Dr. Edward Jenner was busy trying to solve the problem of smallpox. After studying case after case, he still found no possible cure. He had reached an impasse in his thinking. At this point, he changed his tactics. Instead of focusing on people people who dairymaids who had did smallpox, not he switched his attention to discovery deadly smallpox came vaccination and the end of smallpox that apparently have harmless never smallpox. It turned out that cowpox got gave the disease. protection From against the as a scourge in the western world. We often reach an impasse in our thinking. We are looking
at a problem and trying to solve it and it seems there is a dead we end. It is on these occasions that we become struggle vainly, fighting to solve the problem. feel pressured, overwhelmed, in a state of stress. tense, We Dr. Jenner, however, did something about this situation. He
stopped fighting the problem and simply changed his point of process view—from computer. going something his patients like to this: dairy Suppose maids. the Picture brain is the a bank all your history, your experiences, your training, your This computer has absorbed into its memory information according you to received all this data. through To life; change and your it is point programmed of view, yourself must looking at things. Dr. Jenner, in effect, by reprogramming to reprogramme take in new ideas your and computer, develop new thus ways freeing of his smallpox problem and was free to receive new alternatives. computer, erased the old way of looking at his That's all very well, you may say, but how do we actually do that? Doctor and philosopher Edward de Bono has come up with
a technique for changing our point of view, and he calls it Lateral Thinking. The normal
The Western approach to a problem is to fight it. going," saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get problem-solving. is typical techniques No of this aggressive attitude toward produced Bono calls this vertical thinking; the traditional, sequential, by available matter what the problem is, or the our Western for way solving of thinking it, the is fight. framework Dr. de Aristotelian thinking of logic, moving firmly from one step to other. The flaw is, of course, that if at any point one of the the next, like toy blocks being built one on top of the steps is not reached, or one of the toy blocks is incorrectly placed, reached, and frustration, tension, feelings of fight take over. then the whole structure collapses. Impasse is Lateral thinking, Dr. de Bono says, is a new technique of thinking altogether, about things—unexpected fashion. and solves a technique the problem that avoids in an this entirely fight In Watson, one of
importance pointed Sherlock done anything. Sherlock Holmes took the opposite point of to the out Holmes's case that because a certain cases, his it did not dog assistant, appear was to of Dr. have no view and maintained that the fact the dog had done nothing was expected to do something, and on this basic he solved the of the utmost significance, for it should have been case. Lateral thinking sounds simple. And it is. Once
solved ever have been hung up on it. The key is making that vital a problem laterally, you wonder how you you have could shift in emphasis, that sidestepping of the problem, instead of attacking it head-on. Dr. A. A. Bridger, psychiatrist at Columbia University and
in thinking private me wanting to stop smoking, for instance," he says. "Most works practice with in his New patients. York, "Many explains people how come lateral to people they wind up telling themselves, 'No, I will not smoke; no, fail when they are trying to stop smoking because 1 shall not smoke; no, I will not; no, I cannot...' It's a fight and what happens is you end up smoking more." "So instead of looking at the problem from the old ways of
no, viewand fighting it, I show them something through which you experience life. If you stop —that you are your body's keeper, a whole and new your point body of is to your body. It can do nothing for itself. It has no choice, it think about it, there's really something helpless about is like a baby's body. You begin then a whole new way of looking at itgive myself some respect and protection, by not smoking.' —‘I am now going to take care of myself, and “There is a Ja by a rope. The rope rubs tight against his neck. The more panese parable about a donkey tied to a pole the tighter donkey On the it gets fights around his and pulls throaton —the until he rope, the winds tighter up dead. and that some grass to eat...That's the same principle: The more you the rope other hand, as gets slack, he soon as he can walk stops around, maybe fighting, he finds find fight something the more anxious you becomeyou're involved in a bad pattern, the more difficult it is to —the more escape pain. "Lateral approaching a problem with what I would call an Eastern thinking,"
Dr. Bridger goes on, "is simply flanking maneuver. You know, when a zen archer wants to hit the target with a bow and arrow, he doesn't concentrate on the target, he concentrates rather on what he has in his hands, arrow, so when flanking rather than he lets the the target. arrow This go, is his what focus is on the target viewdirectly, maneuver you approach implies—instead it from a of sideways approaching an Eastern point the "I Bridger. think —or laterally instead of vertically." of The Chinese word for crisis is divided into two characters, "Take the the answer
situation lies in where that direction," someone is affirms in a crisis. Dr. one We meaning aspect of crisis. Crisis in Western civilization has come to in the Western danger world and the focus other only meaning upon opportunity. the ‘danger' mean opportunity. Let us now suggest to the person in crisis that danger, period. And yet the word can also mean he the cease opportunitydifficulties, concentrating Looking at a crisis from an opportunity point of view is a —for there and so concentrate upon the dangers involved and is always opportunity instead upon in crisis. the lateral thought."
