For example, according to terror management theory (Solomon et al. When people feel that their self-esteem is threatened, or if they are reminded of their mortality, they cling more tightly to their own worldview, which can mean derogating those with a different belief system. This suggests that one remedy for prejudice is to bolster an individual's sense of self-esteem (Harmon-Jones et al. Schmeichel et al. Similarly, self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988) also predicts that prejudice can be a defensive reaction to feelings of personal insecurity. In the Fein and Spencer (1997) study discussed in article 10, participants who received negative feedback were more likely to derogate a Jewish student. However, if participants first had the chance to think about how they lived up to their own values, they showed no such pattern of discrimination. Although bolstering a person's self-esteem can reduce prejudice, there is one caveat to this effect: If the value system being bolstered is the cultural worldview threatened by the outgroup, then the effects of self-affirmation can backfire (Arndt & Greenberg, 1999). Going through some discomfort today in the form of work, effort, and discipline can bring you a bigger payoff in the future. Your human brain knows this and can create a plan for you to follow. Follow the plan and you can have the future you dream of. The animal brain doesn't understand this plan. It only understands what's in front of it right now - in this case that would be work. It recognizes work as an unpleasant activity with no immediate pay-off because it doesn't give you any food, shelter, or anything to reproduce with. To the animal brain, work is a fruitless exercise that only brings discomfort and wastes your energy. Much better to stay resting and enjoying yourself until you need to do something more useful. One of the biggest parts of mental discipline is overcoming and outsmarting the animal brain. You have to take control on a conscious level and start living your life to the plan of your human brain instead of living instinctually. If you're planning your day's schedule, you may decide to leave 10 minutes early to drop off the video you rented the night before, and you'll plan the route that will enable you to park in front of the store. How did you make these decisions?

By using the left portion of your brain. It keeps your life sensible, organized and on schedule. It's like a computer. And then we have the right side of the brain. That portion of your brain comes into play when you work a jigsaw puzzle, look at a road map, design a new office, plan a room arrangement, solve a geometrical problem or listen to musical selections on the stereo. The right half of your brain does not process information step by step like the left portion. Instead, it processes patterns of information. It plays host to our emotions. For example, although you might be able to reduce antigay prejudice by affirming people's values and abilities in areas such as athletics or sense of humor, an affirmation of their traditional family values will do little to decrease this prejudice (Lehmiller et al. Vescio & Biernat, 2003). Reducing Prejudice with a More Multicultural Ideology Part of why bolstering how people see themselves reduces prejudice is because it makes people more open minded and less defensive (Sherman & Cohen, 2006). This leads us to consider perhaps a more straightforward strategy for reducing prejudice: reminding people of their tolerant values so that they are more willing to accept if not embrace others' differences (Greenberg, Simon, et al. One way of encouraging tolerance is conveyed as an effort to embrace a colorblind ideology, or viewing people only on their individual merits and avoiding any judgment based on group membership. One concern with the colorblind approach is that it encourages efforts simply to control any biases or prejudices that one has toward an outgroup. Although this can sometimes be an effective way to avoid engaging in discrimination, our earlier discussion of controlling prejudice revealed that these efforts can also backfire. Colorblind ideology A worldview in which group identities are ignored and people are judged solely on their individual merits, thereby avoiding any judgment based on group membership. When you feel resistance to putting in extra work, it's your animal brain trying to protect you and keep you happy. When you feel nervous about trying a new venture or hesitant about taking a calculated risk that's needed for your plan, it's because your animal brain is trying to avoid danger and uncertainty.

It's so worried about failure that it will try to keep you from trying in the first place. You'll feel mental blocks and uncertainty. You will feel stressed as well sometimes, and that's normal when you're trying to resist millennia of hard-wired instinct. By understanding why these feelings come up, you can begin to overcome them. Procrastination is a big one, with so many people putting off any work until the last possible minute. So if it isn't of the highest quality, they already have an excuse. In this case, the animal brain isn't even protecting you physically anymore, it's protecting you mentally and emotionally. The instinctive brain will avoid any and all negatives, whether they are real physical dangers or imagined mental ones. It has been called the intuitive side of the brain. It will link facts together and come up with a concept. It looks at the whole situation and, as though by magic, the solution appears. It's like a kaleidoscope. The thinking pattern of the left side of your brain is analytical, linear, explicit, sequential, verbal, concrete, rational and goal oriented. The right side is spontaneous, intuitive, emotional, nonverbal, visual, artistic, holistic and spatial. If you are more right-side oriented and your spouse is left-side oriented, how will you communicate? It's as though you speak different languages! And you probably do. Have you ever been in a class or even a church service where the speaker focused on dry, detailed facts? Another criticism of the colorblind approach is that it can imply that everyone should conform to the status quo and act as if ethnic differences don't matter. As we alluded to previously, the colorblind approach is a much more comfortable stance for the advantaged majority group than for currently disadvantaged minority groups.

