but rather one that was created because of the love we have for each other. He is from Cameroon Africa and has been in America only four years, three of witch he has lived with me. So when I say I have seen him struggle and grow, I mean it. He spoke no English when he arrived and was thrown in to high school with the expectations of knowing all that was taught the past 8 years of American schooling. And when I say grow, well I also meaning both in his education and his size. Coming from a poor part of Cameroon he was a small child, but he made up for it fast! He ate like there might not be food the next day, because that was what he knew. It was an amazing time and still is, for him and for me. I have gained so much from the experience that i feel that I owe him a thanks. The is the joy I will experience over the next few months. The sorrow that will come is one that I am truly not looking forward to

My best friends name is Waldo, we have been friends for over 15 years, and have spent everyday together. Waldo is my dog but more importantly he is family. Waldo is a terrier mix, basically a mutt, he is a medium sized dog, about 55 pounds. So for his size he is old. Based on dog years he is about 100 years old, give or take. Up-until about two or three weeks ago he was basically healthy. I did have a scare about 18 months ago where I had to rush him into the vets for issues with his balance, it turned out to be an ear infection, but it still scarred me. The thought of no longer being part of my daily life is a thought that I do not cherish. But it is one I have to come to, his time is running out.

Last week I had to once again rush him to the vet. I arrived home about 9:30 one night to find Waldo spread eagle on the floor unable to stand or walk. He is now of a few meds and basically can walk. He has issues on slippery floors but on carpet he is mostly ok. I have hard wood floors through out the whole house with areas of rugs. So he has issues, I do what I can, I have placed rugs by his food and water and we, my nephew and I watch over him. But each day he seems to have new issues with his ability to stand or walk. Over all he is otherwise healthy, but old. This morning I was reminded of his issues, not that I have forgotten. When I woke up I gave him his breakfast and him meds that I mix in to his food with gravy or applesauce. Why he was eating I went to save and shower and get ready for work when I heard him crying. I found him spread eagle on the floor. The cry was one not of pain but more one of confusion and scared. It was a sound I never want to hear again, it was a sound of total desperation. When I ran to him He was looking at me for help and understanding and I at him with a look of fright and love. The thought of his passing is one that haunts my dreams and my waking hours.

This is the sadness that I will have to deal with over the next few weeks and months. Not to long-ago I lost my other dog, George, a few moths back. February 12 of 2010 George drowned in my back yard pond. And the memory is still vivid in my mind. The loss of a pet to some is nothing more than a loss of a pet, but to me it is a loss of a family member. George was eight years old when he drowned, so for eight years he depended on me and the feeling of failing him was over bearing. Waldo is 16 or 17 and has depended on me for 15 years. I saved him from the humane society days before he was to be put down. And in a way I have that feeling of letting him down because I can not protect him nor save him from what is to come.

I have loss both of my parents and a 23 year old nephew, so I know the pain of loss of loved ones. I would place the loss I feel for George to be on par as to the loss of my loved ones. The loss of Waldo will be felt deep within my heart and soul and my world will change forever just like it did with the loss of my father and than years latter my mother. The loss of any loved one is devastating at best. With the loss of my parents I have learned to celebrate the lives rather than morn the death. Yes I felt a profound emptiness and a deep sorrow that rocked my world. I cried and questioned God as to why He would take my parents at such a young age, but ultimate I celebrated the life they lived. I thanked God for the time we did have together and prayed for there souls. The same can be said for George, I cried and questioned and I cursed the pond that took his life. But in the end I thanked God for George and the happiness he brought to my life. I look at my pond with memories of George and how he loved to swim in it, chase the fish and turtles.

Waldo has and continues to bring me great joy. His personality is truly his and his love and devotion to me and the rest of my family is amazing. The joy he has brought into my life are too numerous to count and the idea of him no longer being their is to hard to phantom.

I know that God is with me, and that He will help me through the next few months of uncertainty. I also know that one day soon Waldo will no longer be waiting for me at the fence when I arrive home, he will no longer bark and anything that happens to pass by and he will no longer be at my side. God willing he will pass in his sleep with no pain, God willing I will be there for him when he needs me the most. And God willing I will be able to comfort him in his time of need.

