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jajrussel

The inability to see things

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When I was young pop would accuse me of only being able to hear what I wanted to hear.I didn't agree with him yet age has me facing circumstances sometimes I can't seem to see! It usually happens when I have a question and need to make a decision in the moment it's always something simple, but then after having made the wrong decision and changing perspective, well there it is why couldn't I see it when it mattered. I asked a question earlier and wasn't sure where to put it. But all I had to do was change devices then there the category was . Is there a psychological reason as to why I couldn't see the medical category the first time?

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Our brain takes short cuts and focuses only on areas we feel likely to find something.

It’s like when I tell my wife I the thing she’s looking for and she comes into the room and grabs it within seconds. It was there the whole time, I just had preconceptions on which spots to check and her preconceived likely spots were different.

We use our idea of where something should be or how something should look to help speed the search, but there are times when we have a mental blind spot preventing us from seeing the thing and the shortcut we’re using paradoxically reduces search success likelihood. 

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Selective hearing/seeing is pretty common, and it's something we have to work to overcome. We preconceive what something should sound like/look like (or where it should be in the refrigerator ;)) and that's the pattern we focus on. Or we're focused on listening to something on the TV/computer until a family member gets our attention and says, "Didn't you hear me calling you?"

Sometimes, I think we focus too tightly, and until we step back, change our perspective, or do something that breaks up our thoughts about the sound/object in question, we're just going to keep hearing/seeing the same things. Have you ever lost something important, like keys or a phone, and you know it can't be far because you just had it, but it's not in the places it should be? You keep checking the normal places because you can't imagine yourself setting something so important down in a weird place. But until you can take a step back and change the parameters of your search, as iNow mentions, you end up caught in a frustrating loop that almost guarantees you won't find it.

We preconceive to give ourselves a jump on problem-solving, but it sometimes works against us. Similar to a runner anticipating the starter's gun and jumping too early.

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