positive illusion

03 Mar

still on my switch buzz and now they are talking about the situation known as positive illusion.  what it boils it down to is that we think we are better than we are.  for the most part, i think they’re correct.  i know lots of people who downplay their ability but i wonder if they are just doing that as a facade or if they really don’t think much of themselves.  what is it about us that doesn’t allow us to honestly appraise?  you would think that an educated adult would know themselves better than anyone (a point they make in the book), but often relative strangers can more accurately assess us with very little contact.  odd, and a bit unsettling.  professionally, why do so many teacher NOT want to be video taped?  why don’t professional developers want to see footage of themselves facilitating a group?  does it have to do with vanity?  not really important…but what is important is the idea that, like athletes, we need to study the tape.  we need to see ourselves as others see us so that we can perhaps get a better read on ourselves and what we do.

do you think that there is a phenomenon for negative illusion?  is there a population or situation when people tend to devalue themselves?  as teachers, how can we both build a positive self image but tap the breaks before we unknowingly lay the groundwork for a positive illusion?


Posted by on March 3, 2010 in Uncategorized


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2 responses to “positive illusion

  1. susan paul

    March 16, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Perhaps the reasons have nothing to do with vanity or insecurity…
    In my own case, I studied my routine tapes hours on end. I watched myself from a competitor, coach, spectator and judge’s perspective. As my own # 1 critic, I feel I have a fairly accurate “read” on myself and what I do.

    Yes, I think there are other reasons for for negative illusions. As adults, we bring our past situations and experiences into our self images. For example, what if those teachers/trainers are (or were) in an abusive relationship? They probably would tend to devalue themselves.
    As teachers, we MUST find ways to build positive self images. But we must know our students and perhaps the kind of relationships they have in situations other than when they are with us. Ahhhhhh….I think it’s something like……differientiation. Hmmmmm…………

  2. texasbuckeye

    March 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    thanks for the comments susan. i think you’re right about teachers building positive self image, and can we do that while not continuing to create a participation-trophy generation. people are increasingly viewing themselves as a star in their own movie. i agree that we want students to be confident in their ability and view their intelligence as a growth prospect (as dweck says) but can we also instill a bit of humility?

    as far as teachers go – i think that many of the good ones are too hard on themselves. thanks again for the commentary, i enjoyed it.


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