ACHTUNG! WARNING! I suspect this line of questioning without answers yet could be uncomfortable to those who feel very attached to a need to know already and predictably feel a need to be right… A pretty normal feeling. Give it a go, see how it feels ; P
I could generate a lot of prior knowledge, hypotheses and/or suppositions for these questions. However, I’m actually just going to leave them here in their primitive ’embryonic’ state as a demonstration of the foundation of open-ended curiosity (a deliberate challenge to ‘knowing’ and ‘rightness’)…
In preparation for my questions about our right-needing brain:
Reflective Exercise 1: Try paying attention to whether your mind is automatically generating suppositions of answers to these, even in the absence of definitive knowledge? I know my mind does ; p
Reflective Exercise 2: Even if the science-y stuff feels intimidating… Do the questions below give you some ‘brain embryos’ of your own? Do they make you perceive the ‘need to be right’ from a different perspective? Do they make you realise how complex of a phenomenon something so seemingly simple might be? Do they give you a smidgeon of insight into the beautifully intriguing (in my opinion, anyway) complexity of our brains, bodies, minds, emotions and psychology that you’d previously not thought of? If the questions have provoked any of these things and conventional ‘intelligence’ is a value or goal for you, is the thinking not a worthwhile effect in itself, even without the ‘facts’ or ‘knowledge’? Did the questions take your mind elsewhere? Can there be value in sitting with our emotional intimidation and insecurities, for the higher purpose of letting new, potentially valuable information in?
After reading below, where did your mind take you?
Leave me a comment. I’d love to know- even if it took you somewhere unrelated like your belly-button fluff!
What Could Be the Neuroscientific Bases of Our ‘Need to Be Right’? My questions without answers yet:
- How would objectively measurable criteria be defined for the phenomenon of ‘needing to be right?’
- How has the above already been defined and tested?
- How much is it tied in with our ‘believing brain?’
- What would be the functional and survival consequences of ‘not knowing’ or not believing we’re right?
- Which emotional networks are activated when we’re exposed to contradictory information?
- Which higher ‘reasoning’ networks of the brain are activated when we’re exposed to contradictory information?
- Which motor/behavioural networks are activated when we’re exposed to contradictory information?
- Time-wise (temporally), is there a difference in onset of activation of particular networks?
- If so, are emotional networks first to activate?
- How do each of these networks activate each other and feedback on each other?
- Do different types of contradictory stimuli (e.g. political information vs cultural information vs philosophical information vs information with a direct personal or survival impact) elicit activation of different networks, different intensity and duration of activation?
- How do different environmental experiences affect the activation of these networks over time?
- What networks are involved in acceptance of being ‘wrong’?
- What networks are involved in acceptance of ‘not knowing’?
- How would the above two be defined for objectively measurable criteria?
- What research has already been conducted in this area?
- How else (using other terms, other concepts) would the neuroscientific bases of the ‘need to be right’ have been studied already?
- What are the bodily (somatic) physiological consequences of receiving contradictory information or ‘not knowing’?
- Could the above be similar to stress/’anxiety’ response? I.e. increased ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms (sympathetic nervous system activation)? Increased cortisol production? Increased heart rate? Increased blood pressure?
- If the above were the case, could that feedback drive a mental (neuro-cognitive) response to find ‘right’? Okay, I’m starting to get really specific…
I’ll stop myself now. Otherwise I’ll continue to incisively question the shit out of this query to ever-smaller questions of questions of questions of questions, down the rabbit warren of proliferative unknowns and I will never do my washing.