In Today’s World Where The Number Of Stimuli That Reach A Person Through The Media, The Internet, Etc. Has Increased Dramatically, It Is Necessary To Be Able To Move Very Quickly From One Thought To Another And One Task To Another.
It is a skill that can help you understand complex issues, make your brain more efficient, and understand new perspectives. As a result, cognitive flexibility is one of the most important abilities that help us succeed in the new world. Without a high level of It, we will not live and work in the modern world.
Cognitive flexibility …
Years ago, before remote controls could be made for television, we had to turn a big screw on a television. With a slight turn of this screw to the right or left, a channel changed. Although the TV did not have more than two channels, that was the only way to switch channels.
Later, with the advent of remote control and increased channels, it became easy to go from one channel to another.
Perhaps the most important component of cognitive flexibility is moving from one channel to another in our minds; A mental ability and skill to switch from one subject, concept, or thought to another subject, concept, or thought.
This ability in the anterior part of the brain is one of the executive abilities.
Another component of cognitive flexibility is the simultaneous attention to different dimensions of a thing.
For example, as you look at the shape of a glass, notice other dimensions, such as color and weight. The greater our ability to move from one concept to another or consider the larger dimensions of an object or subject simultaneously, the greater our cognitive flexibility.
If we consider our brains as television and our different channels as our thoughts and cognitions, we have two options: either, as in previous years, we get up for each channel switch and turn the big screw by hand and between different thoughts.
Browse or browse through channels easily and remotely.
But, imagine a situation where the channel screw or the button on the controller breaks down, and our TV always shows a certain channel, or we can go to another channel with a lot of effort.
This is the situation some of us are in. That is, we are attached to a thought or belief or after a phenomenon or object, and we cannot go to other thoughts, ideas, and dimensions. As a result, we get stuck in a situation for years and lose the ability to improve our thought processes.
Cognitive flexibility is one of the capabilities that is often considered an important skill in job research, and organizations have several tests to measure it when hiring.
A low level of cognitive flexibility can cause many problems for a person.
When our brain is tuned to a specific channel, our ability to cope with the changes in our lives, whether we like it or not, can lead to crises or mental illnesses such as depression.
In fact, depression is nothing but that we reach a state of helplessness in our minds and think that we can not do anything in these circumstances and our work and efforts will be in vain.
What is referred to as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCPD) in Editorial 209 NetworkI have dealt with them. It clearly explains staying in an abnormal state of mind.
A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder largely loses the ability to switch between different thoughts or tasks and becomes attached only to the thoughts and actions they are accustomed to.
Obviously, in such a situation, it is not possible to update your thoughts and habits.
Perfectionism is another situation that shows that a person is stuck in the channel of the best and tries to do things in the best possible way.
For such people, even good does not make sense, and only the best is important, and since they are not always able to implement it in life, they suffer from all kinds of psychological problems.
In other words, a lack of cognitive flexibility makes them unable to adapt to new stimuli.
Dimensions of cognitive flexibility
In summary, cognitive flexibility can summarize in several components:
Switching between thoughts and tasks:
One of the most important components of cognitive flexibility. When talking to friends about the national team volleyball game, someone suddenly talks about the series that aired the night before on TV, in which case, the easier you can switch between the two, the more cognitive flexibility you have. Obviously, this is an example.
In work situations, especially as a manager, you often encounter situations during the day that require you to move quickly from one topic to another.
If you believe that a programming language is the best tool, but you are confronted with facts that prove otherwise and still stand by your beliefs, you must do something to improve your cognitive flexibility.
Paying attention to multiple dimensions:
You must have come across people who, due to petrified beliefs, only get stuck in a certain type or brand, such as a mobile phone or car, and ignore whether this particular brand meets their needs or can afford it. It comes out whether or not there is after-sales service. They are stuck in only one dimension, appearance.
People with high cognitive flexibility can break down a complex problem into its components and then find a solution to each problem, thereby resolving the problem together by re-contracting the components.
Awareness of more options:
When faced with a problem, we should consider the maximum number of options to solve it. Suffering from a familiar solution and ignoring other aspects and options indicates a lack of cognitive flexibility.
Measuring cognitive flexibility …
There are different degrees of cognitive flexibility, and people of different ages show different degrees of cognitive flexibility. There are various tests for measuring it, through which the level of cognitive flexibility of individuals, especially children, is measured. Exercises include the A-not-B
test, the DCCS, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and the Stroop test.
Age and cognitive flexibility …
Usually, the human brain reaches its maximum development at the age of 25, and their cognitive capacities reach their perfection at the same age.
Children usually have little cognitive flexibility. As they grow older, this ability develops in them and reaches maturity at the age of 25; Then, they remain almost constant for a long time and decrease again in old age.
This process is common in ordinary people, and naturally, those who consciously develop their cognitive skills through education and practice can make a positive difference.
Other factors …
Studies have shown that there are factors that can affect the level of cognitive flexibility:
High stress: One of the most important factors affecting high levels of stress. Although low and temporary levels of stress can sometimes increase cognitive flexibility, high and permanent levels of stress can have a detrimental effect on a person’s level of cognitive flexibility.
Hormonal imbalance: Studies conducted in 2013 showed that hormonal imbalance could effectively reduce the level of cognitive flexibility. In particular, high levels of testosterone can have negative effects on it.
Altitude: 2014 studies have shown that elevated altitude and lack of oxygen can increase anxiety levels, which in turn can reduce cognitive abilities, including the level of cognitive flexibility.
How to increase our level of cognitive flexibility …
In today’s world, where the amount of stimuli that reach a person through the media, the Internet, etc., has skyrocketed, it is necessary to move very quickly from one thought to another and from one task to another.
It is a skill that can help you understand complex issues, make your brain more efficient, and understand new perspectives.
As a result, cognitive flexibility is one of the most important abilities that help us succeed in the new world. Without a high level of It, we will not live and work in the modern world.
There are ways to increase the level of cognitive flexibility that I will mention in the next issue.