Mon, 8 January 2018
Hidden Motives In Everyday Life: How Our Brains Deceive Us At Work And In Life And Whether Or Not We Have The Power To Change
Robin Hanson is an associate professor of economics at George Mason University and a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. He has a PhD in social science from Caltech, Master's in physics and philosophy from the University of Chicago and worked for nine years in artificial intelligence as a research programmer at Lockheed and NASA. He helped pioneer the field of prediction markets, and published The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the Earth, which was the topic of our discussion in a previous podcast episode back in 2016. His most recent book is entitled, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life. He also blogs at OvercomingBias.com.
The big mistake we are making – the ‘elephant in the brain’.
the elephant in the room, n. An important issue that people are reluctant to acknowledge or address; a social taboo.
The elephant in the brain is the reason that people don’t do things they want to do. They have a lot of hidden motives. People think they do certain things for one reason but really do these things for a different reason. Some of the motives are unconscious. This may be due to many reasons but one of them is the desire/need to conform to social norms. The book, The Elephant in the Brain includes 10 areas of hidden motives in everyday life. These include:
The puzzle of social status in the workplace is one to be explored. People are always working to improve their position within an organization but often the competition is ‘hidden’ by socially expected terms like ‘experience’ or ‘seniority’. To discuss one’s social status in the workplace is not acceptable. So, to continue to explore and think about people’s true motives can be beneficial.
What you will learn in this episode: