“Nervous before flying to Brussel”

“Before flying back to Brussels from Athens last week, I was sitting in the waiting area at the gate next to this guy who was making me feel really nervous.

Looking closer I noticed the guy was continuously fidgeting…”

19-01-2017 Gate Conclusions

Being a traveling mindexplorer, I always end up in lots of interesting situations. For example last week, before flying back to Brussels from Athens, I was sitting in the waiting area at the gate next to this guy who was making me feel really nervous.

Looking closer I noticed the guy was continuously fidgeting, he was making small movements with his hands, alternating which one of his other fingers was touching his left thumb, his other hand was alternating a deep crunch with a seemingly more relaxed pose. Additionally I could see he was sweating, a slow stream of luiquid was running on his neck, where there was also a vain visibly pumping blood to his brain.

“What was happening in my brain?”

Not being immune for the current millennial influences, the first thought in my head included the concept of a suicide bomber, which made me feel nervous. Were my thoughts a warning, was this first thought my intuition? Why and how did this happen in my brain?
As a brain tries to understand the world, there is an ongoing competition between several possible top-down conclusions being filled up with bottom-up sensory information. The conclusion that meets their target-threshold first while being filled up will immediately enter your consciousness.

While I was waiting for my plane to Brussels at the gate, there were several conclusions I could take on the basis of the sensory information that was coming in. The guy could be feeling very warm due to wearing too many cloths; the guy could be claustrophobic; the guy could be afraid of flying. The more confirming information/evidence for each conclusion entered my brain, the bigger the chance this conclusion would be triggered to enter my consciousness. For example feeling warm myself, would fill up the conclusion of the guy feeling warm with confirming evidence.

Thresholds of conclusions that could prevent life risk or thresholds of conclusions that are primed by availability are lowered. In our story the possibility of a suicide bomber would need a lot less confirming information to come up in my brain. Only the facts that we are flying to Brussels, the guy showing possible symptoms of nervousness and is wearing a suitcase are enough to trigger this thought into my mind.  Their target-thresholds would need less confirming information to be triggered then their fellow top-down conclusions. These conclusions coming up in your mind first is an automatic process against which you are not really able to do a lot about.

Solutions?

You could try to limit the presence of this information in your environment; this would make the availability of these conclusions less prominent in your brain. Lower availability would reinstate its threshold. Unfortunately it would take a lot of effort and attention to shield yourself from this information and would exclude you from useful information to understand what is really happening around you.

Actually the pure fact that a conclusion is coming up in your brain without enough confirming evidence is not really a big problem, if you keep being consciously aware that this fact does not necessarily mean this conclusion or thought is the truth or your true opinion.

Always be aware your first thought is just the one whose target-threshold is met first.

Depending how well fitted your thresholds are pre-calibrated during your life, your first thought will have a useful meaning, but never assume this meaning without search for evidence. At request more about this in another article soon..

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