Home Concepts Decison Making & Problem Solving Application of Cognitive Revolution Theories in Coaching Practice

Application of Cognitive Revolution Theories in Coaching Practice

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The Asynchronicity of the Brain

The human brain is an exquisite piece of machinery with an evolutionary history dating back 850 million years to the first ancient ancestors who were able to transmit electrochemical signals through tissues. (Robson). The brain’s original wiring allowed human ancestors to survive and reproduce successfully in a competitive and unpredictable wilderness. With the evolutionary development of a sizeable cerebral cortex, language, and culture, the human brain developed a second wiring system enabling self-control, sustained focus, and complex decision making; cognitive skills that are crucial to survival in today’s corporate-run wilderness. These systems have not co-existed long enough to work synchronously, and the brain’s inability to seamlessly move from one to the other results in reduced or impulsive decision making. The brain is also hardwired to create realities where none exist, a need that subsists due to limited physiology, but that can have broad-reaching consequences for one’s measure of happiness.

Gilbert expands on this idea in his work and, like Kahneman, his theory is founded on the brain’s need for comparison. Gilbert claims that feelings of unhappiness arise from the dissonance between expectations set by the brain and reality.

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