What Blocks us in Intercultural Encounters?

We assume similarities It is a natural tendency for us to assume that “hey, everybody should think like me”. Putting ourselves into the shoes of another person is just not our natural way of thinking. We are, by definition, self-centered. Our own view is the only one that we understand, and that we are familiar with. In other words: intercultural…

Caught in a spiral of silence. Who really tells us what to think about?

In the past, researchers thought that the media are all-powerful! They assumed that we are all the same, and that we all respond to the same messages in the same way. This effect was called the hypodermic needle, suggesting that messages are injected directly into our brain. You can check out more about the theory here. Today, researches are much…

Why Your Stereotypes Can Literally Kill You And Make You Miserable

What do you think about the elderly? Reflect on  this  for a moment. What did it make you feel when you read these words commonly associated with aging? Did you nod your head? Or were you enraged by what you saw? The sad thing here is: no matter what your answer to these questions was, it is still possible that you have…

Drawing a Clear Picture on Generalizations

A few days ago we had a discussion about mental models. Today I want to add what I learned about the subject from Ed Catmull (President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation). He tells us how mental models can give you trouble in terms of drawing. How do we know that a char is a chair? Subconsciously we categorize every…