Haley Scholars Fall 2013 Reading Groups
We've covered even more ground in Kathryn Schulz's Being Wrong.
Of the issues that we've covered over the last few weeks concerning her book, what's
one topic or concept that you've found yourself reflecting on more than other concepts? Why? Identify a page number if possible.
The most recent topic in the book that I have been reflecting on more than others was the notion that we are not always who we believe we are. I felt this concept was strong because it holds so much truth. On page 280 in chapter 13, Schulz talks about how it can be some of our biggest fears in error. When we are wrong, it distorts who we thought we were. It distorts what we think of ourselves and in a way, it causes a disconnect between who we really are and who we think we are. I found this particularly interesting because I know how important it is for me to feel I make rational, good decisions. But often, I look back on decisions I have made and realize it was not the best choice. The decisions I have made in the past do not always match the person I believe myself to be now. I find this concept of error's emotional force rooting from the unsettling idea of who we really are to be particularly fascinating.
I found the concept that being wrong changes our self-perception really profound. I had never really realize how important being right is to our self-esteem. When you see yourself as always being right, it effects our emotional state a great deal. i look back on some of the things that i consider today to be wrong, and it really makes me think of how i thought about myself in the past.
The issue that stood out to me the most was the one about how wrong we are even in our supposed flashbulb memories. On page 73 she maintained that memories can be riddled with errors and still feel so right. This stuck in my head because I love watching shows such as C.S.I and Law and Order. I often think about how wrong or right the eye witness accounts were.
I, too, feel myself constantly going back to what was discussed in chapter 13. The mistakes we make drastically impact us. Our wrong doings and mistakes can make us question who we thought we were. I do not take it lightly when I make mistakes. I have often been told i am too hard on myself, and I feel as though many can relate. Making mistakes is a part of human nature and perfection is not. How we learn from our mistakes is the important thing. I believe that our mistakes can teach us volumes about who we are as people and how we look at the world.
One topic I reflect on is how we have such a hard time facing our wrongness. Even if we admit it, we try to lessen the blow by making excuses. I specifically think about Schulz's challenge on page 217: "Try saying an unadorned 'I was wrong'" and just stop there. It's really hard. I feel like trying to make an excuse, either to someone else or to myself, is automatic at this point. Mistakes can still be hard to face even though I know they're okay to make.
Chapter 11: Denial and Acceptance really spoke to me. It showed me that no matter how sure we are of a situation or a memory we can always be wrong. People see and believe what they want. She uses Penny, the assault victim, throughout the chapter to show how emotions can affect the way we approach a situation. She was so sure about who she thought was her attacker that the possibility of her being wrong was not on her mind. Faulsily accusing someone was not her intention but it happened because she did not think she could be wrong. Something Penny said towards the end of the chapter resonated with me. She said "making a horrible mistake does not make me, or anyone, a horrible person. That is something everyone meeds to realize in the face of wrongness. Being wrong does not mean you are bad or dumb. Accept that yoi are wrong and aporoach future situation in a different way.
As of now I continually reflect back to the idea that we use our own thoughts of certainty and use it in as a way in determining accuracy. We may have knowledge about a particular topic, but all the facts and credentials needed to be right. Yet, in some way shape, or form we find a way to support out knowledge/beliefs in hopes of not being wrong.
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