Human beings lose their sense of rationality in some situations. We tend to fall for the most ill-conceived of lies and sometimes our minds even trick us into remembering things wrong.
But just because our thought process isn’t rational while making a choice, doesn’t mean that there’s no reasoning behind it.
Here’s what influences you into making those choices and tips on ensuring that they don’t get the best of you.
1. The presence of people you don’t know
None of us behaves in public like we do in private, according to the Zajonc theory of social facilitation. You might be chilling in boxers at home but you’ll dress sharp when you’re stepping out. Behavior is influenced further if you are in a crowd of people. For instance, a man might be more keen to help an old lady with her bag if a pretty girl is watching.
Remember – Always question whether you’re doing something just to make others think well of you or because you really wish to.
2. Being interested in the trial
When you’re trying out something new, you show more diligence and loyalty towards it and you might grade it higher than you actually intend to. This is called the Hawthorne effect. If someone gives you a free sample and you need to rate it, you might rate it highly at the time but when you walk away, it will hit you that it really wasn’t extraordinary.
Remember – Just because you were asked to participate in a test, you don’t have to rate the object highly. Be critical in your analysis.
3. People are more likely to keep in mind work they didn’t finish
We tend to not forget things that we haven’t seen finished yet. If you’re eating out, the person waiting on you will probably forget what you ordered as soon as he sets it before you. If you haven’t completed the homework you’ve been ignoring for a while, you’ll constantly be thinking about it. This is called the Zeigarnik effect.
Remember – Wrap up all your tasks at least mentally so that you won’t be bothered so much.
4. We purchase costly items for a reason
Consumers demand for costly items that aren’t really necessary all the time and this is called the Veblen effect. It is most common in the younger generations who focus more on their standing in society. Cheaper goods are considered junk.
Remember – When you get something pricey, always question whether you’re doing it because you want it or because you want a good picture for social media.
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5. Those who mess up at times are well liked
When a person messes up now and then in a laughable way, they actually become more attractive to the people around them. This is how the pratfall effect works. Being perfect can intimidate others and push them away.
Remember – While you shouldn’t go overboard with this, don’t get worried if you accidentally do something foolish or if you’re clumsy. People will like you much more when you are true to yourself.
6. We don’t get as much attention as we think we do
Also known as the spotlight effect, this is the sense that people are watching you and observing everything you do wrong. But when researchers in Cornell University got subjects to wear a funny t-shirt and asked them to count all the people who actually observed them, the subjects completely overestimated the number.
Remember – Everyone has their own lives to worry about so don’t worry too much about what they might think of you. They’re probably not thinking about you at all.
7. If you’re in a crowd when you need help, people are not as likely to actually do the needful
This is the bystander effect. If someone needs urgent assistance and there are a lot of people around them, this reduces the chances of one person taking the initiative to actually do something useful. Everyone will be expecting the other person to begin and thus no one will.
Remember – If you need help when you’re outside, try and ask one person instead of calling out in general. They’ll be more likely to give you the attention you need.
Now that you have a pretty good idea why people behave the way they do, including yourself, its high time you stopped reacting to these social constructs and focus on your authentic self!