I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

339. Quality of Conscious Decisions - Consequencity and Gullibility

Quality of Conscious Decisions - Consequencity and Gullibility

In entry 338 I was describing the personality trait of consequencity.    In entry 328 I speculated about the evolution of gullibility, but when using the word 'gullibility', this implicitly included credulity.   Credulity and rationality are describing thought processes, while gullibility and consequencity describe the interaction with influences from the environment.    Gullibility includes credulity, consequencity includes rationality and logic, but it is not automatically also the reverse, as acting is also impacted by factors others than cognition.     

The following are some more general thoughts about decisions, consequencity and gullibility.   This entry is concerned with the influence of external sources upon decisions in general.   This includes also the decision of the choice of a partner and the decisions concerning the behavior as a partner in a relationship.   All considerations of the influence of unconscious, 'intuitive' decisions are omitted in this entry.   These are not unimportant, but including them would make this topic too complex. 

The quality of a decision as evaluated by its execution depends upon the amount of skepticism, the freedom of choice and the trait of consequencity or gullibility.   Conscious decisions are based upon the premises of information derived from both, external sources and introspection.     Skepticism and credulity or rationality have an impact upon the quality of the chosen premises, consequencity or gullibility has an impact upon the process of deciding to act in according to the chosen premises and freedom has an impact on the execution of a decision.    
  1. Skepticism is a talent and a skill in processing the input of information and stimuli.   It can be compared to many other achievements, where talent is the needed, but the skill has to be developed by learning and training.  Scientific thinking as a part of the education at university certainly is one good method to develop skepticism.   Skepticism is probably distributed along a bell curve.    High skepticism allows a better choice of the most appropriate information to be used in a decision.    Credulity includes unverified believes into the premises, incredulity and rationality refuse all believes, but skepticism helps to make the best choice of premises with a high probability of being valid.
  2. Decisions can only be executed they way they are derived from the premises, when there is the freedom to act in accordance.    When people are coerced by circumstances, they often yield and do, what they do not want to do.  They end up suffering cognitive dissonance.
  3. Between light and darkness, there is a scale of shades.    But darkness as one end is absolute, it is the complete absence of light, while all the rest of the scale means more or less of light.   There is always darkness, when there is no light, but the light is stronger than the darkness, and the shades of light deactivate the power of darkness upon the visual perception of humans and many animals.  
    This metaphor is a good description of the scale between gullibility at one end and consequencity at the other.   There is one limitation, though.   To human perception, there is always either light or darkness, even with closed eyes.   There is no perception of a nothing, that is neither light nor darkness.    But while there are no conscious decisions when there is neither gullibility nor consequencity, there is still behavior, determined by instincts alone.  
    Therefore I am limiting this entry to conscious decisions that require human cognition, defined in a simplified way by the presence of enough rationality to understand simple if-then logic and contingencies.   
    Then in analogy to my metaphor, a human decision can be fully derived by consequencity only in the absence of all gullibility, while gullibility more or less deactivates consequencity depending on the strength of gullibility. 

    This leads to a more precise definition of consequencity as a personality trait, which includes not only the complete absence of gullibility, but also a low level thereof. 

A person with high skepticism and high consequencity has the best predisposition to make good decisions, but this is not automatically predetermining optimized decisions.   While religion and simple quackeries like homeopathy are easy to discard and to reject, there are often situations, in which a person is impeded by the inability or impossibility to evaluate information to react in an appropriate way to an influence.   
Modern life is too complex to be well informed about everything, many claims are spread, of which the verifications are beyond reach, some important premises can be overlooked or are not available, there are misunderstandings, misinterpretations, manipulations, lies and there are more possible interferences.    A person can often be in the situation, that a decision is required or expected, while there is no way to choose or access enough valid premises.   
For gullible people, this is no obstacle, they let themselves be influenced by others without even hesitating.   But this situation leads people with predominant consequencity either into inertia, or they make consciously a haphazard decision by flipping a coin or some similar method, but they refuse to be influenced by any irrationality, and that makes them appear as stubborn and obstinate.    Another possible mistake is rejecting proffered good premises as irrational.    

High skepticism and high consequencity together help to enhance the quality of decisions, but this is limited by many other factors, and many decisions later on turn out to have been a mistake.   This includes the unfortunate choice of an incompatible partner.