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6 Psychological Effects That Affect How Our Brains Tick

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.

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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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Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity. 

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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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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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