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Piyush Tainguriya
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Dec 27, 2008

Broad Strokes

Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. Carl Sagan

The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing. Eric Berne

Have you ever felt that a whole bevy of people think in more or less the the same way?

Have you ever felt that a whole bevy(slightly less) of people think in more or less the same way as you?

Have you ever felt that a whole bevy of people think in more less the opposite way you think?

Here I'm concerning my self with patterns of beahviour in clusters of people and their reasons (psychological and neurological).I by no means claim to providing the absolute solutions to these question with unimpeachable scientific authority,rather this article should be taken as a ruminative observation of the things as they are.

As Carl Sagan notes in his famous book Dragons of Eden there are two basic modes of thinking namely the right Neocortex way of thinking and the left neocortex one.The right Neocortex is visual and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The left Neocortex is verbal and processes information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole. Although things are not as simple and as tidy as this but we can safely assume if not taken to extremes it will bear the weight of a more insistent inquiry.

The stupid feeling of being in love,where feelings become more important than logical considerations,leading the elders to remonstrate with admonitory finger waving..remember my girl"love is blind".Losing track of logical moves when you have gotten check- mated once too often and commiting an embarassing mistake while playing chess.

It is definitely arguable that certain people show a preference to the left brain or the right brain thinking.Women just "know" that a certain man is just perfect for them,Men have always "calculated" the odds of their getting the promotion.Young rebels "feel" the need for independence and their parents have "worked out" the way they are spoiling their futures.At the risk of charting a scientific territory wothout any sophisticated instruments other than my observation I would also like to connect this theory with another revolutionary stream of study namely"Transactional Analysis" .
This concept was developed by Dr Eric Berne in 1957. Berne's approach to therapy was simply observing the way the patient communicated (through words, body language and facial expressions) in a transaction. Berne believed there were ego states and these were behind each and every transaction. They consisted of the Parent, Adult and Child. Berne found that within his therapy sessions with patients they would change over the course of a conversation. Berne claimed that the changes didn't necessarily mean verbal, they could include facial, body language, body temperature and many non verbal cues as mentioned above.The child ego state is that part of the personality characterised by childlike behaviours and feelings. It is subdivided in two divisions (natural child) spontaneous, impulsive and often self centred and pleasure loving or (adaptive child) the compliant part that conforms to the wishes and demands of parent figures. On the other hand, the adult ego state is rational and organised, it is the objective, thinking, data-gathering part of a person. Moreover, the parent ego state incorporates the attitudes and behaviours of parental figures that is, the dos, shoulds, and oughts. This ego state is also subdivided with the nuturing parent that conforms, praises and aids others. Where the critical parent finds fault, displays prejudices and prevents others from feeling good about themselves. This example illustrates Berne's ego states in action..'a woman may observe an attractive man and go through the following self-dialogue: "He is really good looking and well spoken [adult], but he's probably stuck up [critical parent], although I've heard he's very sensitive [nuturing parent]. I wonder how I could attract him and get him to notice me [natural child]. Oops! I'd better stop looking and get back to work, or my boss will get mad at me [adaptive child].".. This is an interesting model to me to understand which ego state(s) a person is using when engaging in interpersonal communication.

If we compare both the theories we'll find that there's a remarkable similarity between these two behaviour templates.How I compare them is something like this; Right brain nearly the same as child ego state;Left brain nearly the same as parent ego state and the combination of both I equate with adult one i.e logical and calculative ego state.
This is my basic thesis.In the next few posts I will apply this thesis to a variety of topics like politics, clubs , war etc and we'll see if our model can explain the goings on in this strange world of ours and whether we can do anything about it.