Biased Biofeedback

Auto-regulation Is A Bias

Using heuristics for deciding we produce errors due to biases in thinking.
– Daniel Kahneman

To me auto-regulation and feedback self-assessment has real value and real problems. I’m prone to the boredom-bias, the novelty-drive and the shiny-new program syndrome myself. So I write today to not down-play the value of auto-regulating training AND diet, but to realize it is very, very easy to miss the target, mis-judge and mis-fire. To be completely and utterly wrong about the signals of bio-feedback such as fatigue, irritability and strength decrease.

You see, if the ideas of confirmation bias and the biological fallibility of our intuitions and our psychology are correct, and we are easily led to believe things that we should not, due to problems in our ability to analyze critically, then how can we assume trusting our own bio-feedback is ever going to be truly accurate?

You Can’t Use Your Mind To Understand Your Mind?
The heuristics of bio-feedback assessment can only be interpreted in context of the entire socio-pyschological thinking pattern at the moment of interpretation – meaning your thinking and feeling system is trying to understand your thoughts and feelings. The ease with which this can lead to a misinterpretation is astounding once you realize that the perception of feedback is a pattern drawn out on the background of our emotional experience. The more you analyze it, the more the background takes over and the more fuzzy the feedback pattern becomes, until it actually blends into the background itself as a smudge mark, instead of a sharply informative outline.

Then What Should Be Done? Hire An Eye In The Sky

Ideally that feedback comes from someone with an expert eye and so every world-class sports champion has a coach. If you practice without such feedback, you don’t get to the top ranks. – Daniel Goleman

The value of getting coaching is that the coach does not have to view the feedback from the same background of emotion and experience that has birthed the feedback in the first place. He can help you sharpen the lens of perception so the fuzzy pattern becomes clear enough for the message to be read with more accuracy and precision. All so that the proper “response” to the feedback can be planned, mapped and executed for an optimized continuation of progress in all forms quantitative and qualitative.The lying triceps extension is the most effective way to build up on triceps mass and?

2 thoughts on “Biased Biofeedback

  1. Mike Tuchscherer

    Interesting take!
    What are your thoughts on systematizing an autoregulatory response? Something where “if condition a and b are met, then perform C” or something similar? Obviously the quality of the system plays a role (as would the quality of the coach). But do you think a system would help reduce the variance caused by biases?

    1. amirsidd

      Hi Mike. I like the idea so long as it isn’t too regimented/mathematized. Sometimes the perfectly appropriate response to a certain gestalt of feedback would be to take time off — but when it happens during the second week of a new program which was pre-ceeded by a ten day break, well, then we have a problem of mis-reading, mis-interpreting or something more novel. I’d rather condition A = Worthy Feedback and B = Reported to Coach and C = Did whatever He said :) That way all feedback is considered for what it uniquely is, interpreted in proper context. Just my opinion.

      — Amir


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