The human brain is quite a complex cell-structure. It is interesting yet weird. Even though it is what enables us to make sense out of things, it can hold a lot of nonsense as well. At times, it helps us make decisions which do not sound rational. Why? It’s because there are certain prevalent psychological effects behind all the choices we make. Here are 7 of them.
1. We behave differently when a stranger is witnessing our behavior
This behavior owes to the Zajonc theory. It’s quite normal to stay in your PJ’s at home and be all refined when you are out. It isn’t all about the company though. Your behavior will also depend on how many unintentional witnesses you have at any given time. Remember how a guy gave up his seat to impress this lady while there was another standing before this lady stepped in? That’s the Zajonc theory!
If you don’t want to get caught, just keep asking yourself what are you doing and for whom.
2. When you know you are part of an experiment, your behavior changes
You go to the supermarket and there’s a new noodle in town. They come up to you and ask you to taste their newly launched noodles. It puts some pressure on you and you don’t give honest feedback. You act more diligent and loyal, telling them it’s good. When you try it in isolation, it isn’t really that good. It is called the Hawthorne effect.
To avoid getting caught in it, think critically. Being in an experiment doesn’t oblige you. Be honest.
3. You tend to remember the unfinished tasks better than the ones you have already completed
It is due to the Zeigarnik effect. People remember what they have to finish more than what they have already finished. That’s why a waiter attends to another order as soon as he finished yours.
To prevent your mind from clattering, focus on completing the task at hand. It won’t be stuck in your head this way.
4. You deliberately buy expensive stuff
The Veblen effect is in play here. It implies that a higher price means higher quality. Young people tend to fall prey to it because they are status conscious. They think discounted products or the ones on sale are probably defective.
When you are shopping, ask yourself if you are buying something for high quality or social prestige. It will make you think twice about spending your hard-earned money on something expensive.
5. People are attracted to those who make mistakes
It happens because of the pratfall effect. When people act funny or make mistakes, it appeals to others. Perfectionism keeps people at distance, sometimes even annoying them.
Don’t fret when you make mistakes. Be yourself. People are attracted to you when you are clumsy rather than when you are trying to be a queen or a king for that matter.
Another interesting article: 11 Weirdest Psychology Findings That Confirm What You Always Suspected
6. You don’t have as much attention as you think you do
The spotlight effect says your perceptions of other’s attention is magnified, implying you think everyone is looking at you when actually they aren’t. It feels like everyone is noticing your flaws when, in reality, everyone is busy going about their day. It is so prevalent that when a team of psychologists from Cornell University asked a group of students to wear a t-shirt with silly print on it and take note of people who notice them, they calculated double the number of people who actually noticed.
The best way to avoid this effect is to stop dwelling on our mistakes. Recall the times when you noticed someone else’s mistakes. It doesn’t happen often.
7. More the people you have around, lesser are the chances someone will come for help when you are in need
It happens due to the bystander effect – when there are a lot of people around, responsibility diffuses. Every other person will think that the other person will help and no one actually comes for help. It is why you ask one specific person for help when you are in need. Shouting out to the crowd will not really get you the aid you require.
So, how many of these psychological effects have you witnessed? You probably experience all or a few of them yourself! They all are very common and affect many of us almost every day.
Image was taken from Authority Dental