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Function of Understanding

The psychological guiding process about whether one categorises something as plausible or implausible in understanding, can be accomplished by the psychological system functionally or dysfunctionally. It is functional to mark something as implausible if it is not important for present and future concerns (Not understanding a tourist’s question in Chinese is no cause for learning the language). It is also functional to make something plausible if interests and needs are dependent upon it. However, forms of understanding are dysfunctional, if they limit other guiding processes in their decision-making possibilities. For example, when understanding leads to the reduction of, or destruction of self-esteem (“This is typical of you, you failure!”), when it becomes hard to feel personal responsibility (“This has nothing to do with me!”) and if the self-perception (“We will just leave that to one side!”) or the openness is reduced (“This is just an idiot!”), it is dysfunctional.

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