Do you ever get the feeling that people tell you not to think for yourself? How do you personally deal with situations like these? : 1. When I was a kid, I would watch a Science show where they'd use the phrase "Understanding the World Around You." So then I made "my own" phrase, "Conceptualize the world around you." I never read that from a book, I made that phrase up on my own. So decades later, I was with roommates at college. When talking with one of the roommates, I said, "Oh, I'm just trying to 'conceptualize' the world around me." He said, "Uh uh uh, not from a book, LOL!" Then I said, "That's not from a book!" Him, "Not from a book, LOL!" Any intelligent person knows that's not from a book, and I felt like he was trying to say I can't have any thoughts or feelings of my own since everything is automatically from a book. I mean, how would you respond if someone told you that you can't go to the grocery store because it's found in a dictionary? Then later that day, he was like, "I'm going to be creative, LOL." Then he quoted some lines from the movie Princess Bride. I don't understand, you hear people all the time quote lines from Princess Bride/other movies and I'm pretty sure they're found in a book. Why is "Conceptualize the world around me" any worse, when I haven't seen it in a book? Am I wrong if something doesn't seem right here? 2. Another time I saw one of my roommates walking up the stairs. I thought to myself that if each time he made it half way up the stairs and it put him back at the bottom again, he probably would give up eventually, "operant conditioning extinction". Then the roommate who earlier said not from a book asked me why the other roommate went up the stairs. I was taking a behavioral analysis class that semester and was trying to apply what I was learning in out of the ordinary situations. I said, "He took the first step up the stairs because it was reinforced by the opportunity to take a step up the next stair which was reinforced by the opportunity for the next stair, creating a chaining behavior to get to the top and into his bedroom." My roommate responded, "That's not creative! Be creative! LOL" Me, "What do you think is creative?" Him, "He was tired, that's why he went up the stairs." I don't get it, you hear people all the time say that such and such is tired? If I want to apply what I learn in unusual ways, why is that being less original then someone giving typical layman responses? Do you ever try to apply what you learn? Does that mean you should forget everything you know so that you can be creative? I felt like he was saying that I shouldn't have any thoughts or feelings. If someone told you not to eat breakfeast because others have thought of breakfeast before and you need to be creative, what would you think? I could be wrong, but didn't Einstein say he wasn't trying create, but rather make new discoveries? 3. One last situation, but first some background information: In my A.P. high school psychology class, we learned that there used to be some people who believed evil spirits caused mental disorders. They then would drill holes in the heads of the person acting crazy and it would make them stop acting weird, in reality brain damage, so they thought that it released the evil spirits and so called "confirmed what they believed". So years later, with these same roommates, one of them asked me what I thought the main weakness of the scientific method was. Me, "It's always possible that there is another theory out there that can explain the same exact evidence better." Him, "Well, all you have to do is rule out all other theories." Then I said no matter how hard you try it's always possible there's another possibility, and made up my own example, using how they thought there were evil spirits, etc, and how you could hypothetically set up an experiment saying, "If the theory that evil spirits are causing it is true, then we'd predict the observation of drilling in their heads will release the evil spirits causing them to stop acting weird. However, you wouldn't prove because the better explanation would be that there was really brain damage, which they weren't able to find out until hundreds of years later." (I never saw that example from a book) Then my roommate said, "Nope, not from a book." Me, "That's not from a book, I made up that example myself!" Him, "Not from a book! Anyway, the weakness of the Scientific Method is that you come up with a null hypothesis, and it's always possible that the null may be true." That seemed unfair, because you hear about the null hypothesis all the time in college textbooks, and scientific theories change more often because they find a better theory for the evidence rather than finding out the null is true. Then later he was talking about a study where they found people are more attracted to symmetrical faces, and you hear about those studies all the time from "books". I don't understand? I could be wrong, but why does a "book" matter? Galileo said the world revolved around the sun, but that wasn't his idea. He "read" about it from Copernicus, "from a book", and then worked it out for himself. Does that mean he was a bad person? Are there any logical fallacies/flaws in thinking? How do you have better communication in these situations?