Psychologists call this “the anchoring bias.”
After we’ve made a decision, even an illogical one, we tend to cling to it. That is, we filter out dissenting information while seeking data that confirms our original viewpoints.
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Under particular circumstances (involving high anxiety or a major reward) our brains cause us to perceive the world around us in ways that contradict and distort objective reality. It's when we're most likely going to do something regrettable.
This shift in perception is unrelated to our intelligence, morals, or past behaviors. We don’t even know it’s happening, nor can we control it.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung put forth some of the most well-known theories of dreaming.
You say something you don't literally mean, and the hearer only understands if they get that you're insincere. The ability to recognize sarcasm is an essential skill to function in a modern society that thrives on irony.
Entire phrases have lost their literal meaning because they are so frequently used with a sneer. For example, "big deal", or "tell it to someone who cares," and "aren't you special" means you aren't.
When we walk into a store and see an Ultra HD Television costing upwards of $40,000, we usually feel as if it’s a complete waste of money and start to look at the other bargain options in the $1500 range. While we may think we are smart shoppers, we have been manipulated.
Anchoring is a cognitive bias where the initial figure that is provided to our minds distorts our thinking and influences our subsequent buying decision. The $1500 TV wouldn’t look so enticing and cheap if we didn’t see the expensive one before. In fact, if the first TV we saw was for $500, then the $1500 TV would look expensive.
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