Stereotype Thinking – A Reality?

Redefine “normality” for the new Millennium. Could flexibility reduce obtusity?

By Adina Riposan
Director, e&m Global Perspective – Editorial, June 2002



“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.
Unreasonable people attempt to adept the world to themselves.
All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”

(George Bernard Shaw)


Thinking of computers, the principle of “flexibility” has been embraced and worlwidely promoted. Modular programming has gained the battle and rapidly turned into the basis for all development. Standing as prerequisite for fast adjustment and upgrading process, flexibility proves to be the major principle and compulsory condition for ensuring progress.
Therefore, the major enemies opposing innovation and human development remain the STEREOTYPE THINKING, routine and rigid life patterns.

The entire thinking process is built on structural informational knots, preexistent and interconnected. New information is being processed through these junctions and the established interconnections, so that the Stereotype Thinking can be defined as the mental process of reducing the information inflow towards an extremely simplified system, finally ending by ignorance, fixed ideas, self-sufficiency and obtusity.

As rational creatures and social exponents, people define “normality” by “majority” and standardized routine at a certain time and place. But “Black & White” do not exist, there are always “gray areas” and overlaps in our lives.

Even so, people seek to integrate new information within the socially accepted value-system, often the expression of temporary stereotype convictions and incapacity to think flexible. And when discovering emerging systems do not fit the old, the crisis arises.

As socially demonstrated, Stereotype Thinking is contagious in the case of all living species. People mutually sustain their obtuse concepts and fixed ideas, so that the phenomenon develops towards automatism and generalization, while individuals don’t even realize they get driven by personal conditioning any longer. The main result is that the access to pure knowledge is limited, compilation ability and creativity are much diminished and, most of all, intuition gets inhibited.

From the Anatomical point of view, Stereotype Thinking develops, in time, a process of Myelination of the Neuronal Networks, leading to its rigidifying and the reduction of thinking abilities. In some way, it is similar to the natural aging process, but much earlier than the aging itself would justify it.

For all that, Genius people are able to go beyond all this, getting access to real knowledge and in-depth understanding. Life has proven to us so many times that ‘high intelligences’ never adapt themselves to the World, as they would rather live apart from the general stereotypes and obtuse thinking, while instead getting to pure knowledge and leaving an open door to intuition and qualitative information.

Thus, to fit normality might be appropriate to some extent, considering the need to establish some social order out of the chaos. But sometimes, acting on what intuition tells you might lead to revealing unimaginable possibilities and a huge untapped potential waiting to be discovered and exploited.

The natural extension could be the adjustment of “normality” concept itself, by fostering new efforts and finally turning it into a step ahead. One thing is more than obvious: what’s normal today will definitely be superannuated tomorrow…