Is that really your Attitude?

As I am finishing up with my psychology class in Persuasion, I keep thinking about attitudes and behavior. Behavior shapes attitudes through justification of effort and cognitive dissonance, but how do we judge our own attitude. At times, we tell ourselves we feel and act differently than we really do. For the psychology class, we were told to take an  Implicit Association Test, to see what our attitudes were ranging from people of color and the election to the elderly.

Here you will have the opportunity to assess your conscious and unconscious preferences for over 90 different topings ranging from pets to political issues, ethnic groups to sports teams, and entertainers to styles of music. At the same time, you will be assisting psychological research on thoughts and feelings.

I took the political quiz that was focused on Obama and McCain. The test looked at political party associations as well as race. I was some what surprised by the results, not because I didn’t know the attitudes, but because I had never had someone or thing come out and tell me it was so. It really made me look at other issues that I tell myself I feel X about when really it could be Y.  I like this sight and the information it is collecting, but I think some people who take the test might become angry about the results.


Click here for an insight into your SOUL (haha)


So, how did you do?! Did you see an uplifting statement that could be the sunny website address for a motivational speaker? Or were you like me and thought, “How depressing, whoever runs that site must have really given up…”? How does your answer to this poll have anything to do with whether or not you are “lucky” in life”

A recent excerpt from Ben Sherwood’s book (The Survivors Club; The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life) in Newsweek, “What it Takes to Survive“, discusses several key findings relating to an individual’s ability to survive in critical situations. The above poll is a measure for one’s ability to see something other than the obvious or initial (and pessimistic) message.

“What it Takes to Survive” ties together several stories, including one of a woman who incredibly survives having knitting needle stuck through her heart by a freak accident falling on some simple stair steps and later finds that the same knitting needle ends up saving her life (in a roundabout kind of way). Several studies are used as well, including the one above with the web site address initial impression, but also another that involved subjects watching a recorded basketball game and counting the number of hoops made while a person dressed in a gorilla suit runs through the scene. Apparently, certain kinds of people would be completely unaware that a gorilla ever came onto the scene because they were too singularly focused on the task at hand. Singular focus is identified as a trait that gets in the way of practicing successful survival skills, according to the article. The four identified skills in “lucky” people (a main thesis of this article is that “luck” can be identified as a possession of certain traits therefore people who truly are “lucky”  are because they create their own luck):

  1. Being in the right place at the right time (in the right state of mind). Lucky people are open to unexpected opportunities that others often do not see.
  2. Listening to hunches, or intuition. Unlucky people have a pattern of making decisions that go against their intution. Either that or they are not practiced at listening to their hunches.
  3. OPTIMISM. (See Bob)
  4. “Special ability to turn bad luck into good fortune.” <–This one is actually a little cryptic or “x-factor” for me…anyone have any good insights on this 4th “skill”?

I really enjoyed this article, mostly because it points out that there are actual skills involved in attaining what we may loathe as someone’s “good luck”. Granted, some people may not need to practice the skills quite as much as those of us who found that “opportunity was nowhere” but the idea that we have an option seems to offer a (comforting) level playing field.

So, with #3  in mind:

“Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right…”