by stephenayers42

20 slides

How to Avoid Using Generalizations

Published Sep 19, 2013 in Education
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Presentation Slides & Transcript

Presentation Slides & Transcript

How to Avoid Using GeneralizationsStephen AyersCommunications 101

Define “Generalization”Throwing a blanket over similar, but not identical singularitiesFor example:(1) “All blond people are dumb.”(2) Face recognition (Jesus on toast example)

1, 2, 3, 4, x

x = 5The pattern is n + 1“5” should appear instantaneously without “effort”

69, 112, 57, 39, x

No PatternThe mind cannot effortlessly attribute a value for “x”It's unlikely anyone even bothered to come up with a value for “x”

SupposeSuppose our minds worked like the latter sequenceWe'd be uncertain of everything

Our Minds Make GeneralizationsRather, our minds work like the first sequenceWe have a natural ability to “fill in the blanks”We use this to see, hear, read, etc.

“We perceive only bits and pieces of the world around us, but our minds fill in the blanks to create the illusion of a seamless experience.” (Dr. Smith, Psychologist)

Duh...Most of us are aware of this (having lived with our minds for quite awhile)We've all seen the funny pictures, sayings, etc.

AwarenessOur minds do the same thing to peopleWe have a natural ability to categorize peopleThis means your mind is working

HoweverWhat value do we attribute to the generalizations?

How to Avoid Using GeneralizationsStep 1Be cognitive (aware) of the fact that our minds naturally fill in the blanks for usStep 2Change the value you attribute to generalizations

GeneralizationsGeneralizations come naturally and artificiallyRecall the “69” in the second sequence?Example of a generalization that was formed artificially

“Artificial” Attributions Come from our environmentWe are bombarded with images and words that perpetuate common generalizations by our societyMuch of the generalizations we make of people are from our society

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit LionsThe people who attribute value to this game, either directly or indirectly, are likely to watch it

What We Can ChangeWhile generalizations occur subconsciously (naturally), the value we attribute to generalizations does not

Shall We Review?Step 1 must precede Step 2 for Step 2 to occurGeneralizations are completely natural and unavoidableGeneralizations are inherited both naturally and artificiallyThe value we attribute to generalizations is a conscious decision, thus it can be altered

Works CitedSmith, Shawn (2012, January 28). Don't believe everything your mind says. Retrieved from

Finally...If you're interested, the information I presented in class is also available on my