Is Common Sense Really Common?


| 4 Comments
          Growing up, were you ever told " You are very book smart, but you have no common sense." No? Well, me neither. Just kidding. Growing up that is a phrase that I often heard. As i got older however, and used those "book smarts" to my advantage, I realized that common sense may not be common at all. And who says that this common knowledge that everyone is supposed to have makes any sense at all? I had to dig deeper.

           After reading an article from Psychology Today, I realized that my hunch really could have some truth to it. I could be onto something! Because times are constantly changing, and people and societies constantly evolving, there really is nothing that is common. Yes, we may generally experience some of the same things, like riding the bus to school, or learning how to ride a bike, but we can not for sure say that those actions have always been experienced the same. And the "sense" part, well..its clear that we don't always make rational decisions. Having "common sense" has to be based on one's experience, which is extremely limited when we really think about it.
           Interestingly enough, we often use the term common sense to refer to different constructs that are present within our society. In other words, we use common sense as a way to describe not what we know through experiences, but what we think we should do or how we should act. We like to fit in with the norm, so we act accordingly, doing what we think is expected of us. 

           So really,common sense isn't common, nor does it make much sense. I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one that has "book smarts" and not an ounce of common sense. None of us do, technically, even though we all so commonly use the phrase.blog2.jpg
Source:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201107/common-sense-is-neither-common-nor-sense

4 Comments

I definitely agree with what you're saying. Common sense I feel like comes with experience, and a lot of people have "common sense" to something that they have experienced before. As you said, Common Sense isn't really that common, and also I have been told that I have no common sense as well so you aren't alone!

Check out how to develop common sense! http://m.wikihow.com/Develop-Common-Sense

Just like what Brian said, I'm starting to think that Common Sense is just what life teaches you. Sure, one is expected to act a certain way, but how does one know that without experiencing it first? Things like 'Look both ways when you cross the street' comes into question when walking across College avenue (especially on a Friday evening when everyone is drunk). Never the less, I wished common sense was hereditary.

I think people overuse the term "common sense" in that what one person considers common and known to everyone may be different from another person. For example, someone living in the city probably lives his or her daily life completely differently than someone who lives on a farm. Not many things are universal anymore; everyone's different. I'd be lying if I said I didn't use the term "common sense" from time to time, though. This is a very interesting website I found called Common Sense Science: http://www.commonsensescience.org/elementary_particles.html

I would also be willing to argue that common sense is not so common at all. However the term is derived from the skill sets needed to for thought to be rather common things. It is in theory something we all share and all expect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense

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