Analysing, the over-analysis, of analysing everything

I get stuck in my head a lot. 

Working in the creative sector, my job is to take in everything I see and think about how I can make something that either reflects society or changes it. With the pressure to come up with something salient, it’s hard not to question yourself 1000 times over.

This week, I learnt a new word. Praxeology. It sounded like a 3-year-old made it up and added ology to the end of it. Wikipedia defines it as the theory of human action, based on the notion that humans engage in purposeful behaviour, contrary to reflexive behaviour and other unintentional behaviour.

Essentially, the practice of human behaviour.

Alex Batchelor came into the studio and taught us many golden nuggets that we can use to better not only our work, but yourselves. These golden nuggets mainly consisted of the three reasons why we do things:

  • Framing
  • Copying 
  • Feelings

Framing aka. context can affect the way we interpret information and thus, how we react in certain environments. The situations that we are in, play a big role in how we behave. This is due to the consequences that could befall us if we acted a certain way. For example, the way I behave with my closest friends is completely different to when in the workplace. It’s not like I can burst into song, rapping ‘King Kunta’ by Kendrick Lamar with my boss. But wouldn’t it be great if I could!

Nevertheless, context plays a massive role in our behaviour but feelings can play an even bigger one. How we feel is almost always the reason for how we end up making many of our decisions. Whether it’s because the choice has a great deal of meaning or not, that G-U-T feeling can make or break a deal and impact our outlook. For instance, there is no way in hell Kanye said slavery was a choice, before considering his environment and how it could affect him. I mean, come on dude! Let’s not speak before we think.

Sadly, most people’s decision-making is fast-paced and frugal; which leads me to the last reason why we behave a certain way; copying. When framing and feelings don’t come into play, it’s usually due to us being sheep in a mindless herd. The act of copying is often done on autopilot, happening unconsciously thanks to how we have been conditioned by society. 

Pre-historically, to survive, we had to be afraid of anything ‘new’ and ‘unfamiliar’ as it could bring us harm. We would actively avoid the danger of difference, only doing things that we knew were “safe’. It’s funny how when it comes to the big stuff, this is how we act but for our work/art, the predictable is harrowing. With little time to analyse why we do certain things, who can blame us for making quick, intuitive and emotional decisions?

Knowledge may be power, but it doesn’t always change how we act. Decisions happen without us weighing out the options and we have to be okay with that. Not everything has to be over-analysed. We are only human and will 9 times out of 10, fall into the trap of trying to fit into our environments. We copy others much more than we’d like to admit but conformity can be our saving grace in a crisis. It is okay to fit in so long as you can look at yourself in the mirror. 


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