Skip to content

The Enemy of Einstellung

1 min

What you already know can hurt you.

It is why I believe that know-it-alls exist.

It’s a blocker to better novel ideas. When your initial thought is in mind or a neural pattern already developed exists, it gets strengthened. This prevents a better solution from being found. Einstellung keeps you from being flexible enough to accept new better or more appropriate solutions.

This development is a mechanized state of mind. Einstellung is hard to realize unless self-awareness of the phenomenon. It’s called a problem-solving set.

The loop wants to close once we start learning something. If effective answers don’t come then assumptions fill the gap. It is hard to be patient with the mind. Keeping an open mind is not something that has allowed us to survive this long according to Darwinian theory. The survival of the fittest requires speed.

The first answer that everyone thinks is good enough is what causes groupthink. It lacks independent thought and being challenged because of laziness and a lack of questioning.

To overcome Einstellung a dose of skepticism is needed. To find the best solution it takes looking at more than one option.


A letter to 10-year-old me

A Letter to Boredom

Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox.