Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mindfulness and Optimality

Two quotes from Ellen J. Langer's book, ``The Power of Mindful Learning.'' In chapter 6 of the book on `Mindfulness and Intelligence' she discussed the prevailing theories of intelligence based on the ability to optimally cope with the real world experiences and challenges. She proposes mindfulness as an alternative to intelligence.

Many theories of intelligence assume that there is an absolute reality out there, and the more intelligent the person, the greater his or her awareness of this reality. Greater intelligence, in this view, implies an optimal fit between individual and environment. An alternative view, which is the base of mindfulness research, is that individuals may always define their relation to their environment in several ways, essentially creating the reality that is out there. What is out there is shaped by how we view it.   p.100, The Power of Mindful Learning

Therefore, a mindful approach to problem solving changes the basic structure from searching among possible solutions for a best fit/answer to the problem into looking at the situation from different perspectives and maybe redefining what the `problem' is in the first place.

In this [traditional] view, intelligence consists of identifying the strategies and procedures that optimally reflect the context of any particular problem. ... 
In contrast, when we are mindful, we are implicitly aware that in any particular situation there is no absolute optimum standard for action. From a mindful perspective, one's response to a particular situation is not an attempt to make the best choice from among available options but to create options. Rather than look for an external standard of optimum fit or the right answer, one discovers that, in the words of William James, ``the standard perpetually grows up endogenously inside the web of experience."  pp. 113-114, The Power of Mindful Learning


  1. آقا، من یه سری سوال دارم: میشه لطف کنی و ترجمه ی فارسی این کلمات رُ به من بگی؟ خیلی ممنون می شم:

    fixed-income securities
    variable-income securities

  2. Thanks for visiting, but translation does not interest me :) Good luck finding the Farsi translation anyway.


IT'S NOT ...

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