The eWM Classic mode is my favorite and closest to the original N-Back task. With the N-back box replaced with faces with a variety of expressions. The verbal data you need to store in your working memory is sprinkled with emotional phrases: hammer, door, hate, auto, rape, bird, circus, smile…
You have to purposefully ignore the emotional data, and just record the audio and visual sequences in the RAM of your mind.
Obviously there’s some instances in real life when you want to be able to ignore all or some emotional data:
- Jobs that require you to deal completely objectively with people, ignoring emotional biases towards individuals.
- When managing investments (Like stock day traders or currency traders).
- Management of employees toward certain objectives.
- Making hiring and firing decisions.
- Managing or leaving a codependent relationship.
- Consciously managing one’s social life.
However, the aspect of EQPro that trains you to compartmentalize your empathy makes me think that if the wrong person played it way too much they may become too effective at turning off their mirror neurons and be able to become a psychopath on command.
I’ve long heralded Dual N-Back as a tool for training emotional compartmentalization. A couple of anecdotal examples of this…
At the end of one weekend on Facebook a bunch of photos popped up of several of my friends at what looked like an awesome party having a rockstar time. I immediately double checked my Facebook event invites and text messages. Nothing. In past this kind of thing happening would have stung and bothered me for at least a few days, maybe I would have even made a smart ass comment to my friends about it next time I saw them. In the past I’ve been a person that was susceptible to spend a lot of time wallowing in self pity. This time I kept my cool and I reminded myself that my expectations of my party friends are low and that Facebook has a way of magnifying jealousy and drama. I came up with some logical reasons as to why I hadn’t been invited to an awesome party and then I moved on mentally. Anytime this feeling of rejection comes back up, I instantly compartmentalize it in an air tight emotional box. Writing about this incident now is the most I’ve thought about it since it happened. Now I will choose to forget it again.
I had a date with a cute Colombian girl, she was seemed pretty excited, texting me lots of cute things before the date. We met for sushi and had a lovely conversation for about 2 hours, after which she started acting pretty cold to me actually, she brushed off my arm as we were walking. At first I was totally confused by this, but then I remembered her mentioning she felt cold, she hadn’t brought a coat and indeed the restaurant was cold, the food was cold and the drinks were cold. I had environmentally turned her off. So I got her a jacket. Which I thought was a pretty emotionally intelligent thing to do.
Increase EQ & IQ — Emotion Regulation & Intelligence
Train your emotional regulation while simultaneously upgrading the RAM of your conscious mind.
Here’s what a 2011 paper, from the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK, had to say
“The data support the reality of transferable benefits of demanding working memory training and suggest that transferable gains across to affective contexts require training with material congruent to those contexts. These findings constitute preliminary evidence that intensive cognitively demanding brain-training can improve not only our abstract problem-solving capacity, but also ameliorate cognitive control processes (e.g. decision-making) in our daily emotive environments.”