Whites in the United States tend to take this to the extreme, sometimes failing to mention a person's race, even when doing so is simply stating a descriptive fact about an individual that could help describe the person to whom they are referring (Apfelbaum et al. Norton et al. An alternative is to embrace cultural pluralism, or a multicultural ideology, which acknowledges and appreciates different cultural viewpoints. This view emphasizes not just tolerating but actively embracing diversity. To understand the distinction between these two ideologies, consider the metaphors used in the United States and Canada, two countries that were formed largely as a result of immigration. The United States is typically referred to as a melting pot, a place where people of different ethnicities and former nationalities might converge and blend to form a single group. In Canada, the prevailing metaphor is the salad bowl, where citizens form an integrated collective while still maintaining their distinct ethnic heritage. These two approaches can have distinct effects for marginalized groups. It will avoid any situations where you could face embarrassment or difficulty. It will do everything possible to keep you in a safe and secure situation, one where you aren't challenged or threatened in any way. The problem with this is that growth comes outside of your comfort zones, and success requires an extraordinary effort, which automatically means you have to exit the comfort zone! To overcome your instinctual habits, you should be very conscious of what you are doing and why. Don't resist what your instincts want to do; Allow it to be there and take a mindful approach to focus on the minor pain of what you need to do and the major payoff when it works. Your instincts will become more aligned with your mind by doing this, allowing you to live more productively. The use of calming techniques and mindfulness will lessen the intensity of the negative feelings your instincts create. Relaxing yourself and understanding these feelings reduces their impact and allows you to stay more in the moment. By being in the moment, you can truly understand and accept that nothing all that bad is going to happen to you. If he was inflexible, he was annoyed by interruptions to his train of thought, so after each distraction he would return to the beginning and review. The step-by-step speech was monotonous with little emotional expression.

If so, you were listening to a person who was an extreme--and I mean extreme--left-brain dominant. If you listen to a speaker or someone in a conversation who rambles from topic to topic, relies on his or her own opinions and feelings, is easily led away from the point, leaves gaps in the presentation to give the conclusion and uses emotional language and hunches, you're in the presence of the extreme right-brain dominant. The left side wants to know, What's the bottom line? The right side travels around the barn a few times to get there. And as you'll see later, personality differences will affect how a person responds. When you were in school you probably ran into individuals who excelled in math or reading but flunked playground! They were functioning with a highly advanced left brain, but the right brain was less developed. A man who is a highly proficient chemist also enjoys social activities and goes out dancing twice a week. When institutions signal that they value the diverse perspectives and contributions from minority students, for example, those students tend feel a greater sense of belonging and perform better (Brannon et al. Multicultural ideology A worldview in which different cultural identities and viewpoints are acknowledged and appreciated. Diversity can be described through metaphor. The melting pot depicts a colorblind approach, whereas the salad bowl emphasizes multiculturalism. From a psychological perspective, these different ideologies suggest different ways of approaching intergroup relations. A colorblind approach suggests that we should avoid focusing on group identity, whereas multiculturalism suggests that we should approach group differences as something to be celebrated (Chen et al. Generally, the latter ideology is more strongly associated with less prejudicial attitudes (Rosenthal & Levy, 2013). Furthermore, going into an interaction with a multicultural mind-set might sidestep all of the problems we see when people are focused on avoiding being biased. This is just what Trawalter and Richeson (2006) have found. Doing a little work isn't as horrible as your instincts might believe, and by focusing on the eventual payoff and your reasons for doing this, you can create positive momentum and motivation. Living to the plan of your higher brain is your true path to pleasure and success;