Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fixation Age and Comparisons

I hate sleeping. And, I mean, I might as well not sleep while I can. I was awake on
a regular basis last night and slept well for only the last two hours or so, so why
bother going to bed now? I'm just not in the mood. I might as well not sleep while
I don't have to get up early. Once I'm back at my internship, it'll be 9pm bedtime
for me. Yawn.

In other news, I've finished my PDP paper. I'm not really a fan. Eh. It's okay, I guess.
But you all know that I have mixed feelings about PDP as a program in regards to how
it is applied and executed. I'm all for reflexivity, but it is exponentially more
difficult and less fulfilling when it has to be confined. Really, when you think
about it, that's just silly. Confined reflection? Nonsense.

Nonsense is becoming an overused word in my vocabulary. Also, additionally. And
consequentially and subsequently. I need more words.

I also think I'm beginning to be able to articulate what I want, but I don't know
who I should tell, if anyone, yet. I'll write that out and save it somewhere secret.

This is old news, but apparently I deleted a collection of saved conversations and
they are forever gone. I regret that.

What I really want to write about is fixation. Also, how I want more people to read
my blog. Also, how much I hate facebook. I don't even have enough respect for the
company to capitalize it anymore.


Also, how a day without cell phone service is torture.

Fixation. Fixation. Fixation.

No, what I mean is fixedness.

Fixedness. Fixedness. Fixedness.

In Psychology, there is a term called functional fixedness. This refers to the
inability to think outside the box and invent non-typical uses for a typical object.
Generally, children are better at such creative use of objects because functional
fixedness has not been concretely adopted. For example, a child is more likely to
use a toy truck as a hammer when he or she has no hammer, but an adult will search
and search for a hammer when he or she could use a screwdriver or a plank of wood.

I propose that there are a number of different types of fixedness and that they are
probably becoming increasingly concrete.

Image fixedness. Have you seen the new white Coca-Cola cans? They're promoting the
salvation of the polar bear or something, but I've heard numerous people complain
about how the white can creates the expectation of diet soda. I'll admit, I thought
the same thing when I first saw one sitting on our kitchen counter: "Who bought
diet soda?"

I'm not entirely satisfied with the term image fixedness, because it leans more
toward brand fixedness and relates to those short online quizzes where the aim is
to correctly identify common logos. Our local paper does something similar every
once in a while.

That's why this would potentially work so well:


Expectation fixedness is another type that I thought about the other day, but I don't
remember how to explain it. I think it had something to do with being so fixated on
a particular expectation that any deviation from that is nearly life-shattering.
Here's a fun example. All those kids that are heart-set on abstinence until marriage?
That's their expectation fixation. And maybe they mess up, maybe only a little. If
their expectation fixedness was so severe, it's likely that their whole self-concept
will be damaged so greatly that it will require a great deal of long-term healing.
I wish I could remember my original example. It was better.

The types are probably endless. Time fixedness, plan fixedness, people fixedness...
The bottom line is that people are far too inflexible. Absolutely, concreteness is
important and necessary, but absolute concreteness is absolutely not. Balance and
moderation, my friends.

Is it just me or do I say the same thing(s) in every single post I write?

Lesson fixedness.


In regards to comparisons, this will be a short lesson. Maybe.

I've heard it said that, if you're feeling down about your life circumstances, that
you should take a few hours and volunteer in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter
because it will make you feel better about where you are in life. Eh, okay.

I've also been told, when I'm venting about something specific, that "at least you
have [topic I was venting about]." For example, say I have a drippy shower that
always makes noise and wastes water. A typical disadvantage comparison might be to
say, "At least you have hot water and a shower to complain about." Eh, okay.

Neither of these work for me. And I don't think they should.

For the first, if your main motivation for volunteering on behalf of those that are
more disadvantaged than you is to make yourself feel more humble about your own
advantage, you're not doing it right. Okay, yeah, if that gets some people out there
to begin with, that's good. Okay. But I really do think a lot of the impact will be
missed if that is the main goal.

For the second, I just really don't like these types of comparisons. To me, it's like
comparing a potential romantic relationship to a previous romantic relationship. It
really shouldn't and can't be done because people are so spectacularly different that
any comparison will have little to no worth. It might make you feel better, but it
doesn't really help. Similarly, I have been told such disadvantage comparisons in an
effort to make me feel more grateful for what I have. But, in all honesty, they don't.
The most blunt way to say it is that my immediate reaction goes something like this:
"Okay, but I don't care about that right now. I want to sift through my own problems
because they are present and real to me at this point and time. I don't need to be
distracted by the greater disadvantagement of others right now because I'm stressed
about this immediate situation."

And it's 1:14am. It realy bugs me that this timestamp is wrong.

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