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C Style: Standards and Guidelines (contents)

CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors

PART 1 : BASICS

CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors

2.1 Pattern Recognition
2.2 Filtering
2.3 Habit
2.4 Redundancy
2.5 Cues and Context
2.6 Recognizing Basic features
2.7 Short Term, Working and Long Term memory
2.8 Chunking
2.9 The Rule of Seven
2.10 Context Switching
2.11 Modifying the image
2.12 Memorizing sounds
2.13 Eye focus
2.14 Eye movement
2.15 Looking ahead
2.16 Looking back
2.17 The subconscious is always right
2.18 Natural ambition
2.19 Summary

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2.17 The subconscious is always right

The subconscious mind is far bigger and far more powerful than the conscious mind often realizes. It can change beliefs suddenly and irrevocably and, more often, it can hold onto wrong beliefs when the evidence for change is literally staring it in the face.

This is a commonly seen in programming where you can stare at your own code for ever and not see a bug, yet someone else, who hasn't had the pattern of your code burnt into their brains, will spot it instantly. This is particularly true when you are already convinced that what you are looking for is not there. Because your subconscious believes that it is right, your conscious mind cannot convince it that it could be wrong - with the result that you stare at your code for a long time until you are sure that there are no bugs left (and then find it difficult to believe when a bug does appear).

 

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