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Stop Blaming Yourself For Making All The Bad Choices
#1
[Image: rtr3a8l7.jpg]

We could have gone on forever.

Below, we’ve rounded up another 13 insights into human behavior that were shared on the same Quora thread.

Read on to find out why mimicking someone’s body language makes them like you more, why an image of eyes encourages us to behave ethically, and why we dismiss things we can’t have as totally not worth it.

(Note that some of these findings fall outside the realms of social psychology, but we thought they were worth including.)

http://www.businessinsider.sg/mind-blowi...gs-2016-11
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#2
1. We incorrectly assume that most people support common behavior

One way to explain this phenomenon, writes Anunay Arunav, is, “when no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes.” In other words, individual members of a group privately believe one thing, but think that everyone else in the group believes the opposite.

This phenomenon, known as “pluralistic ignorance,” can help explain why certain cultural practices and government policies persist long after support for them has waned. The term was coined in 1931 by psychologists Daniel Katz and Floyd Allport.

More recently, researchers asked college students about their attitudes toward alcohol use and their estimates of their peers’ attitudes. Most students believed they were more uncomfortable with alcohol use on campus than the average student.
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#3
2. We’re more influenced by our immediate surroundings than we acknowledge

In one study, cited in the book “You Are Not So Smart,” researchers had participants decide how to split a $10 sum with a confederate. When participants were seated in a room with a briefcase, a leather portfolio, and a fountain pen, they were twice as likely to take more money for themselves as when they sat in a room with neutral items.

Yet when asked why they behaved the way they did, no one mentioned the objects in the room, instead saying that they acted according to what was fair.

“The takeaway is that our actions are always being influenced by the values and messages perceived in our environment,” says Fabio Bracht.
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#4
3. We like people better when they act the same way we do

“Although it had long been suspected that copying other people’s body language increases liking, the effect wasn’t tested rigorously until Chartrand and Bargh (1999) carried out a series of experiments,” writes Noor Alansari.

Those experiments led the researchers to conclude that mimicking other people’s speech quirks and physical gestures makes other people like us more, a phenomenon known as the “chameleon effect.”
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#5
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“Illusory correlation” helps explain why you always think you’re stuck on the slower line at the grocery store.
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#6
4. We think we have a greater influence on how things work out than we actually do

Krish Munot points to the existence of the illusory correlation. It explains why we always think that we’ve gotten stuck on the slower line at the grocery store or the slower traffic lane.

The illusory correlation occurs when two things seem to be linked, even though they’re not. So when you’re standing in line, you notice two things: one, the line moving faster and two, yourself. You aren’t paying attention to the fact that you’ve actually been steadily inching closer to the checkout counter.

In other words, according to Tom Stafford at the BBC, we’re plagued by “a mind that over-exaggerates our own importance, giving each of us the false impression that we are more important in how events work out than we really are.”
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#7
5. We don’t always think reasonably while working in groups

Mark Alexander Fonds mentions Groupthink and how it helps explain the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

Psychologist Irving Janis coined the term “Groupthink” when he was researching the 1961 invasion, in which American soldiers tried to overthrow the Cuban government.

What happened, according to Janis’ theory, is that President Kennedy’s subordinates knew he wanted to get rid of Cuban leader Fidel Castro and so they jumped to conclusions without staying open to new information. The team came up with a plan that Kennedy liked instead of a plan that was sensible.

As psychologist Ben Dattner writes in Psychology Today, “sometimes, the best thing a leader can do to prevent Groupthink is to take a step back from his or her team, and allow the group to reach its own independent consensus before making a final decision.”
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#8
6. We’re generally unaware of what causes our behavior

“Not only are there a great many social and environmental effects that influence subjects’ behaviour,” writes Timothy Takemoto, “but people are generally unaware that these effects take place in themselves.”

Takemoto refers to a 1977 analysis conducted by Richard Nisbett and Timothy DeCamp Wilson, which found that people were unable to identify what had prompted them to behave a certain way, even when it was seemingly obvious.

For example, in one study, participants were given a placebo pill, and told that it would reduce physical symptoms associated with receiving an electric shock. After taking the pill, participants took four times as much amperage as people who hadn’t taken the pill. But when asked why, only one-quarter of subjects attributed their behavior to the pill, instead saying things like they had built radios when they were younger and so they were used to electric shocks.
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#9
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In one study, some students who were asked to identify their race before taking a test performed worse.
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#10
7. We perform worse on cognitive tests when we think about stereotypes

Sarvoday Bishnoi says he’s fascinated by an experiment on “priming,” a phenomenon in which exposure to one stimulus influences the response to another stimulus.

This particular experiment, published in 1995, used priming to demonstrate the effects of stereotype threat. Participants took a test composed of GRE questions and everyone was asked to identify their race beforehand. Results showed that black participants performed significantly worse than they did when they weren’t primed with negative stereotypes of African Americans and academic achievement.

Writing about the research in “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell says: “If a white student from a prestigious private high school gets a higher SAT score than a black student from an inner-city school, is it because she’s truly a better student, or is it because to be white and to attend a prestigious high school is to be constantly primed with the idea of ‘smart?’”
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