In two selves theory, the experiencing self does not transform experience into language, Every experience we have is non-conceptual. The world of our experience, our fundamental inputs are non-conceptual and undergo (poor) transformation into concepts. Yet, we believe the concepts are truthful expressions. The “cognitive biases” where our actions don’t make sense to the rational-cognitive system should have a counterpart – “experience bias” – where our actions don’t make sense to the experiencing system. Both are true; one type is only relative to the other.
In two selves, theory, the experiencing self does not transform experience into language, yet it works perfectly well. When returning to a sink full of soapy dishwater, we know the water is too cold for use simply by putting our hands in it. This knowing originates from neither “reflexive” nor rational-cognitive processing. Of course, after we understand the water is too cold, the rational-cognitive system will co-opt the experiencing system trying to make us believe we evaluated the coldness using language and thought, but we haven’t.
The psychological basis for the dual information processing, two selves, theory may originate from what I call the transform. The rational-cognitive (conceptual) system must transform non-conceptual experience, say the subjective experience of greenness or pain, and (forcibly) transform it into words. Of course, no one can ever say anything about any subjective experience so we conspire and agree that associations (It’s natural; It reminds me of my old car) fairly represent it-even when they don’t. Though many rely on their rational/conceptual system our experiential system is truer.
Dual information processing, two selves, theory describes two truths for every situation-one a rational-cognitive (conceptual) truth, the other an experiential truth. Within health care research, questions are formulated in such a way that only one of the two systems can answer. This appears to skew not only clinical results but also the cost-effectiveness of therapies. It seems past time to collect the views of both selves and compile them into all comprehensive health care assessments.
Using two selves theory, there are two routes to “truth” – how we understand what’s happening to us in the world. Pleasure/pain, good/bad, helpful/harmful, well-being/dis-ease, etc. are all assessed through the routes of 1. direct sensory-perceptual experiencing (non-conceptually) and 2. rational-cognitive processing (conceptually). Two answers always emerge for each assessment yet we typically choose only one and act as if only it is true-which, of course, it isn’t.
My new scientific article (in preparation) seeks to establish a new putative cause for response shift and the placebo effect – and offer the theoretical basis for my international, regional phase, patent submission (at WIPO) for a method for a-priori prediction. There should be good benefit to clinical researchers, health researchers, economists, questionnaire developers, pharma executives and psychotherapists.
The rational-cognitive information processing system is well known to us. It uses language and evaluates by conscious appraisal of events and is motivated by the reality principle. Much less known is the experiential information processing system. It encodes information nonverbally. It is motivated by the hedonic principle. There are thus two routes for establishing “truth.” One is inferential reasoning whereas the other is an empirical path mediated by feelings. Depending on the predominance of either system at any given time, one’s “point of view” can differ remarkably.