Understand How the Mind Works to Improve Thinking Habits
We plan to help you understand how the mind works so that you can use it as a learning tool to improve your thinking and overcome glossophobia.
Contemporary cognitive behavioral therapy draws freely from theories and techniques from these chief areas of their research:
Perception is the branch of psychology in CBT that immediately involves discovery and interpretation of sensory stimuli. A person's ability to describe something he has observed depends solely on his ability to see the relevant ecological cues. Yet, a person's observation is complex, which causes confusion and could have a direct link as to why speech anxiety develops.
Because scenes or events occur rapidly and change often new cues materialize. From the perceptional process, some cues become more important than others. For example, Stop Signs, Yield Signs, Railroad Crossings, etc stand out more than some cues. When these cues appear, the driver must take immediate action to adjust to the changes, which forces the mind to take immediate action. Like stop signs, when a person is ready to give a speech in public, their mind may act immediately, which make that person experience speech anxiety. The answer is easy. The person is standing in front of hundreds of people and must react immediately, which leads the mind to consider everyone in the audience. We all know that every one of us response to messages differently. Thus, the person may feel inadequate, believing that he is not getting his entire message across to the audience, particularly if that person has not prepared his speech. The speech giver may wonder who is paying attention.
Most cues are overwhelming to the ordinary human mind. If one concentrated on every single cue one observed one would become lost forever. The fact is, most people are highly selective in the information they gather and process.
According to the experts, our ability to process information is limited. The normal mind can only process information on two levels and those levels are sensory and cognitive.
When the mind receives an enormous amount of sensory cues it often becomes overwhelmed. Processing events simultaneously can overwhelm the mind also, which may cause speech anxiety.
We give attention only to the most important cues, i.e. we pay close attention to what is most important to us first.
When the mind becomes overwhelmed we suffer consequences including a breakdown in our performance, which many include speaking in public. Often it is because the mind is confused.
Clearly you can see how perceptions and attention play in to our inability to perform effectively in public places or to deliver a speech. It is apparent that when one is in a public environment one's sensory stimuli and cognitive thinking is taking in an enormous amount of cues, which explains why some people become anxious when speaking in public. Now we shall consider how memory plays a large role in our perceptions and ability to adapt to overwhelming events.
The fact is, memory and perceptions work in union, yet memory branches into two different categories.
1) Short-term memory
2) Long-term memory
When the short-term memory takes in information it stores it for a limited time, which gives the average person sufficient time to carry on a conversation or give a public speech. Short-term memory apparently shifts or relocates information frequently.
The long-term memory retains information permanently. Our long-term memory enables to recall specific details in chronological order. This is the tool you will need to develop to overcome glossophobia and your public speaking fear.
To develop the long-term memory however, you must learn how the short-term and long-term memory works and compare them.
Short-term memory (STM) is also known as working memory. Yet, the vast majority of details we provide others come from our long-term memory (LTM). Our long-term memory enables us to use languages to express meaning, thoughts, knowledge, etc. We are able to draw words from our long-term data bank to express something clearly.
When we use long-term memory to express meaning we use it with our perceptions. We can also deduce to a large extent what others are thinking and if the information given to us is conceptual or theoretical and makes good sense. Yet, where does language fit into the equation? By developing the long-term memory, you can rely on a dependable source.
Before a person can communicate effectively with others they must have extensive knowledge of how speaking in public works. In public speaking, lecturers research their topics thoroughly before writing and delivering a speech. While it is important for the speech giver to learn all he or she can about their topic, it is also important that he or she learn the syntaxes or organization of words. The speaker must also learn the normal arrangement of spoken words. He must also learn the words and its relation or how the words associate with the subject or topic, which requires of him to use his long-term memory to give an effective speech.
For a person to give a good public speech they not only have to learn the basic rules of language, they must also learn how to form grammatically correct sentences and find the correct words in his dictionary to use at the right time. The speaker must also learn to coordinate or organize his intricate motor responses, which is crucial for articulating or verbalizing a message. This leads us to discover how imagery fits into perceptions, attention, memory and language. You should clearly see that in order to become an effective public speaking machine, you must learn. Still, you must consider imagery.
For a person to answer questions they must form mental images in their mind. Mental images often form as cognitive maps. An example of mental images is noted when we think of Stop Signs, Yield Signs, Railroad Crossings, etc. We keep the colors, shapes, and location in our long-term memory.
When a person develops cognitive maps in the mind it enables him or her to draw from the noteworthy cues in an important order. This action allows us to transform our mental images into verbal languages.
An important note to remember - To be an effective public speaker, the audience must be able to draw similar cognitive maps in their minds. If you are able to help the audience draw similar images in their minds then you have communicated your messages successfully. For anyone to develop images and communicate effectively, however, the cognitive mind must be developed. Once you develop this technique and use it often, you will find that speech anxiety is merely a simple problem that you can conquer.
For an audience to relate to your speech they must have some common developmental experiences, which allows them to understand the meaning of your speech. If you were to give a speech on web design to an audience that has no experience in that field you would be wasting both your time and the audience's time without helping them to develop their cognitive maps. This leads us to discover how thinking and concept formation fits in to perceptions, attention, memory, language, imagery, development and so on.
Thinking & Concept Formation or Problem Solving
For a person to communicate effectively or give a good speech he or she must have the ability to form ideas in the mind. For example, if someone was to ask you how to get to your local library you would form ideas in the mind first and began providing the details of how to get to the library. Commonly, someone giving directions will start with "Do you know where KFC is?" Your mind thinks of the nearest location and building around the library first. He then signals the person asking for directions by asking him a common question to help the direction-seeker draw mental maps in his or her mind. If the direction-seeker is not familiar with the location then you would likely draw up new concept formations to help the person find the library. Now we consider where artificial intelligence fits in. Usuing AI techniques can help you develop your cognitive mind and have it to work with your imagery, attention, perceptions, etc.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Computer sciences use AI or artificial intelligence to help people stimulate the cognitive mind so that it can easily recall details. Computer science works because the programs require extensive knowledge of how humans' process information. Robots are designed to master perceptions, memory, thinking and language.
AI fits in because we can use these programs to benefit us by attempting to follow in sequence the order in which computer sciences process information. It is a great learning tool.
Find a computer program that performs AI techniques. Study the program carefully and write on a piece of paper how that program can assist you with developing your cognitive mind.
In your diary write out what you discover for your study of the AI programs.
In this article you learned how the mind functions. Our intention was to help you understand how your mind works so that you can use the information to improve your thinking habits. We discussed cognitive behaviors including perceptions, attention, memory, language, imagery, development, thinking and problem solving and artificial intelligence and how we can use them to conquer the fear of talking in front of people. In our next article, we will help you understand how scientific strategies are used in CBT learning and why we should follow those principles in order to overcome glossophobia.