The Mind is very powerful…

Okay, so I don’t eat raisins because I don’t like them, and this is for as long as I can remember. If I’m eating something that is made with raisins, I always take the raisins out. I do try to avoid eating anything that has raisins in them at all cost but its kind of impossible- because I make it impossible.

A great example of this is every Christmas, my family bake fruit cakes, and these fruit cakes have a lot of raisins in them. Everyone that try these cakes always compliment on how nice they are and I must agree, they are very nice, I just wish they didn’t have raisins in them as it takes such a long time to take them out! However, because of how I am, I never tell my aunties that tend to do the baking I don’t like raisins, one: because it takes them forever to bake these cakes and two: I would feel awful rejecting my share.

Anyways, a few days ago, I bought a snack bar. On the packaging, it read ‘nuts and fruits’ so I tucked in. I felt this weird soft fruit in my mouth (as it could not have been a nut), and thought to myself, “this feels and taste like raisins”, so I looked at the packaging again and read the following in my head to reassure me the snack bar didn’t have raisins in it: ‘fruits and nuts’.

Now I know raisins are fruits, but they never refer to it as fruits on a packaging, they tend to always refer to it by its name. So if for instance a biscuit contains apples and raisins (weird combination, I know), they would refer to the biscuit as ‘apples and raisins’, not ‘apples and fruits!’ With this knowledge a part of my schema, I finished the rest of my raisin filled snack bar, with a confused expression on my face.

Yes, It was a very silly of me not to know these fruits were raisins as they looked like raisins and tasted like raisons. But here is what I think happened to me:

“Schema A schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information. Schemas can be useful because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting the vast amount of information that is available in our environment. However, these mental frameworks also cause us to exclude pertinent information to instead focus only on things that confirm our pre-existing beliefs and ideas. Schemas can contribute to stereotypes and make it difficult to retain new information that does not conform to our established ideas about the world…”

I therefore, had it my mind that they would never refer to raisins as fruits on such things like snack bars and cereals, and if they did, they would make it clear these fruits they are referring to are in fact raisins. I smile when I see cereals with clear and big descriptions that says ‘no raisins’, sometimes with a cheeky smiling face at the end because I know they are for people like me, who hates raisins. I read the packaging of everything before or while I’m eating, but I didn’t feel the need to double check if what they referred to as fruits are in fact raisins, because of what I already had in my mind about raisins and food in generally, I didn’t feel the need to retain information that maybe not every manufacturer put clear writing that the fruits in this particular snack bar are in fact raisins, which could have conform my established ideas about the world, in this case, snack bars.

This therefore concluded that the mind is a powerful thing, which I’m sure everyone knows. If you put your mind to something, you can do it, schema or no schema, it will work!

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