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6 Psychological Effects That Affect How Our Brains Tick

The Pygmalion Effect

Greater expectations drive greater performance.

The crux of this psychological phenomenon is the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you believe something is true of yourself, eventually it will be.

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6 Psychological Effects That Affect How Our Brains Tick

6 Psychological Effects That Affect How Our Brains Tick

https://buffer.com/resources/6-powerful-psychological-effects-that-explain-how-humans-tick

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Key Ideas

The Pratfall Effect

Your likability will increase if you aren’t perfect.

Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likable than those who commit the occasional faux pas. Messing up draws people closer to you, makes you more human. Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility. 

The Pygmalion Effect

Greater expectations drive greater performance.

The crux of this psychological phenomenon is the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you believe something is true of yourself, eventually it will be.

The Paradox of Choice

The more choices we have, the less likely we are to be content with our decision.

Even if our ultimate decision is clearly correct, when faced with many choices, we are less likely to be happy with what we choose. Because a wealth of choices makes finding contentment that much harder.

The Bystander Effect

The more people who see someone in need, the less likely that person is to receive help.

Researchers call it a “confusion of responsibility,” where individuals feel less responsibility for the outcome of an event when others are around. In fact, the probability of help is inversely related to the number of people present. 

The Spotlight Effect

Your mistakes are not noticed as much as you think.

People aren’t paying attention at our moments of failure nearly as much as we think. The perception of our being under constant scrutiny is merely in our minds.

The Focusing Effect

People place too much importance on one aspect of an event and fail to recognize other factors.

To combat this effect, it is important to remember to keep perspective, look at problems from many angles, and weigh several factors before making a decision. 

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E-mail rudeness is a pervasive problem
E-mail rudeness is a pervasive problem

Studies show that more than ninety percent of professionals surveyed admitted that they had experienced disrespectful e-mails at work.

Rude e-mails are on the rise. The e-mail may ...

The derogatory or condescending e-mail

Electronic communication is efficient, but it's detached. Sitting at a computer screen, the need for tact and a respectful tone disappears.

  • Being on the receiving end of such impoliteness can create lingering stress and negative emotions. The recipient may find it harder to stay engaged at work. The stress associated with e-mail rudeness can spill over into family life and, like a chain reaction, can send stress signals to other people.
  • A subtler form of aggression is failing to reply to a request, in effect giving others the "silent treatment." Not responding to an email leaves people hanging and struggling with uncertainty.
Remember your netiquette

With remote work on the rise, the use of electronic communication has allowed incivility to thrive.

  • To mitigate the stress, managers need to set clear and reasonable e-mail expectations. Organizations should create meaningful opportunities for employees to build good working relationships.
  • For employees, the best option to cope is to unplug from work after-hours.
  • Regardless of your level of stress, remember the rules of netiquette. Spend time composing your e-mail and notice inconsiderate expressions. Acknowledge a request and let your co-workers know when you will get back to them. Perhaps keep caps lock off.
Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve ...

Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.”

Bryant McGill
The Role Of Perseverance On Change

Bad habits don’t go away overnight. But, you can use strategies to give you that extra boost of self-confidence and self-control required to change.

Understand that sometimes you will fail and sometimes you’ll succeed. But no matter how long it takes to fail and get back up again, your patience and perseverance will soon pay off.

Creating An “If-Then” Plan

It gives you an automatic response to react to your cravings and makes it easier to replace a bad habit with a good one: 

  • Identify the scenario that usually triggers your bad habit.
  • Specify a different response to the trigger. Ideally, this should be a good habit that would replace and prevent you from falling into the temptation.
  • Combine steps 1 and 2 into an “if-then” format.

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Focus On Keystone Habits

Keystone habits lead to the development of multiple good habits. 

Exercise is a good example of this. Once you start to change your exercise habits, it sets off a chain reaction t...

Use “Minimum Viable Effort”

Focus on baby steps. The key to new good habits is to do the minimum and be consistent.

