How and why most of what we call “thinking” really isn’t

Posted on: January 31st, 2011 by bobmorris

In the latest of five bestselling b0oks, Unthinking: The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy, Harry Beckwith shares a number of especially valuable insights and I have consolidated several of them in these two mosaics of excerpts:

“We could excuse our foolishness…by recognizing that most of what we call thinking really isn’t. During our decision making, the organ that that processes our data sits on the sidelines while our feelings do the work. When our feelings reach their decision, they summon our brains to come in and draft the rationale, a task it does so well that it manages to convince us that it’s right – and that it was in charge the whole time.

“We experience the world through our senses, particularly our eyes: we think with them…We shape things and then they shape us…Design has become the great value-added feature: we think with our eyes…We love beauty and nothing looks more beautiful to us than something simple…But of all the forces [that influence a decision], none surpasses reputation…reputations change our experiences. If we think a concoction will sprout hair, for example, we soon see hair…Reputations create our expectations, and out expectations change our perceptions.”

*     *     *

Harry Beckwith is a frequent guest lecturer for many national corporations, including ABC, Inc., BellSouth Corporation, Norwest Corporation, and Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., among others. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His published works include the aforementioned Unthinking as well as Selling the Invisible, What Clients Love, You, Inc., and The Invisible Touch.

To read my interview of Beckwith, please click here.


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