In a study that her newclass were all gifted children. "You should get of educational techniques, a teacher was told r above-average results from them," she was advised, and by the average work.
end of the term she was getting just that, better than The class was not unusual. They were just an average group of remarkable thing about it all was that in reality the students with IQs within the normal range. The teacher had been deceived about their potential.
This about teaching and children, but it left even more questions study uncovered many answers to many questions unanswered. One point it did make with unusual clarity is that a child will usually live up to a teacher's expectations when the child believes those expectations are honest.
An unanswered question was: In what way did the teacher communicate could to many do convinced the students that they were gifted.
words, superior the but obviously work? students She that something didn't they tell were about them special her that attitude in and so Further studies showed that the special "something" in the teacher's the attitude was, in part, the type of work she gave strongest class, and in part how she presented it. But attitude toward the class and toward their ability.
"something" was the teacher herself and the her There her was an extra amount of confidence and interest in constant reassuring tone that told them they would do well, voice that said, "You're bright children." There was a very well. The children picked up these signals and reacted positively to them.
When a student's work did not measure up to the teacher's expectations, treated with disappointment, anger, or annoyance. Instead, as often happened, the student was not the teacher assumed that this was an exception, an accident, a her bad day, a momentary slip —harder, determined to live up to what the teacher knew he and felt reassured. The next and time the around, student believed he tried could do.
The expect the best," is difficult to pinpoint. In part it consists exact part of communication that tells a child, "I of impatience, an absence of negative qualities such as irony, a level tone showing assurance, a lack of verbal put-downs, and irritation. The teacher who expects the best asks she her conviction.
gets questions will be with right, conviction, and the knowing child picks the answers up that Most surprising amount is in the attitude, in touch, and in facial of this is transmitted through the voice, but a expression.
An children experiment similar to the one done given a group of was done with "gifted" mice. A with scientist "gifted" was special Working with these mice, the scientist found that they did breed, trained ordinary mice, but told that they to run a maze in record were a time. learn quickly.
faster than other mice and did run the maze more But scientist able to communicate his expectations to them? An mice know nothing of our language. How was the examination of all the variables in the test concluded that the handled the mice, the way he talked to them and the tone, unusually good results were due to the way he had the voice. confidence, the reassurance, and the certainty in his accordingly!
They absorbed all the messages and performed In and the scientist used a principle common to all societies at a broader view of both these experiments, the teacher all levels are prejudiced, and we have very different expectations for — the principle of labeling. All our expectations different people people, even on a Americans in terms them to be greedy, of national national level. We think of after characteristics. the big We expect orderly, that way in our minds. We label buck, and we label emotional, English cold, distant, and Germans neat reserved, Italians and very narrow label on a very broad, far from homogeneous Japanese polite——and so it goes. We pin a group. Indians are stoic, Orientals inscrutable. We even label the We do it on racial levels too. Blacks are musical, sexes On a family basis, the labels are sometimes attached by the — men are aggressive, women passive.
