So this semester I’m taking Developmental Psychology, which studies brain and behaviour over the lifespan. Upon reading the first dreadfully long chapter of the textbook and I actually came across a very interesting concept. (I shortened the introduction of this post as I take zero pleasure in reading long introductions- realized this after reading the first chapters of all my new textbooks).
The book explains the importance of considering the development of things rather than analyzing them as is. The example they gave was one of life’s most famous and highly discussed philosophical concepts that has stumped even the most brilliant of minds for centuries (there is only a bit of humour in that); Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes?
WELL, at first glance they are white with black stripes. Most people come to this conclusion, as the belly of the zebra is white. However, there is no true scientific way of knowing this just by observing a zebra. HENSE:
Consider the development! When developing zebra fetuses were researched (take a moment to accept how cool that is), they actually found that the skin’s naturally dark pigment was simply inhibited in certain areas during fetal growth to map out white stripes. ZEBRAS ARE BLACK WITH WHITE STRIPES.
SO this idea of “you can only find out so much by observing something as it is in its current state” kind of fascinated me. Think of math. When you are stuck on a problem that requires a formula there is not much you can do unless you actually consider HOW the formula was developed. My teachers used to always explain how mathematicians first came up with a formula while teaching it, as it not only could help us if we forget the formula on a test, but it also helped a significant amount on the way I approached and tackled math problems. JUST BY KNOWING HOW THEY CAME UP WITH IT.
So.. yeah. There you go. You know people say “wow something clearly happened to YOU as a child” or “wow someone had a bad experience”.. Ya this is like that. Sort of.
What I’m saying is to stop looking at things as they are all the time. Consider how they got to be that way. You’ll appreciate things a lot more than you ever thought you were able to.
– Dose of Delight