Fire up the Amygdala – How Not to Join the Pack

the Amygdala

Fire up the Amygdala

Fire up the Amygdala. I am a bit of a nerd at times especially when it comes to the study human behaviour. The dynamics of what makes us tick is fascinating. I wrote last week about going with the flow, at Gone With the Flow, and the challenges we face when we go with the flow. We lose control.

And that’s not all we lose. Our need for social connection and social conformity has us doing things that just don’t fit within our own internal core values. The need to confirm and join the pack is seen many times in our lives.

  • At school when we have like-minded packs roam and congregate
  • Not cool to get great results, smart kids “dumbing down” their results to be seen as cool
  • Agreeing with the boss even though they are 100% wrong.

We have so many examples because it’s in our human nature. But there is hope. Check out this video from Social Psychology, as it details a couple of experiments in social conformity.

The experiments show the areas of the brain that fire up in the situations where the brain decieves us to conform with the group, but importantly the AMYGDALA fires up when the need for social conformity is quelled and the person sticks to their core values and beliefs. The amygdala is the fear centre of the brain and the fear of standing alone is the main reason for this. BUT I say, FIRE UP THE AMYGDALA. If that helps you stand true to what we see, think and feel, then that’s good for me.

Stand alone, stand up and stand out. Fire up the amygdala and stand up to fear.

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