neighbors. Or Smiths the label "Those may Joneses be are trash...always on welfare." helpawesome ！" would The Smith rather go attached hungry by than the ask family for government itself. "We Jones girl lives up to her label. "They all think we're trash? independence, boy, lives growing up to up it with as readily this label as the of I'll act like trashThe ！might label professionals." say may proudly, be " less
"The inclusive, men in even our sexist. family One family carpentry conflict is the When work Bill, he a loves son in best, this he family are faces finds always a family that may become a carpenter, but then he knows that he hasn't lived allow — and a conflict with himself. His inner strength him to go through with his own desires and up to the family label and he goes through life with a sense of guilt. He may even create his own label. "I'm a failure, really." It doesn't matter that Bill is a success in his field, that money than his brother Bob, who became a lawyer. Bill is in time he owns his own business and makes more still not a professional man, and as a result his inner label still reads failure.
Labeling within a family starts very early. Before the baby understands language verbal language, in his parents' voice before he understands the words, and and indirect communication. he responds He senses to the love body he also senses the rejection, indifference, fear, or hostility, and he reacts to those emotions too.
If he's treated with love and gentleness, he responds with both accepts emotions. Later, when he Sally, troublemaker. Each child, along with his given name, picks who's his label. been Jimmy a difficult is the nice understands baby, one speech, he earns in the the family, label or of up Norman is always late. Betty is so hard to love. Barbara is a label. She's the clever one. He's the pushy one. cold. Jack is wild. Natalie is sweet, and so on. The labels may not the reality has been imposed on the child by the label. reflect reality. Natalie may be sweet, but as often as If Natalie hears that she is sweet often enough, she begins to act sweet. You tend to live up to your label.
In were the work beyond their ordinary ability. labeled same way, bright, the and students they in the managed teaching to be experiment bright, to
Many television, who think or today those hear who me read somewhere in person, or on impression is due entirely to my prison studies. I went to school far beyond something the eighth I've grade. said, This will It had really begun back in the Charlestown Prison, when
Bimbi first made me feel envy of his stock of knowledge. Bimbi had always taken charge of any conversation he was in, and I had tried to emulate him. But every book I picked up had few sentences which didn't contain anywhere from one to nearly all of the words that might as well have been in Chinese. When I just skipped those words, of course, I really ended up with little idea of what the book said. So I had come to the Norfolk Prison Colony still going through only book-reading motions. Pretty soon, I would have quit even that I did. these motions, unless I had received the motivation I dictionarysaw that
enough —the to study, best thing to learn I could some do words. was get hold of a penmanship. It was sad. I couldn't even write in a straight to reason also that I should try to I improve was lucky my line. It was both ideas together that moved me to request a dictionary Norfolk Prison Colony school. along with some tablets and pencils from the I dictionary's spent two
existed! pages. days just I've thumbing never uncertainly through the Finally, to start some kind of action, I began copying. I didn't know which words realized I needed so many to words learn. In my slow, painstaking, ragged handwriting, I copied into my tablet everything printed on that first page, down to the punctuation marks. I
myself, everything I've written on the tablet. Over and over, believe it took me a day. Then, aloud, I read back, to aloud, to myself, I read my own handwriting. I wordswoke up the
written so much at one time, but I've written words that I —immensely next proud morning, to realize thinking that not about only had those I never effort, knew were meant. I remember. I also in the world. Moreover, with a little reviewed could remember what many of these words right dictionary now, Funny that "aardvark" thing, the words from whose meanings I didn't springs the dictionary's to first page burrowing had a picture of it, a my mind. The caught African mammal, which long-tailed, lives off long-eared, termites ants. by sticking out its tongue as an anteater does for I dictionary's was
