The availability heuristic
I’m in the office because I promised myself I would finish my talk for the California conference today. And I did! Yay ME! Now I just have to grade a few more of these craptastic papers (Sample: But, as time went on and great minds became exposed to head injuries as well as the effects of said injuries on a person’s personality and a person’s ability to function the thought that the brain and the mind are closely related to each other began to surface. The problems with that sentence, they are many.) and I can go home and watch more terrible movies.
But it seems that finishing the talk has created a little empty space that is now filling up with worries. It may also be the case that three days without speaking to another human being (except the grocery store clerk who sold me toilet paper) is taking a toll on my ability to stay chill.
I’m not freaking out. I’m still doing the one day at a time thing, but there’s a growing sense of unease. And it’s all thanks to the stupid availability heuristic. This is a basic bias in human thinking, and describes the fact that people think things are more probable as a function of how many examples they can bring too mind. It also captures the fact that simply thinking of an outcome makes us believe that outcome to be more likely. So this fucks me in two ways. I can bring to mind a great many examples of cases where rising betas were followed by miscarriage. I can bring to mind very few examples where rising betas were followed by healthy pregnancies. Second, because of the former and because of my own chemical pregnancy, I can vividly imagine the outcome where this pregnancy doesn’t survive. But for whatever reason, I can’t really imagine an outcome wherein I get a baby out of this. When I try to, my brain is like, WOOOOAAAH NELLY! Let’s not go there. Let’s just focus on this step. So does this mean I should go home and imagine a healthy pregnancy and a fat baby bunny as many times as I can to make that notion more available? I dunno, that just seems so reckless.
If you’ve got any words of comfort, let’s have ’em. And please let this whole discussion not be moot after tomorrow’s beta.