The joy that my family and friends, including Waldo and George, have given me over the years have helped to create the person I am. With the passing of ones that are close to me I experience a great conversion of faith. I feel the hands of God upon my shoulders providing me the strength and comfort I need. I know the same will be true when Waldo is taken home. This knowledge does not make his passing any less painful, but it does help in the healing process. In Gods ultimate wisdom He knows the big plan for my life, and how each person and pet fits in to it. As for me, I am along for the ride, living my life to the best of my ability, taking each person and pet that comes into my life as a blessing knowing that one day, sooner or latter, they will be taken home. Some before me and others long after I have gone. It is a privilege for me to have had the past 15 years with Waldo, I feel honored to have taken care of him and to have him depend on me as much as I have depended on him.

The joys of sorrows of life are the ebb and flow of our existence, and it truly is a blessing to be experienced. The goodbyes are always hard but necessary, for every time there is a session, a session for joy and a session for sorrow. Soon I will be experiencing two passing’s, on of joy and one of sorrow, a graduation and a death, life is full of opposing forces.

Please pray for both my nephew and Waldo, that they may both my be blessed as they both experience a life changing event, one in to adulthood and one into the next world.

God Bless

Paul

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Thomas Aquinas stained glass window.

Image via Wikipedia

I am finding more and more the richness of the Holy Bible, the more I learn the more little nuggets of truth I discover. As I was listening to Catholic Talks on CD’s (yes I know I have been on about these CD’s for days’… but I just keep finding something new in them) I have be re-wakened the the depth of knowledge each little passage contains. It amazes me that one word or phrase can contain a life changing truth.

As the owner and creator* of STATIC Solutions, a Catholic company the produces educational materials for middle school youth, I am always on the look out for new ideas, new bits and pieces of truth that can be used to excite and deepen the faith life of the youth and the adults who are charged with imparting the truth. I find that it’s not hard to find that one passage or phrase the hard part is deciding what one.

I have just started to develop some new material, I am in the beginning stage were I need to play the concept out, I need to define what it is I am looking for (or as the case maybe, what God is trying to get me to do). This process involves the selection of the main theme that is to run through the book, what basic idea or truth is the book to depart. It is a long process, one that sometimes takes months or even years, yes I have a few ideas that have been sitting in my head for years.

It’s interesting, because as I listened to the CDs I discovered that I could write whole books, teach a whole class on just on passage or phrase. The depth of that phrase or passage could fill volumes. I could take the simple phrase “I Thirst” or “You are Peter” and build a course around them. This is my new dilemma…. What phrase or word or passage do I use, how do I use it and what do I do with it.

The concept of STATIC Solutions program is to take the youth deeper in to the faith, to really look at one area, to show them the richness of that phrase or person or book. Each of our classroom books look at a subsection of the over all concepts. For example the one of the books is entirely on the Exodus of the Israelites for Egypt. We spend five sessions doing nothing but recounting the Exodus and it’s meaning to us today and it’s part in Salvation History. We dive in to the mindset of the Israelites and Mosses, we place ourselves into the moment and feel the desert heat on our backs and the aches and pains of the long walk. Our hearts break over the sinfulness of Gods people, yet we can see ourselves in the humanity of them all. It is five sessions that truly take us back in time. Each of our course books deals with a subset such as that, rather than covering the whole Old Testament in five weeks or even fifteen, we choose to create an experience that will envelop the youth, take hold of their imaginations and souls and with God grace, create a conversation moment for them.

Our philosophy is why “dump” thousands of years of Salvation History on them, it is better to give them nuggets of truth that will excite them and enlighten them, than it is to drowned them is Christian history. If it has taken the Catholic Church over two thousand years to come to Her understanding of the faith, why should we expect our youth to do it in eight years? Is it not better to give them the thirst for knowledge and truth than to drowned them in it?

So as you can see my dilemma is how to take the beauty of the book of Job and turn it into a five session gem, or to take the phrase “I Thirst” and keep it to only five sessions. The glory of God and the Catholic Church can never be contained in the mind of man, yet alone in books. Yet this is what I attempt to do, this is the calling I have answered and the challenge I am tasked with.

The CDs are examples of this, year of the speakers could have went on for hours and hours, if not days. Yet they were confined to thirty minute or one hour at most. To take the vastness of Gods glory and condense it into a book or talk… The concept is truly, well its just mind blowing.

