Expository Writing 101
December 2nd, 2013
The Power of the Psychological Immune System
Behavior is a result of emotion. In many cases, ones actions can be explained by the emotional state that caused them. In Nicholas Carr’s essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, he gives insight on how individuals have become attached to technology which is becoming detrimental to their cognitive behavior. The idea of one’s behavior being manipulated by their emotions is also addressed in Malcolm Gladwell’s essay “The Power of Context: Bernie Goetz and the Rise and Fall of New York City Crime”. He further talks about Goetz’s feeling of “embitterness” due to his surroundings and events that have occurred earlier in his life, and the influence that played in him killing the three youths. Lastly, in Daniel Gilbert’s essay “Immune to Reality”, Gilbert presents the reader with an idea that individuals make up excuses for their behavior ...view middle of the document...
When discussing things that trigger ones psychological immune system, Gilbert states “[that] it doesn’t do this every time we feel the slightest tingle of sadness, jealousy, anger, or frustration. Failed marriages and lost jobs are the kinds of large-scale assaults on our happiness that trigger our psychological defenses, but these defenses are not triggered by broken pencils, stubbed toes, or slow elevators” (Gilbert 139). Gilbert draws an analogy to the physical immune system in how individuals seek treatment for major injuries such as a broken leg, but ignore and do not seek treatment for injuries such as a razor cut. Ignoring minor problems can actually be detrimental in the future, for instance that razor cut turning into a boil. Due to the fact that the psychological immune system only acknowledges major problems, minor problems are left unhealed; both physically and mentally, which can build to depression and other emotional responses.
Carr, Nicholas . "Is Google Making us Stupid?." The New Humanities Reader. 2009. Reprint. Boston: Richard E. Miller , 2012. 66-76. Print.
Gilbert, Daniel. "Immune to Reality." The New Humanities Reader. 2009. Reprint. Boston: Richard E. Miller, 2012. 142-156. Print.
Gladwell, Malcolm. "The Power of Context: Bernie Goetz and the Rise and Fall of New York City Crime." The New Humanities Reader. 2009. Reprint. Boston: Richard E. Miller, 2012. 151-167. Print.