Do not be ambitious at the beginning. That leads to failure. Consistency is what you’re shooting for, so make the hurdle as low as possible.

Make A Plan

Thinking about the details makes you more likely to follow through. 

Just writing down your plan also makes a big difference in effectively committing to your goals.

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Meaning of White

New beginnings, lightness, perfection, purity, peace, innocence, neutrality, impartiality etc. In hospitals, white is a predominant color, it is aseptic and conveys calm.

It is an immaculate ...

Meaning of Yellow

Positive concepts like optimism, youth, confidence, and creativity. 

However, yellow is a contradictory color. It is also related to betrayal, greed, lies, insanity, warnings or socially rejected groups.

Meaning of Orange

The orange color immediately captures the attention of the person staring. 

According to color psychology, orange represents extravagance, energy, transformation, and uniqueness.

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Information that matches our beliefs

We surround ourselves with it: We tend to like people who think like us; if we agree with someone's beliefs, we're more likely to be friends with them.

This makes sense, but it means ...

The "swimmer's body illusion"

It's a thinking mistake and it occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. 

Professional swimmers don't have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques.

The sunk cost fallacy

It plays on this tendency of ours to emphasize loss over gain.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. The reason we can't ignore the cost, even though it's already been paid, is that we're wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain.

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Avoiding Facts
Avoiding Facts

Many people avoid facts even if it is beneficial for them to know. This strange quirk that defies logic is due to many psychological factors.

Human beings often avoid learning new i...

Aversion From Bad News

Human beings feel their hopes are shattered when they learn about the outcome of a certain illness or maybe the date of their death, or divorce, preferring to remain aloof and hopeful.

While mostly this applies only to bad news, there are certain cases when individuals prefer not to know about something which may be positive as well.

The Reason For Avoiding Facts

Information avoidance, even if knowing can help us make smarter choices, is a way for us to forego some of the sufferings that may be caused by us knowing about what the future brings, and allows us to remain in a state of suspense and wonder.

The Decoy Effect

It is a marketing tactic used to nudge you into purchasing a higher-priced variant of a product or service.

The Decoy effect can be applied in recruitment, polls, elections, or anywhere else ...

The extra-large glass

A well-designed decoy can shift our decision making between two options as much as 40%.

For example, we are more likely to buy the large glass of juice at the counter when we have been provided with a choice in which the smaller glass is priced only slightly less. We tend to opt for the bigger glass (even if we don't need more juice) as it looks like a bargain.

The Unattractive Option
  • The Unattractive Third Option (The Decoy) has no real value in itself and is just placed to sway the decision maker towards the higher-priced option.
  • The Decoy's only purpose is to make the expensive option appear like a bargain.
  • This has also been widely used in subscription options of magazines and in the high-end diamond market.

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The negativity bias
The negativity bias

We have the tendency to give more weight in our minds to things that go wrong than to things that go right—so much so that just one negative event can hijack our minds in ways that can be detriment...

Findings about the negativity bias
  • We get upset when someone doesn't fulfill a promise. However, if they do more than promised, we're not grateful enough for it.
  • People learn more and faster from punishment and reward. If you have to pick one, negative feedback stimulates learning faster than positive feedback.
The Negative Golden Rule

Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you.

It is about focusing on eliminating the negative more than encouraging the positive. Because there’s abundant evidence from multiple sources that relationships are far more strongly affected by negative things than positive things.

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Productivity guilt

Productivity guilt is a mindset of feeling bad about not creating, achieving or working hard.

The Zeigarnik effect

This is the tendency to have “intrusive thoughts” about a task that we once started but didn’t finish. 

It is in our human nature to finish off things that we start and we often hate having to leave a project unfinished. 

Some people are very good at maintaining a detachment between their work and their outside life. For others (especially those indoctrinated in ‘life hacks’ and productivity tips), the guilt to be constantly doing something can be a real energy sucker.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Before comparing yourself to that guy over there, realize what he’s sacrificing.

If you’re feeling guilty about your lack of “productivity”, then you’re not going to be truly productive at all. 

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