Re: Distinctions LO1049

david swenson (
Wed, 3 May 95 16:42:01 CST

Replying to LO1021 --

Dave & Doug,

I've appreciated the thoughtful interchange and likewise am accused of
being like "Spock" on far too many occasions. I'd like to add an additional
dimension of "integration" to that of distinctions. Making distinctions is
important in differentiating experience, but unless the new distinctions
are connected to past expeience or related in a new model or structure, I
can understand why some people (who may not have much tolerance for
ambiguity) become agitated.

I think there's less resistance when people (audience, students, clients,
etc.) are presented with a new idea as a reframe of an old idea, or new
ones are connected with new structures that enables them to emerge from an
old structure. Intelligence may play some part, but much of the work by
Streufert (sic) et al., is that cognitive complexity (differentiation and
integration) doesn't necessarily differentiate among moderate and high
intelligence people--although it's unlikely that low intelligence people
are cognitively complex.


On Tue, 2 May 1995 09:43 CST, David E. Birren, MB/5, 608.267.2442 wrote:

>You described a problem I've had for many years:
>"It is not uncommon for me to encounter a lot of resistance to
>distinctions when I use common words for making them (even with using them
>for explicit purposes) or when I introduce uncommon words or phrases
>(which are often seen as jargon)."
>This may rub some people the wrong way, but I'm just going to say it and
>then continue with responding to your message. I like the definition of
>intelligence as the ability to make distinctions. Your problem may be
>that you're dealing with people who are not as "intelligent" as you, or
>possess a different kind of intelligence.

David X. Swenson Ph.D. (
Associate Professor of Management
College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN 55811

"david swenson" <>