This is what I love about my faith, the fact that each day I can learn and grow, that a passage I have heard one hundred times before can suddenly take on a whole new meaning.  That the truth of the faith keeps growing or should I say that my understanding of the truth keeps growing. That the smallest of details sometimes are the greatest of truths.

The challenges given to me to create the programs I create are a life lesson in humility and faith, and yes the CDs I listened to reminded me of this very fact. They have created in me a new desire to research and learn and to create. As the STATIC Solutions tag line reads “Educate ~ Innovate ~ Create… that is me calling and one I am willing to answer.

God Bless

Paul

Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith
1 Corinthians 15:55-57“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...

Image via Wikipedia

Tearful Pope… The link to the left is an AP article about the Pope and his heart felt feelings concerning the sex abuse and scandal of the Church.

My last blog about the scandal received a few comments, and none very positive. I know that this issue is sensitive at best and considered off limits by others, but the victims and the Church will not and can not heal if we act as if it never happened. On that note we must also be willing to accept that not all priest and bishops were involved and that many are holy men. Yet some, a very small percentage, are sick and in a grave state of sin.

The victims of this abuse need healing and understanding and a compassionate response to the loss of innocence. What the Church and the victims don’t need is media sensationalism. An honest investigation in to all allegations with the proper due process of the laws of the land. The Church needs to be forthright with all information and due process with in the Church needs to be swift. The media needs to allow the process to do its job, and they need to stop persecuting the Church for the acts of men.

The media acts as if the Pope and his predecessors sanctioned the acts of molestation, that the Church not only allowed it but encouraged it. They thrive on the news as if it was a shark feeding frenzy, they smell the blood of the Church and all rush in to get fresh food.

This harms no only the Church, which is there intention, but also the victims. True authentic healing can not take place in a bath of sharks, the blood flow and feeding frenzy needs to stop. The victims of abuse need compassion and understanding, not accusations and witch hunts. The lives of many are at stake here, and the souls of many more.

We  need to respect all parties involved, and we need to seek forgiveness and pray for healing. What we don’t need is more hate and violence. Violence of actions and of words, both can do harm and both can kill.

I pray that the Popes words and actions will start the healing process for all, and I hope and pray that the media will continue to investigate the scandal, but will do so in a fashion that is beneficial to all parties involved.

God Bless

Paul

Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate

 

Romans 10:9-10“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553): Adam and ...

Image via Wikipedia

I just spent the last few days out of town. I love to travel, but mostly when I travel, I travel out of the country, but this time it was only to a different state. Nothing exciting, just 3 hours away from my home. But this trip seemed at times to be a thousands miles way. Not sure why, but I think it was because I had a lot on my mind, and in a way I was thousands of miles away, not from home but from…. What I am not sure, it was/is just a feeling, and small feeling that seems to rest just on the inside of the door to my soul.

The small feeling, the one that is just on the inside of my soul most likely has been their for sometime. But the three hour car ride gave me time to reflect, time to open the door to my soul and seeing that small feeling just sitting there, waiting for me to open the door and find it. And I did, I found this small feeling, it was just sitting there, like it had been waiting for  months and years to be found. It wasn’t a new feeling, one that I have never had, rather it was an old feeling, one that I have walked around and stepped over for year and years. The dust and cobwebs that covered it were thick with pride. A pride that I have known for years, a pride that was and is eating away at this small feeling that was just on the inside of the door to my soul.

Pride, one of the seven capitol sins, and in many ways the root of all sin. It was pride that made Eve take that first bite, and pride that made Adam follow her in to sin. The proof of this, after they ate the fruit of the tree, they discovered they were naked. Their pride took over and they were now, for the first time, concerned at how they looked. Adam and Eve are the parents of pride, parents of the first sin.

Pride has kept me from seeing this small feeling just on the inside of the door to my soul, it cover it in a thick dust that hid it from my eyes, but that is what pride does, it hides the truth from you. We see this is our lives all the time, just like pride hid from Adam and Eve the beauty of their creation, pride has hidden from me this small feeling.