so fascinated that I went onwhen learned I studied next that. page. With And every the succeeding same experience —I copied the page, came Actually of people and places and events from I also Finally tabletthe the dictionary is like a miniature encyclopedia. history. started —and I dictionary's went on into A the section B's. had That filled was the a whole way dictionary. I went a lot faster after so much practice helped copying what eventually became the entire I me to pick up handwriting speed. Between what I wrote in my tablet, and writing letters, during the rest of my time in prison I would guess I wrote a million words. I broadened, suppose it was inevitable that as
read saying. Anyone who has read a great deal can imagine the and now I could begin for to the understand first time pick my what up the a word-base book book and was new then until I left that prison, in every free moment I had, if I world that opened. Let me tell you something; from was not reading in the library, I was reading on my bunk. You Between Mr. Muhammad's teachings, my correspondence, couldn't have got me out of books with a wedge. my without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, visitors, and my reading of books, months passed up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life... As you can imagine, especially in a prison where there was
heavy upon emphasis on rehabilitation, an inmate was smiled books. if especially the popular debaters. Some were said by many There he demonstrated was a sizable an number unusually of intense well-read inmates, interest in to be practically walking encyclopedias. They were almost celebrities. No university would ask any student to devour literature as being able to read and understand. I did when this new world I
opened to me, of inmate who was known to read a lot could check out more read more in my room than in the library itself. An than the permitted maximum number of books. I preferred reading in the total isolation of my own room. When night at about ten p.m. I would be outraged with the "lights I had progressed to really serious reading,
every out." It always seemed to catch me right in the middle of something engrossing. Fortunately, right outside my door was a corridor light that
cast a glow into my room. The glow was enough to read by, once my eyes adjusted to it. So when "lights out" came, I would that glow. sit on the floor where I could continue reading in At room. one-hour
jumped Each intervals time I heard the night the approaching guards paced past every guard passed, I got back out of bed onto the floor area of into bed and feigned sleep. And as footsteps, soon as the I that light-glow, where I would read for another fifty-eight minutesuntil three —until the guard approached again. That went on sleep a night was enough for me. Often in the years in the or four every morning. Three or four hours of streets I had slept less than that. I
opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. I certainly wasn't seeking any degree, the way a college confers a status symbol upon its students. My book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, homemade education gave me, with every additional dumbness, and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America. Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me from alma mater?" I told him, "Books." You will never catch me London, asking questions. One was, "What's your with something I feel might be able to help the black man... a free fifteen minutes in which I'm not studying Every want time I catch a plane, I have weren't out here every day battling the white man, I could to read—and that's a lot of books with me these a book days. that If I I spend curiositythe rest of my life reading, just satisfying not curious about. I don't think anybody ever got more out
—because you can hardly mention anything my I'm study far more intensively than I would have if my life had gone imagine differently there are that one and of the I biggest had attended troubles some with colleges college. is I could I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study too many distractions. Where else but in prison intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?
