Photo: Manfred Richter on Pixabay
40 Expect better? Always?
When we are aware of the beauty around
us, we are making the world better by thinking it better.
Wishing it better is not the same. Usually “wishing”
implies “unfactual.” Saying “I wish this were so” expresses the
feeling “this is not so.”
If we are looking at something in the
best possible light, we are likely to see it as worthy of our
attention. Let us consider ways our expectations influence
Already in high school experiments I
learned to read scientific instruments before calculating
expected results. As a pointer swings back and forth, if I am
expecting a reading of 5.32 grams, I am biased or influenced in
favor of recording the measurement as 5.32 grams. My expectation
biases my perception.
In another sense, expectation colors
feelings about outcomes. If I expect a peanut butter sandwich for
supper, I am delighted with a bowl of spaghetti. However, if I
expect to come home to a turkey feast, I am disappointed with a
bowl of spaghetti. The substance is the same, but the setting is
different. My expectation biases my evaluation.
More than just coloring a viewpoint,
expectation can change outcome. A teacher who is told which
students are the brightest in the class is tempted to direct more
time and attention to those students. Planting a different set of
expectations might favor a different set of students. Moreover,
unconscious expectation can bias factual outcomes
Excessively high expectations do not
produce high performance. They detract from reaching the best
results that should have been expected. Missing goals that are
unreasonable is discouraging.
Last week’s article laid out four steps
to resolution of personal differences and related that resolution
process to the happiness of our Covid19 stay-at-home experience.
This article adds another useful tool. Good judgment requires us
to have appropriate expectations about ourselves and others.
Being For Others Blog copyright © 2020 Kent Busse
Have you shared this with someone?