There are few things in existence more fascinating than the human mind. In fact, apart from the depths of space, it is probably one of the least understood objects in the universe. That is not to say, however, that we haven’t learned a lot about it. We know enough that psychologists can even make predictions about your behavior based on certain “rules” that more or less hold true. So, although you may be one of the those countercultural break-the-mold types we are still willing to bet that the following 25 things psychology tells you about yourself would make for a pretty good biography.
Most of your decisions are subconscious.
Although you like to think that all of your decisions are carefully controlled and thought out, research tells us that most of our everyday decisions are actually subconscious. There is a reason for this though. Every second our brains are bombarded with over 11 millions individual pieces of data and because there is no way we can consciously sift through all of it our subconscious mind, following certain “rules of thumb”, helps us out.
You reconstruct your memories.
Because we experience our memories as mini “movies” that play in our heads we tend think that our memories are stored away as complete little files much the same as a video on your computer’s hard drive. This, however, is not the case. Every time you think back to your third grade classroom that memory is reconstructed by your mind. This leads to the obvious conclusion that no two recollections are ever the same. In fact, our memories change over time and can influence one another.
You can’t multitask
We know, you are a professional multi-tasker. Unfortunately, if you really believe that, you are also overly self confident, because the truth of the matter is that humans cannot multi-task. At least not in the sense of the term that we often use. While you can certainly walk around while talking to your friend, your brain can only focus on one higher level function at a time, which means you cannot be thinking about two things at once.
Red and blue is hard on your eyes
Although they are used in numerous national flags, the colors red and blue are actually very hard on your eyes whenever they are directly adjacent. This is due to an effect known as Chromostereopsis, which causes certain colors to “pop out” and others to recede. While it is strongest in red and blue it affects other combinations as well, notably red and green.
You want more choices than you can process
In a study done outside of a supermarket not too long ago researchers set up a tasting table with 6 varieties of jam. They then alternated this table with a much larger selection of 24 jams. What they found was that although more people stopped for a taste at the 24 jam table, almost 6 times as many made a purchase at the 6 jam table. This can be attributed to the fact that although we think we want more, our brains can only handle so much input at a time (#24).
The ability to delay gratification starts young
Evidently the ability to delay fulfilling your desire for immediate gratification as a kid leads to more success in school, better grades, and a greater ability to deal with stress and frustration. Fortunately for those of you how lack in this regard, researchers are developing methods to teach people ways of distracting themselves while they wait.
Your mind wanders 30% of the time
Are you a day dreamer? According to scientists we all are, at least 30% of the time. Some of us though, wander a bit more than others. That’s not always a bad thing though, as researchers have pointed out that people with a high predisposition to mind wandering are generally more creative and better at solving problems.
Others are more easily influenced than you
At least that’s what you think. Known as the “third person effect” this psychological phenomenon tells us that while we acknowledge the effect of advertising and other influences upon our peers, we deny them upon ourselves. The effect is compounded when the source of influence is something we don’t care about (an ad for a TV when you already bought one). In reality though, many advertisements subconsciously affect your mood, attitude, and desires.
You see things differently than the way you perceive them
Aioccrdng to a rcseaerh sudty at Cmiadrbge Usvteriiny, it deosn’t mtetar in waht oredr the ltertes in a wrod are. The olny iomnrtapt thnig is taht the fisrt and lsat leettr be in the rhgit pcale.The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wthiuot prelobm. Tihs is busacee the huamn mnid deos not raed erevy letetr by iletsf, but the wrod as a wlohe. Your brain is constantly processing the information it receives from your senses and the way you end up percieving this information (as words) is usually vastly different from how you sense it (as scrambled letters).
Your brain is just as busy when you sleep
Its true, your brain is just as active during sleep as it is while you are awake. So what’s going on during sleep then if your brain isn’t just shutting down? Well, scientists hypothesise that during the night your brain is consolidating information and making new associations.
Groups are bad at making decisions
Labeled “group think” by psychologists this effect essentially tells us that more heads does not necessarily mean more smarts as large groups of people tend to make decisions based on hyper emotionalism.
This article first appeared on List25
Image Courtesy: To Respective Creator.