Training Regime Day 15: CoZE

by Mark Xu1 min read29th Feb 2020No comments

8

Comfort Zone Expansion (CoZE)TechniquesRationalityPractical
Frontpage

Note: this is going to be short because I spent some time doing COVID-19 preparations, which I encourage you do to also. I think that it is better for my commitment to post at least one thing a day, even if it's bad. I anticipate heavily revising this later, when I have more time.

Introduction

CoZE stands for Comfort Zone Expansion. The model is that people have a lot of beliefs about themselves and due to things like positive bias, some non-trivial chunk of these beliefs haven't ever been tested.

The goal of CoZE is to take beliefs about yourself and test them experimentally, both making your identity smaller and discovering new things about yourself. Remember to try things.

Finding your comfort zone

The first step is to find your comfort zone. You should take 10 minutes and write down all of the beliefs that you have about yourself. You should include "obvious" things to avoid stopping idea generation.

My list included:

  1. I don't like dancing
  2. I'm slightly more attractive than average, but not that attractive
  3. I'm only slightly socially awkward
  4. I'm bad at singing
  5. I'm OK at writing

Find tests for your beliefs

An idea test for one of your beliefs should make you say "ugh fine." A test is too weak if you don't react emotionally to it. A test is too strong if it makes you go "ahhhhhhh".

For example, if I wanted to test "I'm not good at dancing", I might take a single beginner's dance class. I wouldn't want to go to a party and start dancing in front of everyone I knew. I also wouldn't want to take an advanced dance class.

It is important that you're fair to your belief. If I wanted to test "I'm bad at singing", then I should pick an easy song that I enjoy to try singing, I shouldn't pick a really hard song to sing. The test should actually behave differently depending on whether or not the belief is true. I might sing a hard song badly even if I'm good at singing.

Exercise

Find one of the beliefs that you found above, devise a test for it, and do the test.

8