But the three hour drive gave me an insight, it gave me time to start to blow the dust and cobwebs off this small feeling, the one that was just on the inside of the door to my soul. I used the total of six hours to listen to some solidly Catholic talks on CD. Just before I left for my trip I selected a few talks on CD for my ride, you see I belong to the CD of the month club offered by Lighthouse media, a Catholic non-for-profit company that produces and distributes Catholic talks, and each month I get a new CD in the mail. Normally I would have listen to them as soon as I got them, but for the longest time I did not have a CD player in my car, and trying to listen to them at home, well lets just say that don’t work out to well. So I have a few un-listened to CD’s sitting around, so I gathered them up and placed them in my car.

A few days before I was to take this trip I decided I would break down and get a new stereo put in my car, one with a CD player. I just couldn’t deal with the drive with out some music or talk radio or something to help keep me company along the way. So with my talks on CD and a few select music CD’s I was ready for my trip. The funning thing is, I listened to only the talks, the the talks, well, they were perfect, I listened to all the talks I had, and when I pulled in the drive way at home, the last CD was played and I was listening to my Liberal CD. The timing was almost perfect, and it would have been if it were not for construction on the expressway.

God is good, He is good indeed!

The fact that the timing was almost perfect was not accident, it was divine.  Not only did the talks last as long as my drive time, but in a way each talk was talking about me, each talk was sending me, personally, a message. The titles of each talk were different, and the presenters were diverse, from priest to converts to new seminarians’.  But each talk was just perfect for what I  needed to hear. Each talk was given to me personally, it was like they wrote the talk just for me and just for this car ride.

God is good, He is good indeed!

The talks all had the same basic theme to them, pride and how pride is evil and how it tears you away from God and the life of perfection, how pride can and is slowly killing you, Non of the talks came out and said this, but this is what i heard. And more importantly it is what I needed to hear.

That small feeling, the one that is just on the inside of the door to my soul. The one I have been steeping over and moving around for years, that small feeling was dying, it was being eaten away by pride and if I didn’t do something soon it would be dead and nothing short of a miracle would bring it back to life. And the talks on the CD’s, well in a way they were the voice of God speaking to me and God was telling me “It is time to dust off the small feeling and to let it see the light of the I AM, to see the light of God”.

What a powerful message, one that will require a powerful conversion on my part. And one that I am not sure I am up to, but I will trust in the Lord and I will start to dust it off and see what lies under all the dust and cobwebs of pride. I will start the process of cleaning out my soul, to open the door up and let the wind of the Holy Spirit refresh and cleans my soul. I will allow the light of God to fill it, to illuminate it and to fill it with the warmth of Gods love. I will clear the way, and make a path for Jesus to enter in to my soul and to dwell there in a welcoming and comfortable environment.

So what is this small feeling, what is covered up with the dust and cobwebs of pride, it is forgiveness.   And how do I clear out the dust and cobwebs, by forgiveing, by placing aside my pride and forgiving. I have to learn to humble myself and forgive thouse who have hurt me and learn to forgive myself. This is going to be a long process, one that I am sure I will fail at several times, but than again there is a lot of dust the clear away ans the cobwebs can tangel me up. But with the grace of God and the prayers of others, I know I can do it.

God is good, He is good indeed!

God Bless

Paul

The Seven Capital Sins
1 Corinthians 1:18“[Christ the Wisdom and Power of God] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

{{ru|Зефир и Гиацинт, Аттический сосуд из Тарк...

Image via Wikipedia

The scandal of the Church has been on the front pages of the papers and lead stories on the nightly news. Over all this is a good thing, the Church needs to deal with this scandal. But what confuses me is the pure joy they, meaning the media, seem to get from all this. The catholic priest who molested young boys need help and prayers for sure, the bishops who allowed this to carry on and moved them from parish to parish need to be reprimanded, they need to step down. But why al the joy in the media?

It is good that the media is investigating the scandal, or should I say it would be good if they were investigating the scandal fairly.  But that is not the case, they are on a witch hunt and they are willing to take down the innocent as well as the guilty, and at the same time look the other way when it comes to our school systems or other faiths. This to me is a misuse of power and an injustice to children.

The current scandal in the Church is a scandal from twenty or thirty or more years ago, by no means lessening the travesty of it all, the over all population of priest involved is 2% at most. Once again not taking anything away from the harm caused, 2% is way to much, .0001% is to much, but over all 2% of our priest is not a large number.