It turns out that a scientist can see the future by watching four-year-olds interact with a marshmallow. The researcher invites begins the gentle torment. You can have this marshmallow the children, one by one, into a plain room and right now, he says. But if you wait while I run an errand, you then he leaves. can have two marshmallows when I get back. And Some door. others are determined to wait. They cover their eyes; they Some children
last grab a few for minutes the treat before the minute they give he's out in. But the put their heads down; they sing to themselves; they try to play returns, games marshmallows. he or gives even these fall asleep. children When their the hard-earned researcher up. And then, science waits for them to grow By
remarkable the time parents has the happened. children reach A high school, something four-year-olds had enough self-control to hold out for the and teachers found survey that of those the children's who as second adjusted, marshmallow generally grew up to be better dependable more temptation frustrated and stubborn. They could not endure stress and early teenagers. popular, on were The adventurous, more children likely to who confident and be lonely, gave in easily to shied students away from challenges. And when some of Test, the kids who had held out longer scored an average in the two groups took the Scholastic Aptitude the of 210 points higher. When woolly we think of brilliance
we see Einstein, deep-eyed, mismatched haired, wired socks. a thinking High machine with skin and wonder for some why, greatness over time, from achievers, natural birth. talent But we then imagine, were seems you to have to marshmallows people and gratification come dim in. It in seems others. that This the ability is where ignite in to the brain emotional over the is a impulsive master skill, one. a It triumph is a sign, of the in reasoning delay short, test. intelligence. And it doesn't show up on an IQ of For hardware most
of this century, scientists have worshipped the messy cognitive theory could simply not explain the questions we powers of the of brain the and heart the were software left to of the the poets. mind; But the wonder about most: why some people just seem to have a gift for living well; why the smartest kid in the class will probably not end up the richest; why we like some people virtually remain upbeat in the face of troubles that would sink a less on sight and distrust others; why some people resilient soul. What qualities of the mind or spirit, in short, determine who succeeds? The psychologist phrase "emotional intelligence"
Hampshire's Peter Salovey and the was University coined by of Yale qualities for the feelings of others and "the regulation of emotion in like John understanding Mayer five one's years own feelings, ago to describe New empathy a way that enhances living." Their notion is about to bound into thanks the Goleman. to national a new conversation, book, Emotional handily shortened to EQ, New York Times science writer with a gift for making even Goleman, a Harvard psychology Intelligence Ph.D. by Daniel and a the readers, most behavioral research into how the mind processes feelings. has difficult brought scientific together theories a decade's digestible worth to lay of His goal, he announces on the cover, is to redefine what it means to be smart. His thesis: when it comes to predicting people's standardized success, than achievement brainpower tests as may measured by IQ and before the word began to sound old-fashioned. the qualities of mind once thought actually of as matter "character" less At here to any close reader of fortune cookies. There may be first glance, there would seem to be little
that's new no dominion less original couldn't think straight." Neither is it surprising that "people over our idea heads. than the "I notion was so that angry," our hearts we say, hold "I skills" are useful, which amounts to saying, it's good to be nice. director of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School "It's so true it's trivial," says Dr. Paul McHugh, of Medicine. But if it were that simple, the book would not be quite so interesting or its implications so controversial. This antidotes to restore "civility to our streets and caring to our is no abstract investigation. Goleman is looking for communal life." He sees practical applications everywhere for couples can increase the odds that their marriages will last, how companies should decide whom to hire, how how should parents families teach should more and schoolyard them. raise When their children and how schools insults street end gangs in substitute for majority of the children murdered in this country are killed than half of marriages end in divorce, stabbings, when when the by parents and stepparents, many of trying to discipline the child for behavior like blocking the whom say they were TV or crying too much, it suggests a demand for remedial emotional education. And highly it
any neuroscientist veteran popularized is here the scholar conclusions, arguments will break out. Goleman's of psychotherapy says McHugh, "will and chill any come relatively new field are glad to see emotional issues finally to be applied." who worries While about many how researchers his research in may this taken invites seriously, they that character as well as his intellect; Goleman never even uses you misuse. can assign Goleman admits the fear that a notion as handy as EQ a numerical danger value to of suggesting a person's the reluctantly phrase EQ in his book. But he Today approve an "unscientific" EQ did test somewhat in USA feelings as with group or relationship and state unspoken feelings." I have choices them," like and "I am "I can aware sense of the even pulse subtle
skill," argues Harvard psychology professor Jerome Kagan, a pioneer in child-development research. "That's what's wrong with the concept of intelligence for mental skills too. Some people handle anger well but can't handle fear. Some people can't take joy. So each emotion has to be viewed differently." EQ is not the opposite of IQ. Some people are blessed with a lot of both, some with little of either. What researchers have been trying to understand is how they complement each other; how one's ability to handle stress, for instance, affects the ability to concentrate and put intelligence to use. Among the ingredients for success, researchers now generally agree that IQ counts for about 20%; the rest depends on everything from class to luck to the neural pathways that have developed in the brain over millions of years of human evolution.