The 3D Mind

Mindset is a sexy topic these days, but what does it actually mean?

Well, we’re going to have to dive deep into the mind in order to figure it out…

But today, we are going to keep things relatively simple.

There are three parts of the mind:

  • Cognitive
  • Affective
  • Conative

Ancient philosophers and modern psychologists agree in this model of a 3 part mind. They believe we all have a cognitive, affective, and conative part of the mind. Cognitive can be simply defined as a thing you know or think. Affective can be simply defined as things you feel and value. Conative can be simply defined as actions that are derived from instinct, purposeful mode of striving.

There have been several tests created to for each section of the mind. For example, the cognitive mind can be tested through something like the SAT, the affective mind can be tested through something like a personality test, and the conative mind can be tested by something like the Kolbe Index.

The cognitive part of the mind is the part that does the thinking. Your IQ, skills, reason, knowledge, experience, and education all form the cognitive part of your mind. Piaget’s stages of cognitive development display how our cognitive mind is developed.

  • Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years
  • Preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7
  • Concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11
  • Formal operational stage: ages 12 and up

Piaget believed that children take an active role in the learning process, acting much like little scientists as they perform experiments, make observations, and learn about the world. As kids interact with the world around them, they continually add new knowledge, build upon existing knowledge, and adapt previously held ideas to accommodate new information.

One of the most important elements to remember of Piaget’s theory is that it takes the view that creating knowledge and intelligence is an inherently active process. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development helped add to our understanding of children’s intellectual growth. It also stressed that children were not merely passive recipients of knowledge. Instead, kids are constantly investigating and experimenting as they build their understanding of how the world works.

The affective part of your mind is what is responsible for feeling. Your desires, motivation, attitudes, preferences, emotions, and values all form the affective part of your mind. Affective states are psycho-physiological constructs. According to most current views, they vary along 3 principal dimensions: valence, arousal, and motivational intensity.

Valence is the subjective positive-to-negative evaluation of an experienced state. Emotional valence refers to the emotions consequences, emotion-eliciting circumstances, or subjective feelings or attitudes. Arousal is objectively measurable as activation of the sympathetic nervous system, but can also be assessed subjectively via self-report. Arousal is a construct that is closely related to motivational intensity but they differ in that motivation necessarily implies action while arousal does not. Motivational intensity refers to the impulsion to act; the strength of an urge to move toward or away from a stimulus. Simply moving is not considered approach (or avoidance) motivation without a motivational urge present.

The conative part of your mind is what empowers you to do. Your drive, instinct, necessity, mental energy, innate force, and talents all make up the conative part of your mind. Conation refers to the connection of knowledge and affect to behavior and is associated with the issue of “why.”

Some of the conative issues one faces daily are:

  • what are my intentions and goals?
  • what am I going to do?
  • what are my plans and commitments?

Experts believe the conative part of the mind to be just as important, if not more important than the cognitive and affective parts of the mind. The conative part of the mind is what determines how well we deal with stressful situations in life. There are 4 modes of action that the Kolbe method discusses: fact finder, follow through, quick start, and implementer. The fact finder is used to gather information. The follow through determines ways to design / arrange. Quick start is used to deal with risk or uncertainty. The implementer determines how to manage space and tangible factors.

The combination of the four Action Modes describes 12 unique methods of problem solving. Although we can all solve problems using any of the 12 methods, each of us has four – one in each Action Mode – that allow us to do our best, most efficient, creative work.

No matter what combination of talents we bring into play, each of us will be most productive and get a greater sense of accomplishment when we operate in our own unique way. We make the biggest impact when we solve problems in ways that are most natural for us.

The Kolbe Index is unique. It does not measure intelligence, personality or social style. It measures the instinctive ways you take action when you strive. It’s an assessment identifying the natural way that people take action. Left to our own choice, each of us has an instinctive way of problem solving. Research shows that people are most productive when they are free to choose their own method of accomplishing a task or providing a solution.

As you can see, the study of our mind is extremely complex. But, the more you are able to learn about yourself, the more awareness you will be able to create in your life. There are so many different assessments out there to help, this just being just one. You see, everyone in this world is completely different. We all have our own individual wants and needs. I challenge you to start diving more into this world of personal development. I challenge you to learn more about what makes you you.

Be curious my friend, for your mind & body are amazing.