Such figures led her to contend "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests." (Source)

Family members — fathers, stepfathers, uncles, older siblings — commit 47% of all reported sexual assaults against children in their own homes.

49% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by persons known either by the child or the child’s family — teachers, coaches, physicians, ministers, priests,  neighbors, youth leaders. (Source)

I am not using the statistics to take the spot light off of the Catholic Church, but rather to point it also on public education and other areas of concern.

Over all the reporting on the scandal in the Church has been a scandal unto itself. And with the current wave of anti-Catholic feelings I expect it will continue for sometime to come. But we as Catholics can do something about we can fight back, promote the positive aspects of the Church, the good She does for youth and the community She resides in. We can also point out, in letters to the editors, the injustice of the persecution of the Church over our public schools.

In a way the abuse at the public schools is an even greater evil than the priest. We have no choice but to send our youth to school, and we allow teachers to have full access to our youth 8 hour per day, five days a week. And if they are involved in sports, we also allow them to change in front of grown adults. We, in some ways are asking for it,

The scandal involving the priest is sickening at best, but we hold some of that responsibility ourselves. We places the parish priest upon pedestals and made them gods in there own rights, we allowed our children to spend the night at the rectory or to go on trips with them. Sure some parents were good friends with the priest, and as the statistics above state 49% of abuse is by someone they know and trust. But do we have to allow the percentage to go up? Do we have to feed in to it?

The problem of abuse is a social problem and it is not a new problem, it is as old as time (article). The Greek society is full of stories of young boys and me, by no means justifying the actions, just pointing out the reality. The issue is social. Contrary to popular belief most people who sexually abuse youth are not gay. As stated above they are mostly family members or close family friends. 

[M]ost men who molest little boys are not gay.  Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual.  Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own.27

These scientists have concluded that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of young boys.(source)

Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous.  In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual.  It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.19 .(source)

My over all point to this blog, we need to look at facts and we need to understand what we are dealing with. Sexual abuse of children is not a “Catholic” thing, nor is it a “gay” thing, it is a society thing and one that needs to be understood. The media is not doing its job, rather it is conduction a man hunt, if you will, on Catholics.

As Catholics we need to educate ourselves so we can better defend the Church in these times of turmoil. We need to know facts so we are not just shooting from the hip but rather using facts to fight our cause.  God willing the Church will survive and come out stringer when this persecution is over.

God Bless

Paul

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church
Galatians 2:20“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Read Full Post »

blog%20board It has been sometime for me to blog here on You Can Be New, the last posting was a found article I wanted to share, not truly my own work. I have started to blog again on my other site, STATIC Youth, and have really enjoyed the process. I forgot how much I enjoyed the process.

I think that is true with most things we do, we need to stop to understand how much it truly means to us. Their is the old saying, if you love something let it free, if it returns than the love is true. Or something like that. I think this is what applies to my blogging. I was blogging for two blogs everyday, writing the curriculum for my company and writing and teaching at my day job. I think the writing and creative thinking parts just kicked my butt. I tried to keep it up, but found that my ideas were lame, at best, and that my writing was not truly what I was proud of. Now some will say that none of my writing is anything to be proud of, and that my be. But I have a standard, and I like to keep to it.

I have seem myself grow through the blogging process. Over the past few days I have been re-reading some of the stuff I wrote, and for the most part was pleased with it all, well except for the spelling mistakes. But I also noticed a growth in the writing from month to month and year to year. I was proud of my growth and pleased with my convictions. So I have decided to blog once again.

I am not sure if the You can be New blog will be updated daily or not, I am concentrating on the STATIC Youth blog more, I am concentrating on my faith more. This blog deals with my faith, but in a indirect way, here I am looking at ways to improve my life, too find ways to expand my experiences were-as in the STATIC Youth blog I am taking a more direct look at my faith and how my faith effects life, world and others.

So for anyone who misses my blog’s I am back, and for everyone else… Here I am…

Paul

Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits

Read Full Post »

Good Advice…. 
Go to fullsize imageWe’re often told, “You should sleep on it” before you make an important decision. Why is that? How does “sleeping on it” help your decision-making process?

Conventional wisdom suggests that by “sleeping on it,” we clear our minds and relieve ourselves of the immediacy (and accompanying stress) of making a decision. Sleep also helps organize our memories, process the information of the day, and solve problems. Such wisdom also suggests that conscious deliberation helps decision making in general. But new research (Dijksterhuis et al., 2009) suggests something else might also be at work – our unconscious.

