Jun 30, 2011

Cognitive flexibility

"There are two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true," Soren Kierkegaard.

Something that interests me, in both persons growing older and in persons who have dementia, is that there is a tendency to become more cognitively inflexible.  Of course, with dementia, there is much damage to cognitive processes, but even taking that into consideration, it seems that a cognitive rigidity sets in.  So, too, with some people as they age.  From a mental health position, that is a disadvantaged place from which to participate in life.  So, how do we avoid it?   One way is to consider new ideas, be willing to give up beliefs and habits, and to ask oneself if something new and unusual might be true.  Consider that just because it is new and revolutionary, it may or may not be true.  It is important, to me at least, to maintain cognitive flexibility, to be open to new possibilities, and to try on new beliefs.  How about you?

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