How often do we tend to indulge in repetitive behaviors? The kind we do on a purpose but we don’t know about it. It’s almost like our subconscious knows why and it just makes us do those things.
There’s actually an explanation for all the unspoken rules you follow. Here are 9 such rules:
1. When you are driving in unfamiliar territory, you either turn down the volume or turn it off
Why do we tend to turn off any background noise when we are driving through an unknown place? Dr Steven Yantis, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, showed evidence that, when we attend to the auditory stimulus, our brain attends less to the information coming through the visual senses. It is why you try blocking all the background noise so that you do not miss the turn you need to take.
2. We use hand gestures while talking
It’s pretty normal to move around our hands to accompany our speech if our hands aren’t busy doing something else. Why? Well, during his research, a professor from Cornell University, Andrew Bass, found that this instinct to gesticulate is a part of our evolution. When the scientists traced the development of neural networks that help us make gestures and speak, they found that these social signs used by the birds and mammals, including humans, come from the hindbrain of the fish. It’s why gesticulation and speech together have an evolutionary origin.
3. Even when there’s almost an empty parking area, we will tend to park next to an already parked car
So, when we follow this unspoken rule, it is because we humans as social beings tend to follow the crowd, going for things which have already been tested before. Hence, why park next to the only parked car in the lot.
When Rob Henderson, a research assistant at Yale University, studied this following-the-crowd phenomenon, he gave multiple reasons. One of these reasons was how we have immense options in front of us and not enough time or resources to try them all. Did you ever notice how they say in commercials that is a recommendation of 9 out of 10 experts? Well, it’s because if the majority uses it, you are likely to use it too.
4. Men don’t use 2 neighboring urinals
It is quite understandable that confidentiality and respect for our personal space is something of importance to us. We do not like a breach. It is men tend to use the urinals at some distance from each other if the other is in use already – they don’t appreciate other’s wandering glance.
5. We don’t take the last slice of pizza or the last doughnut
There’s a phenomenon called the diffusion of entitlement – you inhibit yourself from consuming something scarce. So scientists Daniel A. Effron and Dale T. Miller from Stanford University found out that people in big companies do not opt for the last piece of pizza, gum or the last doughnut for that matter because they feel like it’s not their right. There is diffusion of entitlement in place.
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6. Men do not prefer asking for directions
A TrekAce survey revealed that only 6% of men would ask a stranger for directions in case they were lost. The same study also showed that within 50 years of their life, on average men travel 900 extra miles simply because they don’t ask for directions. Why? Ego!
In Mark Goulston M.D’s opinion, it is because men don’t want to feel incompetent, vulnerable or humiliated. It does sound like a reason enough for a man to stay rather lost!
7. We tend to hold the doors open for other people
Sure, we behave this way out of politeness. But, Joseph Santamaria and David Rosenbaum wrote in an article that we hold doors for other people in an attempt to minimize the collective efforts spent. It implies that this person wouldn’t have to spend energy in opening it again. It also embodies the golden rule of morality – treat others the way you want to be treated.
8. We neither buy the cheapest nor the most expensive things
We tend to take a middle ground when it comes to shopping, trying to be rational about our decisions. This rationality means we try to match the quality with the price and then decide which one to buy. The most expensive means the price is overestimated while the cheapest may mean a lesser quality product. So, we go for the one which makes more sense.
However, at times, you end up buying the cheaper one. It is because the marketers are well aware of this rule and to sell similar products, they will place the cheapest next to the most expensive.
9. When we are interested, we will face our feet towards them
It is quite interesting that our feet indicate our interest more than our speech does. In his book “What every BODY is saying”, Joe Navarro M.A explains that it is all natural. Our body makes sure that our feet react right away in case of a threat, making it a survival instinct. So, if a person isn’t interested in you, their feet will be facing away while their torso will be facing towards you.
Featured Image Source: Sergey Nivens @ 123RF.com