Previous research suggests that sometimes the more consciously we think about a decision, the worse the decision made. Sometimes what’s needed is a period of unconscious thought – equivalent to “sleeping on it” according to the researchers – in order to make better decisions. Here’s how they study this phenomenon:

“[… In a] typical experiment demonstrating this effect, participants choose between a few objects (e.g., apartments), each described by multiple aspects. The objects differ in desirability, and after reading the descriptions, participants are asked to make their choice following an additional period of conscious thought or unconscious thought. In the original experiments, unconscious thinkers made better decisions than conscious thinkers when the decisions were complex.”

The researchers suggest that unconscious thought, contrary to the way many of us think about it, is an active, goal-directed thought process. The primary difference is that in unconscious thought, the usual biases that are a part of our conscious thinking are absent. In unconscious thought, we weigh the importance of the components that make up our decision more equally, leaving our preconceptions at the door of consciousness.

So this is all fine and good, but how you do take laboratory findings and adapt them to a real-world experience to show that unconscious thinkers think better (e.g., with less distortions or biases)? One way to do this is to look at sports, because our weighting of different components is done beforehand and individually – not as an artificial variable manipulated by the researchers.

Each week over a period of 6 weeks, the researchers took 352 undergraduates from the University of Amsterdam and asked them to predict the outcome of four different upcoming soccer matches. Participants expertise about soccer was measured, and then they were asked to predict the result of each of the four upcoming soccer matches.

“[Then] participants were divided into three experimental conditions. In the immediate condition, participants saw the four matches on the computer screen and were asked to provide their answers in 20 s[econds].

“In both the conscious-thought and the unconscious-thought conditions, participants saw the four matches on the computer screen for 20 s[econds] and were told they would have to predict the outcomes later on.

“Conscious-thought participants were told they had an additional 2 min to think about the matches. Unconscious-thought participants were told they would do something else for 2 min and performed a two-back task designed to occupy conscious processing.”

A second experiment was conducted on another group of undergraduates to replicate the findings and understand more about the underlying process.

What did they find?

“These experiments demonstrate that among experts, unconscious thought leads to better predictions of soccer results than either conscious thought or quick, immediate guesses.

“Experiment 2 sheds light on why this may be so: Unconscious thinkers seem to be better at using the appropriate information to arrive at their estimates. Unconscious thinkers who had more accurate knowledge about the single best prediction criterion (world ranking) made better predictions. This was not true for conscious thinkers or for immediate decision makers.”

Just to emphasize this finding – if you’re an expert and you had extra time to think about your decision in the area of your expertise (conscious thinker) or had to make a quick decision, you made worse decisions than those who were unconscious thinkers. The researcher hypothesize that conscious thought can lead to poor weighting in decision-making – the more you think about something, the more your biases interfere with good decision-making.

Unconscious thinkers in this experiment appear to weight the relative importance of diagnostic information more accurately than conscious thinkers did.

As always, these results must be taken with a grain of salt. The experiment was conducted only on undergraduates and may not generalize to other age groups or people with different educational backgrounds. Furthermore, other research has not found a significant performance difference between unconscious thinkers and conscious thinkers, and unconscious thought is not always the mode to rely on when faced with a complex decision (e.g., you can’t use this for gambling and certain kinds of information).

But for certain kinds of decisions – those that are complex and where you have some expertise – “sleeping on it” may be more helpful than spending minutes or hours of conscious thought on it. The brain makes good unconscious decisions, when we let it.

Dr. John Grohol is the CEO and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992. This article was provided by PsychCentral.com.

LiveScience.com chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology. We take on the misconceptions that often pop up around scientific discoveries and deliver short, provocative explanations with a certain wit and style. Check out our science videos, Trivia & Quizzes and Top 10s. Join our community to debate hot-button issues like stem cells, climate change and evolution. You can also sign up for free newsletters, register for RSS feeds and get cool gadgets at the LiveScience Store.

John M. Grohol, PSYD
PsychCentral.com
LiveScience.com John M. Grohol, Psyd
psychcentral.com
livescience.com
Mon Oct 26, 11:27 pm ET

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »