It's nothing paradoxical

Paradoxes Examples: The contradiction in terms

Our world is full of startling contradictions. Some are even indissoluble. Then they are no longer just called Contradiction, rather Paradox (Singular) respectively Paradoxes (Plural). Classic examples of this are that Chicken and egg problem (Which came first), the Omnipotence of God (If God is omnipotent, he can create a stone that is so heavy that he can no longer lift it himself) and of course impossible sentences like: “I'm lying.” or “This sentence is wrong.” Paradoxes are thought traps that at the same time give us the Limits of our minds and demonstrate the logic. At the same time, however, they also encourage reflection or a smile, because we cannot cope with the acute cognitive dissonance that they cause ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Paradoxes: A definition that is not so contradicting

Paradoxes are not all, however unsolvable problems and logical contradictions their own. It can do just as well Call to action that make their own observance impossible.

This includes, for example, so-called Catch22Problems. They are named after Joseph Heller's novel of the same name and describe a problem that makes his own solution impossible.

The best-known examples include:

  • The Shield on the meadow: "Entering the meadow prohibited" - How does it get there?
  • The Windows prompt: "If your keyboard stops responding, press the Escape key."
  • The Russel Club: Only those who do not belong to a club can be a member of this club.

One can talk about such Everyday paradoxes smile, but they definitely have their downsides.

In fact, it is not uncommon for such thought traps to lead Errors and delusionswhich in turn lead to incorrect diagnoses, wrong decisions and risky maneuvers or programming and operating errors.

After all, those who recognize a paradox early enough are less likely to fall into it - as is the case for example Puzzles are no longer surprising once you know them. Because we can no longer perceive ...

Paradoxes Examples: Did You Know?

Numerous have already dealt with paradoxes scientist busy - and some have broken their teeth on it.

At this point, however, we save ourselves the numerous mathematical and physical paradoxes (see further links below) and concentrate on the more common ones. So as not to get annoyed with them or instead of one Jogging with Dr. Kawashima through your brain - here are a few notable ones Paradox examplesthat you may not know yet ...

  • Abilene's paradox

    The so-called Abilene Paradox describes that some decisions only look like they are based on a consensus.

    The phenomenon was discovered by Jerry Harvey, a professor at George Washington University, in 1974 after a trip with his wife and parents to his hometown of Abilene. He started the trip because a family member suggested the trip on the assumption that the others needed a little variety. Everyone agreed because everyone believed the others were for it too.

    When we returned, however, it turned out that everyone would have preferred to stay at home.

  • Barber Paradox

    The philosopher, mathematician and logician Bertrand Russell formulated the so-called barber paradox:

    A barber can be defined as someone who shaves all those and only those who do not shave themselves.

    Take the time to think about it a little, then ask yourself the question: does the barber shave himself? When trying to answer the question, a veritable contradiction arises: If the man shaves himself, he is no longer a barber because a barber is someone who only shaves others, but not himself. If he shaves himself, but not himself, belongs he to those men who don't shave themselves and would have to be his own customer, i.e. no longer a barber.

  • Bridesmaid paradox

    This paradox is better known by its second name: the cheerleading effect.

    The latter describes the phenomenon that we automatically look more attractive in groups. Just like cheerleaders, although if you take a closer look, the individual may not be that pretty anymore.

    In fact, a group of uniform people (who therefore do not have to wear a uniform, just have a lot in common outwardly) is enormously attractive to us. We then no longer perceive the individual, but rather the average of all of them. Not only cheerleaders benefit from the effect, but also boy groups or bridesmaids.

  • Makes paradox

    Give a person power and you will see his true characteris a well-known bon mot. There's a lot of truth in that.

    But it is also true that power itself can change, and even corrupt, a person's character. That is the paradox of power: sympathy makes you powerful - but power makes you disagreeable.

  • Procrastination paradox

    Also known as the depletion effect. When procrastinating, i.e. postponing important things, we try to make it easier for ourselves by avoiding the actual problem and postponing it. In fact, in trying to make it easier for us, we often make it harder.

    We may save a little energy now, avoid responsibility - but that has consequences: It still drains our resources because afterwards we have to catch up all the harder for what we have postponed before.

  • Be a spontaneous paradox

    It belongs to the so-called psychological paradoxes and is at the same time a kind of Catch22 problem.

    The request "Be spontaneous" makes it impossible to fulfill them immediately afterwards, because that would no longer be spontaneous, but only obedient. Likewise is the wish "Tell me spontaneously from time to time that you love me." no longer achievable after it has been discussed. Who says now "I love you" usually gets the answer: "You're only saying that now because I asked you to!"

  • Transparency paradox

    In modern office landscapes, it is considered chic to tear down barricades. Walls are being dismantled - literally - and replaced by lots of glass and open structures. The high level of transparency should not only correspond to the modern design of workplaces, but is also used to improve employee performance. At least that's the assumption.

    Studies, including those from Harvard Business School, paint a different picture - that of the transparency paradox:

    Transparency does not increase the productivity of a team - it actually results in poorer performance. What managers see in the offices is mostly just a spectacle. The employees simulate busyness, diligence and commitment - as long as they feel they are being watched. But they are not really productive.

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January 12, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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