What I Learned In Business School: Cognitive Barriers & Relationships

A cognitive barrier is something that prevents a user from performing the action required to complete his goal. (Source)

Within Ethics there are a few points I’d like to point out as barriers to relationships that may be overlooked:

Script Processing – When behavior becomes to routine you no longer really think about it (i.e. driving to work/school)

In business, people often process paperwork without taking into account outliers and special circumstances. Obviously, you can’t reinvent the wheel constantly but if you always do the same thing you get the same results. For example, if you keep having the same fight in a relationship, consider mixing up what you say or asking a question you wouldn’t normally ask.

Cost-Benefit Analysis – Most people know this one the pros & cons list essentially.

Similar to script processing, you have to take into account special circumstances. Is not hurting another human being on the same level as acquiring cash or getting in a quick one night stand? I go more in-depth with this in Business Ethics & Cheating.

Confirmation Trap – This is going to your friends so they can tell you everything you want to hear (or in relationships, hiring people that will do so). Don’t do that. It’s great to have the support but sometimes a healthy dose of reality is necessary. This is why it’s a good idea to have friends of both sexes.

Escalation of Commitment – We’ve come this far, we can’t go back now. You know these relationships, the I’ve-already-invested-3-years-of-my-life, relationships. This is unhealthy. The sooner you get out of this crappy one, the sooner you get into a better one where you don’t think of it as having wasted a bunch of time so you might as well stay…

Rewards & Incentives – This involves positive & negative reinforcement. I think I’ll dive into this more later, and discuss the Ethical Pygmalion Effect, but what’s most important is reward GOOD behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. If someone you’re with does something you like, for the love of God, TELL THEM and reward them with a kiss or a dinner or whatever you see fit.

See more business & relationship posts at charmed-and-dangerous.com/mba.


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