11 pitfalls of the brain that control our lives

Everyone likes to think that he is a rational person and able to make a choice, guided by reason. In reality, we often take irrational decisions because fall into traps of his own brain.

We AdMe.ru we believe that the best weapon in the fight against prejudice is knowledge. So we figured out another portion of the cognitive biases that can affect our daily life.

1. The effect of false uniqueness

When a person has some positive quality that you can boast of, he is inclined to believe that no one else does not have this quality. This allows a particular individual to raise their self-esteem and a more comfortable feel.

An example of life. If a woman never cheated on her husband, it will probably be to condemn other women, even their girlfriends, assuming they are all cheating spouses.

2. Automatic thoughts

Instantly appear in the minds of evaluative thoughts, which sometimes we don’t even notice. These thoughts are a response to any event or situation. Roughly speaking, it’s an instant evaluation of what is happening.

An example of life. When the boss asks a subordinate to come to his office “to talk”, the slave usually starts to get nervous and assume that it expects a beating, or even dismissal. It is the automatic thoughts, the brain instantly analyzed many similar situations and suggested that the conversation will flow in a negative way. Although the Governor could call a subordinate to tell him about the promotion.

3. Paramnesia

This is a false memory. Often accompanied by a revaluation of its influence on certain events in the past. Very relevant psychological trap, because in recent years it has become fashionable to go in for a session to a therapist and try to remember some childhood experiences, to get rid of the problems in the present. Typically, these experiences are a fiction.

An example of life. An American Carol Felsted grew up in a large family. When she grew up, then broke all contact with his parents, and then accused them of setting fire to the house and abuse. The woman sympathized with the whole world, until it became clear that it was a false memory.

4. Apophenia

The ability to see relationships between events that each other are not connected. Often in this trap are people who tend to believe in paranormal: any accidentally fallen Cup from the table it seems they are indestructible proof of the existence of ghosts or poltergeists.

An example of life. People can not decide to break up with a spouse and awaiting “signs from above”. Eventually his gaze falls on a poster of the film with a title like “Drop it immediately”. Man considers it as a sign and connects their situation with what is written on the poster, although these situations do not overlap.

5. The effect of hostile media

The perception of neutral notes in the media as biased. Occurs in people who have a strong position on some issue. The supporters of the opposite position would perceive neutral material in different ways.

An example of life. If an outspoken opponent of abortion will read an article about how some women decide to terminate a pregnancy due to health issues, he decides that this particular media is in favour of abortion. While the journalist just made a note.

6. The phenomenon of the shift of risk

If a person has a choice between a risky and risk-free action, he will choose the latter. But if this person is in a group of people who urged on him, he is likely to take the risk. In other words, a personality change under public pressure.

In 1968 an experiment was performed. Participants were offered a choice: go with no guarantees to work with a high salary or stay at my old job with a low income. The subjects first made the decision alone, and most of them preferred to leave things as they are. After the participants discussed a possible solution in the group — and in this case most inclined to risk.

An example of life. Husband cheated on his wife, they were together for 10 years. A woman decides to forgive a spouse, and after meets with my friends, who convince her to ditch the man. And the woman decided to divorce.

7. The money illusion

People perceive the nominal value of money, and not real. Almost no one pays attention to actual purchasing power. Scientists conducted experiments that showed that people seems unfair reduction of the income without raising prices on products. But these same people think a fair increase of income by 2% and simultaneous increase in food prices by 4 %. While both conditions are almost equal.

An example of life. If the employee salary increase of 10% and inflation is 20 %, the employee will be happy and will think that he gets more. Though in fact it is 10% the “ate” inflation and the real income is decreased.

8. Egocentric distortion

The tendency to distort the events that happened in the past to represent themselves in a favorable light. It is believed that this is typical of people with high self-esteem: they amuse own ego.

The Japanese conducted a small experiment in 1993. Subjects were asked to tell about the bad and good deeds that they did or their friends. It turned out that almost all started with the story about good behavior with the word “I”. And the stories about the bad things began with the word “other”. That is, people tend to shift the burden of failure on to other shoulders, and the burden of success on their own.

An example of life. The team requested the project. If he fails, the leader will claim that the fault of the team. If the project will bring considerable profit, the same Manager can proudly say that it is to his credit.

9. The effect of lady Macbeth

To the human psyche there is a connection between physical and moral purity. If a person feels shame, then, most likely, he’ll want to take a shower or wash.

Held a very peculiar experiment to study this phenomenon. Participants were divided into 2 groups. The first group was asked to remember, it is a shame they have done in my entire life. The second group reflected on their own achievements. Then both groups filled in the blanks of missing letters in the English words W_ _H, SH_ _ER and S_ _P. In the end, most of those who thought of the shameful experiences, wrote the words to wash (to wash), shower (shower), soap (soap). And the participants from the second group chose words such as wish (wish), shaker (shaker), stop (stop).

An example of life. Spouse after adultery will be a long time to take a shower or bath to attain peace of mind.

10. The effect of acquaintance with the object

The tendency to endow certain I had all the good qualities without any reason. Sometimes this effect is called the phenomenon of familiarity. Simply put, the more we see the object or person the more we like it.

Specialists have conducted research of this phenomenon. A group of students read an article on computers, and at the top of the screen periodically flashed banners. Later, subjects were asked to evaluate the banners from the point of view of attraction. It is obvious that students rate highly those flyers that they saw more often.

An example of life. A person first hears on the radio a song that is like. The song played every day, and a month later people are surprised to discover that he likes me and the words and melody.

11. The effect of identifiable victims

A tendency to respond generously to the specific person, the problems which can be observed directly. With the help of a group of individuals with a similar situation not provided. In other words, statistics is a less emotion than vividly described the story of one man.

When we can see the identity of the victim, I can identify with it. Hence there is sympathy together with a desire to help. This phenomenon brilliantly manipulating the media.

An example of life. People probably will react to the announcement that a poodle named Jack is in trouble and needs urgent surgery. The probability that he will help with money or other means, is much higher than if the ad said that somewhere had dozens of dogs and they are very much needed money for the treatment.

You’ve fallen into these traps? Can you give an example from your life or the lives of acquaintances.


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