For the last three years I have been doing the NaPoWriMo challenge. In this challenge, you write a poem a day for the full month of April. For the first year, I was all free form, meaning only that I was free to explore any form I wanted to experiment with. The second year I did a project called “30 Poems About Language” inspired by a modern poetry MOOC and the modernist and language poems I was reading in that online class.
This year, in response to readings I’ve been doing for my web content strategy and/ social media marketing job tasks and a pilot class on mindfulness I had attended at Central New Mexico Community College, I decided to do a set of cognitive bias poems called “30 Poems About Suffering.” I would pick a cognitive bias from the Wikipedia list and address that bias with mindfulness techniques (and also something from the news of the day to try to prove I wasn’t writing ahead). Incorporating the news turned out to be the hardest part. There were other technical challenges, one poem itself explaining why there are only 29 poems.
Turns out cognitive biases so crucial to understanding why we don’t agree with other writers (or humans) about politics, art and and day-to-day life. The site The Hipper Element posted a great video this week explaining the power of our mental biases:
“Watch a smart, adult man UNLEARN his intuition about how to ride a bike. Then RELEARN it. Then watch his 6-year-old son do it in a fraction of the time. This video is so relevant to UX [and political strategists and artists and writers], it’s hard to know where to start. As UX designers our job is to unlearn our own intuition, so we can design for people who think differently. But it takes a lot of effort, and it’s hard to undo.” Watch the video.
Here are my 2015 NaPoWriMo "30 Poems About Suffering:"
- The Confirmation Bias
- The False Consensus Bias
- The False Memory Effect
- The Curse of Knowledge and The Curse of Knowledge
- The Dunning-Kruger Effect
- The Next-in-Line Effect
- Functional Fixedness
- Illusory Superiority
- The Google Effect
- The Endowment Effect
- The Flaw Line
- Just-World Hypothesis
- Leveling and Sharpening Error
- Exaggerated Expectation
- Hot-Hand Fallacy
- Rhyme as Reason
- Hindsight Bias
- Barnum Effect
- The Bizarreness Effect & The Serial Position Effect
- Tip of the Tongue & Zeigarnik Effect
- The Empathy Gap
- The IKEA Effect
- Omission Bias & Post-Purchase Rationalization
- The Unit Bias
- Social Desirability Bias
- Reactance & Reactive Devaluation
- Irrational Escalation
- Bias Blind Spot
And yet there' smore information about biases! Culturally, we’re very biased about color.As a poet, this is good to know:
“This graph from Information is beautiful shows what color most commonly represents what emotion across cultures. Look at number 84: Wisdom. In Japanese and Hindu cultures wisdom is purple, while it is brown in Native American and blue in Eastern European. Or Love, which is Red in the Western world yet green in Hindu, yellow in Native American, and blue in African cultures.”
From the blog post on Pickcrew. Click on the color wheel at the top of this post to view the full spectrum of cultural biases on color.