Wednesday, 16 September 2009

believes and behavior

I went to an interesting talk yesterday. The main point made by the speaker was that many problems with safety in health care may be in essence just miscommunication.

Each of us has had experiences. These shape our believes which in turn affect our behavior. Our behavior on the other hand is experienced by others and will thus affect their believes and behavior. This can now lead to virtous or vicious cycles.

Person A has made a thoughtless comment, which to me sounds like an insult. This leds me to the belief that A does not like me, so next time I meet him in the cafeteria I don't say hallo. Now A who has already forgotten about the comment is puzzled. He though I was a nice gal but now I ignore him and he has heard that I made some comments about him. So his conclusion will be that I don't like him and in the future not greet me either, which only reinforces my (originally unfounded) belief.

I think the problem is simply that we don't think much about the believes we hold. We simply take them for granted. We are not aware of how they influence our actions and that we tend to see the actions of others with our own "belief glasses". We think that everybody thinks like us. But what if they don't? And if they don't, how can I find out how they think?

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